Margin: Liberal 8.8%
Region: South West
Click here for electoral boundaries map
Electorate analysis: Murray-Wellington covers the shires of Murray, Waroona and Harvey due south of Perth, outside of an urbanised area of Murray which is accommodated by Mandurah. The redistribution transfers urban Clifton Park and a part of Australiand to Bunbury at the electorate’s southern coastal end, adding 4.4% to the Liberal margin. Either Murray or Murray-Wellington has existed as an electorate since self-government began in 1890, Murray-Wellington doing the honours from 1911 to 1950, 1983 to 1989, 1996 to 2005, and again since 2008. A separate electorate of Wellington existed from 1890 to 1911, 1962 to 1983 and 1989 to 1996. The only time Labor won any of the three was when Keith Read prevailed in Murray by 161 votes at the 1989 election, simultaneous with his father being defeated after six years as member for neighbouring Mandurah. Murray was nonetheless highly marginal when it existed in its own right, and was notionally Labor when re-created in 2005.
Murray was won for the Liberals in 1993 by Arthur Marshall, former tennis champion and father of Colin Barnett’s high-profile chief-of-staff Dixie Marshall, who moved to Dawesville in 1996. John Bradshaw held Murray-Wellington from 1983 to 1989 and again from 1996 to 2005, holding Wellington in the interim. Both Marshall and Bradshaw retired at the 2005 election, at which Liberal candidate Murray Cowper overcame Labor’s notional 0.7% margin to win by 198 votes (0.8%). A former Australind police sergeant, Cowper was promoted to the front bench in February 2006, but at first only found a position as parliamentary secretary following the 2008 election victory. He would eventually win promotion to the front bench in June 2012, taking on corrective services and training and workforce development.