Friday, June 30, 2006

NSW redistribution & NSW state election

The Australian Electoral Commission has released draft NSW boundaries. In the country we see a return in one aspect to the pre-1977 formula. Macquarie takes Lithgow and Bathurst out of Calare which would probably make it a Labor seat in most years (like Hunter today) as it was before 1977 (Labor only narrowly lost it in 1975) . The new Calare however including Orange and parts to the west becomes once again a conservative electorate, although Labor held Calare 1983-96 this was when it included Bathurst and Lithgow, prior to that 1943 was the last time they won. The problem for Peter Andreen, the sitting Calare independent, is whether to go for Macquarie and hold it against Labor or to fight the Nationals in the new Calare. On first glance I think he would do best in Macquarie. The Nationals lose Gwydir. In Sydney it is perhaps disappointing for Labor, Greenway sheds its Labor end around Blacktown into Parramatta, looks like Parramatta becomes safe Labor, but Greenway becomes a safe Liberal seat (as it will include the Macquarie towns containing buildings designed by Francis Greenway perhaps this makes sense). However Lindsay is pushed into St Marys which would assist Labor. The fact that the Parramatta CBD is in Reid will cause confusion. It would make more sense to rename Reid 'Parramatta' and perhaps save the name Reid by giving it to the electorate including Blacktown and North Parramatta, alternately this seat could be Greenway and a new name found for the Windsor-Richmond-Mcmansion belt seat.

The SMH reports a list of 15 'watch seats' identified by NSW Labor as vulnerable for the state election next year. Unfortunately there is no complete list. The first is Murray-Darling. This is on paper a National seat after the redistribution, true the sitting MP has resisted unfavourable redistributions in the past, and it is a pattern that the Labor vote in areas removed from National seats can usually be improved by a campaigning MP, but Labor did very poorly in Broken Hill (its vote falling below 60%) at the 2004 federal election, due to problems with the state government particularly the abolition of the Far West health service, which sparked a protest of 2000. Another example of Labor’s problem with its heartland rather than the margins. The watch list also includes Ryde, as I have thought the 14.8% margin here is rather misleading.


At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of these lists are just bluff designed to ensure that the waverers (with ALP tendancies) remains in the camp. Surely the citing of Ryde is a case in point?

At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you about the electorate names of Parramatta and Reid. There will be chaos in the eastern Parramatta booths. You should put a submission in to the AEC about this.

At 8:40 PM, Blogger Geoff Robinson said...

The 14.8% margin in Ryde is illusory, it is not really a safer Labor seat than Cessnock. Catching the train as I do on trips back to Sydney it doesn't look Labor country.
The Parramatta-Reid naming is bizarre, but the Brisbane CBD used to be outside Brisbane electorate.

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats the goss on Matt Brown down your way? Is his seat all in trouble?

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Geoff Robinson said...

Larry, I'm on the Vic south coast. last time I was in Kiama was when I campigned for Matt Brown's predecessor in 1986. Redistribution makes it much weaker. On the other hand is it too far from Sydney to be in the commuter belt?


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