Newcastle – Australia 2019

ALP 13.8%

Incumbent MP
Sharon Claydon, since 2013.

The seat of Newcastle covers most of the City of Newcastle, and a small part of the Lake Macquarie council area. Major suburbs include Newcastle, Hamilton, Merewether, Lambton, Kotara, Adamstown, Mayfield, Maryland, Wallsend and Waratah.

Newcastle is an original federation electorate, and has been held by the ALP for its entire history. Indeed, the seat has only ever been held by five people in 110 years.

The seat was first won in 1901 by David Watkins, a former coal-miner and state member for the seat of Wallsend. Watkins held Newcastle for decades until his death in 1935. He was succeeded at a 1935 by-election by his son David Oliver Watkins. Watkins junior held the seat for another twenty-three years, retiring in 1958.

After being held for 57 years by members of the Watkins family, Newcastle was won in 1958 by Charles Jones, then the Lord Mayor of Newcastle. Jones went on to serve as Gough Whitlam’s Minister for Transport from 1972 to 1975. He retired in 1983, and was succeeded by Allan Morris.

Morris held the seat for eighteen years, and was succeeded at the 2001 by former school principal Sharon Grierson, who held the seat for the next twelve years.

Labor’s Sharon Claydon was elected in Newcastle in 2013, and she won re-election in 2016.


  • Sharon Claydon (Labor)
  • John MacKenzie (Greens)
  • Pam Wise (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Geoffrey Scully (United Australia)
  • B.J. Futter (Great Australian Party)
  • Darren Brollo (Animal Justice)
  • Katrina Wark (Liberal)
  • Assessment
    Newcastle is a safe Labor seat.

    2016 result

    Sharon Claydon Labor 46,76247.1+2.8
    David Compton Liberal 29,68929.9-3.3
    John Mackenzie Greens 13,55813.7+2.1
    Karen BurgeDrug Law Reform3,3913.4+3.4
    Rod HoldingIndependent2,7352.8+2.2
    Milton CaineChristian Democratic Party2,1322.1+0.4
    Stuart SouthwellDemocratic Labour Party9681.0+1.0

    2016 two-party-preferred result

    Sharon Claydon Labor 63,34863.8+4.4
    David Compton Liberal 35,88736.2-4.4

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three parts: central, east and west.

    Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 61.2% in the centre to 67.6% in the west.

    The Greens primary vote ranged from 8.3% in the west to 18.5% in the east.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Other votes12.163.110,84110.9

    Election results in Newcastle at the 2016 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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    1. One of those seats that should never really deviate from Labor, even in a Liberal landslide.
      For me it’s quite surprising to see some very strong Green booths. That being said they’d struggle to even get into second from numbers.

    2. Hey Ben, your assessment says:

      Newcastle is a safe _Liberal_ seat.

      Also your Grayndler link isn’t working 🙂

    3. Official Labor did well to hold this against Langites in 30s Watkins was very popular. Today it’s gentriying but in a left wing way hence rise of Greens.

    4. Gentrifying usually comes with a Green vote, as it’s usually more open minded affluent people willing to live in traditional working class/industrial areas when they become more appealing. It’s the longer term where these seats are at risk of turning Liberal.

      Greens are still a while off coming 2nd here – they’d probably need a major local government breakthrough (eg a Mayor) first.


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