Lower house results are now final for the 2021 Western Australian election, including the full distribution of preferences for all seats. The results reveal the extra-ordinary scale of Labor’s victory.
(The distribution of preferences for Legislative Council regions will take place later this week. I’ve provided commentary pending the release of the LC preference distributions at the page hosting my ABC Legislative Council calculators.)
Labor has won 53 of the 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly, up 13 on the 40 seats it held before the election. The Liberal Party’s representation in the lower house has collapsed from 13 seats to just two. In Parliament the opposition will now be led by National Party Leader Mia Davies, her party having emerged from the carnage with four seats, down two from the six it held before the election.
Labor has recorded 69.7% of the state-wide two-party preferred vote, a swing in it’s favour of 14.1%. That’s on top of the 12.8% swing that put Labor into office in 2017.
Of the 59 seats, 58 finished as two-party contests with the Greens finishing second in Fremantle. (Note: 31 March – That there have been some minor changes to results in this post due to correction by the WAEC. The most significant change concerned a correction to the count in Southern River which cut the Labor two-party preferred vote from 84.9% to a still substantial 83.1%.)
Labor has won 12 seats with two-party preferred percentage above 80%, 35 above 70%, and 47 of Labor’s 53 seats recorded two-party percentages above 60%.
To achieve a majority in the Legislative Assembly at the 2025 election, the Liberal and National Parties need to gain 24 seats on a uniform swing of 23.5%.
Understandably, the talk is of a two-term strategy for the Opposition to recover.
Premier McGowan’s seat of Rockingham has topped the list of Labor results on both first preferences and two-party preferred. The Premier polling 82.7% of the first preference vote and 87.7% after preferences. That is only one Rockingham voter in eight didn’t have their ballot paper finish with the Premier.
The biggest swing was 25.3% in Southern River, which comes on top of an 18.8% swing in 2017. Where on new boundaries Labor had only 39.1% of the two-party vote before the 2017 election, it comes out of the 2021 election holding 83.1%.
Other mammoth swing were 24.7% in Joondalup, Labor’s most marginal seat before the 2021 election, 21.5% in neighbouring Burns Beach, and 20.3% in Baldivis.
There was little difference in swing by region, 14.6% recorded in Perth and 12.3% in the rest of the state. Grouping electorates by Legislative Council region, the swing was 13.2% in East, 16.1% in North and 14.4% in South Metropolitan. The swing was 11.2% in South West, 12.8% in Agricultural, and 14.4% in Mining and pastoral Region.
Labor’s first preference vote was so high the party finished second in Moore, Roe and Central Wheatbelt, seats where the party traditionally runs a distant third.
Labor won 46 of its seats on first preferences, another seven after preferences. Three of Labor’s gains, Carine, Churchlands and Warren-Blackwood, were won on Green preferences after trailing on the first preference count. Labor’s first preference vote was above 70% in 16 seats, 60% in 34, the Premier in Rockingham the only candidates to pass 80% of the first preference vote.
The Liberal and National Parties did not poll 50% in any district, though in Central Wheatbelt, Moore and Roe, the combined Liberal and National vote was above 50%.
The significant first preferences results by party are as follows –
- Labor polled 59.92% of the first preference vote, up 17.72%. It is tough for Labor or the Coalition to reach 50% in these days of proliferating minor parties, so almost reaching 60% is an astonishing result.
- The Liberal Party polled 21.30%, down 9.93% on 2017, the previous record Liberal low in Western Australia at an election where it contested every seat.
- The Nationals polled 4.00%, down 1.40%.
- The Greens polled 6.92%, down 1.99%.
- All other minor parties polled 7.8% in total, down 4.41%.
- The total vote for the Greens plus minor parties was 14.77%, very low by modern standards and very low considering there were a record number of minor party and independent candidates. Clearly the 2021 election was not one where voters were searching the ballot paper to cast a protest vote.
- The lack of protest vote plus a much lower profile in 2021 saw Pauline Hanson’s One Nation vote plummet from 4.93% to just 1.26%. In the seats One Nation contested at both elections, its vote fell from 8.9% to 2.0%.
- The newly formed No Mandatory Vaccination Party contested all 59 electorates and polled just 1.64%.
In Perth, Labor polled 63.3% (+18.0) of the first preference vote, the Liberal Party 21.8% (-11.9) and the Greens 7.5% (-2.3).
Outside of Perth, the Liberal Party first preference was 19.5% (-4.1), the Nationals 16.9% (-5.0) and One Nation 2.0% (-7.1), all adding up to Labor polling 49.2% of the first preference vote (+16.3). The National Party outpolled the Liberal Party 37.8% to 13.2% in Agricultural Region and 16.8% to 16.1% in Mining and Pastoral.
Labor comes out of the election with a margin of 13.7% in Albany, 13.9% in Zak Kirkup’s former seat of Dawesville, 11.7% in Geraldton, 19.0% in Hillarys, 21.0% in Jandakot, 24.7% in Joondalup, 16.9% in Kingsley, 17.2% in Murray-Wellington, 9.0% in Riverton and 10.4% in Scarborough.
And in some traditional Liberals seats that are now icing on Labor’s cake, 6.7% in Bateman, 2.5% in Carine, 10.1% in South Perth, 2.8% in Nedlands and 0.8% in Churchlands.
The table below shows the Labor and Liberal/National two-party preferred percentage in every seat as well as the swing between 2017 and 2021. The final columns shows the result compared to 2017. All columns in the table can be sorted.