Lyne – Australia 2013

IND vs NAT 12.7%

Incumbent MP
Rob Oakeshott, since 2008. Previously state Member for Port Macquarie 1996-2008.

Geography
North coast of NSW. Lyne covers the coast of New South Wales from Taree to Crescent Head. It covers all of Port Macquarie-Hastings, Greater Taree and Gloucester council areas, as well as parts of Kempsey LGA, although it does not cover the town of Kempsey itself.

History
Lyne was created as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives at the 1949 election. It was won by the Country/National Party at every election from its creation until the 2007 election, although it has since been lost to an independent at a 2008 by-election.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Country Party candidate James Eggins. Four Country candidates stood for Lyne in 1949, with Eggins polling first on primary votes, followed by the ALP candidate, and he comfortably won the seat on the preferences from his Country Party colleagues. He was re-elected in 1951, but died in 1952, triggering a by-election.

The 1952 Lyne by-election was won by the Country Party’s Philip Lucock. Lucock was the second-highest polling Country Party candidate at the 1949 election. Two Country Party candidates stood in 1952, one polling 30.2% and the other 29.2%, and Lucock overtook the Labor candidate on preferences.

Lucock served as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives under the Menzies, Holt, Gorton, McMahon and Fraser government, but never achieved ministerial office before he retired at the 1980 election.

The seat was won in 1980 by the National Country Party’s Bruce Cowan. Cowan had held the state seat of Oxley since 1965 and served as a minister in the last year of the Coalition state government from 1975 to 1976. Cowan held Lyne until 1993, and is the father-in-law of NSW Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell.

In 1993, the seat was won by Nationals candidate Mark Vaile, a Greater Taree councillor and former Deputy Mayor. Vaile joined the Howard government’s ministry in 1997 as Minister for Transport, adding a role as Minister for Agriculture in 1998 and became Minister for Trade in 1999. He became Deputy Prime Minister in 2005 upon the retirement of John Anderson, and continued in the Howard government’s cabinet until its defeat.

Vaile moved to the backbench upon the Howard government’s defeat in 2007, before retiring from Parliament in 2008, triggering a by-election.

The by-election was won by independent candidate Rob Oakeshott with a massive majority, winning almost 74% of the two-candidate-preferred vote. Oakeshott had previously held the state seat of Port Macquarie since 1996. He had originally been elected for the National Party at a 1996 by-election and was re-elected in 1999. During his second term he became disenchanted with the Nationals and resigned from the party in 2002. He managed to win re-election to Port Macquarie as an independent at the 2003 and 2007 state elections.

Rob Oakeshott was re-elected at the 2010 federal election. Following the federal election, he decided to support the Labor minority government.

Candidates
Sitting independent MP Rob Oakeshott is not running for re-election.

  • John Klose (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Craig Huth (One Nation)
  • Brian Buckley Clare (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Peter Alley (Labor)
  • Ian Oxenford (Greens)
  • David Gillespie (Nationals)
  • Troy Wilkie (Palmer United Party)
  • Michael Gough (Citizens Electoral Council)
  • Steve Attkins (Independent)

Assessment
With Rob Oakeshott not running, the Nationals should comfortably regain this seat.

2010 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Rob OakeshottIND40,06147.15+47.15
David GillespieNAT29,21634.39-15.74
Frederik LipsALP11,45913.49-18.49
Ian OxenfordGRN3,6454.29-2.75
Barry WrightIND5860.69-0.50

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Rob OakeshottIND53,29762.73
David GillespieNAT31,67037.27
Polling places in Lyne at the 2010 federal election. North in green, Port Macquarie in orange, South in yellow, Taree in blue. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Lyne at the 2010 federal election. North in green, Port Macquarie in orange, South in yellow, Taree in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas. Booths in the towns of Port Macquarie and Taree have been grouped together.

The remaining booths have been split into “North” and “South”, with the dividing line following the boundary between Greater Taree and Port Macquarie-Hastings council areas. Polling places in Gloucester have been grouped in south, and polling places in Kempsey have been grouped in north.

Rob Oakeshott won a similar two-candidate-preferred majority over the Nationals in each area, varying from 64.4% in Taree to 61.6% in Port Macquarie.

Voter groupALP %IND 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Port Macquarie11.5861.6320,97624.69
North13.9262.0717,20420.25
South14.7562.0116,76519.73
Taree16.9264.419,51711.20
Other votes12.4564.2020,50524.13
Two-candidate-preferred votes in Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in the Port Macquarie part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in the Port Macquarie part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in the Port Macquarie part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in the Port Macquarie part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in the Taree part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in the Taree part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in the Taree part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in the Taree part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in the Laurieton part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in the Laurieton part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in the Laurieton part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in the Laurieton part of Lyne at the 2010 federal election.

24 COMMENTS

  1. PJ – I haven’t seen a poll for a while but he was running at high 20s low 30s last I looked with NATs at over 50%. Windsor would be a much better change of retaining.

  2. Pretty much as I’d expect. It might be more interesting if Bessling ran, but I still can’t see this being anything but a Nat gain.

  3. If Oakeshott survives, given what he’s been forced to endure from conservative commentators since September 2010, it’ll be the miracle to end all miracles.
    And what was his “crime”? Surely people voted for him because he acted as he saw fit, rather than according to the orders of some faceless machine person in the major parties’ HQ blocks. He deserves better than what he’s copped.

  4. Instead of screaming for his head, perhaps they should consider the budget black hole that the LNP presented to him in 2010. Had their costings been correct, I’m sure he would have gone with the LNP. It’s indicative of this Murdoch lead circus that a man can be pilloried and voted out for doing what is right. Even more shocking is that the Australian people can be so easily lead.

  5. With Oakeshott not running, and this being a almost-certain National gain, the Nationals can focus more on New England and ousting Windsor now.

  6. Hopefully people will take a look at the policies of the Palmer United Party. We have taken the best from all the other parties, and combined practical solutions to the challenges facing Australia.

  7. Are the Liberals planning on running in Lyne? They came pretty close in 1993, and they’ve probably got a better chance now that there hasn’t been a National MP for several years and the area has become more urbanised.

  8. I think with a Nationals candidate, this prevents them splitting the vote. With the current change of leadership in the labor party, and the distrust with Mr Rabbort, then the only viable alternative in many electorates is the Palmer United Party.

  9. The Liberals aren’t running; it was part of their agreement that kept the Nats from running in Hume.

  10. BoP, Libs not running in Lyne. Part of a deal where the Nats aren’t running in Hume and Eden-Monaro and the Libs aren’t running in Richmond, Page, New England and Lyne. I think the only three cornered race in NSW is in Throsby which is actually more of a one horse race where the horse is named Labor.

  11. Also – keep in mind that Nats and Libs have very good relationship in NSW cf WA, SA, Vic or Qld. Eg in the last state election they “allocated” seats to each other where the party with the best chance of winning ran. Probably the only exception was Cessnock where a Lib probably would have won if they had run instead of a Nat.

  12. Yes, due to a family medical issue that struck on Wednesday afternoon, I have had to withdraw. I am very disappointed, as I felt I could really offers viable alternative to the Nationals.
    Troy, who had been through the candidate process has moved to Lyne. As somebody who went to school in Port, he does have a good background in the area.
    But, family comes first, and hopefully with time, we can get through this. I will be helping the candidates in Lyne and Hunter, because they are worthy of my support.

  13. ^ This is what happens when you rush what should be a considered process of vetting candidates and selecting them. Never did understand why he didn’t just stick to Qld and run candidates in around 25-30% strategically selected seats around the country. Then build from that in later elections.

    Media interview 101 when you are the leader, know the local candidates name! (Rule 1, is to first have a candidate). If this is his reaction to a local radio station interview pre campaigning, how will Palmer fare when the contest really begins and the pressure is really on?

  14. In fairness to Simon – and so I don’t look like a complete heartless bastard! – I should point out that I was responding to Nick’s post seemingly at the same time as Simon was also. Family should always come first, whatever the issue.

    I think that the points in relation to a leader being fully briefed and aware of their local candidates status prior to an interview are still valid.

  15. Thanks Yappo. When I read your first post, I thought – inconsiderate person.

    The party (and myself), would not have let me run, if we knew of the impending medical problem with my wife. Especially as I had just received my corflutes and was busy organising meet and greats. Why not stick to QLD – well, there are people all around the country that are frustrated with the current two parties, why limit freedom of choice to just our northern neighbours.

    Clive is not the first leader who forgets a candidates name. Having the candidate list handy is probably a wise move (I had loaded it to my smartphone). But there are over 150 candidates across the country, and I would be surprised if Tony/Kevin knew all the candidates. Or maybe Clive just had a mental block – we all have them from time to time.

    After spending time with Clive, he runs at a million miles an hour – a true multi-tasker. It would be good if the media actually looked at the policies instead of trying to attack the man.

  16. NBN have reported tonight that Steve Attkins, who contested Myall Lakes at the last state election (and finished a distant second on 13.5% of the primary vote) is running as an independent.

  17. I think the Nationals’ biggest fear has to be Brian Buckley Clare, of the KAP. Not only did he get positioned ahead of Labor, Greens, and Nationals (in that order, and literally one after the other), but he’s perfectly set up to draw votes from people who voted for Oakeshott. And Labor will probably preference KAP above Nationals.

    If Mr Buckley Clare (that’s right, “Buckley Clare” is the surname, no kidding) manages to get past ALP on primary, he could win the seat. If he doesn’t, and the KAP gives preferences to Labor, it might push Labor just slightly ahead. The latter is less likely to happen (Labor getting ahead of Nationals on KAP and Greens preferences), but it’s possible.

  18. My take, if one of the minor parties can pick up a great chunk of the Oakshot votes and then pick up the preferences from the others, then the Nationals are in for a run for their money. This seat is not a typical seat, due to the Oakshot experience.
    Election night is going to be an entertaining time.

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