19/03/2021 - 09:20

AEC recommends Stirling be abolished

19/03/2021 - 09:20

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The Australian Electoral Commission has proposed the abolition of a Liberal-held electorate in Perth’s northern suburbs, which encompasses the suburbs of Scarborough, Dianella and Mirrabooka.

AEC recommends Stirling be abolished
Scarborough is likely to be redrawn into the electorate of Curtin ahead of the next federal election. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The Australian Electoral Commission has proposed the abolition of a Liberal-held electorate in Perth’s northern suburbs, which encompasses the suburbs of Scarborough, Dianella and Mirrabooka.

In announcing the news this morning, the AEC confirmed all federal electorates in Western Australia except Fremantle would be redistributed, with Stirling's booths to be redrawn into Moore, Cowan, Curtin and Perth.

Elsewhere, Pearce, which is located in Perth's northern exurbs and is held by Attorney-General Christian Porter, would also lose many of its Wheatbelt-based booths to the rural electorates of O'Connor and Durack.

WA would send just 15 representatives to Canberra after the next federal election as a result of the changes, with Victoria gaining an extra electorate to cater for its population growth.

Stirling, which was created in 1955 and has been held by Vince Connelly since 2019, has been considered a marginal seat in recent election cycles, with Peter Tinley having unsucessfully contested it in 2007.

Michael Keenan, chief executive of Sana Living, held the seat between 2004 and 2019.

Mr Connelly's base of support in the electorate in 2019 came largely from booths in the coastal suburbs of Scarborough, North Beach, Karrinyup and Carine, as well as the inner-northern suburbs of Dianella, Balcatta and Stirling.

Labor's support, meanwhile, tended to be strongest at booths in Balga and Mirrabooka.

Mr Connelly won 56 per cent of the two-party preferred vote that year.

If the commission proceeds with its recommendations, Labor would likely increase its margin in Cowan, Durack and Pearce, while losing significant ground in Perth, Swan and Hasluck.

Prior to today's announcement, the Liberal Party had argued in its submission to the AEC that Cowan should be abolished; Labor had in turn argued that Pearce or Hasluck, held by Ken Wyatt, should be abolished.

Anne Aly holds Cowan on a margin of less than 1 per cent, making it the most marginal federal electorate in WA under current distributions.

Mr Connelly will now have to decide whether to challenge incumbents in Moore or Curtin or to contest preselection for the Labor-held seats of Perth or Cowan.

Voters have until April 16 to register their objections with the AEC.

Mr Connelly's office has been approached for comment.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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