Margin: Labor 9.2%
Region: South Metropolitan
Click here for electoral boundaries map
Electorate analysis: Extending from the coast to the Kwinana Freeway, the electorate of Cockburn was created in 1962 to accommodate suburban growth south of Fremantle, and presently encompasses Coogee on the coast, Spearwood and Beeliar immediately inland of Coogee, and Cockburn Central, Success and Hammond Park along the freeway. The seat has been held at all times by Labor, a 5.2% swing to the Liberals in 2008 reducing the margin to single figures for the first time. The loss of about 2000 voters in Spearwood to Willagee in the redistribution has further shaved the margin, from 9.6% to 9.2%.
Cockburn has been held since 2001 by Fran Logan, a former organiser for the Left faction Amalgamated Metal Workers Union. Logan won preselection over the Centre-aligned Andrew Waddell (eventually to become member for Forrestfield in 2008) when Bill Thomas retired at the 2001 election, part of a considerable expansion of the AMWU’s parliamentary power base concurrent with the election of the Gallop government. He was immediately appointed parliamentary secretary and was promoted to cabinet after the 2005 election, serving first as Housing Minister and then as Energy Minister from December 2006. Despite suffering bad press in the latter position over problems in the gas industry, Logan remained on the front bench in opposition, holding the water, consumer protection and industrial relations portfolios until Mark McGowan became leader in January 2012, when he exchanged consumer protection for corrective services.
The Liberal candidate for a second successive election is Donald Barrett, an intelligence analyst with the WA Integrity Commission and former senior non-commissioned officer in the army.
Analysis written by William Bowe. All post-redistribution margins are as calculated by Antony Green at ABC Elections. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.