Reid – Election 2010

ALP 10.8%

Incumbent MP
Despite its name, the seat of Reid in 2010 was primarily made up of parts of the abolished seat of Lowe in 2007, as well as a smaller part of the 2007 version of Reid.

  • John Murphy (ALP), Member for Lowe since 1998.
  • Laurie Ferguson (ALP), Member for Reid since 1990.

Inner Western Sydney. Reid covers suburbs along the southern shore of Parramatta River from Drummoyne to Auburn. It covers the City of Canada Bay, most of Auburn council area and northern parts of Burwood and Strathfield council areas. Major suburbs are Drummoyne, Five Dock, Croydon, Auburn, Homebush, Strathfield and Burwood.

The new seat of Reid is effectively a merger of the 2007 seats of Reid and Lowe. In 2007, Reid covered Auburn, Homebush Bay, Merrylands, Granville, Rosehill, Rydalmere and southern parts of Parramatta CBD.

In contrast, Lowe covered Canada Bay, Burwood and Strathfield council areas.

Southern parts of Lowe were transferred to Watson, while the remaining parts of Reid were transferred to Blaxland and Parramatta.

The seat of Reid was created for the 1922 election, while Lowe was created as part of the expansion of the Parliament in 1949. Reid has been held by either the ALP or Jack Lang’s Labor breakaway parties for its entire history, while Lowe has a history of alternating between the ALP and Liberal Party.

The seat of Reid was first won in 1922 by Labor candidate Percy Coleman. Coleman was re-elected in 1925, 1928 and 1929, but at the 1931 election he was defeated by Joseph Gander, candidate for Jack Lang’s breakaway NSW Labor Party. Gander was re-elected as a Lang Labor candidate in 1934 before rejoining the ALP when Jack Lang reconciled with the federal ALP.

Gander was re-elected as an official ALP candidate in 1937, but in 1940 Jack Lang again split away from the ALP, but with less of his former supporters in NSW following him. Gander followed Lang out of the ALP, but lost at the 1940 election to official ALP candidate Charles Morgan.

Morgan held the seat until the 1946 election, when Jack Lang himself ran in Reid and defeated Morgan. Lang was a former NSW Premier who had led a breakaway Labor party in NSW on a number of occasions.

The 1949 election saw the creation of the new seat of Blaxland, and Lang ran in that seat unsuccessfully. Morgan regained Reid in 1949, holding it until 1958.

Charles Morgan was defeated for ALP preselection by Tom Uren before the 1958 election. Morgan ran as an independent, but was defeated comfortably by Uren.

Uren served as Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the Whitlam government. He served as a Deputy Leader of the ALP from 1976 to 1977, and became the leading figure in the ALP’s left in the late 1970s. He opposed Bob Hawke’s leadership and thus was excluded from Cabinet when Hawke was elected Prime Minister in 1983. He served as a junior minister for four years before moving to the backbench in 1987.

Uren retired at the 1990 election, and was succeeded by Laurie Ferguson, who had been the state member for Granville since 1984. Ferguson has held Reid since 1990.

Lowe was first created for the 1949 election, when it was won by William McMahon (LIB). McMahon was elevated to Robert Menzies’ ministry in 1951, serving in a variety of portfolios over the next fifteen years. Upon Menzies’ retirement in 1966 McMahon became Treasurer in Harold Holt’s cabinet.

When Harold Holt disappeared in December 1967 McMahon was the presumptive successor, but Country Party leader John McEwen refused to serve with McMahon as Prime Minister. McMahon withdrew and Senator John Gorton was elected leader and moved to the House of Representatives.

McMahon served as Gorton’s Foreign Minister, but challenged Gorton for the leadership following the 1969 election unsuccessfully. In 1971 McEwen retired and Gorton’s leadership was undermined by the resignation of Malcolm Fraser from the cabinet. Gorton called a party meeting, and the ballot was tied between Gorton and McMahon, which led to Gorton’s resignation and McMahon’s election as leader and Prime Minister.

McMahon led the Coalition into the 1972 election, and was defeated by Gough Whitlam’s Labor Party. McMahon served in Billy Snedden’s shadow cabinet up to the 1974 election, and then served as a backbencher until his retirement in 1982.

Lowe had been marginal for most elections during McMahon’s service, particularly since the 1961 election. He had only held the seat with a 1.1% margin at the 1980 election, and a swing of 9.4% swing saw Labor candidate Michael Maher win the seat at the 1982 by-election, one year before Bob Hawke defeated Malcolm Fraser at the 1983 election. Maher was a state MP for Drummoyne from 1973 until the 1982 by-election.

Maher was reelected in 1983 and 1984, but was defeated in 1987 by Bob Woods (LIB). Woods was reelected in 1990, and defeated in 1993 by Mary Easson (ALP). Woods was appointed to the Senate in 1994 and served as a Parliamentary Secretary in the Howard government’s first year before resigning from the Senate in 1997 following allegations of abuse of parliamentary privilege.

Easson only held Lowe for one term, losing her seat in the 1996 landslide to Liberal candidate Paul Zammit, who had been a state MP for first Burwood and then Strathfield from 1984 until 1996. Zammit resigned from the Liberal Party in protest at aircraft noise in 1998 and contested the 1998 election as an independent, polling 15%. The seat was won in 1998 by John Murphy (ALP). Murphy has held the seat of Lowe ever since.


  • Bill Shailer (Christian Democratic Party)
  • John Murphy (Labor) – Member for Lowe since 1998.
  • Adam Butler (Greens)
  • Peter Cooper (Liberal)
  • Carolyn Kennett (Socialist Equality Party)

Political situation
The seat of Lowe has become much safer for the ALP over the last decade. The addition of Auburn has increased the ALP’s margin to over 11%, making it solidly safe.

2007 result – Lowe

John MurphyALP38,76649.27+6.23
Jim TsolakisLIB31,51840.06-2.90
Marc ReceretnamGRN6,7748.61-0.07
Bill ShailerCDP1,6162.05+0.04

2007 two-candidate-preferred result – Lowe

John MurphyALP45,13657.37+4.34
Jim TsolakisLIB33,53842.63-4.34

2007 result – Reid

Laurie FergusonALP47,73960.10+9.26
Ronney OueikLIB21,51627.09-4.98
Mark LipscombeGRN4,1605.24-0.33
Alex SharahCDP3,1703.99+0.88
Veronica LambertFF1,3011.64+1.42
Silma IhramDEM1,1231.41+0.16
Hal JohnsonCEC4290.54+0.54

2007 two-candidate-preferred result – Reid

Laurie FergusonALP53,06566.80+4.72
Ronney OueikLIB26,37333.20-4.72

Booth breakdown
Reid is covered by four local government areas. It covers all of Canada Bay, most of Auburn, and smaller parts of Burwood and Strathfield. Canada Bay covers the two former council areas of Concord and Drummoyne, which merged to form the City of Canada Bay in the year 2000.

Booths have been divided between these five areas, with Concord and Drummoyne treated separately. The ALP won a majority in all areas in 2007. The ALP won a majority of over 70% in Auburn, majorities over 60% in Burwood and Strathfield, and majorities just below 55%.

The Greens polled over 10% in the Drummoyne area, and almost 10% in the Burwood area. The weakest area for the Greens was in Auburn.


Polling booths in Reid. Auburn in blue, Burwood in orange, Concord in red, Strathfield in green, Drummoyne in yellow.
Voter groupGRN %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Other votes-Lowe9.2957.3815,144
Other votes-Reid5.9165.3914,447
Polling booths in Reid, showing results of the 2007 election.


  1. The Liberals won’t do anything about this seat. They didn’t care about Lowe when it was supposedly marginal because they knew that Murphy was a popular local member. They would have hoped to win back Lowe when Murphy retires some time in the future, but thanks to the redistribution, that will never happen.

  2. On a side note, the Unity Party does very well in Auburn. They polled over 20% there at the last Auburn Council election. Obviously far less toward Drummoyne. An interesting little party that one.

  3. Peter Cooper is expected to be the candidate but ill post back here once I get more news.

    Im going to state election agenda meeting so I might have news on a lib candidate for both federal/state, will post back!

  4. All of this is hypothetical without spending 4 hours calculating exact numbers. However, my opinion is that Labor would have just held on. They had a 7.4% buffer in Lowe and the Libs got 8.2% in the new Reid. However, half of the big 10% + swings were from Auburn and Berala in the old Reid, so a purely mathematical swing in the old Lowe would have perhaps been between 6-7%. Also, Murphy would have been the incumbent dinner loving member for the whole seat which would have benefited him further.

    Even still, this all bodes well for the libs in Drummoyne for sure and even possibly Strathfield for the state election. Not quite the McMahon days however, I still think over time this area will tend away from the LP and will only be won at the highest of tides when the surf doesn’t just hit one swimmer, as Michael Kroger would say

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