A week might be a long time in politics but it’s not long enough to give a final answer in the slow-motion race for the South West’s Upper House seats. Labor has three confirmed winners from recounting this week: veterans Sally Talbot and Alannah MacTiernan, and Cowaramup winery owner Jackie Jarvis. Serial Labor candidate John Mondy remained achingly close on a quota of 3.96 electoral seats. MLC Steve Thomas was the only Liberal winner, and his naming this week as the Liberals’ president in the Upper House could lead him to vacate his Margaret River office to support the decimated party’s efforts elsewhere. For the fifth and sixth spots, it was a neck-and-neck race, with the Nationals’ new candidate James Hayward — a City of Bunbury councillor — and Legalise Cannabis WA candidate and Chinese medical practitioner Sophia Moermond the frontrunners. Greens MLC Diane Evers told the Times the party often fared well in below-the-line votes, but pollsters had already marked her down for the loss. New MLCs don’t take up their positions until late May, meaning an anxious time for electoral staffers eyeing redundancy or shifting base. But political parties tend to hire their own, meaning many would make the jump to safe roles unless — like the Greens and One Nation — they fell afoul of the black maths of Upper House voting calculations. Those preference flows backfired for many in the Upper House race. On-the-nose Liberals contributed fewer second-chance votes to fellow conservatives in the Nationals, while as the Times reported last week, Greens votes in the Upper House went to pro-pot party Legalise Cannabis WA before Labor, despite LCWA scoring less than 2 per cent of the vote. The Upper House poll annihilated most of the smaller parties and independents who’ve recently factored into Australian politics, and pundits told the Times “mixed messaging” from conservatives to “vote Liberal locally” had backfired.