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
Division of STIRLING 2016.png
Division of Stirling in Western Australia, as of the 2016 federal election.
MPVince Connelly
NamesakeSir James Stirling
Electors100,781 (2019)
Area74 km2 (28.6 sq mi)
DemographicInner metropolitan

The current MP is Vince Connelly of the Liberal Party, who was elected at the 2019 federal election.


Sir James Stirling, the division's namesake

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. 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.[1] 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.


The division includes the northern majority of the City of Stirling and a small portion of the City of Bayswater. Suburbs include[2]


Image Member Party Term Notes
    Harry Webb
Labor 10 December 1955
22 November 1958
Previously held the Division of Swan. Lost seat
    Doug Cash
Liberal 22 November 1958
9 December 1961
Lost seat. Later elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Mirrabooka in 1968
    Harry Webb
Labor 9 December 1961
2 December 1972
Lost seat
    Ian Viner
Liberal 2 December 1972
5 March 1983
Served as minister under Fraser. Lost seat
    Ron Edwards
Labor 5 March 1983
13 March 1993
Lost seat
    Eoin Cameron
Liberal 13 March 1993
3 October 1998
Lost seat
    Jann McFarlane
Labor 3 October 1998
9 October 2004
Lost seat
    Michael Keenan
Liberal 9 October 2004
11 April 2019
Served as minister under Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison. Retired
    Vince Connelly
Liberal 18 May 2019

Election resultsEdit

2019 Australian federal election: Stirling[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Vince Connelly 40,757 46.97 −2.48
Labor Melita Markey 27,623 31.83 −0.34
Greens Judith Cullity 10,439 12.03 +0.35
One Nation Angus Young 3,129 3.61 +3.61
Western Australia Elizabeth Re 1,750 2.02 +2.02
United Australia Dorothy Hutton 1,577 1.82 +1.82
Christians Kevin Host 1,504 1.73 −0.71
Total formal votes 86,779 95.32 −0.53
Informal votes 4,259 4.68 +0.53
Turnout 91,038 89.97 +2.24
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Vince Connelly 48,289 55.65 −0.47
Labor Melita Markey 38,490 44.35 +0.47
Liberal hold Swing −0.47


  1. ^ "Former SAS soldier approached by Labor". ABC News. 28 November 2006. Retrieved 28 November 2006.
  2. ^ "Profile of the electoral division of Stirling (WA)". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  3. ^ Stirling, WA, Tally Room 2019, Australian Electoral Commission.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 31°52′37″S 115°49′05″E / 31.877°S 115.818°E / -31.877; 115.818