The Electoral district of Nedlands is a Legislative Assembly electorate in the state of Western Australia. Nedlands is named for the inner western Perth suburb of Nedlands which falls within its borders.
Nedlands was created at the 1929 redistribution, at which five new metropolitan electorates were created to replace former Goldfields seats in Parliament. Its first member was elected at the 1930 election, and it has always been a safe seat for the Liberal Party and its predecessors. Its first member, Hon. Sir Norbert Keenan, was an Attorney-General, whilst two of its members, Hon. Sir Charles Court and his son Hon. Richard Court who between them held the seat for 48 consecutive years, have been State Premiers (1974–1982 and 1993–2001 respectively), making them one of only three father-son combinations in Australia to have achieved this (including the Butlers in South Australia and the Cains in Victoria).
At the 2001 state election, the Labor Party won government and Court's own margin was cut to 4.93% by Independent candidate Liz Davenport, a prominent fashion designer and member of the Liberals for Forests party. In the days after the election, Court was attempting to organise a succession whereby he and his deputy leader, Cottesloe MLA Colin Barnett, would both resign their seats. Federal Curtin MP Julie Bishop would resign her seat and hand it to Barnett, then succeed either Court in Nedlands or Barnett in Cottesloe at a state by-election and assume the Liberal leadership in Court's stead. The aim was to prevent Barnett from succeeding Court. However, the plan ended up on the front page of The West Australian, Bishop decided against a switch to State politics, and Court shortly thereafter resigned both the leadership and his seat. At the resulting by-election in 2001, Sue Walker, a DPP lawyer, won the seat for the Liberals against the unrelated Steve Walker, a Greens candidate, who overtook the ALP on preferences.
Walker served in the Shadow Ministry in a variety of roles, most prominently as Shadow Attorney-General. When Matt Birney attempted to remove her from the Ministry in March 2006, he lost his own leadership in a party-room ballot to Paul Omodei, who immediately reinstated her. Walker resigned from the Liberal party on 8 February 2008 after Troy Buswell attained the leadership, sitting as an independent thereafter. She contested the 2008 state election, claiming significant local support in doing so. However, at the 2008 Western Australian election, Bill Marmion won the seat for the Liberal Party, defeating Walker by 10,266 to 9,280 on the two-candidate-preferred vote.
Nedlands is bounded by the Swan River to the south and southeast, Thomas Street and Kings Park to the east, Loch Street and Brockway Road to the west, and Cambridge Street to the north. Its boundaries include the suburbs of Crawley, Daglish, Dalkeith, Jolimont, Nedlands, Shenton Park, Subiaco, West Leederville, along with parts of Floreat and Wembley. Major features within the electorate include Subiaco Oval, Karrakatta Cemetery, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, University of Western Australia and Parliament House.
The 2007 redistribution, which took effect at the 2008 election, resulted in the seat losing most of Wembley and all of West Leederville while gaining part of Floreat and a non-residential section of Shenton Park north of the railway.
Nedlands and the neighbouring electorates of Churchlands to the north and Cottesloe to the west comprise the affluent western suburbs of Perth—the Australian Bureau of Statistics's SEIFA index (2001) ranked them as the highest three electorates by socio-economic status in Western Australia, with high scores on educational and employment opportunity. At the 2006 census, the median individual income in the Nedlands electorate, based on its 2005 boundaries, was $666 per week compared to $513 in the Perth metropolitan area, and the median weekly household income was $1,392 compared to $1,086 across Perth. 58.7% of the population were professionals or managers.
All three seats are comfortably safe Liberal seats, and are located almost entirely within the blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Curtin.