Fremantle – Australia 2022

ALP 6.9%

Incumbent MP
Josh Wilson, since 2016.

Geography
South-western Perth. The seat of Fremantle covers the City of Fremantle and the Town of East Fremantle, as well as most of the City of Cockburn and small parts of the City of Melville. Suburbs include Fremantle itself as well as Cockburn, Coolbellup, Palmyra, Success, Atwell, Jandakot, Spearwood, Coogee, Beaconsfield and Hamilton Hill.

Redistribution
No change.

History

Fremantle is an original federation electorate. After alternating between parties up to 1934, and since then has always been held by the ALP. From 1934 to 2007 it was held by a series of senior Labor figures.

Fremantle was won in 1901 by Elias Solomon, a Free Trader who had been in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly since 1892.

In 1903, Solomon was defeated by the ALP’s William Carpenter. Carpenter held the seat for one term, before losing in 1906. Carpenter went on to serve in Western Australian state politics.

Carpenter lost in 1906 to William Hedges, elected as the only representative of the Western Australian Party, a party formed from Anti-Socialists and Protectionists, but sat as an independent, before joining the new Commonwealth Liberal Party in 1909. He was re-elected in 1910 but lost in 1913.

He was replaced by the ALP’s Reginald Burchell. He left the ALP over the conscription split and was re-elected as a Nationalist MP, serving as Member for Fremantle until his retirement in 1922.

Fremantle was won in 1922 by independent candidate William Watson. Former Liberal MP Hedges was pushed into third place behind the ALP. Watson held the seat until his retirement in 1928, when the seat was won by the ALP’s John Curtin.

Curtin held the seat for one term, losing in 1931 to Watson, who had returned as the candidate for the United Australia Party. Curtin returned in 1934 after Watson again retired, and the ALP has held the seat ever since.

Curtin was elected leader of the Labor Party in 1935, and became Prime Minister in 1941, leading Australia through the Second World War. Curtin died in July 1945.

The 1945 Fremantle by-election was won by the ALP’s Kim Beazley. Beazley was a prominent figure in the federal ALP through the 1950s and 1960s, and served as Education Minister in the Whitlam government from 1972 to 1975. He retired from Parliament in 1977. His son is Kim Beazley Jr, who served as Leader of the ALP from 1996 to 2001 and from 2005 to 2007.

The younger Beazley contested the ALP preselection for Fremantle in 1977, but lost to John Dawkins, who had previously held the marginal seat of Tangney from 1974 to 1975.

Dawkins joined the Labor frontbench in 1980. He served in the Hawke cabinet from 1983, and was appointed Treasurer in the Keating government in 1991 after Keating replaced Bob Hawke. He served in the role until he resigned in December 1993 after facing opposition within Cabinet to his budget.

The 1994 Fremantle by-election was won by Carmen Lawrence. Lawrence had been a state MP in Western Australia since 1986, and had served as Australia’s first female Premier from 1990 until the ALP lost power in 1993.

Lawrence served as Minister for Health for the last two years of the Keating government. She served as a shadow minister in the Labor opposition from 1996 to 1997 and again from 2000 to 2002, having been forced to step down in 1997 due to allegations of perjury, for which she was later acquitted. She resigned from the frontbench in 2002 in protest at the party’s asylum seeker policy.

Lawrence was elected as the ALP’s first directly-elected National President in 2003, and served in the role in 2004. She retired from Parliament in 2007.

At the 2007 election, Fremantle was won by Labor’s Melissa Parke, a lawyer who worked for the United Nations from 1999 to 2007. Parke was re-elected in 2010 and 2013, and retired in 2016.

Labor’s Josh Wilson won Fremantle in 2016.

Wilson was forced to resign from parliament in early 2018 due to his late citizenship renunciation in 2016, but he was re-elected at the resulting by-election, and again in 2019.

Candidates

  • Ben Tilbury (Great Australian Party)
  • Sam Wainwright (Socialist Alliance)
  • Cathy Gavranich (Federation)
  • Josh Wilson (Labor)
  • Stella Jinman (United Australia)
  • Bill Koul (Liberal)
  • Felicity Townsend (Greens)
  • Yan Loh (Liberal Democrats)
  • Janetia Knapp (Western Australia Party)
  • William Edgar (One Nation)
  • Assessment
    Fremantle is a safe Labor seat.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Josh Wilson Labor 34,63638.0-3.0
    Nicole Robins Liberal 31,86235.0-1.9
    Jesse Hutchinson Greens 14,57416.0-1.7
    Brett WearyOne Nation3,4853.8+3.8
    Janetia KnappWestern Australia Party2,3332.6+2.6
    Fatima LeverUnited Australia Party1,7671.9+1.9
    Laetisia MulderAustralian Christians1,4561.6+1.6
    Sam WainwrightSocialist Alliance9901.1-0.6
    Informal5,1995.4+1.4

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Josh Wilson Labor 51,85256.9-0.6
    Nicole Robins Liberal 39,25143.1+0.6

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into four areas: central, north, south-east and south-west.

    Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 53% in the north to 67.7% in the centre.

    The Greens primary vote ranged from 12% in the south-west to 23.4% in the centre.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    South-East12.154.622,34424.5
    Central23.467.718,81420.7
    South-West12.055.710,29811.3
    North19.453.06,4987.1
    Pre-poll14.453.719,49221.4
    Other votes15.853.313,65715.0

    Election results in Fremantle at the 2019 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

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    5 COMMENTS

    1. While it is extremely unlikely Labor lose this, Morrison was here today with his candidate Bill Koul out of all seats in Perth so unless there is something dramatically wrong with the polls.

    2. I think he only turned up in Fremantle to tour navy vessels. I don’t think his visit was aimed at any play in Fremantle. The photo op and appearance is intended to spruik his national security and border protection credentials to the rest of the country.

      I can’t see how this kind of seat would be in play, especially considering that it is in WA.

    3. Daniel – I would say the Morrison was in Fremantle as with Brand they are the only 2 industrial seats in Western Australia. I think it was to announce boat building or something. Josh is a great member and great bloke too.

    4. only industrial seats? Swan has a huge patch of industrial areas (inc. the airport) between it’s western 3 quarters and High Wycombe/Forrestfield/Maida Vale

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