Tamworth – NSW 2019

NAT 10.0% vs IND

Incumbent MP
Kevin Anderson, since 2011.

Northern NSW. The seat of Tamworth covers Tamworth, Gunnedah and Walcha and surrounding areas. The seat covers the entirety of the Gunnedah, Tamworth and Walcha council areas, and a small part of the Liverpool Plains council area.

The district of Tamworth was first created in 1880. It elected two members from 1880 to 1894. It has been a single-member district since 1894, although it was abolished for three elections in the 1920s. The seat has never been held by the ALP, or by the Liberal Party in its current form. The seat has been traditionally dominated by the Nationals, but in recent years has regularly elected independents.

Frank Chaffey won the seat as a Liberal candidate in 1913. He shifted to the multi-member district of Namoi in 1920, and returned to Tamworth in 1927. He held the seat until his death in 1940, serving as a member of the Nationalist party and the United Australia Party.

Frank Chaffey’s son Bill Chaffey won the seat at the 1940 by-election. He left the UAP in 1941, serving as an independent until he joined the Country Party in 1947.

The younger Chaffey was deputy leader of the Country Party from 1959 to 1968, serving as a minister from 1965 to 1968. He left the Country Party over political differences in 1972, serving as an independent until his retirement in 1973.

Tamworth was won in 1973 by Country Party candidate Noel Park. He held it until his retirement in 1991.

Tony Windsor ran for Nationals preselection in 1991, but resigned from the party after losing preselection, and defeated the official candidate.

The parliament elected in 1991 did not give a majority to either party, and Windsor supported a Liberal-National coalition government in minority until its defeat in 1995. He was re-elected in 1995 and 1999.

In 2001, Windsor resigned from Tamworth to contest the federal seat of New England. He won the seat and held it until his retirement in 2013.

The 2001 Tamworth by-election was won by National Party candidate John Cull. He defeated Tamworth mayor James Treloar, an independent endorsed by Windsor. Cull lost Tamworth in 2003 to independent candidate Peter Draper. Draper won re-election in 2007. Draper won with a 2.5% margin in 2003, which was increased to 4.8% in 2007.

In 2011, Draper lost to Nationals candidate Kevin Anderson with a 12.5% swing. Anderson was re-elected in 2015.


Tamworth could be vulnerable to a strong independent, but considering Peter Draper’s failure to return in 2015, it is more likely that the Nationals will hold on.

2015 result

Kevin Anderson Nationals 26,99055.1+0.9
Peter DraperIndependent16,85534.4-4.2
Joe Hillard Labor 2,8315.8+1.2
Pat Schultz Greens 1,0472.1+0.6
Michelle RyanChristian Democrats6551.3+1.3
Richard NockNo Land Tax3190.7+0.7
Stan HeustonIndependent3140.6+0.6

2015 two-candidate-preferred result

Kevin Anderson Nationals 27,77760.0+3.2
Peter DraperIndependent18,49140.0-3.2

2015 two-party-preferred result

Kevin Anderson Nationals 30,78378.9-1.8
Joe Hillard Labor 8,21521.1+1.8

Booth breakdown

Booths in Tamworth have been split into five parts. Those polling places in the Gunnedah and Walcha local government areas have been grouped as “west” and “east” respectively.

Polling places in the Tamworth council area have been split into three parts. Those in the Tamworth urban area have been grouped as “Tamworth”, with the remainder split into “north” and “south”. The two booths in the Liverpool Plains council area have been grouped with “south”.

The Nationals won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote (against independent candidate Peter Draper) in all five areas, ranging from 51.5% in the south to 73.6% in the west.

Voter groupNAT 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes61.26,37513.0

Two-candidate-preferred (Nationals vs Independent) votes in Tamworth at the 2015 NSW state election

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  1. The following part of the Tamworth narrative is simply wrong. “In 1991, the National Party originally preselected farmer Tony Windsor. He was replaced as the party’s candidate at the last minute due to allegations of drink driving. He managed to defeat the official National Party candidate”.

    Tony Windsor failed to gain Nationals pre-selection for the 1991 NSW election. After the pre-selection he resigned his membership of the Party and successfully contested the seat as an Independent.


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