Seat in focus – Oatley

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Oatley was the closest seat at the last election. Liberal candidate Mark Coure defeated Labor MP Kevin Greene by 440 votes, or 0.5%. Coure’s hold on the seat was strengthened by the redistribution, which saw his margin increase to 3.8%.

Despite the favourable redistribution, Oatley’s Liberal margin was well below the expected statewide swing to Labor, and a uniform swing would have easily swept Oatley from Liberal to Labor.

That’s not what happened at all. Instead, Coure has significantly increased his majority. At the time of writing, he was sitting on 56.6% of the two-party-preferred vote with much of the special votes yet to be counted – a swing of 2.8%.

Polling places in Oatley at the 2015 NSW state election. North in blue, South-East in green, South-West in orange. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Oatley at the 2015 NSW state election. North in blue, South-East in green, South-West in orange. Click to enlarge.

Earlier this week, I analysed the results in the neighbouring seat of East Hills, another marginal Liberal seat where the Liberal Party strengthened their hold.

Like in East Hills, Oatley has a pattern of the Liberal Party winning strongly in the south in suburbs close to the Georges River, while Labor performed better in the north of the seat. While there was not a swing back to Labor in the north, the swing to the Liberal Party was smaller than in the south.

In my pre-election guide, I split Oatley booths into three parts: north, south-east and south-west.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %ALP 2PP %LIB swingTotal% of votes
South-West59.041.04.813,59528.3
North49.750.32.013,53728.2
South-East66.133.94.07,99416.6
Other votes49.650.4-6.712,93226.9

The Liberal Party won 59% of the two-party vote in the south-west and 66% in the south-east. In these areas, the swing to the Liberal Party was 4.8% and 4% respectively.

In the north, where Labor won a majority in 2011, Labor held on with a slim 50.3% majority in the north, and the Liberal Party only gained a swing of 2%.

Two-party-preferred votes in Oatley at the 2015 NSW state election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Oatley at the 2015 NSW state election.
Two-party-preferred swings in Oatley at the 2015 NSW state election.
Two-party-preferred swings in Oatley at the 2015 NSW state election.
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5 COMMENTS

  1. Apparently this is a stellar example of what happens when an Mp is elected who is prepared to work his ring off. The community have responded, & spoken. Let us hope notice is taken

  2. Your right Wine Dimond. Its not rocket science all any politician needs to do is represent all his constituents as best as he or she can and they will be rewarded by those constituents. Edward James on the long paddock

  3. As I said before if ever there was a seat at this election where the incumbency factor would play a part, it would be here. Looks like I was right even beyond my own projections, I didn’t think Coure would get the biggest pro-Lib swing towards him in the state!

  4. Mark Coure, along with Gareth Ward, performed exceptionally to get a sophomore swing. I daresay that the ALP will struggle to win Oatley at the next election if Coure continues his form.

    The question is: would you give him a ministry as well?

  5. @Hawkeye, the ALP will not only have to overcome Coure and his popularity, but combat long-term demographic change, this area has been trending Liberal for a while.

    A ministry? Perhaps. I would be naturally cautious at granting important roles to those in ultra-marginal seats, but I think that won’t be a problem for Coure. Maybe after the next election.

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