Lower house call of the board

A quick seat-by-seat tour of last night’s McGowanslide.

Every seat in alphabetical order, with commentary where there’s anything that needs saying. See the post below this one for my first take on the Legislative Council.

Albany. Before: Labor 1.0%. After: Labor, unknown. I’m a little confused here, because the Nationals rather than the Liberals finished second here, and the WAEC presumably only conducted a Labor-versus-Liberal two-party count, which has been pulled from their site. So I can only assume the Labor-versus-Nationals result displayed on the ABC site is based on Antony’s estimate, and not as I first suspected a rebadged Labor-versus-Liberal result. Certainly the margin displayed is more what would expect from a Labor-versus-Nationals count, i.e. lower. If so, the result for Watson is better than the swing makes it appear – more like an 8% than 5.5%. That’s still more remarkable given that Watson’s excellent electoral performance in the past presumably meant he didn’t have as much slack to take up.

Armadale. Before: Labor 9.6%. After: Labor 25.0%.

Balcatta. Before: Liberal 7.1%. After: Labor 5.8%. Labor’s defeat here was their first in a history going back to 1962, and the swing was fairly typical for Perth.

Baldivis. Before: Labor 6.1%. After: Unknown. Reece Whitby hasn’t completely shaken off the electoral bogey that followed him through two failed bids for Morley, as he is being run fairly close by independent Matt Whitfield. In this he has suffered from the collapse in the collapse of the Liberals, who went from 33.1% to 14.2% and finished third. Whitfield would win the seat if he got 82.6% of the preferences from the Liberals, One Nation (7.0%), Greens (5.1%) and the rest (5.8%). The ABC projection is crediting him with two-thirds, but Carol Adams got around three-quarters under similar circumstances in Kwinana, from which Baldivis draws most of its voters. She also did very badly on absent votes, for some reason. Presumably a Labor-versus-independent vote will be conducted tomorrow, and I won’t be calling this until I see it.

Bassendean. Before: Labor 5.1%. After: Labor 21.7%.

Bateman. Before: Liberal 23.1%. After: Liberal 10.0%.

Belmont. Before: Liberal 1.0%. After: Labor 13.2%. Another seat Labor lost for the first time in 2013, and has now recovered with a vengeance on the back of a regulation 13.2% swing.

Bicton. Before: Liberal 10.0%. After: Labor 2.4%. Dean Nalder’s determination to contest Bateman instead was vindicated by a fairly typical 12.4% swing, contrary to impressions that the Perth Freight Link might make a difference one way or the other.

Bunbury. Before: Liberal 12.2%. After: Labor 11.3%. The Liberal vote fell 30.6% in John Castrilli’s absence to 45.3%, translating into a devastating 23.4% swing to Labor. The Nationals campaigned pretty hard here but only gained 6.5%, and finished well behind the Liberals in third.

Burns Beach. Before: Liberal 11.3%. After: Labor 2.7%. Environment Minister Albert Jacob gained the notionally Labor seat of Ocean Reef when he entered parliament in 2008, and now he’s lost its reconfigured successor on the back of a fairly typical 14.1% swing.

Butler. Before: Labor 1.0%. After: Labor 19.9%. John Quigley’s 18.9% swing is particularly notable given he only suffered a 1.1% swing in 2013.

Cannington. Before: Labor 2.1%. After: Labor 18.7%.

Carine. Before: Liberal 18.3%. After: Liberal 9.9%.

Central Wheatbelt. Before: Nationals 8.9% versus Liberal. After: Nationals unknown. The Liberal vote went from 31.2% to 11.0%, which presumably reflects conservative voters falling in behind Nationals member Mia Davies, who was up slightly, now she’s the sitting member. A former upper house MP, she came to the seat in 2013, filling the vacancy created by Brendon Grylls’ move to Pilbara. The Liberals fell to third, so the notional count was redundant, and the two-party result on the ABC computer is presumably an estimate.

Churchlands. Before: Liberal 20.0%. After: Liberal 14.6%.

Cockburn. Before: Labor 4.6%. After: Labor 16.2%.

Collie-Preston. Before: Liberal 2.9%*. After: Labor 13.9%. Big swings here across the board as Mick Murray effortlessly retained a seat that had been made notionally Liberal by the redistribution, but the biggest of all were in suburban Bunbury.

Cottesloe. Before: Liberal 21.1%. After: Liberal 13.8%. Swings were relatively modest in the wealthy western suburbs, including the one against the Premier.

Darling Range. Before: Liberal 13.1%. After: Labor 5.4%. A well above par 18.4% swing delivered Labor one of its strongest wins, and typified the Liberal collapse in the outer suburbs.

Dawesville. Before: Liberal 12.7%. After: Labor 1.6%. A nervous debut for Zak Kirkup, who succeeds former Deputy Premier Kim Hames.

Forrestfield. Before: Liberal 2.2%. After: Labor 9.6%. A slightly below average swing, but plenty enough to take out a fragile Liberal margin in this eastern Perth seat.

Fremantle. Before: Labor 15.4%. After: Labor 24.0%. Of academic here of interest is who finishes second out of Liberal and the Greens – the Liberals are on 20.0% and Greens are on 18.1%, and presumably preferences won’t close the gap. Labor’s Simone McGurk won a clear majority on the primary vote.

Geraldton. Before: Liberal 10.9% versus Nationals. After: Liberal 0.8%. The ABC computer says the swing here is 10.1%, but it’s wrongly measuring the Liberal-versus-Labor result from this election with the Liberals-versus-Nationals result from the last. The real figure is 22%, which appears to have brought Labor to just short of victory in a seat where they finished third in 2013. Nationals candidate Paul Brown, who was seeking to move from the upper house, came in third.

Girrawheen. Before: Labor 2.8%. After: Labor 16.7%.

Hillarys. Before: Liberal 16.0%. After: Liberal 3.9%. Liberal-turned-independent Rob Johnson came in third with 21.0% to Labor’s 28.2%. Liberal candidate Peter Katsambanis, with 39.7%, would have been in big trouble if he had got ahead of Labor and soaked up their preferences.

Jandakot. Before: Liberal 18.3%. After: Labor 0.1%. Liberal leadership hopeful Joe Francis going right down to the wire here, with absents and outstanding postals to decide the result. Based on the past form of such votes, my guess would be that he will sneak over the line.

Joondalup. Before: Liberal 10.4%. After: Labor 0.5%. The 11.0% swing against Liberal member Jan Norberger was fairly modest by outer suburban standards, and he may yet hang on.

Kalamunda. Before: Liberal 10.3%. After: Labor 3.1%. A typical 13.3% swing was sufficient to tip out Health Minister John Day out, and deliver Labor a seat it had never before held (it existed from 1974 to 1989, and has done so again since 2008).

Kalgoorlie. Before: Nationals 3.2% versus Liberal 10.3%. After: Unknown. The ABC computer says the Liberals will gain this from the Nationals with a margin of 5.1%, but this assumes these will be the last two candidates, when there’s an effective three-way tie between Labor, Liberal and Nationals from the top three positions. I believe it’s also based on an estimated preference flow, since there’s no two-party result shown on the WAEC site. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t have thought Labor and One Nation preferences would have favoured the Liberals. Nationals candidate Tony Crook will certainly win if preferences cause the Liberals to finish third.

Kimberley. Before: Labor 5.1%. After: Labor 8.8%. Unclear here who finishes second out of Liberal and Nationals, but Labor goes untroubled either way. The swing was relatively mild, as it was in 2013.

Kingsley. Before: Liberal 14.0%. After: Labor 0.8%. Labor with their nose ahead in a close race in a seat they had only previously won in 2005, after a fairly normal 14.9% swing.

Kwinana. Before: Labor 18.5%. After: Labor 4.3%. At his third election, incoming Deputy Premier Roger Cook finally goes undisturbed by independent Carol Adams.

Maylands. Before: Labor 2.7%. After: Labor 18.4%.

Midland. Before: Labor 0.5%. After: Labor 13.0%. An easier night for Michelle Roberts this time around.

Mirrabooka. Before: Labor 4.6%. After: Labor 19.2%.

Moore. Before: Nationals 5.9% versus Liberals. After: Nationals 8.7% versus Liberals.

Morley. Before: Liberal 4.7%. After: Labor 12.1%. A particularly big swing in a seat Labor didn’t expect to lose in 2008, and couldn’t win back in 2013.

Mount Lawley. Before: Liberal 8.9%. After: Labor 3.8%. A regulation swing tips out the Liberals in a seat that wouldn’t have responded too favourably to the One Nation preference deal.

Murray-Wellington. Before: Liberal 12.0%. After: Labor 1.1%. Labor looks like it’s done enough in a seat it has only won in the past when it was more oriented to Mandurah, with a mid-range 13.1% swing.

Nedlands. Before: Liberal 19.1%. After: Liberal 8.8%.

North West Central. Before: Nationals 11.5%. After: Nationals 8.8%. I think the WAEC conducted a Nationals-versus-Liberal count that proved redundant because the Liberals crashed to third, so I guess the ABC figure is an estimate.

Perth. Before: Liberal 2.8%. After: Labor 12.5%. A particularly big 15.3% swing in a seat Labor was always going to recover, perhaps reflecting an inner-city One Nation preference deal effect.

Pilbara. Before: Nationals 11.5%. After: Labor 1.4%. I called this seat for Brendon Grylls on ABC Radio, so I’m a bit perplexed that the preference count has him trailing Labor by 1.4% at the end of the night. Preferences overall appear to be splitting evenly, which is pretty extraordinary given their make-up: Liberal 14.6%, One Nation 11.1%, Shooters 9.9%, Greens 3.8%.

Riverton. Before: Liberal 12.7%. After: Liberal 4.5%. Another relatively mild swing in a stronger Liberal seat.

Rockingham. Before: Labor 13.2%. After: Labor 23.9%.

Roe. Before: Nationals 16.7% versus Liberal. After: Liberal 14.9% versus Nationals. This is a new seat that essentially merges Wagin, held by Terry Waldron of the Nationals, and Graham Jacobs, a Liberal. Waldron didn’t contest, but Jacobs was nonetheless unable to put the Nationals under serious pressure.

Scarborough. Before: Liberal 17.3%. After: Liberal 5.1%.

South Perth. Before: Liberal 20.0%. After: Liberal 7.7%.

Southern River. Before: Liberal 10.9%. After: Labor 8.6%. A massive swing to Labor in an area that also moved heavily in their favour at the federal election.

Swan Hills. Before: Liberal 3.7%. After: Labor 14.2%. Always a very likely Labor gain, but went well beyond the call of duty with a swing of 17.9%.

Thornlie. Before: Labor 1.8%. After: Labor 15.9%.

Vasse. Before: Liberal 21.1%. After: Liberal 15.0%.

Victoria Park. Before: Labor 4.0%. After: Labor 16.6%.

Wanneroo. Before: Liberal 11.0%. After: Labor 8.0%. The one seat where the Liberals really hoped the One Nation preference deal might do them some good returned a 19.0% swing, in another example of the outer suburbs effect. One Nation polled 9.6% — a look at their preference flow will have to wait for tomorrow.

Warnbro. Before: Labor 10.6%. After: Labor 24.2%.

Warren-Blackwood. Before: Nationals 7.2% versus Liberal. After: Nationals 12.0%. Another former Nationals-versus-Liberal contest where the Liberals fell to third.

West Swan. Before: Liberal 0.9%*. After: Labor 18.5%. Made notionally Liberal by the redistribution, but swung fully as forcefully as neighbouring Swan Hills.

Willagee. Before: Labor 2.5%. After: Labor 16.4%.

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.

175 comments on “Lower house call of the board”

  1. [I’m pretty sure the Greens wouldn’t much care]
    They should. I’m assuming if one nation was just a bit more organised and ran candidates in every seat, they’d either outpoll the Greens or come very close. Which in turn asks the question why? Perhaps it is time for the greens to take a good hard look at themselves and the way they did politics.
    BTW the HTV greens at my booth were fantastic people who did their party proud and put up with my awful jokes on a long hot afternoon.

  2. I can see why the LDP did well in South Metropolitan. When I started filling out my LC ballot paper I didn’t notice it was folded in half. It wasn’t until I realised that I was running out of boxes that I noticed the other half of the paper.

  3. Briefly – If I was Grylls too, I’d be over it too. He’s been kicked around by his own side and the miners. Can’t have been pleasant. But at least he’ll walk out having stood for something (unlike our PM)

  4. WA Labor can claim very real political authority as a result of this election. We are not about to squander it.

    Yeah this. Not going for the quick fix and slapping the miners might come with some short term pain, but the long term gain from proving your word before election is worth everything after the election is too much to lose.

    The ALP can come out and say look the books are even more shit than Barnett let on. But we won’t break our word because that would be seen as the same old cynical politics. People are looking for someone they can trust, and going back on explicit pre election promises is simply the fastest way to ensure voters don’t trust you ever again.

    McGowan should be looking to set Labor up for 4 terms. Building up credit for delivering on elections commitments is the way to put all those new Labor voters in the box for the long term. He said what he’d do, now he needs to do what he said.

  5. [Yeah this. Not going for the quick fix and slapping the miners might come with some short term pain, but the long term gain from proving your word before election is worth everything after the election is too much to lose.]
    This is just ridiculous. A Labor government is not going to cut its way to a budget surplus, it must increase revenue. Increasing mining royalties in the first budget is a perfectly sensible approach.

  6. wewantpaul @ #125 Monday, March 13, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    As much as I hate the CME, and they really do deserve a through public thrashing, it would be insane to impose a royalty on them if that royalty is going to go straight into the grants commission calculation:
    “Through the Inter-government Agreement (IGA), the states and commonwealth have agreed that the states should have ‘comparable’ fiscal capacities so that Australians face a similar tax burden, and level of service provision, regardless of their state of residence. This objective, derived from notions of equity and the need to support a national market for the movement of goods, services, people and capital, has underpinned inter-governmental relations in Australia since federation. It is not unique to Australia, and is a central principle in inter-governmental relations in many countries.”
    There are also the very very many Western Australians whose current and / or imagined future income depends on the mining industry. I suspect Labor would like their votes again next time.
    Labor needs to focus on keeping its promises.
    The work on the first stages of Metronet, and the railway car construction should be very loud and broadly shared. Perhaps they should have a website that lists what is being done and anticipated deadlines. Open, honest, warts and all, but make it obvious they are delivering.
    They have said no renewable target, so they can’t set one but that doesn’t stop them committing to renewable projects. Hopefully they have one or two they can wheel out, and not wait for the greens in the upper house to try and claim the credit (I haven’t seen much comment yet, but the greens were beaten by one nation in at least three seats I could find).
    They also need to do the WA jobs thing, also in a big and public way.

    So what you are saying is that the miners are not only ripping off Western Australians, they are ripping off all Australian’s. Glad we’ve cleared that up, not OK to rip of WA, ok to rip off all of Australia though.

    Labor haven’t set a renewable target but have committed to a Wave farm in Albany, and will probably direct Synergy to decommission Muja if it doesn’t fall apart in the meantime by itself. Add in positive support for wind and rooftop PV (which again they can direct Synergy and Western Power to support) and you’ve got a renewable energy target achieved without the political pain attached to having a formal target.

  7. Liberals are 31 votes ahead in Jandakot (73.91% counted) and 15 votes ahead in Joondalup (74.62% counted). Does anyone know how long it will take to count the last ~20%

    Kingsley, Murray Wellington and Pilbara all seem to be safe Labor wins.

  8. “So what you are saying is that the miners are not only ripping off Western Australians, they are ripping off all Australian’s. Glad we’ve cleared that up, not OK to rip of WA, ok to rip off all of Australia though. ”
    Not really what I was saying at all. I did support the MRRT and still would. Royalties are just bad taxes, and even more stupid when you bring in the equalisation stuff through the grants commission.

  9. This article makes a good point – *”Instead [of being a protest party], One Nation did a deal with one of the main parties. Worse, it was with the ruling party.”*

    Wasn’t this kind of thing the start of the Democrats downfall? – when they did the GST deal with the Libs?

    [http://www.watoday.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/pauline-hansons-lunge-for-power-has-left-one-nation-without-power-and-without-its-soul-20170312-guwh7k.html] (http://www.watoday.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/pauline-hansons-lunge-for-power-has-left-one-nation-without-power-and-without-its-soul-20170312-guwh7k.html)

  10. So Grylls is out with ex-CME Davies ready to take over as leader? Hmm.

    I think someone else here said it, but on a night of big victories, Labor taking Pilbara is a pyrrhic one. They could have used Grylls and his influence to work through any legislation needed to slap the miners their due. The worst outcome of this would be Labor/McGowan/Kevin Michel “owing one” to the CME and getting nothing done with the rorting they’re getting away with.

    God I hope Joondalup can manage to fall. Less extreme Christcons in power the better.

  11. [So Grylls is out with ex-CME Davies ready to take over as leader? Hmm.
    I think someone else here said it, but on a night of big victories, Labor taking Pilbara is a pyrrhic one. They could have used Grylls and his influence to work through any legislation needed to slap the miners their due. The worst outcome of this would be Labor/McGowan/Kevin Michel “owing one” to the CME and getting nothing done with the rorting they’re getting away with.
    God I hope Joondalup can manage to fall. Less extreme Christcons in power the better.]
    I think to go back to West Wing I would reject almost everyone of a whole handful of premises in this comment.
    Explicitly I reject the suggestion that Labor should break a promise, not to impose a penalty royalty on miners, made to the voters of Western Australia. To do so, regardless of the wonderfulness of the royalty (and royalties are not usually considered intelligent taxes), would instantly reduce the new labor Government to the ‘useless liar’ status earned by the Emperor and by PM Trumble, and his predecessor Abbott.

  12. Labor pretty definite 40 with Jandakot and now Kingsley out of reach of Liberals. Joondalup only uncertainty but Labor now 235 votes ahead with 85.5% counted. Based on last election probably only about 700 – 1000 votes to count so Libs need more than 60% of outstanding votes. Looks like postals and absents are both being updated each day so no reason to expect a major shift in pattern since election night.

  13. And there goes Joondalup – Western Sunrise will be happy. Very high absent votes for both Labor and Greens and good level of postals as well.

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