Darling Range by-election, 2018

May 23, 2018

Cause of by-election
Sitting Labor MP Barry Urban is expected to resign from parliament due to a scandal surrounding his use of unearned police medals.

Margin ALP 5.8%

Geography
Eastern Perth. Darling Range is the outermost seat on the eastern edge of Perth, covering outer parts of Armadale, Kalamunda, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Mundaring, Kwinana and Rockingham council areas.

The seat covers Pickering Brook, Karragullen, Roleystone, Bedfordale, Harrisdale, Byford, Darling Downs, Oakford, Mundijong, Serpentine, Jarrahdale, Malmalling and parts of Kelmscott and Mount Richon.

History
The seat of Darling Range has existed since 1950, with the exception of a single term in the 1970s when it was briefly abolished. The seat was originally a Country Party seat but has been won by the Liberal Party at every election since 1962.

Ray Owen held the seat for the Country Party from 1950 to 1962, followed by Liberal MP Kenn Dunn until 1971.

In 1971, the Liberal Party’s Ian Thompson won the seat. In 1974, the seat was renamed Kalamunda, and Thompson moved to that seat. He stayed in that seat until it was abolished in 1989, despite Darling Range being restored in 1977.

George Spriggs won Darling Range in 1977, and was followed by Bob Greig in 1987.

In 1989, the seat of Kalamunda was abolished and Ian Thompson returned to Darling Range. He was re-elected, but in 1990 he resigned from the Liberal Party to sit as an independent, and retired in 1993.

John Day won Darling Range in 1993. He held the seat for the next fifteen years. In 2008, the redistribution moved much of Darling Range back into the restored seat of Kalamunda while a large part of the abolished seat of Serpentine-Jarrahdale was moved into Darling Range.

Day moved to Kalamunda, and Tony Simpson, who had won Serpentine-Jarrahdale in 2005, moved to Darling Range. Day became a minister in the Liberal/National government after the 2008 election, while Simpson became a minister after the 2013 election.

Simpson lost in 2017 to Labor candidate Barry Urban. Later that year Urban resigned from the ALP after it emerged that he had been wearing a medal for overseas police service which he had not been awarded. Urban resigned from parliament in 2018.

Candidates

  • Russell Goodrick (Western Australia Party)
  • Anthony Pyle (Greens)
  • Jehni Thomas-Wurth (Animal Justice)
  • Alyssa Hayden (Liberal)
  • John Watt (Fluoride Free WA)
  • Rod Caddies (One Nation)
  • Tania Lawrence (Labor)
  • Eric Eikelboom (Australian Christians)
  • Stuart Ostle (Shooters, Fishers & Farmers)
  • Doug Shaw (Independent)
  • George O’Byrne (Independent)

Assessment
Barry Urban won this seat with a large swing in 2017. Considering the circumstances of Urban’s departure, and Labor’s role in government, it seems quite plausible that the Liberal Party could regain Darling Range.

2017 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Barry Urban Labor 11,01241.5+12.5
Tony Simpson Liberal 8,05630.4-25.2
Sharon PolgarOne Nation2,3138.7+8.7
Iwan Boskamp Greens 2,0337.7-1.8
Derek BruningAustralian Christians1,1744.4-0.5
Stuart OstleShooters, Fishers, Farmers1,1234.2+4.2
Craig BallingerMicro Business3171.2+1.2
Chris BarkerFlux the System1940.7+0.7
Jake McCoullLiberal Democrats1630.6+0.6
Manamal FroumisIndependent1340.5+0.5
Informal1,3574.9

2017 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Barry Urban Labor 14,78855.8+18.9
Tony Simpson Liberal 11,71244.2-18.9

Booth breakdown

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

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in the centre (56.1%) and the south (56.3%). The Liberal Party polled 50.6% in the north.

One Nation came third, with a primary vote ranging from 6.5% in the north to 8.3% in the south.

Voter groupON %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South8.356.310,29038.8
Central6.956.16,36524.0
North6.549.49103.4
Other votes10.655.85,62621.2
Pre-Poll11.158.03,32812.5

Two-party-preferred votes in Darling Range at the 2017 WA state election


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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.