Paterson – Election 2010

LIB 0.6%

Incumbent MP
Bob Baldwin, since 2001, previously held the seat 1996-1998.

Paterson lies on the north coast of New South Wales immediately to the north of Newcastle. The seat covers Dungog, Forster, Port Stephens, Raymond Terrace and parts of Maitland.

Paterson lost Gloucester LGA at the northern end of the seat to Lyne. The seat gained a small area near Raymond Terrace from Newcastle and part of Maitland LGA from Hunter. These changes reduce the Liberal margin from 1.5% to 0.6%.

A seat called Paterson in the northeastern Hunter was first created in 1949 and won by Allen Fairhall of the Liberal Party, who served as a minister in the Menzies, Holt and Gorton governments before retirement in 1969. He was succeeded by Frank O’Keefe of the Country Party, who held the seat until 1984, when it was abolished in the redistribution.

The seat was recreated in 1993, when it was won by Labor’s Bob Horne. In 1996 he was defeated by Bob Baldwin of the Liberal Party. Over the next two elections, the ‘two Bobs’ successively defeated each other, with Horne winning in 1998 and Baldwin in 2001. Horne retired after his 2001 defeat and Baldwin was re-elected in 2004 and 2007.


  • Kevin Leayr (One Nation)
  • Anna Balfour (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Veronica Lambert (Family First)
  • Jan Davis (Greens)
  • Bob Baldwin (Liberal) – Member for Paterson 1996-1998, and since 2001.
  • Jim Arneman (Labor)
  • Paul Hennelly (Independent)
  • Josef Wiedenhorn (Independent)

Political situation
No information.

2007 result

Bob BaldwinLIB40,46648.22+1.72
Jim ArnemanALP35,29142.06+5.76
Judy DonnellyGRN4,3445.18+0.70
Paul HennellyFISH1,0731.28+0.48
Heather HaynesFF1,0101.20+0.81
John HambergerON8320.99-0.97
Christopher StokesFF5590.67-0.25
Tony KingCC3410.41-0.89

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

Bob BaldwinLIB43,22851.51-4.81
Jim ArnemanALP40,68848.49+4.81

Results do not take into consideration effects of the redistribution.

Booth breakdown
I have divided booths into four regiosn:

  • Dungog – booths in Dungog LGA
  • South-West – booths in Maitland LGA as well as booths in western parts of Port Stephens LGA, including East Maitland, Raymond Terrace and Medowie.
  • Port Stephens – booths near Port Stephens. This includes eastern parts of Port Stephens LGA as well as booths in Great Lakes LGA on the northern shore of Port Stephens.
  • Great Lakes – booths in Great Lakes LGA except for those near Port Stephens. Dominated by booths in Forster.
Booths in Paterson. South-west shown in yellow, Port Stephens in blue, Great Lakes in green and Dungog in red.
Booths in Paterson. South-west shown in yellow, Port Stephens in blue, Great Lakes in green and Dungog in red.

The ALP won a majority in 2007 in booths in the southwestern corner of the seat, where about 40% of ordinary votes were cast. The Liberals won slight majorities in the other three parts of the seat. The Liberals won all booths in the rural interior of the seat. Booths in Forster and Port Stephens were split, with the Liberals winning a majority of booths while a minority voted solidly for the ALP. Most booths in Maitland and Raymond Terrace voted for the ALP.

Voter groupGRN %LIB 2CP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Port Stephens4.5551.0418,34928.53
Great Lakes6.3854.7115,17923.60
Other votes4.9654.0318,412
Polling booths in Paterson
Polling booths in Paterson
Polling booths in northeastern Paterson, including Forster
Polling booths in northeastern Paterson, including Forster
Polling booths around Port Stephens
Polling booths around Port Stephens
Polling booths in southwestern Paterson, including East Maitland and Raymond Terrace


  1. If Baldwin wants preselection he’d pretty much have it given he’s one of the better fundraisers the Libs have, and also because his personal vote is ridiculously high.

  2. When Ameman ran for the state seat of Port Stephens he wasn’t Labor’s first choice as candidate. Their first selected candidate, Aaron Beasley, was dumped after being caught drink-driving.

    Funny how seats like Paterson, McEwen and Bass seem to always be key marginals no matter what’s happening in the wider political landscape.

  3. Labor’s unlucky candidate in Paterson past was Noel Unicomb (lost twice due to his alphabetical ranking). Bob Horne had a strong local profile and was recruited by Labor on this basis.

  4. Bob Baldwin has a strong local image and he’s also been getting more prominent within the party but Jim Arneman was also getting more prominent locally as well. As Nick C said he wasn’t the first candidate and he came in late which didn’t help the ALP.

    The Liberals spent a lot of money there in the last election and I doubt they would have taken the seat without doing so. The old pacific highway that goes through Raymond Terrace was a Bob boulevard. If he is doing well fundraising as Justin said then it will no doubt be the same again but I’m sure Labor will be spending big as well. It’s the only seat in the area currently held by the Liberals so it’s important for them to maintain any kind of presence here.

    Just my 2 cents.

  5. If Arneman runs for preselection he will most likely get it and he will beat Baldwin. Arneman is an excellent candidate and well liked.

  6. Arneman is one of the most popular members of the party in the area and in the state. Hes defeat in the state election was by the smallest margin in NSW history and he will be handed the pre-selection if he seeks it. The reshuffle will mean this becomes a very very tight race.

  7. Charlie, I don’t think that’s correct about Ameman’s 68-vote state election loss being the smallest margin in history. There have been other closer finishes. In 1959 the seat of Lismore was decided by just 2 votes, although the result was overturned in court and a by-election ordered. Another example I can find which did stand is Dubbo 1999, where the Independent Tony McGrane won by 14 votes.

  8. I live in Port Stephens, and it’s a strange area if I may say so myself. It is racially mixed, socially liberal and environmentally conscious, so I was quite surprised to see such a low Green vote, but then again its a high growth area, having gained around 10,000 people in the 10 years i’ve lived here (impressive given it had about 25,000 people then) so perhaps that will change.

    On another note – Ben I think you’ll find that the small blue 63% (Mallabulla, I think) booth between the 59 and 54 should in fact be pink.

  9. Yeah, I always had the impression that Port Stephens would be a better area for the Greens. Perhaps it is because they don’t have presence in local government – in most other areas with a strong Green vote it seems often built on strength in local government.

    Ben, looks like he’s right about that booth being the wrong colour.

  10. Nick – That could be a problem then. “Independents” seem to have a good grip on Council and elections. Perhaps Ben should get on to that *Wink* *nudge*

  11. Greens don’t do well in Port Stephens mostly because the environment lobby there don’t want to be ‘political’. Two attempts to form a Greens Local group have failed but there are some committed Greens there.

  12. Any updates on how the campaign is going in Paterson? I can’t find any polling, and barely any recent commentary. If only the Newcastle Herald had the same resources/political nous as the Adelaide Advertiser!

  13. Who is Jim Arneman? I only ever here of him when a Federal Election is called. You never him from him anyother time I am afraid to say. This week was the first time since the last Federal election in which I received from Jim Arneman some paperwork. So who is Jim Arneman??? Whats has he done? Can’t find anything that he has done.

  14. My prediction: Could be an upset Labor win, but I think Libs will hold with negligible or slight swing to them.

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