Auburn – NSW 2019

ALP 5.9%

Incumbent MP
Luke Foley, since 2015. Previously member of the Legislative Council 2010-2015.

Geography
Western Sydney. The seat of Auburn covers all of Auburn local government area, southern parts of the City of Parramatta, and a small part of the Strathfield council area. It includes the suburbs of Auburn, Berala, Lidcombe, Rookwood, Regents Park, Silverwater and South Granville.

History
Auburn was first created at the 1927 election. The seat has always been held by either the Labor Party, or by members of the Lang family representing one of a number of breakaway Lang Labor parties.

The seat was first won in 1927 by the defeated premier, Jack Lang. Lang had held the seat of Granville from 1913 to 1920, when he won one of the seats for the district of Parramatta. He became Premier following the 1925 election.

At the 1927 election, proportional representation was replaced by single-member districts, and Auburn was created. Lang won the seat, but lost power.

Lang held Auburn continuously for almost twenty years. He served again as Premier from 1930 to 1932, when he was sacked by the governor and lost the following election. He led a breakaway party from the ALP from 1940 to 1941 and again in 1943.

Lang resigned from Auburn in 1946, and won the federal seat of Reid. He held the seat until 1949, when he lost an attempt at re-election in the new seat of Blaxland.

Jack Lang’s son, James, won the seat of Auburn at a 1946 by-election. He won re-election in 1947, but lost in 1950 following a redistribution.

The rural seat of Ashburnham had been abolished at the redistribution, and the Labor member for the seat, Edgar Dring, moved to Auburn after serving in Ashburnham since 1941. Dring held Auburn until his death in 1955.

Auburn was won in 1956 by the ALP’s Thomas Ryan. A former Langite, he had returned to the ALP in protest at the preselection of the younger Lang to replace his father. He held the seat until 1965, when he lost preselection.

Peter Cox replaced Ryan in 1965. He served as a minister in the Labor state government from 1976 to 1988. He retired in 1988, and the ALP lost badly in the polls.

Peter Nagle retained Auburn for the ALP in 1988. He held it until his retirement in 2001. The 2001 by-election was won by Barbara Perry, and she was re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

In the lead-up to the 2015 election, Perry faced a serious preselection challenge from Auburn councillor Hicham Zraika. The preselection dragged on, and in December 2014 Labor leader John Robertson resigned, and was replaced by upper house MP Luke Foley. In early 2015, a new preselection was called for Auburn, which was won by Luke Foley after Perry and Zraika both withdrew.

Luke Foley led Labor into the 2015 election. The Coalition was re-elected, although with a smaller majority.

Candidates

Assessment
Labor does not have a huge majority in Auburn, but Luke Foley shouldn’t have any trouble retaining his seat.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Luke Foley Labor 19,50444.5-1.0
Ronney Oueik Liberal 15,47135.3+1.9
Malikeh Michels Greens 2,6586.1-0.4
Paul GarrardIndependent2,4575.6+5.6
Kays AhmedNo Land Tax1,8574.2+4.2
Raema WalkerChristian Democrats1,8364.2-0.5
Informal2,5605.5

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Luke Foley Labor 21,34355.9-1.3
Ronney Oueik Liberal 16,81644.1+1.3

Booth breakdown

Booths in Auburn have been split into three parts: north, south and west. Polling places in the Auburn council area have been split into “north” and “south”, while those in the South Granville area have been grouped as “west”.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 52.3% in the west to 57.6% in the south.

Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South57.615,54135.5
North55.210,19223.3
West52.34,98811.4
Other votes57.09,01420.6
Pre-poll53.24,0489.2

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

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Should see one of the biggest swings to Labor on election night – especially as the swing to the Liberals in 2015 was because of the whole Foley being parachuted in from the LC thing.

    Now with the alternative Premier well and truly MLA for the past 4 years, I’d expect the margin back where it was in 2007.

  2. The demographics of this seat are really fascinating. Unfortunately for Foley, changes to the population in the seat are not going in his favour. The *far* north of the electorate around the more progressive but affluent areas (Wentworth Point, Olympic Park etc) are growing much faster than the rest of the electorate and don’t look like they’ll go towards Labor anytime soon.

    The only obvious room for growth in the Labor vote is around Auburn West but given how distant an MP Foley’s been I can’t see it being a huge swing. Labor will probably get the 2PP in the seat back up to 60% but in the long term I see the seat going Liberal. The only hope for Labor continuing to hold this seat 10 years down the track would be a redistribution with either Drummoyne/ Strathfield or Granville/ Parramatta taking the Liberal leaning areas.

  3. Hopefully this time Labor chooses a) a local candidate, and b) someone without a history of corruption! Unfortunately that may be too much to ask.

  4. Whilst you might expect a party leader to get a boost, Foley was dropped in only months from the election with little time to work his own constituency. That probably explains the mediocre result in 2015. I’d expect a new Labor candidate on the ground in Auburn to do much better.

  5. Luke isn’t standing again for Auburn. The new candidate will likely be upper house MP and Shadow Minister for Sport, Lynda Voltz.

  6. If Voltz is as visible during the campaign as she has been over the last four years this could be tight. As shadow for sport she’s had the stadiums issue to get stuck into and… where has she been?

    The Libs must be kicking themselves that they hadn’t preselected a decent local before the Foley implosion.

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