Lyne – Election 2010

IND 23.9%

Incumbent MP
Rob Oakeshott, since 2008.

Geography
North coast of NSW. Lyne covers the coast of New South Wales from Taree to Crescent Head. It covers all of Port Macquarie-Hastings, Greater Taree and Gloucester council areas, as well as parts of Kempsey LGA, although it does not cover the town of Kempsey itself.

Redistribution
Lyne was extended south to take in Gloucester council area, which was previously included in the seat of Paterson.

History
Lyne was created as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives at the 1949 election. It was won by the Country/National Party at every election from its creation until the 2007 election, although it has since been lost to an independent at a 2008 by-election.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Country Party candidate James Eggins. Four Country candidates stood for Lyne in 1949, with Eggins polling first on primary votes, followed by the ALP candidate, and he comfortably won the seat on the preferences from his Country Party colleagues. He was re-elected in 1951, but died in 1952, triggering a by-election.

The 1952 Lyne by-election was won by the Country Party’s Philip Lucock. Lucock was the second-highest polling Country Party candidate at the 1949 election. Two Country Party candidates stood in 1952, one polling 30.2% and the other 29.2%, and Lucock overtook the Labor candidate on preferences.

Lucock served as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives under the Menzies, Holt, Gorton, McMahon and Fraser government, but never achieved ministerial office before he retired at the 1980 election.

The seat was won in 1980 by the National Country Party’s Bruce Cowan. Cowan had held the state seat of Oxley since 1965 and served as a minister in the last year of the Coalition state government from 1975 to 1976. Cowan held Lyne until 1993, and is the father-in-law of NSW Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell.

In 1993, the seat was won by Nationals candidate Mark Vaile, a Greater Taree councillor and former Deputy Mayor. Vaile joined the Howard government’s ministry in 1997 as Minister for Transport, adding a role as Minister for Agriculture in 1998 and became Minister for Trade in 1999. He became Deputy Prime Minister in 2005 upon the retirement of John Anderson, and continued in the Howard government’s cabinet until its defeat.

Vaile moved to the backbench upon the Howard government’s defeat in 2007, before retiring from Parliament in 2008, triggering a by-election.

The by-election was won by independent candidate Rob Oakeshott with a massive majority, winning almost 74% of the two-candidate-preferred vote. Oakeshott had previously held the state seat of Port Macquarie since 1996. He had originally been elected for the National Party at a 1996 by-election and was re-elected in 1999. During his second term he became disenchanted with the Nationals and resigned from the party in 2002. He managed to win re-election to Port Macquarie as an independent at the 2003 and 2007 state elections.

Candidates

Political situation
Oakeshott has proven to be very popular in both the state seat of Port Macquarie and in the larger federal seat of Lyne at the 2008 by-election. It seems highly improbable he could lose the seat in the near future.

2007 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Mark VaileNAT41,31952.26-4.44
James LangleyALP25,35832.07+5.52
Susie RussellGRN5,6497.15+2.37
Jamie HarrisonIND3,3264.21+4.21
Robert WaldronCDP1,6792.12+2.12
Barry WrightIND9791.24+1.24
Stewart Scott-IrvingIND3300.42+0.42
Rodger RiachIND2380.30+0.30
Graeme MuldoonCEC1840.23-0.02

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Mark VaileNAT46,31158.58-4.83
James LangleyALP32,75141.42+4.83

Results do not take into consideration effects of the redistribution.

2008 by-election result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Rob OakeshottIND47,30663.80+63.80
Rob DrewNAT16,44422.88-29.38
Susie RussellGRN5,2067.02-0.13
Bob SmithFISH2,5663.46+3.46
Michael O’DonohueDLP8531.15+1.15
Barry WrightIND5820.78-0.46
Stewart Scott-IrvingIND4000.54+0.12
Graeme MuldoonCEC2700.36+0.13

2008 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Rob OakeshottIND54,77073.87
Rob DrewNAT19,37726.13

Booth breakdown
Lyne covers three local government areas and parts of a fourth. The following charts show a breakdown for both the 2007 election results and the 2008 by-election.

The redistribution added Gloucester council area. The 2007 results include the figures in Gloucester, whereas the 2008 by-election results do not. The Port Macquarie area makes up a majority of the seat, with Taree making up most of the remainder.

In 2007, the Coalition polled best in Gloucester (where the Liberals were standing), winning over 67%. In Port Macquarie and Taree the Nationals polled in the high 50s, while the ALP won in the small part of Kempsey contained in Lyne.

in 2008, Rob Oakeshott won solid victories in all parts of the seat. He won over 76% in Port Macquarie area and about 71-2% in Taree and Kempsey areas. At both elections the Greens polled most strongly in the Kempsey area.

 

Polling booths in Lyne. Gloucester in blue, Taree in green, Port Macquarie in yellow, Kempsey in red.

2007 election breakdown

Voter groupGRN %LNP 2CP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Port Macquarie6.4959.2938,14757.57
Taree7.5756.7024,38736.80
Gloucester4.2567.062,7084.09
Kempsey14.3446.051,0251.55
Other votes10.0960.6015,503

2008 by-election breakdown

Voter groupGRN %IND 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Port Macquarie7.7776.2236,39149.08
Taree6.4971.5422,80430.76
Kempsey17.6272.261,0671.44
Other votes5.1371.6513,88518.73
Polling booths in Lyne, showing two-candidate-preferred results of the 2007 election.
Polling booths in Lyne, showing two-candidate-preferred results of the 2007 election around Port Macquarie.
Polling booths in Lyne, showing two-candidate-preferred results of the 2007 election around Taree.
Polling booths in Lyne, showing two-candidate-preferred results of the 2007 election around Laurieton and Lake Cathie.
Polling booths in Lyne, showing two-candidate-preferred results of the 2008 by-election.
Polling booths in Lyne, showing two-candidate-preferred results of the 2008 by-election around Port Macquarie.
Polling booths in Lyne, showing two-candidate-preferred results of the 2008 by-election around Port Macquarie around Taree.
Polling booths in Lyne, showing two-candidate-preferred results of the 2008 by-election around Port Macquarie around Laurieton and Lake Cathie.

7 COMMENTS

  1. In 1993 Vaile finished just two votes ahead of the Liberal candidate on primary votes. It was the last time the Liberals contested the area at state or federal level, and they outpolled the Nats around Port Macquarie and Camden Haven, whilst the Nats did better around Taree. Makes one wonder why at the state level the seat of Port Macquarie isn’t being contested by the Liberals instead of the Nationals.

  2. Curiously, Lyne contains the booth with the best result in percentage terms for the Greens in the House of Reps in 2007, at the small village of Elands, with 57.8%.

  3. Using the Port Macquarie by-election as a precedent I’ll so no. There’s no point, Oakshott has this seat for life – the Libs will pick their fights elsewhere.

  4. My prediction: Oakeshott to increase his vote on the by-election result. The only interest here is where people’s Senate votes will go.

Comments are closed.