Darling Range by-election guide

Mark McGowan’s government faces its first serious by-election test as Barry Urban calls time in troubled tenure as member for Darling Range.

A difficult by-election looms for the Labor government in Western Australia in the seat of Darling Range, which was among the 20 seats it won as it swept to power in March last year. The outgoing member is Barry Urban, whose career unravelled last November when it emerged a decoration he wore for police service overseas, which he originally claimed to have received for war crimes investigations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, had actually been bought online, and that two British universities he claimed had awarded him degrees had no record for him. He resigned from the ALP shortly after the story broke, and has announced his intention to resign from parliament a day before the privileges committee brings down a report into the matter. I have posted a preliminary guide to the by-election, although there are no details to offer at this stage on the timing or who the candidates might be.

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.

2 comments on “Darling Range by-election guide”

  1. Barry Urban should have resigned when the entire thing first came up. The memories of Colin Barnett was still fresh in people’s minds and Labor could have won the seat again. Now Labor will find it difficult to hold the seat again. They may even struggle to find a candidate who may want to run after the Barry Urban debacle. With the margin of only 5%, unfortunately Liberals are likely to win Darling Range.

  2. I can’t see WA Labor retaining this seat. According to the WA votes website this seat has been contested since 1950 and 2017 was the only time it’s been won by Labor and the very big issue in this seat was opposition to the Liberal plan to sell off 50% of Western Power.

    I don’t think we should use the results of the biggest swing in state election history to predict what will happen at the by-election, particularly given the circumstances. I’ll campaign for Labor on the ground despite predicting a very comfortable Liberal win in this seat.

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