Kalgoorlie – WA 2013

IND vs NAT 3.6%

Incumbent MP
John Bowler, since 2008. Previously Member for Eyre 2001-2005, Member for Murchison-Eyre 2005-2008.


Map of Kalgoorlie’s 2008 and 2013 boundaries. 2008 boundaries appear as red line, 2013 boundaries appear as white area. Local government areas marked as green lines. Click to enlarge.

South-eastern Western Australia. Kalgoorlie covers a majority of the Kalgoorlie urban area, although most of the Kalgoorlie/Boulder local government area’s landmass lies in the seat of Eyre. The seat also covers Laverton, Leonora, Menzies and Ngaanyatjarraku council areas. Most of the seat’s population is in Kalgoorlie.

No changes were made to the border with Eyre running through Kalgoorlie itself. A large areas in the north-west of the seat was transferred to North West Central, while the remainder of Ngaanyatjarraku council area was transferred from Pilbara.

Kalgoorlie has existed continuously as a seat since 1904, and in that time has been dominated by Labor MPs.  The seat was held by Labor continuously from 1923 to 2001.

In 2001, Labor MP Megan Anwyl was defeated by the Liberal Party’s Matt Birney.

Birney was re-elected in 2005, and became Liberal leader following the election. He only led the party for one year, before being challenged by Paul Omodei in 2006 and moving to the backbench.

Birney retired in 2008. A redistribution saw the seat of Murchison-Eyre merged into another seat, and the sitting MP for Murchison-Eyre, John Bowler, ran for Kalgoorlie as an independent. Bowler had been elected twice as a Labor member and served in Alan Carpenter’s cabinet but had since moved to the crossbenches.

At the 2008 election, the ALP dropped to fourth place behind a strong performance by Nationals’ candidate Tony Crook (now federal Member for O’Connor). Bowler came first on primary votes, and defeated Crook by 3.6% after preferences. Crook had only come third on primary votes but overtook the Liberal thanks to Labor preferences.

Sitting independent MP John Bowler is not running for re-election. Sitting Member of the Legislative Council for Mining and Pastoral, Wendy Duncan, is running for the Nationals.

  • Terrence Winner (Labor)
  • Wendy Duncan (Nationals)
  • Ross Patterson (Australian Christians)
  • Melissa Price (Liberal)
  • Tim Hall (Greens)

Kalgoorlie is very hard to predict. While the sitting independent is retiring, it’s hard to see where his seat goes. The seat has traditionally been held by Labor, but the last party to hold the seat was the Liberals. If Bowler’s vote returns to Labor, the Nationals preferences will decide the seat between Labor and Liberal. However the Nationals have been strong in the area since 2008, and could come in the top two, and possibly win on preferences. The Nationals are running a prominent candidate, a sitting Parliamentary Secretary and member of the Legislative Council.

2008 result

John BowlerIND3,46634.0+34.0
Nat JamesLIB2,54024.9-26.0
Tony CrookNAT1,94219.0+19.0
Mathew CuomoALP1,79017.6-19.6
Andy HuntleyGRN4614.5+0.2

2008 two-candidate-preferred result

John BowlerIND5,46253.6
Tony CrookNAT4,73146.4


Polling booths in the Kalgoorlie urban area. North Kalgoorlie in orange, Central Kalgoorlie in green. Northern booths not shown on this map.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three areas. Booths outside of the Kalgoorlie urban area have been grouped together as ‘north’. Only 550 votes were cast at these booths. The booths in Kalgoorlie (which make up the vast majority of votes) have been split into Central and North Kalgoorlie. Southern Kalgoorlie is contained in the neighbouring seat of Eyre.

Independent candidate John Bowler polled 34% in Kalgoorlie and 38.6% in the north. The Liberal vote was highest at 26% in the north, and 23-25% in Kalgoorlie. The Nationals polled over 20% in Kalgoorlie and 15.8% in the north. The ALP’s vote peaked at 17.3% in Central Kalgoorlie.

Voter groupIND %LIB %NAT %ALP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Central Kalgoorlie34.2823.7620.3517.283,64149.23
North Kalgoorlie34.1325.4921.5614.883,20543.33
Other votes33.1125.3215.1021.032,682
Primary votes for independent candidate John Bowler in Kalgoorlie at the 2008 WA state election.
Liberal primary votes in Kalgoorlie at the 2008 WA state election.
Nationals primary votes in Kalgoorlie at the 2008 WA state election.
Primary votes for independent candidate John Bowler in the Kalgoorlie urban area at the 2008 WA state election.
Liberal primary votes in the Kalgoorlie urban area at the 2008 WA state election.
Nationals primary votes in the Kalgoorlie urban area at the 2008 WA state election.


  1. John Bowler acted as a quasi-Nat from shortly after the election, so if I had to pick someone it’d be Wendy Duncan, as she’s best known (and even could lead the Nats if Grylls doesn’t win Pilbara). That’s only a gut feeling, though… between the 2001 and 2008 results, the only sane prediction is not making one.

  2. National gain – they’re candidate is probably the best known in this field and Kalgoorlie seems well and truly no longer a Labor seat.

  3. This is a hard call, but I’ll tip the Nationals by virtue of Wendy Duncan’s profile.
    What I find hypocritical is that Colin Barnett took power with the vote of a bloke sacked by Labor because of his dealings with Brian Burke. Remember Peter Costello thundering that any person to have dealt with Burke was politically and morally compromised? Barnett has governed by virtue of a “tainted vote”, surely?
    And people have the elephantine hide to whinge about Julia Gillard’s reliance on Craig Thomson?!

  4. Warren, even if your argument re Bowler was correct, the Barnett Government didn’t need Bowler’s vote to govern.

Comments are closed.