South Perth – WA 2021

LIB 7.2%

Incumbent MP
John McGrath, since 2005.

Inner south of Perth. South Perth covers suburbs on the south side of the Swan river, including South Perth, Como, Kensington, Karawara and Salter Point. The seat covers most of the South Perth council area.

South Perth lost part of Kensington to Victoria Park. This change slightly increased the Liberal margin from 7.1% to 7.2%.

The seat of South Perth has existed continuously since 1950, and has almost always been held by the Liberal Party. While there has been a few periods of independents winning the seat, Labor has never won South Perth.

Liberal Country League MP George Yates won South Perth in 1950. Yates had represented the seat of Canning since 1947. He held South Perth for two terms, retiring in 1956.

Yates was succeeded in 1956 by Bill Grayden. Grayden had held the state seat of Middle Swan from 1947 to 1949, before serving as a federal MP from 1949 until 1954. Grayden was first elected to South Perth as an independent Liberal, but was an official Liberal from 1959.

Grayden held South Perth for well over thirty years, retiring in 1993. He also served as a minister in the Court government from 1974 until 1982.

Phillip Pendal was elected as the Liberal member for South Perth in 1993, after thirteen years in the Legislative Council. Pendal resigned from the Liberal Party in 1995 and was re-elected as an independent in 1996 and 2001.

Pendal retired in 2005, and the seat was won by Liberal candidate John McGrath. McGrath has been re-elected three times.

Sitting Liberal MP John McGrath is not running for re-election.

South Perth would normally be considered a safe Liberal seat, but in the current environment Labor could well win this seat.

2017 result

John McGrath Liberal 11,89950.0-15.950.1
Michael Voros Labor 7,06229.7+7.029.7
Mark Brogan Greens 2,80611.8+2.711.8
Fiona ReidIndependent8843.7+3.73.7
Rosemary SteineckAustralian Christians4411.9+1.91.9
Jason St MartinMicro Business4431.9+1.91.8
M FrancisIndependent2441.0+1.01.0
Informal 8973.6

2017 two-party-preferred result

John McGrath Liberal 13,58557.1-12.957.2
Michael Voros Labor 10,18742.9+12.942.8

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 all three areas, ranging from 54.8% in the south to 59.9% in the north.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 9.2% in the south to 13.1% in the centre.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes13.556.74,98921.3

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


  1. Could Labor win here? They did well on the ballot draw, the Liberal incumbent is retiring, and other affluent former blue ribbon seats are popping up as ALP targets. Labor would never want to drop the ball completely on this area as their path back to federal government likely goes through Swan. Federal Laborgot a small swing towards them here (and against them in their once strong booths further east).

    In an election like this you need to find good reasons to consider even the most blue ribbon seats safe Liberal. Any views from the ground?

  2. John as a resident of South Perth I can inform you that it’s very close. The Libs put no effort in here last time and this time they are peppering us with leaflets. The Liberal HTV, which we received today, was in the following order LIB, LDP, GRN, ALP, NMV. Given the retirement of the very popular local member, Labor have a very good chance here. Apparently some of the local Lib-affilliated groups including the CoSP ratepayer’s association are cancelling town hall-style debates to protect the new Liberal candidate. The more southern and eastern parts of the seat are far more favourable to progressive parties, and Labor will likely focus on these areas to win the seat


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