Pearce – Australia 2019

LIB 3.6%

Incumbent MP
Christian Porter, since 2013.

Regional areas to the north and east of Perth. Pearce covers the entirety of Beverley, Northam, Toodyay, York, Chittering and Gingin council areas, and parts of Swan and Wanneroo councils.

Pearce was created for the 1990 election, and in its short history it has always been held by the Liberal Party.

Pearce was first won in 1990 by Fred Chaney. Chaney had been a Liberal Senator since 1974, and had served as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1984 until he left the Senate to take a seat in the House of Representatives. Chaney had also served as a minister in the Fraser government from 1978 to 1983. Chaney retired from Pearce in 1993.

Pearce was won in 1993 by Liberal candidate Judi Moylan. Moylan served as a junior minister in the first term of the Howard government, and then served as a backbencher until her retirement in 2013.

Pearce was won in 2013 by Liberal candidate Christian Porter, a former minister in the state government. Porter has served as Social Services Minister since 2015.


Pearce is a reasonably marginal Liberal seat, following a large swing to Labor in 2016. Porter is a prominent MP, but shouldn’t take his seat for granted.

2016 result

Christian Porter Liberal 39,55145.4-1.7
Thomas French Labor 29,80934.3+8.1
Lee-Anne Miles Greens 9,54311.0+1.1
Maddison Simmonds Nationals 4,0804.7+0.1
Taffy Samuriwo-VuntardeRise Up Australia4,0494.7+3.7

2016 two-party-preferred result

Christian Porter Liberal 46,67253.6-5.7
Thomas French Labor 40,36046.4+5.7

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four parts. Polling places closest to Perth, covering most of the seat’s population, have been split between the Swan and Wanneroo council areas, with the rest split into east and north.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in every area, ranging from 50.1% in Wanneroo (a majority of 44 votes) to 63.6% in the north.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 8.3% in the north to 11.7% in Wanneroo.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes12.954.215,33417.6

Election results in Pearce at the 2016 federal election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

Become a Patron!


  1. Probably the most interesting race in WA, Porter is a pretty high profile MP but this seat is now in an area which should be solid labor territory. +19.5 in Butler and +14.5 in Ellenbrook (swan hills). Outer suburbs of Perth swung the hardest at the state election.

    Libs would have to throw an enormous amount of money at the problem to even have a chance of defending it. labor candidate seems strong and I imagine they will put plenty of resources here this time.

    Porter would be wise to move seats, this seat will only become more difficult for libs in the future

  2. If the Libs see a big swing on in WA at the next Federal eleciton like the one at the last state election, then I’d expect them to put Pearce in the too hard basket, and focus on trying to save Stirling and Canning (and even possibly Moore looking at the state level swings).

  3. Libs won’t abandon Porter, but Travers is the best candidate Labor has ever put up here and she will have the most campaign support behind her.

    Newspoll reckons the WA swing to Labor is larger than the national one, so this has to be one to watch.

  4. I looked back at the state election results again. It’s bleaker for Porter than I remembered.

    The state results by federal electorate are here:

    1 in 6 people who voted Labor at the state election will need to change their vote to Liberal for Porter to survive.

    I think the Liberals will try to pull what Labor successfully did with Albanese in Grayndler 2016; retain the high profile incumbent and hope his personal profile can weather the “inevitable” swing. The circumstances are very different however.

  5. Agree this will be a fascinating contest in WA.

    Whilst Travers may be the best candidate Labor have endorsed in Pearce, Porter has very high levels of name recognition and you’d assume, support.

    I think the Liberals would be stupid to not throw everything at holding Pearce, even at the expense of losing Swan, Hasluck and even retaining Canning/Stirling.

    Porter is future leadership material for the party, especially if they find themselves in opposition.

  6. Meanwhile in Curtin…

    *knock knock*

    Julie Bishop: “Who’s there?”

    “It’s Christian Porter!”

    “Christian Porter…who?”

    *sobbing sound on other side of door is heard*

  7. I’ve read Christian Porter has stated on radio recently that he has ruled out changing seats to Curtin. Yes Julie Bishop has said she will be re-contesting Curtin but I’ve now read reports some expect her to do a U-Turn and quit before the next federal election.
    If Porter did move seats then you could probably write off the Liberals off in Pearce. The trouble is for the Liberals even with Porter re-contesting he is now going to be further behind the eight ball after the damaging leadership stoush that has hurt the Liberals chances at the next election. The fact Porter admitted voting for Peter Dutton doesn’t make him look like a innocent player in all this either despite him suggesting a change of Prime minster shouldn’t have happened.

    Right now I would tip a Labor gain. Unless something miraculous happens or Morrison can tighten the National polls its just hard seeing Porter being able to hold Labor off in this seat after what has transpired with the federal Liberals recently.

  8. This may be the last time Porter needs to defend Pearce as a marginal. WA will likely lose a seat in a redistribution during the next term and Pearce will likely be at the pointy end of the changes, either being abolished or being dramatically transformed (it’s rural areas will be required to get the country divisions up to an increased quota).

    I’ve messed around with some scenarios and one of the more reasonable options I came up with saw a significant territory swap between Pearce and Cowan, so that Cowan becomes more of a City of Wanneroo division, including picking up the coastal part of that LGA where I understand Porter to live. If that happened, Cowan would probably be a Liberal seat that Porter could quite justifiably switch to.

  9. My personal view is that Pearce is a good candidate for abolition. It consists of various different “bits and pieces” that don’t have much connection with each other, and could be carved up neatly between surrounding seats.

  10. The problem with eliminating Pearce is that I couldn’t see a sensible way to do it that doesn’t require Canning to extend even further north than it currently does (to take part of Hasluck which would have absorbed a large part of Pearce). However there is a problem with Pearce, in that once you take away the rural LGAs, it is almost split in two, with the Wanneroo LGA portion almost cut off from the rest.

    My solution was to put the coastal Wanneroo LGA bit into Cowan, while the new Pearce (possibly with a name change because it would be almost unrecognisable) would gain some of the eastern part of Cowan and the northern part of Hasluck, and that division would shuffle south towards Armadale. I would probably eliminate Burt, but only after exhausting ways to eliminate the hopelessly under-quota Tangney instead.

    Speaking of Tangney, one of my “when I get time projects” (which means it will probably never happen) is to do a deep dive into the enrolment projection methodology to try and figure out just how they came up with a projection (for the last redistribution) that Tangney’s enrolment was going to grow at something materially north of zero. The projected growth rates across WA for that redistribution were in a hopelessly narrow range (every division was between 4.2% and 7.2% across the projection period) and it shows up in the current enrolment discrepancies.

  11. This seat was mentioned on Insiders yesterday suggesting it was lineball. There has been some mention of WA Liberals executive appointing their own canidate for Curtain with possibly Christian Porter in mind. But I believe that is looking less likely to happen now.

    I read now in the Western Australian its reported Porter is getting heat for giving a plum job to someone who worked for a company who was able to organise lending a campaign bus for his campaign.

    Its also been reported in the Western Australian Porter as Attorney General he has recently stacked the AAT with former coalition politicians making transparency and bipartisanship a joke. I would be happy for this clown to lose his seat he now lurks where Peter Dutton and Tim Wilson are as an unprincpled Liberal party headkicker.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here