Over the fold is a table showing an almost-complete set of Labor-versus-Liberal/Nationals two-party margins, excluding a few seats where the 2017 result was Liberal-versus-Nationals (Moore and Roe) or Labor-versus-independent (Baldivis). This treats Kingsway as the successor to Girrawheen, and Girrawheen as the successor to Mirrabooka. I am now calculating the Labor margin in Kingsway at 9.1%, which is modest enough that Labor would lose the seat at a bad election, like 2013. This amounts to a 7.6% cut in the old margin from Girrawheen – so if, as I suggested, Labor runs Margaret Quirk in Kingsway and gives Girrawheen to Janine Freeman, who is technically homeless with the abolition of Mirrabooka, Quirk would consider that regrettable.
As noted in the original version of this post (also over the fold), Labor has been short-changed by the redistribution’s determination to preserve the existing number of country seats, but finds ample consolation in a number of helpful revisions to marginal seats:
• Labor’s margin in Balcatta, which the party lost for the one and only time in 2013, goes from 5.8% to 8.0%, as it loses marginal territory (at least on 2017 results) in the north to Kingsley and gains Labor territory in the east from Mirrabooka.
• The change just noted to Kingsley also nudges the dial there very slightly in Labor’s favour, from 0.7% to 1.2%.
• In Burns Beach, the loss of territory in the south to Joondalup and gain in the north from Butler boosts Labor from 2.5% to 4.9%.
• No doubt the 2017 election is as bad as it will ever get for the Liberals in Hillarys, but I am calculating that Labor would have won it in 2017 by the barest of margins, after falling 4.1% short at the election. Marginal territory has been gained in the north from Joondalup, and Liberal territory in the south has gone to Carine.
• The transfer of part of Liberal-voting Leeming to Riverton in the north boosts Labor from 1.0% to 2.0% in Jandakot.
• Tweaking of the boundary with Fremantle improves Labor’s margin in Bicton from 2.9% to 3.6%.
• A territory swap with West Swan boosts Labor from 7.3% to 9.2% in Wanneroo.
• An exchange of rural territory in the south for Mandurah’s fringes in the north boosts Labor from 1.4% to 2.3% in Murray-Wellington.
• In Joondalup, which gains in the north from Burns Beach and loses in the south to Hillarys, Labor’s margin is reduced from 0.6% to 0.1%.
• In Swan Hills, a Labor margin of 14.5%, which belies its history as a tight marginal seat, reduces to 12.0%, as Ellenbrook suburbia is exchanged for parts of the Swan Valley.
Draft boundaries have been published for a state redistribution in Western Australia, which can be perused here, and is a rather minimalist affair. Most importantly, no change has been made between the city-country balance, with tolerances strained to their limits in a number of cases to keep things as they are. This is good news for the conservatives, and especially for the Nationals. However, the boundary changes within the metropolitan area appear to the advantage of Labor.
The biggest change is that a new electorate of Kingsway is to be created out of parts of Wanneroo, West Swan and Girrawheen (expect to hear complaints about the potential for confusion with neighbouring Kingsley), and Girrawheen is being pushed south to absorb most of Mirrabooka, which is abolished. This whole area is Labor territory – I’m calculating the Labor margin in Kingsway at 10.2% – and the disruption could presumably be sorted by moving Girrawheen MP Margaret Quirk to Kingsway and Mirrabooka MP Janine Freeman to Girrawheen.
The knock-on effects from all this, while modest, look to be consistently favourable for Labor. To compensate for its losses to Kingsway, Wanneroo is pushed westwards into territory formerly in West Swan. I’m calculating that this is slightly to Labor’s advantage in what is naturally a marginal seat, increasing their margin from 7.3% to 8.8%.
Kingsley, a normally Liberal-held seat that was one of the high water marks of the Labor landslide, extends south into territory formerly in Balcatta, which by my reckoning bumps the margin from 0.7% to 1.2%. Balcatta, naturally a Labor-leaning margin, takes a slice out of Mirrabooka in the east, which gives Labor a handy boost from 5.8% to 8.0%.
South of the river, a patch of Liberal-voting Leeming is shifted from the very tight Labor seat of Jandakot to safe Liberal Riverton, increasing Labor’s margin in the former from 1.0% to 1.9%.