Musical chairs

The Australian Electoral Commission has just released its proposed boundaries for the redistribution of New South Wales federal electorates. The main item is the abolition of former Nationals leader John Anderson’s seat of Gwydir. I’ll be poring through this for the rest of the day and will hopefully have something substantial up early this evening.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

44 comments on “Musical chairs”

  1. How’s this for an idea: Peter Black loses this seat in the state election and then become the labor candidate for Farrer in the federal election? I wonder if the ALP has a chance of winning Farrer as it now contains Broken Hill?

  2. The one that stands out to me is Macquarie. It loses the Hawkesbury and gains the areas around Bathurst and Lithgow. Despite being Lib 59% on the old boundaries, it would surely be a Labor seat on the new boundaries.

    The Hawkesbury gets transferred to Greenway, making the seat a lot larger and presumably safe Liberal. Very similar to what they’ve done to Dickson.

    All sorts of changes within the Sydney metropolis. I think resulting in a better spread of booths for Labor; although it’s hard to be sure. Banks for instance looks like it should be a little safer.

    Wentworth expands into the inner city. Probably not enough to wipe the Liberal margin in notional terms, but certainly one to watch.

  3. Here’s are some guesses:

    Richmond – slightly stronger for labor
    Greenway – certain Lib seat now
    Bennelong – Lib seat but more marginal
    Macarthur – still Lib
    Macquarie – loses the Hawkesbury – I don’t know about bathurst and lithgow
    Parramatta – gains blacktown – probably better for labor.

  4. it will be interesting to see what Mrs Markus decides to do. Should she migrate north with Greenway or stay to fight Chifley which is where she resides and would prima facie lose.

    Labor’s predicament in Chifley will be should they ditch the old lag, Roger Price who is well known and has a personal vote or go for someone young but possiblly unelectable (like Husic) so as to make Markus’s life easier.

    For all the AEC’s banging on about community of interest, splitting the Blacktown LGA (which is centred on Westpoint) between Chifley and Parramatta seems irrational

  5. “Parramatta – gains blacktown – probably better for labor.”

    Hmmmm… The booths going to Parra (eg Metella Road) have been steadily becoming safe Liberal or at best marginal Labour.

  6. Sascha it is the east area booths of the Blacktown LGA which are heading east to Parramatta. The western and southern area booths are the strongest for the ALP and are going to or will stay in Chifley.

    Mind you those eastern booths vote ALP at state elections and in local government elections most of them comprise Blacktown’s Ward 3 which has always returned at least 2 ALP councillors and 1 very long serving independent.

  7. Wentworth and Bennelong are now genuine marginals. If Labor were to win office they should be winning both of these.

    Macquarie is interesting, hard to know how Bathurst and Lithgow vote because they’ve all been voting for Peter Andren. Gut instinct says that Labor have a chance.

    Greenway is safe Liberal now. Parramatta should be stronger for Labor, although maybe not much. Banks should be better for Labor.

    Ugly Dave, I think Blacktown LGA is too big for 1 electorate so it has to be split somewhere. They don’t seem to have taken a lot of notice fo LGS boundaries in the city at all.

    I think the Libs are stronger in Werriwa and Fowler but not enough to win them. Not sure about Lindsay, anyone got a clue?

    Dobell is still knife-edge marginal. My instinct was that Richmond would be better for the Coalition now, but I could be wrong. Hunter would bs stronger for the Nats and I think Paterson will be stronger for the Libs.

  8. Paterson will be interesting. It loses Beresfield and Tarro which are Labor booths, but gains Tenambit and Metford which are better Labor booths. A seat Labor should go close to winning back if there is a swing going.

    Will Wentworth become close to Notional Labor with its encroachment into Sydney? Bennelong must also be under threat. Interesting to see the response from Howard and Turnbull.

    Kerry Bartlett in Macquarie must be worried right about now.

  9. Keep in mind Parra loses a large area in the south which is where Labor’s strongest booths are. It also gains more of the North Shore from Mitchell. I think it would be better for Liberals than for Labor.

  10. No, the libs are still in front in Wentworth. Wentworth loses Randwick (the booths go 55% to the ALP) and gains the area north of Oxford St and east of South Dowling St/the Eastern Distributor (these booths go 64% to the ALP). The net result is that on the proposed boundaries the booths go 52.3% to the libs – then last time they gained about 0.5% from other votes (eg postals). In 2004 the booths went 55% to the libs.

  11. I have some comments on my blog. On Macquarie and Calare this looks like a return to the pre-1977 pattern when Bathurst, Lithgow and Orange were in seperate seats. Macquarie usually Labor and Calare safe National.

  12. Things not already noted:
    Hughes now contains much of Liverpool
    Hunter might be more interesting between Nats v ALP
    Which seat will Peter Andren Contest? Calare or Macquarie. He could possibly win Macquarie, but it might not be so easy for the ALP.
    Werriwa and Fowler will stay with the ALP (comfortably)

  13. Hunter will be interesting. With the loss of ALP booths to the east of Maitland and the gain of Nats booths such as Scone and north along the New England Highway to Murrurundi, the seat becomes much less certain for the ALP.

  14. Although Hughes picks up Liverpool, I cannot see it going to the ALP.
    Greenway is safe Liberal.
    Werriwa and Fowler will stay with the ALP.
    Macarthur will remain with the Libs.

  15. Orange is Andren’s base, though he has strong support in Bathurst and Lithgow. Lithgow and Bathurst have state Labor MPs. A quick check of polling places shows central Bathurst polled about 20% for Labor, in excess of Libs on about 15% and Nats on 6% and Lithgow/Portland polled 30% for Labor, with about 11% Libs and Nats on 6%.

    The Blue Mountains vote is overwhelmingly Labor. In fact, Macquarie is only a Liberal seat because of the Hawkesbury and the very lowest reaches of the Mountains. This means on the proposed boundaries Macquarie would almost certainly go to Labor, and it would be a hard job for for even an outstanding independent like Andren to win it.

  16. Macquarie is interesting for I have read that it has gone with whoever wins the Election ever since 1949.

    I have heard Anthorny Green say that Bathurst has a history of voting Conservative, while Lithgow votes ALP.

    Wentworth will stay with Libs, the Turnbull factor, and losing Randwich will help, and for all the talk about Howard hating inner city types, they are still mostly Liberal Voters, and the ALP would need to improve its vote by over 50% on what it is now, which is hard considering the Greens take Votes from them.

    Howard should be able to hold Bennonlong, but upon him leaving, that could go with him.

    I think the Nats will hate these changes as much as they appear to hate the QLD Changes.

    The Liberals and ALP will both be pleased for neither get a clear advantage

  17. bmwofoz,

    Macarthur is the bellwether seat from 1949 onwards; although it looks less likely to be a key marginal now. Macquarie has been opposition held at numerous times during the last half-century. (1949 saw Macquarie retain Ben Chifley as its MP whilst the country voted him out the Lodge.)

    Wentworth gains more Labor voters than it loses. Inner city Sydney is staunchly Labor. Those Green votes come back to Labor in the form of preferences. (It’s the affluent foreshore that makes Wentworth a Liberal seat.) And whilst Turnbull may be more palatable to the inner city than most Libs, he’s still a Lib.

    And on the talk over Hunter further up the page, it remains 85-90% in tact from the seat that went 64-36 in 2004. The changes, whilst favourable for the Coalition, are unlikely to bring the seat in play.

  18. 6.47
    I think you are thinking of Macarthur not Macquarie it had been a Labor seat from 1940 to 1984 bar from 1975 to 80 this Ben Chifley old seat

  19. My summary of changes of interest:
    -Hume – possible Lib-Nat fight?
    -Farrer – possible Labor gain?
    -Hughes – more marginal than it has been in recent years. It will definitely now be a seat to win for the ALP.
    -Greenway – out of reach for Labor – must be kicking themselves after bringing the IR rally to Blacktown.
    -Macquarie – now a must-win seat for ALP

    South-west Sydney is quite interesting. It seems that they have largely reversed the 2001 redistribution, when Macarthur was sucked into Campbelltown, thus becoming notionally Labor. Meanwhile Werriwa moved from largely covering Campbelltown to straddling Campbelltown and Liverpool.

    While it hasn’t been totally reversed, this has largely taken place. And with that in mind I would say that Macarthur’s time classified as a seat to win in the same breath as Hughes and Lindsay is over. It’s safe Liberal. However, the parts of Macarthur transfered to Werriwa are unlikely to have much of an effect on Labor’s margin in Werriwa. It’s worth bearing in mind that Pat Farmer managed to win votes from usual Labor voters. Indeed, I found a substantial variation in vote in Werriwa between booths which were joint Macarthur-Werriwa booths from others. So any notional margin for Werriwa will understate the Labor vote. Even still, I’d estimate that, from 9% in 2004, it will fall to maybe 6 or 7 officially, which once you factor in Pat Farmer, compared to any Liberal candidate in Werriwa, would become 7 or 8%.

    PS. It’s disappointing that Gwydir is being abolished, considering that it is a federation seat. In comparison Parkes is a seat named after a locality (generally avoided as being confusing) and only dating back to 1984 I think. Considering that the new Parkes includes more geographic Gwydir than old Parkes, it would have been better, although entirely insignificant, to abolish Parkes and make what has been named Parkes a new Gwydir.

  20. Parkes is named after Sir Henry Parkes, not the town. It existed as Sydney suburban seat from 1901 until abolished in 1969. Was re-created in 1984 as a far-western rural seat. It would retain the name whether or not Parkes remained in the seat.

    They have moved away from geographic names. Remember that Werriwa is the aboriginal name for Lake George. You can expect it to be re-named Whitlam at some point.

  21. Bennelong seems interesting. Howard will obviously hold it whilst he is there but I wonder if he looks at the proposed redistribution and considers his future? Would he want to risk having a barney in his own seat as opposed to being lauded as the ‘political unstoppable’?
    Looking at the Hughes seat, it is a bit of a disaster. Reflecting the seat of Menai in the NSW boundaries, how it could be suggested that Liverpool and residents of the ‘Shire’ are common communities is beyond me. Dana, with all of her recent bungles, might be prime for a challenge but I doubt it.
    Given that Blaxland seems to have moved into Fairfield, I am having trouble locating Fowler? Has it simply moved back to the western part of Liverpool? Does it now straddle Liverpool with Werriwa or has Werriwa simply gone back to being a Campbelltown specific seat?

  22. Hard to see why the Nationals would challenge a sitting Liberal in Hume.

    Forget Farrer. The 2004 election produced a whopping 70-30 result. Whilst in 2001 the ALP vote was so low that the runoff was between two Coalition candidates. Labor needs more than the addition of Broken Hill to be competitive here.

    Prior to this redistribution, I felt Hughes was much like the way you describe Macarthur. An increasingly Liberal seat (61-39 in 2004) that Labor need not bother with. Even with 10,000 additional voters from Liverpool, I’m still not sure that this will be a seat to target.

    The ALP shouldn’t be disappointed with Greenway. The parts retained from the old marginal Greenway seem to be the Liberal leaning areas anyway.

    Labor’s got exactly what it wanted with the Hawkesbury being separated from the Blues Mountains. Macquarie looks to me like a Labor seat regardless of how the election pans out. Provided Andren doesn’t contest.

  23. There has been little said about Eden-Monaro. Anybody have any ideas? I assume with the gain of Tumut from Farrer it becomes more favourable to the Libs? I am not sure how those booths that will be lost to Gilmore will lean.

  24. Dana Vale is a lousy minister, but she’s well liked in her electorate – I think she’ll hold Hughes. Alby Schultz is rock-solid in Hume – the Nats wouldn’t touch him with a barge-pole. Andren is unstoppable in Calare.

    I’m surprised that the AEC didn’t take the opportunity with this redistribution to re-name a seat or two in NSW. The last federal redistribution in Vic saw the creation of the new seat of Gorton (and the abolition of Burke). The Libs could have pushed to have a seat called McMahon (maybe re-naming a geographical seat like North Sydney, or Richmond, or Berowra). OK, so Wingnut was not the greatest PM ever (au contraire), but that’s just cold. Will we see a seat of Whitlam before we see McMahon?

  25. Few LNG thoughts…

    Parramatta : apart from having to be renamed with the CBD moving into Reid (perhaps Reid and Parramatta should swap names?) will head towards the Liberals. The addition of the Liberal North Rocks area from Mitchell (which Parramatta lost in the last redistribution and turned the seat notionally Labor in 2001) as well as the addition of the better part of Greenway will see the seat, I believe, become a marginal Liberal. The loss of Ermington and of course the crappy Harris Park area will also help.

    Lindsay: loss of the lower Blue Mountains and addition of St Marys will obviously help Labor. Jackie will have to stand again if the Libs are to hold.

    Greenway: as others have already said, the addition of the strong Liberal Hawkesbury area will make the seat a reasonably safe Liberal hold.

    Macquarie: a real battleground. The gumbies of Lithgow will make Macquarie difficult for Bartlett. He does however poll quite well in the Blue Mountains area, Katoomba notwithstanding, and will do OK in Oberon etc. Labor though will be the soft favourites but wouldn’t be surprised if bartlett does hold on. Andren will not run here because he won’t want to risk costing his Labor allies a seat.

    Calare: Andren to run in what is a more difficult assignment. Calare with Bathurst and Lithgow removed is an easier target for the Libs/Nats. How will the people of, say Cowra, Rylstone, Parkes etc react to ANdren? The Lib/Nats need to come up with some quality local candidates to be in the race. Andren though to win narrowly on Labor (who will run dead) preferences.

    Eden-Monaro: addition of Tumut makes it a seat the Libs will hold.

    Farrer: stupid boundaries: where is the community of interest between ALbury and Broken Hill FFS? Farrer becomes NSW’s own version of Kalgoorlie where people are shoved together for no good reason other than our obsession with numerical equality across electorates. Anyway, Broken Hill is in decline and slowly shifting against Labor anyway so the Libs will win. Labor would be mad to run Peter Black as already suggested: he would be rat poison in the Murray district.

    Few other seats of note:

    Lowe. As tijawi alluded to, should have been renamed McMahon after former long-term Member Sir William. Believe Lowe will become safer for Labor with the push south into Blaxland, even though continued development of Dummoyne etc is helping the Libs.

    Wentworth: reverting in some ways back to the old Wentworth when Phillip also covered the eastern subs with its push back into the city. Won’t be anywhere near enough to cause Turnbull problems.

    So who has done better out of the redistribution?????? Obviously not the National Party but both Labor and the Liberals can point at significant wins and losses.

  26. Wouldn’t the new Lowe favour the Liberals? It loses some of its strongest labor territory around Ashfield and gains riverside suburbs and South Strathfield. It also keeps its strongest conservative territory around Strathfield and along the harbour.

  27. Thanks for correction regarding Macquaire and McCarthur

    I think you will find that St Mary’s was in Lindsay back in 1996.

  28. From LNG:

    “Farrer: stupid boundaries: where is the community of interest between ALbury and Broken Hill FFS? Farrer becomes NSW’s own version of Kalgoorlie where people are shoved together for no good reason other than our obsession with numerical equality across electorates.”

    We could do what the Yanks do: non-contiguous boundaries for HoR seats, by putting as many like-minded voters from geographically disconnected areas together in the same seat. This ensures a “community of interest.” However, in the U.S. this practice also ensures the vast majority of seats are drawn so as to be drop-dead “safe” for the sitting member. In other words, gerrymandering. I don’t think we want to head down that path.

    I agree with everything else LNG said, including re-naming Parramatta. Might as well re-name Richmond too, since it no longer includes the locality it’s named after (hasn’t for a long time). I’d say re-name a metro seat McMahon (maybe Lowe, maybe the reconstituted Parramatta), and maybe revive the name Lawson for another seat (I’ve always thought it weird that there’s a Blaxland, a Wentworth, but no Lawson). A few years ago (when Tim Fischer was around) the ALP was pushing for abolition of Farrer and a creation of the new seat called McKell on Sydney’s SW fringes. I think Hume is a lost cause for the Nats, given that it’s creeping eastwards and now includes the comfy Southern Highlands.

  29. LNG 1.45 am

    Polling places Blue Mountains area

    Blackheath 56 to44 Labor
    Blaxland 52 to 48 labor
    Blaxland East 58 to 42 Lib
    Bilpin 59 to 41 Lib
    HAZELBROOK 56 to 44 Labor
    Katoomba 64 to 36 Labor
    Katoomba high 52 to 48 Labor
    Katoomba hospital 55 to 45 Labor
    Katoomba high 58 to 42 Labor
    Katoomba 58 to 42 Labor
    Katoomba 69 to 31 Labor
    Lawson 54 to 46 Labor
    Medlow Bath 54 to 46 Labor
    Mount Victoria 54 to 46 Labor
    Springwood 52 to 48 Libs
    Springwood north 58 to42 Lib
    Springwood south 53 to47 Lib

    Labor win 12 out of 17 in the Blue Mountains area
    Labor should win Lithgow and Portland 6682 and 1269 People
    the Libs should Eglinton and just win Oberon 1844and 2668 People
    Bathurst should go 50 to 50 or just labor because labor has the state mp for Bathurst
    This seat should go to Labor 53 to 47

  30. Problem with Broken Hill is whatever seat you put it in, it will not have a community of interest with the rest of the seat. It is on a different time zone, gets all its TV and Radio via Adelaide, historically even operates on its own set of industrial awards, and is a huge drive from any other significant centre of population. In the end, some seats just end up too big to talk about a single community of interest.

    The problem for anyone trying to put Broken Hill back in Parkes now is that it is so big it will require a complete re-draw of the rest of rural NSW, and probably the re-creation of Gwydir with changes flowing all the way through to the north-west of Sydney. A major re-drawing.

    Farrer has had an odd shape since 1984 as it includes all the areas along the Murray River that get their television and radio from Victoria. Pitty anyone campiagning in the seat in future. They will have to send all their press releases to both Melbourne and Adelaide to get media coverage.

    Just a little note. Whenever there is a NSW state election, ABC transmitters are re-configured so that Albury and Broken Hill get Sydney’s news bulletins. Always causes huge howls from Wodonga and consternation from Broken Hill.

    It was even worse in 1995. NSW went off Dayling Saving before Victoria. Didn’t the residents of Wodonga complain when not only did the get Sydney’s TV news bulletin, but they got it at 8pm.

  31. Marcus, as far as I can tell the Ashfield area isn’t that good for Labor – a margin of about 4.5 per cent compared with 3.9 per cent for the electorate as a whole. That should be more than cancelled out by the addition of Croydon Park from Watson, where Labor’s margin was 9.5 per cent (that’s 3441 new voters compared with the 10,421 lost around Ashfield). The South Strathfield gain only amounts to 2861 voters.

  32. For anyone trying to do a two-party analysis of the new Macquarie, the AEC did a booth-by-booth Labor versus Liberal count for the Calare results; ie they broke down the votes in each booth by whether they ranked Labor or Liberal higher, in addition to the actual Andren versus Liberal count. Go to the 2004 results for Calare at, and they’re right there under ‘scrutiny for information’.

    Plugging the relevant numbers into the new Macquarie boundaries gives a Labor margin in the region of 2.5% – pretty close to what James says. A Labor seat, but with enough Liberal votes in the lower mountains and some of the rural areas around Bathurst and Oberon to keep it competitive.

    And the Eden-Monaro/Tumut question – those new booths are pretty bad for Labor, but the areas lost to Gilmore are mostly marginal Liberal booths in the Batemans Bay area, so the net effect isn’t that high. The new margin will be close to 3%. In fact, you could say this makes Eden-Monaro a truer bellwether – the swing Labor needs to win it becomes closer to (but still less than) the swing they need to win nationally.

  33. Here’s my view:

    Gwydir was the most appropriate seat to abolish given it has the lowest popultaion/growth and was situated next to the second lowest population/growth (Parkes).

    Parkes should easily go to John Cobb unless there is a strong independent challenge, which seems unlikely.

    Peter Anderen could probably win either Calare or Macquarie, although I would say he will probably contest Calare. Macquarie should go to Labor if he contests Calare unless Labor puts in another really bad electoral performance. If Anderen chose to contest Macquarie then Calare would probably go to the Liberal Party rather than the national party based upon the National’s disasterous performance in that area recently. eg. 2004 election, Dubbo by-election.

    Farrer remains a safe Liberal seat, the population of Broken Hill is becoming less significant and the National Party didn’t actually do too badly there in 2004. Greenway should now be fairly safe Liberal. Macarthur also is now fairly safe Liberal and would only fall to Labor in a complete landslide. Lindsay becomes slightly better for Labor.

    I think the most interesting changes are Wentworth and Bennelong. Neither of these seats can clearly be described as safe Liberal based on recent changes, Especially Wentworth with the addition of several solid Labor voting booths. Support for the Liberal Party has also been declining in inner city areas in recent elections, perhaps reflective of Howards socially conservative rather than economically rational policies such as middle class welfare for nuclear families, social conservativism, no gay marriage etc.

    The changes to Bennelong are not dramatic, but surely make it a seat that Labor has to win if it is to return to government at a margin of less than 5%. Labor does hold the state seat of Ryde with a huge majority. Labor would be foolish not to put resources and a good candidate into winning this seat with the addition of Labor voting areas from Parramatta.

    Eden Monaro becomes slightly safer for the Liberal Party, although still a seat that Labor would probably win if it returned to government. Richmond should stay Labor, I can’t see the National Party winning this seat in future based upon changing demographics, are more likely challenge would come from the Liberal Party.

    While some people have mentioned Hunter as a potential contest, I really can’t see Labor losing this seat based upon its margin at the 2004 election. Overall these changes probably will not benefit either the Liberal Party or the Labor Party significantly. The main loser will be the National Party, although that has probably been inevitable given the declining population of areas west of the Great Dividing Range for some time.

  34. I’d dispute what Antony said about naming of electorates.

    The AEC has guidelines on their website for the naming of divisions:

    It clearly says that “Every effort should be made to retain the names of original Federation Divisions.” I’d argue that the value in retaining Federation divisions is to, as much as possible, preserve historical value in electorates, such as having a continuous list of MPs representing an electorate, etc, thus Parkes would not be considered to be a Federation division. At the very least, it’s historical value is substantially less than those electorates that have existed continously since Federation.

    There are only 37 federation electorates, out of an original 63, remaining in 2006. These include 15 in NSW, 11 in Victoria, 7 in Queensland and 4 in Western Australia.

    So while clearly the AEC can do whatever they want, I would argue that there is far more value in preserving the seat of Gwydir rather than Parkes, and the AEC’s own website seems to back that up.

    Regarding Werriwa in Western Sydney, I would expect that with the increasing growth in South-West Sydney with the Bringelly development and general increases in population, we will see future redistributions leading to the creation of new electorates, or substantial shifting of electorates, in the area, which would allow the AEC to create a seat of Whitlam without getting rid of the electorate of Werriwa.

    Apart from the fact that Werriwa is both a federation electorate and is an “existing Aboriginal Divisional name”, which are both criteria for protecting electorate names, I would also argue that it doesn’t fit into the general concept of a geographical name. While it is named after Lake George, the reasons for avoiding geographical names don’t apply to Werriwa.

    For example:
    -Avoiding having the same name for local, state and federal electorates (eg. Parramatta and Sydney)
    -Confusion caused when electorates are shifted so that they no longer include the area the electorate is named after (eg. Parramatta at the last election).

    One last point, is that very few Prime Minister’s electorates have ever been abolished, and none since 1969.

    Considering that three recent members for Werriwa have been very senior figures in the ALP, this would add to the historical value of the seat.

    Of course, the AEC can do whatever they want and ignore that, but I think that there’s a lot of worth in preserving seats with greater historical value.

  35. Ben,

    Of the criteria you link, it’s the very first that states: “In the main, Divisions should be named after deceased Australians who have rendered outstanding service to their country.”

    Surely the above squarely befits Henry Parkes, the “father of federation”.

  36. The original NSW federal electorate included all of the great ninteenth century NSW Prime Ministers, Cowper, Robertson, Parkes and Martin. Parkes and Martin were inner city seats, Martin disappeared in 1955, Parkes in 1968. Of the four, only Parkes had anything to do with Federation. The current rules on naming were adopted in 1984, otherwise Parkes would have been retained back in 1968. Watson was also abolished in 1968 and was brought back in the 1990s when the geographic seat of St George was re-named. It will be up to Commissioners to decide, but the both Parkes and Gwydir were around at Federation, one is named after a significant historic figure, and Gwydir is a name that only covers part of the seat. No doubt there will be some debate on the subject, but given the major parties didn’t propose to abolish the seat, the Commissioners seem to have made their own decision. But no doubt they will listen to submissions.

  37. I agree that Richmond is a lost cause for the Nats, given the changing demographics which will probably make this a Lib-Labor contest in the future. The times they are a changin’ for the Nats. Lyne, Herbert and Wide Bay look to be future prospects for the Libs. Andren should easily hold Calare; the Nats couldn’t even win Blair when it was first created.

    While on the topic of names, “Calare” (apart from being pronounced incorrectly) is also a name that covers only part of the seat.

  38. I wonder if the Nats could have won Blair if Pauline Hanson hadn’t stood for it? Many of Blair’s voters were traditionally National Party voters.

  39. What about Tasmania?
    They re named Wilmot to honour Joe Lyons but what about Lance Barnard the Whitlam minister (or his father Claude the Chifley g’ment minister)?

  40. A correction to an earlier post. On July 3 I wrote: “Lyne, Herbert and Wide Bay look to be future prospects for the Libs. ” I meant Hinkler, not Herbert. D’oh!

    As for Blair, yep I wondered that too Sacha. It’s academic now. Blair’s boundaries have changed to make it even more Lib-friendly.

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