Agricultural – WA 2017

Incumbent MLCs

  • Martin Aldridge (Nationals), since 2013.
  • Paul Brown (Nationals), since 2013.
  • Jim Chown (Liberal), since 2009.
  • Brian Ellis (Liberal), since 2007.
  • Rick Mazza (Shooters and Fishers), since 2013.
  • Darren West (Labor), since 2013.

Geography

Electorate Margin Electorate Margin
Central Wheatbelt NAT 8.8% vs LIB Moore NAT 5.9% vs LIB
Geraldton LIB 10.9% vs NAT Roe NAT 16.7% vs LIB

Agricultural region covers areas to the north and east of Perth, stretching from Geraldton to Mount Barker.

The region covers the districts of Central Wheatbelt, Geraldton, Moore and Roe. The Nationals hold three of these seats, while the Liberal Party holds Geraldton. Moore is the only marginal seat in the area: the Nationals hold it by a 5.9% over the Liberal Party.

You can click through to individual seat profiles on the table above or on the map below.

Redistribution
The Agricultural region expanded east, taking in Esperance and losing areas near Albany to the South West region.

There were no changes to Geraldton and Moore, while the Central Wheatbelt shifted east. The seat of Wagin was merged with Eyre (previously in Mining and Pastoral) to create the seat of Roe, which takes in Esperance and other parts of the former seat of Eyre.

History
Agricultural was created at the 1989 election as a five-member electorate. The region has always been the strongest for the Nationals.

At the 1989 election, 1993 election and 1996 election, the Nationals and Liberals each won two seats, with Labor only taking one.

In 2001, the Nationals were hurt by One Nation. The Nationals and Liberals each lost a seat, with those seats going to One Nation and the Greens. This resulted in the five seats going to five different parties, and is the only time a Green has ever won in Agricultural. The seat was won by former Greens Senator Dee Margetts.

In 2005, the Liberals won three seats, with the Nationals still only holding one.

In 2008, Agricultural become a six-member electorate. Former Nationals leader Max Trenorden’s seat of Avon was abolished, and he moved to the Legislative Council. The Nationals ticket won three seats, with the Liberals winning two and Labor winning one.

Nationals MLC Max Trenorden lost his preselection in the lead-up to the 2013 election, and he chose to run as an independent. Labor and Liberal maintained their seats (one and two respectively), while the Nationals lost one of their three seats to the Shooters and Fishers Party’s Rick Mazza.

2013 result

Group Votes % Swing Quota Seats Redist % Redist q.
Liberal 26,973 33.9 +1.2 2.3694 2 34.8 2.4347
Nationals 25,289 31.7 -1.7 2.2215 2 31.5 2.2077
Labor 13,998 17.6 -4.0 1.2296 1 17.3 1.2100
Max Trenorden independents 4,192 5.3 +5.3 0.3682 0 4.8 0.3324
Greens 3,149 4.0 +4.0 0.2766 0 4.0 0.2788
Shooters and Fishers 2,618 3.3 +3.3 0.2300 1 3.3 0.2306
Australian Christians 1,494 1.9 -0.4 0.1312 0 1.9 0.1317
Family First 879 1.1 -1.8 0.0772 0 1.2 0.0807
Others 1,086 1.4 -0.7 0.0954 0 1.3 0.0924

Five out of six seats were decided on primary votes, with the Nationals and Liberal Party each winning two seats, and Labor winning one seat.

After the elimination of minor candidates, the race for the final seat was as follows:

  • Martin (LIB) – 0.3686 quotas
  • Trenorden (IND) – 0.3682
  • Huntley (GRN) – 0.2864
  • Sounness (NAT) – 0.2472
  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.2430
  • Benson-Lidholm (ALP) – 0.2292
  • Young (AUC) – 0.1329
  • Custers (FFP) – 0.1209

Family First preferences pushed the Shooters’ candidate ahead of the third National:

  • Martin (LIB) – 0.3692
  • Trenorden (IND) – 0.3690
  • Huntley (GRN) – 0.3301
  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.3158
  • Sounness (NAT) – 0.2474
  • Benson-Lidholm (ALP) – 0.2300
  • Young (AUC) – 0.1349

Australian Christians preferences flowed to the Shooters, pushing Mazza into the lead:

  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.4342
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.3733
  • Trenorden (IND) – 0.3732
  • Huntley (GRN) – 0.3307
  • Sounness (NAT) – 0.2540
  • Benson-Lidholm (ALP) – 0.2310

Labor preferences pushed Mazza into a clear lead:

  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.6451
  • Trenorden (IND) – 0.3859
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.3742
  • Huntley (GRN) – 0.3342
  • Sounness (NAT) – 0.2565

Despite Trenorden’s status as a former National, the Nationals preferences mostly flowed to the Shooters:

  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.8698
  • Trenorden (IND) – 0.3946
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.3908
  • Huntley (GRN) – 0.3401

Enough preferences from the Greens flowed to the Shooters to give them the seat ahead of the other remaining candidates:

  • Mazza (SFP) – 1.1269
  • Trenorden (IND) – 0.4057
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.3939
  • Huntley (GRN) – 0.0687

Candidates

  • A – Labor
    1. Darren West
    2. Laurie Graham
    3. Carol Martin
    4. Luke Clarkson
  • B – Murray Yarran (Family First)
  • C – Lewis Freer (Flux)
  • D – Trevor Young (Australian Christians)
  • E – Rick Mazza (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
  • F – Nationals
    1. Martin Aldridge
    2. Colin De Grussa
    3. Leigh Ballard
    4. Fred Block
    5. Steve Blyth
    6. David Kennedy
  • G – Vince Radford (Daylight Saving Party)
  • H – Ian James (Greens)
  • I – Liberal
    1. Jim Chown
    2. Steve Martin
    3. Brian Ellis
    4. Chris Wilkins
    5. Alan Mcfarland
  • J – Alexander Reid (Independent)
  • K – Phillip Strahan (Fluoride Free WA)
  • L – Dennis Jennings (Micro Business Party)
  • M – Murray Fleeton (Independent)
  • N – Rod Caddies (One Nation)
  • O – Connor Whittle (Liberal Democrats)
  • P – Brent Williamson (Independent)
  • Q – Peter Swift (Julie Matheson for WA)
  • Ungrouped
    • Graham Barrett-Lennard (Independent)
    • Frank Hough (Independent)

Preferences
Preferences have not yet been released.

Assessment
Right-wing parties are dominant in the Agricultural region, with Labor only managing one out of six seats at the last two elections.

Assuming a preference swap between Labor and the Greens, there would need to be a swing of about 7% to the parties of the left to give them a second seat.

On the right, the Nationals would be holding out hope of regaining their third seat in the absence of Max Trenorden splitting their vote. The Shooters will also be aiming to defend their seat, but this area could be a good area for One Nation, who would be looking to poach one of the five right-wing seats.

Regional breakdown
The Liberal Party topped the primary vote in the Agricultural region, followed by the Nationals. The Liberal vote was highest in Geraldton, and was lower in areas further south. The Nationals vote was highest in the area now contained in Roe, and is lowest in Geraldton.

Votes for Labor and the Greens were both highest in Geraldton and the surrounding areas.

Results of the 2013 WA upper house election in the Agricultural region, by 2017 electorate

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room. If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.