Barwon – NSW 2019

NAT 12.9%

Incumbent MP
Kevin Humphries, since 2007.

Geography
North-western NSW. Barwon is a massive seat, stretching from Broken Hill to Narrabri, and covering rural areas to the north of Dubbo. Barwon covers the entirety of thirteen local government areas: Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Central Darling, Cobar, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Lachlan, Narrabri, Walgett, Warren and  Warrumbungle, as well as unincorporated territory between Central Darling and Broken Hill.

History
An electoral district named Barwon has existed since 1927. A previous incarnation existed from 1894 to 1904. Barwon has been held by the Country/National Party continuously since 1950.

The seat was first won by the Nationalist Party in 1927. The ALP held the seat from 1930 to 1932, and the Country Party held the seat from 1932 to 1940.

In 1940, the ALP’s Roy Heferen won the seat. He held it for the next decade. He was disendorsed for the 1950 election after he was suspected of having broken with the ALP and voted against the party line in a ballot to fill a vacancy in the Legislative Council in 1949. He ran as an independent, and the seat was won by the Country Party.

Geoff Crawford won the seat for the Country Party in 1950. He held the seat for eight terms, retiring in 1976. He also served as Minister for Agriculture from 1968 to 1975.

Wal Murray won the seat for the National Country Party in 1976. He became the party’s deputy leader in 1981, serving until 1984. In 1985, he was elected leader of the NSW National Party. He became Deputy Premier when the Coalition won power in 1988, and served in the role until 1993. He retired at the 1995 election.

Ian Slack-Smith held Barwon for the National Party from 1995 until his retirement in 2007. He was succeeded in 2007 by Kevin Humphries.

Kevin Humphries was re-elected in 2011 and 2015.

Candidates

Assessment
Barwon is a reasonably safe Nationals seat. A strong independent could threaten the Nationals, but it’s not clear who that independent would be.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Kevin Humphries Nationals 23,42649.1-22.9
Craig Ashby Labor 11,45424.0+2.5
Rohan BoehmIndependent8,05116.9+16.9
Cameron Jones Greens 2,9426.2+0.3
Ian HutchinsonChristian Democrats1,1922.5+2.5
Nella LopreiatoNo Land Tax6461.4+1.4
Informal1,6703.4

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Kevin Humphries Nationals 25,52462.9-13.1
Craig Ashby Labor 15,06537.1+13.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Barwon have been split into four parts. Polling places in the city of Broken Hill have been grouped together, with the remainder split as follows:

  • Central – Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Central Darling and Cobar local government areas
  • North-East – Narrabri and Walgett local government areas
  • South-East – Coonamble, Gilgandra, Warren and Warrumbungle local government areas

The Nationals won large majorities of the two-party-preferred vote in three out of four areas, ranging from 66.3% in the centre to 72.6% in the north-east.

The picture was very different in Broken Hill, where Labor polled almost 66% of the two-party-preferred vote.

The primary vote for independent candidate Rohan Boehm varied from 8.8% in the centre to 20.2% in the north-east.

Voter groupIND prim %NAT 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South-East18.570.08,54617.9
North-East20.272.67,21115.1
Central8.866.36,74714.1
Broken Hill19.334.16,23513.1
Other votes15.171.39,37619.7
Pre-poll18.756.19,59620.1

Election results in Barwon at the 2015 NSW state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for independent candidate Rohan Boehm.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Humphries was an old style nat… think he had a personal vote………….. maybe knock off 5%….. the alp candidate is from Broken Hill so maybe can do better there which makes up roughly 25% of the seat…. but still is only worth an extra 1.5% if that……….. which on very heroic assumptions leaves a margin of 7%………hard to make that up

  2. The days of the Labor voting Broken Hill dominating an entire state electorate are well gone. (2007 was the first state election the Nats won the seat containing BH.) Population growth in the west just hasn’t kept up with the rest of the state.

    Political shifts elsewhere haven’t helped either. The 2PP map has a dark green 70 over Cobar. In Peter Black’s day it was a Labor town.

  3. Outrage at the Nats over the mishandling of the Darling river may help the ALP to cause an upset in this seat.

  4. the Nats are very much damaged…….. under Barnaby’s stewardship……… their reputation as honest social conservatives has gone…… he and Mr Broad have acted in a manner contrary to their position on family values….. the water issue has blown up in their face ………. Barnaby said something about stopping the Greenies by accommodating the irrigators….. what nonsense! The state government is complicit in this rubbish.The Darling river issue very much affects Barwon……. with No Mr Humphries( and his personal vote) He was an old style nat who voted against the ban on Greyhound racing…….. a swing in Broken Hill to say 70%….. a attitude of no default position of voting national to stop Labor and the ABB movement will mean the nationals if the fail to get very close to 50% primary will not get preferences…. then maybe a changed mp

  5. Darriea Turley is a great candidate, the Nationals came under 50% last time, But if they come under 40% they have lost this seat for certain

  6. I think the Nats will have the biggest losses in the NSW & Australian elections. They have forgotten who they stand for and there will be a number of seats like Barwon that fall. It will be the destruction of the Nats

  7. I think this will be one of the surprises of the night, but I don’t think it’ll go to Labor.

    The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers are running a strong campaign and will appeal to many disaffected former National voters. With Labor preferences, I see them winning this time.

  8. had a look at figures when Peter Black won Broken Hill 75 to 80% alp vote Broken Hill 25% of the seat….. a much higher vote than 2015 could mean up to 2% extra add 2 to 3 % because of loss of Humphries personal vote

  9. IF the Nats primary vote drops below 40% then this has the makings of a complete dog’s breakfast predicting an outcome. Whilst LAB may still dominate the Broken Hill vote, their vote is minimal elsewhere however their prefs may well determine the eventual winner

  10. no Labor can win……… 25% other non alp and np……… labor have a good chance of being in the final 2

  11. the result in this electorate will depend on The anyone but National vote…. if there is a big primary vote swing against them. Then as long as the other candidates stay solid and don’t exhaust….. then who ever makes the final 2 can indeed win. The more I think about it the nationals face a possible near wipe out to Labor the shooters and assorted independents….. remember that Barnaby poisons their vote in Tamworth and Northern Tablelands Rob Oakshot has influence in Port Macquarie etc

  12. The electorate is not anti gun. Broken Hill has 18000 registered fire arms and millions of fish have died in the Darling River. The shooters and fishers party can win. I do not believe the labor candidate can win, she is not personally popular in Broken Hill.

  13. Mick – I agree I think the Nationals are in trouble in both the NSW and Federal Elections. It is surprising the Nationals did not lose seats in the Victoria Election but their vote was down 0.8%.

  14. The victor here is unknown… but this seat hasn’t had a serious campaign for 10 years at least…. areas like Bourke Cobar have room to improve…. as does Broken Hill at least 4% MORE maybe 10% more not out of the question… if yes then labor has an excellent chance of finishing in the final 2

  15. James, the Nats lost two seats in the Victorian election – Mildura and Morwell were both lost to independents, a similar situation to NSW in which it is not Labor but minor parties and independents which pose the biggest threats.

  16. public meeting being held in Narrabri………. guess who is not attending? the Nat party candidate
    current court case about water theft

  17. Barwon may just go to the shooters I can see alp threatening this seat

    You get arrested for voting alp or greens in this part of nsw

    Humphreys was good MP and only holds it by 12 percent

    Keep an eye on the shooters they have a good chance

  18. When the standalone Broken Hill seat was abolished these were the boundaries Labor wanted rather than lumping Broken Hill with Murray. Labor are campaigning here, but the ‘ancestrally Labor’ booths like Cobar would have to come home very big time for them to have any prospect. Seems very unlikely but there have been recent cases when Labor has surged dramatically in areas that looked long gone: Bundaberg in 2015 Qld for example.

  19. Challenging election for the Nats as James says but in their favour is the NSW Nats have a much stronger, more energetic and charismatic leader in John Barilaro compared to the geriatric Peter Walsh in Victoria, who only hangs around due to a dearth of talent in the Victorian partyroom.

  20. Geoff….. interesting….. the central part round Bourke cobar makes up another 25% of the seat…. combine with Broken Hill 50% of the seat gives labor a good chance of being second… The alp/ shooters and everyone else need to not exhaust and preference each other. I suspect the most likely result is this seat is lost by the nationals.

  21. Daley was in Coonamble today. Barwon seems like a real reach but this might be indicative a broader rural backlash.

  22. Is the Nat candidate related to the former ABC Chairman?

    Shooters win this in a canter. They’re the only ones on the ground, with SSA membership very high across the electorate. Their material is in most pubs across the northwest. They will finish above ALP on primaries and win on Naden’s preferences.

    I think this election is a door into where rural politics is headed post-Nationals.

    All the Nats have is big agribusiness, banks and mining backing them.

  23. Galaxy Poll has a 2PP of 51-49 to the nats against SFF. With all the reservations against Seat polling included it does seem a large swing could be on the cards against the Nats

  24. Latest market $195 Shooters $2-00 Nats This will be close but as I said earlier Nats in with a good chance Labor will not win Voters will slit their wrists before they vote for a socialist

  25. You’re right Dave, they’d never vote for a socialist. After all, the socialists would wreck the Govt Diesel fuel rebate, the floor price for the AWB, the government owned ARTC, the subsidised roads, the regional public health network, the public schools, the ABC, the Bureau of Meteorology, the cheap labour from the Department of Immigration, the Building Better Regions Fund, the Federally funded Roads to Recovery program, ABARE, FSANZ, the police, the corrective services jobs and all those other socially funded bits of day-to-day life in the bush that the private sector do so well.

  26. This may well end up close to an even vote for the sff alp and nats maybe 25% each with the rest polling the remaining 25%……. I would say the nats will lose the seat. but to whom?
    the alp can win with the right alignment of preferences

  27. Has anybody factored in the high Pre-Poll, Postal Vote and Absentee Vote returns so far lodged?
    Pre-Poll figures for Broken Hill are running at between 430 to 480 per day. There are 7(?) other Early Voting Centres, plus declared institutions, hospitals, nursing homes etc.
    By the day of the election approximately 1/4 of those who are eligible to vote will already have done so.
    Now comes week #2, which traditionally has always been far more hectic.
    Regardless of any trends or exit polls it will be the informal vote (+ or – as high as 10 o/o) that will make things interesting.

  28. Informal vote? is difficult unless you chose to vote that way….. a vote is formal with a tick or a cross only
    and people can number as few as one square or as many as the number of candidates… also a vote is formal to the extent a voters intention is clear…….eg 1 23333 is formal up to the second preference

  29. Informal votes are deliberate …Cobar and Bourke in the central part can improve for labor.as can Broken Hill . Where will SFF get their votes from alp or nats mainly?

  30. Possible Shooters gain – with the Nationals on the nose and the sitting MP retiring, this could go to the Shooters, and Labor will likely get a good swing to them in Broken Hill.

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