Division of Stirling
The Division of Stirling is an Australian electoral division in the inner northern and beachside suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, and includes a large portion of the local government area of the City of Stirling.
Australian House of Representatives Division
|Namesake||Sir James Stirling|
|Area||74 km2 (28.6 sq mi)|
The electorate was created in the Western Australia redistribution of 10 August 1955, and was named after Sir James Stirling, the 19th-century founding lieutenant governor and governor of Western Australia. Stirling covers a demographically diverse area, including several affluent beachside suburbs, as well as some more deprived areas further inland. As a result, Stirling has often been a marginal seat, alternating between the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party of Australia.
Unlike some marginal seats on the east coast, such as Eden-Monaro, Stirling has not often been seen as a barometer for winning government, mainly because most elections have already been decided by the time WA's first returns come in. For example, longtime Labor member Harry Webb survived the massive Coalition landslide of 1966, only to become one of two Labor MPs from the state to be defeated in 1972 even as Labor ended 23 years of Coalition rule. Probably as a result of coincidence, while it has elected five government MPs, all but three of its members have spent at least one term in opposition.
Besides Webb, who held the seat for all but one term from its creation in 1955 until his defeat in 1972, the seat's most prominent member has been Labor's Ron Edwards, who was Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives from 29 August 1989 to 8 February 1993; he was in the Chair on 15 September 1992, when then-Prime Minister Paul Keating made his infamous "I wanna do you slowly" remark to then-Leader of the Opposition John Hewson. It had been expected that if the 1993 election had not been called so soon after Leo McLeay's resignation as Speaker or if Edwards had held his seat in the election upon the re-election of the Keating Government, Edwards would have been elected Speaker.
Opinion polls in the leadup to the 2004 election had suggested a close result in Stirling, leaning towards the possibility of sitting Labor member Jann McFarlane retaining her seat. This had been thought to be more likely after Paul Afkos, the original Liberal candidate, was forced to resign after he was revealed to have borrowed money from a convicted drug dealer. A local businessman, Michael Keenan was brought in as his replacement, and maintained the close difference in polling. However, on election day, the swing to the Liberal Party statewide and nationwide was stronger than expected, and Keenan was ultimately successful in unseating McFarlane. The Stirling Times, a local newspaper, speculated in October 2006 that McFarlane, at that time a Stirling councillor, might contest the seat again in 2007. On 28 November 2006, former SAS officer and outspoken opponent of the Iraq War Peter Tinley accepted an offer from Kim Beazley to run as the ALP candidate in the 2007 election. Ahead of the 2010 election, Labor preselected Louise Durack, a social worker and executive director of People With Disabilities (WA) and past candidate for the state seat of Ocean Reef, to run for the seat. Keenan was re-elected at the 2010 federal election.
|Labor||10 December 1955 –
22 November 1958
|Previously held the Division of Swan. Lost seat|
|Liberal||22 November 1958 –
9 December 1961
|Lost seat. Later elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Mirrabooka in 1968|
|Labor||9 December 1961 –
2 December 1972
|Liberal||2 December 1972 –
5 March 1983
|Served as minister under Fraser. Lost seat|
|Labor||5 March 1983 –
13 March 1993
|Liberal||13 March 1993 –
3 October 1998
|Labor||3 October 1998 –
9 October 2004
|Liberal||9 October 2004 –
|Served as minister under Abbott and Turnbull. Incumbent. Currently a minister under Morrison|
|Rise Up Australia||Alison Rowe||1,361||1.64||+1.05|
|Total formal votes||82,891||95.85||+1.62|
- "Former SAS soldier approached by Labor". ABC News. 28 November 2006. Retrieved 28 November 2006.
- "Profile of the electoral division of Stirling (WA)". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
- Stirling, WA, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.