Curtin – Australia 2019

LIB 20.7%

Incumbent MP
Julie Bishop, since 1998.

Western Perth.  Curtin covers those suburbs between the northern shore of the Swan River and the Indian Ocean, stretching east to Subiaco and Leederville. Curtin stretches as far north as Doubleview and Joondanna. Key suburbs include Churchlands, Leederville, Wembley, Jolimont, Subiaco, Kings Park, Nedlands, Claremont, Swanbourne, Mount Claremont, Karrakatta, Floreat, Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove and Mosman Park.

Curtin was created as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives at the 1949 election. It has been won by the Liberal Party at all but one election, having been won by an independent former Liberal MP in 1996.

It was first won in 1949 by Paul Hasluck. He was appointed as Minister for Territories in 1951, and served in ministerial roles for the next eighteen years, eventually becoming Minister for External Affairs. In 1969 he left Parliament when appointed as Governor-General, a role he served in until 1974.

The 1969 Curtin by-election was won by Victor Garland. He joined the ministry under Billy McMahon in 1971, serving until the 1972 election. He then served as a minister in the Fraser government from 1975 to 1976 and again from 1977 until the 1980 election. In 1981 he resigned from Parliament to serve as Australia’s High Commissioner in London.

The 1981 Curtin by-election was won by Liberal candidate Allan Rocher. Rocher had been a Senator since 1977, resigning to run for the by-election. Rocher briefly served as a shadow minister in the early 1990s, but in 1996 was defeated for preselection by Ken Court, son of former Premier Charles Court, and brother of the then-Premier Richard Court. The Court government won re-election shortly before the 1996 federal election, but was engulfed in scandals involving his brother, and Rocher, running as an independent, managed to defeat Court in Curtin, winning re-election as an independent.

Rocher lost Curtin in 1998 to Liberal candidate Julie Bishop. Bishop was appointed Minister for Ageing in the Howard government in 2003, and in 2006 was promoted to cabinet as Minister for Education.

After the defeat of the Howard government in 2007, Bishop was elected as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. Bishop served as deputy leader for the next eleven years, including as Foreign Minister from 2013. She stepped down as deputy leader and from the ministry when Malcolm Turnbull was removed as prime minister in 2018.

Sitting Liberal MP Julie Bishop is not running for re-election.

Curtin is a very safe Liberal seat.

2016 result

Julie Bishop Liberal 56,17565.5+3.0
Melissa Callanan Labor 13,47615.7-2.0
Viv Glance Greens 12,18014.2-0.6
Sandra BoulterIndependent2,3892.8+2.8
David ArchibaldLiberty Alliance1,5441.8+1.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

Julie Bishop Liberal 60,63170.7+2.5
Melissa Callanan Labor 25,13329.3-2.5

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three parts: central, north and south.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 67.2% in the centre to 78% in the south.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranged from 11.4% in the south to 17.6% in the centre.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes14.070.515,15617.7

Election results in Curtin at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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  1. Yes, Daniel, having deep pockets would be a distinct campaigning advantage but it can all count for naught if she proves herself likely to place both feet firmly inside her mouth every time she opens it in public !!

    I agree that many of the necessary ingredients are present in Curtin for a potential IND gain but as yet we’ve yet to identify a truly viable contender. They may or may not eventuate.

  2. I think Louise Stewart is starting a bit late to win here, but I believe (and hope) that she’ll do reasonably well.

    What needs to happen here for it to even be close is for Stewart to get about 20% primary, and pretty much all of it from the Liberals. That’s a big ask.


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