Seat of the week: Hasluck

Held for the Liberals by the first ever indigenous member of the House of Representatives, this ultra-marginal eastern Perth seat has changed hands at every election since its creation in 2001. Labor desperately needs for it to do so again on September 14.

UPDATE (22/4/13): The weekly Essential Research records no change on last week on voting intention, with the Coalition leading 55-45 on two-party preferred from primary vote of 34% for Labor, 48% for the Coalition and 9% for the Greens. The poll also finds 51% thinking Australia made the wrong decision going to war against Iraq against 23% for the right decision; support for same sex marriage at 54% and opposition at 33%; and 68% supporting the Gonski report recommendations against 13% opposed, but 43% opposed to the government’s specific plan against 40% in support.

UPDATE 2 (22/4/13): The Morgan multi-mode poll has Labor up half a point to 32.5%, the Coalition down 2.5% to 44% (their weakest result since this series began eight weeks ago) and the Greens steady on 10.5%. That pans out to 54.5-45.5 on respondent-allocated preferences (down from 55.5-44.5), which Morgan prefers, and 54-46 on previous election preferences (down from 56-44), which I and every other pollster prefer. The sample this time around was 3270.

The eastern Perth seat of Hasluck has changed hands at all three elections since its creation as Western Australia’s fifteenth seat at the 2001 election, from territory that had previously been in Perth, Tangney and Swan. Labor has outperformed the state swing in Hasluck at each election, but has twice been denied by the force of the statewide tide to the Coalition. The electorate consists of three discrete population areas, with those in the north and south favouring Labor and the one in the centre leaning to the Liberals. The northern area includes Midland, home to a high proportion of seniors, rent payers and low-income earners, and the more Liberal-friendly Guildford, which is demographically unremarkable on all measures. The central area includes middle-income suburbs around Kalamunda in the Darling Scarp, home to a large number of English migrants, as well as mortgage-sensitive Forrestfield and Maida Vale nearer the city. In the south are the suburbs of Gosnells, Thornlie and Maddington, which are marked by lower levels of income and home ownership.

Hasluck is held for the Liberals by Ken Wyatt, whose win in 2010 made him the first ever self-identifying indigenous member of the House of Representatives. Wyatt was formerly a director of the Office of Aboriginal Health director and is the uncle of Ben Wyatt, an emerging figure in the state Labor Party. His win came at the expense of Labor’s Sharryn Jackson, who had won the seat in 2001, lost it in 2004 and recovered it again in 2007. Jackson became the seat’s inaugural member after defending a notional margin of 2.6% against a Liberal swing of 0.6%, before a further swing of 3.6% evicted her as Perth failed to take a shine to Mark Latham in 2004. The seat was then held for the Liberals by Stuart Henry, former executive director of the Western Australian Master Plumbers Association. Jackson served as Labor’s state president in the interim, and was reportedly urged by the LHMWU to seize the opportunity of Kim Beazley’s vacancy in Brand at the 2007 election. She instead declared herself set on recovering Hasluck, and was duly successful on the back of a 3.1% swing driven by a recovery of support for Labor in the electorate’s south following a slump in 2004. Redistribution cut Jackson’s 1.3% margin to 0.9% going into the 2010 election, and she was then seen off by an evenly distributed 1.4% swing in 2010

Labor’s new candidate for Hasluck is Adrian Evans, deputy state secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia. Evans’ preselection is the product of an increasing assertiveness within the state ALP on the part of the MUA, which according to one report accounts for a quarter of the state branch’s membership after a recruitment drive swelled its numbers from 150 to 850. The union first sought to flex its muscles when Evans ran for preselection for the state seat of Fremantle, which prior to the 2009 by-election defeat was held by LHMWU figurehead Jim McGinty. The LHMWU faction was able to secure preselection for its favoured candidate, UnionsWA secretary Simone McGurk, but it took a deal with the Right faction Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association to shore up her position in the face of the challenge from Evans. The quid pro quo included support from United Voice (as the LHMWU had become known) for the Senate ambitions of SDA state president Joe Bullock, who has duly gained top position on the Senate ticket at the expense of incumbent Louise Pratt. This has in turn caused friction between United Voice and Pratt’s AMWU sub-faction of the Left, with which the MUA is aligned.

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.

1,831 comments on “Seat of the week: Hasluck”

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  1. [All you self reliant upstanding libs would like to believe you don’t have your hand out…]

    Is the Medicare Levy only paid by ALP voters?

  2. [All you self reliant upstanding libs would like to believe you don’t have your hand out…]

    I’m guessing this is your point but almost all self reliant upstanding liberals like to believe they don’t have their handout WHILE IT IS BEING OVERWHELMED WITH HANDOUTS. It is only the poor that don’t deserve handouts, liberals do deserve them.

  3. So obviously you Liberal Bludgers are very happy for funding for public health to be cut in real terms.

    Howard did it, Campbell is doing it and the Monkey’s health minister has conceded tonight that they will do things cheaper.

    If you don’t have private health insurance and you vote for Abbott.. you are a fool!

  4. Finally got through to Mum. She’s still in Emergency (6 hours) while they try and find her a bed.

    They’ll run tests in the morning to determine if she needs a heart operation or whether her condition can be controlled with medication.

  5. [Mod Lib
    Posted Monday, April 22, 2013 at 10:41 pm | PERMALINK

    I would think 90%+ of all federal politicians would have private health insurance.]

    My word they would…. Gillard could not possibly trust the health of her government on the public system 🙂

  6. Sean…the LOTO. has already promised you are going to feel your fear that..; “Anything less and we’d feel cheated.”..will, if the opp’n gain office be more than satisfied.

  7. Pof Cole on Chechnaya and the Boston Bombings and Syria…
    In a most informative article(with great maps) Prof Cole from Michigan Uni looks at the growing linke between the El Quida backed rebels in Syria and the anti-Russian rebels in Chechnya and other parts of the Caucuses

    There is much evidence now of such a link…one reason why Russia has backed Assad in Syria,,,and he thinks the Boston events will worry Obama as top a jihardist regime winning power in much so that the US may cool on it’s support for the Syrian rebels
    a most interesting viewpoint and one not mentioned by our rather superficial press corps who want “simple ” info on such matters,,,worth a read !

  8. zoomster,

    If your mum were critical she would have a bed. This is mildly encouraging.

    I am sending positive thoughts to you and her.

  9. Tanya was good tonight and is a mate of mine but the garbage about why isnt she PM, scary union bosses etc, was utter rubbish. Tories, good try. ALP supporters and others, get serious. She only had to deal with Dutton FFS.

  10. Rosemour personally I pay around $40k tax plus around $2k in Medicare levy so from my perspective the health care rebate isn’t much back out of that. Not sure how much GST on top of that I pay annually. I don’t have a problem with the amount of tax I pay but just get frustrated when governments fail to spend it wisely.

    Overall I think Aussies do pretty well out of our tax system and would be comfortable if the government raised more providing it was fairly spread, efficiently spent and spent on programs we need.

  11. [Do Liberal voters use the medicare system?]

    Well I hardly ever do, but I imagine others do given how busy the Emergency Departments are (and we all know there aren’t that many ALP voters out there at the moment :devil:)

  12. So now we have had three crap weeks for Abbott, three weeks with policy at the front and three weeks where nothing has changed…. funny that, change Gillard and the polls would go crazy.

  13. [I wish people would stop calling it ‘private’
    It’s mosty susidised so it’s ‘semi-private’

    All you self reliant upstanding libs would like to believe you don’t have your hand out…]

    Damn straight. Same goes for so called private schools.

  14. ‘Is the Medicare Levy only paid by ALP voters?’

    How many people with ‘private’ health insurance doing there bit to take the pressure off public hospitals use public hospital outpatient services as a first option just in case? You know, save on those out of pockets if you can…but absolutely taking the pressure off. Sure.
    Tight chest, numbness…probably nothing. Just pop into the local public emergency for check up…..but then I’ll go back to taking the pressure off. What a crock.

    Have as much private anything as you like it’s your choice, your decision, your responsibility. Good luck. Jump the queue. It’s your right.

  15. Rosemour or Less:

    If everyone left private health insurance do you think that would have no effect on the public hospital system then?

  16. [I’m guessing this is your point but almost all self reliant upstanding liberals like to believe they don’t have their handout WHILE IT IS BEING OVERWHELMED WITH HANDOUTS. It is only the poor that don’t deserve handouts, liberals do deserve them.]

    People that don’t pay taxes because they choose not to work/bludge don’t deserve a hand out because they haven’t earned it.

    We should go down the U.K system and let people save up time they are allowed on welfare by the amount of weeks they have worked. Those that choose not to work their entire lives then won’t recieve a cent.

  17. Good morning dawn patrol. Off to work , help build Australia , pay some tax , talk to my union mates , drum up support for PMJG among the non believers.
    Life is good.
    Don’t you all sit arround argueing all day :-).

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