Western Australia redistributed: draft state boundaries

A proposed state redistribution in Western Australia abolishes a conservative rural electorate and creates a Labor one in Perth’s southern suburbs.

Draft boundaries have been published for the Western Australian state redistribution. It proposes abolishing the electorate of Eyre in the south-eastern corner of the state, which is held for the Liberals by Graham Jacobs, who narrowly saw off a challenge from the Nationals at the March 2013 election. Its major centres of Esperance and Boulder are respectively to be absorbed by Wagin and Kalgoorlie. The seat created in its place is Baldivis, from the rapidly growing southern suburbs centre of the same name. A number of electorates have been renamed, apparently on the principle that geographic electorate names are best avoided. Antony Green might have projected new margins at some point today, and I might take a stab at it myself if I get time this afternoon.

UPDATE: Below is my own stab at a pendulum with redistributed boundaries, without making the effort to accommodate the many name changes. Antony Green doesn’t provide a margin for the new seat of Baldivis because of the complication of independent candidate Carole Adams in the Kwinana electorate in 2013, but I’ve done an elaborate bit of modelling to produce an estimate of 8.2% using Legislative Council results. Non-trivial differences between my margins and Antony’s are in Darling Range (11.9% from him, 10.6% from me), Cannington (2.3% from him, 1.5% from me), Joondalup (10.9% from him, 10.2% from me), Southern River (11.3% from him, 10.5% from me), Churchlands (20.0% from me, 20.9% from him) and Riverton (12.6% from him, 11.9% from me).

Change Coalition seats Labor seats Change
0.3% (1.2%) BELMONT WEST SWAN (0.3%) 1.6%
0.1% (2.1%) FORRESTFIELD MIDLAND (0.7%) 0.6%
0.1% (2.8%) PERTH BUTLER (1.0%) 0.8%
3.5% (3.3%) COLLIE-PRESTON ALBANY (1.5%) 0.6%
2.0% (3.9%) SWAN HILLS CANNINGTON (1.5%) 0.5%
0.0% (4.7%) MORLEY GOSNELLS (1.9%) 1.0%
0.3% (7.1%) BALCATTA MAYLANDS (2.0%) 1.1%
1.7% (7.7%) MOUNT LAWLEY GIRRAWHEEN (2.8%) 0.4%
0.5% (10.0%) KALAMUNDA COCKBURN (4.1%) 0.1%
6.4% (10.5%) SOUTHERN RIVER VICTORIA PARK (4.2%) 0.1%
8.4% (10.6%) OCEAN REEF WILLAGEE (4.2%) 6.4%
4.7% (10.6%) DARLING RANGE MIRRABOOKA (4.6%) 0.0%
6.4% (10.9%) JOONDALUP KIMBERLEY (5.1%) 0.0%
0.0% (11.1%) WANNEROO BASSENDEAN (5.1%) 0.0%
0.0% (11.5%) PILBARA KWINANA (5.8%) 3.2%
12.1% (11.5%) ALFRED COVE MANDURAH (7.7%) 0.0%
2.7% (11.9%) RIVERTON BALDIVIS (8.2%) NEW
0.0% (12.0%) MURRAY-WELLINGTON ARMADALE (9.6%) 0.0%
1.0% (12.1%) BUNBURY WARNBRO (10.6%) 1.8%
0.0% (12.7%) DAWESVILLE ROCKINGHAM (13.2%) 0.0%
0.8% (14.0%) KINGSLEY FREMANTLE (15.0%) 7.1%
2.3% (16.7%) HILLARYS
0.0% (17.3%) SCARBOROUGH
3.4% (17.8%) VASSE
0.2% (18.3%) CARINE
10.6% (18.7%) JANDAKOT
0.0% (19.1%) NEDLANDS
1.4% (19.7%) SOUTH PERTH
0.0% (20.9%) COTTESLOE
0.8% (20.9%) CHURCHLANDS
5.2% (23.1%) BATEMAN

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.

16 comments on “Western Australia redistributed: draft state boundaries”

  1. Some strange looking boundaries here, especially on the northern edge of Perth. The new seat of Mann looks like it was drawn by someone on meth.

  2. Hmm…I can see what they were trying to do (most of the time..), but they’ve done some real slash-and-hack jobs on quite a few seats.

    Creating a seat in Southern Perth causes alot of messy flow on effects; it completely buggers up Swan Hills, West Swan, and a few seats through northern Perth. There’s plenty of boundaries I would like to change, but it’s going to be alot of “fun” trying to untangle some of the mess they’ve made.

    Politically, it doesn’t seem to overly favour either side. Several MPs from both sides will be concerned with the significant carving up and redrawing of their seats.

  3. Interesting that Collie-Preston has finally been tipped over to the Coalition column, if only by virtue of redistribution at a point where Labor’s vote is at more or less a nadir.

    A solid swing to Labor at the election and they should retain it anyway.

  4. The first commenter wasn’t wrong about the shape of Mann. I am not a fan of the mass-renaming: my political junkie self has no idea who most of these seats are named after, and especially new and en masse, has no idea by seeing the names where they are located either. Also, some of them seem strangely named for where they are – like renaming Swan Hills after the namesake of one of the main roads through Subiaco.

    First impressions: I think Murdoch and Burt generally make for more logical divisions of those areas, although cutting East Fremantle out of Fremantle is silly. It doesn’t bode well for either Mick Murray or Peter Watson not retiring, unfortunately.

    Unfortunately, my immediate neighbourhood is still cut into three and my distinctly Labor area still stuck in a ridiculously blue-blood Liberal seat to make up its numbers, but getting that fixed was always a bit of a pipedream.

  5. [Also, some of them seem strangely named for where they are – like renaming Swan Hills after the namesake of one of the main roads through Subiaco]

    Yeah even the commission could only come up with Salvado having traveled through the electorate to get someone important. Seems a very tenuous connection.

    The shape of Mann may not make sense but at least the name does.

  6. Should non-contiguous electorates be an option? Particularly for regional towns?

    Why? What problem would that solve?

  7. 11

    It would allow types of small areas with similar interests to be in the same seat despite not being a contiguous area. The main type of area this would assist would be medium regional towns that are not big enough for their own seats. Districts of boroughs (there were 3 districts of boroughs in Victoria when the Legislative Assembly was originally divided up at the 1856 election) could be revived.

  8. But a medium sized town serves as a hub for all those who live around it. It’s not just the people living in the town who utilise its banks, shops, doctors etc.

    Moreover, if you excise the most densely populated portions from remote electorates, you’d be creating enormous rural electorates to compensate.

  9. So, instead of Collie and Harvey, or Collie and Capel, your fantasy seat would be Collie and … ?

    I reckon it’s time parliament was expanded. Central Wheatbelt now stretches from Darkan to Southern Cross, and is now quite close to triggering the large district allowance (97,669 sq km). North West Central covers an eye-watering 910,000 sq km – that’s 100,000 sq km bigger than New South Wales. God knows how big it’d have to be if the LDA didn’t exist.

  10. The WA Parliament was expanded only a few years ago when the one vote, one value reforms were introduced (2 extra members in each house).

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