In conceding defeat during an address to the tally room, White admitted it was “clear tonight that we have fallen short of our goal to win a majority Labor government”.
“A short time ago, I rang Peter Gutwein to congratulate him on his re-election and his impressive personal result,” the Opposition Leader said in her speech.
“All around the country we have seen incumbent governments rewarded for their management of COVID-19 and there is no doubt that Peter Gutwein and our public health officials kept our community safe and tonight’s result reflects that.
“Peter Gutwein did call an early election because he wanted to be about his management of COVID-19 and tonight’s outcome is a strong result for the Liberal Party and Peter Gutwein’s leadership.
“But this election has also seen the elevation of other issues that matter, so important that the government listens to the concerns that have been raised throughout this campaign. The stories of the left-behind cannot continue to be ignored.”
White vowed to keep fighting for Tasmanians going forward and promised to hold the government accountable in their next term.
“I hope this is a wake up call for the Liberals. Tasmanians will not tolerate this from the Liberal government, surgery waiting that are the worse the country, ambulance response rates that are the slowest in the country, Tasmanians dying in the emergency department because they [Liberals] can’t acknowledge the healthcare. Tasmanians will not continue to tolerate the endless infrastructure policies never fulfilled.
“Just because we fell short, it doesn’t mean we will stop fighting to make Tasmania a better and fairer place.”
White, the Member for Lyons, was re-elected to her seat as were the other major political party leaders, including Greens MP Cassy O’Connor.
While a number of seats are still in doubt Gutwein’s Liberal party are projected to have 12 candidates elected but need 13 seats for a majority in the lower house.
Labor have a projected seven seats, while the Greens are projected for two, leaving four seats up for grabs in current projections.
However, in his victory speech Gutwein appeared confident of a majority win for the Liberal Party.
“Ladies and gentlemen, what a night. What a night. And while we have won this election convincingly, it appears increasingly likely that we will also govern in majority,” he told the tally room to raucous cheers.
“While obviously there is some counting to be done, it would be an absolute honour and privilege to be given that opportunity by the Tasmanian people.”
He also praised locals for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic over the past year.
“Tasmanians regardless of religion, of race, of politics, circumstances or background held out their hands to each other in the most extraordinary and extravagantly outstanding displays of humanity that I have ever witnessed and I want to say to Tasmanians thank you for that because in doing so, we turned Tasmania into one of the safest places in this country and, without doubt, one of the safest places on this planet!”