Mining and Pastoral – WA 2013

Incumbent MLCs

  • Ken Baston (LIB), since 2005.
  • Helen Bullock (ALP), since 2009.
  • Robin Chapple (GRN), since 2009. Previously Member for Mining and Pastoral 2001-2005.
  • Wendy Duncan (NAT), since 2009. Previously Member for Agricultural 2008-2009.
  • Jon Ford (ALP), since 2001.
  • Norman Moore (LIB), since 1989. Previously Member for Lower North Province 1977-1989.

Geography
Mining and Pastoral covers a majority of the state’s land mass, stretching from Esperance to the Kimberley and as far west as Carnarvon.

The region covers the districts of Eyre, Kalgoorlie, Kimberley, North West Central and Pilbara.

Two seats (Kimberley and Pilbara) are held by the ALP. Eyre is held by the Liberal Party and Kalgoorlie is held by a retiring independent MP, who is a former member of the ALP. In North West Central, the seat is held by Vince Catania, who was elected as a member of the ALP in 2008. The seat became a notional conservative seat in the redistribution.

History
Mining and Pastoral was created as a five-member electorate in 1989.

The ALP won three seats in 1989, and the Liberal Party won two seats. The same result was replicated in 1993 and 1996.

In 2001, both the ALP and the Liberal Party lost a seat, with those seats going to the Greens and One Nation.

In 2005, the Greens and One Nation both lost their seats, returning to the pattern of three Labor and two Liberal.

In 2009, Mining and Pastoral gained a sixth seat. The ALP lost their third seat, and the two leftover seats went to the Greens and the Nationals. This was the first time the Nationals won a seat in Mining and Pastoral.

2008 result

GroupVotes%Quota
Labor18,55434.102.3870
Liberal16,22729.822.0876
The Nationals11,65621.421.4995
The Greens4,8698.950.6264
Christian Democratic Party1,0181.870.1310
Family First8961.650.1153
Others1,1892.190.1530

On primary votes, the ALP and Liberal Party each won two seats, and the Nationals won one seat.

After the elimination of minor candidates, along with the third Liberal and the Family First candidate, there were four candidates remaining in the race for the last seat:

  • Chapple (GRN) – 0.6844 quotas
  • Grills (NAT) – 0.6398
  • Murie (ALP) – 0.3861
  • Kidd (FF) – 0.2838

Family First preferences pushed the Nationals over 90% of a quota:

  • Grills – 0.9061
  • Chapple – 0.6932
  • Murie – 0.3941

While not all of the ALP’s preferences were distributed, over 99% of those distributed went to the Greens, pushing Robin Chapple over the line.

The margin of victory was approximately 700 votes, and if those votes were flipped, the Nationals would have won the seat, giving conservatives four seats out of six in a region traditionally dominated by the ALP.

Candidates

  • Family First
    1. Ian Rose
    2. Cedric Harper
  • Liberal
    1. Ken Baston
    2. Mark Lewis
    3. Eden Coad
    4. Ross Wood
    5. Ross Beckett
  • Australian Christians
    1. Roger Mansell
    2. Mike Walsh
  • The Greens
    1. Robin Chapple
    2. Kado Muir
  • The Nationals
    1. Jacqui Boydell
    2. Dave Grills
    3. John McCourt
    4. David Eagles
    5. Adrian Hatwell
    6. Cale Hill
  • Labor
    1. Stephen Dawson
    2. Jim Murie
    3. Shane Hill
    4. Jon Ford
    5. Linda Morich
    6. Renee Portland
  • Shooters and Fishers
    1. John Parkes
    2. Stefan Colagiuri
  • Frank Bertola

Preferences
The Nationals, Australian Christians and Family First give first preferences to the Shooters and Fishers. The Shooters and Fishers and the Liberal Party give first preferences to Australian Christians.

The ALP preferenced the Greens, then the Shooters and Fishers. The Greens preferenced the ALP’s second candidate ahead of the Shooters and Fishers, but preferences the ALP’s third candidate behind the Shooters and Fishers. It is unlikely that the ALP’s third candidate will be in with a chance.

The ALP and the Greens both preferenced the Nationals behind the Liberal Party. The right-wing minor parties varied between preferencing the Nationals or the Liberals.

Assessment
Mining and Pastoral is a region where the Nationals have been growing. They won their first ever seat in the Legislative Council in the region in 2008, and almost won a second.

The party has never won a seat in the Legislative Assembly in the region, but now holds one seat in North West Central (and are the favourite to hold it). Their leader Brendon Grylls is favoured to win the Labor seat of Pilbara, and sitting MLC Wendy Duncan is favoured to win the independent seat of Kalgoorlie.

The Nationals were only 700 votes away from beating the Greens for the final seat in 2008. It’s very hard to see a scenario where the combined vote for the Nationals, Liberals and other conservative parties doesn’t increase enough to gain a seat off the Greens. If somehow the conservative vote wasn’t to grow, it’s likely that the Nationals would win enough votes off the Liberals to challenge them for their second seat.

The one likely challenge to the Nationals comes from a conservative minor party. The Shooters and Fishers are focusing energy on the region and have favourable preferences, which could win them the seat, particularly with the benefit of Greens preferences. This can only happen if they win a substantial vote.

If the left loses one of their seats, it is most likely that the Greens will lose a seat. There would need to be a large swing away from Labor to endanger their second seat.

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