Nominations closed in Western Australia on Friday, with a record number of candidates nominating in both houses.
463 candidates have nominated for the Legislative Assembly, up from 415 in 2017, which was itself a substantial record. 325 candidates have nominated for the Legislative Council, up from 302 in 2017. That was the first time more than 200 candidates had nominated for an election, but the trend has continued this year.
More relevant than the raw number of candidates in the upper house is the number of groups on the ballot paper. The average number of groups is 23 per region, up from 21 in 2017, which broke the previous record of 12.8 in 2005. Antony Green has the historical data dating back to 1989 at his blog.
The continued use of group ticket voting in Western Australia five years after it was abolished in the Senate has undoubtedly fuelled this surge in nominations.
Nineteen parties have nominated for the Legislative Council, and all but two have nominated tickets in every region. The Nationals have only focused on the three non-metropolitan regions, while Socialist Alliance has only run in one region. The group voting ticket incentivises running full tickets, since that gives you the ability to swap preferences and get a good deal in your priority region.
Fourteen parties are running for the Legislative Assembly. Labor, Liberal, the Greens and the No Mandatory Vaccination Party (NMVP) are running candidates in all 59 seats. The WAxit Party is running 48 candidates, and One Nation is running 40.
I have attempted to classify the gender of each candidate but there were 25 I did not know. A number of candidates from NMVP appear to have nominated with a single initial for a first name, and in many other cases there’s no information beyond a name about a person online and their name doesn’t fit clearly with one gender. I have identified 281 male candidates, 157 female candidates and 25 unknown.
Labor is running 30 women and 29 men. The Greens are running 28 women and 31 men. The Nationals are running at least eight men, seven women and one I could not identify. The other big parties are more lopsided. 69.5% of Liberal candidates are men, and at least 72.5% of One Nation candidates are men.
I will get all the seat profiles updated with the final candidate list tonight.