Dawesville – WA 2021

LIB 0.9%

Incumbent MP
Zak Kirkup, since 2017.

Southern fringe of Perth. Dawesville covers southern parts of the Mandurah council area, including Dudley Park, Halls Head, Falcon, Wannanup, Dawesville, Bouvard, Clifton and Herron.

Dawesville underwent minor changes at both ends, losing a small patch of territory to Maroondah at the northern end, and losing the southern end of the electorate to Murray-Wellington. These changes slightly increased the Liberal margin from 0.7% to 0.9%.

The seat of Dawesville has existed since 1996, and has always been held by the Liberal Party.

Liberal MP Arthur Marshall moved to Dawesville in 1996. Marshall had won the seat of Murray in 1993, but moved to Dawesville when Murray shifted south and changed its name to Murray-Wellington. Marshall held Dawesville at the 1996 and 2001 elections, before retiring in 2005.

Kim Hames won Dawesville in 2005. Hames had previously represented the northern suburbs of Perth from 1993 until 2001, serving as a minister from 1997 until 2001. Hames had lost his seat in 2001, and resurrected his political career by moving to Dawesville in 2005.

Hames went straight back onto the frontbench after his election in 2005. He became deputy leader of the Liberal Party, and became deputy premier and a minister when the Liberal Party formed government in 2008.

Hames stepped down as deputy premier in early 2016, and left the ministry in the next reshuffle in March 2016. He retired at the 2017 election.

New Liberal candidate Zak Kirkup narrowly won the seat after a 12% swing almost wiped out his margin. Kirkup was elected Liberal leader in November 2020.


  • Stewart Godden (Greens)
  • Lisa Munday (Labor)
  • Karen Oborn (Sustainable Australia)
  • Elijah Stonehouse (No Mandatory Vaccination)
  • Peter Stacey (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
  • Mark Charles (Independent)
  • Melissa Oancea (Waxit)
  • Kerry Gilmour (One Nation)
  • Zak Kirkup (Liberal)
  • Bradley Chalke (Liberal Democrats)
  • Patricia Leake (Nationals)

Dawesville is a very marginal seat. You’d expect Kirkup to have built up a personal vote, particularly now that he is the party leader, but current polls suggest the swing against the Liberal Party would be too much for him to withstand. It seems likely Kirkup will lose here.

2017 result

Zak Kirkup Liberal 9,09036.7-19.336.9
Adam Woodage Labor 8,29033.5+4.533.3
Dave SchumacherIndependent2,49410.1+4.210.2
Lawrence ShaveOne Nation2,3119.3+9.39.3
Aeron Blundell-Camden Greens 1,0854.4-0.74.4
Russell McCarthyShooters, Fishers & Farmers6412.6+2.62.6
Luke Pilkington Nationals 5592.3-0.12.2
Alan SvilicicMicro Business1690.7+0.70.7
Liam SpenceFlux1260.5+0.50.5
Informal 1,2674.9

2017 two-party-preferred result

Zak Kirkup Liberal 12,54750.7-12.050.9
Adam Woodage Labor 12,20449.3+12.049.1

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three parts: central, east and south.

The Liberal Party barely won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in the centre and won 51.4% in the south, while Labor won 53.4% in the east.

Independent candidate Dave Schumacher came third, with a vote ranging from 9.9% in the south to 12.3% in the centre.

Voter groupIND prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes9.551.04,66319.9

Election results in Dawesville at the 2017 WA state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for independent candidate Dave Schumacher.


  1. Interesting that the Liberals chose Zak Kirkup over Dean Nalder for the leadership. Kirkup is very young, doesn’t have much life experience outside of politics, and is defending a wafer thin margin. Its not out of the realms of possibility that Kirkup may possibly lose his seat. However, it’s probably on a worst case scenario. He will have a higher profile as he became leader of the WA state opposition which should help him.

    But if the Liberals go further backwards then he may be in trouble. And selecting Nalder who had a safe seat margin and has the luxury in campaigning across WA without fear of losing his seat. Is certainly enough of a factor to second guess the Liberals decision. No matter how much of a promising upcoming talent Kirkup may be.

  2. My own suspicion is that the WA Liberals elected Kirkup as leader with the hope that Labor would divert recourses away from other seats (like Murray-Wellington) and focus more on unseating the opposition leader.

    A win for everyone, the WA Liberals might get more seats this way and the door is open for somebody else to become leader. Kirkup, out of state parliament gets a chance to run for federal preselection and pursue his ambition of becoming prime minister and Labor gets the joy of unseating a party leader for the second election in a row, which would distract the party base from the fact they actually lost seats.

    In all seriousness I think Kirkup can hold on, this is a natural Liberal area, and the prestige of having a party leader as your MLC might be just enough for the Liberals to carry this seat. I think this is shaping up to be the most interesting race in the state.

  3. Where do you think Kirkup would go if he went federal Angus? Andrew Hastie is rather safely holding Canning and can’t see him retiring any time soon.

  4. My comment was more tongue in cheek, but that’s still an interesting point, Kirkup has a long political career ahead of him, and I’d be shocked if anybody in his position hasn’t explored a move to federal parliament at a later stage.

    Given Nola Marino’s age I suspect Forrest might open up for any aspiring Liberal in need of a safe seat in the next few election cycles. Of course Mandurah is very different to the South-West (I used to live in the latter), but such jumps aren’t unheard of. Canning is safely in Hastie’s hands as you say, so not really an option.

    It’s all worthless speculation at this stage, especially given there’s a federal redistribution that could seriously throw things out of whack if the Liberals lose a seat.

  5. Look, I don’t want to divert from the subject too much of this seat. As Ben Raue quite rightly complains of posts that are irrelevant to the seat. But Zak Kirkup did make up business cards when he was younger that said ‘Next PM’ and handed one to John Howard. While this might be in tongue and cheek, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kirkup has federal ambitions.

    Peter Van Olsen wrote in an article there is a view from WA Liberals in the ranks that state politics is reserve grade football and federal politics is playing in A grade. Which may be part of the problem right now for state Liberals in WA where the best talent aim at federal politics. As Christian Porter ditched a potential chance of being WA Premier for a federal career.

  6. Kirkup being leader is more likely to help him than hurt him. Probably the only reason this won’t be an ALP gain IMO

  7. The Newspoll of Labor leading 68 – 32 on two party preferred vote is quite frightening if you are the Liberals. I know some have questioned the poll as an outright liar. But even if you take in consideration the margins of error. You would have to say whatever the scenario, its not good for the Liberals.

    Zack Kirkup being leader and the amount of sandbagging isn’t going to be able to hold his seat on his margin via these polls. There is only so much you can do when the swing goes up the pendulum.

    Antony Green blog article has shown a history of leaders who have lost their seats. Green has said on record he stays away from predictions, but you would have to think this article suggests the writing is on the wall.


  8. ^^Yes certainly, Zak will be in serious trouble if it ends up even just being 60-40 statewide. The Liberals would still hold some hope, but the expectation is that Dawesville will probably be lost.

    There is no precedent for an election like this in Australian history, there’s some indication that the swing is highest in the 60+ group, who are also over-represented in the safest Liberal seats. We just can’t really be sure where the swing will be on a seat by seat level, but if Newspoll were to be accurate, every Liberal seat is in danger of being lost.

  9. The 60+ demographic swung to Labor last year in Queensland, where Labor rather surprisingly picked up Hervey Bay and a couple of Sunshine Coast seats. It probably means less in WA because most of the Liberal seats with lots of old people either (a) were lost in 2017 or (b) can’t be lost (Vasse, Cottesloe); but right up the top of the list of seats for that age group is… Dawesville. He’s almost certainly gone.

    Here’s another random factoid: this is the first election since 1971 where the Lib leader hasn’t been from Perth, and only the third where he hasn’t been from the golden triangle. 1983 they lost under Ray O’Connor (Mt Lawley), 1989 they stayed in opposition under Barry McKinnon (Murdoch), and every other election from 1974 to 2017 the leader has been from either Nedlands or Cottesloe.

  10. I think the assessments need editing on allot of Liberal seats. the newspoll showing 68-32 to Labor took even me by surprise. This looks allot like QLD 2012 and NSW 2011, The only difference being it is Labor who is winning big. If the poll is right it would be the largest winning TPP ever in Australian history and I wouldn’t rule out a 1987 New Brunswick style clean-sweep for Labor in the lower house. If you are approaching 70% TPP then I really wouldn’t rule out a history making clean-sweep which almost never happens in Western politics. I can only see 3 seats that I think the Liberals have a good chance of holding and 2 for the Nationals. Nothing else. The opposition could easily fit in 1 taxi after this election

  11. ^^And they’ve passed the leadership to Zak Kirkup always knowing they were a snowflakes chance in hell of winning.

    I think he’s run a decent campaign in the circumstances, some promises have seemed a bit like their unbelievable and/or undeliverable for a Liberal government to pursue, though he does seem quite thoughtful and decent. The electorate made up their mind well before the campaign, Labor just needs to avoid doing anything too incompetent or controversial to win a mammoth majority.

  12. @Daniel what seats do you have?

    I have the Nats bottoming out at 3 (Moore, Roe, Central Wheatbelt). Moore is the most “marginal” of those 3 where Nats are starting from 68/32 2PP vs Labor. That’s safer than Vasse and Cottesloe are for the Liberals.

    I suspect a lot of rusted on Liberals are happy to say to a pollster that they like Mark McGowan and even the Labor government, but actually voting Labor at election could be a bridge too far. There will be a swing of course, and Kirkup will be considered a miracle worker if he holds on here. But whatever the case I don’t see Labor gaining Carine, Churchlands, Cottesloe and Vasse. Bateman, South Perth and Nedlands would be crazy wins for Labor.

    All that to say I’ll be quite surprised if the combined opposition has fewer seats than Labor did after 2012.

  13. Hard to believe 70/30 split from 55/45 previously. But if the safe seats don’t change then there must be a strengthen
    Ing of the labor position elsewhere.

  14. Zak Kirkup has denied rumours will be parachuted into Nedlands if he loses his seat. But then again, of course he would with his seat on the line with voters. Joe Spagnolo predicted Kirkup will hold on but it’s only based on “the vibe I am getting from both Labor and Liberal camps”. Some would suggest Spagnolo prediction the Liberals losing at worst 3 or 4 seats as too modest.

    I am really surprised there has been no commission polling done for this seat from a media outlet. It certainly has a story in it as Newscorp commissioned polling for then QLD Premier Campbell Newman seat in Ashgrove in 2015 and former QLD deputy premier Jackie Trad seat of South Brisbane in 2020.

  15. Of course Kirkup being parachuted into Nedlands requires a few things:
    1. That the ALP don’t just pick up Nedlands (which a few rumours are suggesting is possible)
    2. That Bill Marmion would step aside
    3. That at a resulting bye-election that the Libs don’t get their arses handed to them for this stunt (electing the ALP or a Green).

  16. If Dawesville remains in a non-Perth LC region through any LC reform and the Nats have the resources, this could be a Nats target to leverage their opposition status.


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