Bathurst – NSW 2019

NAT 15.8%

Incumbent MP
Paul Toole, since 2011.

Central West NSW. Bathurst covers the major centres of Bathurst and Lithgow, and all of Bathurst, Blayney, Lithgow and Oberon local government areas, along with a small part of the Mid-Western regional council.

Bathurst has existed as an electoral district since 1859. It existed as a single-member district for all but three elections in the 1920s, when it expanded to be a multi-member district elected by proportional representation.

The seat was a marginal seat between the Labor Party and the Country Party in the middle part of the 20th century, but since 1981 it has been dominated by the ALP, who have won it at all elections except for 1988, when it was won by the Liberal Party, and 2011, when it was won by the Nationals.

When Bathurst was restored as a single-member district in 1927, it was won by the ALP’s Gus Kelly, who had first won one of Bathurst’s seats in 1925. Kelly held the seat until 1932, when he lost to the Country Party’s Gordon Wilkins. At the next election in 1935, Kelly won the seat back. Kelly served as a minister for the entire length of the Labor state government from 1941 to 1965, and held Bathurst until his death in 1967.

The 1967 by-election was won by the Country Party’s Clive Osborne, who won a three-cornered contest on Liberal preferences. Osborne held the seat throughout the 1970s.

The redistribution before the 1981 election saw the strong Labor town of Lithgow moved from Blue Mountains to Bathurst. The sitting Labor Member for Blue Mountains, Mick Clough, moved with the town of Lithgow, and defeated Osborne’s re-election bid in 1981. Clough had held Blue Mountains since 1978.

Clough held Bathurst until 1988, when he lost to the Liberal Party’s David Berry. Clough won the seat back in 1991, and held it until his retirement in 1999.

Bathurst was won in 1999 by former Lithgow mayor Gerard Martin, running for the ALP. He won re-election in 2003 and 2007.

In 2011, Martin retired and Nationals candidate Paul Toole defeated Labor candidate Dale Turner with a massive 36.7% swing, the largest in the state. Toole was re-elected in 2015.


Bathurst is a safe Nationals seat.

2015 result

Paul Toole Nationals 29,13559.9-7.4
Cass Coleman Labor 13,31427.4+6.5
Tracey Carpenter Greens 4,4369.1+2.9
Narelle RigbyChristian Democrats1,0102.1+2.1
Tom CrippsNo Land Tax7501.5+1.5

2015 two-party-preferred result

Paul Toole Nationals 30,24165.8-7.9
Cass Coleman Labor 15,70434.2+7.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in Bathurst have been split into four areas. Polling places in the two main cities of Bathurst and Lithgow have been grouped together, with the remainder of the electorate split into North and South.

The Nationals won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 54.7% in Lithgow to 74% in the south.

Voter groupNAT 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes66.46,08812.5

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

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  1. not a safe np seat despite the 2015 margin…..; approx half the seat is lithgow…. which can vote 60/40 in Labors favour…….if so this will go close despite any swing in Bathurst to labor

  2. FTR the result stats appear to come from Northern Tablelands, not Bathurst.

    Pathway for a Labor win would be to easily sweep Lithgow and get a 50/50-ish result in Bathurst proper. On past history this is very attainable. Trouble is the whole area is trending quite Coalition and Toole seems to have an excellent personal vote.

  3. for a seat roughly half Lithgow half Bathurst this sort of result should be impossible…. 60/40 all’s way should be quite possible in that case 40/60 in Bathurst would give a line ball result………. this margin is very much inflated

  4. looked at the Calare Federal figures which includes this seat plus Orange and Wellington and Mudgee…. the 2016 margin was only 11% an area which as a proportion includes much more anti labor areas….. Labor polled 54% in Lithgow and 48% in Bathurst…………. this seat could well change hands

  5. Good luck with that analysis Mick. Toole has a massive local vote, and it is another seat ( eg Kiama, Riverstone, Drummoyne, Camden etc) where the demographics are shifting strongly away from ALP.

  6. look at the 2016 vote for Calare which I think includes all of Bathurst…… 54% alp Lithgow…… and 48% Bathurst….. pretty sure that equates to a labor win. But moderate I do accept that Toole has a personal vote which will moderate my sums


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