The 2010 Australian Election – Western Australia

The state of Western Australia is, simply put, vast. At 2.52 million km2 (about 1.02 million sq. miles) the state is about the size of the entire western US sans New Mexico. In that entire vast area are only 2.45 million people and 1.9 million of these people are concentrated in the Perth metropolitan region on Western Australia’s southwest coast. While Perth and nearby areas south of Perth have a Mediterranean climate, most of the state is desert or semi-desert. However, the far north is tropical with heavy monsoon rains. The state’s economy is dominated by mining.[1]

Map 1

Position of Western Australia in Australia

667px-Western_Australia_in_Australia.svg

Map 2

Western Australia Major Cities

 sth-map

Source: http://www.atn.com.au

Western Australia is a Liberal stronghold and the Liberal group took an 11-4 lead in seats in the state going into the 2010 election. The Liberal group made modest first preference vote gains in the election while Labor suffered a 5.6 percentage point drop compared with 2007 with most of those losses becoming the Greens gains. The result was a net pickup of one seat for the Liberal group in the state[2]. The Greens scored a strong 13.1% share of the first preference votes while the midstream Liberal parties earned a respectable 4.0%:

2010 House of Representatives Election

Western Australia

First Preference Votes

Group or Party

Candidates

Votes

% Share

Seats

Liberal Group

19

609,246

50.6%

12

Labor Group

15

375,381

31.2%

3

Greens

15

158,117

13.1%

0

Midstream Liberal Group

29

48,531

4.0%

0

Upstream Group

14

12,726

1.1%

0

Downstream Independent

0

0

0%

0

Midstream Independent

0

0

0%

0

Totals

92

1,204,001

100%

15

Source: Australian Election Commission

The midstream Liberal group parties delivered a strong preference distribution to the Liberal group which offset to some extent good performance by the Greens on behalf of Labor:

Preference Vote Distribution 2010 Election

Western Australia

From/To Liberal Group Labor Group Net
Greens

42,881

130,453

-87,572

Midstream Liberal Group

25,507

7,512

17,995

Source: Australian Election Commission

In the end however, the Liberal group dominated the state:

2010 Vote Totals After Midstream Preferential Distribution

Western Australia 

Group

Votes

% Share

Liberal Group

677,634

56.28%

Labor Group

513,346

42.64%

Source: Australian Election Commission


[1] All of information in the paragraph is from Wikipedia.

[2] I noted in an earlier post that I have counted the seat won by the Nationals over the Liberal incumbent in the O’Conner district as a Liberal group win since, in the end the Nationals MP Tony Crook joined the Liberal-National Coalition.

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