Electorate: Victoria Park
Margin: Labor 9.0%
Region: South Metropolitan
Click here for electoral boundaries map
Electorate analysis: Victoria Park extends from the far share of the Swan River east of Perth, at Victoria Park and Burswood, through Lathlain and Carlisle to Bentley, St James and Welshpool. It has been held by Labor since its creation in 1930, outside of 1945 to 1953 when William Read held it as an independent. The two members before the present incumbent were both party leaders: Ron Davies, member from 1961 to 1986 who led the party unsuccessfully at the 1980 election, and Geoff Gallop, who was Opposition Leader from 1995 and Premier from February 2001 to January 2006.
Gallop’s surprise resignation initiated a by-election in March 2006 which was won for Labor by Ben Wyatt, a Director of Public Prosecutions lawyer whose father Cedric Wyatt was an unsuccessful federal Liberal candidate for Kalgoorlie in 1996. Wyatt won preselection with Right faction backing ahead of Helen Creed, national secretary of the Left faction Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union, winning nine votes from the party’s 14-member administrative committee. His reputation as a rising star was confirmed after the 2008 election when he was elevated to the front bench as Shadow Treasurer.
However, Wyatt’s momentum was checked when he launched an abortive challenge to Eric Ripper’s leadership in January 2011, after emerging from a Right faction meeting believing its support had been committed to him. It soon became apparent that the forces within the faction associated with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union and its figurehead Joe Bullock were in fact remaining loyal to Eric Ripper, and the challenge promptly fell apart. Ripper then dumped Wyatt as Shadow Treasurer, although he remained on the front bench in federal-state relations. Wyatt would recover the Shadow Treasurer role after he backed Mark McGowan’s successful challenge in January 2012.