Margin: Labor 8.3%
Region: East Metropolitan
Click here for electoral boundaries map
Electorate analysis: Located 15 kilometres east of the city, the electorate of Midland extends from Guildford east through Midland itself to the newer suburbs of Stratton and Koongamia. It was created at the 1996 election, the Midland area having earlier been covered successively by the electorates of Swan and Helena, which were held for Labor by Gordon Hill. When Hill resigned mid-term in 1994, the resulting by-election was won for the Liberals by the narrowly unsuccessful candidate from 1993, Rhonda Parker, who went on to successfully contest the new seat of Ballajura in 1996.
Midland has been held since its creation by Michelle Roberts, who entered parliament in March 1994 at the by-election to replace Carmen Lawrence in the inner northern suburbs seat of Glendalough. Roberts was promoted to the front bench seven months after her entry into parliament, going on to serve in cabinet throughout the Gallop-Carpenter years. When Geoff Gallop made his surprise retirement announcement in January 2006, Roberts was rated along with Alan Carpenter as a leading candidate for the succession. However, the tide turned against her after an unconvincing response to questions about her attempt to enlist the support of Brian Burke, and the AMWU and LHMWU sub-factions of the Left decisively declared their hands for Carpenter.
Roberts’ has acquired considerable influence as a leader of the New Right faction which emerged before the 2001 election in opposition to the Brian Burke-related Old Right. This rift was partly healed by the New Right’s consistent support for Eric Ripper’s leadership, with Ben Wyatt’s abortive January 2011 challenge causing the pro-Ripper camp in the Old Right to go back into alliance with the New Right forces. These events appeared to influence her career trajectory over the current term: starting in education and women’s interests, she replaced Ben Wyatt as Shadow Treasurer after his unsuccessful leadership bid in January 2011, which was reversed when McGowan became leader with Wyatt’s support a year later. Roberts’ current portfolio load is police, road safety, crime prevention and tourism.
The Liberal Party candidate is Daniel Parasiliti, a physiotherapist.