Forrest – Australia 2013

LIB 8.7%

Incumbent MP
Nola Marino, since 2007.

Geography
South-western corner of Western Australia. Forrest covers the towns of Bunbury, Busselton, Margaret River and Collie. Forrest is made up of Augusta-Margaret River, Bunbury, Busselton, Capel, Collie, Dardanup, Donnybrook-Balingup, Harvey and Nanrup council areas.

History
Forrest was created for the 1922 election. It has been held predominantly by conservative parties, first by the Country Party before the Second World War and then the Liberal Party. It has only been won by the ALP at three elections.

John Prowse won Forrest in 1922 for the Country Party. Prowse had won the seat of Swan in 1919, before moving to the new seat in 1922. Prowse held the seat for two decades, until his defeat in 1943.

The ALP’s Nelson Lemmon won Forrest in 1943. He was re-elected in 1946, and was then appointed Minister for Works and Housing in the Chifley government, and he was responsible for the commencement of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. He lost Forrest in 1949.

The Liberal Party’s Gordon Freeth won Forrest in 1949. He was appointed to the Menzies government’s ministry in 1958, and served as a minister continuously until his defeat in 1969, when Forrest was won by the ALP’s Frank Kirwan.

Kirwan lost in 1972, going against the trend which saw the Whitlam government end 23 years of Liberal rule. He was defeated by Liberal candidate Peter Drummond. Drummond held the seat until his retirement in 1987.

Geoff Prosser won Forrest in 1987. He joined the Liberal frontbench in 1990, and was appointed as a minister in the Howard government after the 1996 election. He only lasted until 1997, when he was forced to resign due to breaches of the code of conduct. He served as a backbencher until his retirement in 2007.

Nola Marino was elected in 2007, and re-elected in 2010.

Candidates

  • John Borlini (Labor)
  • Bev Custers (Family First)
  • Nola Marino (Liberal)
  • Mark Morien (Rise Up Australia)
  • Wayne Barnett (Australian Christians)
  • Gordon Tayler (Greens)
  • Ian Tuffnell (Citizens Electoral Council)
  • Michael Rose (Nationals)
  • Edward Dabrowski (Palmer United Party)

Assessment
Forrest is a safe Liberal seat.

2010 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Nola MarinoLIB39,46048.96+3.81
Jackie JarvisALP22,72428.19-2.43
Luke PetersonGRN10,86313.48+5.07
John HillNAT4,8225.98+5.98
Bev CustersFF1,5731.95+0.57
Lee HerridgeCDP1,1581.44-0.45

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Nola MarinoLIB47,34358.74+3.26
Jackie JarvisALP33,25741.26-3.26
Polling places in Forrest at the 2010 federal election. Bunbury in red, Busselton in green, Central in blue, Collie in pink, Harvey in yellow, South in orange. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Forrest at the 2010 federal election. Bunbury in red, Busselton in green, Central in blue, Collie in pink, Harvey in yellow, South in orange. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into six areas. Polling places in Bunbury, Busselton, Collie and Harvey local government areas have been divided along council lines, with the remainder of the electorate split into “South” and “Central”.

The Liberal Party won a majority in five areas, varying from just under 52% in the south to 63.5% in Busselton. The ALP won a large 65.4% majority in the town of Collie.

The Greens vote varied from 7.5% in Collie to 27.1% in the south of the seat.

Voter groupGRN %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Central11.6362.1914,50818.00
Bunbury12.6655.4814,44217.92
Busselton14.2963.5013,09716.25
Harvey10.5462.1210,26212.73
South27.0851.995,5806.92
Collie7.5334.604,0635.04
Other votes13.8160.6518,64823.14
Two-party-preferred votes in Forrest at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Forrest at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Forrest at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Forrest at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Bunbury at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Bunbury at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Bunbury at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Bunbury at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Busselton at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Busselton at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Busselton at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Busselton at the 2010 federal election.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Plenty of the booths around Margaret River would be Lib/Grn contests, with Labor coming third. Labor actually managed to come fourth in Warren-Blackwood at the March state election, behind Nats, Libs and Greens.

    Labor still deal out a punishing in Collie, but about 10% less than the state election. Mick Murray hung onto Collie-Preston by the skin of his teeth by getting most of Labor’s best results in the whole state in Collie, while the rest of the seat stayed about as blue as it is here. I’d keep an eye on the Labor vote in Collie, and the Green vote in Margs. Both could be interesting.

  2. Given how badly Labor did in WA their 2PP vote in Forrest is surprisingly high result of rise of Greens? Nelson Lemmon later returned as MP for St George in NSW.

  3. Why is Collie so strong for Labor? I’m not familiar with WA, but for a rural area, it has been consistently strong for them at both a State and Federal level.

  4. Yeah, coal mining and power generation. At state level, it’s so rusted-on Labor that it helps keep Collie-Preston marginal despite the other two-thirds of the seat being solidly Liberal. It doesn’t make up enough of Forrest to help Labor federally, though, and obviously the lack of a popular MP from the town is a 10% handicap.

    Bunbury and Busselton are growing all the time, so the next redistribution will shrink Forrest a fair bit to centre on them. Busselton’s always been conservative (plenty of old people moving down there to retire), but Bunbury is winnable by Labor in a good year, so they should be keeping a long-term eye on it.

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