New South Wales election 2015


Margin: Labor 14.0%
Region: South-Western Sydney
Federal: Fowler (62%)/Werriwa (25%)/Hughes (14%)

Candidates in ballot paper order



Christian Democratic Party

Liberal (bottom)

No Land Tax

Labor (top)





Two-party preferred booth results from 2011 state election showing Labor majority in red and Liberal in blue. New boundaries in thicker blue lines, old ones in thinner red lines. Boundary data courtesy of Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

Covering outer western Sydney suburbs from Warwick Farm and Liverpool west to Green Valley and Hinchinbrook, Liverpool is Labor’s safest seat, and one of only two where the party survived the rout of 2011 with a double-digit margin, together with Bankstown. The redistribution has lopped off territory at the western end including suburban Cecil Hills and semi-rural territory beyond, transferring 7750 voters to Mulgoa, and added a salient in the electorate’s south-western corner that includes 11,5000 voters in Hoxton Park, West Hoxton and Horningsea Park, formerly in Macquarie Fields. The changes have cut 0.7% from the Labor margin.

Labor has held Liverpool without interruption since its creation in 1950, the inaugural member being Premier James McGirr, previously member for Bankstown. George Paciullo’s retirement as member a year after the March 1988 election defeat unleashed a preselection brawl that would be raked over 14 years later when one of its two principals, Mark Latham, became the federal Opposition Leader. The other contender was the Left-backed Paul Lynch, who eventually became member in 1995. The initial vote produced a 48-all tie, with 29 disputed votes left in reserve. These became the subject of a dispute which famously involved a late-night car chase across the metropolitan area. The party’s review tribunal ruled that Latham had won by two votes, prompting the Left to launch legal action. The party’s national executive then intervened to install Peter Anderson, the former Health Minister who lost his seat of Penrith in 1988.

Paul Lynch would not have long to wait after this setback, as he succeeded in toppling Anderson for preselection at the 1991 election. Bob Carr, then Opposition Leader, pointedly declined to intervene on behalf of Anderson, who rated as a potential leadership rival. Lynch reportedly had assistance from Lebanese community identity Sam Bargshoon, who would sign a statutory declaration in 1996 claiming the pair had visited branch members’ homes to elicit false statements about attendance at meetings so they could vote in the preselection, a claim Lynch described as “crap”. Lynch’s feud with Latham flared again when the redistribution before the 2001 election saw Werriwa assume territory from Fowler, where the branches were dominated by Lynch. As Latham told it, his Right faction rivals colluded with Lynch’s own faction, the “Ferguson Left” (Laurie Ferguson being Lynch’s brother-in-law), to make Werriwa available to Lynch by accommodating Latham in Macarthur, a Liberal-held seat which the redistribution had made a notionally Labor. In the event an alternative deal was struck between Right powerbrokers and “hard Left” chieftain Anthony Albanese which froze out Lynch and kept Latham in Werriwa.

Lynch took until the 2007 election to win substantial promotion, entering cabinet as Aboriginal Affairs and Local Government Minister. When Nathan Rees replaced Morris Iemma as Premier in September 2008 he traded local government for ageing and disability services, and relinquished Aboriginal affairs when Kristina Keneally became Premier in December 2009. In opposition he has served as Shadow Attorney-General and Justice Minister.

Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.

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