WA state redistribution finalised

An analysis of the new state electoral boundaries in Western Australia, which were finalised on Friday.

The final boundaries for the Western Australian state redistribution were published on Friday, and can be viewed here. Listed below are my own calculations of new margins, a detailed accounting of which can be seen on this spreadsheet. Of the tweaks made to the draft proposal, two are of consequence. In the metropolitan area, a plan to realign the boundary between Mount Lawley and Maylands has essentially been scrapped, which means two booths won by Liberal in 2013 will stay in Mount Lawley, and two won by Labor will stay in Maylands. This is slightly to the advantage of both Michael Sutherland and Lisa Baker, who respectively hold Mount Lawley and Maylands for Liberal and Labor. In the country, Collie-Preston will gain the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup instead of part of the City of Busselton, as it was argued the latter should be left intact within Vasse (which, relatedly, will no longer gain Margaret River and the surrounding area, which instead stay in Warren-Blackwood).

The other big change is cosmetic, but no less welcome for that – a plan to rename a number of electorates after notable personages has been scrapped, with all electorates maintaining locality-based names. There are any number of reasons why the practice the commissioners were seeking to import from the federal level works a lot less well for state electorates, owing to their smaller size and lesser sense of permanency from one redistribution to the next. Particularly awkardly, both the draft state and federal redistributions proposed the creation of electorates named Burt. The state electorate in question had assumed particular political interest in being ground zero for the Perth Freight Link issue and, relatedly, the scene of a turf war between two Liberal MPs, both of whom would prefer to have the much safer seat neighbouring it to the east. Burt will now take on the more logical name of Bicton, while its neighbour will retain the name of Bateman, rather than being renamed Toohey as proposed.

Albany 48.8% +0.9%
Armadale 40.4% +0.0%
Balcatta 57.0% -0.3%
Baldivis 41.2% New
Bassendean 44.8% -0.1%
Bateman 73.2% +5.3%
Belmont 51.2% +0.3%
Bicton (Alfred Cove) 60.6% -13.0%
Bunbury 61.9% -1.2%
Burns Beach (Ocean Reef) 61.5% -7.5%
Butler 49.3% +1.1%
Cannington 48.4% +0.4%
Carine 68.3% +0.2%
Central Wheatbelt 71.6% +0.5%
Churchlands 69.9% -0.2%
Cockburn 46.4% +0.5%
Collie-Preston 52.8% +2.9%
Cottesloe 71.1% +0.2%
Darling Range 62.8% -2.5%
Dawesville 62.7% -0.0%
Eyre Abolished
Forrestfield 52.2% +0.1%
Fremantle 34.9% -7.3%
Geraldton 72.8% +0.0%
Girrawheen 47.3% -0.3%
Hillarys 66.0% -3.0%
Jandakot 68.1% +10.1%
Joondalup 60.1% +5.7%
Kalamunda 60.3% -0.2%
Kalgoorlie 67.6% +0.7%
Kimberley 44.9% -0.0%
Kingsley 64.0% -0.8%
Kwinana 45.1% +7.0%
Mandurah 42.3% -0.0%
Maylands 47.6% +0.6%
Midland 49.4% -0.5%
Mirrabooka 45.4% -0.0%
Moore 73.2% -0.0%
Morley 54.7% +0.0%
Mount Lawley 58.8% -0.5%
Murray-Wellington 62.0% +0.0%
Nedlands 69.0% -0.1%
North West Central 62.2% -1.3%
Perth 52.8% +0.2%
Pilbara (NAT vs ALP) 63.8% +2.3%
Riverton 62.7% +3.5%
Rockingham 36.8% -0.0%
Roe (Wagin) 76.2% +0.4%
Scarborough 67.3% +0.0%
South Perth 69.7% -1.4%
Southern River 61.0% -6.0%
Swan Hills 53.9% -2.0%
Thornlie (Gosnells) 48.0% +0.9%
Vasse 71.2% -0.0%
Victoria Park 45.8% -0.2%
Wanneroo 61.0% -0.1%
Warnbro 39.5% -1.7%
Warren-Blackwood 66.3% +0.8%
West Swan 50.4% +2.3%
Willagee 47.1% +7.7%

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.

9 comments on “WA state redistribution finalised”

  1. Never easy for Labor in WA…still too far away and too many variables.

    For as much as it is worth, even if Colin Barneet leads at the coming election, his stay after will not be long.

    There should be a lot of pluses for Labor – a very tired government, a boom having seemingly gone bust, a person in Barnett who appears to be less interested than ever in parliament and what goes on, roads clogged at peak times, stresses on public transport and a string of broken promises for starters. There are, perhaps, one or two currently held Liberal seats which should, on paper, be on the Labor side of the ledger. But to balance, a couple of country seats look vulnerable for Labor also.

    The minuses tend to relate to whether McGowan can actually present a winnable case for Labor. There is plenty of ammunition…

    I would also go out on a limb – perhaps – and suggest that Labor, despite the above, has a better chance of winning state government in 2017 than adding very many seats to its Federal tally of seats – at least, as things stand now.

  2. On the old boundaries Labor needed 9 seats on a uniform swing of 9.2% for majority government in its own right. On the new boundaries that becomes 10 seats on a uniform swing of 10%.

    If the Labor MPs for Albany and Collie-Preston did not re-contest, Labor would be certain to lose both seats and the swing would go up to 10.5% on the old boundaries and 10.3% on the new.

  3. Thank you Antony… you have indicated the country seats I mentioned as generalities. This is quite a bleak picture for Labor as things currently stand.

    One could add, I suppose, former mining seats which used to be considered Labor seats in the old days but seem to be anything but these days.

  4. Good to see the WAEC remedy the naming mess – that would have been confusing as all get-out, especially with the twin Burts, and seemed to serve no terribly useful purpose.

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