Robertson – Australia 2019

LIB 1.1%

Incumbent MP
Lucy Wicks, since 2013.

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 in 2010, but lost in 2013 to Liberal candidate Lucy Wicks. Wicks was re-elected in 2016.


Robertson is a very marginal seat. Labor is running the same candidate who achieved a 1.95% swing in 2016, and will be hopeful of replicating that result and winning a seat which will bring Labor closer to government.

2016 result

Lucy Wicks Liberal 42,57344.7+1.2
Anne Charlton Labor 36,61138.4+3.7
Hillary Morris Greens 7,9548.3+2.8
Van DavyIndependent2,7262.9+2.9
Robert StoddartChristian Democratic Party2,5392.7+1.4
Lawrie HigginsAntipaedophile Party1,5271.6+1.6
Matthew CraigLiberal Democrats1,3471.4+1.4

2016 two-party-preferred result

Lucy Wicks Liberal 48,72851.1-2.0
Anne Charlton Labor 46,54948.9+2.0

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 Liberal Party won a modest 56% majority in Erina and a large 63% majority in the sparsely-populated west.

Labor won 53% in Gosford and 54.5% in Woy Woy.

Voter groupLNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Woy Woy45.517,39318.3
Other votes54.011,80112.4

Two-party-preferred votes in Robertson at the 2016 federal election

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  1. Hi Ben,

    Will you be uploading swing maps for these (maybe for between 2013-16), like you did for Batman?

  2. No, that’s not part of my standard maps I do for these guides (and a bit late to change direction) but I’ll think about that for future elections.

  3. I think Anne Charlton will win Robertson on her second attempt. It seems Lucy Wicks is out campaigning hard already, but this seat should swing enough for Labor to limp across the line.

    Will always be a marginal seat.

  4. Not many comments for what seems like a key labor target.

    Although she’s a lib you get the sense that the coalition brand is toxic now in rural NSW thanks to the Nats, based on the NSW election campaign. With the ALP candidate running again you get the sense that 1% is nowhere near enough of a buffer to hold the seat.

  5. Expect the cash refund issue to bite deepest here. It will probably ensure the libs retain, barring a 4%+ swing statewide.

  6. Wicks has no chance here, Im surprised she held on last time, As internal polling last election showed a narrow Labour gain but on the final days it flipped with Page. Whoever wins Gov will win this, Not that it is in question anymore.

  7. Don’t forget the demographics here. Young Working Families and Sydney Retirees are the big focus here.

    For the YWK, it’s about jobs and transport in the region. Anything regarding the M1 or jobs in the local area is crucial for the vote while for the Retirees, their big focus will be about how much money they have to spend on themselves.

    In terms of geographic targeting, Lucy has been targeting Woy Woy big time while Anne Charlton has been targetting Kincumber.

    This will go down to the wire again.

  8. Hawkeye – agree there will be some interesting demographic factors at play in this one. I’ve got a lot of family in this area and know a few people who have recently moved here that would be in the “Young Working Families” camp – all of whom I’d also categorise as “priced out of the Sydney real estate market”. So the generational divide on policy issues (housing affordability, franking credits, bla bla) will be most evident in how people vote here.

    I’m not across the age distribution of voters in Robertson & how this has shifted over time. Very tough for Wicks to win again given the margin imo.

  9. As a liberal voter I think Lucy wicks has done sod all for her electorate. The 600 jobs she promised for the ato turned out to be for a call centre. She backed abbot over turnball and is so low key as to be invisible. What has she achieved for our electorate.

  10. Charlton is a blond version of Wicks, unimpressive and beholding to Labor Right. She performed poorly in 2016 and is not any better this time around. If Palmer United polls well, Wicks may have a chance. Lot’s of money being poured in here by both Libs and Labor, a shame David Abrahams has not got more to spend, he looks the most impressive of all the candidates.

  11. @Sally
    Looking at Wick’s twitter for a couple of minutes. It appears that she is organising, & orchestrating, nearly daily visits of Fed MINISTERS literally throwing tens of $millions at Robertson. Not just announcements, but commitments. Exactly what more do you expect ??. Doubtless we would all like our MPs to be doing the same for us. Perhaps you believe more is being done up the road in Dobell ??. If so you would be sadly mistaken !!.
    I suggest your criticisms, & complaint are groundless. You are fortunate enough to live in a crucial marginal electorate, & no matter which side is in power, it will receive huge benefits. Perhaps you ought show some gratitude, & appreciation.

  12. No change in the ballot order from the last election, with Anne Charlton picking up the bottom position.

    Ladbrokes currently has Charlton at $1.21 to pick up the seat and Wicks at $3.90, which i actually think could be the value bet of the election.

  13. Article in SMH today on both ladies. They are both very credible, & more’s the pity one will lose. Wish there was the same standard of candidature everywhere.
    The journalist was a moron for not challenging Charlton on a stupid contention over the NDIS, & conflating over penalty rates.

  14. Dessi to quote taxable income is meanless….quote real fiqures……. how much in super… how much super income… how much in shares how much in dividends …… how much in franking tax credits

  15. I just wish you guys would stick to the issues to each seat, and the numbers.

    So bored with people and their partisan crap on this site now. We have the commercials on TV to watch that play out.

    Can we please just stick to numbers and polling….please

  16. I agree with Adski above.

    Perhaps Ben, you could have a weekly ‘General Discussion’ type post for those people who want more vigorous/general partisan arguments? Then most of that stuff can be kept off the main seat threads.

  17. Sorry guys, there are far too many comments at the moment for me to keep up most of the time. I’ve mostly caught up now but will fall behind pretty soon. I’ve just removed a bunch of completely off-topic comments. Email me if there are threads that are having problems.


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