Southern River – WA 2013

LIB 1.8%

Incumbent MP
Peter Abetz, since 2008.


Southern River covers southern parts of Canning and Gosnells council areas, including the suburbs of Canning Vale, Southern River and Huntingdale.

The boundary between Gosnells and Southern River was realigned. The previous boundary largely followed a straight line, but the new boundary follows suburb boundaries.

This resulted in parts of Gosnells and Thornlie transferred to Gosnells and Huntingdale transferred to Southern River, and the margin was increased from 1.6% to 1.8%.

The seat of Southern River has existed since 1996, and has always been won by the party that won the election.

The seat was originally won by the Liberal Party’s Monica Holmes. The seat was created as a marginal Labor seat, partly out of remnants of the Labor seat of Kenwick. Holmes defeated sitting Member for Kenwick, Judyth Watson.

In 2001, Holmes was defeated by the ALP’s Paul Andrews. Andrews won a second term in 2005, defeating an attempt by Holmes to return to Parliament.

In 2008, Andrews was defeated by new Liberal candidate Peter Abetz.

Sitting Liberal MP Peter Abetz is running for re-election. The ALP is running Susy Thomas.

  • Susy Thomas (Labor)
  • Damian Posthuma (Australian Christians)
  • Peter Abetz (Liberal)
  • Kate Gnanapragasam (Greens)

Southern River is a very marginal seat. While Abetz should benefit from a personal vote after his first term, the seat will likely go with the statewide trend.

2008 result

Peter AbetzLIB9,38245.0+7.4
Paul AndrewsALP8,11939.0-8.4
Nicola WisemanGRN2,14910.3+5.5
Renise JudgeFF6483.1-0.7
Scott KuipersCDP5342.6-0.4

2008 two-candidate-preferred result

Peter AbetzLIB10,75951.6+6.8
Paul AndrewsALP10,07348.4-6.8



Polling booths in Southern River at the 2008 WA state election. East in blue, Central in green, West in orange.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three areas: East, Central and West. Booths in Canning local government area have been grouped as West. Booths in Gosnells LGA have been grouped as Central and East.

The Liberal Party topped the poll with a vote from 46-49% in the West and Centre. The ALP topped the poll with 41% to 38% for the Liberal Party in the East.

Voter groupLIB %ALP %GRN %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Other votes44.6738.159.984,278
Liberal primary votes in Southern River at the 2008 WA state election.
Labor primary votes in Southern River at the 2008 WA state election.
Greens primary votes in Southern River at the 2008 WA state election.


  1. Anton / MT, are you the same person?

    Southern River (as it’s currently drawn… it tends to get moved around a lot at redistributions) is another seat that would be a prime target of Labor with the Metronet stuff. Extending the Thornlie line to Cockburn (along the alignment reserved by the Lib govt in the 90’s for their version of the Mandurah line, so they can’t whinge too much) would be attractive to people living in that part of the world. What with losing Paul Andrews’ personal vote, Labor probably won’t win it this time, but it’ll definitely be low-hanging fruit in 2017.

  2. I have met Peter Abetz a couple of times to talk about getting rail to Canning Vale. This is something he is working hard at – check Hansard to see for yourself. Metronet has no benefits over a Canning Vale station to voters in Southern River.

    Talk to any of the other pollies and they will tell you that Peter is as hard a working guy as you will find in politics. He is always door knocking, and takes peoples concerns seriously. He also is prepared to stand up to his own party, as he did when he introduced his franchise bill.

    I predict a further swing towards the Libs, on the back of this good local member. Note, I am not a Libs voter, I wish he would go Independent myself!

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