Orange by-election, 2016

Cause of by-election
Sitting Nationals MP Andrew Gee resigned from the state parliament to successfully run for the federal seat of Calare at the 2016 federal election.

MarginNAT 21.7%

Geography
Central west NSW. Orange covers the entirety of the Orange, Cabonne, Forbes and Parkes council areas, with the main centres being in the cities of Orange, Forbes and Parkes.

History
The seat of Orange has existed in the Legislative Assembly since 1859, with the exception of three elections in the 1920s. The seat was a single-member district up to 1880, then a two-member district from 1880 to 1894.

The seat has been a single-member district since 1894. The seat has been held by the Country/National Party since 1947.

Orange was held from 1941 to 1947 by the ALP’s Robert O’Halloran. He had been one of the members for the district of Eastern Suburbs from 1920 to 1927, but he fell out with Labor leader and Premier Jack Lang, and at the 1927 election he was denied preselection for any of the new single-member districts that replaced Eastern Suburbs.

He held Orange from 1941 to 1947, when he lost to the Country Party’s Charles Cutler.

Cutler was elected Country Party deputy leader in 1958 and leader in 1959. He held that role until his retirement in 1975. He also served as Deputy Premier in the Coalition government from 1965 to 1975.

Cutler’s retirement in 1975 caused a by-election in early 1976. The by-election was won by National Country Party candidate Garry West. He served as a minister in the Coalition government from 1988 to 1995. Following the government’s defeat, he resigned from Parliament in early 1996.

The 1996 by-election was won by Russell Turner, also of the National Party. Turner was re-elected in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

Turner retired in 2011, and the seat was won by Nationals candidate Andrew Gee. Gee was re-elected in 2015.

Candidates

  • Janelle Bicknell (Greens)
  • Scott Barrett (Nationals)
  • Philip Donato (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
  • Kevin Duffy (Independent)
  • Scott Munro (Independent)
  • Bernard Fitzsimon (Labor)
  • Dianne Ducker (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Ian Donald (Independent)

Assessment
The Nationals should safely retain Orange.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Andrew Gee Nationals 31,99865.6+8.4
Bernard Fitzsimon Labor 11,39423.4+11.5
Janelle Bicknell Greens 3,2956.8+2.3
John GilbertChristian Democratic Party1,2622.6+2.6
Juan FernandezNo Land Tax8371.7+1.7
Informal1,4402.9

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Andrew Gee Nationals 33,20271.7-5.4
Bernard Fitzsimon Labor 13,10528.3+5.4

Booth breakdown

Booths in Orange have been split into four parts, along the lines of the four local government areas: Cabonne, Forbes, Orange and Parkes. The Cabonne and Orange council areas have been marked for amalgamation in the near future – Orange covers the urban parts of the new council, with Cabonne covering the rural surrounding areas.

The Nationals won a large majority of the two-party-preferred vote in every area, ranging from 68% in Orange to 78.6% in Cabonne.

Voter groupNAT 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Orange68.315,62032.0
Parkes69.87,63515.6
Cabonne78.65,70211.7
Forbes75.43,9768.1
Pre-poll74.09,41319.3
Other votes70.46,44013.2

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

37 COMMENTS

  1. You’d expect the Nats to win this pretty easily. The Libs may contest this but that is unknown yet. Labor would be unlikely to contest a seat like this as well an Independent could make this quite interesting.

  2. the average is a 60/40 split 2pp……. on occasions Labor has polled better than 40%
    a 60/40 split would be a 10% swing

  3. Surprisingly Labor will be standing a candidate in Orange. The preselection process is currently underway.

    The by-elections for Canterbury and Orange will be held on 12 November. It remains to be seen whether Wollongong will make it a triple treat.

  4. Odd choice for Labor to contest here, they wouldn’t even stand a chance.
    Labor may be worried about Wollongong though, the last few times strong independents have had a reasonable run. I dare say that will be the most interesting of the upcoming byelections.

  5. The only reason Wollongong has had such strong results for independents is Noreen Hay. With her gone, provided Labor can preselect a decent candidate, I wouldn’t think they’d have much to worry about. Bradbery would obviously be a tougher opponent than Rorris, but I’d still be betting on Labor there.

    Bizarre move to contest Orange, though. I doubt very much the Libs will bother in Canterbury or Wollongong. (12 November, though? Why so far away?)

  6. The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party will be contesting this By-Election. The Nationals are not supporting Farmers and many others.

  7. Weres the list of candidates? Shooters fishers and farmers party are running a candidate. Nationals have alot to answer for.

  8. Apparently an ex-National is running as an independent, albeit according to the most recent poll running third behind Labor and the Nationals. I’d expect the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers to go alright. The timing has been atrocious for the Nats, and I dare say looking at the way things are going they probably wish that Gee had stayed put.

  9. If Labor is close, it could be an omen for the coalition similar to the 2010 Penrith by election. I don’t think the Shooters and Fishers, as well as Munro will be preferencing the Nats and who knows if the Greens will preference Labor.
    Could be one of the more interesting by elections in a long time.

  10. The attempt to force an amalgamation between Cabonne and Orange will be a huge factor against the Coalition in this by-election.

  11. no one’s preferences will go to the nats…………..Labor can win any country seat in nsw
    under the right circumstances

  12. Who knows if the backflip on greyhound racing will change the dynamics of this, a few hardcore Nat voters will be a little less inclined to vote independent, although I can’t see the majority of voters being to forgiving.

  13. in the Wran years labor ran close in Orange in 1978 and 81
    the byelections in 1996 almost saw a labor win there also
    the greyhound decision will mean a stronger green pref to Labor
    I reckon the Nats will be very lucky to win…… if they don’t poll 45 – 46% on first prefs
    they will lose

  14. Jillian is correct, the Forced Local Council Amalgamations will also be a big factor I believe, the SFFParty were the first to come out against this and will continue the fight on this.

  15. Following the racing backdown, one would expect the Nationals to retain here, although they’ll probably cop a hefty swing. Will be fascinating to see what the Greens vote does, since they will be the only home for pro-ban voters, not that there will be that many of them out in Orange. By the time of the election the issue may have cooled altogether, though.

  16. Bullshit the lot of youse. The Nats will romp home. Just wait until we start putting our money where our mouth is to make sure this happens.

  17. why wasn’t this election held earlier…… a similar situation occurred in qld with a state mp\ winning the federal seat….. the byelection was held promptly for Toowoomba south

  18. I have voted coalition every election since 1975. Until this one. Both federal and state coalition governments are a joke, the worst I have seen in over 40 years. I will be voting shooters and fishers (and yes I know they will preference labor) but at least I KNOW what they stand for!

  19. Mal, the Shooters and Fishers won’t preference Labor, that’s up to you. They might release a How-to-Vote suggesting a Labor preference, but it’s voter’s choice, ultimately.

  20. Frickeg, The Shooters and Fishers are in fact preferencing labor and labor has reciprocated. In fact half the candidates are preferencing labor and fishers and shooters. Almost all who are preferencing have the Nationals as last.
    Current internal polling has it at an 18% swing AGAINST the national party. Banning greyhounds, forcing councils to merge, failure to fund the local hospital, selling off crown lands, native vegetation act, chemo underdosing etc are all starting to bite.
    Not to mention the force Alan Jones and Ray Hadley have brought behind this by-election

  21. Voters Don’t Listen to all the Rubbish being said prior to the By-Election only the Nationals can deliver on any promises……Remember you have to be in power to honour any promises…..Only a Nationals Vote will COUNT…..

  22. The almalagmation was the key here. A long history of poor local government displayed by Orange city council had people upset that they would have to endure the same level service after almalagmation was complete. I think you can blame John Davis and Garry Styles for this one.

  23. Poor Jimbo, enough of the National “Jumbo”. The reason for the backlash is not just a hiccup but in fact the resentment of the electorate for continually being mislead and treated as a joke. Not unlike Trump in America, the people have had enough of the lying, biased media spreading untruths and slanderous comments about others other than their beloved LNP. The people are speaking and dingbats just like Turnbull blame everything else. Turnbull is blaming Hockey for his budget now and now that the teflom has worn away, the mud is sticking to Baird who will blame greyhounds or South Australia’s storms and electricity outages. LNP-Lies No Policies.

  24. This is a classic result. When Baird decided to have canapes with Alan to ask about the back flip of the Greyhound Industry ban he was led to believe that the people of Orange were racing lovers to the core. Well he is wrong. Karma is already starting to catch up with you and all of the beautiful greyhounds already not even born hopefully will have a future out of the racing game. We will hever, ever give up he fight to stop that industry.There has been so many deaths over the last couple of weeks and noone says a word. Humans have a lot to answer for, that’s for sure.

  25. lol did you enjoy wasting your vote for nationals when you could have been part of making history and voted for hunters fishers and farmers party jimbo?

  26. People asked that their governments make decisions even if they aren’t popular. They did. The hypocrite public pulled by the nose by Hadley and Jones burnt down their own house. To hell with you fools. May labor return to power and rape and pillage this state because you deserve crap.

  27. Baird’s government will be wiped out at the next state election in March 2016. The anti-government sentiment is so strong everywhere you go that you could cut it with a knife.
    But then Baird “The Banker” will have already done enormous damage by that stage.

  28. @Michael you and your beloved Nats should thank your lucky stars that One Nation are too disorganised to run a campaign for lower house seats. The deplorables are sick of the Nats taking them for granted.
    Push on with forced council mergers, whats the worst that might happen?

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