Collie-Preston – WA 2013

ALP 3.8%

Incumbent MP
Mick Murray, since 2008. Previously Member for Collie 2001-2005, Collie-Wellington 2005-2008.


Map of Collie-Preston’s 2008 and 2013 boundaries. 2008 boundaries appear as red line, 2013 boundaries appear as white area. Click to enlarge.

South West.  Collie-Preston lies to the south of Perth, covering the Capel, Collie and Dardanup local government areas. The coal-mining town of Collie is the largest population centre in the electorate.

Collie-Preston previously covered the Donnybrook-Balingup local government area, and this area was transferred to Warren-Blackwood in the redistribution. This increased the ALP’s margin from 1% to 3.8%.

The seat of Collie-Preston is the successor to the seat of Collie, which existed under that name from 1904 until the name was changed to Collie-Wellington in 2005 and then Collie-Preston in 2008.

The seat was held by Labor continuously for eighty-one years from 1908 until 1989.

In 1989, the seat was by the National Party’s Hilda Turnbull. Turnbull defeated Labor candidate Mick Murray in 1993 and 1996. In 2001, Murray defeated Turnbull by 34 votes.

In 2005, Murray was re-elected to the renamed seat, and a combination of a friendly redistribution and a 6.7% swing saw him hold the seat with a 9.3% margin.

Most of Murray’s margin was wiped out in the 2008 redistribution, but Murray held on with a small positive swing, leaving him with a 1% margin.


Mick Murray has demonstrated a strong personal vote in Collie-Preston over the last decade. This could potentially help him hold onto his seat, but a swing to the Liberal Party will likely overwhelm the seat.

2008 result

Mick MurrayALP8,43941.0-1.3
Steve ThomasLIB8,26040.1+2.4
Richard ChapmanGRN1,8028.8+2.7
Keith HopperFF1,5347.5+4.6
Wayne BarnettCDP5482.7+1.2

2008 two-candidate-preferred result

Mick MurrayALP10,49451.0+0.1
Steve ThomasLIB10,08349.0-0.1


Polling booths in Collie-Preston at the 2008 WA state election. Collie in green, Capel in orange, Dardanup in blue.

Booth breakdown
Collie-Preston covers the entirety of three local government areas, and booths have been split between these three areas.

The easternmost local government area of Collie largely consists of a series of booths in the Collie town area. The other two council areas consist of a series of rural booths. The three areas are roughly the same size in terms of votes cast.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the primary vote in Capel, and a larger primary vote in Dardanup. These results, however, were offset by a massive Labor majority in the Collie area, with a total Labor primary vote of almost 76%.

Voter groupALP %LIB %GRN %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Other votes38.7840.4611.184,115
Labor primary votes in Collie-Preston at the 2008 WA state election.
Liberal primary votes in Collie-Preston at the 2008 WA state election.


  1. My prediction: Mick Murray is a strong local member, but I can see the Liberals taking this, particularly with the strong polling for the Government.

  2. I reckon Murray’s fairly safe. The one-vote-one-value redistribution before the 2008 election basically merged Collie-Wellington and Capel, and both MP’s ran for Collie-Preston (Steve Thomas was the Lib MP for Capel). I wouldn’t be surprised to see the old Capel part of the seat swing to Labor. The Libs need to knock a few points off Labor in Collie if they want to win, and that town’s been rock solid Labor for 100 years.

  3. BoP, I would have assumed those Capel booths swung to Labor last time, which is why Murray held on against the trend here?

  4. Doesn’t look like it. There’s 10 booths common to Capel 2005 and Collie-Preston 2008 (to make things even more confusing, half of them have now been transferred to Warren-Blackwood). They had an average swing of 1.2% against Labor, but that’s swamped by a big swing to the Libs (from the Nats and One Nation, who didn’t contest Collie-Preston).

    By the by, while plugging that into a spreadsheet, I found something else notable: Family First got 13.6% and 16.6% in the two big Eaton booths. It might’ve been some kind of personal vote for Dan Sullivan (Lib MP for Leschenault, joined FF when his seat got abolished), in which case those votes are up for grabs too.

  5. Prediction: LIB Gain…(narrowly)

    Rationale: While Mick Murray is a popular MP and a good chance to hang on, I think it is more likely that he will be washed away with the tide. I think a rise in the Liberal vote in Collie is inevitable, and having a Collie based candidate this time around will assist the Liberal Party.

  6. Another thought, not really related to the election: the next redistribution is probably gonna do weird things to Collie-Preston. It’s growing due to the two separate outer suburban parts of Bunbury, (which is why it lost Donnybrook). If those areas grow much more (which they are doing), it’ll have to lose more area, but where to? Warren-Blackwood could take Capel and Boyanup, but they’re not that big. Meanwhile, they might want to iron out the weird situation where the Australind/Eaton area is split between three different electorates. The Bunbury metro area is getting big enough that they could chop it into two mostly urban electorates, but that would basically redraw half the south-west. Whatever happens, it’s gonna be messy, and Mick Murray could be the last MP representing Collie to have an office in the town.

  7. It might depend on whether they abolish a rural seat, or if they fiddle around with the numbers in the south-west region?

    Collie itself might get removed to an agricultural seat, with more areas around Bunbury added. So you’d get one inner Bunbury seat and one seat covering all the communities around it. That might work.

  8. Yes, greater Bunbury will soon be large enough to have two seats in its own right. The current boundaries are consistent with the silly local government boundaries that involve four local governments being responsible for the greater Bunbury area. It will be easy enough for political purposes to excise all the rural areas of these local governments and create a north and south Bunbury seat.

    As for Collie-Preston, I can’t see the Liberal vote increasing much in the Collie LGA (some of the highest 2PP booths for Labor in the State). An increase in the Liberal vote in faster growing Bunbury urban areas could deliver this seat to the Libs.

  9. It will be easy enough for political purposes to excise all the rural areas of these local governments and create a north and south Bunbury seat.

    Oh, that’d be simple. It’s redrawing everything from Pinjarra to Donnybrook that’s the hard bit.

    MDM: Collie transferred into Wagin (for a seat based along the Coalfields Road and Great Southern Hwy) would be extremely strange, but quite funny to watch. It would produce a seat that’d be very hard for Labor to win, but also not the rock-solid National bastion Terry Waldron gets to retire in. They’d both lose.

    Some local news, too: the Libs have promised a new bridge over the Collie River between Treendale and Eaton. Australind and Eaton are north and south of the Collie River, and Treendale is a new (and booming) suburb east of Australind but on the other side of the Brunswick River, so a bridge there would make Treendale a bit less of a cul-de-sac suburb.

  10. Having taken a great interest since moving into the electorate recently I see the seat divided into three parts;
    1. Collie, a close knit mining community that dont take knindly to outsiders representing them. Havent really had a reason to vote Liberal in the state but quite happy to volte for Marino Federally.
    2. Dalyellup/Gelorup, a new and fast growing are what has had a four-fold increase in residents since the last election. A strong Liberal vote in 2008.
    3. Eaton/Millbridge, similar to Dalyellup with a lot of new residents.

    With the Liberals having selected Jaimee Motion a local and well-known Collie girl, the Collie voters can feel comfortable in voting for her. They finally have that reason to change their vote along with the overall sentiment of Western Australians in recent polls.

    If she manages to change the 76/24 result in Collie from 2008 to around 65/35 (very achievable) and keep the overal result of the in the other 2 area’s along the lines of 2008, she will ride the population growth home.

    Mick is a tired, rusted-on Collie member that has only recently realised that his electorate is Collie/Preston not Collie and has rarely ventured outside of the town to the highest growth areas of his electorate.

  11. SW Votes, as you say yourself “since moving into the electorate recently” mayb you should talk to a few people around not only Collie but also Eaton, Dardanup & and all around the South West to what Mick has down for them personally and/or their towns. You should also look into how many times his electral boundries have changed with each election so each term he has to start fresh again in a new Shire loosing all the previous years hard work and efforts as nothing happens overnight with the Government! Oh and the work he did for his community when he wasnt even elected and I’m sure you will soon change your tune. I am writing this as i know Mick and his family very personally and have seen what great lengths he has taken to do the best that he can for the South West and fighting very hard for what he believes that is best for that town, not just Collie,

    Last of all if your opinion is that “Mick is a tired, rusted- on, Collie member” mayb you should get your head out of the sand! He is still very passionate man about his position and thrives on fighting for the South West and seeing things his faught for benefit people around the area, not for any of his own personal gain……

  12. Well it appears as though Mick Murray got his miracle. The final count ended a little while ago with him 20 votes ahead with a final recount tomorrow morning.

  13. Well, here we go…

    Swing to/from (ALP+Grn) in the three regions:

    Collie: -3.15%
    Dardanup: -3.71%
    Capel: 0.88%
    Other: -2.80%

    Libs did best in Dardanup (and also took advantage of the FF vote collapsing by 9.33%). Not quite so good in Collie… so much for the Jamie Motion effect. Meanwhile, they went backwards in Capel – that’d be Steve Thomas’ personal vote from last time, like I mentioned up-thread.

    Wilson Park (one of the Collie booths) voted 80.5% for Labor… not bad for an election like this. I wonder if that’s Labor’s best booth in WA.

  14. Thanks for that BoP. I will be doing post-election booth maps but the WAEC has promised they will do two-party-preferred results by polling place at some point, so I’ll wait for that. I wish I had those before the election for the 2008 results!

  15. Capel.
    Steve Thomas? Perhaps.
    Another promised police station? More than likely, even though it’s been promised plenty of times over the past 20 years and will never happen.

    They sent a message that they are Mick Murray Labor voters through and through.

    Dalyellup/Eaton. Big increases to Liberal with a large change in Eaton from marginally Labor to strong Liberal.

    Preferences. Almost 50/50. We would therefore assume thatthe Nat’s voters were split between Labor and Liberal.

    Greens. Collapsed.

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