Canning by-election, 2015

September 19, 2015

Cause of by-election
Sitting Liberal MP Don Randall died on 21 July 2015. Randall had held Canning since 2001, and previously held Swan from 1996 to 1998.

MarginLIB 61.8%

Geography
South of Perth. Canning covers urban fringe and rural areas to the south of Perth, including most of the Peel region. Canning covers the City of Armadale on the edge of Perth as well as the local government areas of Boddington, Murray, Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Waroona in the Peel region. Canning also covers most of the coastal City of Mandurah.

History
Canning was first created for the expansion of the House of Representatives in 1949. For the early part of its history it was contested between the Liberal Party and the Country Party, and since the 1980s the seat has become much more of a Labor-Liberal marginal seat, usually being held by the party winning government.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Leonard Hamilton of the Country Party, who had previously held Swan since 1946.

Hamilton retired in 1961 and the seat was won by Liberal Neil McNeill, who was defeated by the Country Party’s John Hallett in 1963. Hallett held the seat until 1974, when the Liberal Party’s Mel Bungey defeated him.

The ALP’s Wendy Fatin won the seat in 1983 at the same time as the election of the Hawke government. Fatin transferred to the new seat of Brand in 1984, and the ALP’s George Gear transferred into Canning from Tangney, which he had held after the 1983 election.

Gear was defeated in 1996 by Ricky Johnston (LIB), who had previously ran against Gear at every election since 1984. Johnston was defeated herself by Jane Gerick (ALP) in 1998.

Gerick was defeated narrowly by Don Randall (LIB) in 2001.

Randall held Canning for over a decade, winning re-election in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013. His narrow margin in 2001 blew out to 59.5% in 2004, shrinking to 52.2% in 2010 before growing out to 61.8% in 2013.

Candidates

  • Vimal Kumar Sharma (Palmer United)
  • Connor Whittle (Liberal Democrats)
  • Michelle Allen (Pirate Party)
  • Greg Smith (Australian Defence Veterans Party)
  • Katrina Love (Animal Justice)
  • Andrew Hastie (Liberal)
  • Teresa Van Lieshout (Independent)
  • Matt Keogh (Labor)
  • Vanessa Rauland (Greens)
  • Jim McCourt (Family First)
  • Jamie Van Burgel (Australian Christians)
  • Angela Smith (Sustainable Population Party)

Assessment
Canning has a tradition of being quite a marginal seat, and was fiercely contested as recently as 2010.

Don Randall significantly strengthened his position in 2013, in a year where the Liberal Party did particularly well in Western Australia.

It is unclear how much of the Liberal vote in the seat is due to Randall’s personal vote, and the competitiveness of the by-election could depend on who is preselected for the major parties.

2013 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Don Randall Liberal 45,189 51.07 +4.89
Joanne Dean Labor 23,578 26.64 -13.71
Damon Pages-Oliver Greens 6,547 7.40 -0.89
Wendy Lamotte Palmer United 6,088 6.88 +6.88
Derek Bruning Christians 2,742 3.10 +3.10
James Forsyth Nationals 1,707 1.93 +1.93
Alice Harper Family First 1,197 1.35 -0.19
Richard Eldridge Katter’s Australian 776 0.88 +0.88
Lee Rumble Rise Up 669 0.76 +0.76

2013 two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Don Randall Liberal 54,700 61.81 +9.62
Joanne Dean Labor 33,793 38.19 -9.62
Polling places in Canning at the 2013 federal election. Armadale in orange, Mandurah in red, Murray in blue, Serpentine-Jarrahdale in green, South in yellow. Click to enlarge.

Polling places in Canning at the 2013 federal election. Armadale in orange, Mandurah in red, Murray in blue, Serpentine-Jarrahdale in green, South in yellow. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into five areas, based on local government areas. A large majority of voters live in either the City of Mandurah at the eastern end of the electorate, or the City of Armadale, in the Perth outskirts at the northern end of the seat. Polling places in Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Murray council areas have also been grouped along council boundaries. A small number of booths in Boddington and Waroona council areas have been grouped as ‘South’.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all five areas, ranging from 58.4% in Armadale and 61.7% in Mandurah to 66.4% in Serpentine-Jarrahdale and 68.1% in the south.

Voter group PUP % GRN % LIB 2PP % Total votes % of votes
Armadale 8.21 8.53 58.35 28,671 30.61
Mandurah 6.49 7.32 61.65 19,011 20.30
Serpentine-Jarrahdale 8.87 7.63 66.37 8,547 9.12
Murray 7.94 5.54 65.22 6,554 7.00
South 5.52 5.36 68.14 2,652 2.83
Other votes 5.10 6.86 62.68 28,231 30.14
Two-party-preferred votes in Canning at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Canning at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Greens primary votes in Canning at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Greens primary votes in Canning at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Palmer United primary votes in Canning at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Palmer United primary votes in Canning at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Armadale at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Armadale at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Greens primary votes in Armadale at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Greens primary votes in Armadale at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Palmer United primary votes in Armadale at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Palmer United primary votes in Armadale at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Mandurah at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Mandurah at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Greens primary votes in Mandurah at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Greens primary votes in Mandurah at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Palmer United primary votes in Mandurah at the 2013 Australian federal election.

Palmer United primary votes in Mandurah at the 2013 Australian federal election.

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room. If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.