Cowan – Australia 2019

ALP 0.7%

Incumbent MP
Anne Aly, since 2016.

Cowan covers parts of the northern suburbs of Perth. These include the suburbs of Ballajura, Marangaroo, Girrawheen, Greenwood, Wanneroo, Beechboro and Bennett Springs.

The seat was first created in 1984, and was first won by Carolyn Jakobsen of the ALP. Jakobsen held the seat until she was defeated by Richard Evans of the Liberal Party in 1993.

Evans was himself defeated in 1998 by wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran and former state minister Graham Edwards, standing for the ALP. Edwards was a popular local member and held the seat until he retired at the 2007 election. The Liberals took the opportunity to win the seat off the ALP. Cowan was one of only two seats the Liberals gained in 2007.

The Liberal Party’s Luke Simpkins won the seat in 2007 after running for the first time in 2004, and was re-elected twice in 2010 and 2013, increasing his margin every time. Simpkins built up a substantial margin over nine years, but the redistribution before the 2016 election sliced his margin by 3%, and a further 5.2% swing to Labor saw him lose to Labor candidate Anne Aly.


  • Anne Aly (Labor)
  • Mark Cooper (Greens)
  • Sheila Mundy (One Nation)
  • Isaac Stewart (Liberal)
  • Peter Westcott (United Australia)
  • Assessment
    Cowan is a very marginal seat. Aly will hope to benefit from a new personal vote which may give her a boost, but the seat is still definitely in play.

    2016 result

    Luke Simpkins Liberal 34,40542.2-4.4
    Anne Aly Labor 33,96641.7+6.9
    Sheridan Young Greens 6,1937.6-0.2
    Rex HostAustralian Christians2,6803.3+0.9
    Jamie ChesterShooters, Fishers and Farmers2,2882.8+2.8
    Neil HamiltonLiberal Democrats1,0961.3+1.3
    Steve VenessMature Australia8681.1+1.1

    2016 two-party-preferred result

    Anne Aly Labor 41,30150.7+5.2
    Luke Simpkins Liberal 40,19549.3-5.2

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three areas. Polling places in Swan council area have been grouped as south-east. Polling places in Wanneroo council area have been split between north-west and south-west, with south-west also including those in Joondalup council area.

    The ALP won a slim 50.1% majority of the two-party-preferred vote in the south-west, and a large 59.2% majority in the south-east. The Liberal Party polled 53.1% in the north-west.

    Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Other votes48.612,37115.2

    Two-party-preferred votes in Cowan at the 2016 federal election

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    1. You’d expect urban fringe seats such as Cowan to see the largest swings against the government at the next election and it should be easily retained by Labor.

    2. My seat – Looking at the booths, it appears Simpkins didn’t get much of a swing against him in the Liberal-leaning/swing areas of the seat, and Aly won by increasing her margin in the Labor areas/winning back some (for example, Alexander Heights/Ballajura, where the red 51s are).

      I’d expect a Labor margin here of 5-6% when all is said and done come the election.

    3. Ann Aly is one of those people that you think is about to break into song. “Always look on the bright side of life” !!. I mistrust such unshakeable optimism. It can all too easily be manipulated. She says she has 4 degrees, & a PHD. if she is so bright, why isn’t she a shadow minister ?

    4. Anton
      i think you might be right on the money with your prediction. Aly is so spectacularly inoffensive she will probably do very well.

    5. “if she is so bright, why isn’t she a shadow minister ?”

      Because she has been in parliament for less than 2 years?

      I think she’s also a member of the Labor Left which I’d bet is generally less likely to see fast ascent up the parliamentary ranks (compared to Labor Right).

    6. Obviously Aly is still a backbencher because she holds a super marginal seat and is a first term MP.

      If WD wants to ask those questions he could always hold up a mirror to his party and ask when Leeser and Wilson are going to replace some of the deadwood in cabinet? Are they not smart enough to be ministers?

    7. PJ
      Think you are labouring under some misapprehensions .If i have a party it would be the Liberal Democrats. However i don’t vote for politicians, i vote against them.If anyone actually believes in either of the majors, they are insane.

    8. If the swing to Labor in Western Australia iis going to fairly large as predicted, Cowan will turn into a fairly safe Labor seat.

    9. Bennee
      I thought Aly was not in any faction – if I remember correctly, she said she was very surprised when the ALP approached her to be their candidate, which would seem to indicate that she doesn’t involve herself much in Labor’s factional games.

      Although your point stands that she’d be less likely to climb up the parliamentary ranks.

    10. Anne Aly joined the Labor Left faction, I agree with others a first term mp on a margin of 0.7% is not likely to be in the cabinet.

      Seat should swing strongly towards Labor, areas which voted liberal last election all voted labor at the state election, luke simpkins only got close last election because he was a strong incumbent.


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