Cottesloe by-election, 2018

March 17, 2018

Cause of by-election
Sitting Liberal MP and former premier Colin Barnett retired in January 2018.

MarginLIB 13.3%

Inner north of Perth. The seat of Cottesloe covers the southern end of the western suburbs, including Cottesloe, Claremont, Mosman Park, North Fremantle and Mount Claremont.

Cottesloe has existed since 1950, and has always been held by the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party’s Ross Hutchinson won Cottesloe in 1950 after a successful football career. He held Cottesloe until his retirement in 1977, served as a minister from 1959 until 1971, and was Speaker from 1974 until 1977.

Bill Hassell, also of the Liberal Party, won the seat in 1977, and held it until 1990. Hassell was leader of the opposition from 1984 until 1986.

Liberal candidate Colin Barnett won Cottesloe in a 1990 by-election, and moved immediately to the frontbench. Barnett became deputy leader of the Liberal Party in 1992, and became a minister when the Liberal Party won government in 1993.

Barnett served as a minister for the entirety of the government, and Barnett took over the Liberal leadership shortly after the government lost power in 2001.

Barnett led the Liberal Party for the next term, and stepped down from the leadership after losing the 2005 election. Barnett announced a plan to retire from politics in late 2007, but suddenly became the party leader in August 2008 following the resignation of Troy Buswell. Barnett led the party into the September 2008 election, which was successful. Barnett became premier of a new Liberal-National government.

Barnett’s government won a second term at the 2013 election, but was defeated at the 2017 election. Barnett retired in early 2018.


  • David Honey (Liberal)
  • Cam Tinley (Micro Business)
  • Michael Thomas (Independent)
  • Ron Norris (Western Australian Party)
  • Greg Boland (Greens)
  • Michael Tucak (Independent)
  • Dimitry Malov (Independent)

The Liberal Party will likely retain this seat with ease. This is a relatively strong seat for the Greens, but even if the Greens gain most of the votes previously recorded for the absent Labor Party, they will likely fall well short of winning.

2017 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Colin Barnett Liberal 13,264 56.7 -8.1
Caitlin Collins Labor 5,280 22.6 +10.4
Greg Boland Greens 2,826 12.1 +1.8
Alida Lancee Independent 1,332 5.7 +5.7
Riann Groenewald Australian Christians 226 1.0 -0.3
Nicole Poppas Micro Business 198 0.8 +0.8
Michael Watson 176 0.8 +0.8
Dmitry Malov Independent 103 0.4 +0.4
Informal 819 3.4

2017 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Colin Barnett Liberal 14,799 63.3 -7.8
Caitlin Collins Labor 8,590 36.7 +7.8

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three parts: central, north and south.

The Liberal Party’s two-party-preferred vote ranged from 56% in the south to 66% in the centre and north.

The Labor Party won only one booth: North Fremantle Primary School, at the southern end of the seat.

The Greens came third, with a vote ranging from 11.1% in the north to 12.6% in the south.

Voter group GRN prim % LIB 2PP % Total votes % of votes
North 11.1 65.9 6,724 28.7
Central 11.3 66.4 5,862 25.0
South 12.6 55.8 4,087 17.5
Other votes 14.4 61.4 4,094 17.5
Pre-poll 11.8 64.6 2,638 11.3

Election results in Cottesloe at the 2017 WA state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.


  1. A lot of anger, with the Liberals in this electorate. Specifically over their economic management as well as with the infighting between Collier and Nahan/Harvey. This seat could be a lot closer. WAP candidate Ron Norris will probably be the main challenge as he is more well known than the Lib Candidate. Will be an interesting By-election.

  2. Ron Norris is indeed a strong candidate. People are being ageist about David Honey, but the greens candidate looks to be much, much older. Also, if you look into his track record, the green is all about saying “no” to things, particularly when he was on the Council. I don’t think he bears close inspection. For Cottesloe a year on after the last election, I think it’s a question of “come back, all is forgiven” as far as the Libs are concerned.

  3. I live outside the electorate, but drive through it almost every day. I’ve only noticed two election posters, both for the Liberal candidate David Honey. There was a candidate forum the other week, which Honey didn’t even bother showing up to. I’d still be shocked if he loses however. Presumably the Greens will make it through to the final two-candidate count, but I’m very curious to see how the Western Australia Party candidate polls. He is former mayor of Mosman Park, so does have something of a profile, and the founder of that party, Julie Matheson, was a Subiaco councillor. I doubt they’re in a position to campaign much, but I think anything over 10% they would have to count as a success.

  4. I live inside this electorate and have seen a poster for greens and 4 for independent Michael Tucak, at the prepoll booth I saw Ron Norris and Michael Tucak handing out HTVs as well as a Greens volunteer.

    On Facebook I received advertisements for Cam Tinley, Greens and Liberal and in the mail box leaflets for Liberal, Greens and Ron Norris.

    My sense is that Liberals will get well over 60% Primary with Greens coming second on a primary of around 15% the rest will probably be split between the independents I suspect Ron Norris and Michael Tucak will do the best due to having some profile in the electorate and because they have put some effort in to campaigning.

  5. Though many see this as a safe Liberal seat.

    However, on the ground, many people are not taking Liberal HTV’s many instead taking Green and Western Australia Party. Micro Business has a large presence at the polling booths however many people not taking their HTV’s.
    The Liberals could be in danger.

  6. Perhaps a protest vote; no wrong, the Liberals are now in opposition.

    The ALP last election has a 10.4% swing to them but did not stand a candidate this time which was a foolish as David Honey is not the Liberal leader as Barnett was.

    Cottesoie has not raised a mention on the east coast mass media other than on The Tally Room.

  7. The Liberal Party has won with a primary vote of 59.8% and a 2PP of 70.2%. This compares to 52.5% and 70.3% at the 1990 by-election won by Colin Barnett where again there was no ALP candidate and the Greens were the main opposition.
    Norris has polled only 9.0% and did not even finish 3rd in 3 polling booths. All boxes were won by the Liberal Party, including leftish North Fremantle.
    The Greens have not attracted the majority of the 22.6% of voters who supported the ALP in 2017.
    A result at the higher end of Liberal expectations.


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