Pearce – Australia 2019

LIB 3.6%

Incumbent MP
Christian Porter, since 2013.

Geography
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.

History
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.

Candidates

Assessment
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

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
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
Informal4,1504.6

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
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
Wanneroo11.750.129,38433.8
Swan10.052.220,02723.0
North8.363.66,0507.0
East10.058.55,9456.8
Other votes12.954.215,33417.6
Pre-poll10.057.010,29211.8

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.


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7 COMMENTS

  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: https://twitter.com/antonygreenabc/status/908169406827577344?lang=en

    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.

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