Watson – Australia 2022

ALP 13.5%

Incumbent MP
Tony Burke, since 2004. Previously member of the NSW Legislative Council, 2003-2004.

Inner west and south-western Sydney. Watson covers the inner west suburbs of Canterbury, Campsie, Lakemba, Wiley Park, Punchbowl, Greenacre, Ashbury and parts of Ashfield, Hurlstone Park and Lidcombe.

The Division of Watson is a recent creation, having been created in 1993 to replace the Division of St George. In its short history it has always been a safe Labor seat.

The seat was first won in 1993 by the ALP’s Leo McLeay. McLeay had previously held the neighbouring seat of Grayndler since 1979, and had served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1989 until shortly before the 1993 election, when he was forced to resign over allegations of a false compensation claim.

McLeay was reelected at the 1996, 1998 and 2001 elections before retiring at the 2004 election.

The seat was won in 2004 by the ALP’s Tony Burke, who had held a seat in the NSW Legislative Council since March 2003. He moved immediately to the Labor shadow ministry in 2004, served as a senior minister in the Labor government from 2007 to 2013, and now serves again as a senior shadow minister.


Watson is a safe Labor seat.

2019 result

Tony Burke Labor 43,55051.7-3.7
Mohammad Zaman Liberal 24,76929.4+4.0
Emmet de Bhaldraithe Greens 5,9827.1+0.4
Karl SchubertChristian Democratic Party4,5225.4-4.2
Dean WrightsonUnited Australia Party3,5494.2+4.2
Raymond ZengScience Party1,8782.2+0.3

2019 two-party-preferred result

Tony Burke Labor 53,51863.5-4.1
Mohammad Zaman Liberal 30,73236.5+4.1

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four parts. Polling places north of the Cooks River, including all of those in the Burwood, Strathfield and (former) Ashfield council areas, have been grouped as “north-east”. Polling places in the former Bankstown council area along with the sole Lidcombe booth have been grouped as “north-west”. The booths in the former Canterbury council area (except for those north of the Cooks River) have been split into south-east and south-west.

The ALP won a large majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 59.7% in the north-east to 69.4% in the south-west.

Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes59.210,64812.6

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

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  1. Given the state seat of Lakemba has now been abolished, 2 Labor MPs- Tanya Mihailuk, Member for Bankstown and Jihad Dib, Member for Lakemba, have to now battle it out to be the Member for Bankstown.
    Tony Burke has held the seat for nearly 2 decades, and also served a period in the NSW parliament.
    Labor is in a tricky spot, where they could potentially lose 1 of 2 promising front benchers (one of whom- Mihailuk- had prior Federal aspirations, losing Blaxland to Jason Clare).
    Albo and NSW Labor are pushing for more female representation, could be time for Burke to move on. Word has it both he and Bowen will resign if Labor do not win the next Federal election anyway.
    Both Mihailuk and Dib would definitely energise this seat more than Burke has. Especially considering both have more demographic affinity than the current member. Who would probably be better suited returning to the NSW Upper House, potentially leading the Minns’ Labor Government in the Legislative Council

  2. Watson, Blaxland, Banks, Barton and Grayndler are down a combined 25% at 31 December. If you include Hughes and Cook as well, Southern Sydney is down almost 40%. The adjustment of members will probably come with the next redistribution.

  3. @ Nicholas, East Hills is drifting away from Labor especially close to the Georges River. i would not be surprised if Libs get another swing to them (3rd election in a row against the state trend) so Tania may not want to bother in East Hills.

  4. If the Libs decide to run with Mohammad Zaman again in 2022 they will certainly lose ground and go backwards this time in a very big way Watson deserves some reputable opposition for once. It’s well known Libs have a huge problem with Branch stacking in the seat of Watson.

  5. I think the Liberal candidates in Watson and its western neighbour Blaxland got called-up last minute. I’m not sure why. Maybe internal politics or a lack of interest? Their campaign Facebook pages have 10 or so followers each and no real posts.


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