Western Australia 2013 Archive


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.


WA election live

  • Liberal – 29
  • Labor – 18
  • National – 6
  • Undecided seats – Belmont, Collie-Preston, Eyre, Kimberley, Midland, Warren-Blackwood

9:57pm – Looking back at the Legislative Council – the Greens are one vote behind the Liberals in North Metro. In South Metro it looks like the final seat is Labor easily beating the Greens – but the two parties end up on 1.87 quotas, and the Liberals vote is overinflated.

9:50pm – Looking at the seat of Kimberley – the Greens are currently on an incredible 26.5% – and the three booths yet to come in were not particularly good or bad ones in 2008. It seems possible that the Greens will be in the top two when this race is over.

9:41pm – A number of right-wing minor candidates are in with a chance. Shooters and Fishers could win two seats – beating Labor in Mining and Pastoral and beating a Liberal in Agricultural. Family First could beat a National in South West, on Greens preferences.

9:34pm – The numbers in South Metro currently have the Liberals winning 4 seats, with 60% of the vote. But the Liberals currently have only 47% in the lower house in those seats, so those numbers are far too high.

9:28pm – Antony Green has mentioned that Eyre and Warren-Blackwood are back in the race – both Lib/Nat marginals, one from each party.

9:21pm – It looks like Labor might be pulling away in Albany. By the way, the three seats in play are all regional seats. If Labor wins none of them, they will have no seats outside Perth (if you don’t count Mandurah).

9:15pm – In South Metro, the current numbers have the left only winning two seats, but overall the ALP has held 8/14 seats in that region, so that seems unlikely.

9:14pm – In contrast, there is a real shot at the Liberals winning four seats in North Metro, which would see the Greens lose a seat. At the moment the calculator has the Australian Christians being excluded, and preferences at that point originally from Family First and the Shooters giving the seat to the Greens.

9:12pm – In East Metro, with 5% of the vote counted – the calculator is giving 3 seats to Liberal, 2 Labor, 1 Greens. Current figures don’t give the Liberals enough for the right to win four seats, and if they don’t, the Greens are well ahead of Labor.

9:10pm – Before tonight, the Liberals only held 8/14 seats in North Metro. Now they hold twelve.

9:06pm – There are 14 Labor seats held by margins of less than 8.5% against the Liberals or Nationals. The ALP has retained 3, lost 7 to the Liberals, lost one to the Nationals, and three are still in play.

9:03pm – There’s not much more to say about the Legislative Assembly. The Liberal Party has won 31 seats, Labor 18, the Nationals 7, with three up for grabs. Those three seats are Kimberley, Collie-Preston and Albany.

8:54pm – We’re starting to get Legislative Council figures in. They are very early, but the Greens’ best shot appears to be in South Metro. In North Metro the Greens seat may be lost to the Liberals.

8:42pm – Starting to look at Legislative Council. So far we have no numbers outside of Agricultural. Since the count is at different stages, I’m averaging swings rather than trying to add together totals. In East Metro, the swing against the Greens at the moment is 5.25%.

8:22pm – Consensus seems to be emerging that Labor holds 18, with a chance in Albany, Collie-Preston and Kimberley.

8:11pm – The Legislative Council vote is most advanced in Agricultural, at 1.4%. At the moment the vote suggests the Libs will hold their two, Labor will hold their one, Nationals will hold two of their three. Last seat a race between former Nationals leader Max Trenorden (running as an independent), the Shooters and Fishers, and the third Liberal.

8:04pm – Seats to watch: Albany, Forrestfield, Morley, Collie-Preston, Belmont, Kimberley.

7:54pm – While Labor has definitely lost a swag of seats – they are still in with a chance in super-marginal Forrestfield and Morley.

7:44pm – Labor has held on to their twelve safest seats and Fremantle. The other 15 seats are a mixed bag.

7:41pm – Greens down 3.3% on current figures – too early to lock anything in, but not good for the Greens.

7:40pm – Forrestfield is Labor’s most marginal seat in Perth. At the moment the ABC has the Liberals only gaining a 0.8% swing.

7:37pm – Labor is set to hold on to Kwinana – theoretically a very marginal seat against an independent. Independent candidate Carol Adams will struggle to stay ahead of the Liberals.

7:33pm – I’m focusing on the 15 Labor seats on margins of 8.3% or less. So far the Liberals are winning five of these seats and the Nationals are winning two. Labor is winning two, two are too close to call and four have very little information.

7:15pm – The Nationals have gained Kimberley, according to the ABC’s website, although the numbers appear to be too early.

7:12pm – Perth also looks likely to fall. If Perth and Midland and all seats on smaller margins fall, Labor will win only 13 seats.

7:08pm – The ABC has projected Liberals gaining Midland, held by 8.3% margin by the Labor Party.

7:06pm – Vince Catania, elected in North West in 2008 as a Labor candidate before joining the Nationals, is leading with 43% of primary vote, but less than the combined ALP and Liberal vote. The ALP is preferencing the Liberals.

7:04pm – Big swing to the Nationals in Liberal-held Geraldton on 4/20 booths – the seat is too close to call.

6:58pm – Can’t rule out the possibility of a Liberal winning in Fremantle at this point.

6:56pm – We have four booths in from Albany, which the ALP’s Peter Watson holds by 0.2% – there’s a swing to the Liberals – but there’s also a chance the Nats will overtake the Liberals.

6:53pm – There’s a swing of over 8% to the Liberal Party in Perth on four booths. A majority of this swing has come from the Greens.

6:50pm – Some early seat results:

  • Collie-Preston – With two booths in, the Labor primary vote is holding up, but Libs and Nats gaining ground from minor parties.
  • Cannington – The first booth has a 12.6% swing to the Liberal Party on primary votes – which may be enough to knock over the 9% margin.

6:40pm – Antony Green talking about a single booth in Collie, in the district of Collie-Preston. A 5% swing in that booth – which would be enough for Labor to lose Collie-Preston if the swing was extrapolated across the district.

6:36pm – A small number of votes have been counted and it has the Liberal Party up 10%. Far too early to project anything.

6:33pm – The latest Newspoll has the Liberals and Nationals on 59.5% of the two-party preferred vote. This compares to 51.9% in 2008, so we’ll be looking for an average swing of 7.6% to match that poll.

6:10pm – Polls have now closed in Western Australia, and I’ll be covering the results here over the next few hours.