Calare – Australia 2022

NAT 13.3%

Incumbent MP
Andrew Gee, since 2016. Previously state member for Orange, 2011-2016.

Geography
Central West NSW. Calare covers the towns of Bathurst, Lithgow, Blayney, Orange, Oberon, Mudgee and Wellington, as well as other areas around those towns.

History
Calare was first created for the 1906 election, replacing the abolished seat of Canobolas. The seat has been held by all political parties over the last century.

The seat was first won by Thomas Brown (ALP) in 1906. Brown had previously held Canobolas since 1901, and he held the seat until he was defeated in 1913 by Henry Pigott of the Commonwealth Liberal Party. He held the seat for the Liberals and the Nationalists until he was defeated by Thomas Lavelle (ALP) in 1919.

Lavelle was defeated in 1922 by Major General Neville Howse, who won the seat for the Nationalists. Pigott had also contested the seat unsuccessfully for the new Country Party. Howse won a Victoria Cross during the Boer War and went on to serve as a senior officer in the First World War.

Howse served as a minister in the Stanley Bruce government before losing his seat in 1929 to George Gibbons (ALP), who was defeated by Harold Thorby of the Country Party at the next election. Thorby had previously been a state minister and went on to serve as a minister in Joseph Lyons’ federal government.

Thorby was defeated by John Breen (ALP) in 1940, and Breen held the seat until his defeat in 1946 by John Howse (LIB), the son of the former member for the seat Neville Howse.

Howse junior held the seat until his resignation in 1960. John England of the Country Party won the seat in the following by-election, and held it until the 1975 election. The seat was then won by Sandy Mackenzie.

Sandy Mackenzie lost the seat to David Simmons (ALP) in 1983. Simmons served as a federal minister from 1989 to 1993, and retired at the 1996 election.

The seat was won in 1996 by former television journalist Peter Andren, running as an independent. Andren won the seat on a 29% primary vote in 1996, with the ALP, Nationals and Liberals all polling less. Andren won 63% of the two-party preferred vote against the Nationals.

Andren set out an independent path, pursuing progressive politics while promoting regional interests. He was re-elected in 1998, 2001 and 2004 with over 70% of the two-party preferred vote.

The 2007 election saw the seat of Calare effectively abolished in its existing form, and Andren announced plans to run for the Senate in New South Wales. However, he was diagnosed with cancer and cancelled his plans to run for the Senate and decided to retire. Andren died of cancer in early November 2007, and the seat was won by John Cobb (NAT), then a junior minister in the Howard government and Member for Parkes.

In 2010, Calare was recreated in its previous form, losing areas in the northwest of the state gained in 2007, and regaining those areas lost to Macquarie in 2007. Cobb increased his margin from 53.5% to 60.7%. He was re-elected again with a larger margin in 2013.

Cobb retired in 2016, and was succeeded by Nationals state MP Andrew Gee, who had held the overlapping state electorate of Orange since 2011. Gee was re-elected in 2019.

Candidates

Assessment
Calare is a safe Nationals seat.

2019 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Andrew Gee Nationals 46,63244.7-2.9
Jess Jennings Labor 23,07422.1-4.9
Sam RomanoShooters, Fishers and Farmers18,12917.4+17.4
Stephanie Luke Greens 6,3156.1-1.2
Stephen BisgroveLiberal Democrats4,7754.6-2.0
Beverley CameronUnited Australia Party3,3713.2+3.2
Shuyi ChenChristian Democratic Party1,9921.9-0.5
Informal6,2515.7+0.5

2019 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Andrew Gee Nationals 66,00663.3+1.5
Jess Jennings Labor 38,28236.7-1.5

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into six parts. Polling places in the three main towns, Orange, Bathurst and Lithgow, have been grouped together. The remaining booths have been split into north, south-east and south-west.

The Nationals won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all six areas, with the narrowest wins in the three urban centres, ranging from 51.4% in Lithgow to 61.4% in Orange, winning close to 64% in the north and south-east and 71% in the south-east.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers came third, with a primary vote ranging from 12.4% in Bathurst to 22.2% in the south-west.

Voter groupSFF prim %NAT 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Orange21.461.414,29613.7
North17.163.59,8289.4
South-West22.271.29,1518.8
South-East15.563.78,3958.0
Bathurst12.454.88,3128.0
Lithgow13.051.43,5273.4
Pre-poll17.164.943,51741.7
Other votes15.761.97,2627.0

Election results in Calare at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Nationals, Labor and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Calare for a long time till about 1977 did not include either Bathurst or Lithgow…….. Labor won in 1983 by polling 66% or better in Lithgow and a 55 to 58% vote in Bathurst…….. Orange split slightly less than 60% in favour of the Nationals. In 2007 a reduced version of these sums held……when the seat was part of Macquarie along with the Blue Mountains. post 2010 the Alp vote in Bathurst and Lithgow fell and it appears this trend has continued …….. This at the present time is a safe National Party seat but the demographics dont support it. Also half the electorate voted other than on election day with an average of 63% national vote…… I put that down to good organisation by the Nats

  2. The only way this seat becomes an issue for the National Party is if the Labor Party decides to run dead and push SFF into 2nd place. This makes the election very right. Anything else and it is a safe NAT seat.

  3. Hawkeye_au
    Andrew Gee is a man amongst boys. He is clearly outstanding, & would be my choice as Nat leader. I can’t imagine any scenario where he is under any real threat
    cheers wd

  4. A few interesting things to note from the Calare in 2019. The SFF did much better at the Orange end of the seat (where they hold the state seat) than the eastern parts around Bathurst and Lithgow. On the whole the Orange booths swung to the ALP on the 2pp. Around Lithgow, the ALP vote collapsed and the Nats were the beneficiary – mining town, mining voters – similar to what happened in Hunter and Capricornia. The Nat majority here might be quite soft if these voters peel off to left or right.
    An unknown in Calare will be what effect the ‘tree changer’ effect will have. Orange in particular haa become tree change central and these voters may not necessarily align with either the SFF or the Nats.

  5. Redistributed
    Absolutely correct on all counts about Orange Lithgow & so on
    Here is the thing this is a test of how a strong member can build his vote, influence his constituency etc.
    Calare is light years away from where it was under Peter Andren.

    WD jnr is a member of the SFF tells me that they have been riven with thousands of resignations over labor preferencing that is seen as supporting the Greens. So i don’t see them as the force they were, or will become.
    i believe that any ‘tree changers’ will either be culturally assimilated or impressed with the calibre of Gee
    CHEERS WD

    i see this moving further toward the Nats

  6. No chance, most people under 40 will be voting for whatever green or teal candidate is in their electorate, soz guys, we are sick of the old only 2 choices propaganda. :p

  7. I’m over 50 and over the major parties, so independent, green,labor,nats , then the other nut job rabble

  8. Lib-Labs going to get suprised this time around. If you want to congregate around slobs like Slomo, Albasleazi or Barny that’s up to you, but you’ll find people are over your gangs and you uninspired leaders

  9. With the absence of the SFF and the general decline of support for the party even if they did contest. This actually might be one of those rare seats that bucks the national trend and potential gets a swing to the Nats on the primary and TPP. I expect Labor to also improve their vote but I don’t expect that to outweigh the swing to Gee on the primary vote and the leakage of preferences from the other candidates except for the Greens.

    NAT retain with a 0-2% swing in their favour.

  10. There is a long term decline for Labor vote in the east of the seat especially around Bathurst and Lithgow similar to the La Trobe Valley (Vic). This used to be a marginal seat which Labor held in the past. Also look how the state seat of Bathurst has changed to a super safe Nat seat from the home of Ben Chifley.

  11. A bit more background on independent candidate Kate Hook would be in order; who is funding her campaign, an explanation of what she could hope to achieve for Calare if one or the other major parties holds power in its own right, more in- depth information on her past employment positions and outcomes and whether or not personal circumstances may set her at odds with the majority of Calare electors from all parties, other than the Greens and Kate herself, on social issues. We pretty much know all there is to be known about Andrew Gee – why should Kate hold back a day or so before the election ?

  12. Interesting result here. It seems that the Nats have benefited with SFF not standing and have increased their primary vote here. Also Kate Hook seemed to take votes off SFF and Labor. This used to be a marginal seat and Labor would have come within 2% on these boundaries in 2007. Interested to know what the NAT/Labor TPP would be and if Labor would have won any booths if it was a traditional two party contest at this election. Labor used to be strong around Bathurst and Lithgow.

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