Perth by-election, 2018

Cause of by-election
Sitting Labor MP Tim Hammond resigned from parliament on May 10, 2018.

Margin ALP 3.3%

Central and northeastern Perth. The seat covers the Perth CBD, which is in the southwestern corner of the seat. Perth runs along the northern shore of the Swan river, to the east of the Perth CBD. Other suburbs include Maylands, Mount Lawley, Bayswater, Ashfield, Bedford, Morley and Mount Hawthorn.

Perth is an original federation seat. It was dominated by conservative parties until the 1940s, and became a marginal seat until the early 1980s. It has been held by the ALP ever since 1983.

Perth was first won in 1901 by the ALP’s James Fowler. Fowler was a fierce opponent of Billy Hughes within the party, and he switched to the new Liberal Party in 1909. He joined the new Nationalist Party in 1916, but his conflict with Hughes made this difficult. He lost Nationalist endorsement before the 1922 election, and lost Perth.

Nationalist candidate Edward Mann won Perth in 1922. He was re-elected in 1925 and 1928, but in 1929 was one of a number of Nationalist MPs led by Billy Hughes to rebel against the Bruce government and lead to the government’s downfall. Mann lost Perth as an independent in 1929.

Perth was won in 1929 by Nationalist candidate Walter Nairn. Nairn became a United Australia Party member in 1931, and held the seat for the next decade. He served as Speaker from 1940 to 1943, and retired at the 1943 election.

The ALP’s Tom Burke won Perth in 1943. He held the seat for the next twelve years, until 1955, when he lost Perth to the Liberal Party’s Fred Chaney. Burke was expelled from the ALP in 1957, although he later rejoined the party. His sons Terry Burke and Brian Burke were both later elected to the Western Australian state parliament, and Brian went on to become Premier.

Chaney held Perth for the next fourteen years. He served in Robert Menzies’ ministry from 1964 to 1966, but was dropped from the frontbench when Harold Holt became Prime Minister in 1966. He lost Perth in 1969. He went on to serve as Administrator of the Northern Territory and Lord Mayor of Perth.

Perth was won in 1969 by the ALP’s Joe Berinson. He was re-elected in 1972 and 1974, and in July 1975 was appointed Minister for the Environment in the Whitlam government. He lost his seat at the 1975 election. He went on to serve in the Western Australian state parliament and as a minister in a number of state Labor governments.

The Liberal Party’s Ross McLean won Perth in 1975, and held the seat as a backbencher for the entirety of the Fraser government, losing the seat in 1983.

Perth was won in 1983 by the ALP’s Ric Charlesworth. Charlesworth had been caption of the Australian men’s field hockey team, and represented Australia at five Olympics in the 1970s and 1980s. He captained the team at two Olympics while he held the seat of Perth. Charlesworth also played Sheffield Shield cricket for Western Australia in the 1970s.

Charlesworth held Perth for ten years, retiring in 1993 at the age of 41. He was replaced by Stephen Smith, former Keating advisor and State Secretary of the ALP in WA.

Smith was promoted to the Labor frontbench after the 1996 election, and served as a shadow minister in a variety of portfolios until 2007. Smith served as Foreign Minister in the first term of the last Labor government, and as Defence Minister in the second term, before retiring at the 2013 federal election.

In 2013, Perth was won by Labor’s Alannah MacTiernan. MacTiernan had been a state MP from 1993 to 2010, and a minister in the Gallop/Carpenter state Labor government. She had resigned from state Parliament in 2010 to unsuccessfully contest the federal seat of Canning. After that loss, she had served as Mayor of Vincent from 2011 until her election to federal Parliament in 2013.


  • Julie Matheson
  • Nicole Arielli (Animal Justice)
  • Jim Grayden (Independent)
  • Wesley Du Preez (Liberal Democrats)
  • Colin Scott (Sustainable Australia)
  • Ben Mullings (Mental Health)
  • Patrick Gorman (Labor)
  • Gabriel Harfouche (People’s Party)
  • Paul Collins (Independent)
  • Caroline Perks (Greens)
  • Aaron Hammond (Science Party)
  • Ellen Joubert (Australian Christians)
  • Tony Robinson (Liberty Alliance)
  • Ian Britza (Independent)
  • Barry Mason (Citizens Electoral Council)

Perth is a marginal seat but Labor is likely to hold on.

2016 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Jeremy Quinn Liberal 35,381 42.3 +0.2
Tim Hammond Labor 31,248 37.4 -1.0
Tim Clifford Greens 14,272 17.1 +5.1
Mark Robert Walmsley Liberal Democrats 1,430 1.7 +1.7
Andrew David Chambers Online Direct Democracy 1,300 1.6 +1.6
Informal 3,274 3.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Tim Hammond Labor 44,602 53.3 +1.2
Jeremy Quinn Liberal 39,029 46.7 -1.2

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three parts:

  • Central – Bayswater, Inglewood and Maylands
  • North-East – Bassendean, Morley and Noranda
  • West – Mount Hawthorn, Mount Lawley, North Perth, Perth, West Perth

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 50.9% in the west to 57.8% in the centre.

The Greens primary vote was 12% in the north-east and around 19.5% in the other two areas.

Voter group GRN prim % ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
West 19.6 50.9 23,102 27.6
North-East 12.0 56.2 17,988 21.5
Central 19.5 57.8 16,306 19.5
Other votes 17.3 51.4 13,985 16.7
Pre-poll 16.3 50.0 12,250 14.6

Election results in Perth at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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  1. I’m leaning toward an open ticket at this stage but that will depend on the candidates after nominations close.

  2. Jim Grayden
    Nah put Labor last. Let people see more of the Greens, it helps with the rose coloured glasses. Besides i’d like to see Labor have to fight for seats like Perth where they arrogantly assume hegemony.

    It also illustrates how dumb the Greens would be to preference Labor. I’ll bet they do anyway

  3. Why would the Greens be dumb to preference Labor winediamond? Green preferences can’t cause themselves to lose seats (unless there is voter backlash to a particular choice or something).

    Going open ticket is noble, but a party that does so risks voters “just voting 1 like the card says” making the ballot informal, depressing their own primary vote with their own HTV cards!

    I dunno if Caroline Perks would be a good case for your Green self destruction goal winediamond, IIRC she’s a policy wonk.

  4. Bennee
    The Greens ARE dumb. They will never win Perth off the ALP. They have a much better chance in any other scenario. If you recall i strongly advocate the Libs preferencing the Greens. “To destroy is to create”!

    Caroline Perks is no different from any other Green. They are all mad. I v’e met Shoebridge, & he’s the best of them, as he has a moral compass. However he is still a climate religion fanatic, & zealot.

    We will see how he goes with the NDIS scandal i plan on unleashing shortly. That will be bigger than anything we have ever seen. You heard it here first mate.

    Agree with you completely about open tickets

  5. Greens put Labor #2 in both Northcote & Batman by-elections, I’d suspect they’d do the same in Freo & Perth. At this stage we know of three candidates in Perth, if Jim can attract a strong vote from the 40% of the electorate that would have voted for a Liberal candidate and finishes 3rd, his preferences could play a role in determining who wins. That said, I think Labor will hold Perth no matter how Jim preferences as ALP’s primary vote will be far too high.

  6. Iv began seeing a few signs popping up around the Leederville area including one for Barry Mason of the Citizens Electoral Council but he doesn’t appear to be a registered candidate yet.

  7. A78 – they are not my preferences, they belong to the voters. I hope voters think long and hard before making up their own minds how to distribute their preferences. I respect voters too much to attempt to “direct” them. If a voter turns up at the polling booth and is influenced by the cards thrust at them by the various parties and candidates they haven’t done their part in the democratic process and that is what parties rely on.
    At the last election Liberal had the highest primary vote. Labor second and Greens third. Greens got Labor across the line. Greens would have to poll above Labor on the primary vote to have have any chance and that is unlikely.

  8. Jim Grayson is right preferences belong to voter BUT I have never heard any Independent or Party Rep say that when negotiating deals. If a candidate bothers to put out How to Votes they think that they have some say in deciding pref allocation. Only candidates who do not put out HTV are those who have no support. Pref allocation is part of our electoral process so let’s not be coy about it.
    Andrew Jackson

  9. YES I agree with Andrew Jacksen!! VOTING preferences do belong to US the VOTER & candidates must put a htv card out that gives preferences regardless AND I would suggest voters seek out information regarding all candidates prior to the election and not JUST following the card!

  10. Andrew, I haven’t negotiated any deals. I put myself forward and voters can support me or not – it’s their choice depending on whether they like what they see. I’m not running to funnel preferences to another party or candidate, I’m running to win. As a Liberal leaning candidate my personal preference would be to put Labor and Greens last – but that’s just me. I’m not here to tell voters how to distribute their preferences but I ask them to put me number 1.

  11. @Jim Grayden, Why are you running if you have very little chance of winning? And if you somehow do win due to a miracle, Would you back the coalition in an event of an Hung parliament? And Why?

  12. Hi Daniel,

    I’m running because the Liberal Party have chosen not to field a candidate and I think that is an insult to the 42% of voters that voted Liberal in the last election.
    That said, I am realistic about my chances. It’s a huge task to win as an Independent – I know that.
    I have quite a lot of material on what I stand for on and on my YouTube channel. I’m sure you can get most of the answers you need there but if there is anything I don’t cover then let me know. You may not want to vote for me, I get that, but I hope you support the democratic principle of choice that underpins our system of government. That’s what I am about.
    Have a good one, Jim

  13. Been looking up all the candidates so far I see 9 candidates on Wikipedia who have offered themselves up for the Perth by election. It’s a relief to see a Liberal choice – thanks Jim! You’re looking like my first preference at this stage! All the best!

  14. I note that Jim dodged Daniel’s question about who he would support in the event of a hung parliament like a typical establishment Liberal or Labor backbencher. The art of the dodge. People are sick of being played for mugs like this. Jim, you need to be up front and totally transparent if you’re going to at least try and pretend to be an “independent” candidate.

  15. Hey Firefox
    Read the feed and you’ll see Grayden has said he is standing as an “Independent Liberal”? I’d say that’s pretty obvious you have your conservative choice in Jim given his families political history …if that is what you’re looking for?

  16. Two days ago WA today announced that Ian Britza is also running as independent in PerthPerth May not be the walkover that ALP expecting

  17. Britza will most likely poll best in the far north of the seat, which he represented a decent part of for eight and a half years (Noranda/Morley), and his preferences should go to Grayden over Labor or the Greens.

  18. I recall Britza went east to contest the New England by election seat against Barnaby Joyce? He resigned from the Liberals and joined up with the Australian Country Party to do so? Just read he is independent now….

  19. Whilst most people say this by election is a safe Labor hold I’m not so certain.

    For several factors:

    First, The greens are putting in alot of effort, they have been out door knocking everyday before the rit was called and have tried to bite into the Labor vote. I don’t know if it will work however.

    Seccond, there is a large amount of anger at the Labor party in Perth because Tim Hammond resined and also Patrick Gorman worked with Rudd who is not well liked in WA.

    Third, there are 15 candidates who will scoop up the vote. Specifically the independent liberals who seem to be campaigning hard but also Julie Matheson the WA party leader who have made an impact on two state by elections though unregistered federally (they r currently in that process) they r running with their party branding and on the GST issue which could potentially gain traction and such they could gain a large slice of the liberal vote but also some Labor vote.

    Whilst I’m inclined to think that Labor will win it is possible for the greens or Julie Matheson or an independent to win because of the huge portion of preference flows.

  20. Likely that Labor will win in Perth but also agree that it’s not as certain as some may think. Patrick Gorman doesn’t seem to be a particularly good candidate and this seat isn’t as solid a Labor seat as it looks. With no Liberal candidate would not be surprised to see the Greens win here if they garner enough preferences from conservative leaning independents.

  21. Greens can’t win. What voters should be concerned about are Labor’s policies, both current and future. What is Patrick Gorman’s position on the reintroduction of death duties – as proposed by the union movement?

  22. Apparently there’s going to be a very low turnout in Perth and Fremantle. Early voting numbers have been well down compared to the other three by-elections and the last election. A low turnout could favour the Greens as their supporters will likely be far more motivated to show up than any others. Still a likely Labor win but you never know. Definitely worth watching tomorrow.

  23. > Early voting numbers have been well down compared to the other three by-elections

    That would almost certainly be because there’s no Liberal candidate.

  24. Robbie
    Indeed. I believe death duties are levied at 40% in the UK over a threshold of 300000 pounds INCLUDING the family home !
    Any economist will tell you how “efficient ” the tax is. Problem is the other economic consequences which follow.

    Anyway the ALP is introducing a death tax by stealth through decreasing the CGT discount. Which btw i agree with. It is a shame that the funds raised will be pissed up against the wall along with everything else

  25. Something’s changed about how the general population sees the Greens. The results in terms of primary vote ended up looking quite similar to Cunningham 2002, but the preferences just aren’t there any more.

    Greens had every opportunity to win this one and they blew it.

  26. Interesting result, labor only getting a 2% swing for all the work they put and the greens only at 1.5%. Therefore overall bad result for Labor and Greens.

    Good result for Paul Collins who could very well be the Liberal candidate at the next election or could try and run in a state seat i.e. Mount Lawley as he got almost 30% in thoose polling booths and such could be in a position to win that seat of off labor at the 2021 WA State election.

    The Liberal Demcorats did well given they put most of their resources into Fremantle.

    Julie Matheson (WA Party) has done very well for an unendorsed candidate and her result shows people that there is room for a third force in WA politics.

    The other candidates were a mixed bag Jim Grayden has done alright, Ian Britza not so much and the other candidates all did around what was expected.

    Interesting the high informal vote of 9.3% perhaps this is high due to many people trying to vote for Jim Grayden and just putting a 1 (as his how-to-vote only had 1 box filled in)

    Overall a disappointing result for Perth as Patrick Gorman is not the best candidate in the world and is certainly a very very bad speaker, as well as just a party sprout meaning there will be very little local representation for the people of Perth.

  27. I think it’s difficult to judge the swing here because there was a very low turnout and because the Liberals didn’t run (so we don’t really know how preferences would flow to Liberal and Labor). I still don’t quite understand the Liberals decision not to run in a marginal seat, especially one that doesn’t have a sitting member.

    I don’t think the performance of the independents and minor parties was that impressive considering there was ~40% of abandoned Liberal votes to go around. I agree that the Greens must be disappointed with their results here and in Fremantle, although I’d guess the low turnout probably hurt them a bit.


    To be fair, it’s pretty rare for any party to win a seat with ~20% of the primary vote. In the Cunningham by-election there was a backlash against Labor so every party directed their preferences away from them, ultimately electing the Greens. There wasn’t a similar backlash against Labor here.

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