Dobell – Election 2010

ALP 3.9%

Incumbent MP
Craig Thomson, since 2007.

NSW Central Coast. Dobell covers most of Wyong Shire and parts of the City of Gosford. Dobell covers Lake Tuggerah and the suburbs surrounding it, including Wyong, Bateau Bay, The Entrance and Toukley, while those parts of Wyong Shire from Budgewoi Lake north are not part of the electorate. The seat also covers a small part of the City of Gosford, extending as far as Wyoming and the northern parts of Terrigal.

Dobell remained largely the same in the recent redistribution. The only change took place at the western end of the electorate, where a sparsely populated northern arm of Gosford LGA was transferred from Dobell to Robertson.

Dobell was created in 1984 when the House of Representatives was expanded. It was first won by Michael Lee (ALP). Lee held the seat by largely safe margins for over a decade, becoming a federal minister from the 1993 election until Paul Keating’s defeat in 1996, when Lee came close to losing Dobell.

Lee served as a senior member of the Labor frontbench from 1996 to 2001, when he was defeated by Ken Ticehurst (LIB). Lee went on to run as the ALP candidate for Lord Mayor of Sydney in 2004 and served on the City of Sydney council from 2004 to 2008 after losing the lord mayoralty to Clover Moore.

Ticehurst won the seat twice before losing in 2007 to Craig Thomson (ALP), then Assistant Secretary of the Health Services Union. Thomson has since faced accusations in 2009 that his union credit cards had been used to bankroll his Dobell campaign and to pay for escort services.


Political situation
Thomson’s reputation has been damaged by recent allegations and this may effect his reelection campaign, or the campaign for a new ALP candidate.

2007 result

Craig ThomsonALP38,16846.32+8.85
Ken TicehurstLIB34,86542.31+6.32
Scott RickardGRN4,4295.38+0.28
Doug EatonIND1,6391.99+1.99
Michael DarbyCDP1,5491.88+1.88
Hadden ErvinFF1,4071.71-0.49
Bradley MolonyLDP1820.22+0.22
Steve HughesCEC1570.19+0.03

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

Craig ThomsonALP44,41353.90+8.74
Ken TicehurstLIB37,98346.10-8.74

Booth breakdown
The vast majority of Dobell lies within a single local government area. I have divided the booths into six areas. One (Gosford) contains all booths in Gosford LGA, at the southern extremity of the seat. Another (West) contains the five booths in the western parts of the seat. I have then also grouped those booths around Toukley, which are separated from the rest of the seat by Lake Tuggerah and Wyrrabalong National Park. I have then separated the main urban areas around Lake Tuggerah into three areas: those near The Entrance, those near Wyong, and those north of Wyong.

The ALP won in Toukley and northern Wyong by large margins, and won by smaller margins around the Entrance and Wyong. The Liberals won Gosford by a slim margin and the west by a larger margin.

Polling booths in Dobell. Gosford in red, The Entrance in green, Toukley in orange, Wyong in blue, North in purple, West in yellow.
Voter groupGRN %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
The Entrance4.7554.3718,80922.83
Other votes5.5852.9617,99021.83
Polling booths in Dobell, showing results of the 2007 election.
Polling booths in Dobell around The Entrance, showing results of the 2007 election.


  1. With those credit card allegations still hanging over ALP incumbent Craig Thompson (after more than a year of investigations) the door is open for the Liberals to claw back this seat. It looks like the Liberals will select a very capable female to run against him and that should provide the few extra percentage points swing to get Karen Macnamara across the line.

  2. I looked for reports about this the other day but missed them amongst the coverage of Robertson. Apparently Thomson won the preselection ballot against Mehan 66-21.

  3. A second coalition candidate resignation in NSW today. Garry Lee, who apparently won the Liberal preselection earlier this month, has now quit.

  4. Geoff – I reckon this is one to watch. Apparently the ALP have been pulling people from Robertson to campaign in Dobell. The boats in each of the last 2 days could be a deciding factor here. ALP should be favourite, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Liberals won this.

  5. Two Liberal state election candidates in this area, Chris Spence for The Entrance, and Darren Webber for Wyong, have reportedly been reprimanded by the party executive after an ‘audit’ of candidates found they had done ‘next to no campaigning and had raised very little money’. Disendorsement has not been ruled out.

    Seems pretty harsh. I wouldn’t have thought the Liberals will need to do very much campaigning to win those seats.

  6. I spent my childhood holidays at Hawkes Nest.Best time I ever had. Slimey Thomson upsets my child hood

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