On Friday, almost three weeks after the election, the WA electoral commission finally declared the last results (here.) Labor finished with 41.9% of the vote and a majority of seven, on a two-party-preferred vote of approximately 52.6%. That’s a very small adverse swing – about 0.3% – making it the first first-term Labor government to suffer a swing against it since Wayne Goss in Queensland in 1992.
There was correspondingly little movement on the pendulum. Before the election the opposition needed a uniform swing of 2.6% to win government; now it needs 2.1%. As “someone named Antony” writes on the mumble website “for those critics who thought my carefully calculated redistribution pendulum based on the results of the 2001 election was a piece of crap that would tell you nothing about the 2005 election, where are they now?”
Two of the three independents seeking re-election were returned, and the third, Bernie Masters in Vasse, missed out very narrowly, getting 49.15% after preferences. Another milestone was Greenough, won by the National Party, narrowly and on Labor preferences. But it is the first seat won anywhere by the Nationals from the Liberals since the South Australian seat of Chaffey in 1997. (It was also the only lower house result that I failed to predict.)
In the Legislative Council, the major parties cleaned up at the expense of the minors: One Nation was wiped out and the Greens lost three of their five seats. But the left-right balance in the new Council will be unchanged at 18-16. The National Party gained no benefit from the disappearance of One Nation, winning only one seat. Despite Western Australia’s gross malapportionment, the upper house, due to proportional representation, managed to produce a fairly equitable result, as can be seen from the following table:
Much better, anyway, than the Legislative Assembly, where the Nationals scored five seats but the Greens, with twice as many votes, got none.