Western Australia Archive


WA council elections – new ward map posted

Western Australia is currently undergoing regular council elections. It’s taken a while to pull together, but I’ve now completed an updated ward map for these elections.

You can download the 2013 and 2015 ward maps from the maps page. It’s quite a difficult task as there’s no central repository of information on wards, or how they’ve changed. If you notice any errors, please let me know.

Most WA councils conduct their elections via postal voting, apart from a few small rural councils which run their own elections. The election day is in less than two weeks, on October 17, although in practice most postal votes will be cast well in advance.


WA federal redistribution – download the map

The draft proposed boundaries for the Western Australian federal redistribution were released last Friday.

Western Australia gained a sixteenth electorate, and this new electorate has been drawn in the south of Perth. The seat has been tentatively named ‘Burt’ and takes in parts of Canning, Hasluck and Tangney. Interestingly, the WA Electoral Commission also renamed the state seat of Alfred Cove as Burt in the ongoing state redistribution, and it’s unclear whether either redistribution process will see either of the newly-named seats given a new name, considering that the seats do not overlap at all.

The new electorate is notionally a marginal Liberal seat, and otherwise the number of seats remains at twelve Liberal and three Labor, although the margins have changed.

Both Antony Green and William Bowe have produced estimates of the margins in these new seats.

The biggest changes took place in eastern and southern Perth. The seat of Canning has been pushed further out of Perth by the creation of Burt, taking in areas from Brand and O’Connor. O’Connor loses areas to Durack, and gains Collie from Forrest.

In the eastern suburbs, the seat of Hasluck has been pushed out of the south-east by the creation of Burt, and has taken in the eastern hinterland of Perth from Pearce, making the seat semi-rural.

As always, I’ve produced a Google Earth map of the new boundaries. Download the map here.

And below is an interactive version of the map. Click on each seat to see the incumbent MP, and the old and new margins.


WA federal redistribution – draft boundaries announced

The Australian Electoral Commission yesterday announced their draft boundaries for the federal redistribution of Western Australia.

WA had gained a sixteenth electorate, and the proposal recommends the seat be named ‘Burt’ after a number of members of a WA family who were senior judges or Attorney-General.

I’m currently working on my map of the new boundaries, which should be done around the middle of the week.

Meanwhile, William Bowe at Poll Bludger has estimated the new seat margins. In short, most seat margins change by relatively small amounts, while Burt is considered to be a marginal Liberal seat.

Read the full report here.


WA state redistribution – draft map posted

In July, the draft electoral boundaries for the next WA state election were released.

I’ve now posted the draft boundaries for both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council, and they can be downloaded from the maps page.

The below map shows the new boundaries, and Antony Green has calculated the new seats’ margins.


WA redistribution and Canning – open thread

There are two major electoral events in Western Australia which kicked off last week. I’m still working on maps for these projects, so this is an open thread for discussion on these topics until later this week.

The draft electoral boundaries for the 2017 WA state election were released on Friday. I’ll be publishing an interactive map later this week. In the meantime, Antony Green has described the changes, and calculated estimated margins, at ABC Elections.

A federal by-election is also due for the WA seat of Canning following the death last week of Liberal MP Don Randall. I’m also working on a guide for the by-election, which should be up later this week.


Map update – WA ward maps

Western Australia will be holding council elections on 17 October 2015 – over the course of the subsequent year, there will be local government elections across Australia’s four largest states.

Since the 2008 elections, I’ve produced ward maps for councils in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, but until now I’ve never done maps for Western Australia.

Over the last month or so, I’ve been working on a map of Western Australia’s local council wards, as of the last council election in 2013.

You can download the map here.

I’m now working on updated ward maps for Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. Conveniently, the electoral commissions provide a neat summary of which councils are changing their wards, along with the timelines and all relevant information. I’m not so lucky in the case of New South Wales and Western Australia.

In both cases, I am going to assume that councils without wards are undergoing no changes, and then go through the painstaking process of identifying which warded councils require changes, and identifying the new boundaries for those councils which are undergoing changes. If you have information about a warded council in NSW or WA, I’d appreciate it if you posted the information as a comment.

In the meantime, you’ll likely hear from me next when the next round of draft boundaries from the various federal, state and territory redistributions are released.


Local government mergers – in WA and New Zealand

While New South Wales is currently undergoing a process of considering metropolitan council amalgamations, Western Australia has recently reached the unsuccessful conclusion of a similar process – which ended with a number of overwhelming ‘no’ votes in local referendums and an abandonment of the process in February 2015. New Zealand, which already has much larger councils than in most of Australia, is also currently considering a number of council mergers.

Read the rest of this entry »


Vasse 2014 – results and maps

Last night’s Vasse state by-election in Western Australia was narrowly won by the Liberal Party, after a large surge in support for the Nationals. In 2013, the ALP came second and the Liberal Party easily won with 71.2% of the two-party-preferred vote.

Labor did not run in yesterday’s by-election, and most of Labor’s vote flowed to the Greens, who came close to doubling their vote.

2014 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Libby Mettam Liberal 8,665 44.4 -12.9
Peter Gordon Nationals 5,573 28.5 +21.2
Michael Baldock Greens 3,496 17.9 +7.9
Peter Johnson Independent 853 4.4 +4.4
Wayne Barnett Australian Christians 680 3.5 +3.5
Teresa Van Lieshout Independent 265 1.4 +1.4
Labor 0 0.0 -12.4
Independent 0 0.0 -11.0
Family First 0 0.0 -2.0

2014 two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Libby Mettam Liberal 10,435 53.4
Peter Gordon Nationals 9,088 46.6

Most of the vote was won by Liberal, Nationals and Greens, and the patterns of this vote is quite interesting, including the pattern of swings.

A majority of the vote in the electorate lies in the town of Busselton. The remaining rural booths were split between those in the Busselton council area (as “North”) and those in the Augusta-Margaret River council area (as “South”). I have split the booths into the same areas as I used for the by-election guide.

Interestingly, the Nationals vote was highest in Busselton, with 32.7%. The Greens outpolled the Nationals in rural booths overall, and outpolled the Nationals at six out of nine booths outside of the Busselton urban area.

The Liberal Party’s primary vote was highest with 45% in northern rural booths, with 40% in Busselton and 39.4% in the two booths in Augusta-Margaret River.

The Greens vote was highest in the two small booths at the southern end of the electorate, and then in the rural booths to the west of Busselton. There are six polling places in rural parts of Vasse where the Greens polled over 20%, but there are also two booths to the south-east of Busselton where the Greens polled less than 10%. The Greens vote in Busselton was 15.3%, and most booths were close to the average.

Looking at the Liberal/National two-candidate-preferred vote, the Liberal Party won the two-candidate-preferred vote in the northern and rural booths. They won seven out of nine booths outside of Busselton.

In Busselton, the Nationals won 51% of the two-candidate-preferred vote. The Nationals won the two larger booths, with the Liberal Party winning the two smaller booths. The Nationals margin of victory was larger in the booths where they won than in the Liberal booths, giving them a majority of the vote.

It’s also worth examining the swing against the Liberal Party on primary votes. The swing against the Liberal Party was much higher in Busselton and a number of booths to the south-east of Busselton.

Voter group GRN % NAT % LIB % LIB 2PP LIB swing Total votes % of votes
Busselton 15.32 32.68 39.96 49.01 -19.41 6952 46.65
North 23.39 23.37 44.90 55.18 -11.18 5399 36.23
South 29.63 26.07 39.38 50.14 -6.16 1097 7.36
Other votes 15.28 21.47 55.88 63.50 -1.90 1453 9.75
Two-candidate-preferred votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Two-candidate-preferred votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Liberal primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Liberal primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Nationals primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Nationals primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Greens primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Greens primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Liberal primary vote swings at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Liberal primary vote swings at the 2014 Vasse by-election.


Vasse and Casuarina – belated results

Apologies for my absence tonight, I was busy and unable to cover the results in the two by-elections held today: Casuarina in the Northern Territory, and Vasse in Western Australia.

Polls closed just over two hours ago in Vasse, and it appears that the Liberal Party has narrowly held on against the Nationals after significant swings away from the Liberal Party.

We have all primary and two-candidate-preferred votes in, except for those cast early in person.

The Liberal Party is sitting on 52.7% of the two-candidate-preferred vote, up against the Nationals. For most of the count, we had no 2CP figures due to the Nationals and the Greens both in with a chance of coming second, but most of the 2CP vote came in a short time ago after it became clear that the Nationals had outpolled the Greens. In 2013, the Liberal Party won 71.2% of the two-party-preferred vote against Labor.

The Liberal Party has suffered a swing of 14% on primary votes, dropping from 57.3% to 43.3%. The Nationals vote increased from 7.3% to 27.7%. The Greens vote also increased from 10% to 19.3%. Labor did not run in the by-election, and an independent who polled 11% in 2013 also did not run, freeing up over 20% of the vote to be picked up by other candidates.

Swings against the Liberal Party by booth varied wildly. The Liberal Party vote increased by 9% at Rosa Brook, and otherwise the swing against the Liberal Party ranged from 1.4% in Dunsborough to 26.5% in Yoongarillup.

I’ll return tomorrow morning with booth maps showing the results of the Vasse by-election.

In the NT Legislative Assembly electorate of Casuarina, the ALP suffered a swing but held on. Northern Territory seats are very small, and the results in Casuarina were only broken down into two polling places, as well as prepoll and postal votes. The Country Liberal Party narrowly won the postal votes (by two votes) and the prepoll votes (by three votes). Labor won 55% in Nakara and 56.9% in Tiwi, for an overall Labor margin of 55.1%. This is a swing of 4.2% to the Country Liberal Party. I probably won’t return to any more coverage of Casuarina.


Guide to Vasse by-election posted

Vasse1-2PPVoters in the WA town of Busselton and surrounding areas will be going to the polls later this year in a by-election for the state electorate of Vasse, after the resignation earlier this week of former Liberal leader and Treasurer Troy Buswell.

Buswell resigned as Treasurer in March after a recent mental health breakdown, and revealed that he was living with bipolar disorder.

Vasse is a very safe Liberal seat and should be safely retained by the Liberal Party. A date has not been set yet, but the by-election should take place later this year, with a WA state election not due until March 2017.

You can now read the guide to the by-election, including 2013 election results and maps of the electorate.

Read more