Canning – Australia 2013

LIB 2.2%

Incumbent MP
Don Randall, since 2001. Previously Member for Swan 1996-1998.

South of Perth. Canning covers urban fringe and rural areas to the south of Perth, including most of the Peel region. Canning covers the City of Armadale on the edge of Perth as well as the local government areas of Boddington, Murray, Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Waroona in the Peel region. Canning also covers most of the coastal City of Mandurah.

Canning was first created for the expansion of the House of Representatives in 1949. For the early part of its history it was contested between the Liberal Party and the Country Party, and since the 1980s the seat has become much more of a Labor-Liberal marginal seat, usually being held by the party winning government.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Leonard Hamilton of the Country Party, who had previously held Swan since 1946.

Hamilton retired in 1961 and the seat was won by Liberal Neil McNeill, who was defeated by the Country Party’s John Hallett in 1963. Hallett held the seat until 1974, when the Liberal Party’s Mel Bungey defeated him.

The ALP’s Wendy Fatin won the seat in 1983 at the same time as the election of the Hawke government. Fatin transferred to the new seat of Brand in 1984, and the ALP’s George Gear transferred into Canning from Tangney, which he had held after the 1983 election.

Gear was defeated in 1996 by Ricky Johnston (LIB), who had previously ran against Gear at every election since 1984. Johnston was defeated herself by Jane Gerick (ALP) in 1998.

Gerick was defeated narrowly by Don Randall (LIB) in 2001, and Randall has held the seat ever since, holding it by a 2.2% margin in 2010.


  • Don Randall (Liberal)
  • Damon Pages-Oliver (Greens)
  • Derek Bruning (Australian Christians)
  • Joanne Dean (Labor)
  • James Forsyth (Nationals)
  • Wendy Lamotte (Palmer United Party)
  • Alice Harper (Family First)
  • Lee Rumble (Rise Up Australia)
  • Richard Eldridge (Katter’s Australian Party)

Canning is a very marginal seat, but as a Liberal seat in Western Australia it should be safe enough in 2013.

2010 result

Don RandallLIB36,99946.18-2.23
Alannah MacTiernanALP32,33040.35+2.62
Denise HardieGRN6,6458.29+0.54
Jamie van BurgelCDP2,4703.08+0.28
Darren VernedeFF1,2311.54+0.28
Ian TuffnellCEC4460.56+0.24

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Don RandallLIB41,81852.19-2.16
Alannah MacTiernanALP38,30347.81+2.16
Polling places in Canning at the 2010 federal election. Armadale in orange, Mandurah in red, Murray in blue, Serpentine-Jarrahdale in green, South in yellow. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Canning at the 2010 federal election. Armadale in orange, Mandurah in red, Murray in blue, Serpentine-Jarrahdale in green, South in yellow. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into five areas, based on local government areas. A large majority of voters live in either the City of Mandurah at the eastern end of the electorate, or the City of Armadale, in the Perth outskirts at the northern end of the seat. Polling places in Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Murray council areas have also been grouped along council boundaries. A small number of booths in Boddington and Waroona council areas have been grouped as ‘South’.

The Liberal Party won a majority in four of the five areas, varying from 59.2% in the south to 54.5% in Mandurah. The ALP won a 54.2% majority in Armadale, the most populous part of the seat.

Voter groupGRN %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes8.7754.3520,88026.06
Two-party-preferred votes in Canning at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Canning at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Armadale at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Armadale at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Mandurah at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Mandurah at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Regardless if Mr. Randall runs again or not, this should be an easy Liberal hold. If Alannah MacTiernan, a popular minister in the last WA Labor government, couldn’t win this in 2010, Labor surely can’t win this in 2013.

  2. A few things worth noting:

    Labor had a horrible preselection clusterfsck in 2004, which helped Randall to get a huge swing to the Libs despite his previous record as the member for Swan. In 2007, they only half-tried. Will the Mandurah councillor they ran be confused with a car dealer just over the causeway? ABSOLUTELY!

    (Sorry, eastern-staters – you have to live here to understand that reference. 😉 )

    MacTiernan got the only swing to federal Labor in WA in 2010, hard against the state trend (she also got a swing to Labor in 2008, in the election her party lost). It wasn’t good enough to win, but it did correct for the atypical high margin Randall had for a while. This part of Perth has a high god-bothering vote (Gosnells and Armadale are sweet areas for CDP / FF), but it’s certainly not a safe Liberal seat. Meanwhile, in state parliament, Mandurah has gone from being a Liberal seat in the last Lib govt, to one of the safest Labor seats in the state under Barnett. Canning is a walk-up gimme for Labor any time their federal WA vote gets somewhere near 50-50.

    Jamie van Burgel went on to run for the CDP in the Armadale by-election (caused by MacTiernan resigning from state parliament to contest Canning). He came second, losing by a larger margin than the Libs had in 2008, but beating the Greens and probably creating the first 2cp margin involving his party. Bragging rights down at the church.

  3. Where’s that coming from (and how strong is “strong”)? The Libs get a bonus 2-3% from not having to fight MacTiernan this time, but there can’t be much of a general swing to them statewide to add to that – WA is already blue enough. I’m tipping the Libs here, but I’d be surprised if the margin’s any more than 5%.

  4. Shazzadude – no, but of the 24 most marginal ALP held seats, I would predict at the moment, the Coalition winning 14 of them.

  5. The Nats are wasting their time running in Canning. Most of the seat is in metro Perth, and even the rural bits of it are pretty solid for the Libs. At the March state election, they got 11.3% in Murray-Wellington, and didn’t even bother running in Darling Range. This time, they’re one of five (!) minor right-wing parties, in a part of Perth where the Christian parties generally do well.

    The Nats actually held Canning once upon a time, back when it was more rural. In 1972, they won from third place; they got ahead of the Libs on DLP preferences, and then beat Labor on Lib preferences. By 1974 the Country Party had merged with the DLP (this was a kooky WA-only thing), Labor came third and their preferences elected the Libs. They also lost Moore at the same election. The merger fell apart, and when O’Connor was created in 1980 both seats were pushed into the Perth metro area and became unwinnable for them. Meanwhile, what would eventually become the WA Nats spent the next several years fighting each other – the 1980 state election featured both the National Country Party (pro-coalition) and the National Party (anti-coalition) trying to win each other’s seats (but not succeeding). At the federal election later that year, that infighting wrecked their chances of winning O’Connor – the competing factions came third and fourth. By the time they’d got their shit together again, Wilson Tuckey had built up a personal vote.

  6. Richard Eldridge from the Katters Australia party is preferenced by the Liberals and should cause and upset. Eldridge is an ex Kalannie Farmer and a true Aussie battler who recently found form running his own Real Estate Agency. Eldridge understands the importance of Federal funding for important services and truly understands the difficult plight the WA farming community has on its hands with the dominance of Coles and Woolworths and lack of funding for local farmers. If we don’t watch out we could loose our farming like in the eastern states to overseas investment. Eldridge is CY O’Connors great great Grandson and is 6th generation Australian.

  7. What’s that all got to do with Canning? Sounds like a perfect spiel for a KAP candidate running in Durack or O’Connor (Kalannie is in Durack, on the northern fringe of the wheatbelt), but not an outer metropolitan seat.

    Also, for Lib preferences to matter, they’d need to come third. Ain’t gonna happen.

  8. A 9.6% swing to the Liberals here… I thought they’d get a swing considering MacTiernan ran in and won Perth, but wow…

  9. And a 13.9% swing against Labor on primary votes, also far and away the largest in the state. Did something go particularly wrong for Labor’s campaign here?

  10. Out of the 13 Lib vs ALP seats in WA, the state’s largest swing happened at West Armadale West (Challis Primary), with Labor down 16.15% on 2pp and 21.29% on primaries. Palmer and the three Christian parties (combined) both got 10%, too. Just about every Armadale / Kelmscott booth had a swing in double figures, with Labor’s only win (for the whole seat) being Brookdale, by 0.24%.

    Unbelievably, that would make the state seat of Armadale Liberal on federal figures, with a 5.8% margin (that’s from the 11 voting booths plus Armadale PPVC). By comparison, the Liberals didn’t even bother with the by-election when MacTiernan quit (the CDP came a distant second), and three years later Tony Buti won it with a 9.6% margin. Where does a 15.4% difference come from, considering both elections this year have been about equally bad for WA Labor?

    One more quirky little thing: the AEC refer to Cecil Andrews SHS as “Strawberry Fields”, instead of something generic like “Armadale East”. Must be a bored Beatles fan working there. 😛

  11. Perhaps Randall has links to the Armadale area? Perhaps they don’t like federal Labor but think they do a good job at the state level? NFI.

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