WA election: late counting

To be updated with details of late counting in the Western Australian election, with five seats in the lower house and three in the upper still in varying degrees of doubt.

Upper house count: Tuesday, March 19

The buttons are being pressed on the upper house count, and the only remaining seat in doubt has been determined: the Nationals, not Shooters & Fishers, won the final seat in Mining & Pastoral. That makes the final numbers in the upper house Liberal 17, Nationals 5, Labor 11, Greens 2, Shooters & Fishers 1. The only point at issue is now the recount in Midland, which is currently proceeding and will be finalised later today.

UPDATE: Midland recount favours Michelle Roberts by 24 votes, compared with the initial count’s 23. Lower house final score: Liberal 31, Nationals, 7, Labor 21.

Collie-Preston recount: Monday, March 18

The recount which is routinely offered when the margin is below 100 votes has confirmed Mick Murray’s victory in Collie-Preston, by 56 votes compared with the original 59. The Midland recount will be conducted tomorrow. Data entry for the upper house counts has also been completed and the button will be pressed for each of the six contests tomorrow, on a schedule to run as follows: Agricultural 11am, South West 11.30am, Mining & Pastoral 12.00, South Metropolitan 12.30pm, North Metropolitan 1pm, East Metropolitan 1.30pm.

Preference counts: Saturday, March 16

With the primary vote scrutiny completed and preference counts to be conducted today, I’m drawing a line under the earlier part of the post below and starting up a new section where I will report the preference results as they are published.

1am. The preference distribution turned up a few anomalies in Midland and Collie-Preston, but not so as to reverse Labor’s wins. In Midland an existing margin of 49 came out as 23, while in Collie-Preston a 20 vote margin blew out to 59. The margins being below 100, recounts loom in each. Should the current results stand, the numbers in parliament will be 31 for the Liberals, 21 for Labor and 7 for the Nationals. Preference distributions have been published for 13 seats, including most of the interesting ones:

Albany: 10,957 to Labor member Peter Watson and 10,094 to Liberal candidate Trevor Cosh. Final margin 2.0%, swing to Labor 1.8%.

Collie-Preston: 10,105 to Labor member Mick Murray and 10,046 to Liberal candidate Jaimee Motion. Final margin 0.1%, swing to Liberal 3.7%.

Kimberley: 6,254 to Labor candidate Josie Farrer and 5,100 to Liberal candidate Jenny Bloom. Final margin 5.1%, swing to Liberal 1.7%. A precondition for Labor’s win was that they remain ahead of the Greens after the distribution of Nationals preferences, which they did by a margin of 3,605 to 3,241.

Kwinana: 11,783 to Labor member Roger Cook and 10,633 to independent candidate Carol Adams. Margin: 2.6%, swing to Labor 1.8%.

Midland: 10,141 to Labor member Michelle Roberts and 10,118 to Liberal candidate Daniel Parasiliti. Margin: 0.1%, swing to Liberal 8.2%.

Moore: 11,299 to Nationals candidate Shane Love and 8,932 to Liberal candidate Chris Wilkins. Margin 5.9%, swing to Nationals 2.8%.

Morley: 10,889 to Liberal member Ian Britza and 9,003 to Labor candidate Reece Whitby. Margin 4.7%, swing to Liberal 3.9%.

Warren-Blackwood: 11,769 to Nationals member Terry Redman and 10,393 to Liberal candidate Ray Collyer. Margin 3.1%, swing to Liberal 7.1%.

7pm. Final result in Belmont is 9,376 to Liberal candidate Glenys Godfrey and 9,046 to Labor candidate Cassie Rowe. Final margin 0.9%, swing to Liberal 7.6%. I have to go out now, so unfortunately I’ll miss most of the fun.

6.30pm. Sam O’Keefe of the ABC now reports Mick Murray has prevailed in Collie-Preston by “just under 60 votes”. The indicative count being nearly 40 votes out might suggest Michelle Roberts isn’t home and hosed and Midland, where she led by 49 votes.

6pm. Final result in Eyre is 7,203 to Liberal member Graham Jacobs and 7,078 to Nationals candidate Colin de Grussa. Final margin 0.4%, swing to Nationals 3.0%.

5pm. Nothing further on the site, but ABC journalist Sam O’Keefe relates Graham Jacobs has won Eyre by 125 votes. This is seven votes different from what the indicative count said.

3.30pm. Final result in Central Wheatbelt is 11,168 to Nationals candidate Mia Davies and 8,109 to Liberal candidate Stephen Strange. Final margin 7.9%, swing to Liberal 10.9%.


See below for further commentary on individual seats.

Friday. Small parcels of votes have been added for Collie-Preston in Midland, and Mick Murray’s lead is down from 27 to 20 while Michelle Roberts’ lead is down from 54 to 49. That I believe is it, so only the discovery of anomalies can change the results. Such might emerge during the preference counts tomorrow, or the recounts which are offered where margins are less than 100 votes.

Thursday (11pm). There have been only a handful of extra votes added in Midland since the morning update. The WAEC advises that “hundreds” of postal votes which arrived up to today’s deadline remain to be admitted to the count, which obviously amounts to very few per electorate. We’ll find out tomorrow. In the upper house, the Greens are now looking good to retain their seats in Mining & Pastoral and especially South Metropolitan, while below-the-line votes will determine whether Shooters & Fishers score a second seat at the Nationals’ expense in Mining & Pastoral.

Thursday (11am). Liberal member Graham Jacobs has seized the lead in Eyre, the lead snatched by Labor’s Mick Murray in Collie-Preston has worn perilously thin, and the lead for Labor’s Michelle Roberts in Midland is down from 76 to 60.

Wednesday. Updates for the day’s counting in the four in-doubt lower house and two upper house seats added below. Labor has easily won the two-party count in Kimberley and Mick Murray has snatched the lead in Collie-Preston, so if Michelle Roberts’ 76-vote lead holds, Labor will win 21 seats. In Eyre, Graham Jacobs has cut the margin from 64 to 22 – should he fall short, the Liberals will emerge with the barest majority of 30 seats.

Tuesday. With Belmont definitively in the Liberal column, doubt remains over Midland, where Michelle Roberts is hanging by a thread; Collie-Preston, where Liberal candidate Jaimee Motion looks likely to defeat Labor member Mick Murray; Eyre, where Nationals challenger Colin de Grussa’s tiny lead over Liberal member Graham Jacobs has stubbornly failed to erode; and Kimberley, where all will be revealed when the WAEC publishes its indicative two-party count in the morning. Excluding those four, there are 30 seats for the Liberals, 18 for Labor and seven for the Nationals. Two upper house races remain of interest, those being the two chances the Greens have of retaining seats. In South Metropolitan, Lynn MacLaren grapples with third Labor candidate Anne Wood, while in Mining & Pastoral a second “left” seat could go to Robin Chapple or Labor number two Jim Murie. There is also a chance Shooters & Fishers will win one of the four “right” seats at the expense of a second National.

Monday (11pm). The Liberals are now decisively ahead in Belmont and have Collie-Preston all but in the bag, which advances them to 31 and reduces Labor’s best-case scenario to 20. Antony Green is all but calling Kimberley for Labor after a strong showing on the remote booths, but I wouldn’t be giving anything away until tomorrow’s preference count. Midland and Eyre are both down to the wire.

Monday. With the publication of a preference count yesterday showing Warren-Blackwood certain to stay with Nationals incumbent Terry Redman, I’m seeing five seats still in doubt: Belmont and Midland, traditionally safe Labor city seats where Labor is respectively slightly behind and slightly ahead; the regional seat of Collie-Preston, where Labor’s Mick Murray will struggle to keep his head above water in late counting; the regional seat of Eyre, where Liberal member Graham Jacobs is grappling with a strong challenge from the Nationals, and Kimberley, which the murky situation will become a lot clearer when the WAEC conducts a Liberal-versus-Labor preference flow tomorrow. That comes off a base of 29 seats for the Liberals, seven for the Nationals and 18 for Labor. So while you could entertain the notion that the Liberals don’t have a majority in the bag, they would have to be extraordinarily unlucky not to win any of the five seats which are still in play, and there’s a good chance they will win all of them. Labor’s unlikely best case scenario is 22 seats, while the Nationals will win either seven or eight depending on how Eyre goes.


Tuesday (3.30pm). ABC computer calls it for Liberal with a lead of 321. I’m unlikely to have anything further to say about this seat.

Monday (9pm). Another 482 absent votes, 307 pre-polls and 153 postals have added another 54 votes to what looks an unassailable 299-vote Liberal lead.

Monday. Rechecking of booth votes and the addition of 1036 absents, 799 pre-polls and 197 postals has done roughly what the ABC computer projected it would, turning a 74-vote lead for Labor’s Cassie Rowe into a 245-vote lead for Liberal candidate Glenys Godfrey. Rechecking of primary votes has interestingly pushed the informal vote up from 788 to 1014, although that hasn’t particularly been of advantage to either party. There should be about another 800 absent votes to come and the attendant trickle of postals.


Friday (5pm). Five more pre-polls break 3-2 to Murray, putting his lead at 20, and that’s your lot.

Friday (1.30pm). Sixty-eight votes have now been added to the two-party count and they’ve broken 38-30 to the Liberal, reducing the margin to 19.

Friday (1pm). Just 15 provisional votes added, but they’ve gone probably 12-3 to the Liberal after preferences. This likely reduces the lead to the teens on the preference count, which remains to be updated.

Friday (11.30am). Thirty postals and 30 absents have been added to the primary but not the two-party count, going 21 Labor, 21 Liberal, four each for Greens and Nationals, two for the independent and one for Family First, which won’t do much to disturb the current 27-vote lead.

Thursday (11am). Still agonisingly close, with 274 pre-polls and 115 absents wearing 53 votes away from Mick Murray’s lead to reduce the margin to 27.

Wednesday (8pm). A big day for Mick Murray who snatched a lead of nearly 100 in the morning’s counting. This resulted from the addition of 359 pre-polls which I presume to have been from Collie, as 259 of them were for Murray against 90 for Liberal candidate Jaimee Motion. The 692 votes added this afternoon saw Motion claw it back to 80, for a gain to Murray of 164 over the day’s counting.

Tuesday (7pm). Mick Murray has closed the gap slightly with the addition of 116 votes breaking 79-37 his way, reducing Jaimee Motion’s lead from 126 to 84.

Tuesday (1pm). The drift away from Mick Murray continues with booth vote re-checking and the addition of 341 absents, 46 postals and five pre-polls, with Jaimee Motion now leading by 136 votes.

Monday. The addition of 833 absents, 176 pre-polls and 115 postals has strongly favoured Liberal candidate Jaimee Motion over Labor incumbent Mick Murray. On the published two-party figure she has turned a deficit of 62 into a lead of 6, but the primary count is ahead of the two-party and with the addition of the extra vote I’m projecting Motion’s lead to increase to 115. Over 1000 absent votes form the bulk of the outstanding count, and these have so far been favouring Motion 55.5-44.5.


Thursday (11am). Finally the cavalry arrives for Graham Jacobs in the shape of 935 absent votes breaking 510-358 his way (the WAEC advises these were the absent votes cast in the Kalgoorlie electorate). That turns a 22 vote deficit into a 130 vote lead, which very likely decides the result.

Wednesday (8pm). There were 665 votes added today (333 absent, 275 pre-poll and 20 postal – not sure why so many pre-polls are still being counted), and they have gone 330-297 in favour of Liberal, reducing the margin to 22 votes. We’ve already had more non-polling booth votes than in 2008, although 436 fewer absent votes, so there are presumably a few left to be counted there.

Tuesday (10pm). If past patterns are reflected, the issue should be decided by about 800 outstanding absent votes. Jacobs would need 53.5% of 800 votes to close a 55-vote gap. So far he has received 51.6% of the 631 absent votes counted, but batches of absent votes can be variable depending on where they are cast.

Tuesday (1pm). Colin de Grussa’s lead over Graham Jacobs remains stubbornly intact with the addition of 174 pre-polls, 164 absents and 104 postals, up from 17 to 62. This interruption to the slow pro-Jacobs trend would seem to be down to the batch of absents coming from a strong area for the Nationals. About half the absent votes will now have been counted, with those admitted so far having favoured Jacobs by about 23 votes. A surprising number of postals have been received (1002 compared with 521 in 2008).

Monday. This is still going down to the wire, with rechecking of booth votes and the addition of 475 absents, 204 pre-polls and 48 postals wearing down Nationals candidate Colin de Grussa’s lead over Liberal incumbent Graham Jacobs from 74 votes to 14. There should be 1000 absent votes and a few other dribs and drabs still to come.


Wednesday (8pm). Labor’s Josie Farrer did it very easily indeed in the notional preference count against Liberal candidate Jenny Bloom, winning 5316 to 3821 (58.2% to 42.8%). This would have required quite a few preferences from the Nationals in addition to a strong flow from the Greens. There remains the theoretical possibility that the Greens will finish ahead of Labor after the distribution of Nationals preferences and Labor will not in fact make it through to the final count, but I’d say that can be safely discounted.

Tuesday (5.30pm). The WAEC advises its notional two-party candidate to show who will win out of Labor and Liberal (I presume it’s well established they will be the last two candidates) in Kimberley will continue into the night, and may not be known until first thing tomorrow morning.

Monday (9pm). Labor has received a fillip from the counting of remote booths, not so much in terms of their share of the vote which seems roughly unchanged on 2008 at about 75-25 in their favour, but because the number of votes cast is up from 1468 to 1766. This amounts to handy boost in a close contest for an electorate where barely 10,000 votes are recorded. Labor’s Josie Farrar now leads on the primary vote 27.6% against 24.8% for Liberal Jenny Bloom, and Antony Green’s preference projection – which I take to be based on informed speculation – has her 1.4% ahead on two-party preferred. Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately spoke today of the difficulty the WAEC would face in deciding which candidates to choose for a two-candidate count, but that looks a little clearer now: Labor looks sure to stay ahead of the Greens after Nationals and minor preferences are distributed.

Monday. Labor’s vote should increase with the addition of around 1300 “special institutions, hospitals and remotes” (mostly the latter in Kimberley’s case), but for the time being, 271 postals, 138 absents, 47 pre-polls and 95 hospital and remote votes have gone heavily against them. However, until the WAEC publishes its indicative preference count tomorrow, we’re essentially flying blind.


Friday (5pm). The primary vote count wraps up with 21 postals and 5 provisionals, breaking 14-10 to Liberal and reducing the margin to 49.

Friday (1.30pm). Another seven absent votes have been added and the two-party count has been brought up to speed, with the 31 votes added today breaking 16-15 to Liberal for an overall Labor margin of 53.

Friday (11.30am). What I presume to be the final batch of postals amounts to 25, which have gone Liberal 12, Labor 6, Greens 4 and Australian Christians 2. They are yet to be added to the two-party tally, but will obviously make very little difference to the 54-vote lead.

Thursday (11pm). Just 25 further pre-polls added, cutting Roberts’ lead to 54.

Thursday (11am). Another 127 postal votes breaks 66-50 to Liberal, reducing Michelle Roberts’ margin to 60.

Wednesday (8pm). Michelle Roberts now leads by 76 after today’s counting added 449 absents, 51 postals and 24 provisionals. The first batch of these broke 180-155 against Roberts, and the second broke 86-73 in her favour.

Tuesday (3.30pm). There have been a further 193 absents and 47 postals added to the primary count, and both this batch and the one mentioned in the previous entry have been added as two-party votes. This sees Michelle Roberts’ lead increase by a solitary vote, from 87 to 88.

Tuesday (1pm). 115 absent votes have been added to the primary but not the two-party count and they will add another coat of paint to Michelle Roberts’ lead, having gone 40 Liberal, 40 Labor, 23 Greens and 4 Australian Christians.

Monday (9pm). A further 163 absents and 117 postals have been added and the two-party count brought up to speed, and Michelle Roberts’ lead is down to 87 votes. If the last election is any guide, there should be 1000 absent votes outstanding, and if they behave the same way as the absent votes already counted, Daniel Parasiliti will claw back about 50 votes. So still very much too close to call.

Monday. 708 pre-polls, 671 absents and 218 postals have slightly favoured Labor’s Michelle Roberts, whose lead is up from 142 to 172. However, about 1200 absent votes will provide most of the count to be conducted, and these are so far favouring Liberal candidate Daniel Parasiliti by about 53.7-46.3, which matches the trend of the 2008 result.


Thursday (11pm). With what must be fairly close to the final result on the primary vote count, it appears Lynn MacLaren has held on for a status quo result of three Liberal, two Labor and one Greens. MacLaren’s lead over the third Labor candidate at the final exclusion is now at 9.42% to 8.29%, up from 9.29% to 8.36% yesterday.

Wednesday (9pm). At the point of the crucial final exclusion, the Greens vote continues to gently descend, while the Labor vote bounces around. The ABC computer is calling it for whichever of the two happens to be ahead at the time. Usually it’s the Greens, the present margin being 9.29% to 8.36%. Australian Christians are back up in today’s counting to a new peak of 10.92%, so the chance of them finishing behind both Labor and the Greens (in which case the Greens would win) is diminishing.

Tuesday (11pm). Now the ABC has MacLaren back in the seat because of Labor dropping from 9.93% to 8.98%, putting them just behind the Greens who go from 9.24% to 9.20%. However, there’s also bad news for the Greens in that Australian Christians are back up from 9.41% to 10.39%.

Tuesday (5pm). The ABC computer is now projecting defeat for the Greens and a result of three Liberal, three Liberal. Where MacLaren had led 9.40% to 8.64% at the second last exclusion previously, Labor is now up to 9.93% while MacLaren is down 9.24%. However, the Australian Christians are fading too, down from 10.53% to 9.41% at the same point in the count. Their exclusion would unlock preferences from Liberal and – would you believe it – Shooters & Fishers, which would deliver the seat to MacLaren ahead of Labor.

Monday. A weakening in Lynn MacLaren’s position has revived the possibility of a three Liberal, three Labor result, as opposed than my election night reading of three Liberal, two Labor one Greens. At that time the ABC computer had MacLaren leading the third Labor candidate 9.67% to 8.17% at count 12, causing Labor to drop out and their preferences to deliver the third left seat to the Greens. But with the count advancing from 48.8% to 53.6%, MacLaren is down to 9.40% and Labor is up to 8.64%.


Thursday (11pm). Greens member Robin Chapple’s lead over Labor for the second left seat is 8.83% to 8.12%, which slender as it is will most likely be enough. The race for the fourth right seat will be interesting, with Shooters & Fishers prevailing over the Nationals on the ABC projection 14.83% to 13.74%. However, that does not account for leakage from below-the-line votes, which will drain away at least some of the vast flow of preferences to Shooters & Fishers. Yesterday I said that would win it for the Nationals, but after observing past patterns of vote leakage, now I’m not so sure.

Wednesday (9pm). With the total count up from 46,336 to 54,249 (75.7% of the electoral roll, compared with a 71.6% turnout in 2008), the Greens have held on to their lead over Labor at the crucial Count 9, which is up from 0.73% to 0.78% (8.88% to 8.10%). Shooters & Fishers are now 1.1% ahead of the Nationals at the final count on the ABC projection (0.3% yesterday), but Antony Green has echoed my sentiment yesterday that their lead wouldn’t survive below-the-line vote leakage.

Tuesday (7pm). It is clear that there will be four seats for the right and two for the left. The right seats will to go two Liberal, one National and one to either National or Shooters & Fishers. The left seats will either go two Labor or one Labor and one Greens. The ABC computer has recently had Shooters & Fishers taking the lead over the Nationals because the latter’s primary vote fell a fraction below a second quota. That leaves the second National stranded while Shooters & Fishers absorbs every available preference on the path to victory. Of course, the ABC projection assumes all votes follow the ticket, whereas below-the-line (more accurately beside the line) mean there will be some leakage. So I would still rate a Nationals win as more likely. In the Labor-Greens contest, the Greens currently at the key point in the count by 9.05% to 8.43%, a margin of 0.62%. I’ve seen this margin bounce around over the past 24 hours from 1.21% to 0.40% to its current level. Yesterday I observed a trend which if it continued might have meant the Greens losing to Shooters & Fishers for a five right and one left result, but that’s no longer in prospect.

Monday. With the count progressing from 51.6% to 57.4% and likely to top out at a bit over 70%, Greens incumbent Robin Chapple’s lead at the final count over John Parkes of Shooters & Fishers has narrowed from 6.12% to 4.13%. If that trend continues over the remainder of the count, Shooters & Fishers will pull ahead – although it could well be that a particularly conservative batch of votes was added today. The other hurdle Chapple needs to clear is maintain his lead over second Labor candidate Jim Murie at the second last exclusion, which is down fractionally from 1.24% to 1.21%.


Monday. The ABC computer now projects the Nationals taking the final seat rather than Family First, for a perfectly status quo result (including the re-election of all six members) of three Liberal, two Labor and one Nationals. On election night I identified the point at which the fourth Liberal was excluded as the danger moment for Bev Custers of Family First, but she has in fact pulled further ahead here. The issue has become an increase in the Nationals vote which leaves her behind their incumbent Colin Holt, leaving him to ride her preferences to victory rather than vice-versa. The Nationals’ lead at the last exclusion is 9.24% to 9.09%; I’ll continue monitoring the situation to see if it continues to widen.

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.

87 comments on “WA election: late counting”

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  1. William do I gather you are suggesting that the Greens could win zero seats in the Council? Indeed it is written, “Thus shall perish the hope of the hypocrites.”

  2. The Labor vote is down 7% in Special Institutions, Hospitals & Remotes, but the Greens are up 6% so presumably it’s staying in house. Whatever happened at the Northern Territory election hasn’t happened in Kimberley. The number of such votes is up from 1399 to 1766, which is handy for Labor in electorate where fewer than 10,000 votes were cast in 2008.

  3. Wow Psephos. After Labor’s result you can afford Schadenfreude?

    Whatever their sins in the shaping of the LegCo, the Greens would’ve preferred a real PR system – statewide quotas perhaps. Instead of 2-3 extra progressive MLCs the Nats and Shooters will luck a brace of extra members.

  4. re special/instutions/ remotes vote.

    Probably all those lefty white workers voting for the greens first but they should flow back to Josie

  5. What happened in the bush seats in the NT was that the CLP put up Indigenous candidates from traditional backgrounds, who ran an under-the-radar racial campaign (in Indigenous languages so that outsiders didn’t notice) against Labor’s candidates as being “not real blackfellas.” In Kimberley both the Coalition candidates are white, so they can’t pull this trick. Also the seat, small as it is, is much bigger than the tiny NT seats, so that a candidate can’t get elected by their own kinship network, as is possible in the NT bush seats.

  6. The election (Kimberley) shows that the metro/south west greens forgot they need a Green issue to galvanise their base. stop thinking you’re a third force and ramp up some green issues a year before an election.

  7. [Whatever their sins in the shaping of the LegCo, the Greens would’ve preferred a real PR system – statewide quotas perhaps. ]

    That’s not what they voted for. They voted for the worst malapportionment in Australia, ensuring that the Coalition will control the Council forever, and selling out a century of struggle for electoral reform in WA. I can’t think of a worse betrayal of basic democratic principles, not to mention progressive politics, in Australian history. They deserve all they get.

  8. With 66.2% counted in Kimberley, does that mean turnout was higher than in 2008? Wikipedia says that turnout was 62%, or have I read the WAEC wrong and confusing two concepts?

  9. Interesting to see Labor pushing ahead in Kimberley – I figure if they can keep ahead of the Greens on primaries, they have a strong chance of taking the seat 2PP.
    Keeping the lead on primaries just increases their chances.

  10. Psephos if the Greens were outflanked by Labor or another left of centre party in the lottery of low district magnitude Hare-Clark, fair play to your Schadenfreude.

    Otherwise Nose, Face, meet Spite.

  11. Since no possible combination of progressive parties can ever win a majority in the malapportioned WA upper house, it makes no difference whether they hold their seats or not. Therefore, since they deserve to lose, I’m glad they have done so (if indeed they have).

  12. Belmont looks pretty firm for the Libs now, and Collie-Preston is breaking for them as well. ALP should hold on in Midland though.

  13. Dovif: it was ALP + Greens + one vengeful ex-Liberal without whom nothing would’ve happened. If it’s true Dee Margetts thought she could keep her seat in Ag Region and that was an influence on their decision, it would be poetic justice if the Greens have done for the Shooters what One Nation once did for them.

    (I am on the fence about the way the upper house is structured, though. The current system isn’t the answer, but there has to be something to deal with the fact that three-quarters of the state’s population live in one city, and the remaining quarter need some sort of representation that doesn’t involve one special-interest party gaining the balance of power. It’s a tough problem that hasn’t been solved yet.)

    I usually vote Green and I grew up in the wheatbelt (yes, we do exist), and I’d really like to see an explanation from them about preferencing the Shooters above Max Trenorden (who my apolitical mum reckons is an OK bloke). Maybe Alison Xamon should’ve had some input, considering she was fighting for the SAME BLOODY ISSUE Trenorden was. I know I keep on going on about it, but I need to. Nobody in Perth seems to know about it, but the Tier 3 closures are a real issue out in the Wheatbelt. (Remember, folks, iron ore is not this state’s only export.)

    And remember, Adam, your lot preferenced the Shooters too (ahead of the Greens, Libs, Nats and Trenorden). Neither side can escape blame here.

  14. B of P

    It seems to me that the ALP should abandon trying to change election law

    In Qld, the ALP brought in OPV to try take advantage of NP/LP/ONP, that help reduce them to 6 seats in the current parliament

    In NSW, the ALP brought in OPV (likely ONP) that help reduce them to 11 seats

    In WA, the ALP brought in changes of law, that ensure they will never be able to govern without either the NP or the LP

  15. I haven’t said a word about the Shooters. I support preference deals on their merits. Sometimes they come off, sometimes they don’t.

    Much more interesting is your assertion that people in Kellerberrin deserve more parliamentary representation than people in Perth. Is this because the blond and blue-eyed people of rural WA represent the true Anglo-Australian Volk better than the multicultural mongrel riffraff of the city?

  16. Like BoP I think there has to be some mechanism that stops all the money going where almost all the votes are. Perhaps the upper house should have House of Lords type powers – a house of review, referring Bills off to committees (to languish for months and months if they don’t like them), committees that critique government performance etc., but not the power, ultimately, to block legislation.

    If the Greens have any part in sending a Shooter&Fisher to parliament then they will have lost my affection.

  17. I have been associated with electoral scrutineering since 1980 but have never witnessed a case of blatantly purchasing votes as this one, particularly in North West Central and Pilbara.
    The squandering of millions of dollars designed to buy votes has never been paralelled. Royalties for Region money belongs to the people of Western Australia not the Nationals.A formula of distribution must be established so that a billion dollars worth is not left to the likes of Brendon Grills to squander in order to buy votes with.

  18. [I think there has to be some mechanism that stops all the money going where almost all the votes are. ]

    Indeed, what a shocking idea it is that urban taxpayers should have a proportionate share of their taxes spent on providing them with services! Who do they think they are? Wheat farmers? No indeed, thanks to the Greens-Nationals axis, a vote in Kellerberrin shall continue to be worth 3.9 times more than a vote in Perth, and a vote in Useless Loop shall be worth 4.8 times as much. WA has always been run for the benefit of the rural minority, and evermore shall be so.

  19. My impression (yes, only from my friends and colleagues) is that Royalties for Regions is fairly well approved by we city folk. The verdict is “yeah, well, they deserve it, it’s shockin’ out there”.

    Psephos, couldn’t you turn that argument around and say that people outside the cities should have, as much as practicable, similar public services/facilities provided to them (even though it costs more to do so) as we city dwellers? Are we only concerned with what we get, rather than what everyone in the community gets?

  20. The Shooters & Fishers Party folks in the Upper House region of Agricultural must have a golden tongue.

    Looking at the Group Voting Tickets for Agricultural, the Shooters & Fishers got the next preferences of Labor, Family First, Aust Christians, the Nationals, the Liberals and (in effect) the Greens.

    Very hard not to win with preference allocations like that!

    Latest counting in the Upper House all but rules out the Greens winning any more than the two seats they’re currently in front in – and has also made their hold on those two seats more tenuous.

  21. WB – would you include decent roads in that? Who would be producing our food and mining wealth if everyone lived in Perth?

    AB – would you like to justify the Greens preferencing the Shooters over the Nats?

  22. William Bowe
    A “city” is a place where public services/facilities are provided. If having them is what matters to you, you really need to live in one.

    This, so much. People who choose to live in the middle of nowhere really have no place complaining at a lack of public services.
    If you want all the top-of-the-line services, move to the city.

    Royalties for Regions is just institutionalised porkbarreling to buy votes for the Nationals at the expense of the rest of the state. That mineral wealth belongs to everyone in the state, not just to people in remote regions.

  23. [WB – would you include decent roads in that? Who would be producing our food and mining wealth if everyone lived in Perth?]

    Firstly if royalties for regions was being spent on roads the need for such having being assessed and prioritized it would be fine … It is unnecessary roads and projects that we hate.

    If no-one lived in the regions the wealth would be produced by the same fly in fly out workers who produce it now.

  24. [Psephos

    Didn’t the alp passed the malapportionment laws. They only have themself to blame]

    If labor got through the very best laws they could to fix the malapportionment, which are still far from desirable it is entirely the fault of the coalition which like in most things they think they deserve special treatment and favors as of right. It is disgusting that the LNP in WA thought the only way to win was to cheat and that they were happy to do it.

  25. William

    I notice the WAEC computer states that it’s progress of count will only reach 100% if all eligible voters actually vote. Any idea what on average is the actual percentage is at the end of the count ?

  26. “People who choose to live in the middle of nowhere really have no place complaining at a lack of public services.”

    Gosh, that might apply to a lot of people on the outer fringes of our major cities too: they choose to live out there so they can have dangerous roads, dilapadated schools, no public libraries, no hospitals, no hall to host a visit from the W.A. Ballet etc etc.

    I myself never put a toe outside the western suburbs (I have a brother who moved to Nannup 30 years ago, but I haven’t even seen Mandurah, nor want to) but I would like all Australians to have access to good public facilities where practicable. And if I’m right, and most city people do support Royalties for Regions, then it’s just democracy in action.

  27. [ And if I’m right, and most city people do support Royalties for Regions, then it’s just democracy in action.]


  28. boscombe
    but I would like all Australians to have access to good public facilities where practicable.

    The Right of these days likes to insist that Government be run as a business – providing only what services can be run at a profit.
    If this logic is to be forced upon the city people, then so should it be for everyone outside the city as well. There’s a level of services that can be provided economically, but what cannot be should not be under the Right’s own logic.

    It is not practicable to provide the same level of services to a city of 1 million or more people and to a remote town of a few hundred or even a few thousand.

    Also, I agree with WeWantPaul @ 34. There’s plenty of FIFO workers willing to work on the mines without needing to deploy whole cities in the hellhole that is the north of this state.
    As for the wheatbelt – farmers choose to live on the land with the expectation of being able to be away from the city and all its bustle. They have the same ability as anyone else to choose to move to the city if they want the services that come with it.

    Of course, this all stems from the unreasonable power the regions have in Parliament (which is what allowed the Nationals to wield this influence in the first place).

  29. Don’t suppose we’ll get a Nationals candidate in Freo, to test out my sense of community attitudes…..

    I’ve been asking people all day, and still no explanation of why the Greens did so badly.

    Thinking of ‘the regions’ reminds me of McGowan’s promise to end some electricity price equalisation scheme that would save we city dwellers x amount of dollars. But then it sounded like the price wouldn’t go up for country people either, but that McGowan would fund this out of ‘government revenue’. So, what, he was going to save us so many hundred dollars on our electricity bills, while putting his hand in our back pockets to pick out the same amount in increased stamp duty or car licences or something?? Is this why the ALP vote went down – you just can’t trust them to be straight?

  30. “The Right of these days likes to insist …”

    Yes, but I consider myself “progressive-left” so don’t agree with any of that.

    FIFO – there’s a recent Senate report you should have a look at, it’s called Cancer of the Bush or Salvation of our Cities”

    So, all of our farmers move to Perth, and our food comes from … where?

  31. I DID NOT SAY that people in the country don’t deserve decent services, and I certainly don’t accept the view that “if they don’t like it they should move to the city.” I agree that it is often more expensive to provide, say, a hospital in a country town than it is in the capital, and I don’t begrudge that spending.

    What I DID SAY was that I reject the notion that the only way country people can get decent services is by rigging the electoral system. Gerrymandering and malapportionment can NEVER be justified: not to get Blacks elected to Congress (as is done in the US), nor to get more money for regions (as in WA).

    Country people should argue their case on its merits. As Boscombe said, city voters will usually accept spending on regional services if it is legitimate and not just a rort.

    Anyway, the WA Greens did not conspire with the Nats to malapportion the Council out of an altruistic concern for regional voters. They did it so that Dee Margetts could get herself re-elected for Agricultural Province – which she then failed to do.

  32. “Country people should argue their case on its merits.”

    But what about ‘power’? There are groups in the community (corporations, unions) that get what they want without having to persuade the rest of us to give it to them. I think country people probably need to be given a little bit of power to get their voice heard.

    Psephos, couldn’t you agree to give them just a little, little extra bit of power, in Parliament, to help their voices be heard? An upper house where they had a bit more representation than based on just their numbers, but no power of veto?

  33. if I’m right, and most city people do support Royalties for Regions, then it’s just democracy in action.
    Lol seriously? It’s the bastardisation of democracy you mean. How many people in the state do you think actually voted Nat? Less than 6%. But they get RfR, why? Because the Liberals want their support. It’s just a chain of vote buying and the people who are paying don’t even know, for the most part. It’s crap like that which makes me think the whole system needs an overhaul.

  34. Psephos

    Run for political office. You’d raise a hell of a storm by being able to give a yes/no answer when asked a question.

    Compare to what we saw on Q&A last night and what we usually see in Question Time – both sides were seemingly incapable of this.

  35. William Bowe
    Labor and the Liberals support Royalties for Regions as well, so if you want to look at it that way, at least 86.6% of the state “voted for it”.

    But neither made a big deal of it – the only approvals for the program I heard from either side were done after the 2008 election in their attempts to gain the Nationals’ support to form government.

    I doubt most people who voted Labor or Liberal in the city considered it a big issue.

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