Maitland – NSW 2019

ALP 13.8%

Incumbent MP
Jenny Aitchison, since 2015.

Hunter. The seat of Maitland covers all of the City of Maitland. In addition to Maitland itself, the seat covers places such as Thornton, Woodberry, Millers Forest, Bolwarra and Oakhampton.

The electoral district of Maitland has existed continuously since 1904. The seat first existed as a single-member district from 1904 to 1920. In that time the party label of the local member changed, but the seat was always held by conservative/liberal parties, ending up as a Nationalist seat.

When proportional representation was introduced in 1920, Maitland was expanded to be a much larger regional seat covering Cessnock and the Upper Hunter, and electing three MLAs. At three successive elections this seat returned the same three MLAs: the ALP’s Walter O’Hearn, Nationalist William Cameron, and Progressive/Nationalist Walter Bennett.

In 1927, Maitland shrunk back to be a seat focused on Maitland itself electing a single-member, and the ALP’s Walter O’Hearn won the seat. He held it until 1932.

The Liberal Party held Maitland continuously from 1932 until 1981, and the ALP has dominated the seat for most of the period since 1981.

The seat was held from 1932 to 1956 by Walter Howarth. He first held the seat as part of the United Australia Party, and then the Liberal Party. He served as Liberal deputy leader from 1946 to 1954.

Howarth retired in 1956, and was succeeded by Milton Morris, also of the Liberal Party. Morris served as a minister in the Coalition state government from 1965 until the government’s defeat in 1976, particularly serving as Minister for Transport from 1965 to 1975.

Morris resigned from the Legislative Assembly in 1980 to contest the federal seat of Lyne  at the 1980 federal election. The sitting National Country Party MP was retiring, and Morris came close to overtaking the NCP candidate and winning the seat.

The Maitland by-election in early 1981 was won by the Liberal Party’s Peter Toms. He held the seat for barely six months, losing the seat to the ALP’s Allan Walsh. The 1981 redistribution had made Maitland into a much stronger Labor seat.

Walsh held the seat at the 1984 and 1988 elections, surviving a big swing in 1988. In 1991, a redistribution made the seat stronger for the Liberal Party, and Walsh retired.

Former Mayor of Maitland Peter Blackmore won the seat for the Liberal Party in 1991. He held the seat for two terms, but in 1999 he lost the seat to the ALP’s John Price. Price had previously held the seat of Waratah since 1984, but the seat was abolished in the 1999 redistribution.

Price served as Deputy Speaker from 1999 to 2007, and retired at the 2007 election.

In 2007, the seat was contested by prosecutor Frank Terenzini for the ALP, Mayor of Maitland Bob Geoghegan for the Liberal Party, and former Member for Maitland Peter Blackmore, who ran as an independent. Blackmore outpolled the Liberal candidate, and on the final count the ALP won just under 52% of the two-party-preferred vote against Blackmore.

In 2011, Terenzini lost to Liberal candidate Robyn Parker, who had been a member of the Legislative Council since 2003. Parker served as Minister for the Environment from 2011 to 2014.

Parker retired in 2015, and Labor candidate Jenny Aitchison won the seat.


Maitland is a safe Labor seat.

2015 result

Jenny Aitchison Labor 20,29842.4+12.1
Steve Thomson Liberal 11,87724.8-14.7
Philip PenfoldIndependent11,12423.3+23.3
John Brown Greens 3,0406.4-0.4
Anna BalfourChristian Democrats9121.9-0.5
Tania EspositoNo Land Tax5771.2+1.2

2015 two-party-preferred result

Jenny Aitchison Labor 25,13963.8+18.8
Steve Thomson Liberal 14,24636.2-18.8

Booth breakdown

Booths in Maitland have been split into three parts: east, north-east and west. The Maitland city centre is contained in the ‘west’, while East Maitland, Ashtonfield and Thornton are contained in the ‘east’, while ‘north-east’ covers less dense areas to the north.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in the east (66.4%) and the west (67.3%). The Liberal Party won 50.4% in the north-east.

Independent candidate Philip Penfold came third, with a primary vote ranging from 19.9% in the north-east to 25.2% in the west.

Voter groupIND prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes22.160.77,55415.8

Election results in Maitland at the 2015 NSW state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for independent candidate Philip Penfold.

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  1. Good choice of candidate from the Liberals this time (much better than last), primary school teacher and Maitland City Councillor and former deputy mayor Sally Halliday will run in Maitland.

    May even shave off a few percent from Jenny Aitchison’s margin, which I think is inflated.

  2. Where are we predicting the almost 1 in 4 votes that went to Independent, Philip Penfold will be distributed to this time?

    This could be one of the seats that has a sizeable swing back to the Liberals, but Labor should be able to retain comfortably.

  3. PRP, I believe Penfold is a straight-up Independent, perhaps leans Liberal if anything. He’s in the North Ward of the local council which is farm country plus some relatively well-off heritage suburbs. But the whole electorate is filling with urban sprawl/commuter belt types very fast. I think it may be one of the fastest growing regions in Australia in recent years, so it’s difficult to take 2015 results as any indicator.

    SFF are running and should take some of the vote, but I’d confidently predict a 10%+ hold for Labor.

  4. This was a country town for long time although next to ultra-Labor Hunter region but in last 40 years it’s socially become part of greater Newcastle, so even although Labor’s vote has dropped off in greater Newcastle from previous ultra-high levels this has still made Maitland Labor country.


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