New South Wales election 2015

South Coast

Margin: Liberal 20.1%
Region: Regional South-Eastern
Federal: Gilmore

Candidates in ballot paper order




No Land Tax

Labor (bottom)

Liberal (top)

Christian Democratic Party




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

The electorate of South Coast encompasses coastal territory to the north of the electorate of Bega, which extends to the Victorian border. It runs from Pyree in the north to Bawley Point in the south, the largest population centre being Nowra at the northern end of the electorate, followed by coastal Ulladulla further to the south. The redistribution has transferred around 3700 voters in the western parts of Nowra and surrounding areas to Kiama, shaving 0.3% off the still ample Liberal margin.

South Coast has existed as an electorate since 1930, and for much of that time has been in independent hands. It was won in 1941 by Rupert Beale, who died the following year and was succeeded by his son Jack Beale, also an independent. Beale junior joined the Liberal Party in 1947 and served as a minister in the Askin government, remaining as member until 1973. He was succeeded upon his retirement by another independent, John Hatton, who had come within 340 votes of defeating Beale in 1971.

Hatton held the seat until 1995, and became noted as a campaigner against corruption. He was often elected without opposition from Labor, and in 1998 was wholly unopposed. In 2011 he sought to make a comeback in the upper house, his profile having been lifted by John Waters’ portrayal of him the Nine Network’s Underbelly series, but without success.

Hatton was succeeded at the 1995 election by Liberal candidate Eric Ellis, despite the candidacy of his son, also called John Hatton. Ellis lost the seat to Labor’s Wayne Smith at the 1999 election by a margin of 118 votes, but it returned to the Liberal fold when Shoalhaven councillor Shelley Hancock was elected in 2003. The 2011 landslide inflated Hancock’s margin from 7.8% to 20.4%.

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

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