Western Australian state redistribution finalised

Analysis of the boundaries that will apply at the next Western Australian state election in March 2025.

The Western Australian state redistribution has been finalised, leaving undisturbed the basic scheme from the draft proposal in which the regional seats of Moore and North West Central are merged into Mid-West and a new seat of Oakford is created on Perth’s south-eastern fringe. A geospatial file has not yet been provided, so the analysis below is based on eyeballing the published maps and reports, leaving open the possibility I may have missed a few things.

The main change from the draft is that the commissioners have thought better of their plan to turn the coastal northern suburbs seats of Carine and Hillarys into elongated north-south electorates of Hillarys and Padbury, the former covering the coast and the latter the area further inland. I calculated that the proposed Padbury had a Labor margin of 12.9% while the revised Hillarys had 9.6%, whereas now I get 18.9% for Hillarys (19.0% at the election) and 4.0% for Carine (2.5%).

The West Australian recently reported that Caitlin Collins, Labor’s member for Hillarys, was being tipped for Padbury – presumably she will now be more than happy to stay put. It was also reported in The West that Padbury was of interest to Liam Staltari, who was “viewed as a rising star within the Liberal Party” and had recently moved to Duncraig – now at the heart of the highly tempting prospect of Carine.

Two Liberals were said to be eyeing Hillarys as proposed by the draft boundaries: Tony Krsticevic, who held Carine before 2021 and will surely now wish to do so again, and Scott Edwardes, son of party powerbrokers Colin and Cheryl Edwardes and candidate in 2021 for Kingsley, the seat formerly held by his mother. Krsticevic has been linked with the “Clan” faction, while Edwardes is part of a northern suburbs bloc that includes his parents and upper house aspirant Simon Ehrenfeld.

Other changes from the draft include the reversal of alterations to Balcatta, a marginal seat in normal circumstances, that would have reduced the margin from 25.8% to 24.5%. Balcatta was to gain part of Gwelup from Scarborough and lose part of Westminster to Morley. To balance this revision, Scarborough no longer stands to gain a part of Scarborough and Doubleview from Churchlands – I now have the Labor margin there at 9.3%, hardly changed from 9.4% in the draft, but down from the actual Labor margin of 10.4%. Churchlands will in turn no longer gain part of City Beach from Cottesloe, boosting the Labor margin to 1.6% from 0.8% at the election and 0.1% in the draft. Cottesloe, one of two seats won by the Liberals, will in turn not gain part of Floreat from Nedlands, and thus emerge unchanged.

Further afield, Albany will gain all of the Shire of Plantagenet, which is currently in Warren-Blackwood but stood to be divided between Albany and Roe. Warren-Blackwood will surely return to the conservative fold at the next election come what may, but a further addition of rural territory to Albany is unhelpful for Labor in a seat they have held against the odds since 2001. Labor won the seat by 13.7% at the election, which I had coming down to 11.3% on the draft boundaries, and now to 10.8%.

Similarly, Geraldton will now gain Kalbarri and the rest of the northern end of the Shire of Northampton, which the draft had in Mid-West. Labor won the seat by 11.7% at the election, which I had down to 10.0% on the draft boundaries and 9.2% on the final ones. The Shire of Victoria Plains will be entirely within Central Wheatbelt and not split between it and Mid-West as proposed in the draft, which is unlikely to factor into anyone’s calculations. Last and probably least, the commissioners have thought better of renaming Swan Hills as Walyunga.

My two-party preferred estimates of the final boundaries are as follows:

UPDATE: My full final accounting of the new party votes shares and margins can be found here. I land within 0.3% of Antony Green’s two-party preferred estimates in 53 of 59 seats, the biggest imbalance being Kalgoorlie with 0.8%. Ben Raue has two-party and primary vote estimates at The Tally Room.

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 “Western Australian state redistribution finalised”

  1. McGowan (and Dan) broke the liberals in their respective states, and yet, if you read the MSM they are / were hated.

    The masses are not stupid. They see this dissonance and learn that many of our journalists are partisans. This is not good.

  2. Natural pullback coming in WA one of the easiest times in decades for a half decent lib candidate to take a metro seat in Perth.McGowan it appears was the anchor for the feds in WA his well timed exit -for him -seems to of destabilised the fed gov ever since.
    The budgets in good shape over here infrastructure is being built ,property prices are rising finally ,mining and farming/tradies doing well so libs will need to work harder problem is hardly any of them exist.

  3. There will be an inevitable rebalancing of seats with some former Liberal electorates returning to momma…..The grumpy, protest vote in itself – a reaction to a long-standing government – will be no surprise.
    Cook is certainly no McGowan, but then one of the more prominent Federal Liberals – touted as a potential leader – and now gone, described McGowan “as that sweaty man” so just shows you how wrong so-called insiders can be.

    The West is working very, very hard to get Basil Z up as the coming hero to save the day for the Liberals but finding a seat for him and keeping darling Libby as leader will be a bit of a juggling act.

    My guess is Labor will have to do extra badly to lose office – always on the cards of course.

    The good news for Labor is that the long gerrymandered Upper House now, at least, has some semblance of fair representation rather than the 2 sheep + l person in the hinterland used to equate to 3 votes for the conservative side, thus keeping control of the Upper House through most of the time of written history in WA.

  4. Similarly, Geraldton will now gain Kalbarri and the rest of the northern end of the Shire of Northampton, which the draft had in Mid-West.

    So… Denham and Gingin are in the same electorate, but Denham and Kalbarri aren’t. That actually makes it uglier. It looks bad enough on a map, but when you think about transport links (NW Coastal / Brand Hwy), you could be in the northern end of Mid West, and have to drive through Geraldton for two hours to get to the rest of it. I realise this part of the map isn’t the easiest to draw, but did they think about communities of interest at all?

    I still reckon they should’ve split Geraldton between two seats – one containing Carnarvon, Mullewa and Mt Magnet, the other with Dongara, Jurien and the wheatbelt. Having the seat of Geraldton adjacent to only one other (enormous) seat is similar to the old federal seat of Kalgoorlie – every redistribution involved mucking around with the border with O’Connor, with knock-on effects to every seat O’Connor bordered. Eventually that ended up being too hard, so it became Durack and (the new) O’Connor instead. Something similar could happen here – every time Geraldton needs to be adjusted, it’ll cause knock-on effects anywhere from Pilbara to the northern suburbs of Perth. Split the city, and you can just shuffle suburbs of Geraldton between one and the other – much neater.

  5. I’d wonder if there might not be a bit of a room for tealish Independents in the western suburbs areas that are Federally in Curtin.

    Churchlands won’t be held by Labor, but it has a long history of voting in an Independent (Liz Constable), Nedlands was strong Yes voting territory other than Dalkeith and might not like the return of the currently pretty reactionary Liberals, and even potentially Scarborough, particularly if an Independent also added in no-high-rise to their position. (I’d expect Carine to return to the Libs though).

    Of course that would depend on whether they could get any breathing space – and funding – to get off the ground.

    On Basil Z – as Lord Mayor he covers the area in the electorate of Perth, but the Libs aren’t going to pick that up – I’d reckon Nedlands might be one he’d eye off, as it at least has *some* of the Perth City Council area.

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