Reid – Australia 2013

ALP 2.7%

Incumbent MP
John Murphy, since 2010. Previously Member for Lowe 1998-2010.

Inner Western Sydney. Reid covers suburbs along the southern shore of Parramatta River from Drummoyne to Auburn. It covers the City of Canada Bay, most of Auburn council area and northern parts of Burwood and Strathfield council areas. Major suburbs are Drummoyne, Five Dock, Croydon, Auburn, Homebush, Strathfield and Burwood.

The seat of Reid was created for the 1922 election, while Lowe was created as part of the expansion of the Parliament in 1949. Reid has been held by either the ALP or Jack Lang’s Labor breakaway parties for its entire history, while Lowe has a history of alternating between the ALP and Liberal Party.

The seat of Reid was first won in 1922 by Labor candidate Percy Coleman. Coleman was re-elected in 1925, 1928 and 1929, but at the 1931 election he was defeated by Joseph Gander, candidate for Jack Lang’s breakaway NSW Labor Party. Gander was re-elected as a Lang Labor candidate in 1934 before rejoining the ALP when Jack Lang reconciled with the federal ALP.

Gander was re-elected as an official ALP candidate in 1937, but in 1940 Jack Lang again split away from the ALP, but with less of his former supporters in NSW following him. Gander followed Lang out of the ALP, but lost at the 1940 election to official ALP candidate Charles Morgan.

Morgan held the seat until the 1946 election, when Jack Lang himself ran in Reid and defeated Morgan. Lang was a former NSW Premier who had led a breakaway Labor party in NSW on a number of occasions.

The 1949 election saw the creation of the new seat of Blaxland, and Lang ran in that seat unsuccessfully. Morgan regained Reid in 1949, holding it until 1958.

Charles Morgan was defeated for ALP preselection by Tom Uren before the 1958 election. Morgan ran as an independent, but was defeated comfortably by Uren.

Uren served as Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the Whitlam government. He served as a Deputy Leader of the ALP from 1976 to 1977, and became the leading figure in the ALP’s left in the late 1970s. He opposed Bob Hawke’s leadership and thus was excluded from Cabinet when Hawke was elected Prime Minister in 1983. He served as a junior minister for four years before moving to the backbench in 1987.

Uren retired at the 1990 election, and was succeeded by Laurie Ferguson, who had been the state member for Granville since 1984. Ferguson has held Reid since 1990.

Lowe was first created for the 1949 election, when it was won by William McMahon (LIB). McMahon was elevated to Robert Menzies’ ministry in 1951, serving in a variety of portfolios over the next fifteen years. Upon Menzies’ retirement in 1966 McMahon became Treasurer in Harold Holt’s cabinet.

When Harold Holt disappeared in December 1967 McMahon was the presumptive successor, but Country Party leader John McEwen refused to serve with McMahon as Prime Minister. McMahon withdrew and Senator John Gorton was elected leader and moved to the House of Representatives.

McMahon served as Gorton’s Foreign Minister, but challenged Gorton for the leadership following the 1969 election unsuccessfully. In 1971 McEwen retired and Gorton’s leadership was undermined by the resignation of Malcolm Fraser from the cabinet. Gorton called a party meeting, and the ballot was tied between Gorton and McMahon, which led to Gorton’s resignation and McMahon’s election as leader and Prime Minister.

McMahon led the Coalition into the 1972 election, and was defeated by Gough Whitlam’s Labor Party. McMahon served in Billy Snedden’s shadow cabinet up to the 1974 election, and then served as a backbencher until his retirement in 1982.

Lowe had been marginal for most elections during McMahon’s service, particularly since the 1961 election. He had only held the seat with a 1.1% margin at the 1980 election, and a swing of 9.4% swing saw Labor candidate Michael Maher win the seat at the 1982 by-election, one year before Bob Hawke defeated Malcolm Fraser at the 1983 election. Maher was a state MP for Drummoyne from 1973 until the 1982 by-election.

Maher was reelected in 1983 and 1984, but was defeated in 1987 by Bob Woods (LIB). Woods was reelected in 1990, and defeated in 1993 by Mary Easson (ALP). Woods was appointed to the Senate in 1994 and served as a Parliamentary Secretary in the Howard government’s first year before resigning from the Senate in 1997 following allegations of abuse of parliamentary privilege.

Easson only held Lowe for one term, losing her seat in the 1996 landslide to Liberal candidate Paul Zammit, who had been a state MP for first Burwood and then Strathfield from 1984 until 1996. Zammit resigned from the Liberal Party in protest at aircraft noise in 1998 and contested the 1998 election as an independent, polling 15%. The seat was won in 1998 by the ALP’s John Murphy, who held the seat until 2010.

In 2010, John Murphy was re-elected in the redrawn seat of Reid, while former Member for Reid Laurie Ferguson moved to the seat of Werriwa.


  • John Murphy (Labor)
  • Raymond Palmer (Australian Independents)
  • Pauline Tyrrell (Greens)
  • Bishruel Izadeen (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Nadeem Ashraf (Palmer United Party)
  • Emily Dunn (Democratic Labour Party)
  • Craig Laundy (Liberal)
  • Bill Shailer (Christian Democratic Party)

Reid is one of the most marginal Labor seats in Sydney, and it straddles the outer suburbs and the inner suburbs of Sydney. The seat includes wealthy harbour suburbs, multicultural areas around Auburn and Granville, and gentrified Greens-friendly areas. The seat wasn’t considered so marginal recently, prior to an 8.2% swing against Murphy in 2010.

2010 result

Peter CooperLIB34,32843.11+7.42
John MurphyALP33,05141.51-11.35
Adam ButlerGRN8,90311.18+3.27
Bill ShailerCDP2,4453.07+0.76
Carolyn KennettSEP9011.13+1.13

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

John MurphyALP41,94952.68-8.16
Peter CooperLIB37,67947.32+8.16

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into five areas. Booths in Auburn, Strathfield and Burwood local government areas have been grouped together. Booths in Canada Bay council area have been divided between Drummoyne in the east and Concord in the west.

The ALP won a large majority of 61.9% in the Auburn area, 57.9% in Burwood, and a slim majority of 50.8% in Strathfield. The Liberal Party won a majority of 52-53% in Concord and Drummoyne.

Polling booths in Reid at the 2010 federal election. Auburn in orange, Concord in red, Drummoyne in yellow, Burwood in blue, Strathfield in green.
Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes12.3853.8816,86921.18
Two-party-preferred votes in Reid at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Reid at the 2010 federal election.


  1. There’s almost an east-west divide in this seat. The eastern part, basically the now-abolished seat of Lowe, was something of a swinging seat after Sir William McMahon resigned. Michael Maher and Bob Woods both lost after two terms, and Mary Easson and Paul Zammit both lost after a single term, although running as an Independent wouldn’t have helped Zammit. John Murphy will face a struggle in this area. The western part of this seat is more solid for Labor. Given that I’ve already during the past year seen brochures for the Liberal candidate Craig Gaundy, a businessman from the look of things, I reckon that the Liberals are going in hard on this one, so Murphy and Labor will struggle.

  2. Always an interesting seat. If things remain on track Mr Gaundy will win this seat with a small majority. The Greens will still hold the key for Mr Gaundy to win or loss.

  3. The old Lowe was type of lower middle-class seat that moved leftward as Labor became more attractive to these voters and Libs flirtation with Hanson was a disaster here but now going back other way

  4. The Drummoyne and Concord regions will determine the outcome here. They were firmly Liberal in the State Election and I believe they will vote for the Liberal Party here. You might not see the same swing in this seat as compared to other more outer metropolitan seats such as Lindsay and Greenway.

  5. Emily Dunn has been selected for the DLP in the seat of Ried.
    Emily is a former Federal Executive member and YDLA executive member and is truely dedicated to the cause. This will be tough campaign for Mr Murphy would was always considered and ally of the more conservative arm of the ALP. His support of the Carbon Tax will no doubt place a lot a pressure on himself. Best of luck Emily.

  6. Should be a fairly easy Liberal gain at this years election you would expect. Strong swings to the Liberal party in the state seat of Drummoyne. The Liberal candidate Craig Laundy has been campaigning strongly in this seat since his preselection.

  7. This will be an easy Liberal Gain. The key area will be Burwood and Strathfield. with further gains to be made in Concord.

  8. I wonder if the DLP candidate will continue their sick tradition of being Liberal Party vote feeders with their preferencing?
    Even during the good years in NSW under good unionist, family man, Catholic and Premier Joe Cahill the silly DLP ran in seats they were not required in. Shockers.

    What on earth do these DLP-ers want when they run against decent co-religionists or non co-religionists of good will?

  9. The Liberal’s Craig Laundy will win this, apart from the demography (not running in Labor’s favour) he has been campaigning forever. Last Monday in Five Dock I counted half a dozen Liberal workers, it felt like a saturday morning just before an election. That hasn’t been uncommon all year in Drummoyne too.

    I don’t go further west all that often, but when I do to places like Rhodes and Burwood I get the feeling you could count the Greens votes on one hand. Their preferences won’t matter, Murphy is gone.

  10. No I disagree, this will be a close one. Craig Laundy seems to be buying the electorate which now a days won’t work. Drummoyne at the last election, had their state MP in scandals, this no doubt played a huge role in labor losing Drummoyne. Auburn should hold, Concord could go either way and Burwood and Strathfield should get similar results. Thats why this seat is going to be close, its not like western sydney, it never experienced the anger that Lindsay and Werriwa had, its an exception and it will be a contest of idea and I see this as too close to call

  11. I’m not sure Laundy is a plus for the Liberals. The problem Labor have in Sydney is that the Libs probably have more people on the ground now than Labor do for the first time in history. In most of western Sydney, the Libs just haven’t had the people power to effectively campaign, let alone man booths in seats such as this. This will be the first election where all western Sydney seats will have proper campaigns from the Liberal Party to at least match Labor’s compelled manpower from the Unions. Additionally, the Libs will have every booth manned on election day.

    I agree with Observer, this is very close to call and could go either way. I’d put this in the same category as Kingsford-Smith, which I think could surprise on election night without Garrett as the incumbent.

  12. I think Nadeem Ashraf for Palmer United Party will Laundry run for his money. As he is a commener, and the face for the area.

  13. Drummoyne letterboxes were today stuffed with a flyer headlined “The truth about Craig Laundy.” It reads like smear, and suggests what appear to be normal business dealings to be corrupt. It has no Labor branding at all except the 6pt authorisation – by Sam Dastyari.

    Ironical that it comes on the very day Eddie Obeid dummy spat at his press conference, “I gave that man his job!” (referring to Dastyari).

    Do smear tactics like this work? I’m not sure, the flyer is so OTT it may only sway the loyalists. The rest of Murphy’s election material has been warm and cuddly, amusingly so (eg he “”helped me survive breast cancer.”).

    I do understand why many think this seat may be close – it is wrong to brand it as a typical western Sydney seat. There is actually no such thing, and I’m still calling it a Liberal win.

  14. Coco Bunter – I would have preferred another candidate for this seat and I preferred Delezio in Banks (although Coleman is a good candidate). The smear might be worth 1% or so, but the ICAC findings are probably worth about -3% across most Sydney seats. This is pretty line ball, but I think Labor deserve to be slight favourites in Reid at this moment. However, in Banks as at today, I think the Liberals can and will pick it up in a closely fought battle, although it will be very tight.

    The internal polling seems to be marginally closer to the betting markets rather than the National Polls. The fact that Rudd is yet to call the election demonstrates that Labor don’t believe they have the numbers to win the election.

  15. Coalition ahead in polling in this seat, although it is close. It appears most of the seats in the so called ‘western Sydney belt’ are showing 5-7% swings to the Coalition one month after Rudd’s PM appointment.

  16. Priceless… This is Guy Rundle on Craig Laundy: “He has a disconcertingly young air, a puffy chipmunk face, mild overbite perhaps, like he was about to build a dam with his teeth.”

  17. There are some great sentences in this article. I really wish we could have more election reporting like this as it gives one an almost visceral feel of the contest:
    “the major candidates appeared to be more in cahoots than in contest, emitting a sort of mutual sympathy at having to be lumped in equally with the never-to-be-elected dingbats around them.”
    “Were Bishrul Izzadeen (KAP) and Nadeem Ashraf (PUP) Anglo guys it would be permissible to extend the election’s Tintin analogy and say they sat there, flanking the DLP Tracy Flick grouper like Thompson and Thomson, indistinguishable men in dark suits, knocking the hell out of each other, but that would be unacceptable.”

  18. You are right Yappo, the reporting of the campaign has been as dispiriting and dismal as the 2010 result. I don’t care about the obvious partisan bias (when has News Ltd done anything else?). Just that it has been dull, dull dull…

    You get the feeling that the reporters and writers never leave Holt St or the Fairfax bunkers. much less go to a Town Hall meeting like this one in Auburn.

    There is a bit of scuttlebutt about both Murphy and Laundy that Rundle missed, (or thought twice about). I won’t repeat it here, but it is around, on the ground in Reid. This is going to be a seat to watch on Sept 7. Can’t wait….

  19. Reid Galaxy 20/08/2013 Sample 575 2PP ALP 47%

    I think this is a bigger chance for the Libs than Banks. Both could fall however.

  20. Having had the misfortune to have spent six years with Laundy at boarding school I think I can say I know the guy pretty well and to hear that he was not only running for federal parliament but was in fact the favorite left me well, shocked. Seeing his facebook page and photo on t-shirts and posters is like some kind of surreal Frontline spoof, except it is real. At the end of school he would have been seen as one of the last people, if not the last person you could see going on to be put forward as a viable candidate and I don’t see anything in his career post then to suggest he has had a sudden transformation of character. It strikes me more as Daddy giving him something to do post the National Leisure Group going into administration following Craig’s appointment as a director. I have no problem with the family money coming from gaming and alcohol, but to then pretend you are motivated by community spirit and civic duty is outrageous. I know having just attended a school reunion that Craig did not attend that my feelings were shared, his running is seen as a bad joke, even though most there were probably Liberal voters. It is a blight on the Liberal Party to have put him forward as a candidate and I hope they are punished for it.

  21. One of the key issues here is the proposed radioactive waste from hunters hill. It can only go to a federal facility with federal support. Interested to see what both candidates say about it

  22. @Shocked, a very sad comment.
    It seems you may actually be jealous of Craig.
    I think you’ll find not everyone is the same ‘person’ as they were when they left school. Some people have matured.
    Have you spoken to Craig lately? He is a very hard working individual who has literally worn out 3 pairs of boots from door knocking in the area. He is a genuine guy and hopefully will replace the complacent John Murphy.
    I sincerely hope one day you mature.

  23. Bel, as I said I think I know the guy so when I see his mug I’m pretty sure jealous is not one of the emotions that I feel. You do make a fair point that most people do change and mature post school, it is quite a long time ago now. He is coming from a fair way back though and would need to have had a road to Damascus conversion of views, personality, intelligence etc for me to think he should be elected to federal parliament. But maybe he has. I have had some dealings with him post school but not in recent years. Even if he has it doesn’t change where the family money came from, primarily changes to gaming/poker machine laws making the family pubs more valuable, and you can’t tell me that money isn’t the main reason he got through the pre-selection process. You’ll need to give me some more concrete reasons than he has knocked on a lot of doors to make me wonder if I am wrong in my view. As for Craig’s comment in the weekend press that he is in politics because the country was going down the drain or words to that effect and he had a ‘lightbulb moment’ that he needed to enter politics to try and fix things, hubris I think is the word. Spare me.

  24. Shocked, I was at the same reunion, 88 HHH. I actual think laundys character is typical of any politician. Non offensive, no world beater, intelligemnt, but not everyone would like him. He is harmless.

  25. Closer than I thought… I predicted Liberal win on the first count. Looking at the likely preference flow, It will eventually go to Laundy, and we’ll know in a couple of days.

    One more thing is worth noting. The Greens vote was down more than the national average here. Pauline Tyrrell was a hugely unimpressive campaigner, and perhaps (as in Grayndler), the Greens need to take more care in selecting candidates. Or was she the only one who put their hand up? Reid is hardly fertile turf for the Greens. The older European immigrants (mostly second generation) are actively hostile, while the newer arrivals from Asia are (generally) far more aspirational.

    The Greens do best in Drummoyne – in the electorate’s most Anglo (and its wealthiest) booths. Had the Greens vote not declined there though (-4.7%), Murphy might, only just, have scrapped back in…

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