Margin: Nationals 7.2% versus Liberal
Region: South West
Federal: O'Connor (67%); Forrest (33%)


Candidates in ballot paper order

Shooters Fishers and Farmers

Nationals (top)

One Nation

Greens (bottom)


Liberal (centre)

Covering the state's south western corner, from Margaret River east to the Stirling Ranges, Warren-Blackwood traces its lineage to the creation of the Warren electorate in 1950, with the name changing to Warren-Blackwood in 1996, then to Blackwood-Stirling for a term in 2008, then back again in 2013. Labor held Warren until the 1989 election, which heralded a tipping point in the decline of the timber industry that had long sustained its support. On its current boundaries, the electorate encompasses the coast from Margaret River south to Augusta at the western end; the South West region centres of Manjimup, Bridgetown, Nannup and Boyup Brook; and, at its eastern end, the shires of Denmark and Plantagenet to the west and north of Albany. The Shire of Plantagenet has been acquired in the redistribution following the abolition of Wagin, adding 3400 voters, which is balanced by the loss of 4000 voters in the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup to Collie-Preston.

The Liberals' watershed win in 1989 was achieved by Paul Omodei, who picked up a 9.8% swing after the retirement of Labor's David Evans, the member since 1968. Omodei was further boosted when population decline required the electorate to take on more rural territory, with the gain of Augusta and its surrounds in 1996 prompting the change to Warren-Blackwood. The one-vote one-value redistribution at the 2008 election resulted in the effective merger of Warren-Blackwood with its Nationals-held eastern neighbour, Stirling, and the short-lived name change to Blackwood-Stirling. It appeared that the two seats' respective members, Paul Omodei and Terry Redman, would be pitted against each other, which Omodei sought to avoid by nominating for an upper house berth in South West. After failing to win preselection, Omodei proclaimed that Troy Buswell, who had ousted him as Liberal leader four months previously, was “unfit to lead” and threatened to quit the party, which he came good on a month later.

Terry Redman came to parliament after retaining Stirling for the Nationals when Monty House retired in 2015, which he achieved with an unconvincing 21.7% of the primary vote and a strong flow of preferences, ultimately prevailing over the Liberal candidate by 7.0% at the final count. He had a more comfortable time of it in Blackwood-Stirling in 2008, outpolling the Liberal candidate 44.9% to 25.4% and increasing the margin to 17.3% at the final count. Unusually, Redman had a much harder time of winning the seat when he first faced re-election in 2013, having suffered the misfortune of the Greens hotbed of Margaret River being added to the seat after he had pushed through genetically engineered crop trials as Agriculture Minister. Compounding his problems, Labor switched its usual preference strategy in favouring the Liberal candidate. While Redman's primary vote was up 5.7% and the Liberals were down 3.5%, the adverse preference flow translated into a 7.0% two-party swing. It appeared on election night that he was likely to lose the seat, but he ultimately survived with a margin of 3.1%.

Redman served as Agriculture Minister throughout the Barnett government's first term, then became Training and Workforce Development Minister and deputy Nationals leader for the first nine months of the second. He succeeded Brendon Grylls as Nationals leader in December 2013, also taking on his regional development portfolio, which he has since retained. When Grylls announced his intention to return to the leadership in August 2016, an initially reluctant Redman stood aside rather than bring the matter to a vote. His Liberal opponent at the coming election is Ross Woodhouse, a dairy farmer from Warner Glen.

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