Western Australia 2013 Archive


Read the guide to the 2017 WA state election

Voters in Western Australia go to the polls on March 11 for their state election.

I have published a complete guide to all of the races in that election: all 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly, and the 36 seats to be elected to represent six regions in the Legislative Council.

The Liberal-National government is running for a third term in power, but has a fight on its hands, with recent polls putting Labor in the lead.

Labor needs to gain ten seats to win a majority in the lower house, and current polls suggest this outcome is likely.

This election will be the first test of the revived One Nation party since their surprise victories in last year’s federal election. They could well be a threat in regional seats, and have a good chance at winning seats in the upper house, which is heavily slanted towards representing rural areas.

Each seat guide includes a list of candidates (which will be occasionally updated until nominations close next week), descriptions of the seat’s geography, a short history section, the results of the last election, including breakdowns of those results into subdivisions, and maps showing those results. As always, there is a comment section on each seat guide.

Read the Tally Room guide to the WA state election here.

Read the rest of this entry »


WA 2013 – results maps from the key seats

The WA Electoral Commission in the last few days has posted two-candidate-preferred figures per booth from the March state election.

This has allowed me to produce the long-promised booth maps for a handful of they key seats that were the last to be decided.

I have produced booth maps for the Belmont, Collie-Preston, Eyre and Midland. Three of these four seats were extremely close races between Labor and Liberal. Eyre was a tight race between the Liberal Party and the Nationals. The margins of victory in these seats were no more than 400 votes, and in two cases the margin was less than 100 votes.

In Belmont, where the Liberal Party won by 330 votes, the Liberal Party won five smaller booths along the western edge of the seat. The ALP won four larger booths further to the east.

Two-party-preferred votes in Belmont at the 2013 WA state election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Belmont at the 2013 WA state election.

In Collie-Preston, the ALP won by 46 votes. Collie-Preston covers the entirety of three local government areas. The Liberal Party won every booth in Capel and Dardanup council areas. The ALP compensated for these losses with massive landslide victories in the six booths in Collie. The ALP’s margins vary from 71% to 83%.

Two-party-preferred votes in Collie-Preston at the 2013 WA state election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Collie-Preston at the 2013 WA state election.

In Eyre, Liberal MP Graham Jacobs held off the Nationals by 125 votes. The Liberals won booths in the north near Kalgoorlie, while the Nationals won the booths closest to Esperance.

Two-candidate-preferred votes in Eyre at the 2013 WA state election.

Two-candidate-preferred votes in Eyre at the 2013 WA state election.

In Midland, Labor won by 24 votes. Labor won the larger booths in the centre of the seat, with booths on the fringe won by the Liberal candidate.

Two-party-preferred votes in Midland at the 2013 WA state election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Midland at the 2013 WA state election.


WA 2013 – another counting update

The WA Electoral Commission “pushed the button” today for five of the six Legislative Council regions.

The Greens were elected in South Metro and Mining and Pastoral, and the Shooters and Fishers won a seat in Agricultural region.

Overall, the Liberals have won 13 seats, Labor have won nine, Nationals have won five, the Greens have won two, and the Shooters and Fishers have won one.

The only remaining race left to decide is North Metro. At the moment the region looks likely to elect four Liberals and two Labor candidates. The fourth Liberal is currently just under 8,600 votes ahead of the Greens candidate.

This is likely to be enough, and will give the Liberals seventeen seats out of 36, just short of a majority in their own right. The Liberal Party and the Nationals have easily won a majority.

In the Legislative Assembly, the three final seats have all been determined by very small margins:

  • Collie-Preston – The ALP’s Mick Murray defeated Liberal candidate Jaimee Motion by 56 votes.
  • Eyre – Liberal MP Graham Jacobs defeated Nationals candidate Colin De Grussa by 225 votes.
  • Midland – Labor MP Michelle Roberts defeated Liberal candidate Daniel Parasiliti by 24 votes.

Overall, this produces a result of:

  • Liberal – 31 seats (+8)
  • Labor – 21 seats (-6)
  • Nationals – 7 seats (+2)

So the Liberal Party wins a small but sufficient one-party majority, but a large majority when combined with the Nationals.


WA 2013 – counting update

Since I last posted, the race has been decided in the Kimberley and in Belmont.

Liberal candidate Glenys Godfrey leads in Belmont by 308 votes, and should be elected. This is a gain from the Labor Party.

In Kimberley, the Greens fell into third place, producing a race between Labor and Liberal. At the moment the ALP’s candidate is 1155 votes ahead of the Liberal candidate, which ¬†is more than enough.

This leaves through lower house races undecided:

  • Collie-Preston – Labor leads Liberal by 80 votes.
  • Eyre – Nationals lead Liberal by 22 votes.
  • Midland – Labor leads Liberal by 86 votes.

In the Legislative Council, the current key races are:

  • East Metro – Labor leads Greens by 5,794 votes. Labor should win.
  • Mining and Pastoral – Greens lead Labor by 428 votes. Shooters and Fishers lead Nationals by 505 votes. Greens and Shooters likely to win, but too close to call.
  • North Metro – Liberal leads Greens by 8,712 votes. Liberal should win.
  • South Metro – Greens lead Labor by 2,583 votes. Greens are likely to win, but too close to call.
  • South West – Nationals lead Family First by 5,093 votes. Nationals should win.

At the moment, only the last seat in South Metro and the last two seats in Mining and Pastoral are still in play, so the party totals will be:

  • Liberal – 17
  • Labor – 11-13
  • Nationals – 4-5
  • Greens – 0-2
  • Shooters and Fishers – 1-2

WA 2013 – the broken upper house

Since ‘One Vote One Value’ legislation passed shortly after the 2005 election, all lower house electorates have been drawn to have roughly the same number of electors (with the exception of a small number of large seats in the north). Prior to these reforms, electorates outside of Perth had approximately half as many electors as metropolitan electorates.

These reforms, however, did not see the end of similar malapportionment in the Legislative Council – if anything, it was worsened.

These changes have been an embarrassment to the WA Greens, and have created an overwhelming conservative majority in the Legislative Council that may hinder any future left-of-centre government.

Read the rest of this entry »


WA 2013 – Key seats update

I plan on updating this blog post as counting proceeds in key seats over the next few days.

Belmont – Liberal by 245 votes

Reversal of Labor 154-vote margin on Sunday.

Collie-Preston – Labor by 6 votes

Decrease from 62-vote margin on Sunday.

Eyre – Nationals by 17 votes

Decrease from 74-vote margin on Sunday.

Kimberley – Likely Labor retain

The addition of remote booths pushed Labor from third place to first.

The Labor Party and Liberal Party should come in the top two. The Greens are on 23.7%, not far behind the Liberal Party on 24.8%, but the Liberals should stay ahead, particularly with Nationals preferences.

Labor is most likely to come out on top when a two-party count is conducted, but no count is yet to be done.

Midland – Labor by 172 votes

Increase from 142-vote margin on Sunday.

East Metropolitan

Labor leads the Greens by 7493 votes for the final seat (up from 3,959).

North Metropolitan

The Greens trail Labor by 11,427 votes (up from 7,019) and Liberal by 8,035 votes (up from 6,527).

South Metropolitan

The Greens lead Labor by 1,739 votes (down from over 7,500).



The Shooters and Fishers look certain to win the final seat.

Mining and Pastoral

The Greens lead Labor by 148 votes (down from 1,457).

South West

The Nationals lead Family First by 45 votes, which is a reversal of a previous lead for Family First.


WA 2013 – The Greens and the right-wing minor parties

In my last post, I detailed the ongoing contests for the Legislative Council. In short, the Greens are competing for the last seat in four regions, the Shooters and Fishers are competing in two regions, and Family First in one region.

The election wasn’t a great result for the Greens, with a swing of 4% against the party in the Legislative Council. The result came after the best ever vote total for the Greens WA in 2008, when they won four Legislative Council seats.

The election was the latest in a trend of disappointing election results since the beginning of 2012. The chart below shows the Greens swing in the lower house at every federal, state and territory election since 2001.

Swings to the Greens were small at the state elections in New South Wales and Victoria in the year following the last federal election, but since then the party has suffered small swings in Queensland and the Northern Territory and bigger swings in the ACT and Western Australia (admittedly places where the Greens did very well in 2008).

Swings to or against the Greens at federal, state and territory elections, 2001-2013. Click through for the interactive chart.

Electoral politics is cyclical, and there’s very few people who still dispute that the Greens are going through a downswing. Some may argue that the Greens have peaked and have now started on a long-term decline, but I think that is unlikely. Like all parties, the Greens now have to deal with the fact that swings come and go in both directions.

Considering the evidence, it is likely that the decline in the Greens vote was at least in part caused by national issues, such as the Greens’ role supporting the Labor government.

Right-wing minor parties have been trying to break through in Western Australia’s Legislative Council for years. Unlike upper houses in New South Wales and South Australia (which have consistently elected Christian Democrats, Shooters and Family First), Western Australia seats require a higher quota, due to the breakup of seats between a number of regions.

If the Shooters and Family First break through on the final count, it will be partly due to savvy use of preferences. Family First’s vote fell from 2.5% to 1.3%. The Australian Christians (formerly known as the Christian Democratic Party) dropped from 2.3% to 2%. The Shooters did not run in 2008, but managed less than 2% in 2013.

Both parties have preference arrangements with the Greens in various regions – the Greens benefit from preferences from both parties in some metropolitan regions, although at the moment these preferences are not proving decisive. If the Greens win in North Metro, it will come through preferences from the Shooters and Family First.

It’s worth noting, however, that the Shooters and Family First are in with a chance only in non-metropolitan regions, which have much smaller numbers of voters than the three metropolitan regions.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about the malapportioned structure of the Legislative Council, why it is a problem, and how it came to be.


WA 2013 – Seats to watch

There are a number of Legislative Assembly seats that are too close to call and deserve further attention. In addition, the race for the final seat in each Legislative Council region is unlikely to be resolved for a number of days. Read the rest of this entry »


WA 2013 – Morning after summary

The Liberal Party have won a majority in their own right in the Legislative Assembly, gaining a number of seats, while the Nationals have increased their numbers slightly and Labor has taken a hit.

There are five seats left to decide, which I will detail below. The following chart shows the results so far:

This chart shows the number of seats won by each party (in 2013) as the size of the bar. Seats are coloured according to who held the seat before the election. Labor and Liberal seats are coloured pale where it is uncertain who will win them.

The Liberal Party have retained 22 of their 23 seats, and gained 5 ALP seats, 2 independent seats and one Nationals seat. The ALP has retained 17 of their seats and gained one off an independent. The Nationals have retained four of their seats, and gained one each from the Labor Party and an independent.

The five seats still in play are:

  • Belmont – Likely ALP retain
  • Collie-Preston – Likely ALP retain
  • Eyre – Likely Nationals gain
  • Kimberley – Likely Liberal gain
  • Midland – Likely ALP retain

If these five seats go as expected, the Liberal Party ends up up eight seats to 31, the ALP is down six to 21, and the Nationals are up two to seven. Overall it was a solid victory for the Liberal Party, but was not the kind of crushing blow dealt to the ALP in New South Wales and Queensland in recent years.

Following on from Victoria in 2010, every single crossbencher in Western Australia was defeated or retired last night – leaving a lower house made up entirely of major party members.

William Bowe at Poll Bludger has produced a helpful breakdown of the election results by region. The short story: the Nationals and Liberals have wiped Labor out in Mining and Pastoral. In another interesting move, the Nationals have lost their only seat in the South West, and their single seat in South West in the Legislative Council.

[Note: it’s been pointed out to me that the following section could be read to suggest that the results are set in stone – they are not. Pretty much all the regions have at least one seat up for grabs. I’m planning to cover this in my next blog post in more depth, but bear that in mind.]

In the Legislative Council, it appears likely that there will be a slight shift to the right. The Greens lost one of their seats in East Metro to the ALP, and in North Metro to the Liberals. No change is likely in South Metro. In Agricultural, the Nationals look set to lose one of their three seats to the Shooters and Fishers, thanks to preferences from Labor, the Greens and former National Max Trenorden. In Mining and Pastoral, the Nationals gain a seat off Labor, and the Greens hold onto their seat against the Shooters and Fishers. In South West, the Nationals look set to lose their seat to Family First, again on Labor and Greens preferences.

Overall, the upper house has shifted two seats to the right. The Coalition’s numbers are steady (gaining in Mining and Pastoral and North Metro, losing in Agricultural and South West), and so are Labor’s (gaining in East Metro, losing in Mining and Pastoral). The Greens are down two and the right-wing minor parties are up two – although in no case has a Green lost their seat directly to a right-wing minor candidate.

I’ll come back later today with an analysis of the closest races in both houses, as well as an analysis of the performance of the minor parties and the Legislative Council. In the meantime, here are some maps showing the results. Seats gained are marked in a darker shade of the party’s colour. You can download an updated copy of the Google Earth map here, and also look at results as of the end of last night in map form at the blog post below.

Results of the 2013 WA state election in the Perth area.

Results of the 2013 WA state election in the Perth area.

Results of the 2013 WA state election in the South West of the state.

Results of the 2013 WA state election in the South West of the state.

Results of the 2013 WA state election in regional Western Australia.

Results of the 2013 WA state election in regional Western Australia.


WA 2013 – Calling it a night

It’s not midnight yet in Western Australia, but it’s after 2am in Sydney so I probably should call it a night.

On my count, the Liberals hold 29 seats, the Labor Party holds 18, the Nationals hold six, and six are still up for grabs.

These six seats are Belmont,¬†Collie-Preston, Eyre, Kimberley, Midland, Warren-Blackwood. This list keeps changing, and may well be changed by the time this night is over. Albany was on the list most of the night, but I think it’s moved into Labor’s column.

The Liberals will get a majority – they look likely to win Warren-Blackwood, and have good shots at Eyre, Kimberley, Collie-Preston, Belmont and Midland.

Kimberley is particularly bizarre, with a huge Greens vote holding up throughout the night.

In the Legislative Council – the Greens look set to win somewhere, but it’s hard to tell where. For a while the Greens were leading for the final seats in North and East Metro, but in both places the Greens have fallen behind with a significant vote counted.

Now the Greens have taken what look like solid leads in South Metro and Mining and Pastoral. I guess we’ll see in the morning how this shakes out.

The Shooters and Fishers look likely to win a seat in Agricultural, beating the Liberal Party and Max Trenorden. The Shooters are also narrowly leading against the Nationals in Mining and Pastoral.

Family First also look set to win the last seat in South West, beating the Nationals with the support of Labor and Greens preferences.

I will be back in the morning with more blogging when I have more time and more results.

In the meantime – enjoy this Google Fusion Table I’ve put together with the results. These figures are as of 10:30pm WA time and may have errors – I’ll do an updated version.

If it works, you should see the primary and 2PP vote for each district by clicking on it.