Girrawheen – WA 2013

ALP 6.7%

Incumbent MP
Margaret Quirk, since 2001.


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

Outer north of Perth. Most of the seat lies on the eastern side of the Mitchell Freeway, including the suburbs of Darch, Girrawheen, Lansdale, Madeley and parts of Hamersley and Warwick. Most of the seat lies at the southern end of the City of Wanneroo.

Girrawheen shifted significantly to the north, gaining Madeley, Darch and Lansdale from Wanneroo and West Swan. The seat lost Balga and parts of Hamersley and Warwick to Balcatta and Mirrabooka. This cut Girrawheen’s margin from 11.5% to 6.7%.

Girrawheen was created at the 1996 election as a safe Labor seat in northern Perth.

The seat was first won by Ted Cunningham, who had held other seats for Labor since 1988.

After one term, the seat was won in 2001 by Margaret Quirk. She was appointed to the ministry after the 2005 election and has served as a shadow minister since the 2008 election.

The ALP’s margin was 12.6% at the first election in 1996, which increased at the 2001 and 2005 elections to a peak of 23.4%. The seat’s margin fell back to a reasonably safe 11.5% margin in 2008, which has been cut in half by the recent redistribution.


Girrawheen would normally be considered safe, but the redistribution will make the seat more interesting. The seat’s reduced margin could be vulnerable to a large Liberal swing, particularly considering the large part of the seat in which Margaret Quirk will not benefit from a personal vote.

Despite these factors, it is unlikely that the Liberal Party will be able to win in Girrawheen.

2008 result

Margaret QuirkALP9,15551.1+0.8
John HalliganLIB6,10934.1+11.5
Tamara DesiatovGRN2,65814.8+9.3

2008 two-candidate-preferred result

Margaret QuirkALP11,01461.5-7.6
John HalliganLIB6,90538.5+7.6


Polling booths in Girrawheen at the 2008 WA state election. North in blue, Central in green, South in orange.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three parts: north, central and south. Those booths in the northern part of the seat are new additions after the recent redistribution.

The ALP’s vote varied in 2008 from 54.4% in the centre, to 41% in the north. The Liberal vote peaked at 44% in the north and was lowest at just under 32% in the centre of the seat. The Greens vote varied from 15.6% in the south to 7.2% in the north.

Voter groupALP %LIB %GRN %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Other votes51.3734.1314.493,457
Labor primary votes in Girrawheen at the 2008 WA state election.
Liberal primary votes in Girrawheen at the 2008 WA state election.
Greens primary votes in Girrawheen at the 2008 WA state election.


  1. My prediction: Labor favoured, although as the article mentions, the new areas added to the seat make the contest more interesting.

  2. ALP retain despite Quirk’s margin nearly halving.

    This seat doesn’t really centre on Girrawheen anymore and no longer contains all suburbs of the same flavour.

  3. I don’t imagine Quirk has much of a personal vote. The only thing she’s been notable for was her comment on the Libs attempted stop-and-search laws a few years ago… she enthusiastically supported them, with her only complaint being that they weren’t more and harsher. (It took some progressive Nats to sink that bill… yes, they exist.) The old Girrawheen was the kind of place Labor could run a three-legged dog and it’d win, so who she is doesn’t matter. With the new mortgage-belt part of the seat, it’s different, but for now it’s still safe Labor.

  4. This would easily be a Liberal seat on federal figures; Madely, Darch, Warwick, Lansdale, etc went Liberal by 60% TPP in Cowan in 2010. Only Girrawheen itself has a natural Labor majority, and all the other strong Labor bits have been removed.

    Another seat I reckon would fall if the polling of 56/57 TPP turns out to be true.

  5. Madeley and Darch are recent sprawl-burbs with pretty much nothing in common with the lower-class state housing to the south. A house almost as big as the block it’s built on, a flat-screen TV to watch Border Security on, and a job up awn the moynes, ay. Banksia Grove (on the other side of Wanneroo) is similar. Twenty years ago the whole lot was nothing but market gardens.

    Cowan is actually a little bit less Liberal than WA in general (and used to be a lot less)… it being Liberal is more a sign of how very badly federal Labor have done in WA lately. Graham Edwards retiring in 2007 didn’t help.

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