Margin: Labor 4.8%
Region: East Metropolitan
Click here for electoral boundaries map
Electorate analysis: Essentially consisting of Gosnells at the south-eastern end and Thornlie in the north-west, the electorate of Gosnells was created with the one-vote one-value redistribution at the 2008 election, taking most of its voters from the abolition of Kenwick and the substantial redrawing of Southern River. The latest redistribution has given the electorate an odd shape through territory swaps with Southern River which bring it into closer conformity with suburban boundaries, so that further areas of Gosnells and Thornlie are added while Southern River gains the balance of Huntingdale. The effect has been to shave Labor’s margin from 5.5% to 4.8%.
Gosnells had an earlier life from 1977 to 1989, and was essentially renamed to Thornlie in 1989 and Kenwick in 2005. It was held by Bob Pearce from 1977 to 1983, when he transferred to Armadale, and then by Yvonne Henderson, who carried on in Thornlie from 1989 until her retirement in 1996. Thornlie then passed to Sheila McHale, who went on to serve as a minister throughout the Gallop-Carpenter years. The abolition of Thornlie appeared to put McHale on a collision course for the new seat of Kenwick with Martin Whitely, whose seat of Roleystone had also been abolished. However, this was resolved when the party’s national executive intervened at the behest of Geoff Gallop to protect the preselections of all sitting members, with Kenwick reserved for McHale and Whitely accommodated in Bassendean.
McHale bowed out at the 2008 election and was succeeded by Chris Tallentire, director of the Conservation Council of WA. Tallentire was part of Alan Carpenter’s contentious contingent of hand-picked candidates, but now sits as one of seven members of the United Voice (“Missos”) sub-faction of the Left. It had previously been expected that a place would be found for him at the expense of Whitely in Bassendean, but the opening in Gosnells gave Tallentire an entry to paraliament that left Whitely in place, at least for another term.
The Liberals have endorsed David Goode, owner of a small financial industry business.