North Metropolitan – WA 2013

Incumbent MLCs

  • Liz Behjat (Liberal), since 2009.
  • Peter Collier (Liberal), since 2005.
  • Ed Dermer (Labor), since 1996.
  • Michael Mischin (Liberal), since 2009.
  • Ken Travers (Labor), since 1997.
  • Giz Watson (Greens), since 1997.

Geography
North Metropolitan region covers suburbs of Perth north of the Swan River, along the coast from Cottesloe in the south to Butler in the north.

The region covers the electoral districts of Balcatta, Butler, Carine, Churchlands, Cottesloe, Girrawheen, Hillarys, Joondalup, Kingsley, Nedlands, Ocean Reef, Perth, Scarborough and Wanneroo.

Eight of these seats are held by the Liberal Party, five are held by Labor, and one is held by an independent.

Four Liberal seats (Kingsley, Ocean Reef, Scarborough and Wanneroo) and two Labor seats (Balcatta and Joondalup) are held by margins of 5.1% or less. The other seats are held by greater margins. Churchlands is held by 22.5%, and Cottesloe is the safest major party seat at 19.4% for the Liberal Party.

History
North Metropolitan was created as a seven-member electorate at the 1989 election.

At that first election, the Liberal Party won four seats and the Labor Party won three seats. At the last six elections, the Liberal Party won more seats than Labor at four elections, and the parties won equal numbers at two elections.

In 1993, the ALP lost one of its seats to a Liberal-turned-independent.

In 1996, the Liberal Party lost their fourth seat, with the last two seats going to the Greens’ Giz Watson and the Democrats’ Helen Hodgson.

The ALP won back their third seat off the Democrats, along with three Liberals and one Green. The 2005 election saw a similar result.

Prior to the 2008 election, a redistribution saw North Metropolitan become a six-member electorate. In 2008, three Liberals, two Labor and one Green was elected, with the ALP losing their third seat.

2008 result

GroupVotes%Quota
Liberal129,70946.293.2399
Labor91,51232.662.2858
The Greens36,41312.990.9095
Christian Democratic Party6,3022.250.1574
Family First4,3291.540.1081
Brian Peachey3,9361.400.0983
Others8,0342.870.2007

On primary votes, the Liberal Party won three seats, Labor won two, with the Greens holding a strong lead for the final seat.

After the elimination of minor candidates, the Greens’ Watson was very close to a quota, against a field including the third Labor candidate and a number of conservative candidates.

  • Watson (GRN) – 0.9840 quotas
  • Daly (ALP) – 0.2875
  • Nicholls (CDP) – 0.2780
  • Edwardes (LIB) – 0.2545
  • Young (FF) – 0.1936

Young was eliminated, with most of her preferences going to the Christian Democratic Party candidate:

  • Watson – 0.9872
  • Nicholls – 0.4386
  • Daly – 0.2887
  • Edwardes – 0.2831

With the elimination of Liberal candidate Edwardes:

  • Watson – 0.9970
  • Nicholls – 0.7052
  • Daly – 0.2948

Most Liberal preferences flowed to the CDP, putting her over 70% of a quota, with small amounts going to the ALP and the Greens.

The ALP’s preferences mostly flowed to the Greens, although the Electoral Commission did not transfer them all, with Watson being elected on the first tranche of Labor preferences. Overall the Labor/Greens block ended up with about 29% of a quota over what they needed to win three seats.

Candidates

  • Labor
    1. Ken Travers
    2. Ljiljanna Ravlich
    3. Martin Pritchard
    4. Laine McDonald
    5. Sarah Seymour
    6. Rebeka Marton
  • Liberal
    1. Peter Collier
    2. Michael Mischin
    3. Liz Behjat
    4. Peter Katsambanis
    5. Elise Irwin
    6. Paul Collins
  • Family First
    1. Henry Heng
    2. Douglas Croker
  • The Greens
    1. Cameron Poustie
    2. Rebecca Brown
    3. Heather Aqulina
  • Shooters and Fishers
    • Paul Bedford
    • D’arne Stubbs
  • Australian Christians
    1. Roy Moran
    2. Rudy Labordus
  • Noel Avery
  • Angela W. Smith
  • Douglas Thorp
  • Michael Tucak

Preferences
The race in North Metro is primarily between the two major parties, the Greens and three small conservative parties.

The Greens and Labor have swapped preferences. After the Greens, Labor preferences the Shooters, Christians, Family First, then Labor. The Greens preference the Liberals ahead of the right-wing minors.

The Liberals preference the Australian Christians first, with their preferences putting Labor last and the Greens second-last.

All three of the right-wing minors preference the other two first and second, followed by the Liberals. The Australian Christians (previously known as the CDP) gain the second preferences of Family First, the Shooters and the Liberals, and give their second preference to Family First.

The Shooters and Fishers preference the Greens second-last, and Labor last, while Family First and the Australian Christians put the Greens last.

Assessment
In 2008, the Labor-Greens block won three seats, while the Liberals won three seats, with the CDP reaching 70% of a quota for the final spot. With Labor and the Greens swapping preferences, they will again win three seats if the combined vote drops by less than 4.1%. Since Labor was a long way from a quota and appears unlikely to increase their vote in 2013, the seat should be won by the Greens if the swing to the right is less than 4.1%. If a seat is lost on the left, it is very likely to be the Greens, rather than one of the two ALP seats.

The Greens may be additionally hurt by the loss of Giz Watson, who after 16 years is trying her hand in the South West region.

If the swing is greater, the Australian Christians are in the strongest position. The CDP polled over 15% of a quota in 2008, and then benefited from Liberal and Family First preferences to reach 70% of a quota. This time the Australian Christians receive first preferences from the three other right-wing parties, as well as three of the four independents running.

If the Australian Christians can hold up a decent primary vote, they should benefit from preferences from the minor parties, and could win a fourth spot for the right if the vote for the Greens and Labor drops by more than 4.1%.

On the other hand, the election is likely to see an increased vote for the Liberal Party. If there is a decent swing, the Liberals could outpoll the combined vote for the right-wing minors, and benefit from their preferences to win a fourth spot off the Greens.