Riverina – Australia 2013

NAT 18.2%

Incumbent MP
Michael McCormack, since 2010.

Geography
South-Western NSW. The seat particularly covers the Riverina region running along the Murrumbidgee river. It stretches from the Victorian border near Tumbarumba, all the way to Carrathool in the far west of the state. The largest city in the region is Wagga Wagga, along with the western centres of Griffith and Leeton. It also covers the towns of Tumut, Gundagai, Junee, Wyalong, Narrandera and Temora.

History
Riverina is an original federation electorate, although it was renamed as ‘Riverina-Darling’ from 1984 until 1993. It has been dominated by conservative parties, namely the Country/National Party since its emergence in the 1920s. Having said that, the ALP has managed to win the seat on a number of occasions, most recently in 1977.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Protectionist candidate John Chanter, who had been a member of the State Parliament since 1885. At the 1903 election, Free Trade candidate Robert Blackwood defeated Chanter by five votes. An appeal saw the result overturned, and Chanter won the ensuing by-election in 1904.

Chanter continued to serve as a Protectionist until 1909, when he refused to support the Fusion of conservative parties to form the Liberal Party, and instead joined the Labor Party. He managed to win reelection for the ALP in 1910, but lost his seat in 1913 to Liberal candidate Franc Falkiner. Chanter again managed to win the seat back in 1914, and Falkiner went on to serve one term as Member for Hume from 1917 to 1919.

Chanter left the ALP in 1916 over the issue of conscription and joined the new Nationalist Party. He held the seat for them until 1922, when he was defeated by William Killen, candidate for the new Country Party.

Killen held Riverina for the Country Party until his retirement in 1931, when he was succeeded by Horace Nock. Nock served as a Minister in the Menzies government in 1940, but lost his seat later that year to ALP candidate Joseph Langtry.

Langtry was re-elected in 1943 and 1946 before losing Riverina to the Country Party’s Hugh Roberton in 1949.

Roberton held Riverina for sixteen years. He was made Minister for Social Services in 1956, serving in that role until 1965, when he left Parliament to become Australia’s Ambassador to Ireland. The ensuing by-election was won by Adam Armstrong, who held the seat until 1969, when he lost to the ALP’s Al Grassby.

Grassby was appointed Minister for Immigration following the election of the Whitlam Labor government in 1972, and was a fierce advocate of multiculturalism in the role, however he failed to win reelection in 1974, losing Riverina to the Country Party’s John Sullivan.

Sullivan held Riverina for two terms, losing to the ALP’s John FitzPatrick in 1977. FitzPatrick lost in 1980 to the National Country Party’s Noel Hicks.

Hicks held Riverina for most of the next two decades. The seat was renamed Riverina-Darling in 1984 but reverted to its original name in 1993. Hicks retired in 1998, and the Nationals candidate Kay Hull retained the seat. Hull held the seat from 1998 until her retirement in 2010.

In 2010, Nationals candidate Michael McCormack. was elected. The Liberal Party challenged for the Nationals seat, but only managed 16.5% and failed to overtake the Labor candidate.

Candidates

  • Andrew John Lamont (Bullet Train For Australia)
  • Lorraine Sharp (Australia First)
  • Paul Funnell (Democratic Labour Party)
  • Michael McCormack (Nationals)
  • Keith Pech (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Norm Dunn (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Tim Kurylowicz (Labor)
  • Ros Prangnell (Greens)
  • Lex Stewart (Palmer United Party)
  • Kim Heath (Rise Up Australia)

Assessment
Riverina is a safe Nationals seat.

2010 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Michael McCormackNAT39,38944.77-11.60
Robyn HakelisALP19,55922.23-8.30
Andrew NeglineLIB14,53616.52+12.10
Matthew HoggIND5,1485.85+5.85
David FletcherGRN3,9614.50-0.27
Tim QuiltyLDP1,7031.94+1.84
Craig HeskethON1,4111.60-0.34
Sylvia MulhollandCDP1,2011.36+1.21
Rhonda LeverFF1,0811.23+1.11

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Michael McCormackNAT59,98068.17+3.62
Robyn HakelisALP28,00931.83-3.62
Polling places in Riverina at the 2010 federal election. Griffith in yellow, Leeton in blue, North east in red, South East in purple, Wagga Wagga in orange, West in green. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Riverina at the 2010 federal election. Griffith in yellow, Leeton in blue, North east in red, South East in purple, Wagga Wagga in orange, West in green. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Riverina covers a large part of south-western NSW. The three main towns are Wagga Wagga, Griffith and Leeton. Polling places in these local government areas have been grouped together separately. The rest of the seat has been split into West, North East and South East.

The Nationals won a two-party-preferred majority in all six areas, ranging from 59% in the south-east to 74.6% in the west of the seat.

The ALP came second, with the Liberals coming third. The Liberal primary vote ranged from 8.5% in Leeton to 20.2% in Wagga Wagga.

Voter groupLIB %NAT 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Wagga Wagga20.1865.2927,55131.31
Griffith13.7172.7310,46411.89
North East12.6969.6510,11711.50
West11.1174.567,6998.75
South East19.4259.047,2398.23
Leeton8.4871.145,3186.04
Other votes18.0869.0719,60122.28
Two-party-preferred votes in Riverina at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Riverina at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Riverina at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Riverina at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Wagga Wagga at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Wagga Wagga at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Wagga Wagga at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Wagga Wagga at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Griffith at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Griffith at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Griffith at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Griffith at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Leeton at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Leeton at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Leeton at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Leeton at the 2010 federal election.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve noticed several media reports of other minor party candidates in this seat.

    Wagga councillor Paul Funnell is running for the DLP
    http://www.irrigator.com.au/story/1530192/time-for-change-is-now-says-candidate/?cs=1524

    Lorraine Sharp is running for the Australia First Party
    http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/1460918/party-announces-candidate/

    Kim Heath is running for the Rise Up Australia Party
    http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/1479696/school-teacher-selected-for-rise-up-australia/

  2. Labor’s 1977 victory followed the addition of Broken Hill to the seat. Fitzpatrick retired in 1980 hence Labor’s loss. Noel Hicks was remarkably popular especially in Broken Hill which was then a Labor stronghold (brought Labor down from 80+ to low 70s), Senate vote suggests that if not for his personal vote Labor would have won seat in 80s.

Comments are closed.