Watson covers inner suburban territory roughly 15 kilometres south-west of central Sydney, from Strathfield and Burwood Heights at the city end to Greenacre and Lakemba further afield. The electorate was called St George from its creation in 1949 until 1993, reflecting the unofficial name of the Hurstville, Rockdale and Kogarah area of Sydney which it formerly encompassed. Watson was drawn further away from its traditional base when the redistribution before the 2010 election abolished its northern neighbour Lowe, from which it absorbed southern Strathfield and Burwood Heights. It also gained Greenacre, Mount Lewis and part of Punchbowl to the west, which were formerly in Banks, while in the south it lost Earlwood and Kingsgrove to Barton and Hurstville to Banks. This left only the voters in the City of Canterbury, accounting for barely half the total, to carry over to the newly redrawn seat. The affected areas were a mixed bag electorally, the changes serving to reduce the Labor margin by 1.9%.
The electorate of St George was for much of its history a classically marginal middle suburban seat, frequently changing hands until Whitlam government minister Bill Morrison recovered it for Labor in 1980 after being unseated in 1975 (the unsuccessful candidate in the intervening 1977 election was Whitlam’s son Antony, who had served in the previous term as member for Grayndler). Morrison was succeeded in 1984 by Stephen Dubois, who retired when Watson was created in 1993 as part of a rearrangement that abolished St George and the Bondi-area electorate of Phillip. Labor accommodated Phillip MP Jeannette McHugh in Grayndler, while Right faction heavyweight Leo McLeay moved from Grayndler to Watson. Meanwhile, Labor’s grip tightened thanks to demographic change which has left Watson with the highest proportion of non-English speakers (72.8%) of any electorate in the country, most notably through the concentration of Lebanese at Lakemba and Chinese and Koreans at Campsie. However, the trend to Labor sharply reversed amid a Sydney-wide backlash at the 2010 election, which reduced Labor’s 18.2% margin by exactly half.
Watson has been held since McLeay’s retirement in 2004 by Tony Burke, who had entered politics the previous year as a member of the state upper house. McLeay had long hoped that his son Paul would assume the seat upon his retirement, but the strength of support for Burke within the Right compelled him to abandon the idea. Paul McLeay was instead accommodated in the state seat of Heathcote, which he held from 2003 until he joined the Labor casualty list at the 2011 state election. Burke meanwhile won swift promotion to the shadow ministry in 2005, going on to serve in cabinet as Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister in the Rudd-Gillard government’s first term and as Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities Minister (further gaining arts in March 2013) in its second. Burke has been a resolute supporter of Julia Gillard’s leadership, and spoke publicly of the chaos of Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership when he launched his unsuccessful challenged in February 2012.
The Liberals have preselected Ron Delezio, a businessman who came to national attention after his daughter Sophie received horrific injuries in separate accidents in 2003 and 2006. Delezio ran in Banks at the 2010 election, picking up an 8.9% swing against Labor’s Daryl Melham, and unsuccessfully sought preselection there again for the coming election.
3,840 comments on “Seat of the week: Watson”
The problem with a Gillard-led election campaign is that she could absolutely skewer Abbott in the debate/s – and almost certainly would – and yet it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference. No one is listening. That’s the part many here don’t see to get through their skulls. The punters, en masse, do not listen to a word Julia Gillard says any more. It’s over.
Honest mistake but my heart did skip a beat.
I know in my heart it is fanciful to be compared to BB who is and has always been the gold standard of commentators here.
If people were not listening to PMJG abortion would not be on the political agenda.
You fail with that meme.
Alias is right. Only Rudd will make people listen.
A nutter holding power balance who says hunting “is my culture”. Sounded like a USA guns quote to me.
Even worse is the inefficiency of the so-called supervisors.
BK. ..” A mad rooter while at Uni, but no contraception.”
I’d go further than that!…A lot of us “men of the world” know EXACTLY what the LOTO and his little fraternity of sexually aggressive male mates got up to in those wild, “Uni days”…I’d bet London to a brick, there’s a couple of their “victims” of drunken gang-bang orgies conducted under the watchfull eye of a portrait of B.A.Santa’ out there would be able to tell us a thing or two!
Good to see you posting again.
I thought you’d died and gone to heaven.
alias is rarely right.
Ask him about his friend Barrie …..
Every now and again you show remarkable political insight.
Sean, you’re such a drama queen! Drowned bodies can take days to resurface. Not much point looking for them, or do you think they should send a submarine?
It’s all in Border Control anyway, Disk-3.
“Alias is right. Only Rudd will make people listen.”
Except…: “I gotta zip!”
Abortion is not the issue it is what Simon Crean says the food on the table stuff and how to earn more money, the aspirational class they are people you need to concentrate on, Abortion will not make any difference to voting intentions not one bit.
“Except…: “I gotta zip!””
Fair suck of the sauce bottle. JC!
You don’t wear a blue tie by any chance?
So you think people are listening to Julia do you Greensborough?
“@JoeHockey: Gillard’s comments on abortion and the Coalition are desperate and offensive. She has never deserved respect and will never receive it.”
Is this the fake account? I ask given the content
Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm | PERMALINK
A nutter holding power balance who says hunting “is my culture”. Sounded like a USA guns quote to me.]
i voted for that guy and he has made me change my vote it last night. i dont mind shooting or hunting, i do mind semi auto weapons in the hands of civilians.
i can imagine, with their sense of entitlement and attitudes to women. No-one would come forward of course.
More and more, every day. The fact that you’ve pulled another shilling for the meter out of your purse to enable you to comment is evidence of that fact.
[Leigh Sales @leighsales 1m
Also tonight, Political Editor @cuhlmann on the hustings in NSW with Hunter MP Joel FitzGibbon #abc730 ]
Andrew Leigh on the Drum
[drunken gang-bang orgies]
You’re all sounding like Bob Ellis tonight. Mostly flabby, flaccid men over a certain age I would suspect, full of envy for Tone’s machismo and virility.
What i am concerned about is the future, and how a Abbott government in step with the State LIBS who will be in power with the Federal Government simultaneously for the first time since the late 60′ as Labor had New South Wales in late 70’s, will be able to enact their agenda far easier. That is the huge worry. The Labor movement could be serious trouble.
Good on you. He’s running a political campaign to get more guns into the hands of “suburban shooters”. So dangerous. And shocking to see the carcasses just dumped for waste. I had more respect for the first couple, who eat them.
Puff.. These “Alpha Males” see it as an entitlement to “take women” at and for their leisure and damn the consequences…as we have read of the LOTO’s days at Uni.
They regularly move about in groups or gangs intimidating and recruiting certain women for their “frolics”…it’s always a “fraternity” thing.
Performance pay for pundits!!!!!!
You lot voted the idiots, you get what you pay for.
Unfortunately, for the ALP, the one Bloke that does cut through, they seemingly do not want, much preferring to hand the keys to the treasury to Tony Abbott.
“…full of envy for Tone’s machismo and virility.”
Need one say more?
good for you.
Personally, I think people should stick to fishing. The hunting groups have been affected by the gun lobby in the USA. The NRA hate Australian gun laws both on principle and because the stats prove they work. They hate it that our laws are held up as a real-time social experiment that shows gun controls make the community safer.
If you are a hunter, the gun lobby does not represent you, they represent the USA arms manufacturers.
[ You’re all sounding like Bob Ellis tonight. Mostly flabby, flaccid men over a certain age I would suspect, full of envy for Tone’s machismo and virility. ]
Oh … my … god!
If Labor loses federally their may well be next year wall to wall Lib governments everywhere except Canberra, The Labor movement will be in a serious state.
FitzGibbon!! They’ve gotta be joking!
Next they’ll have a medium trying to channel Arthur Calwell.
That concept, machismo, was a defence against murder of a woman in Brazil. A Brazilian man could report to the police that he killed his partner because she ‘offended his machismo’, and nothing more was done. As far as i know, this has not changed yet and the law still exists.
If I give in and resign I will be giving in to men and taking womens interest off the agenda. That’s why I,m supporting david feeney for the bat an preselection
[Very important question – what time is kick off?]
Do you mean live for those supporting Murdochs empire or for plebs like me? 😉
rummel – Good decision.
The AUD is trading at around USD0.9375 tonight, having earlier reached USD0.9334. Evidently this means the AUD has breached a “key support” level (if that actually carries any real meaning), and will likely now fall quite quickly to around USD0.80.
[The AUD fell to the lowest in almost three years versus the greenback after home-loan approvals grew at the slowest pace in three months, boosting the case for further cuts to borrowing costs.
Australia’s currency slid for a third day amid speculation the Federal Reserve will reduce stimulus this year, narrowing Australia’s interest-rate advantage. The Aussie and New Zealand dollars dropped against the yen after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged, disappointing investors who had expected it to introduce measures to stem market volatility. The kiwi dollar was set for its lowest close in a year.
“Housing is the one area most likely to make up for the mining investment downturn, and it’s disappointed,” said Joseph Capurso, a Sydney-based foreign-exchange strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “You’ve got to say that the Aussie’s going to keep on falling.”]