Farrer – Australia 2022

LIB 10.9% vs IND

Incumbent MP
Sussan Ley, since 2001.

Geography
Farrer covers a great expanse of southwestern NSW. The seat covers most of the NSW-Victorian border, stretching from the Greater Hume area around Albury all the way along the Murray River, and further north to cover areas along the Murrumbidgee River. Main towns include Albury, Griffith, Leeton, Deniliquin and Corowa.

History
Farrer was created at the 1949 election as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives. In its time it has always been held by conservative parties, primarily the Liberal Party, although it was held by the Nationals from 1984 until 2001.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Liberal candidate David Fairbairn. He was included in the Menzies ministry from 1962 until 1969, when he challenged John Gorton for the leadership and moved to the backbench. He returned to cabinet for one year in 1971 after William McMahon became Prime Minister, and retired from Parliament in 1975.

He was succeeded by Wal Fife, who had been a minister in the Liberal state government of New South Wales since 1967. Fife went on to serve as a minister in the Fraser government from 1977 until its defeat in 1983. He moved to the seat of Hume following the 1984 redistribution, which had moved Wagga Wagga from Farrer into Hume, and he retired in 1993.

The seat was won in a three-cornered contest in 1984 by Nationals state MP Tim Fischer, with the Liberal coming third. Fischer became leader of the National Party in 1990 after then-leader Charles Blunt lost his seat.

Fischer went on to serve as Deputy Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999, retiring at the 2001 election. Another three-cornered contest in 2001 saw the Liberal Party’s Sussan Ley win the seat back from the Nationals.

Sussan Ley has been re-elected six times. She served as Minister for Health from 2014 until 2017, and has served as Minister for the Environment since 2019.

Candidates

  • Eli Davern (Greens)
  • Sussan Ley (Liberal)
  • Amanda Duncan-Strelec (Independent)
  • Paul Britton (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
  • Ian Roworth (Liberal Democrats)
  • Richard Francis (One Nation)
  • Julie Ramos (United Australia)
  • Darren Cameron (Labor)
  • Assessment
    Farrer is not a competitive seat if the contest is between Liberal and Labor. Independent candidate Kevin Mack demonstrated potential for an independent to make the top two and perform significantly better on the two-candidate-preferred vote than Labor would, but Mack or another independent would need to significantly improve their performance, including by taking away primary votes from Ley, to have a chance at winning.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Sussan Ley Liberal 49,31650.7-7.2
    Kevin MackIndependent19,92620.5+20.5
    Kieran Drabsch Labor 14,23614.6-3.5
    Dean Moss Greens 4,5294.7-3.6
    Michael RoseUnited Australia Party4,1474.3+4.3
    Ross HamiltonSustainable Australia1,4291.5+1.5
    Philip LangfieldChristian Democratic Party1,3271.4-2.2
    Brian MillsIndependent1,2551.3-3.0
    Mark EllisLiberal Democrats1,0841.1+1.1
    Informal9,7689.1+2.7

    2019 two-candidate-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Sussan Ley Liberal 59,26060.9+60.9
    Kevin MackIndependent37,98939.1+39.1

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Sussan Ley Liberal 67,90869.8-0.7
    Kieran Drabsch Labor 29,34130.2+0.7

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into seven parts. Polling places in the towns of Albury, Griffith and Deniliquin have been grouped together, and the remainder of the seat’s population has been split into north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west.

    The Liberal Party won the two-candidate-preferred vote in six out of seven areas, with a vote ranging from 53.9% in the south-west to 69% in the north-west. The independent, Kevin Mack, polled 56.1% in Deniliquin, which is the least populous of the seven areas.

    The primary vote for the independents ranged from 13.3% in the north-east to 42.7% in Deniliquin. Labor came third, with a primary vote ranging from 11.1% in Deniliquin and the south-west to 18.8% in the north-east.

    Voter groupALP primIND primLIB 2CP %Total votes% of votes
    Albury16.523.154.116,77217.2
    South-East12.920.562.58,4258.7
    South-West11.132.653.97,8788.1
    North-East18.813.368.17,5867.8
    Griffith15.317.668.07,3777.6
    North-West16.314.169.04,0554.2
    Deniliquin11.142.743.91,7411.8
    Pre-poll14.222.161.735,22336.2
    Other votes13.419.763.48,1928.4

    Election results in Sturt at the 2019 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor and the Greens.

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    10 COMMENTS

    1. Should go National when Ley retires or is defeated by an Independent and then the Nats can run when there is no Liberal Incumbent. Labor has no chance in this seat under it’s present form they would need to shift dramatically to have any remote chance here.

      Methinks Ley potentially has leadership aspirations. out of the current caucus she is one of the most senior ones in the lower house, I don’t see Price having a chance considering she is from WA, Never before have they had a leader from WA unless they are worried about McGowan entering federal politics.

      It is still surprising that Tim Fischer decided to retire in 2001, Was this because of the gun reforms and the Nationals were fearing backlash against backing the Howard changes? Or did the Nats run a poor candidate in 2001? I still don’t understand how a rural NSW seat could have a Liberal MP but not a National one.

    2. Daniel
      IIRC Fischer had a disabled child & he wanted to be there. IOW really GENUINE family reasons. vale Tim Fischer. John Howard often gets credit for gun law reform. Fischer deserves credit more, & for plenty else too.

      Imagine if Ley was promised the Nat leadership to flip ?. She is no chance to go any higher otherwise. Ever heard her own excesses with her expenses ?. Resigning then was NOT enough.

    3. Daniel
      The Nets cannot stand against Ley under the Coalition agreement. Ley is a” protected species”. Because of all the embarrassing Covid nonsense Albury voters especially might be annoyed enough to elect Kevin Mack. Will he stand again ?

    4. Did the shooters not run in 2019? I think their presence could alter this seat and on a really bad night for the coalition give the seat to shooters or an independent.

    5. I know Kevin Mack really well and he is a hard working Mayor – basically full time in the office and remuneration is really poor due to the effort and hard work he puts in. He has stood up for his Albury community and all communities along the river and this may go well in his favour. He is also not standing for election at the next Council election. A good man is Kevin Mack

    6. Its been reported in the Guardian Sussan Ley preselection is under serious threat from right faction and former Family First candidate Christian Ellis. It’s been reported sources suggest if a rank and file vote was held Ley would lose.

      The Liberals apparently are proposing a deal to protect Ley, Trent Zimmerman, and immigration minister Alex Hawke from challenges its been reported.

    7. Ley is a 99.9% certainty. the Liberal Party and the Media ran a vicious campaign against in the 2019 election by pressuring him into declaring he would support the Coalition in a hung parliament. I thought it was glaringly obvious but they still attacked him for even being anywhere near Labor or the Greens.

      SFF won the seat of Murray with Helen Dalton which has very similar demographics and shares the town/city of Griffith. But I mainly put it down to the funding that SFF was able to give Dalton as she was unsuccessful as an Independent.

      I would say this will be a safe Liberal/National seat for many years until we see a party like SFF grow or a similar grass roots party is created.

    8. Simon, it’s interesting to hear your perspective on that. I appreciate that Ley has certain protections, but I am not so sure that Farrer can stay safe Nats territory once Ley goes.

      Indi and Nicholls are just across the river and the industries are similar on both sides of the Murray, if not quite a mirror image. I don’t know much about electoral boundary changes, but I’d have thought over time as Albury grows in size that Farrer would need to shrink towards it, and for the M.I.A (Griffith, Leeton etc) to belong to Parkes together with Broken Hill.

      If Indi can flip to an indie (pardon the pun), then I think it’s possible Farrer could do so in future too.

    9. it’s time for a Voices for Farrer….. Come on!!! It is just across from Indi where things happen! We have had enough of an Environment minister who has no Duty of Care and then we have to pay for her appeal. Australia has lost so much under Sussan’s time with NO duty of care except her own. Can’t afford Sussan. We need a person who will represent the electorate

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