Robertson – Australia 2013

ALP 1.0%

Incumbent MP
Deborah O’Neill, since 2010.

Robertson covers the southern half of the Central Coast. It covers most of Gosford LGA, with the exception of a few suburbs on the border with Wyong LGA including Wamberal, Matcham, Holgate and Mt Elliot. Major centres in the electorate include Gosford, Erina, Terrigal, Woy Woy and Umina.

Robertson was first created in 1900 for the first federal election in 1901. The seat originally was an inland seat particularly covering Dubbo and Wellington and the Upper Hunter. It quickly moved towards the Central Coast, which it first covered in 1913.

The seat continued to shift and at one point also covered the coast to the north of Newcastle, before firmly settling on the Central Coast in 1974. The 1984 redistribution saw the seat take its current shape covering the southern half of the Central Coast.

For most of its history the seat was dominated by conservative MPs before mostly supporting the ALP over the last forty years. The seat was held by Henry Willis who won it for the Free Trade Party and maintained his hold until he lost it in 1910 to William Johnson of the ALP. Johnson only managed to hold the seat for one term, and was the only Labor member for the seat before the Second World War. He was succeeded by William Fleming of the Liberals, who proceeded to represent the Nationalists and joined the newly-formed Country Party in 1921. He ran for the seat as a Country Party candidate in 1922 and came third, with Sydney Gardner of the Nationalist Party holding the seat. Gardner maintained the seat until 1940, joining the United Australia Party in 1931.

At the 1940 election Gardner was one of two UAP candidates to run in Robertson, and came third on primary votes, and the other UAP candidate, Eric Spooner, won the seat on Gardner’s preferences in a close race with the ALP. Thomas Williams of the ALP won the seat in 1943 and held it until 1949, when he was defeated by the Liberal Party’s Roger Dean. Dean held the seat until he resigned in 1964 to become Administrator of the Northern Territory. His successor, William Bridges-Maxwell, won a by-election and was reelected in 1966 before being defeated by the ALP’s Barry Cohen in 1969.

Cohen held the seat for 21 years, serving as a minister from 1983 to 1987 in the Hawke government before retiring in 1990. He was succeeded by Frank Walker, who had been a minister in the state government before losing his seat in the 1988 state election. Walker served as a minister in the second Keating government from 1993 to 1996 before losing his seat to Jim Lloyd of the Liberal Party.

Lloyd held the seat for the entire length of the Howard government. He saw off Belinda Neal in 1998, when she resigned from the Senate to run for the seat. Lloyd was a minister from July 2004 until he lost his seat to Neal at the 2007 election. The seat was the ALP’s most marginal victory at the 2007 election, with Neal winning by 184 votes.

Belinda Neal was a controversial MP, and she lost preselection in 2010 to Deb O’Neill. O’Neill retained the seat for the ALP with an increased margin.


  • Jake Cassar (Independent)
  • Paul Sheeran (Democratic Labour Party)
  • Lucy Wicks (Liberal)
  • Steven Whitaker (Palmer United Party)
  • Holly Beecham (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Lawrie Mckinna (Independent)
  • Kate da Costa (Greens)
  • Douglas McFarland (Australian Independents)
  • Deborah O’Neill (Labor)

Robertson was one of the few seats in New South Wales where Labor gained ground in 2010. It’s difficult to see how either party wins in 2013 without winning Robertson, and it will be a key seat.

2010 result

Darren JamesonLIB37,15143.53-2.11
Deborah O’NeillALP33,93539.76-3.15
Peter FreewaterGRN7,6718.99+1.79
Graham FreemantleCDP1,5441.81-0.40
Melissa BattenIND1,5131.77+1.77
Jake CassarIND1,0771.26+1.26
Michael JakobFF7490.88+0.07
Nicole BeigerLDP5810.68+0.68
Don ParkesON5680.67-0.39
Michelle MearesIND5520.65+0.65

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Deborah O’NeillALP43,52051.00+0.91
Darren JamesonLIB41,82149.00-0.91

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas.

Most booths are in the eastern part of the seat near the coast, and these have been divided between the three main centres of Gosford, Erina and Woy Woy. The remainder of booths in the sparsely-populated west have been grouped together as “West”.

The ALP won a majority of the vote in Woy Woy and Gosford, while the Liberal Party won a majority in Erina and the West.

Polling booths in Robertson. Erina in yellow, Gosford in green, Woy Woy in blue, West in red.
Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP%Total votes% of votes
Woy Woy9.0756.4120,52324.05
Other votes8.9048.4721,52125.22
Two-party-preferred votes in Robertson at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Seat is actually winnable for Deb still believe it or not. libs haven’t made the dent they would have wanted to by now, thats why as evident on the facebook page, the young libs had to send their numbers into the electorate, seeing as the branchies hate Wicks

  2. Fact that Wicks isn’t a local is working in labor’s favour. She has not ties to the community or local business which is hurting her engagement with the area and why young libs have had to go up there so often

  3. Like i said those small sample internal polls you rely on DB aren’t good to be your sole purpose of relying on seats

  4. But I’ll go on what you said before about HTV, not everyone follows them and considering that the Singleton puppets won’t have volunteers on every booth, people intending to vote for them will make their own choice and given that 1. Deb is a local, 2. NBN, 3. Lawrie has publicly praised NBN and Debs work, can’t see the preference flowing to the liberals the way they would like to

  5. Observer – so you now admit that “Team Central Coast” are going to preference the Libs ahead of Labor. You need to trust me more.

  6. Cmon we both know your sources didn’t tell you, you took a guess but the fact that you avoided the preference flow dilema atleast shows that you know I’m right and that Lucy Wicks should maybe go back to the North Shore and try and take Bronnies seat

  7. didn’t you have those guesses about Wakefield and Adelaide. Galaxy poll didn’t give your triumphs any justice did they

  8. ” the Singleton candidates will print double sided HTV cards which puts libs ahead of labor one side and labor ahead of libs on the other”

    Author: Observer under Dobell.

    Has a bit of the Kevin Rudd about it.

    Still reckon the Libs are a good chance in Adelaide and Wakefield based on what I have seen this week, admittedly, they may fall just short. Otherwise, why would Rudd have been there today?

  9. Maybe include the whole quote, I know you libs are selective in quoting people to advance your agenda but cmon this is a website with probably already decided voters. You forgot to add the word rumour has it at the beginning of my comment which can be found in my actual comment on the page

    LOL ah DB you make me laugh sometimes. Next you’ll be saying that Lalor is in play. DB the reality is that as a leader of a major party, it would look bad if he only visited a state once during the whole campaign. Based on polls that have a larger sample then internal do suggest the biggest swing is in Wakefield but no where near enough to make Champion sweat on election night, he had relevant announcements to the Wakefield electorate. Abbott has campaigned in seats like Higgins, does that mean they are in play?

  10. Observer & DB,

    Could you two please agree to disagree and just make your comments rather than undertaking what seems to be a never ending point scoring exercise? It will be very apparent who is correct within a few days and one of you can have bragging rights.



  11. Having been on the ground again this week in Robertson, the mood is positive for the Coalition in Robertson. Was down in Woy Woy on Saturday Morning and the mood was optimistic for change.

    Considering that Woy Woy is the strongest area for the ALP, there are good signs for the Coalition.

    The troops on the ground for the ALP was not good at the pre-poll either. I have been hearing that they have been struggling for numbers.

  12. Woy Woy isn’t as strong labor as it is disinterested in politics. Good on ya Hawkeye, seeing as the local liberal branch members won’t campaign for her someone has to

  13. Lawrie McKenna, the current popular Mayor of Gosford and former Australian fast bowler, Nathan Bracken have today confirmed they will be preferencing the Liberal Party on Sydney’s most listened to morning radio programme, the Alan Jones Morning Show. Mr McKenna advised Mr Jones that ‘team Central Coast’ were able to secure infrastructure upgrade commitments from the Liberal Party in exchange for preferences.

    Based on my hearing, the Central Coast constituents could do well to support these Independents or the Liberal Party to obtain badly needed infrastructure in the region; infrastructure which appears to have been badly neglected by the Labor State and Federal Governments.

    I expect both candidates will influence the result in both seats and I predict that both seats are likely to be gained by the Coalition.

  14. Hi DB,

    Preference deal has done it, Both Robertson and Dobell will again be blue.

    I have stated this in other threads I believe this will give Labor the chance to change their message, look at what went wrong and get ready for the next election with a clean slate.

    22 seats ++ the margin on Saturday night with some surprises, (Indi, Griffith and Werriwa)

  15. It does not matter who win the election today as Rudd is ruddy useless and Abbott a stuck up snob. Whoever gets in will stuff it up completely. Its a pitty we have no worthy candidates. The rich will get richer and poor poorer. All the two men ever do is bad mouth each other instead of running the country. They are more worried about the perks like going overseas.

    Who pays for this Rudd or Abbott no we do! If Rudd wins we are ruddy stuffed and if Abbott wins we are going down the gurgler!!!!!!!

  16. I think the election results for Dobell and Robertson don’t sound out a great picture for the libs if they don’t get their act together on the coast. Robertson was held by 1%, the whole young libs were always campaigning here and the result in an Abbott goverment doesn’t see safer margins it had under liebrals. Also in Dobell the fact is too close just shows how bad the libs did if a campaign in under 4 weeks by labor could make the seat close. Next time the singleton puppets won’t be able to save the libs. I think we are starting to see that although labor may have loss the coast, its not as in the bag as some liberal hacks might think

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