Cowan – Australia 2022

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  1. Vince Connally is wasting his time running here, Likely to be a decent swing to Aly here. Unless of course the Liberals are running him here to reduce the swing towards Labor. Connally would be better off running for the senate. and the Liberals are better off trying to save furniture in WA

  2. I’m quite surprised this seat picking up Balga, Mirrabooka and Beechboro (despite also gaining Liberal voting Stirling and Balcatta) only added 0.1% to Aly’s margin. I don’t doubt the redistributed margins have been calculated correctly, it just seems like a drastic undershoot.

    Despite the redistribution, I suspect the apparent decision by Vince Connelly to challenge in Moore as opposed to running here all but confirms the WA Liberals aren’t too confident. I expect a decent swing to Labor here, which will settle over the next few election cycles to make it similar to Perth, marginal on paper, difficult to take off Labor in practice.

  3. I expect a swing to Labor in the areas transferred from Stirling. Labor has not really campaigned in Stirling since 2004. Stirling used to be a classic marginal seat divided in two distinct areas by the Mitchell Freeway. This time around there will be a visible Labor campaign. I expect the same to occur in Perth in the areas that used to be Stirling. The big swing to Labor at the 2016 election in Burt and the redrawn Macarthur shows the effect a contest can have.

  4. Labor held through most of the Howard years, Liberal held through the Rudd-Gillard years, and Labor since 2016.

    Is this the most “anti-bellwether” seat? Does anyone have the stats on hand to easily check?

  5. It certainly does seem to be the kind of seat where a popular local member can ‘dig in’ and withstand the national swing….

  6. Cowan certainly has the most contrarian record going back to 1993. (Perhaps even going back to the 1984 enlargement?) I would suggest three reasons for this:

    1. The Labor position in WA

    By 1993, Labor’s standing in the state had eroded; Cowan and Stirling lost, Swan and Canning barely held. (Even 1990 was poor, but Labor managed to sandbag its WA marginals.) Conversely, under Beazley Labor’s position in his home state recovered quickly, winning back all the suburban seats lost in 1993 & 1996.

    2. The personal vote of Graham Edwards

    Post-Beazley, Labor’s WA vote sunk. Without Edwards, Cowan probably would’ve been lost in 2004. It went Liberal on his retirement in 2007, despite Labor’s improved statewide vote under Rudd.

    3. The 2016 redistribution

    Cowan is a seat with no natural boundaries covering a range of suburbs with contrasting party leanings. Hence, it’s quite volatile to redistributions. You can see from the graph above how much the redistribution prior to 2016 improved Labor’s position, and how crucial that was to the end result.

  7. Vince Connelly, Liberal member for the soon-to-be-abolished seat of Stirling and unsuccessful preselection candidate for the safe seat of Moore, has confirmed his intention to run for Cowan via a press release.

  8. I wouldn’t guarantee a Labor win, Aly only just won in 2019 against a lower profile liberal candidate, so Vince Connelly as a pseudo incumbent could poll well if national vote is close.

  9. Yoh An

    Please don’t try and say Cowan might be lineball.
    Any myth of a strong LNP showing in WA is utter garbage.

  10. Well, there was talk of a strong ALP showing last time following McGowan’s 2017 landslide and that never eventuated, so people can distinguish between state and national politics. Then again, this time post 2021 is different with east vs west debate on covid travel restrictions, so there could be a stronger ALP vote this time.

  11. In response to David, that occasion was in the seat of Bruce with then Labor MP Alan Griffin beating Liberal Julian Beale. A similar situation with Labor’s Anne Aly winning over Vince Connelly could also eventuate if local factors (state border closures) prove decisive and deliver Labor a stronger vote in WA.

  12. Ben, that was Greg Hunt vs Julia Banks (former Liberal MP for Chisholm who ran as an independent). However, that was slightly different compared to the 1996 contest in Bruce. Bruce 1996 would be classed as a ‘redistricting race’ where one MP has a district abolished and must run against another incumbent. Julia Banks wasn’t ‘forced’ to run against another incumbent, she could have recontested Chisholm as an independent.

  13. Ah yes, Flinders. What a quixotic decision that was.

    Let’s put it another way. Cowan will be the first House of Reps contest between a Labor MP and a Coalition MP contest in 25 years.


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