Nedlands – WA 2021

LIB 8.1%

Incumbent MP
Bill Marmion, since 2008.

Inner north of Perth. Nedlands covers the suburbs of Dalkeith, Crawley, Nedlands, Shenton Park, Subiaco, Jolimont and Daglish. Nedlands covers the Subiaco council area, most of the Nedlands council area and small parts of neighbouring councils.

Nedlands expanded slightly, taking in West Perth from the seat of Perth. This reduced the Labor margin from 8.3% to 8.1%.

Nedlands has existed since 1930, and in that time the seat has nearly always been held by Liberals, including two premiers.

Nedlands was first won in 1930 by Nationalist candidate Norbert Keenan. Keenan had previously sat in the Assembly from 1905 to 1911, and served as Attorney-General from 1906 to 1909. Keenan became a minister in the Nationalist government. The Nationalists were badly defeated in 1933, and Keenan became Nationalist leader as the junior partner in a coalition government with the Country Party.

Keenan eventually joined the new Liberal Party, and held the seat until his defeat in 1950 by independent Liberal David Grayden.

Grayden held the seat for one term, losing in 1953 to Liberal candidate Charles Court. Court held Nedlands for 29 years. He served as a minister in the Brand government in the 1960s and became Liberal leader in 1972, leading the party back into power in 1974. He served as premier until his retirement in 1982.

The 1982 Nedlands by-election was won by Richard Court, son of the former member. Court became Liberal leader in 1992, and led the party to power in 1993. Court served as premier for two terms until his government’s defeat in 2001. He resigned from the leadership and as member for Nedlands soon after.

Liberal candidate Sue Walker won the 2001 Nedlands by-election. Walker was re-elected in 2005. She resigned from the Liberal Party in 2008 to contest Nedlands as an independent, but was defeated by Liberal candidate Bill Marmion. Marmion was re-elected in 2013 and 2017.


Nedlands would normally be considered a safe Liberal seat, but could flip in current circumstances.

2017 result

Bill Marmion Liberal 12,09351.9-6.551.7
Penny Taylor Labor 6,12526.3+12.226.5
Daniel Grosso Greens 3,64115.6+2.615.5
Andrew ManganoMatheson for WA6082.6+2.62.5
Christopher ShawAustralian Christians5252.3+0.82.2
Keith GinbeyMicro Business3291.4+1.41.4
Informal 7803.2

2017 two-party-preferred result

Bill Marmion Liberal 13,58858.3-10.958.1
Penny Taylor Labor 9,72841.7+10.941.9

Booth breakdown

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

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in he north (53.9%) and south (66.9%) while Labor narrowly won in the centre.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 12.9% in the south to 17.1% in the centre.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes16.857.76,00924.6

Election results in Nedlands at the 2017 WA state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.


  1. This could a contest worth watching.

    Nedlands is a safe Liberal seat, but if there is a Labor landslide (even bigger than 2017) perhaps this seat comes into play. The Greens came close to win the 2001 by-election but would need a big push to actually elect an MP here. That being said, this part of the western suburbs does have the highest Green vote and has the highest university student population for any seat in WA as well aecond highest number of 20 to 24 year olds – the demographics for a possible non-Liberal victory in this seat.

    But Bill Marmion is still favourite to win here.

  2. I think Nedlands is in play for sure. Makes no sense for liberals to announce sinking the railway at west perth and big climate change policy if they are trying to win outer suburban marginals, 2 massive expensive election promises targeted at nedlands cant be an accident.

  3. If Nedlands goes to Labor it will be the greatest victory even for the Labor party in Australia. I did not realise the demographics but it is certaiinly in play. One thing that McGowan has done is win the retirement plus vote. It has a similar feel to the seat of Hawthorn which Labor won in the last Victorian election. A seat with a margin of 8%, two former premiers sitting in the seat and typically blue ribbon. Lets watch this one on election night. If it falls the Liberal party, will not be the opposition party it is likely to be the Nationals on the basis of holding more seats.

  4. Liberals for Forests came second (after preferences) at the 2001 election, when old-growth logging in the SW was a big issue. The Greens snuck ahead of LFF at the by-election to replace Richard Court. More recently, 2008 was a protest against Troy Buswell. The Libs have had a few close calls for such a safe seat, but there’s been specific reasons why each time. Along with Cottesloe, Churchlands, South Perth and Bateman, it’s the absolute bedrock of Lib support. If they lose seats like this, Mia Davies will be opposition leader.

  5. I think Labor has a perfect shot here but I have some gut feeling this will be one of the only holds for the Libs due to the incumbent. It could be like Sandringham and Brighton Victoria 2018 where Labor appears set to win on election night and Antony green calls it. But postal’s end up being better than usual and a day later the Libs take the lead. I reckon this will be under 2% either way. However I wouldn’t be surprised if the Libs held this around a 4-5% margin. Bateman is more likely because there is no sitting member. but this seat is more complicated. The seat really hasn’t changed all too much since Richard Court left the premiers office.

  6. Poor Antony Green is forever having things attributed to him he never said. I’m quite sure he never called Brighton or Sandringham for Labor. Indeed the ABC is pretty good at factoring in what postals and late counted votes will do. (Sometimes the ABC computer can be too aggressive with its calls, but Antony usually spots that.)

    As for Nedlands, I find the excitement in this thread hard to credit. Perhaps Labor could win in a thumping landslide, but it’s difficult to see an 8% improvement over 2017. This would be a shock if it fell.

  7. Grew up in this seat, on its current margin it could theoretically fall to Labor but I’d be surprised (though not totally shocked) if it did, as others have suggested if it falls the Nationals probably end up being the official opposition. Bill Marmion has been the most invisible of any Nedlands MP I recall, while he has been the local member for some time I don’t think people have strong feelings for him either way, you just don’t really hear from him.

    One of the factors at the previous election was that the Labor candidate was an unusually prominent one, a City of Subiaco councillor who represented a ward in Shenton Park and who is now Mayor of that council. I don’t think the Labor candidate at this election holds similar prominence.

    I think the Liberals rather progressive energy policy at this election was designed specifically to bunker support in its western suburbs heartland. Places like Nedlands while Liberal bastions, are also quite Green tinged, so this should be enough for them to hold any of the faithful that were considering flirting with Labor and win back some support from the Greens.

  8. Forgot to mention that Nedlands has only gentrified more in the past 4 years so that adds additional security for the Liberals in this seat.

  9. The Greens appear to be trying here, with this seat listed 3rd on their website after Fremantle and Victoria Park. There seem to be some naturally Green friendly areas here but they aren’t even close to being on the board. Compared to Maiwar in QLD (which also covers blue ribbon + university + city fringe) they are underperforming.

    Overtaking Labor will be very tough especially if they’re trying to win.

    Labor are in with a chance but I think the wet Liberal vote will hold strong so without a Green surge, Liberal hold.

  10. Weirdly “gentrification” seems to be a factor that drives up Green votes more than Liberal votes. The people living in gentrified areas are affluent and come from affluent families, but also young and overcoming a cultural aversion to those areas. Progressive ideology with no tribal allegiance to the ALP (or even a negative disposition) is a recipe for a Green voter.

    From my understanding of Perth (which isn’t much) that kind of shift is happening in the Maylands area, Fremantle and Victoria Park, not here.

  11. ^^Nedlands is not that dissimilar in ideology to the seats you mentioned John, I think the main difference is that it’s more well off financially – especially the areas south of Stirling Highway which are among the wealthiest areas of Perth. This area is earmarked for a fair amount of urban infill over the coming years so will be interesting what kind of effect that might have on its voting patterns and the shape of the electorate at future elections.

  12. I know there are Liberals who have called for Bill Marmion to leave parliament and make way for fresh talent. However, this election may be not be the election to do it if the Liberals chances are so dire. And they need every incumbent they can get to recontest. However, it can also have the opposite effect as Tony Abbott found out when he lost his seat of Warringah. Where voters really truly believed he’d been there too long and it was time he should go. To be fair though to Marmion he has only been in parliament since 2008, so it’s not like he’s completely in the same boat with likes Abbott or Kevin Andrews.

  13. The idea that Nedlands is even remotely considered as a possible Labor gain demonstrates perfectly the dire straits the Liberals find themselves in.

  14. ABC News reported that Mark McGowan campaigned in Nedlands today with the local Labor candidate. Clearly Labor think they are a genuine chance here.

  15. There’s rumors that Zac Kirkup will be parachuted in here if he loses Dawesville. Labor would relish in being able to deny that opportunity.

  16. There is still over half the vote to come in.
    If he can get 39% to ALP 33% he will scrap home with 100 vote 2pp. People are right, a lazy member. Needs to be last term so a younger liberal can have a go. Hopefully
    A woman and migrant, time to move into the 21st century.

  17. I think the swing was somewhat subdued here due to equal parts general annoyance with forced rezoning to higher densities (with 2 anti high rise independents in the mix), a less known Labor candidate this time around and an electorate that is a bit more wedded than most to the Liberal party.

    Even still such is the general swing that with 65% of the vote now in Katrina Stratton leads 51.1%-48.9%, still too close to call but the margin hasn’t changed at all today. There might be another 7000 votes to be counted, if so the 2PP margin will need to be around 53-54% in favour of Bill Marmion to overturn that lead from here.

  18. I think you can probably call nedlands on these numbers, Absent votes should pretty easily get labor over the line, expecting them to win by around 650 votes (51.2%)


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