Everything you need-to-know about the North West Central by-election in WA

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Nationals MP Vince Catania.

A by-election in the Western Australian state seat of North West Central is being held on September 17, following the resignation of sitting Nationals MP Vince Catania.


Around 10,000 people are eligible to vote in the electorate, which is 820,591 square kilometers & includes towns such as Carnarvon, Exmouth & Wiluna.


The seat is part of the federal electorates of Durack & O'Connor, both Liberal-held.

 

Significant developments:

  • June 9: Catania announces resignation

  • July 12: Liberals confirm Will Baston as their candidate

  • August 8: Catania formally resigns; by-election date set

 

History


North West Central was first known as North West Coastal, with Fred Riebeling winning the seat for Labor in 2005.


Under the new name of North West, Vince Catania retained the seat for the ALP in 2008 but quit the party in 2009 to join the Nationals. The seat was renamed to North West Central in 2013.


With the exception of 2005, the Liberals & Nationals have always competed in the seat.


It was an ALP-LIB contest in 2005 & 2008, a NAT-LIB contest in 2013 and a NAT-ALP contest since 2017.


9 candidates contested the seat at the 2021 state election: The Nationals, Labor, the Liberals, The Greens, Shooters, Fishers, Farmers, One Nation, No Mandatory Vaccination, WAxit & Independent Henry Seddon.

There was an 8.4% swing away from The Nationals on a two-party-preferred level, but Catania himself went up by 3.6% while there was a 13.5% rise in support for Labor on a first preference basis.

 

National-Liberal Alliance


Following the Liberal Party wipeout in 2021, The Nationals became the official opposition - something extremely rare nowadays - with 2 more seats than the Liberals in the lower house.


If The Nationals retain the seat, nothing much changes. If they lose it & the Liberals pick it up, both parties will have the same amount of lower house seats - 3.


This could see the Liberals return to opposition status, given they also have the upper hand in the upper house - 7 seats compared to The Nationals' 2.

Either way, Labor will still have a large majority in both houses.

 

Meet the candidates


A record 12 candidates are standing - this is the order they'll appear on on the ballot paper:


GRN Niels Glahn-Bertelsen (The Greens)

WAP Andrea Randle (Western Australia Party)

SBP Peter Baker (Small Business Party)

NAT Merome Beard (The Nationals)

PHON Gerald Laurent (One Nation)

LCWA Leanne Lockyer (Legalise Cannabis)

LDP Jake Adkins McCoull (Liberal Democrats)

WAP Anthony Fels (Western Australia Party)

NMV Aaron Horsman (No Mandatory Vaccination)

IND Peter D. Dunne (Independent)

IND Tony Stokes (Independent)

LIB Will Baston (Liberal)


Baston is the nephew of former Barnett Government Minister Ken Baston, while two candidates ran in the 2022 federal election.- Fels in the seat of Durack & Lockyer as a WA senate candidate for the Informed Medical Options Party.


In a rare move for any party, the Western Australia Party will be running two candidates.

 

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