In the final days before the election, several key seats are still up for grabs across the country. Adria De Fazio profiles some of the most crucial electorates. Up next: WA.
Brand, despite being in Labor hands since its creation in 1984, is the most marginal of the WA Labor trio, and likely to fall. Current MP, Gary Gray was elected in 2007, with a healthy majority, but slipped to 3.3 per cent in 2010.
With polls predicting a LNP walk-over, it’s likely that Donna Gordin will become the first MP for Brand that doesn’t wear the Labor badge.
Bob Burdett – Australian Christians
Paul Young – Australian Democrats
Mick Le-Cocq – Citizens Electoral Council
Andrew Newhouse – Family First
Dawn Jecks – Greens (WA)
Gary Gray – ALP
Donna Gordin – LNP
Craig Lawrence – Palmer United
Gabrielle Iriks – Rise Up Australia
— Katina Curtis (@katinacurtis) August 17, 2013
Former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith has represented the electorate for 10 years. It is held with 5.9 per cent of the two party preferred vote. Considered marginal by 0.1 per cent, the precariousness of the seat is far greater. Labor has held the seat since 1983. Before the, both Labor and the LNP have had stints controlling it. Incoming ALP candidate Alannah MacTiernan faces the challenge of not only being elected, but being elected for the first time.
Paul Connelly – Australian Christians
Lesley Croll – Family First
Jonathan Hallett – Greens (WA)
Alannah MacTiernan – ALP
Darryl Moore – LNP
Gabriel Harfouche – Palmer United
Evelyn Edney – Rise Up Australia
Ant Clark – Independent
Current MP Melissa Parke has represented the constituents of Fremantle since 2007. When compared with other marginal seats, it presents as textbook safe. The reality is places it in the same category as Perth. Over the course of the electorate’s history, it has been in Labor’s domain. William Watson in 1934, was the last right-wing MP. In an election campaign such as this, nothing can be taken for granted whether that be for Melissa Parke or Matthew Hanssen
Owen Mulder – Australian Christians
Teresa Van Lieshout – Australian Protectionists
Ron Rowlands – Citizens Electoral Council
Jim McCourt – Family First
Jordon Steele-John – Greens (WA)
Richard McNaught – Katter’s Australian Party
Melissa Parke – ALP
Matthew Hanssen – LNP
Vashil Sharma – Palmer United
Philip Scott – Rise Up Australia
Sam Wainwright – Socialist Alliance
Labor holds three of the 15 electorates in the state. The numbers have been dropping: The Tally Room says that in 1998, the ALP held half.
Why’s WA vulnerable for Labor?
The ALP has been focusing its electorate efforts on Queensland and New South Wales (not to suggest that Western Australia has been written off). It seems that the Labor campaign sentiment has shifted to limiting the LNP.
Election or re-election is a challenge in itself. For either party to form government, they need to do more than hold their seats: they need to gain an extra four. For Labor, the challenge is much harder, if the election is to go the way the polls predict.
Hasluck is the most marginal LNP seat in Western Australia. Current MP Ken Wyatt holds the seat on a margin of 0.6 per cent of the two party preferred vote.
The seat, which was created in 2000, has been caught n a juggling act between the two major parties. 2013 will likely see Ken Wyatt and the LNP break the rhythm. Even though Hasluck is marginal by any standards; it is still safer than the three Labor seats.
Image: Twitter – @katinacurtis