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WA election: Legislative Council guide

Ahead of Saturday's state election, a guide to the six regions constituting Western Australia's Legislative Council.

I’ve posted a Legislative Council guide for Saturday’s Western Australian election, featuring an overview and reviews of its six six-member regions. To whet your appetite, here’s a few paragraphs which I felt might interest a broader readership than the one it will get at the tail end of my overview:

The electoral reforms which took effect in 2008 were achieved (by the previous Labor government) with the support of the Greens and Alan Cadby, a Liberal member who had quit the party after being defeated for preselection. However, the former’s counter-intuitive insistence on maintaining rural vote weighting in the upper house produced a system which Labor’s outgoing president of the Legislative Council, Nick Griffiths, said would guarantee conservative majorities “short of a Labor landslide”. Whereas the existing formulation of regional vote weighting had been quite hard enough on the left, odd numbers of members at least meant Labor could hope for majority “left” results in the metropolitan regions plus Mining & Pastoral, collectively outweighing their disadvantage in Agricultural and South West. However, the norm now will be for even left-right splits in the stronger regions for Labor, with Agricultural having an entrenched right majority.

The challenging new environment faced by the left was underscored by the 2008 election result. The metropolitan area produced left-right parity with results of three Liberal, two Labor and one Greens in each of the three regions, to which the Liberals and Nationals added 12 non-metropolitan seats against just six for Labor and the Greens. This put the Nationals in a clear balance-of-power position and marginalised the Greens. Among the consequences was a weakened position for Labor as it sought to persuade the Nationals to maintain it in government after the election, as only an alliance with the Liberals would be guaranteed to deliver on any agreements reached in the upper house.

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6 comments

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lenxyz
Guest

In my previous post, I might have left the impression that I was critical of Wiliam’s efforts. I am not. I appreciate the guide and the work that has gone into it. It is not possible to cover everything.

It will be useful on election night.

lenxyz
Guest
If Trenorden gets a decent vote he could have a quota in his own right probably taken from the Nationals. That leaves the Nationals with two seats. But wouldn’t that mean the Nationals second seat might be up for grabs as well if Trenorden has divided their vote? As you mentioned FF had a high profile candidate last time and they are not contesting lower house seats in the region. That places AC in a position to get FF preferences. To the AC’s advantage, Shooters and Fishers, Trenorden and the Liberals have preferenced AC higher than Nationals. The Nationals have… Read more »
Bird of paradox
Guest
FF are probably going to have a little collapse in SW and Ag regions, as they had “celebrity” candidates in 2008 – Anthony Fels and Dan Sullivan. They got about 15% in the Eaton booths in Collie-Preston, quite likely thanks to Sullivan doing a lot of campaigning in the Australind area (where his old seat got abolished). The CDP aren’t going to get elected anywhere. (Despite my non-belief in a deity/higher being, I would still thank him/her/it for that fact.) In East Metro they need the Lib vote to go down, which probably won’t be happening. In Ag Region, any… Read more »
lenxyz
Guest
William, I am a little surprised by your Legislative Council Guide. In North Metro, South Metro, Agriculture and Mining and Pastoral you mention candidates from all registered parties with the sole exception of the Australian Christians (AC) formerly CDP. In East Metro again all registered parties are mentioned except AC although you erroneously have Georgiou listed as FFP rather than SFP. In Southwest all registered parties are mentioned except SF and AC. I can understand not having a complete list of single independents but considering the CDP achieved almost similar results in the LC in 2008 as did FFP, the… Read more »
Bird of paradox
Guest
A 4*9 upper house (N/S/E Metro, and a combined rest-of-WA region) could be interesting. 2008 would’ve probably produced something like so: 5-3-1 to the Libs in North Metro 4-4-1 in E and S Metro (with a vague chance of the CDP pinching a Lib seat in East Metro) The country region would be a funny one… probably something like 3 Lib, 3 ALP, 2 Nat, 1 FF. All up, the result would be 19 Lib/Nat/FF to 17 ALP/Grn. Parallel-universe Dan Sullivan would’ve found himself very important, and the Nats would kick and squeal. A less drastic change could be to… Read more »
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