Paterson – Australia 2019

ALP 10.7%

Incumbent MP
Meryl Swanson, since 2016.

Paterson lies on the north coast of New South Wales immediately to the north of Newcastle. The seat covers Maitland, Raymond Terrace, the Port Stephens peninsula and Kurri Kurri.

A seat called Paterson in the northeastern Hunter was first created in 1949 and won by Allen Fairhall of the Liberal Party, who served as a minister in the Menzies, Holt and Gorton governments before retirement in 1969. He was succeeded by Frank O’Keefe of the Country Party, who held the seat until 1984, when it was abolished in the redistribution.

The seat was recreated in 1993, when it was won by Labor’s Bob Horne. In 1996 he was defeated by Bob Baldwin of the Liberal Party. Over the next two elections, the ‘two Bobs’ successively defeated each other, with Horne winning in 1998 and Baldwin in 2001. Horne retired after his 2001 defeat and Baldwin was re-elected four times.

Baldwin retired in 2016, and was succeeded by Labor’s Meryl Swanson.


Paterson, with its new boundaries, has become safer for Labor.

2016 result

Meryl Swanson Labor 46,09046.1+6.2
Karen Howard Liberal 31,52731.5+0.6
Graham BurstonOne Nation13,05613.0+11.6
John Brown Greens 5,7975.8-0.6
Peter ArenaChristian Democratic Party2,0582.1-0.1
Brian ClareRise Up Australia1,0071.0+0.5
Peter DavisCitizens Electoral Council5330.5-0.1

2016 two-party-preferred result

Meryl Swanson Labor 60,77960.7+10.5
Karen Howard Liberal 39,28939.3-10.5

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into six parts. Polling places in the Port Stephens council area have been split between Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay. Polling places around Kurri Kurri have been grouped together. Booths in the Newcastle council area and in the easternmost part of Maitland council area have been grouped as “central”, and the remainder of the Maitland area has been split between Maitland and East Maitland.

The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all six areas, ranging from 50.7% in Nelson Bay to 76.1% in Kurri Kurri.

One Nation polled well in Paterson, with a primary vote ranging from 10.6% in East Maitland to 17.5% in Kurri Kurri.

Voter groupON prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Nelson Bay11.150.712,08812.1
Raymond Terrace14.659.511,55011.5
East Maitland10.662.511,40011.4
Kurri Kurri17.576.15,8155.8
Other votes14.156.710,31710.3

Election results in Paterson at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and One Nation primary votes.

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  1. Indeed, If they do it will become even Safer for the ALP due to the split, And not 100% of the National voters will Preference the Liberals

  2. Ben
    Error in commentary above. Bob Baldwin was not defeated in 2016 – he did not run. The redistribution had made the seat almost unwinnable for him. Part of the reason for the big swing was the loss of his personal vote.

  3. Swanston is useless. If she was any good we would hear her banging on about coal, energy, Tomago the lot. What would she have to lose by making a pest of herself ??. I have heard her speak out once. Do the locals comprehend what would happen if Tomato closed ? At the risk of sounding like a sexist neanderthal, the question needs to asked if she would even be there without Labor’s girl quota ?

    The swing, & margin flatter her as One Nation preferenced against the libs, that won’t happen this time.

    Safe Labor hold However there could be a significant swing

  4. At the next redistribution the Paterson boundaries will change a lot. All of the North Coast seats from Richmond down to Paterson are over quota. Combined over quota is something like 40% and by 2023 will be even more. Unlikely that a seat would jump up onto to the Tableland so each seat needs to shuffle north. So by the time you get to Paterson it needs about 40,000 voters from Lyne andvto shed 45,000 to the south.

  5. Redistributed
    Fascinating isn’t it couple of things
    Rough calculation could be 60000 + voters if you go further & include down to Dobell
    NSW will gain a seat in 2021
    Only Labor has resisted Page going West. Perhaps they’ll lose the next round ?
    Assuming the AEC WILL ACT LOGICALLY in something almost inconceivable. Perhaps they’ll just find it too challenging to go N-S as your suggesting. I’d still bet on the reverse, although predicticting the AEC MIGHT do something practical, makes me feel extremely uncomfortable !!!

    CHEERS wd

  6. As Swanson has been fighting for the Williamstown community and their claims from the PFOS contamination I see no alternative but to support someone that fights for the community. The Government has allocated money in the budget to fight any litigation or claim from these people. We know what side the Liberals are on.
    Also fighting against penalty rate cuts that have killed off the spending of many lower paid workers in the community. This policy did not create one job. Again this is a major issue.
    Lets not forget the Labour Hire industry that has made stable employment a thing of the past. She and her party are fighting to change the rules on this cruel industry, that is near enough a slave industry.
    These issues are killing our economy which continues to struggle under this these worker attacking policies set by this government. People are not game to spend on anything but essentials as they may not get that phone call tomorrow.

  7. Merryl Swanston is in big Section 44 trouble. According to OZ she is the co-owner of a company with an outstanding tax debt. Therefore she is ineligible. If true this is inexcusable. I’ve only seen her live once, but she had no trouble convincing me she was a total flake. At the time i thought she made the case against gender quotas !!. Her margin flatters her, as she received PHON preferences in 2016.
    ‘i’ll bet the ALP vote in Kurri Kurri doesn’t move though. Imagine what would happen ( TO THIS WHOLE AREA) if Tomago closed. It’s going to be a case of turkeys voting for Christmas with the 45% RET.!!.

  8. Redistributed/WD,

    It does seem that the AEC were off-base with their predictions for the North Coast last time.

    I don’t think it will be too dramatic, though. If all 5 seats remain over quota, they can just move north again, back to something resembling their traditional boundaries. If there’s excess in the Hunter, then Upper Hunter could always go into New England or (at a stretch) Parkes.

    That would clearly help the Liberals in Paterson, but it’s just reversing a major boost to Labor from last time. Swings and roundabouts.

  9. I think I’ll go one nation this time. Nothings improved with our current member. Time to try something different!


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