Division of Fremantle

The Division of Fremantle is an electoral division of the Australian House of Representatives in Western Australia.

Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of FREMANTLE 2016.png
Division of Fremantle in Western Australia, as of the 2016 federal election.
MPJosh Wilson
Electors105,383 (2019)
Area196 km2 (75.7 sq mi)
DemographicInner Metropolitan


The city of Fremantle, the division's namesake

The division was created at Federation in 1900 and was one of the original 65 divisions contested at the first federal election. It is named for the city of Fremantle, which in turn is named for Captain Charles Fremantle, captain of HMS Challenger, who took formal possession of the west coast of New Holland in the name of His Majesty the King. This action cleared the way for the arrival of Captain James Stirling and the first party of Swan River Colony settlers a few weeks later.[1]

The Division is located in the southern suburbs of Perth. As at the 2016 election, it includes:

As originally drawn, the Division of Fremantle included nearly all of Perth's south-of-the-river suburbs, plus the western suburbs south from Mt Claremont and Nedlands.[3] On these boundaries, the seat frequently changed hands between the Australian Labor Party and the conservative parties for the first three decades of its existence. However, Labor has held the seat without interruption since 1934, and for all but one term since 1928. The 1949 expansion of Parliament made Fremantle even safer for Labor by shifting most of its northern portion to the newly created Division of Curtin. Since then, it has usually been one of the safest Labor seats in Australia. It was nearly lost in the landslides of 1975 and 1977, but since the 1980 redistribution when the suburbs of Mosman Park, Peppermint Grove and Cottesloe were transferred to the Division of Curtin,[4] the Liberals have only twice garnered 45 percent of the two-party vote, in 1996 and 2013.

Since World War II, Fremantle has been held by a succession of senior Labor figures. The seat's best-known member was John Curtin, who was Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 to 1945. Other high-profile members were Kim Beazley Sr., a minister in the Whitlam Government; John Dawkins, a minister in the Hawke and Keating Governments; and Carmen Lawrence, the former Premier of Western Australia and a minister in the Keating Government. Lawrence retired at the 2007 election. She was succeeded by Melissa Parke, a former United Nations lawyer and a minister in the second Rudd Government.


Image Member Party Term Notes
    Elias Solomon
Free Trade 29 March 1901
16 December 1903
Previously held the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of South Fremantle. Lost seat
    William Carpenter
Labour 16 December 1903
12 December 1906
Previously held the South Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Encounter Bay. Lost seat. Later elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Fremantle in 1911
    William Hedges
Western Australian 12 December 1906
26 May 1909
Lost seat
  Commonwealth Liberal 26 May 1909 –
31 May 1913
    Reginald Burchell
Labor 31 May 1913
14 November 1916
Served as Chief Government Whip in the House under Hughes. Retired
  National Labor 14 November 1916
17 February 1917
  Nationalist 17 February 1917 –
6 November 1922
    William Watson
Independent 16 December 1922
9 October 1928
    John Curtin
Labor 17 November 1928
19 December 1931
Lost seat
    William Watson
United Australia 19 December 1931
7 August 1934
    John Curtin
Labor 15 September 1934
5 July 1945
Served as Opposition Leader from 1935 to 1941. Served as Prime Minister from 1941 to 1945. Died in office
    Kim Beazley
Labor 18 August 1945
10 November 1977
Served as minister under Whitlam. Retired
    John Dawkins
Labor 10 December 1977
4 February 1994
Previously held the Division of Tangney. Served as minister under Hawke and Keating. Resigned in order to retire from politics
    Dr Carmen Lawrence
Labor 12 March 1994
17 October 2007
Previously held the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Glendalough. Served as minister under Keating. Retired
    Melissa Parke
Labor 24 November 2007
9 May 2016
Served as minister under Rudd. Retired
    Josh Wilson
Labor 2 July 2016
9 May 2018
Resigned and re-elected during the parliamentary eligibility crisis. Incumbent
28 July 2018

Election resultsEdit

2019 Australian federal election: Fremantle[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Josh Wilson 34,636 38.02 −2.97
Liberal Nicole Robins 31,862 34.97 −1.90
Greens Jesse Hutchinson 14,574 16.00 −1.74
One Nation Brett Weary 3,485 3.83 +3.83
Western Australia Janetia Knapp 2,333 2.56 +2.56
United Australia Fatima Lever 1,767 1.94 +1.94
Christians Laetisia Mulder 1,456 1.60 +1.60
Socialist Alliance Sam Wainwright 990 1.09 −0.56
Total formal votes 91,103 94.60 −1.40
Informal votes 5,199 5.40 +1.40
Turnout 96,302 91.38 +2.57
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Josh Wilson 51,852 56.92 −0.60
Liberal Nicole Robins 39,251 43.08 +0.60
Labor hold Swing −0.60


  1. ^ "Instructions to the Admiralty to take formal possession of the western portion of the continent". Documenting a Democracy. Museum of Australian Democracy. 5 November 1828. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Australian Electoral Commission - Profile of the Division of Fremantle".
  3. ^ Black, David (2010). "Initial boundaries - 1901 & 1903 elections". The Federal Electorate of Fremantle - a History since 1901. John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  4. ^ Black, David (2010). "Changing boundaries: 1977 redistribution - 1977 elections 1980 part redistribution". The Federal Electorate of Fremantle - a History since 1901. John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  5. ^ Fremantle, WA, Tally Room 2019, Australian Electoral Commission.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 32°06′11″S 115°47′24″E / 32.103°S 115.790°E / -32.103; 115.790