Swan – Australia 2019

LIB 3.6%

Incumbent MP
Steve Irons, since 2007.

Swan covers suburbs in the inner south of Perth. This includes Belmont, South Perth, Victoria Park and parts of Canning and Kalamunda LGAs. Swan goes as far east as the airport and High Wycombe, and also covers the suburbs of Victoria Park, Cloverdale, Kewdale, Rivervale, Bentley, Cannington, Como and Manning.

Swan is an original federation electorate. It was first held by John Forrest for the Protectionist party from 1901. Forrest was the first Premier of Western Australia and moved to federal politics in 1901. He served as a minister in various governments, including four stints as Treasurer, the last being in the year up until his death in 1918 under Billy Hughes.

The ensuing by-election was won by 21-year-old Labor candidate Edwin Corboy when the Nationalist and Country Party candidates split the conservative vote. This led to the government introducing preference voting, and he lost the seat at the 1919 election to John Prowse of the Country Party. The  Country part held the seat until 1943, first John Prowse then Henry Gregory and Thomas Marwick. Marwick was defeated by the ALP’s Donald Mountjoy in 1943, and Mountjoy was defeated by the Country Party’s Leonard Hamilton in 1946.

The Parliament was expanded in 1949 and Hamilton moved to the new seat of Canning, and the Liberal Party’s Bill Grayden won the seat. The ALP’s Harry Webb won the seat in 1954 and held it for one term until 1955, when he moved to the new seat of Stirling. Richard Cleaver of the Liberals won the seat in 1955 and held it until his defeat in 1969.

Adrian Bennett held the seat for the ALP from 1969 until 1975, when John Martyr won the seat for the Liberals. Martyr was a former state secretary of the Democratic Labor Party. He was defeated in 1980 by Kim Beazley.

Beazley held the seat until 1996, when he moved to the safer seat of Brand. Don Randall won the seat for the Liberals in 1996 and was defeated in 1998. He later moved to the nearby seat of Canning and held it from 2001 until his death in 2015.

ALP candidate Kim Wilkie won Swan in 1998. He held the seat until the 2007 election, when he was the only sitting Labor MP to be unseated, losing to Steve Irons. Irons has been re-elected three times.


  • Hannah Beazley (Labor)

Swan is a marginal Liberal seat, and will likely be a top target for Labor.

2016 result

Steve Irons Liberal 39,22048.2-1.4
Tammy Solonec Labor 26,86933.0+3.0
Sarah Nielsen-Harvey Greens 12,22715.0+3.8
Steve KlompAustralian Christians3,0863.8+2.1

2016 two-party-preferred result

Steve Irons Liberal 43,62553.6-3.8
Tammy Solonec Labor 37,77746.4+3.8

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four parts, mostly along local government boundaries. Polling places in the South Perth council area have been grouped as “west”. Those in Belmont and Kalamunda council areas have been grouped as “north-east”. Those in Canning council area, and southern parts of Victoria Park council area, have been grouped as “south-east”, with the remainder of Victoria Park council area being grouped as “central”.

The Liberal Party only won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in one out of the four areas, with 66% in the west. Labor’s two-party-preferred vote in the other three areas ranged from 51% in the centre to 54.7% in the south-east. The Liberal Party also won large majorities amongst pre-poll and other votes.

The Greens vote ranged from 13% in the north-east to 18.5% in the centre.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes16.655.414,49717.8

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