WA Election Wrap


Photo by Grenville Francis

A woman and her dogs exercising their democratic rights in Pearce.

The federal election was campaigned relentlessly from all sides, however, Ipsos polls on the day showed the Australian Labor Party (ALP) ahead of The Liberal Party 52-48. Despite this, and all other polls leading up to the election showing a Labor victory, The Coalition secured themselves another term.

When examining where Labor went wrong the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas noted Bill Shorten’s shortage of popularity and the Australian public’s disdain towards him is one contributing factor. Secondly, Karvelas proposed that the ALP pushed for too many reforms during their campaign and instead of inspiring excitement for change, they scared voters.

Nine News’ Political Editor Chris Uhlmann explained that the Coalition exploited Labor’s assertion that it didn’t matter if you don’t like Bill, as there are plenty of other likeable party candidates. They successfully targeted Labor’s slogan too, insisting the Liberals are only for the “top end of town”.  Uhlmann said this may have had more effect if Malcolm Turnbull was leader, but “didn’t bite with the deeply suburban Scott Morrison.”

Labor’s polling was vastly incorrect in Queensland, where they had reported a 50-50 split between the two main parties. On Insiders, Barrie Cassidy confirmed the margin after vote counting was closer to 58-42 in favour of The Coalition.

For Labor to win the election gaining traction in Queensland was essential. However, the proposed Adani coal mine proved to be a dividing issue, with many Queenslanders unable to get on board with Labor’s stance. Consequently, the Liberal Party gained the QLD seats Herbert and Longman from the ALP.

The ALP suffered in Tasmania, losing the seat of Braddon to the Liberal Party and even though, on the knife edge, it looks possible that the Liberal Party will gain the Tasmanian seat of Bass too. These were unaffordable losses for the ALP, who needed to gain seats from 2016 results to win.

Ipsos announced they will be reviewing their polling methods, following the difference between most election outcomes and what the polls had predicted. Political blogger William Bowe said the polling needs to be more transparent in terms of method and data weighting.

A few hours after polls closed over east on Saturday and counting was underway, the ABC’s election expert Antony Green said the results in Western Australia would affect the outcome of who won the election. Labor campaigned exceptionally hard in WA, with the belief that many key seats were up for grabs, including Hasluck, Pearce and Swan. However, the ALP devastatingly underperformed, with the Liberal Party retaining all their held seats, and even increased their winning margin in some.

Featured below are the results of the WA seats.



The seat of Brand has always been held by the ALP since it began in 1984 and encompasses Rockingham and Kwinana.

Prior to the election Labor held Brand by an 11.4% margin, however the Liberal Party gained traction in the seat and the margin has decreased to 6.97%.

Madeline King is the ALP MP for Brand and Jack Pleiter was the Liberal candidate.




The seat of Burt was new in the 2016 election and was obtained by the ALP. It covers suburbs in Perth’s south-east.

Prior to the election, the ALP held the seat with a 7.1% margin, this has decreased to 5.84%

Matt Keogh is the ALP MP for Burt and David Goode was the Liberal candidate.



The Liberal Party has held Canning since 2001. However, the ALP had a ten year streak here during the ’80s and ’90s. The seat spans over some south-east Perth suburbs and Mandurah.

In the last election, the party held the seat by a 6.8% margin. Canning was labelled as a key seat, with the ALP confident they could gain it. However, the Liberals hold has only grown stronger in Canning with the margin increased to 11.46%

Andrew Hastie is the Liberal MP for Canning and Melissa Teede was the ALP candidate.





Representing some of Perth’s northern suburbs, Cowan was picked up by the ALP in the last federal election. Prior to this, it had been held by the Liberal Party for six years.

Cowan was labelled a key seat during the election due to the razor-thin margin of 0.7% which the ALP held it by. As vote counting continues it is still too early to call which party will gain the seat.

The latest statistics show a 0.2% swing towards the Liberal Party. Anne Aly is the current ALP MP and Isaac Stewart was the Liberal candidate.



The electorate of Curtin has virtually always been a safe Liberal seat, besides a two year hold by an independent in 1996. Curtain encompasses Perth’s western suburbs.

Curtain made headlines during the election following long time standing representative Julie Bishop’s decision to step down after over 20 years of service. Bishop was well known in Canberra, most notably as her role as Foreign Affairs Minister.

Prior to the election, Curtin was held by a 20.7% swing, this has decreased to 14.72%, however, the seat remains safe.

Celia Hammond is the new Liberal MP for Curtin and Rob Meecham was the ALP candidate.




The electorate of Durack spans over northern Western Australia and has been held by the Liberal party since its beginning in 2010.

Prior to the election, the seat was held by an 11.1% margin which has now increased to 14.14%, strengthening the Liberal hold.

Melissa Price, the current environment minister, is the Liberal MP for Durack and Sharyn Morrow was the ALP candidate.




Forrest is a Liberal safe seat which the party has held consecutively since 1972. It spans over WA’s south-west corner.

Prior to the election, the seat was held by a 12.6% margin which has increased to 14.81%, strengthening the Liberal hold.

Nola Mariano is the Liberal MP for Forrest and Wayne Sanford was the ALP candidate.




Representing Perth’s southern suburbs, the electorate of Fremantle has always been held by the ALP since its beginning in 1972.

The ALP increased their hold on the seat from 7.5% to 8.13% during the election.

Josh Wilson is the ALP MP for Fremantle and Nicole Robins was the Liberal candidate.




The electorate of Hasluck encompasses Perth’s outer metropolitan suburbs. The seat is generally held by small margins and rotates between Liberal and Labor. However, the seat has been held by the Aged Care Minister, Ken Wyatt, since 2010.

Hasluck received a lot of attention during the election campaign as it was held by the Liberal Party by only 2.1%, and the ALP saw it as a likely seat they would gain.

However, the Liberals retained the seat and increased their holding to 4.86%

Ken Wyatt remains the Liberal MP and James Martin was the ALP candidate.




Moore spans a number of Perth’s northern suburbs and is generally regarded as a safe Liberal seat, having been held by the party since 1998.

Prior to the election, the seat was held by an 11% margin which has now slightly increased to 11.63%

Ian Goodenough is the Liberal MP for the seat and Tony O’Gorman was the ALP candidate.




The O’Connor electorate includes the WA Southern Wheatbelt and the Mining Districts and has been held solely by the Coalition since 1980.

The Liberal party has seen a one per cent swing away from them this election, bringing their margin to 14%.

The seat is currently held by the Liberal MP Rick Wilson and the ALP candidate was Shelley Payne.




The electorate of Pearce includes the furthest end of Perth’s northern suburbs and suburbs in outer Perth. The seat has always been held by the Liberal party, however, it was seen as a key seat this election with the ALP believing they had a strong chance of gaining it.

Prior to the election, the seat was held by a 3.6% margin, this has increased to 7% as the Liberal party actually increased their hold.

The Attorney General Christian Porter is the Liberal MP for Pearce and Kim Travers was the ALP candidate.




The electorate which represents the inner city suburbs, Perth has been consecutively held by Labor since 1983.

Prior to the election, the ALP held Perth by a 3.3% margin and this has increased to 5.48% as the party strengthens their hold of the seat.

Patrick Gorman is the ALP MP for the seat and Jim Grayden was the Liberal candidate.




The electorate making up part of Perth’s northern suburbs has been held by the Liberal Party since 2004. However, in the seat’s history, the ALP has had control of Stirling for consecutive terms.

The seat made headlines during the election as Minister for Human Services, Michael Keenan, stepped down, who held the position since ’04.

Stirling’s margin shifted from 6.1% to 5.34%, demonstrating a small decrease in support following Keenan’s departure.

Vince Connelly is the new Liberal MP after managing to retain the seat, beating  Melita Markey, the ALP candidate.




Representing Perth’s inner southern suburbs, the seat has been held by the Liberal party since 2007. However, the ALP has controlled the seat longer over the electorate’s history.

Swan was dubbed a key seat, with the ALP feeling confident they could take back control. The margin has slid from 3.6% to 2.03% against the Liberal Party, however, not enough for ALP to gain power.

Steve Irons is the current Liberal MP for Swan and the ALP candidate was Hannah Beazley, daughter of prominent Labor politician Kim Beazley.




Encompassing a number of Perth’s southern suburbs, Tangney has had a long and predominate Liberal history, with the party having consecutive control since 1984.

Following the election results, the Liberals gained a small increase in their margin, going from 11.1% to 11.76%

Ben Morton is the Liberal MP for the seat and Marion Boswell was the ALP candidate.



Graphs and statistics are based on most current data, however, is subject to slightly change as pre-poll and postal votes are counted.


The Junction’s election reporting and our election night TV coverage were financially supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.