Collie-Preston – WA 2021

ALP 13.6%

Incumbent MP
Mick Murray (ALP), since 2008. Previously Member for Collie 2001-2005, Collie-Wellington 2005-2008.

Geography
South West. Collie-Preston lies to the south of Perth, covering the Capel, Collie, Dardanup and Donnybrook-Balingup local government areas. The coal-mining town of Collie is the largest population centre in the electorate.

Redistribution
Collie-Preston shifted north, gaining a small area from Murray-Wellington, losing Balingup to Warren-Blackwood and losing small areas to Vasse and Bunbury. These changes reduced the Labor margin from 14.7% to 13.6%.

History
The seat of Collie-Preston is the successor to the seat of Collie, which existed under that name from 1904 until the name was changed to Collie-Wellington in 2005 and then Collie-Preston in 2008.

The seat was held by Labor continuously for eighty-one years from 1908 until 1989.

In 1989, the seat was by the National Party’s Hilda Turnbull. Turnbull defeated Labor candidate Mick Murray in 1993 and 1996. In 2001, Murray defeated Turnbull by 34 votes.

In 2005, Murray was re-elected to the renamed seat, and a combination of a friendly redistribution and a 6.7% swing saw him hold the seat with a 9.3% margin.

Most of Murray’s margin was wiped out in the 2008 redistribution, but Murray held on with a small positive swing, leaving him with a 1% margin. He was re-elected by only 56 votes in 2013, but won more comfortably in 2017.

Candidates

  • Christine Merrifield (No Mandatory Vaccination)
  • Gordon Scantlebury (Greens)
  • Jodie Hanns (Labor)
  • Jane Goff (Liberal)
  • Graham Butler (Sustainable Australia)
  • Russell J Sheridan (Independent)
  • Jackie Tomic (Waxit)
  • Wayne Sanford (Nationals)
  • Emily Wilkinson (Independent)
  • Michael Williams (One Nation)
  • Clinton Thomas (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)

Assessment
If Labor is competitive statewide, they should win here.

2017 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Mick Murray Labor 12,24649.5+10.748.7
Elysia Harverson Liberal 4,40817.8-22.718.5
Monique Warnock Nationals 3,30613.4+2.813.5
David MillerOne Nation2,0698.4+8.48.6
Gordon Tayler Greens 1,1704.7-1.44.4
Clinton ThomasShooters, Fishers & Farmers9753.9+3.93.9
Louie ScibiliaIndependent3471.4+1.41.3
Don HylandIndependent2300.9+0.90.8
0.1
Informal 1,0864.2

2017 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Mick Murray Labor 16,00364.7+17.663.6
Elysia Harverson Liberal 8,72835.3-17.636.4

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided between the four local government areas which cover most of the electorate.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas. Labor polled under 60% in Dardanup, Capel and Donnybrook-Balingup but won a massive 86.9% majority in Collie.

The Nationals came third, with a primary vote ranging from 6.6% in Collie to 16.3% in Donnybrook-Balingup.

Voter groupNAT prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Dardanup15.459.08,36433.0
Capel15.758.13,56114.1
Collie6.686.92,4039.5
Donnybrook-Balingup16.352.92,2859.0
Pre-poll10.871.15,18020.5
Other votes13.259.63,52713.9

Election results in Collie-Preston at the 2017 WA state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Nationals primary votes.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Those Collie booth results. 👀

    The big factor here is the Mick Murray personal vote. Probably we’ll see some sort of correction and Collie-Preston will move back towards marginal territory. But this is a good time for a new Labor candidate. The Labor vote was pretty strong across the Bunbury region in 2017, not just Collie-Preston. If that holds as expected, this is a likely Labor retain.

  2. This seat used to have a strange anomaly – the safest WA Labor booth and the safest WA Liberal booth. Considering that the opposition made a call to close all Coal Power stations without a transition plan will mean a Labor win with similar numbers.

    BTW AUstralia needs coal to power us – on the east coast each day 70 – 75% of power comes from coal

  3. Most of the time, a town or suburb that rock-steady for Labor would be within a safe Labor seat, so they don’t need to worry about it too much. Here, thanks to a fluke of geography and land use patterns, they do – they could win the town of Collie 70-30 and still lose the seat, so they need to campaign hard everywhere, whether in Collie or Australind. That’s where those 85%+ 2pp booths come from.

    Compare to the federal seat of Forrest – they still win Collie 60-40 or so, but they don’t try all that hard because Forrest isn’t winnable. There’s lots of people in Collie (something like 20%) who vote Labor in state elections but Liberal federally.

  4. I think the blow out in the margin last election had more to with the massive swings in suburban Bunbury rather than any major movement in Collie which is the safest Labor area in the state for now.

    With the Liberals supporting closure of coal-fueled power stations by 2025, I expect Collie will see 2PP margins favouring Labor that are similar to last election and Labor should hold Collie-Preston easily.

    Due to population growth around Bunbury and Busselton, at a federal level Collie is now rather oddly located in the Division of O’Connor

  5. Agree with James and Malcolm, the WA Liberals proposal to close all coal fired power stations will go down like a lead balloon in this seat. Not just in Collie proper but in the Bunbury suburbs where the wider impacts will be felt. I imagine Labor and the unions particularly the CFMEU will want to expose this and bring this to voter’s attention. Will probably see them drop to third or fourth place and Nationals in stark contrast second, despite them being able to make gains after Mick Murray’s retirement. Labor retain.

  6. How is Collie so Labor? I know it’s a mining town and Mick Murray was very popular but similar areas further east (Lithgow, Latrobe Valley) have moved hard right. Yet Collie is still ultra-solidly Labor and with little signs of slippage.

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