Tangney – Australia 2022

LIB 9.5%

Incumbent MP
Ben Morton, since 2016.

Southern Perth. Tangney includes a number of suburbs on the southern shore of the Swan River and Canning River. Tangney covers most of Melville council area and parts of Canning and Gosnells council areas. Suburbs include Alfred Cove, Attadale, Melville, Applecross, Mount Pleasant, Winthrop, Leeming, Willetton, Wilson, Canning Vale, Bicton, Willagee, Ferndale, Rossmoyne and Shelley.

Tangney expanded on its eastern boundary, taking in Wilson from Swan and Canning Vale from Burt. This reduced the Liberal margin from 11.5% to 9.5%.

Tangney was created at the 1974 redistribution. The Liberal Party has dominated the seat, winning Tangney at all but two elections.

Tangney was first won in 1974 by 27-year-old John Dawkins, running for the ALP. Dawkins only held the seat for one term, losing it in 1975. Dawkins later won the seat of Fremantle in 1977 and served as a cabinet minister in the Hawke government and then Treasurer in the Keating government until his retirement in 1993.

The Liberal Party’s Peter Richardson won Tangney in 1975. Richardson left the Liberal Party in 1977 and joined the minor Progress Party, a libertarian pro-market party founded by John Singleton. He ran for the Senate in 1977, but failed to win a seat.

Tangney was won in 1977 by Liberal candidate Peter Shack. He held the seat until 1983, when he lost the seat to the ALP’s George Gear. Gear only held the seat for one term, before transferring to Canning in 1984. He later served as Assistant Treasurer from 1993 to 1996, and lost Canning at the 1996 election.

In 1984, Tangney was won back by Peter Shack, after a major redistribution shifted Tangney into much safer Liberal territory. He held it for the next decade, before retiring in 1993.

Tangney was won in 1993 by barrister Daryl Williams, also from the Liberal Party. Williams was appointed Attorney-General upon the election of the Howard government in 1996. He served in the role until 2003, when he became Minister for Communications. He retired from Parliament in 2004.

In 2004, Tangney was won by Dennis Jensen. He is a prominent climate change skeptic, and was often the loudest voice criticising action on climate change in the Parliament. Dennis Jensen was re-elected three times, but before two of those elections, in 2006 and 2010, the local branch denied him preselection before he was given preselection by the state executive.

Jensen was finally defeated for preselection in 2016, and ran for Tangney as an independent. He came fourth, with Liberal candidate Ben Morton winning comfortably. Morton was re-elected in 2019.


  • Tshung-Hui Chang (One Nation)
  • Jay Gillett (Western Australia Party)
  • Mark Staer (Australian Christians)
  • Travis Mark (United Australia)
  • Sam Lim (Labor)
  • Ben Morton (Liberal)
  • Brent Fowler (Federation)
  • Jacqueline Holroyd (Liberal Democrats)
  • Adam Abdul Razak (Greens)
  • Assessment
    Tangney is a safe Liberal seat.

    2019 result

    Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
    Ben Morton Liberal 44,740 53.6 +4.8 51.3
    Marion Boswell Labor 21,644 25.9 +2.4 27.9
    Martin Spencer Greens 9,319 11.2 -1.2 10.9
    Scott Rodney Rafferty One Nation 1,732 2.1 +2.1 2.4
    Mark Staer Australian Christians 1,695 2.0 -1.3 2.3
    Jillian Horton Independent 1,933 2.3 +2.3 1.9
    Chris Fernandez United Australia Party 969 1.2 +1.2 1.3
    Gavin Waugh Western Australia Party 1,080 1.3 +1.3 1.2
    Paul Stephen Waddy Independent 307 0.4 +0.4 0.3
    Others 0.5
    Informal 3,831 4.4 +1.8

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
    Ben Morton Liberal 51,275 61.5 +0.4 59.5
    Marion Boswell Labor 32,144 38.5 -0.4 40.5

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three parts. Polling places in Melville council area have been split into “west” and “west central”, while those in the Canning and Gosnells council area have been split into “east” and “east central”.

    The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 53.1% in the east to 62.2% in the west.

    The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 9.2% in the east to 12.6% in the west.

    Voter group GRN prim % LIB 2PP % Total votes % of votes
    West 12.6 62.2 20,020 19.4
    East Central 11.0 56.0 19,405 18.8
    West Central 11.0 61.3 16,540 16.0
    East 9.2 53.1 10,931 10.6
    Pre-poll 10.0 61.7 19,156 18.6
    Other votes 10.7 60.4 17,093 16.6

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

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    1. Longshot for Labor but could become marginal. Not impressed by Ben Morton whatsoever after he backstabbed Dennis Jensen and in my view that is political treachery and in my view has no place in the Liberal party.

      I believe this contains state seats such as Riverton and Bicton which lean Liberal but are not rock-solid especially Riverton considering Riverton was marginal before 2013 and was won by Labor in 2005 outside of the landslide year of 2021.

      If the published polls are correct in WA one would think this will be pretty close and this could see an upper average swing against the Liberals.

    2. Latest WA statewide poll confirms this is in play. A swing of 10% from the last election statewide will see this fall to Labor

    3. Some seem to think this could be a dark horse gain for Labor and the more I think about it, the more I can see why.

      The North Western chunk of the seat along the Swan River is populated by a demographic who would likely vote for The Greens before they even considered Labor federally but the redistribution has gifted Labor a lobe into Canning Vale, which combined with the much more politically volatile suburbs in the seat east of the Kwinana Freeway will make Labor competitive.

      Morton only has a 10% margin, and whilst I’m sure the voters in this seat would much rather him to Jensen he’s still seemingly quite invisible. It’s quite shocking imo that between Moore, Curtin and Tangney (the Liberal party’s holy trinity within Perth), all are represented by people who don’t occupy positions within cabinet and hold fairly conservative views against the average of the seats they represent.

      Labor ought to scare the Liberals here and I think they probably will.

    4. Canning More and Tangley…are liberal seats outside the marginal category.. All things being equal they should return the liberal candidate

    5. Ever since Janet Woollard’s whole saga its unlikely in WA. Independents don’t do well outside the western suburbs

    6. The Sunday Times is reporting that Labor is hopeful in this seat. Their candidate Sam Lim is a police officer who received Officer of the Year in 2020. Labor is looking at spending upwards of $250,000 for the campaign in Tangney, and are criticising Ben Morton for spending more time with Scott Morrison than in his own seat during the 2019 election campaign.

    7. Article in local paper, both sides promising upgrades for sporting facilities at John Connell reserve. Got a glossy fold-out newsletter from Morton the other day too. Honestly, I would prefer that sports club money be spent on paying down debt myself, but maybe that’s just me. Same with the Applecross tennis club money, I just see reckless spending when we have a trillion dollar debt. It doesn’t help win my vote.

    8. LNP voter always. Not this time though. Wish TNL was represented. Disappointed with grants to wealthy suburbs and Ben Morton has failed to impress me in Canberra. Additionally, his solid support of PM who has acted in his own interests not Australia’s. ALP/greens might mess up to but we should at least get an ICAC up & running.

    9. Ben who? Our invisible MP. Can’t even email him in his office.
      I will vote Liberal (always the optimist)because the alternatives are too frightening.
      I’ve read somewhere that Morton is a ‘strategist’ for Canberra. If so, he’d better get the message through to his bosses that we Liberal minded voters want a Liberal Party, not a bunch of spineless weeds and LINOs who bend to the whims of the vociferous minorities who seem to be dictating what goes on this once great country and for God’s sake get the Defence Department’s spending under control once and for all.
      Bloody French subs. What were they supposed to sink?

    10. Bob
      What frightens you about the alternatives? And have you properly researched all the alternatives? There are 9 candidates in Tangney from across the political spectrum.
      Also, what message do you think Ben Morton will receive from you voting the same way you have been except “keep up the good work!”?

    11. Labor & Liberal spending big in FB ads in Tangney. $3.4K and $4.7K respectively. This is more than what Liberals are spending in other marginals including Chisholm, Casey and Higgins. Surprising given that it is held by what is normally considered a safe margin. Labor clearly think Tangney is in play and Liberals evidently nervous.

    12. I live in Tangney and a lot of us are pretty pissed at Scott Morrison and MIA Ben Morton. He gladhands with real estate agents and business owners and Liberal voters with connections but I’ve not seen him doorknock once, he doesn’t answer emails and he only has corflutes on the highway and main roads, not many on people’s lawns/fences.

    13. Lived in this area for over 25 yrs., but have never seen this “Member” of parliament, or heard from him except for a posted leaflet. Have heard he is a poster boy for Morrison. Certainly NOT mine !

    14. Also a Tangney resident, and have barely seen anything of Ben Morton outside of a few Facebook ads in recent weeks. Wouldn’t be surprised if there is a solid swing against him.

    15. Rubbish poll that had this 54-46 but has Hasluck 55-45. I can believe 54-46 for this seat but if it has Hasluck with a higher margin then it’s complete rubbish.

    16. Seat polls are always unreliable.. there can be muted swings based on candidate quality… but to suggest Tangney on 11% margin and a reliable liberal seat is better for the libs than Hasluck which is marginal and includes areas like Ellenbrook defies common sense.

    17. I’d find it hard to believe that the Liberals would retain Hasluck with 55 to 45 which is the same margin as last time when Swan and Pearce are bekng dismissed as easy Labor gains. Tangney is possible for the Liberals to retain with 54 to 46 though I would consider it a good result for them.

    18. Per KB: “Utting Research Hasluck 55-45 Tangney 54-46 Swan 47-53 Pearce 48-52

      Numerous cautions: seat poll, robopoll, small samples (400/seat), commissioning source not clearly stated, non-transparent pollster, some excessive looking UAP votes”

      The margins themselves should be taken with a grain of salt but all the seats show a swing back to the Liberals from the March samples by the same pollster.

    19. This seat as a Labor gain was certainly a shock result on the night. The published polling that had the Liberals comfortably in front was obviously wrong. Labor’s Sam Lim a new face on the political scene.

    20. I think Sam Lim was a good pick for this seat as it has the largest Malaysian/Singaporean Chinese community in the country which propped up his vote together with the broader swing to Labor in WA.

    21. A good friend of mine lives in this seat and she mentioned Ben Morton wasn’t an engaging local member, as others here have already said.

    22. Agree Sam Lim is a good fit for this seat. It was a big shock as last time Labor held it in 1983 was prior to the creation of Brand and had a lot of strongly Labor areas. Going into the 1984 election it was already notionally Liberal. Tangney is an affluent electorate. I believe in addition to general WA swing the anti-China rhetoric cost them dearly in this seat especially around Bull Creek and Bateman.

    23. Ben Morton publicly was a nobody but if you look at who voted which way in the ballots around Turnbull’s demise, it’s clear he was a player. My guess is he was a safe seat faction man who didn’t bother being active locally. A decent local campaign taking advantage of the McGowan factor was enough to see him off.

    24. Ben Morton was very much part of Scott Morrison’s kitchen cabinet with Stuart Robert. Strangest thing about Ben Morton is how similar he looks to Scomo – they are almost like brothers. It’s a bit like dogs looking like their owners……

    25. The redistribution killed Morton in the seat, if the swing of 11.2% was repeated on the old boundaries the Liberals would have held the seat.

    26. Very impressive result for Sam Lim especially considering that Labor HQ didn’t put many resources into this seat, focusing on Hasluck, Swan and Pearce instead. Ben Morton’s infamy as Morrison’s stooge and the anger among the large Chinese community in this seat towards the Libs were certainly factors that flipped the seat.

    27. I suspect that Dennis Jensen’s dumping was also a factor, but this seat was made unwinnable anyway by the redistribution.

    28. Redistribution nudging the margin by 2% down to 9.5% hardly rendered the seat unwinnable (and considering the swings in the south-east were lower, quite likely that this would have been lost on the old boundaries too). The statewide 10% swing is a much more clear reason why this seat and almost every other Perth seat was lost for the Liberals.

    29. SAS veteran turned Survivor winner Mark Wales has won Liberal preselection for the seat of Tangney. This seat the Liberals will be heavily targeting. Tangney has a vulnerable margin, unlike Swan, Pearce, and to a lesser extent Hasluck which has significant buffers for Labor.

    30. The margin is quite low and is usually a blue ribbon seat for the Libs. Only thing is there is a large Chinese Community and also some Tealish small l liberal voters along the waterfront that will help Labor against Dutton but a WA based correction alone could flip it even if Labor does better among some demographics here in 2025 compared to 2022.

    31. Mark Wales is writing a novel about a Chinese invasion of Australia. Don’t think that will play down too well in this seat.

    32. It has the lowest margin of any Labor-held WA seat. A correction swing will take out Sam Lim. The redistributions may or may not be favourable so it’s up to his personal vote.

    33. Hearing about Mark Wales and his Novel it is almost like Labor has planted him or has infiltrated the Liberal party branches here. Having said that i do agree with Votante that a WA based correction from Covid border issue maybe enough to take out Sam Lim eventhough there are other favorable conditions here.

    34. I think Chinese people should be able to see the big difference between normal Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Government just as Russians would see the difference between ordinary Russians and the Putinist government.

    35. i trasnferred bicton along the stock road to fremantle in my revised proposal and this fixes tangey up.

    36. Something funny I discovered. The boundaries of Tangney as they have changed over the years (since 1988) every odd redistribution it losses Canning Vale. The current boundaries have Canning Vale (2021-now) however the 2016-2021 boundaries did not. The 2009-2016 did have Canning Vale. but the boundaries prior to 2009 did not. If history is anything to go by. This will lose Canning Vale yet again.

      The 2021-now boundaries also look allot like the 2009-2016 boundaries. but the 2000-2009 boundaries look allot like the 2016-2021 ones.

      I predict this will go back to what it looked like from the 2000-2009 boundaries. if the AEC repeats its repetition on this seats boundaries. The seat could possibly become the most marginal seat in the country (0.25<) if the boundaries are drawn right. But either way the Liberals should get it.

    37. An MRP poll by Redbridge has Labor winning 54-46 here, Bennelong 51-49 as well as gaining Menzies 51-49. Obviously it isn’t the be all and end all with redistributions to come and other factors as well but I wouldn’t dismiss this seat and Bennelong as easy Liberal gains. The Libs are struggling with the sort of demographics in such seats particularly the Chinese population which Dutton doesn’t seem to be making inroads into and recent immigrations announcements aren’t helping.

    38. I’ve read parts of the poll. Interestingly, it doesn’t suggest a reversal of Labor’s gains in WA. In fact, Labor will increase its margin in Tangney (based on current boundaries and assuming the trend holds up). Moore and Curtin are “too close to call”.

    39. MRP polls are known to be more accurate when assessing the whole country rather than individual seats. I wouldn’t put much stock into individual seat results from it.

    40. Maybe it might be different on the ground over in the West but the feeling I’m getting is that Sam Lim is the kind of MP that is perfect for the electorate. From an Asian-background in an electorate with a big Asian population, has contributed positively to the community prior to his election, no shoddy records or any controversies, and seems like a friendly and approachable guy. Doesn’t scream like a one-term MP to me from the impression I’m getting and no reason why (even with redistributions) he might actually get a swing to him next election, or at least be able to minimise and weather any swings away.

    41. I do admit, Mark Wales quitting his candidacy though may help the Liberals. He was writing a book at the time of his preselection on China invading Australia in the future. Especially with a large Chinese population in Tangney, this wouldn’t have helped at all.

      However, Tangney does include a lot of really good Liberal areas along the Swan River which should vote in strength and return to normal in 2025. I do hope Howard Ong (who came second in Liberal preselection) does recontest the preselection and win. He could certainly swing back a lot of traditional Liberal voters in Tangney, mainly as he would have strong connections to the ethnic community in Tangney.

      @Daniel T from a basic prediction, if Tangney were to lose Canning Vale as you suggested, I feel it would become a notional Liberal seat as some of Labor’s best booths in Tangney were in Canning Vale. Just my thoughts.


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