Agricultural – WA 2021

Incumbent MLCs

  • Martin Aldridge (Nationals), since 2013.
  • Jim Chown (Liberal), since 2009.
  • Colin de Grussa (Nationals), since 2017.
  • Laurie Graham (Labor), since 2017.
  • Rick Mazza (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers), since 2013.
  • Darren West (Labor), since 2013.

Geography

ElectorateMarginElectorateMargin
Central WheatbeltNAT 23.5% vs ALPMooreNAT 14.7% vs LIB
GeraldtonLIB 1.3%RoeNAT 13.6% vs LIB

Agricultural region covers areas to the north and east of Perth, stretching from Geraldton to Mount Barker.

The region covers the districts of Central Wheatbelt, Geraldton, Moore and Roe. The Nationals hold three of these seats, while the Liberal Party won Geraldton in 2017 (although the current sitting member for Geraldton has defected to the Nationals.

You can click through to individual seat profiles on the table above or on the map below.

Redistribution
The three large rural electorates in this region all shifted slightly south, with Roe gaining Jerramungup council area from Albany (in the South West region) while Moore lost Kalbarri and surrounding areas to North West Central (in the Mining and Pastoral region).

These changes had a minimal impact on the vote totals for each party – Labor’s vote went down slightly, as did the Nationals vote.

History
Agricultural was created at the 1989 election as a five-member electorate. The region has always been the strongest for the Nationals.

At the 1989 election, 1993 election and 1996 election, the Nationals and Liberals each won two seats, with Labor only taking one.

In 2001, the Nationals were hurt by One Nation. The Nationals and Liberals each lost a seat, with those seats going to One Nation and the Greens. This resulted in the five seats going to five different parties, and is the only time a Green has ever won in Agricultural. The seat was won by former Greens Senator Dee Margetts.

In 2005, the Liberals won three seats, with the Nationals still only holding one.

In 2008, Agricultural become a six-member electorate. Former Nationals leader Max Trenorden’s seat of Avon was abolished, and he moved to the Legislative Council. The Nationals ticket won three seats, with the Liberals winning two and Labor winning one.

Nationals MLC Max Trenorden lost his preselection in the lead-up to the 2013 election, and he chose to run as an independent. Labor and Liberal maintained their seats (one and two respectively), while the Nationals lost one of their three seats to the Shooters and Fishers Party’s Rick Mazza. This result was repeated in 2017.

2017 result

GroupVotes%SwingQuotaSeatsRedist %Redist q.
Nationals 27,06030.7-1.02.1481230.72.1460
Labor 21,16424.06.41.6801223.91.6702
Liberal 16,44618.7-15.21.3055118.71.3087
One Nation10,28311.711.70.8163011.60.8108
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers4,9855.72.40.395715.70.3963
Greens 3,1783.6-0.40.252303.60.2506
Australian Christians1,6241.80.00.128901.90.1294
Liberal Democrats9601.11.10.076201.10.0750
Others2,4752.80.1965
Informal2,4622.7

The lead candidates for Labor, Liberal and Nationals, along with the second Nationals candidate, were elected on primary votes, leaving two seats up for grabs.

Let’s fast forward to the final nine contenders for those two seats:

  • Rod Caddies (ON) – 0.819 quotas
  • Laurie Graham (ALP) – 0.680
  • Rick Mazza (SFP) – 0.410
  • Steve Martin (LIB) – 0.310
  • Ian James (GRN) – 0.256
  • Connor Whittle (LDP) – 0.161
  • Leigh Ballard (NAT) – 0.147
  • Trevor Young (CHR) – 0.130
  • Murray Yarran (FF) – 0.085

Yarran’s preferences flows almost entirely to the Liberal Democrats:

  • Caddies (ON) – 0.819
  • Graham (ALP) – 0.681
  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.410
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.310
  • James (GRN) – 0.256
  • Whittle (LDP) – 0.242
  • Ballard (NAT) – 0.147
  • Young (CHR) – 0.131

Prefeerences from the Australian Christians mostly flowed to the Shooters and Fishers:

  • Caddies (ON) – 0.822
  • Graham (ALP) – 0.682
  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.528
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.313
  • James (GRN) – 0.256
  • Whittle (LDP) – 0.242
  • Ballard (NAT) – 0.153

Nationals preferences mostly flowed to the Shooters:

  • Caddies (ON) – 0.825
  • Graham (ALP) – 0.686
  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.651
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.330
  • James (GRN) – 0.260
  • Whittle (LDP) – 0.244

LDP preferences mostly flowed to Labor, with some going to the Shooters:

  • Graham (ALP) – 0.864
  • Caddies (ON) – 0.840
  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.687
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.331
  • James (GRN) – 0.274

Greens preferences flowed almost entirely to Labor, putting Labor over quota:

  • Graham (ALP) – 1.109
  • Caddies (ON) – 0.856
  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.695
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.337

Labor’s surplus flowed primarily to the Shooters, with some going to the Liberal candidate:

  • Caddies (ON) – 0.856
  • Mazza (SFP) – 0.761
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.377

Liberal preferences flowed almost entirely to the Shooters, electing Mazza over Caddies despite a much lower primary vote:

  • Mazza (SFP) – 1.056
  • Caddies (ON) – 0.859
  • Martin (LIB) – 0.079

Candidates

  • A – Peter Leam (Greens)
  • B – Labor
    1. Darren West
    2. Shelley Payne
    3. Sandra Carr
    4. Luke Clarkson
  • C – Stuart Ostle (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
  • D – Michael J O’Loghlen (Western Australia Party)
  • E – Brett Tucker (Daylight Saving Party)
  • H – Nationals
    1. Colin de Grussa
    2. Martin Aldridge
    3. Natasha Colliver
    4. Steve Blyth
    5. Rob Horstman
    6. Ian Hanna
  • I – Russell Sewell (Waxit)
  • J – Leo Treasure (Legalise Cannabis)
  • K – Lawrie Carr (Great Australian Party)
  • L – Bass Tadros (Health Australia)
  • M – Rod Caddies (One Nation)
  • N – Trevor Young (Australian Christians)
  • O – Felly Chandra (Independent)
  • P – Courtney Henry (Animal Justice)
  • Q – Peter Turner (Flux / Liberals for Climate)
  • R – Connor Whittle (Liberal Democrats)
  • S – Greg Norris (Sustainable Australia)
  • T – JM David (Independent)
  • U – Parminder Singh (Independent)
  • V – Les Mirco (Independent)
  • W – Peter Wallis (Independent)
  • X – Steven Hopkins (Independent)
  • Y – Andrew Ballantyne (Independent)

Preferences
Labor preferenced the Shooters second, followed by the six parties in the micro-party alliance, then the Greens.

The micro-party alliance have preferenced the Health Australia Party second, as have a number of other parties, including the Greens.

The Nationals have preferenced the Liberal Party and then the Shooters, putting One Nation near the end just before the Greens and after Labor.

The Liberal Party have preferenced the Nationals, then the Australian Christians, then the lead One Nation candidate.

Assessment
The Agricultural region is one of the most conservative in the state. Labor will be pleased if they can maintain their two seats, and there is little prospect of the left managing to win half the seats.

The Nationals can be confident of holding their two seats, and the Liberal Party their one, with the final right-wing seat in play.

The Shooters have relatively strong preference flows, as do the Health Australia Party.

Regional breakdown
The Nationals topped the primary vote, with a vote ranging from 17.6% in Geraldton to 38.5% in Roe.

Labor’s vote ranged from 17.2% in Roe to 32.4% in Geraldton.

The Liberal primary vote ranged from 13% in Central Wheatbelt to 23.6% in Geraldton.

Results of the 2017 WA upper house election in the Agricultural region, by 2021 electorate

2 COMMENTS

  1. Ben:

    “Moore is the only marginal seat in the area: the Nationals hold it by a 5.9% over the Liberal Party.”

    I’m guessing this was copied from the 2017 guide? Geraldton’s the marginal seat this time round.

    In light of that Newspoll (68-32 to Labor), the Libs could fail to win even one seat in Agricultural. It doesn’t take that much of a swing to push them below one quota, and then they’re in the mix with the Shooters, One Nation and (insert Druery snowball here) for their one seat. Sounds crazy, but it’s not impossible.

    I’d hate to be a left-wing voter out here. A vote for Labor could end up with the Shooters, while one for the Greens could end up with HAP (anti-vaxxers). Either that, or vote below the line and hope you don’t accidentally miss out the number 58.

  2. I’m eagerly awaiting an upper house calculator.

    I agree with Bird of Paradox on the Liberals. The Liberals will lose votes to Labor everywhere, and to the Nats in Geraldton at least. I think the Nats will hold 2 as they benefit from PHON’s decline and the Liberals decline, but they might not have that much left over to give to their coalition partners. Then the Liberals don’t seem like they’re going to pick up many preferences over the Shooters and Health Australia (the Druery snowball). Below the Line Votes will be important for the Liberals.

    Health Australia Party have been set up very nicely. There are a huge bunch of tiny independents who will ensure they don’t end up at the bottom of the ballot. Flows from this will then help them pick up votes from the other parties in the cabal. The Greens will do better than usual with this ballot draw, but they are also seriously de-emphasising Agricultural, even more than usual. I think they’ll underperform the Druery snowball, so instead they’ll add to it.

    Their main competitors are Shooters (who will get ALP excess and PHON preferences over Health Australia, plus many of the other minor parties). They lose an incumbent but they do have brand recognition and should do decently well on primaries.

    So it will come down 2 of Liberals, Shooters and Health Australia. My gut tells me it will be a status quo result.

    If Health Australia get eliminated early, then Labor might get a 3rd with Green preferences, but I’ll need to look at a calculator to see if this is feasible.

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