Electoral Form Guide: Moore
Margin: Liberal 9.0%
Location: Perth Northern Suburbs, Western Australia
In a nutshell: Tangney has been safe for the Liberals since the 1984 redistribution detached the Labor-voting coastal area around Rockingham to the new seat of Brand, leaving it with affluent areas on the Swan and Canning foreshores. It has been held since 2004 by Dennis Jensen, who has chiefly been noted as a climate change skeptic and a man who has had trouble retaining preselection.
Electorate analysis: Moore is dominated by northern Perth suburbs from Marmion and Duncraig in the south to Mindarie and Clarkson in the north. The growth corridor having passed it by, the redistribution has seen it burst out of its previous inland constraints of Mitchell Freeway and Lake Joondalup with the acquisition of territory further north: Mindarie, Clarkson and Neerabup on and near the coast, adding over 8000 voters from Pearce, and Carramar, adding over 3000 voters from Cowan. It also loses slightly under 1000 voters at Watermans Bay to Stirling in the south. The changes have reduced the Liberal margin by 0.2 per cent.
Moore extended to Northam and Toodyay 100 kilometres east of Perth when it was created in 1949, but its increasingly urban orientation was emphasised in 1974 when “new right” warrior John Hyde won it from the National Alliance, a WA-only hybrid of the DLP and the Country Party that lost both of the Country Party’s WA seats. It first assumed its current identity as a northern suburbs seat with the 1980 redistribution, and temporarily lost it again with its extension north to Jurien in 1984. Labor won the seat for the first time with Bob Hawke’s sweep of the mortgage belt in 1983, but the party’s grip was loosened in 1990 when it assumed its approximate current location from North Beach north to the city limits. Liberal candidate Paul Filing added 6.3 per cent to a notional Liberal margin of 0.6 per cent and picked up a further 1.8 swing in 1993, but lost his endorsement in 1996 due to what many saw as the machinations of party power-broker Noel Crichton-Browne (wrongly, in the view of Joe Poprzeczny of WA Business News). Filing then proceeded to hold the seat as an independent over Liberal candidate Paul Stevenage, who received little campaign support from John Howard or the national party headquarters (a similar story unfolded at the same election in Curtin).
After flirting with One Nation, Filing was defeated at the 1998 election by Liberal candidate Mal Washer, who has safely held the seat ever since. A former general practitioner who rates himself a “progressive”, Washer has been overlooked for promotion, and has perhaps been most notable as an advocate for liberal positions on abortion and related issues. Labor’s candidate is Jeremy Brown, a university student and electorate officer to state Girrawheen MP Margaret Quirk.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.