Oxley – NSW 2023

NAT 15.4%

Incumbent MP
Melinda Pavey, since 2015. Previously member of the Legislative Council 2002-2015.

Mid-North Coast of NSW. Oxley covers all of Bellingen, Kempsey and Nambucca councils and parts of the Port Macquarie-Hastings council area. The main towns in the seat are Kempsey, Nambucca Heads, Wauchope and Bellingen.

Oxley expanded slightly, taking in some more land close to Port Macquarie. This change increased the Nationals margin from 14.9% to 15.4%.

The electoral district of Oxley has existed since 1920, with the exception of the 1988 election. It was a three-member district from 1920 to 1927, and since then has been a single-member district. It has been held by the Country/National Party continuously since 1965.

Independent candidate George Mitchell won the seat of Oxley in 1941, defeating the sitting United Australia Party MP in an election where the conservative government was swept aside, to be replaced by 24 years of Labor rule.

Mitchell spent much of the next term on active military service in the Second World War. At the 1944 election, the major parties did not stand official candidates against him, but an independent Country Party candidate, Les Jordan, defeated Mitchell, and then joined the Country Party caucus.

Jordan was re-elected five times for the Country Party, but after the 1959 election he switched from the Country Party to the Liberal Party. He was re-elected as a Liberal in 1962 and 1965, and died in office later in 1965.

The 1965 by-election was won by Bruce Cowan, also of the Country Party. He served as a minister from 1975 to 1976. In 1980 he resigned to run for the federal seat of Lyne, which he won in a three-cornered contest. He held the federal seat until his retirement in 1993.

Peter King won the 1981 Oxley by-election for the National Country Party. Later in the year, however, the redistribution abolished the neighbouring seat of Raleigh, and that seat’s MP, Jim Brown, challenged King for preselection in Oxley, and King retired.

Brown had held the seat of Raleigh since 1959. He held Oxley for one term, retiring in 1984.

Bruce Jeffery won Oxley for the National Party in 1984. The 1988 redistribution abolished the seat of Oxley, and created the seat of Port Macquarie. Jeffery contested and won the new seat. In 1991, Oxley was again restored, and Jeffery returned to his original seat, with the sitting Member for Manning moving to Port Macquarie.

Jeffery retired in 1999, when he was succeeded by Andrew Stoner. Stoner was elected National Party leader following the 2003 election.

Stoner became Deputy Premier after the Liberal-National Coalition won power in 2011, and served in a variety of ministerial portfolios in the new government. Stoner resigned as Deputy Premier and Nationals leader in October 2014.

Stoner retired in 2015, and he was succeeded by Melinda Pavey, who had been a Nationals upper house MP since 2002. Pavey joined the ministry in 2017, and was re-elected in 2019.

Sitting Nationals MP Melinda Pavey is not running for re-election.

  • Dominic King (Greens)
  • Bianca Drain (Sustainable Australia)
  • Megan Mathew (Legalise Cannabis)
  • Gregory Vigors (Labor)
  • Joshua Fairhall (Independent)
  • Troy Irwin (Independent)
  • Michael Kemp (Nationals)
  • Assessment
    Oxley is a safe Nationals seat.

    2019 result

    Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
    Melinda Pavey Nationals 25,115 51.7 -0.9 52.4
    Susan Jenvey Labor 9,904 20.4 -6.3 20.2
    Arthur Bain Greens 6,179 12.7 -2.4 12.5
    Dean Saul Shooters, Fishers & Farmers 5,644 11.6 +11.6 11.2
    Debbie Smythe Sustainable Australia 1,698 3.5 +3.5 3.7
    Informal 1,761 3.5

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
    Melinda Pavey Nationals 27,111 64.9 +4.0 65.4
    Susan Jenvey Labor 14,672 35.1 -4.0 34.6

    Booth breakdown

    Booths in Oxley have been split into four parts, along local government boundaries.

    The Nationals won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 53.8% in Bellingen to 74.7% in Port Macquarie-Hastings.

    The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 7.6% in Port Macquarie-Hastings to 24.4% in Bellingen.

    The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers came fourth, with a primary vote ranigng from 7.6% in Bellingen to 13.3% in Kempsey.

    Voter group GRN prim SFF prim NAT 2PP Total votes % of votes
    Kempsey 11.4 13.3 67.3 10,864 21.6
    Nambucca Valley 10.8 9.9 64.7 7,800 15.5
    Bellingen 24.4 7.6 53.8 6,611 13.1
    Port Macquarie-Hastings 7.6 9.8 74.7 5,522 11.0
    Pre-poll 8.0 12.2 68.3 12,434 24.7
    Other votes 16.5 12.3 61.4 7,057 14.0

    Election results in Oxley at the 2019 NSW state election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Nationals, Labor, the Greens and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

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    1. Oxley be a Nationals hold, unless a Rob Oakeshott-like independent runs, which I doubt. SFF won’t win – they tend to dominate in inland, rural electorates and not coastal ones.

      Also, I wonder why this electorate can’t be named Kempsey.

    2. I decided to break down the likely 2CP for this electorate from the Redbridge poll:
      NAT: 35%
      ALP: 29%
      IND: 15%
      GRN: 10%
      OTH: 8%
      As 3% are undecided and there is no way of knowing what the Others vote may go to, there is around a 4% margin of error for this estimate.
      NAT 1.6% vs ALP, NAT 5.9% vs IND
      A 13.8% swing against the Nationals really just does not seem likely, these Redbridge numbers are probably way off.

    3. Why didn’t the Liberals contest here?

      Don’t the Liberals and Nationals run against eachother in open-seats? The Libs contest rural Victorian seats. Why not here?

    4. Daniel T – this is because of OPV. If both Libs and Nats run in a seat, it’s harder for them to win due to exhaust. This state election is the first in a long time where there are any seats with both Libs and Nats running.

      The 2 seats where both are running this election are Port Macquarie, where the Nat incumbent defected to the Libs, and Wagga Wagga, where McGirr is likely home safe and a conservative ally, and it’s in an area where the parties may not be sure who’s the better vote winner.

    5. Similar to my comments in the Northern Tablelands by-election thread is it possible even without a prominent independent that Labor is knocked out of the 2CP even in a good year. In 2023 the only got a primary in the teens despite a retiring member. In 2011, the Greens out-polled Labor but that was a very bad year but 2023 was a good year for Labor and still not crack 20% primary. In fact Legalise Cannabis and Greens together exceed Labor. I know it is a moot point as it is a safe Nat seat but wonder if it will be NAT V GRN longer term.

    6. @ Drake
      Do you think the GRN could make the 2CP even though there is no chance of winning the seat.

    7. I guess, but there probably isn’t much incentive for the Greens to campaign here. I do think it could be an area that is ripe for an independent


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