Orange – NSW 2019

SFF 0.1% vs NAT

Incumbent MP
Philip Donato, since 2016.

Geography
Central west NSW. Orange covers the entirety of the Orange, Cabonne, Forbes and Parkes council areas, with the main centres being in the cities of Orange, Forbes and Parkes.

History
The seat of Orange has existed in the Legislative Assembly since 1859, with the exception of three elections in the 1920s. The seat was a single-member district up to 1880, then a two-member district from 1880 to 1894.

The seat has been a single-member district since 1894. The seat was held by the Country/National Party from 1947 until 2016.

Orange was held from 1941 to 1947 by the ALP’s Robert O’Halloran. He had been one of the members for the district of Eastern Suburbs from 1920 to 1927, but he fell out with Labor leader and Premier Jack Lang, and at the 1927 election he was denied preselection for any of the new single-member districts that replaced Eastern Suburbs.

He held Orange from 1941 to 1947, when he lost to the Country Party’s Charles Cutler.

Cutler was elected Country Party deputy leader in 1958 and leader in 1959. He held that role until his retirement in 1975. He also served as Deputy Premier in the Coalition government from 1965 to 1975.

Cutler’s retirement in 1975 caused a by-election in early 1976. The by-election was won by National Country Party candidate Garry West. He served as a minister in the Coalition government from 1988 to 1995. Following the government’s defeat, he resigned from Parliament in early 1996.

The 1996 by-election was won by Russell Turner, also of the National Party. Turner was re-elected in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

Turner retired in 2011, and the seat was won by Nationals candidate Andrew Gee. Gee was re-elected in 2015, and stepped down in 2016 to run (successfully) for the federal seat of Calare.

The subsequent by-election was narrowly won by Philip Donato, the candidate of the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers party.

Candidates

Assessment
The Shooters won Orange by a very slim margin at the 2016 by-election. This seat could either stay with the Shooters or go back to the Nationals.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Andrew Gee Nationals 31,99865.6+8.4
Bernard Fitzsimon Labor 11,39423.4+11.5
Janelle Bicknell Greens 3,2956.8+2.3
John GilbertChristian Democrats1,2622.6+2.6
Juan FernandezNo Land Tax8371.7+1.7
Informal1,4402.9

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Andrew Gee Nationals 33,20271.7-5.4
Bernard Fitzsimon Labor 13,10528.3+5.4

2016 by-election result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Scott Barrett Nationals 15,26731.6-34.0
Philip DonatoShooters, Fishers & Farmers11,48723.8+23.8
Bernard Fitzsimon Labor 8,86518.3-5.0
Scott MunroIndependent4,5279.4+9.4
Kevin DuffyIndependent3,1826.6+6.6
Janelle Bicknell Greens 2,7395.7-1.1
Dianne DeckerChristian Democrats1,6333.4+2.6
Ian DonaldIndependent6441.3+1.3
Informal1,3432.7

2016 by-election two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%
Philip DonatoShooters, Fishers & Farmers18,63150.1
Scott Barrett Nationals 18,54749.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in Orange have been split into four parts, along the lines of the four local government areas: Cabonne, Forbes, Orange and Parkes. The Cabonne and Orange council areas have been marked for amalgamation in the near future – Orange covers the urban parts of the new council, with Cabonne covering the rural surrounding areas.

The Nationals won a large majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas at the 2015 election, ranging from 68.3% in Orange to 78.6% in Cabonne.

The result was much closer at the 2016 by-election. The Shooters won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote in Orange (55.8%) and Cabonne (64.3%), while the Nationals won 56.5% in Parkes and 61% in Forbes.

Labor’s primary vote at the by-election ranged from 16% in Cabonne to 20.8% in Orange.

2015 booth breakdown

Voter groupNAT 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Orange68.316,70134.2
Parkes69.96,55413.4
Cabonne78.65,70211.7
Forbes75.43,9768.1
Other votes70.46,44013.2
Pre-poll74.09,41319.3

2016 by-election booth breakdown

Voter groupALP prim %SFF 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Orange20.855.815,59032.2
Cabonne16.064.35,51311.4
Parkes18.443.54,83910.0
Forbes17.639.02,9946.2
Other votes14.938.73,7217.7
Pre-poll17.646.215,68732.4

Two-party-preferred votes in Orange at the 2015 NSW state election

Election results at the 2016 Orange by-election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred (Shooters vs Nationals) votes and Labor primary votes.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Nationals gain, By-elections tend to be off, Unless they campaign extensively here it will go back since turnout will likely be higher here than the by-election and the Coalition will likely have selected a better candidate, It will come down to the wire but i think the Nationals are favourites without any certainty.

  2. DANIEL I disagree shooters party mp has a good reputation and will be re elected esp as the bulk of the seat is Orange city…..

  3. just thought of something 37000 votes but about 48000 votes so roughly 20% exhaust rate so the there are many more votes potentially available to sff mp

  4. Normally independants and similar in country seats get re elected ……. at the byelection 20% exhausted and was notional 56/44 nationals way against labour……. Our Premier is a bad campaigner and had promised a sports stadium in Orange BUT ONLY IF THEY VOTE FOR THE NATIONAL PARTY HERE………. this is an own goal and will result in a national loss here

  5. You might want to add to your list of candidates for Orange N.S.W. Garry McMahon for the Australian Conservatives. They have announced their campaign and have been receiving considerable media coverage recently

  6. The Christchurch shooting has made this a pretty certain Nationals Gain. There’ll be a disgust factor when it comes to preferencing the Shooters, especially for Labor and Greens voters, that wasn’t there in the byelection.

    Only L/NP gain of the night – I think McGirr will hang on in Wagga

  7. Here is the story of the candidate that the National party members in Orange selected.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/former-orange-candidate-says-she-was-pressured-to-quit-by-party-members-20181218-p50n09.html

    Things did not start well for the replacement candidate.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-07/gladys-berejiklian-orange-stadium-election-promise-backlash/10790530

    Then things got worse. This has to be the best TV interview of the state election so far.
    https://www.facebook.com/PRIME7NewsCentralWest/posts/2127981517283531?comment_id=2128160803932269&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R%22%7D

    Will be interesting to watch this seat on election night.

  8. no Mr Donato isn’t insane and look at What Watson watch posted…… threats & bribes and dud candidates don’t win seats also what of the 20% exhausted votes from the byelection a lot of these votes will not exhaust
    and they are NOT coalition friendly… sff retain

  9. Donato has incumbency, and I’d tip him to hold – in a hung parliament he’d likely (although not 100% certainly) back the Coalition.

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