Hawker Britton Occasional Papers and Media

Western Australia – 2008 Election Result

Sepetember 2008

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On Saturday 6 September, Western Australian voters went to the polls, recording a swing of 6% against the incumbent Carpenter government.

As a result, in the Legislative Assembly, Labor now holds 28 seats, the Liberals 24, the Nationals 4 and 3 Independents.

The WA Liberals have secured a deal with the WA Nationals to form a minority government in the state’s hung parliament.  The Liberal leader, Colin Barnett, is Western Australia’s new Premier.

The new coalition government of Liberal, National and three independents has given Western Australia a government of 31 seats – just one more than the bare minimum of 30 needed to hold power in the state’s 59-seat Legislative Assembly.

In a week of bargaining with both Colin Barnett and Alan Carpenter, the National Party said it would support the side that offered the most comprehensive plan to spend 25% of the state's annual mining royalties in rural regions on top of existing outlays.

The National’s leader, Brendan Grylls, said the decision to support the Liberals was not unanimous and reiterated the Nationals will not be in a traditional coalition with the Liberals.

Grylls maintains the Nationals will remain independent and will refuse to vote in cabinet on issues they don’t agree with, as well as speak out publicly on matters they don’t support.

Western Australia’s new Premier, Colin Barnett, faces a number of challenges which could potentially impact on the stability of his government, including:

Former Premier Alan Carpenter has resigned and is replaced as leader of the Opposition by former Treasurer Eric Ripper.

The Liberal’s win brings to an end a run of 17 electoral defeats for state Liberal parties in the past 10 years.


Party Seats
Labor 28
Liberal 24
Nationals 4
Independents 3
Name Seat
John Bowler Kalgoorlie
Elizabeth Constable Churchlands
Janet Woollard Alfred Cove
Legislative Council

Votes for the Legislative Council are still being counted and therefore the final distribution of seats is not yet known.  Predicted results are as below:

Party Current Predicted
Liberal 15 16
Labor 16 11
National 1 5
Greens 2 4

For more information, including a seat-by-seat breakdown, see http://www.abc.net.au/elections/wa/2008/ or contact your Hawker Britton consultant.

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