Cockburn seats unlikely to change at polls says Murdoch Uni expert


Murdoch University’s senior global politics and policy lecturer Ian Cook.
Murdoch University’s senior global politics and policy lecturer Ian Cook.

LOWER house representation for the City of Cockburn is unlikely to look much different following Saturday’s State Election, according to a senior global politics and policy lecturer.

With four of the five State seats overlaying Cockburn currently held by Labor, and plenty of talk about a huge swing against the current government, Murdoch University’s Ian Cook said the status quo was likely to remain.

“The overall story is about the swing to Labor,” he said. “The question is: how big will it be?”

Labor is aiming to win 10 more seats than it did in 2013 to claim government this time around.

Locally, the seats of Cockburn, Willagee, Kwinana and Fremantle are held by Labor members, with Jandakot held by the Liberal Party’s Joe Francis.

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Mr Francis claimed the seat in 2013 by 16 per cent on a two-candidate preferred basis, meaning a massive swing would be needed to remove him from a position he has held since 2008.

Dr Cook said while Roe 8, and to a lesser extent the Thornlie to Cockburn rail line, had sucked up plenty of attention, he could not see any major issue in these electorates that could lead to a major counter-swing against the party holding them.

He said the Liberal Party’s eight years in government could be the thing to bring it undone. “Eight years is a long time in government to offend people in some way, or to accumulate baggage and broken promises,” he said.

“But winning a third term has been done – it’s not impossible.” He said Opposition Leader Mark McGowan was not particularly exciting, but had run a pretty tight ship.

“People won’t vote for him because they love him. But he’s solid,” he said.