AFTER losing his state parliament seat in 2010, Liberal candidate for Braddon Brett Whiteley said he was hesitant to claim victory last night.
Flanked by his wife, Sue, and children Josh, Jessica and Jackson, Mr Whiteley entered Burnie's Wellers Inn to rapturous applause from about 200 supporters.
Mr Whiteley said he was encouraged by incoming results, which indicated an easy victory.
"You can tell by the noise in the background that I had a very encouraged and excited crew of volunteers," Mr Whiteley said.
"So I think we've done exceptionally well and I'm very pleased with the result."
Mr Whiteley said he was not surprised by the swing against Labor in several Tasmanian seats.
"I think the message has been coming in loud and clear now for probably 18 months, two years, if not longer, and I've been campaigning since November," Mr Whiteley.
"I've knocked on probably two-and-a-half thousand doors and the message has been absolutely succinct ... and that is they've been in fear of their jobs, they've been very concerned about the lack of investment coming forward for Tasmania.
"It's been a dark cloud over this state and this region, and I can say that now without doubting what I've been saying for eight months, because the people today have said in the ballot box that's exactly how they feel."
Mr Whiteley gave credit to outgoing Labor MHR Sid Sidebottom, saying that while he did not agree with his politics, he felt he had served his community well.
"He is a decent man, and he's done this region proud in that sense, because he's served us for 12 years," he said.
"I know what it takes to have to resurrect yourself after a loss and Sid knows that, we've spoken about that previously ... so to him, I just pay tribute."