Oatley – NSW 2019

LIB 6.6%

Incumbent MP
Mark Coure, since 2011.

Southern Sydney. Oatley covers most of the City of Hurstville and parts of Kogarah municipality. Suburbs include Connells Point, Lugarno, Mortdale, Peakhurst, Penshurst, Riverwood and Oatley.

The electoral district of Oatley first existed from 1927 to 1930, and again since the 2007 election. In between, the seat was mostly covered by the seat of Georges River, which existed from 1930 to 2007.

The original district of Oatley was won by the ALP’s Mark Gosling, who had held one of the seats in the multi-member district of St George since 1920. When Oatley was abolished in 1930, its territory was split between the new seats of Kogarah and Georges River. Gosling won Kogarah in 1930, but lost in 1932.

The district of Georges River originally covered Cronulla and those areas on the southern shore of the Georges River. It gradually contracted to the western part of the St George area. Georges River was a marginal seat, regularly switching sides.

The ALP lost Georges River in 1988 to Liberal candidate Terry Griffiths. Griffiths served as a minister in the Coalition state government, but was forced to resign from the party and the ministry in 1994 over a sexual harassment scandal.

The seat was won in 1995 by the Liberal Party’s Marie Ficarra. She lost in 1999 to the ALP, but later won a seat in the Legislative Council in 2007.

Kevin Greene won Georges River for the ALP in 1999. He moved to the new seat of Oatley in 2007, and served as a minister from 2007 to 2011, when he lost Oatley to Liberal candidate Mark Coure. Coure was re-elected in 2015.


Oatley is a reasonably safe Liberal seat, but could be vulnerable to Labor if we were on track for a change of government.

2015 result

Mark Coure Liberal 24,61751.1+4.0
O’Bray Smith Labor 17,53636.4-2.6
Philippa Clark Greens 3,5767.4-1.5
Wayne LawrenceChristian Democrats1,5073.1-1.6
Dean EadesNo Land Tax8941.9+1.9

2015 two-party-preferred result

Mark Coure Liberal 25,69656.6+2.8
O’Bray Smith Labor 19,68443.4-2.8

Booth breakdown

Booths in Oatley have been split into three parts: north, south-east and south-west.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two out of three areas, polling 58.2% in the south-west and 66% in the east. Labor polled 52.3% in the north.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes58.78,78618.3

Two-party-preferred votes in Oatley at the 2015 NSW state election

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  1. It will be interesting which of these seats Labor targets and how many.

    There are 5 government seats where Labor is behind by only a margin of 3.2% or less (and Lismore that came to 2.9% NAT vs GRN but could also be targeted by Labor) but then there’s a massive gap in the “pendulum” with no government seats where Labor are between 3.3% and 6.1% behind…

    A 5 seat gain would give the Labor party only 39 seats, a whopping 8 seats short of an outright majority.

    Do Labor go for glory, targeting 8+ seats with a margin above 6, or do Labor concentrate more narrowly to ensure the Coalition lose their 5 seat majority?

    Both strategies are risky. A wide net risks winning none of the seats if the campaign doesn’t go great and then the Coalition stay in government but being seen to not be going for a majority would give credibility to the idea that Labor can’t form government without the Greens and independents. Historically in other states and federally the ALP struggle when a campaign is framed in such terms.

  2. Used to be case that under Labor govts this seat tended to be pushed north into Labor territory whereas under Liberal govts it was pushed along the river into the pricey suburbs, but now the pricey suburbs seem to go further to the north so it has improved for Libs. Kevin Greene was reputed to have a big personal vote & this may explain the small correction in 2015?

  3. I’m quite bullish about Oatley and for two reasons:
    1. There has been a major demographic change over the last 3 elections for all areas between the M5 and Georges River, with the area becoming stronger for the Coalition.
    2. Mark Coure has developed a really strong personal vote and the fact that he had a swing to him in the last election (well against the trend) suggests that he is building up his vote further.
    I think the Coalition will retain Oatley

  4. Hawkeye – Like Ward in Kiama he has a large personal vote especially in the Chinese community. The Kevin Greene effect started to wash out in 2015, but will wash out more in 2019. Coure will win with 57-59% of the 2PP.

  5. this will not swing to the libs by 3% with an overall swing to Labor…. the question is whether it will change hands… I see this as line ball … Lucy is working very hard

  6. I agree to an extent with Mick in that I think the 3% swing is unrealistic. I think this will be a minimal swing either way. nothing more than 1-2% either way.

  7. the key to this election is the seats with approx 6 to 7% margins especially those that did not swing in 2015……… labor needs to win probably at least 2 to 3 of those to win majority govt. this election is the 3rd election which is normally very close……… there will be a federal factor here which be worth at least a couple of percent conservatively to labour. An interesting thing to do looking at the 2003 to 2015 elections identify those seats which the liberals and no are certain to win

  8. Watson Watch: I live in Wakehurst but my Wife’s family live in East Hills, almost on the border with Oatley.

  9. There was a “federal factor” last time too, and Coure increased his margin. This is still going to be close, but I think Coure has this one locked down.

  10. Possible Liberal hold, this is more Liberal friendly (especially the southern suburbs) than a few other seats higher up on the pendulum.

  11. Coure increased his margin again, barring a future landslide election, Liberal hold. He is the Liberal’s version of Kevin Greene.


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