Lismore – NSW 2019

NAT 2.9% vs GRN

Incumbent MP
Thomas George, since 1999.

Northern NSW. The seat of Lismore covers the entirety of Lismore, Kyogle and Tenterfield council areas, and western parts of the Tweed council area. The seat covers the towns of Lismore, Murwillumbah and Kyogle, and stretches as far west as Mingoola.

The seat of Lismore was first created in 1894, and has existed for most of that period, and continuously since 1927. It has been dominated by the Country/National Party since 1927.

The seat first existed from 1894 to 1904, when it was abolished. It was restored in 1913, but in 1920 it was merged with the neighbouring seat of Byron. Byron became a three-member district covering the former districts of Byron, Clarence and Lismore.

In 1927, Lismore was restored, and was won by Country Party candidate William Missingham, who had held one of the seats in Byron since 1922. Missingham held the seat until his death in 1933.

At the 1933 Lismore by-election, the seat was won by William Frith, one of three Country Party candidates standing. Firth held the seat until the 1953 election. As he had turned 70 prior to that election, Country Party rules allowed multiple candidates to stand, and Frith was defeated by fellow Country Party candidate Jack Easter.

Easter retained his seat with ease in 1956. At the 1959 election, he was challenged by independent candidate Clyde Campbell, and held onto the seat by only two votes. A court decision saw a Lismore by-election called for later in 1959.

At the by-election, Campbell and Easter were both endorsed by the Country Party. The ALP ran Keith Compton, who won 47% of the primary vote. Despite the two Country Party candidates polling a majority of the vote, enough of Campbell’s preferences leaked to Compton to give him the seat.

Compton retained the seat in 1962, and lost in 1965 to Country Party candidate Bruce Duncan.

Duncan held the seat throughout the 1970s as the party became the National Country Party. In 1982, the party changed its name to the National Party. Duncan objected to the name change, and resigned from the party. While he sat as an independent, he was not opposed by the National Party in 1984, when he was re-elected as an independent. He retired at the 1988 election.

Bill Rixon won Lismore for the National Party in 1988. He held it comfortably over the next decade, and retired in 1999. He was succeeded in Lismore by fellow National Thomas George. George has been re-elected four times.


  • Austin Curtin (Nationals)
  • Sue Higginson (Greens)
  • Janelle Saffin (Labor)

The Greens came close to winning Lismore in 2015 and will be hoping to do better at the next election. To achieve this, the Greens would need to stay ahead of Labor and then gain enough votes on preferences to close the 2.9% margin.

2015 result

Thomas George Nationals 19,97542.5-17.2
Adam Guise Greens 12,43526.4+7.4
Isaac Smith Labor 12,05625.6+12.7
Gianpiero BattistaChristian Democrats1,3392.8+1.1
Cherie ImlahAnimal Justice7171.5+1.5
Alan JonesNo Land Tax5251.1+1.1

2015 two-candidate-preferred result

Thomas George Nationals 21,65452.9-21.5
Adam Guise Greens 19,30947.1+21.5

2015 two-party-preferred result

Thomas George Nationals 21,24750.2-24.1
Isaac Smith Labor 21,05549.8+24.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Lismore have been split into five areas. Polling places in the Kyogle, Tenterfield and Tweed council areas have been grouped together. Polling places in the Lismore council area have been split in two parts: Lismore North and Lismore South. Lismore South covers the town of Lismore itself.

The Nationals won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote (against the Greens in three out of five areas, ranging from 50.8% in southern Lismore to 72.6% in Tenterfield. The Greens won a slim 51.3% majority in Tweed (mostly covering the small towns to the west of Tweed Heads) and a large 68.8% majority in Lismore North, which covers towns like Nimbin.

The Labor primary vote ranged from 19.5% in Lismore North to 27.9% in Tweed.

Voter groupALP prim %GRN 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Lismore South27.650.813,27428.2
Lismore North19.531.24,2729.1
Other votes24.256.47,07015.0

Election results in Lismore at the 2015 NSW state election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (Greens vs Nationals) and Labor primary votes.

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  1. Presumably the Greens will be advantaged by the fact that they came so close last time? Making sure they put Greens #2 in the optional preferential system may be on the minds of Labor supporters.

    How funny is the Nimbin booth lol, 75% Green primary vs 9% for the sitting National.

  2. Janelle Saffin as the Labor candidate makes a lot of sense. Her profile gives Labor its best chance of overtaking the Greens.

  3. Honestly, I think this will be close to the first to fall on election night.

    There’s a retiring Nat member. Janelle Saffin has a very significant personal vote and I expect will pick up lots of votes from both people who voted Green and Nat at the last election.

    Maybe out on a limb here, but I reckon Saffin will win with more than 55% of the 2PP.

  4. This seat is almost certain to fall, the only question is who will pick it up out of the Greens and Labor. The Greens are in with a massive chance of taking it due to coming so close last time, their policy of legalising cannabis (this electorate has an extremely high number of regular recreational users), as well as their continued strong advocacy in the fight against climate change (the electorate is very environmentally conscious). Lismore and Ballina (already held by the Greens) are probably the most progressive regional/rural electorates in the entire country.

  5. interesting the impact of demographic change… alp help for 2 terms in the late 50s early 60’s …. then no held… when Janelle contested the seat in the I think early 90’s she lost I think 60/40 now all changed more likely to vote non conservative. I think janelle will win here

  6. interesting the impact of demographic change… alp held for 2 terms in the late 50s early 60’s …. then nat held… when Janelle contested the seat in the I think early 90’s she lost I think 60/40 now all changed more likely to vote non conservative. I think janelle will win here

  7. If swinging voters in the centre switch from the nationals, Labor would be the likely beneficiary, especially with a prominent former federal member running.

  8. After Darren Cheeseman managed to get a bigger swing than predicted and won in Victoria in South Barwon, I feel confident Janelle can also win here Due to, Like cheeseman, Her high profile since both of them were Formal federal MP’s


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