WA redistributed

The draft boundaries for the one-vote one-value electoral redistribution in Western Australia have been unveiled. The table below lists Antony Green’s calculations of the new margins for each seat, along with its most likely contestant at the next election. As you can see, it’s been a pretty good day for the Western Australian ALP. On 2005 election results, the new boundaries would have won Labor 38 seats against 20 for the combined forces of conservatism, which includes two independents. This compares with the last election’s numbers of Labor 32, Coalition 23 and independents two. Reluctant as one might be to criticise the implementation of historic one-vote one-value reforms, this seems a slightly excessive return on Labor’s 52.3 per cent of the two-party vote. For Labor to lose the notional nine seats required to cost it its majority would require a uniform swing of over 4.0 per cent, for a two-party vote of less than 48.3 per cent.

The redistribution creates four safe Labor seats along with four marginals, for a cost of only one abolished Labor seat and three which become notionally Liberal. The Coalition loses five seats and has two that go notionally Labor, in exchange for one very marginal new seat and the three that become notionally Liberal (generously including the line-ball Kingsley). A further seat, Capel, has effectively merged with Collie-Wellington to create the marginal Labor seat of Collie-Preston. The Coalition has its margins boosted in almost every seat it already holds, but has little joy in the existing Labor seats it needs to win, unless you count Collie-Preston.

No fewer than three of the abolished Coalition seats are held by the Nationals. This leaves them only with Merredin and Wagin, although party leader Brendon Grylls purports to be confident of winning Moore, Eyre and Blackwood-Stirling. This sounds wildly optimistic in the case of the latter two, especially considering Blackwood-Stirling will be contested for the Liberals by the current member for Warren-Blackwood, Opposition Leader Paul Omodei. I have yet to crunch the upper house numbers, but it appears the new system of six-seat regions will deliver the Nationals a seat in South West to add to their existing seat in Agricultural. As the ABC puts it, one unlucky MP will be “forced” – horror of horrors – “into the upper house”. Former party leader and Avon MP Max Trenorden might come under pressure to retire, leaving Greenough MP Grant Woodhams to turn his vote-winning ways to Moore (he gained Greenough from a sitting Liberal in 2005) with Stirling MP Terry Redman taking the upper house safety hatch.

Homeless Liberals include Leschenault MP Dan Sullivan, a Matt Birney loyalist who quit the front bench a year ago following a policy dispute with Paul Omodei, along with Capel MP Steve Thomas and Serpentine-Jarrahdale MP Tony Simpson. Simpson or Sullivan might find accommodation in the new marginal Liberal seat of Scarborough, although both are all a long way from the northern suburbs. Thomas will presumably have to try his luck against the formidable Mick Murray in Collie-Preston. Shadow water resources minister John Day suffers a 3.8 per cent hit that leaves his seat of Darling Range with a notional Labor margin of 0.6 per cent; he might instead go for the neighbouring new seat of Kalamunda, although he would only be 0.2 per cent better off. John Castrilli will have no choice but to stand and fight in Bunbury which he won narrowly in 2005 off the back of his high profile as mayor, and which now has a notional Labor margin of 1.2 per cent.

UPDATE: In The West Australian, Robert Taylor reports Trenorden will stand against his leader for the Merredin preselection; Ben Spencer reports Dan Sullivan has ruled out taking on Steve Thomas in Collie-Preston and Murray Cowper in Murray, leaving his career “all but over”.

Conveniently, the abolished Labor seat of Murchison-Eyre is held by John Bowler, who was forced to resign from the ALP over the Burke-Grill affair (Julian Grill being the previous member for the seat). The Kalgoorlie Miner reports that Bowler is not giving up and is considering running in Eyre, likely to be won for the Liberals by Roe MP Graham Jacobs. Labor’s main losers are Peter Watson and Shane Hill, whose regional city seats of Albany and Geraldton have expanded beyond the town limits into conservative rural territory, and Judy Hughes, who narrowly won the northern suburbs seat of Kingsley in 2005 and has now watched her narrow margin disappear altogether. All represent electorates that have retained their basic identity, and they will presumably be obliged to stand and fight. That leaves eight new seats available to aspirational Labor types, including knife-edge marginal Ocean Reef in the far northern suburbs and Kalamunda in the hills; slightly more comfortable Jandakot and Forrestfield closer to the city; and the glittering new prizes of West Swan, Cannington, Kwinana and Nollamara in various corners of the metropolitan area (you can also add Morley, the successor seat to Ballajura, whose member John D’Orazio was also forced to quit the party).

It should be noted that these boundaries are not yet carved in stone; the Office of the Electoral Distribution Commissioners will be receiving written objections until July 30.

NOTE: Figures in the following table are initial estimates provided by Antony Green. Antony has since updated the figures and published a comprehensive summary at the ABC.

Nollamara 19.4 NEW SEAT
Kwinana 19.0 NEW SEAT
Girrawheen 19.0 23.4 4.4 Margaret Quirk
Maylands 17.4 16.5 0.9 Judy Edwards
Bassendean 14.8 13.7 1.1 Martin Whitely
Cockburn 14.6 16.4 1.8 Fran Logan
Armadale 14.5 13.0 1.5 Alannah MacTiernan
Victoria Park 14.0 16.0 2.0 Ben Wyatt
Fremantle 13.9 14.4 0.5 Jim McGinty
Perth 13.6 12.0 1.6 John Hyde
Cannington 13.2 NEW SEAT
Willagee 12.7 15.0 2.3 Alan Carpenter
12.2 13.6 1.4 Sheila McHale
12.0 13.5 1.5 John D’Orazio
West Swan 12.2 NEW SEAT
Belmont 11.4 10.8 0.6 Eric Ripper
Rockingham 11.3 12.3 1.0 Mark McGowan
11.2 13.5 2.3 Paul Papalia
(Cent-Kim Pilbara)
10.7 13.6 2.9 Tom Stephens
Midland 9.4 8.5 0.9 Michelle Roberts
Balcatta 9.4 9.8 0.4 John Kobelke
Mandurah 8.2 12.3 4.1 David Templeman
Mindarie 6.9 4.0 2.9 John Quigley
Kimberley 6.3 3.0 3.0 Carol Martin
Wanneroo 6.1 6.7 0.6 Dianne Guise
Southern River 5.0 11.8 6.8 Paul Andrews
Mount Lawley
4.4 8.2 3.8 Bob Kucera
Jandakot 4.4 NEW SEAT
Joondalup 4.3 3.3 1.0 Tony O’Gorman
Forrestfield 4.0 NEW SEAT
Swan Hills 3.2 3.8 0.6 Jaye Radisich
North West
(NW Coastal)
3.2 3.7 0.5 Fred Riebeling
Riverton 1.8 1.7 0.1 Tony McRae
Ocean Reef 1.6 NEW SEAT
Bunbury 1.2 0.4 1.6 John Castrilli
1.2 9.3
Mick Murray
Steve Thomas
Darling Range 0.6 3.2 3.8 John Day
Kalamunda 0.4 NEW SEAT
Kingsley 0.0 0.8 0.8 Judy Hughes
Scarborough 1.0 NEW SEAT
Dawesville 1.7 4.1 2.4 Kim Hames
Albany 2.3 1.4 3.7 Peter Watson
Geraldton 3.5 2.1 5.6 Shane Hill
Hillarys 3.7 4.2 0.5 Rob Johnson
Murray 6.3 0.8 5.5 Murray Cowper
6.7 5.9 0.8 Trevor Sprigg
South Perth 7.4 5.8 1.6 John McGrath
Carine 7.8 4.7 3.1 Katie Hodson-Thomas
8.4 9.6 1.2 Matt Birney
Vasse 9.6 vs IND ? Troy Buswell
Nedlands 10.0 8.4 1.6 Sue Walker
13.9 vs NAT ? Graham Jacobs
19.3 15.0 4.3 Paul Omodei
Moore 19.7 17.3 2.4 Gary Snook
Merredin 26.0 vs LIB ? Brendon Grylls
Wagin 26.0 28.4 2.4 Terry Waldron
Independent seats NEW OLD SHIFT MEMBER
Churchlands 10.1 ? ? Liz Constable
Alfred Cove 8.4 ? ? Janet Woollard
Abolished seats OLD MEMBER
Murchison-Eyre 8.1 John Bowler
Serpentine-Jarrahdale 1.2 Tony Simpson
Leschenault 7.7 Dan Sullivan
Avon 22.1 Max Trenorden
Greenough 1.3 (vs LIB) Grant Woodhams
Stirling 7.0 (vs LIB) Terry Redman

Kimberley. Inevitably, this electorate has extended into remote Aboriginal communities in the shires of Derby-West Kimerley and Halls Creek, improving Labor’s position for the addition of 564 Labor to 202 Liberal two-party votes. In 2005, Labor member Carol Martin’s margin was cut from 8.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent, or 590 votes. It should now be 5.0 per cent and 952 votes.

Pilbara. The seat formerly known as Central-Kimberley Pilbara gains Newman and a less cumbersome name. That boosts Labor by 233 votes, almost balancing out the aforementioned loss of Halls Creek and part of Derby-West Kimberley. Labor’s margin goes from 13.6 per cent to 12.2 per cent. Central Kimberley-Pilbara is held by Labor veteran Tom Stephens, who might be due for retirement at the next election.

North West. Takes in the entirety of North-West Coastal, held by Legislative Assembly Speaker Fred Riebeling, plus six shires further inland from Murchison-Eyre. The new voters from the latter area are a dead heat: 327 two-party votes each for Labor and Liberal in 2005. Riebeling’s margin was cut from 5.4 per cent to 3.7 per cent in 2004; it’s maybe 0.1 per cent or 0.2 per cent lower now.

Goldfields. A big-ticket item of the redistribution was how Kalgoorlie, held by former Liberal leader Matt Birney, was going to be dealt with. Most expected that those parts of Boulder that were in Murchison-Eyre would be added to Kalgoorlie, but not so: an amended version of the boundary between Kalgoorlie and Boulder is maintained, with five interior shires from Murchison-Eyre being added to Kalgoorlie to make up the new seat of Goldfields. This adds 444 Labor and 380 Liberal votes. Matt Birney’s margin in 2005 was 2024, so there doesn’t seem to be any insurmountable hurdle to him keeping the seat. Nonetheless, there are rumours that he has sought or attained party membership with a metropolitan branch.

Eyre. The southern part of the old Murchison-Eyre, including Boulder, plus Esperance and Ravensthorpe from Roe. The two areas are respectively extremely strong for Labor and the Coalition, but the latter heavily outweights the former. By my reckoning the margin is about 16 per cent, although that’s inflated by the Liberal-versus-Nationals focus on the contest for Roe in 2005. Graham Jacobs won Roe from the Nationals for the Liberals at that election, and looks the obvious candidate to hold Eyre.

Moore. Greenough has been abolished, in what Adam Carr in comments believes might be a first in WA’s electoral history. The Shire of Greenough has gone to make up the numbers in Geraldton; the rest is merged with the entirety of Moore, along with the shires of Dalwallinu and Perenjori from the north-west of Merredin. The seat should be a tight contest between the Liberals and the Nationals, the former being stronger in Moore and the latter stronger in Greenough.

Geraldton. Inevitably, Labor’s position in this marginal seat (they won by 2.7 per cent in 2001 and 2.1 per cent in 2005) has been undermined by the addition of rural territory beyond Geraldton, including the entirety of the Shire of Greenough. That adds 2588 votes from an area where Labor came third in 2005 with 23.6 per cent of the primary vote compared to the combined Coalition 64.5 per cent. By my rough reckoning, the Coalition would have won by 2.3 per cent in 2005. Coalition presumably means Liberal, although the Nationals gained Greenough from the Liberals at the last election.

Merredin. Moves westwards into abolished Avon, taking in Beverley, York and Northam, potentially created one Nationals seat from two.

Wagin. The abolition of Avon and Roe have respectively pulled this seat northward and eastward, and it also takes two shires from Merredin. Probably looms as the Nationals’ most secure seat.

Albany. A no-brainer, as our American partners in democracy say. The City of Albany provides the right number of voters, so those parts of the municipality that were in Stirling go to Albany. Labor’s only wins here in modern history were in 1971, 2001 and 2005; the last election cut the margin from 3.7 per cent to 1.4 per cent, or 358 votes. Of the 4997 new voters, only 21.6 per cent voted Labor, against a combined Coalition vote of 42.3 per cent. I’m calculating a Liberal margin of 3.1 per cent. For the record, these calculations use 50/50 preference splits and ignore non-booth votes, but they shouldn’t be too far wrong.

Blackwood-Stirling. This new seat gets a little over half of its voters from Liberal leader Paul Omodei’s seat of Warren-Blackwood. The most strongly Nationals-voting part of the Nationals-held seat of Stirling (splitting 65-35 in 2005) accounts for 38 per cent, the remainder coming from the Liberal-held seat of Wagin. Omodei is presumably safe, but the Nationals could win this under the right circumstances.

Vasse. The existing seat of Vasse, which runs along the Geographe Bay coast from Busselton west to Dunsborough, provides two-thirds of the voters in a seat that acquires rural territory to the south from Capel and Warren-Blackwood. The Nationals don’t really register here.

Collie-Preston. The Labor-voting coal mining town of Collie has been detached from the Wellington rural area in the north, which goes to Murray. The increased area of rural territory needed to make up the numbers has come with the absorption of most of Capel to the west, which presumably puts Labor member for Collie-Wellington Mick Murray on a collision course with ambitious Liberal Capel MP Steve Thomas. There are also nearly 4000 new voters from abolished Leschenault who split 58-42 in 2005. The numbers here are a bit hard to read, because the 6.7 per cent swing to Labor in Collie-Wellington in 2005 was widely credited to Murray’s personal popularity, but I calculate a Labor margin of just 0.8 per cent.

Bunbury. Bunbury was a bellwether seat until the last election, when a 0.6 per cent swing delivered it to the Liberals with a 0.4 per cent margin. The redistribution puts it back on Labor’s turf with the addition of the city’s outskirts from Capel in the south and Leschenault in the east (both abolished), producing a 1.3 per cent.

Murray. The existing electorate of Murray only provides 27 per cent of the vote in this seat, fewer than Collie-Wellington (37 per cent) and Leschenault (35 per cent). The Collie-Wellington voters come from the Liberal voting-end of that Labor-held seat, while the Leschenault votes split 58-42 the Liberals’ way in 2005. Add them all together and you’ve got a Liberal margin of around 6 per cent.

Dawesville. The existing electorate of Dawesville makes up the numbers with the addition of an urban area on the Mandurah (northern) side of the Dawesville Estuary. This area split 60/40 Labor’s way in 2005, which is bad news for Liberal member Kim Hames, who loses 3.8 per cent from his 4.1 per cent margin.

Mandurah. Mandurah was held by the Liberals as recently as 2001, but swings (possibly boosted by the Perth to Mandurah railway project) and redistributions blew the margin out to 12.3 per cent in 2005. With the aforementioned loss of territory to Dawesville, old Mandurah provides the new with only half its voters. The rest come from a move into the most populous (north-western) end of Murray, a seat the Liberals gained from Labor in 2005. The area that moves to Mandurah split 52.3-47.7 Labor’s way, so Labor’s overall margin is cut to about 8 per cent.

Southern coastal suburbs. Where formerly there were five safe Labor seats north of Mandurah up to Fremantle Harbour, there are now six. Peel has been abolished, making way for the new Kwinana and Warnbro.

Alfred Cove. A naturally blue-ribbon Liberal seat held by independent Janet Woollard. The only change to the electorate is the removal of a strip of territory immediately north of Leach Highway. The change cuts both ways for Woollard. On the one hand, the area she has lost was relatively strong for her in 2005, splitting 61-38 compared with 54-45 for the remainder. On the other, this area is stronger for Labor than the riverside areas in the north, and her first hurdle for election is overcoming the Labor candidate to win second place. In 2005, she led Labor 30.6 per cent to 27.5 per cent at the second-last exclusion.

Southern suburbs. Inland of the Labor-voting southern coastal strip is a mixed area south of the Canning River. At present, this is filled by Murdoch, quite safe for the Liberals; Armadale and Southern River, both safe for Labor; knife-edge Riverton; and the northern part of Liberal-held Serpentine-Jarrahdale. In this area, Murdoch is succeeded by Bateman; Jandakot takes in various bits and pieces and has a Labor margin of about 4 per cent; Riverton is little changed, with a Labor margin of 1.5 per cent; Southern River sees Labor’s margin severely cut, from 11.8 per cent to about 3.5 per cent; Armadale remains safe for Labor.

Eastern outskirts. At present, Perth’s eastern and south-eastern hinterland is covered by (from north to south) Swan Hills, Darling Range and Serpentine-Jarrahdale. These are respectively 3.8 per cent Labor, 3.2 per cent Liberal and 1.2 per cent Liberal. This area has been rearranged so that Kalamunda takes the area nearest the city; the area behind it is divided between Swan Hills and Darling Range, with Serpentine-Jarrahdale abolished. Every one of the new seats is marginal Labor, making this area a crucial battleground for the next election.

Inner eastern suburbs. It’s here that Labor hits paydirt. Formerly, six safe Labor seats accounted for Perth’s lower-income inner eastern suburbs (from north to south): Ballajura (13.5 per cent), Bassendean (13.7 per cent), Midland (8.5 per cent), Belmont (10.8 per cent), Victoria Park (16.0 per cent) and Kenwick (13.6 per cent). There are now 10 seats covering this area, the only winnable one for the Liberals being Forrestfield, where Antony Green calculates a notional Labor margin of 4.0 per cent.

Northern coastal suburbs. Currently, the area from Whitfords Avenue south to the river contains four coastal suburbs, Hillarys (Liberal 4.2%), Carine (Liberal 4.7%), Churchlands (a naturally Liberal seat held securely by independent Liz Constable) and Cottesloe (Liberal 11.7%), along with the riverside inner west seat of Nedlands (Liberal 8.4%). The redistribution adds Scarborough as the middle layer of a five-seat coastal pancake, squashing Churchlands into northern Cottesloe and Nedlands and Carine north into Hillarys. Antony Green calculates a Liberal margin of 1.0 per cent in the new seat.

Inner city. The city and the area to the north and east were formerly covered by four Labor-held seats: Perth (12.0 per cent), Maylands (16.5 per cent) to the east, and Balcatta (9.8 per cent) and Yokine (8.2 per cent) to the north. The redistribution creates the marginally Labor new seat of Mount Lawley in the middle of the mix, partly from the less safe Labor southern end of Yokine, the remainder of which forms the basis of the very safe new Labor seat of Nollamara.

Outer northern suburbs. The area between Lake Joondalup and the ocean, formerly covered by Mindarie and Joondalup, has been redrawn to create the new seat of Ocean Reef, which deprives Joondalup of its coastal area. This results in a slight strengthening for Labor in Joondalup, which it holds by 3.3 per cent, leaving it with a very narrow margin in Ocean Reef. The new Mindarie takes over the semi-rural part of Wanneroo, adding about 2 per cent to an existing Labor margin of 4.0 per cent. Wanneroo keeps its Labor margin of around 6 per cent. The truncation of Kingsley at both the northern and southern ends makes a small but very significant cut into Labor’s 0.8 per cent margin in the only seat it gained in 2005; the relatively Labor-leaning southern end is now wasted in already safe Girrawheen.

South Perth. This one got lost in the mix. A safe Liberal riverside seat that inevitably loses some territory in its Labor-voting east, giving an unnecessary boost to the margin.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

80 comments on “WA redistributed”

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  1. What?! I come here for up-to-date and detailed psephological insights only to find none…

    William, could we please have a thread on the Brisbane Council redistributions?

  2. Why restrict it to just the BCC why not all council redistributions (and for that matter cover council elections other than the BCC ones).

  3. RR, allow me to explain my policy regarding council redistributions with reference to my all-time favourite moment from The Simpsons. Springfield is hit by a snow storm, and Homer infuriates Marge by refusing to come with his family to church. As Homer spends his Sunday morning lazing around the house, everything seems to be going right for him. Then he turns on the television, to be confronted by a program called “Municipal Roundtable”:

    TV Talking Head: Let’s define our terms, gentlemen – are we talking about re-districting, or are we talking about re-apportionment?

    Homer: Oh, well – can’t win ’em all.

    TV Voiceover: We interrupt this public affairs program in order to bring you … a football game.

    Homer: WOO-HOO!

  4. But William, the BCC redistribution is using Google Maps.

    You’re missing out on all the fun.

    Plus there is a common rumour in Brisbane that the BCC budget is bigger than the Tasmanian state budget.

  5. Yes there are Tom, but I have yet to read those particular tea-leaves. When the new legislation was being negotiated in early 2005, the Greens insisted that the existing system of five- and seven- member upper house regions be replaced with six-member regions. To my mind, they were shooting themselves in the foot – it means Labor is likely to win three seats in each metropolitan region with only tiny surplus left over as preferences for the Greens. I will look at the likely vote outcomes for the new upper house regions when time permits.

    While I’m here, I should promote Antony Green’s analysis of the new boundaries at the ABC.

  6. I continue to be intrigued by the loss of two Liberal seats in East Metropolitan.

    From visual inspection, it looks as if the redistributed Darling Range (ALP 0.5%) has much in common with the abolished Serpentine-Jarrahdale (Lib 1.2%). Whilst the newly created Kalamunda (ALP 0.2%) would appear to draw largely from the old Darling Range (Lib 3.1%). Those who have properly crunched the numbers can correct or confirm; I can’t find this detail in the commissioners’ report.

    So – just to throw PB’s table about – there must be some likelihood that sitting Darling Range MLA John Day will contest Kalamunda. Leaving Darling Range to be contested by sitting Serpentine-Jarrahdale MLA Tony Simpson.

    The two seats are much of a muchness. Both have notional Labor margins of less than 1%. Neither have sitting Labor MPs. Hence the logic of having standing incumbent Liberal MPs.

  7. David, you are entirely correct – Antony’s as-yet-unpublished calculations are that the new seats are composed as follows:


    Serpentine-Jarrahdale – 11,418 voters
    Armadale 5205
    Darling Range – 3325
    Swan Hills 3062
    Peel 22


    Darling Range 14,681
    Kenwick 5297
    Swan Hills 2007
    Armadale 447

  8. Based on those numbers, the name “Darling Range” should probably have been abolished to avoid confusion, but I guess it was the best name for the seat (I can’t think of anything that would have been better anyway).

    It’s interesting that this redistribution has managed to redistribute both Liberal marginal seats in East Metropolitan out of existence. I’d have thought that was quite difficult to do – though I’d expect the Libs to “win” them back at the next election anyway unless they do something spectacularly stupid again.

  9. Tom:

    In 2005 the Greens won two seats, both of them, unsurprisingly, in the two low quota 7 member regions. They had no luck in the 5 member regions, however these regions now have 6 members.

    I’d guess the thinking was they’d improve their chances in more regions than they’d lose. ie 2 get worse, 4 get better. Optimism.

    They’ll either win no seats at all, or increase their representation. There is a narrow pivot point between the two situations.. roughly around the half quota mark of 7-8%. Below it, they elect labor members, above it lib/labor elect them.

    North Metro is the most likely hold – but South West is probably a goner, maybe they’ll pick up East Metro (from memory).

  10. Mr Speaker

    On the Greens position at the next election: [internal politics and campaigns aside], North Metro should be a hold, South Metro should be returned (IMHO it should never have been lost, but thats another story), South West continues to be a chance (dependent on preference flows, and maintaining a decent primary), East Metro still remains a chance (if the ALP primary remains as high, it actually improves the Greens chances against the 3rd Lib), Agricultural is not a chance, and Mining & Pastoral is only an outside chance – you should remember that most of the vote in M&P was more of a personal vote for Robin Chapple, coz he actually worked the electorate well. Margetts in the Agric worked the electorate but the electorate just weren’t going to shift their vote (Nats voters, switched to PHON, switched back to Lib/Nats). On the other hand in M&P alot of the votes washing about post PHON were ex-ALP votes, and Chapple capitalised on that.

    My best bet on the Greens would be 2-3 seats, but its equally possible (and some obviously think likely) to be reduced to 0-1.

    As to previous posts re why this UH system, I explained some of the thinking behind this months ago and don’t intend to repeat it. As for “worst decisions” and “votes for cows” I would invite posters to look to their own parties for interesting decisions.

  11. Oh, forgot to add, consider the Lib position coming out of this redistribution – they potentially have the opportunity to govern (at some point in the near future) in their own right, especially if the Nats do not win any lower house seats. This is because a lot of their support is as city-based as the ALP. And remember that the ALP has been perfectly able to govern with Greens in the so-called “balance of power” for these last 6 years (with either the Coalition parties or Greens providing the votes for legislation) – there’s no reason that a Lib govt couldn’t do the same with Nats on the cross benches. 10 ALP seats are ripe to fall at the next election (assuming the Libs don’t implode again – or is that continue to…) which almost gets them there. Certainly the Libs would be looking to the 2013 election with considerable interest…

  12. As to previous posts re why this UH system, I explained some of the thinking behind this months ago and don’t intend to repeat it.

    Oh come onnn.. repeat. I missed it!

    I for one don’t think it was as bad a decision as some people are making out.

  13. Mr Q – In respect of the East Metro Liberal marginals disappearing, this has happened as the marginal Liberal seats were next to a few safe Labor seats. So as all the seats diminish in size, the extra Labor votes have to get distributed.

    In respect of Serpentine – Jarrahdale, in becoming Darling Range, it lost the area at Canning Vale to the new Southern River. Here the TPP would favour the Liberals. The effect is that the losing seat shifts into Labor territory (particularly considering the other changes to the seat) and Southern River loses its very big margin.

    In determining the margins of electorates, Antony Green has done a fantastic job – why else would he be the patron saint of the split booth – but his calculations are historical. (not a criticism – only an observation). If we assume that political parties put more effort into seats they want to win rather than seats they know they will win or will never win, then we should see some effect. So Labor may never think it will have won Churchlands or Carine – but today it would put some effort into winning Scarborough. Does this mean that the Labor vote is down in those areas? Possibly.

    On the other hand, was the Liberal Party more concerned with protecting some seats and so the Labor vote was up in its own marginal seats.

    What the effect of this is that a major redistribution makes it harder to estimate the margins. All that can be done is use historical figures to calculate the margins.

    WA will never have a redistribution this major ever again as they are now going to happen every 4 years. Unless there is another change to the voting system or similar, then the changes from now will tend to be incremental. With shifts outwards in the metro area and shifts to the south-west in the rural areas.

  14. Michael, what I was saying was that, knowing Perth’s socio-economic distribution quite well that it would have made more sense for the areas that were removed from DR to be the more Labor oriented areas, and the added areas the more Liberal oriented areas. I would have guessed quite a different distribiution of the vote in all three of Kalamunda, Darling Range and Forrestfield. I would have guessed Forrestfield as Labor by about 10% and the other two Liberal by about 3%. I’d admit I missed the addition of part of the old Kenwick electorate into DR, which is probably why I was so far out. Not that I’m in any way doubting that Antony’s got this right – he’s the man that really understands this stuff in Australian politics. I was going on gut feel and a look at the maps which can of course be misleading as they only show area, not population density.

    Oddly enough, at the last election there was some discussion before the night of the old Carine at about 4.5% being vulnerable if Barnett was only a little bit more incompetent than he was – it was certainly being discussed. In the end though it was very much status quo. The creation of a seat like Scarborough was inevitable, and that it’s marginal is no surprise given the previous similar seat to exist (Innaloo until 2004) was a Labor marginal in 2001.

  15. Mr Q – I agree with what you say. I am surprised that Kalamunda is so close for the ALP. I would have thought that it is still a Liberal voting area. But those foothills are difficult to judge.

    The new Darling Range looks like a Liberal seat – but it is really those dense areas of ALP votes that count.

    Of course, in 2001, John Day almost turned the old DR into a marginal all by himself. i think there are a lot of soft green liberals in the hills.

    Carine is marginal only because of the big swings in the metro area in 2005 and is probably at its nadir for the Liberal Party. I suspect that Scarborough would have actually been won for the ALP on these boundaries as Quigley would have stayed and campaigned.

  16. Latest westpoll on STATE voting intentions (ie not fed)


    ALP 43
    Coaliton 35


    56.3 (yeah westpoll is different… lets say 56)
    Coal 44.7 (again say 44. they had it at 44.7…should be 43.7 .. the west is fricken hopeless)

    preferred premier

    Carpenter 63
    Omodei 14
    neither 13
    either (???) 3
    dont know 7
    (I am presuming they add up to 100..but wit the west….)

  17. oops for primaries, shold be ‘Liberal’ not coalition.

    also saying ‘coaltion’ in tpp is assuming they will. Statewise, they are not offcially in coalition

  18. Blacklight – it may be hard for the Liberals to accept the nats in coalition if they challenge Omodei in the new seat of (now called) Blackwood-Stirling.

  19. One thing that is remarkable is the political weight of the “leafy suburbs” has been minimised with only the loss of the northern portion of Chuchlands and West Perth Compared to the Seventies when there were seats such as Floreat, Mount Hawthorn, Subiaco, Nedlands and Cottesloe. with an increase of eletorates of the current redistribution has created the loss of political clout of that area is profound.

  20. I suspect the Greens might politically prefer to have their regional system of PR as it will give them more chances to actually have members of parliament. Their very high level of votes (compared to the ALP) in 2001 meant that they had 5 members in the LC or 2 more than proportionate to their vote.

    The new system with 6 members will give them more chances now.

  21. Ok – now the boundaries are out.
    I think all concerned seem to agree that:
    1) they have not been unreasonably drawn, and
    2) that they have made things harder for the Libs.
    That said, objections are due by 30 July – does anyone think anyone will lodge objections and, if so, what?

  22. There’s going to be objections – whether or not they’re reasonable is anyone’s guess.

    The two things I can see triggering objections are the spill of Dawesville over the Mandurah bridge (probably from the Libs) and the relative sizes of the South-West and Agricultural regions (probably from Labor). The fact that the Libs had two marginals in East Metro and now have none despite their being more actual electorates might make them object to that section of the redraw. Labor might object to Esperance being in Mining and Pastoral rather than Agricultural (as it makes it impossible for them to win a seat in the South-East)

  23. The Labor party, according to a report I read online, is considering objecting to matters pertaining to the agricultural boundaries, whether Esperance is considered part of mining and pastoral or not. Since these regions were introduced, it has always been in the agricultural region.

    The regions are now determined in part by land-use and this could stymie any objections about relative sizes of the regions. There is no requirement that the regions be equal (outside of the metro area) in numbers of electors or electorates, so there argument would have to be some other argument (maybe demographics). Half of the south-west electorates are under quota whereas 3 of the four in the slow growing agricultural are under quota. I think an argument could be made that the agricultural boundary should be shifted – whether east or west, i am uncertain, but it is an argument with merit.

    The Liberals will find it hard to object to the northern boundary of Dawesville as their submission has a similar boundary – though more favourable to them. Their submission included the shire of Waroona – which of course would have increased their margins. Dawesville is now at 1.7% from 4.1% and this is ordinarily the lowest they would get.

    The commissioners have been prudent in seeking objections, reminding people that an objection to an element of the redistribution requires a solution and they have asked people to come up with a solution that meets the objection. This makes it harder to say the redistribution is flawed.

    The Eastern Metropolitan “problem” for the Liberals is that the region always had some very dense areas of ALP support and usually less strong areas of Liberal support. With the increase of seats in the area, parts of the ALP support have been joined to the Liberal areas to make marginal Labor seats.

    I think this is more a consequence of what was almost a landslide election in WA terms and the fact that what was once very strong Liberal voting areas are not so dark blue anymore. In 1996 John Day achieved a 55% 1st primary vote in Darling Range and a 63% 2PP. In 2001, these had dropped to 36% and 50.3%. These elections were held under the same boundaries and so are comparable.

    In Roleystone (1996 48%/57% 2001 32% 45%) and Swan Hills (1996 51% / 60% 2001 35% / 48%) the figures are the same. The Liberals suffered a lot of swings in 2001, but they should never have suffered this in good Liberal areas.

  24. The Greens would be in a better position if they had negotiated a change to 9 7-member electorates because it would give them some power over who was in government quite a bit of the time and because giving people the chance to elect the Greens in the more powerful house may cause them to be more likely to vote for them e.g. Tasmania.

  25. Tom, of course giving the Greens more power in the supposedly more powerful house might prompt others to not vote for the greens. We cannot assume that people vote for the Greens (or any party) solely because they want them to be in government. Another good reason is to provide a check, which is why the “minor” parties do better in (outside of Tas) the upper houses.

    I think Tasmania is also politically different. For the ALP to get almost 50% and the Greens to get 16% as in 2006 shows a different political complexion to all other states.

    Part of the negotiations for the legislative reform package in WA proceeded on an understanding that each house was best to decide how that house was formed. I would also expect that if the negotiations were looking like a multi member lower house that the Libs would have negotiated an alternative that suits them. The current system promotes the Nationals and Greens against Labor and the Liberals. i do believe that this promotion is minor though.

  26. Ok – some interesting comments.
    Of course I’m sure that SOMEONE will object to SOMETHING – they always do! 😉
    That said, I don’t think that there’s lots to object to.
    I don’t think that you could really object about Esperance – all the comments and responses I saw from that pretty little corner of the world were in favour of links with Kal and M&P.
    The Parliament, by requiring the regions be split according to land use, made this problem for themselves. That was always going to create disparity demographically and geographically.

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