Swan – Australia 2013

LIB 2.5%

Incumbent MP
Steve Irons, since 2007.

Swan covers suburbs in the inner south of Perth. This includes South Perth, Victoria Park and parts of Belmont and Canning LGAs. Swan goes as far east as the airport.

Swan is an original federation electorate. It was first held by John Forrest for the Protectionist party from 1901. Forrest was the first Premier of Western Australia and moved to federal politics in 1901. He served as a minister in various governments, including four stints as Treasurer, the last being in the year up until his death in 1918 under Billy Hughes.

The ensuing by-election was won by 21-year-old Labor candidate Edwin Corboy when the Nationalist and Country Party candidates split the conservative vote. This led to the government introducing preference voting, and he lost the seat at the 1919 election to John Prowse of the Country Party. The  Country part held the seat until 1943, first John Prowse then Henry Gregory and Thomas Marwick. Marwick was defeated by the ALP’s Donald Mountjoy in 1943, and Mountjoy was defeated by the Country Party’s Leonard Hamilton in 1946.

The Parliament was expanded in 1949 and Hamilton moved to the new seat of Canning, and the Liberal Party’s Bill Grayden won the seat. The ALP’s Harry Webb won the seat in 1954 and held it for one term until 1955, when he moved to the new seat of Stirling. Richard Cleaver of the Liberals won the seat in 1955 and held it until his defeat in 1969.

Adrian Bennett held the seat for the ALP from 1969 until 1975, when John Martyr won the seat for the Liberals. Martyr was a former state secretary of the Democratic Labor Party. He was defeated in 1980 by Kim Beazley.

Beazley held the seat until 1996, when he moved to the safer seat of Brand. Don Randall won the seat for the Liberals in 1996 and was defeated in 1998. He later moved to the nearby seat of Canning and has held it since 2001.

ALP candidate Kim Wilkie won Swan in 1998. He held the seat until the 2007 election, when he was the only sitting Labor MP to be unseated, losing to Steve Irons. Irons was re-elected in 2010.


  • Troy Ellis (Australian Protectionist Party)
  • Steve Irons (Liberal)
  • Steve Klomp (Australian Christians)
  • Paul Davies (Rise Up Australia)
  • Ken Duncan (Palmer United Party)
  • John Bissett (Labor)
  • Moyna Rapp (Family First)
  • Noel Alexander Avery (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Gerard Siero (Greens)

Swan is a very marginal Liberal seat but at this election should be easily retained.

2010 result

Steve IronsLIB36,95146.51+2.76
Tim HammondALP28,02335.28-5.69
Rebecca LeightonGRN9,38011.81+1.69
Bret TreasureSXP2,0602.59+2.59
Steve KlompCDP1,6462.07+0.30
Barry DrennanFF9811.23+0.38
Joe LopezSEP3980.50+0.30

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Steve IronsLIB41,72952.53+2.80
Tim HammondALP37,71047.47-2.80
Polling places in Swan at the 2010 federal election. North-East in green, South-East in orange, West in blue. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Swan at the 2010 federal election. North-East in green, South-East in orange, West in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three areas: north-east, south-east and west. The west follows the boundaries of South Perth council areas. The key suburbs in each area are:

  • North-East – Cloverdale, Kewdale, Rivervale, Victoria Park.
  • South-East – Beckenham, Bentley, Cannington, Ferndale.
  • West – Como, Manning, South Perth.

The Liberal Party won a huge majority of 64.3% in the west of the seat, while the ALP won smaller majorities in the other two areas, varying between 51.7% and 53.9%. The Greens vote varied from 9.9% in the west to 12.5% in the north-east.

Voter groupGRN %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes12.8753.9019,38024.40
Two-party-preferred votes in Swan at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Swan at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Swan at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Swan at the 2010 federal election.


  1. John Bissett has been preselected to run for Labor. Steve Irons has been a good MP and should retain this seat.

  2. Steve Irons is gonna have a bit more trouble here, thanks to the council amalgamations – Vic Park council will lose a major part of their rate base when Burswood casino gets transferred to the City of Perth, so whatever council the rest of the population ends up in will have higher rates as a result. Irons gets no sophomore surge, and Vic Park at state level is a safe Labor seat (represented by Ben Wyatt, nephew of Ken), so there’s plenty of room for Labor’s vote to increase there. It isn’t a federal issue, but with nearly four years til the next state election, it’ll probably be an influence anyway – he’s the nearest Liberal to whack.


  3. I think this is the most possible of potential Labor gains in WA. I don’t think Labor will win Hasluck but I do think they are a chance at winning this one. Overall, I don’t see much change in seat numbers in WA.

  4. Still looking the most possible for Labor in terms of gains in the west, however, internal polls show little movement from the last election.

  5. It’s interesting that the green vote in swan is virtually unchanged, being the only electorate where there hasn’t been a negative swing. Why is this so?

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