Draft boundaries have been published for a state redistribution in Western Australia, which happens roughly at the mid-point of every four-year parliamentary term. In a nutshell: the electorates of North West Central and Moore, both held by the Nationals, are to be merged into Mid West, and a new seat called Oakford is to be created in the outer southern suburbs, which would be fairly safe for Labor at a normal election. A substantially redrawn Carine becomes Padbury; Swan Hills is to be renamed Walyunga; Burns Beach becomes Mindarie; Mirrabooka becomes Girrawheen; Willagee becomes Bibra Lake; Warnbro becomes Secret Harbour. My preliminary estimates of the margins are posted below. I’ll be expanding on this post in detail over the coming hours.
UPDATE: Some general observations. By the distorted arithmetic of the 2021 result, this increases Labor from 53 seats to a notional 54, reducing the Nationals from four to three and leaving the Liberals on two. But to crudely balance things by deducting 20% from Labor in every seat, thereby approximating a 50-50 result, Jandakot would go from marginal Labor to marginal Liberal and Pilbara would go from marginal Labor to marginal Nationals.
The new seat of Oakford looks safe for Labor, taking a chunk out of their stronghold of Armadale together with the new suburbia of Piara Waters and Harrisdale from naturally marginal Jandakot and Aubin Grove and Wandi from Kwinana, plus semi-rural areas further south including Oakford proper. The changes cut 2.7% from the Labor margin in Jandakot and cause Kwinana to overtake Rockingham as Labor’s safest seat, since it loses the area east of the freeway that constituted its one weak spot.
The new northern suburbs seat of Padbury is created by redrawing Hillarys and Carine in such a way as to turn two roughly square-shaped coastal seats into elongated north-to-south ones, with Hillarys taking the entirety of the coast. This makes Hillarys a lot weaker for Labor and Padbury a lot stronger than Carine had been, which might make life interesting for the two Labor members for these normally Liberal seats.
Elsewhere in suburbia, the probable bellwether seat of Forrestfield becomes stronger for the Liberals by being pushed northwards, losing Kenwick and gaining Helena Valley; Riverton, which would be fairly comfortable for the Liberals at a normal election, becomes 2.0% stronger for Labor by trading Leeming for Parkwood; a number of minor changes make Scarborough, which will presumably be difficult for Labor to hold, 1.0% weaker for them; Balcatta awkwardly gains southern Gwelup on the western side of the Mitchell Freeway, slightly weakening Labor in a natural marginal; and Kalamunda, which had been marginal or perhaps Liberal-leaning, is pushed further to the east, adding a handy 3.3% to the Labor margin.
With the abolition of North West Central, Pilbara gains its northernmost territories including Exmouth, Onslow and the mining towns of Pannawonica, Tom Price and Paraburdoo, which cut 3.4% from the Labor margin in a seat that could go either way at a tight election. The regional city seats of Albany and Geraldton both become weaker for Labor by absorbing rural territory, the former gaining Mount Barker and the latter a large area that includes Northampton and Mullewa.