Perth by-election, 2018

Cause of by-election
Sitting Labor MP Tim Hammond resigned from parliament on May 10, 2018.

Margin ALP 3.3%

Geography
Central and northeastern Perth. The seat covers the Perth CBD, which is in the southwestern corner of the seat. Perth runs along the northern shore of the Swan river, to the east of the Perth CBD. Other suburbs include Maylands, Mount Lawley, Bayswater, Ashfield, Bedford, Morley and Mount Hawthorn.

History
Perth is an original federation seat. It was dominated by conservative parties until the 1940s, and became a marginal seat until the early 1980s. It has been held by the ALP ever since 1983.

Perth was first won in 1901 by the ALP’s James Fowler. Fowler was a fierce opponent of Billy Hughes within the party, and he switched to the new Liberal Party in 1909. He joined the new Nationalist Party in 1916, but his conflict with Hughes made this difficult. He lost Nationalist endorsement before the 1922 election, and lost Perth.

Nationalist candidate Edward Mann won Perth in 1922. He was re-elected in 1925 and 1928, but in 1929 was one of a number of Nationalist MPs led by Billy Hughes to rebel against the Bruce government and lead to the government’s downfall. Mann lost Perth as an independent in 1929.

Perth was won in 1929 by Nationalist candidate Walter Nairn. Nairn became a United Australia Party member in 1931, and held the seat for the next decade. He served as Speaker from 1940 to 1943, and retired at the 1943 election.

The ALP’s Tom Burke won Perth in 1943. He held the seat for the next twelve years, until 1955, when he lost Perth to the Liberal Party’s Fred Chaney. Burke was expelled from the ALP in 1957, although he later rejoined the party. His sons Terry Burke and Brian Burke were both later elected to the Western Australian state parliament, and Brian went on to become Premier.

Chaney held Perth for the next fourteen years. He served in Robert Menzies’ ministry from 1964 to 1966, but was dropped from the frontbench when Harold Holt became Prime Minister in 1966. He lost Perth in 1969. He went on to serve as Administrator of the Northern Territory and Lord Mayor of Perth.

Perth was won in 1969 by the ALP’s Joe Berinson. He was re-elected in 1972 and 1974, and in July 1975 was appointed Minister for the Environment in the Whitlam government. He lost his seat at the 1975 election. He went on to serve in the Western Australian state parliament and as a minister in a number of state Labor governments.

The Liberal Party’s Ross McLean won Perth in 1975, and held the seat as a backbencher for the entirety of the Fraser government, losing the seat in 1983.

Perth was won in 1983 by the ALP’s Ric Charlesworth. Charlesworth had been caption of the Australian men’s field hockey team, and represented Australia at five Olympics in the 1970s and 1980s. He captained the team at two Olympics while he held the seat of Perth. Charlesworth also played Sheffield Shield cricket for Western Australia in the 1970s.

Charlesworth held Perth for ten years, retiring in 1993 at the age of 41. He was replaced by Stephen Smith, former Keating advisor and State Secretary of the ALP in WA.

Smith was promoted to the Labor frontbench after the 1996 election, and served as a shadow minister in a variety of portfolios until 2007. Smith served as Foreign Minister in the first term of the last Labor government, and as Defence Minister in the second term, before retiring at the 2013 federal election.

In 2013, Perth was won by Labor’s Alannah MacTiernan. MacTiernan had been a state MP from 1993 to 2010, and a minister in the Gallop/Carpenter state Labor government. She had resigned from state Parliament in 2010 to unsuccessfully contest the federal seat of Canning. After that loss, she had served as Mayor of Vincent from 2011 until her election to federal Parliament in 2013.

Candidates

  • Julie Matheson
  • Nicole Arielli (Animal Justice)
  • Jim Grayden (Independent)
  • Wesley Du Preez (Liberal Democrats)
  • Colin Scott (Sustainable Australia)
  • Ben Mullings (Mental Health)
  • Patrick Gorman (Labor)
  • Gabriel Harfouche (People’s Party)
  • Paul Collins (Independent)
  • Caroline Perks (Greens)
  • Aaron Hammond (Science Party)
  • Ellen Joubert (Australian Christians)
  • Tony Robinson (Liberty Alliance)
  • Ian Britza (Independent)
  • Barry Mason (Citizens Electoral Council)

Assessment
Perth is a marginal seat but Labor is likely to hold on.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Jeremy Quinn Liberal 35,38142.3+0.2
Tim Hammond Labor 31,24837.4-1.0
Tim Clifford Greens 14,27217.1+5.1
Mark Robert WalmsleyLiberal Democrats1,4301.7+1.7
Andrew David ChambersOnline Direct Democracy1,3001.6+1.6
Informal3,2743.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Tim Hammond Labor 44,60253.3+1.2
Jeremy Quinn Liberal 39,02946.7-1.2

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three parts:

  • Central – Bayswater, Inglewood and Maylands
  • North-East – Bassendean, Morley and Noranda
  • West – Mount Hawthorn, Mount Lawley, North Perth, Perth, West Perth

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 50.9% in the west to 57.8% in the centre.

The Greens primary vote was 12% in the north-east and around 19.5% in the other two areas.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
West19.650.923,10227.6
North-East12.056.217,98821.5
Central19.557.816,30619.5
Other votes17.351.413,98516.7
Pre-poll16.350.012,25014.6

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


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