Paterson – Australia 2022

ALP 5.0%

Incumbent MP
Meryl Swanson, since 2016.

Paterson lies on the north coast of New South Wales immediately to the north of Newcastle. The seat covers Maitland, Raymond Terrace, the Port Stephens peninsula and Kurri Kurri.


A seat called Paterson in the northeastern Hunter was first created in 1949 and won by Allen Fairhall of the Liberal Party, who served as a minister in the Menzies, Holt and Gorton governments before retirement in 1969. He was succeeded by Frank O’Keefe of the Country Party, who held the seat until 1984, when it was abolished in the redistribution.

The seat was recreated in 1993, when it was won by Labor’s Bob Horne. In 1996 he was defeated by Bob Baldwin of the Liberal Party. Over the next two elections, the ‘two Bobs’ successively defeated each other, with Horne winning in 1998 and Baldwin in 2001. Horne retired after his 2001 defeat and Baldwin was re-elected four times.

The boundaries of Paterson were redrawn significantly in 2016, pulling the seat further into Maitland and away from the Great Lakes region. This change increased Labor’s notional two-party-preferred vote by almost 10% and made the seat a notional Labor seat.

Baldwin retired in 2016, and was succeeded by Labor’s Meryl Swanson. Swanson was re-elected in 2019.


  • Neil Turner (One Nation)
  • Brooke Vitnell (Liberal)
  • Meryl Swanson (Labor)
  • Angela Ketas (Informed Medical Options)
  • Louise Ihlein (Greens)
  • Sonia Bailey (Liberal Democrats)
  • Jason Olbourne (United Australia)
  • Assessment
    Paterson is a marginal seat.

    2019 result

    Meryl Swanson Labor 44,28841.1-5.0
    Sachin Joshi Liberal 35,05932.5+1.0
    Neil TurnerOne Nation15,26914.2+1.1
    Jan Davis Greens 7,4396.9+1.1
    Graham BurstonUnited Australia Party3,8883.6+3.6
    Christopher ValeChristian Democratic Party1,8761.7-0.3

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Meryl Swanson Labor 59,34855.0-5.7
    Sachin Joshi Liberal 48,47145.0+5.7

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into six parts. Polling places in the Port Stephens council area have been split between Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay. Polling places around Kurri Kurri have been grouped together. Booths in the Newcastle council area and in the easternmost part of Maitland council area have been grouped as “central”, and the remainder of the Maitland area has been split between Maitland and East Maitland.

    Labor won five out of six areas, ranging from 55% in Raymond Terrace to 65.9% in Kurri Kurri. The Liberal Party won 51.8% in Nelson Bay.

    One Nation came third, with a primary vote ranging from 11.9% in Nelson Bay to 20.5% in Kurri Kurri.

    Voter groupON prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Raymond Terrace15.855.011,51710.7
    Nelson Bay11.948.211,05410.3
    East Maitland12.059.09,4638.8
    Kurri Kurri20.565.94,9774.6
    Other votes13.853.98,8578.2

    Election results in Paterson at the 2019 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and One Nation.

    Become a Patron!


    1. They many have been earlier in the year. They are not now with the Coalition under pressure in NSW with the current outbreak bringing up issues of vaccine rollout, lockdown support, etc.

    2. Meryl Swanson made her debut on PML tonight. She has appeared on Alan Jones previously.
      This woman is PM material. Needs some work in terms of being smoother, & a little clearer, but very impressive nonetheless. Has more resolution & force in her pinky than Albo has in his whole weak & clueless being. Same personality type as my previous favourite the Hon Julie Owens (retiring) . 9w8.
      On these boundaries Swanson will hold. However the redistribution could draw Paterson halfway into the current Lyne, & that would be a problem ….. For the next member of Hunter !. I’l back Meryl to win that one too.

    3. The Liberal candidate is Brooke Vitnell, her husband Julian Leembruggen is ScoMo’s comms adviser. She is notable for being subjected to a vile comment by former QLD LNP leader John-Paul Longbroek after the 2018 Midwinter Ball. She’s a family law solicitor and was out and about with ScoMo in Tomago today.

    4. wd
      In all seriousness though, much like Mr Langbroek’s comment back in 2018, yours is deeply, deeply disturbing and really quite sexist.
      I didn’t post it there to gauge your reaction WD, knowing full well it would be riddled with slurs. He didn’t motion with his hands. He posted the comment ONLINE for the whole world to see.
      You can think things, but if there’s an obvious reason why that thing would be insulting, then it’s sometimes a good idea to have a filter and either post something more mature or even not at all.
      You are an elder man in society and it’s your responsibility when using public forums like this that you behave in a manner which isn’t completely inappropriate.

    5. Winediamond, I’m very tolerant but sometimes I think it would just be easier to block you and be done with it. I’ve deleted your most recent comment.

    6. Why the hell would you say something so vile, disgusting and sexist on a public forum wd??? Definitely not the first time.

    7. I did see WD’s initial comment and wasn’t too impressed – crossed the line this time. But do hope that he(?) continues to post as most of his comments do have value.

      Beauty is in the eye of the holder and it does have political implications. JFK’s tv debate performance against Nixon is the classic example about this phenom. People who saw Kennedy on tv with his “healthy” tan said that Kennedy won the debate. Nixon looked shifty and brooding. However, those who listened to the debate on radio thought that Nixon won as he sounded better. In 1959 not everyone had tv so the performance on radio was still important. Given the election was so close Kennedy’s looks on tv may well have made the difference. In contrast, FDR was wheelchair bound due to polio (which hopefully next year will be the second disease eradicated after small pox) and did everything he could to avoid being photoed in a wheel chair to avoid looking “weak”.

      Of course looks are not everything, Paul Keating was seen as incredibly handsome and was soundly beaten by John Howard who would not (other than perhaps by his Mother) generally be described as incredibly handsome.

      Other politicians dye their hair (Presidents Trump and Reagan spring to mind) – presumably to project a particular image and make themselves feel better about themselves (on the basis people’s fundamental driver is to do things that make them happy). And Boris’ hair is a design of its own. And of course the “Chaplin” moustach hasn’t been a winner since some German guy depopularized the fashion in the 1940s……

      How the images that the two candidates in Paterson project impacts the final vote is probably at best marginal. With some voters going one way and other voters going the other. Everything being equal one would not expect the looks of the candidate to influence the result. However, if the election is incredibly close maybe it will…..

      Look forward to post election reflections on this point…..



    8. I don’t wish to disparage the important electoral science of breasts but does anyone have any more specific insights on the local issues and general mood in Paterson?

    9. Paterson is a fast growing seat and a quick look on Google Earth suggests that the new housing estates are to the west of the seat – both sides of Maitland and around Kurri Kurri. And these were the areas where One Nation did well last time – and they did very badly at the Port Stephens end. It is hard to see Meryl Swanson not winning (especially as the government doesn’t seem to be travelling that well generally) but One Nation could get on a roll in the Hunter – in Paterson and in Hunter. Depending on where their preferences go, Meryl Swanson could be pushed to the wire if ON builds up momentum.
      If ON do win here or in Hunter, and the Libs lose even one safeish or formerly safe seat, then 2022 could be the year of the big realignment where our politics fundamentally changes and class / income are not the main political predeterminants.

    10. The Liberals should focus on defending historical safe seats like Higgins, Kooyong etc instead of trying to gain seats, seats like that are their traditional heartland with historical significance and have a longtime loyal voter base which they cannot just abandon like that.

    11. Perhaps the swing against Labor in these seats were a fluke. Or a new long term trend. Time will tell.

      Unless Morrison somehow had appeal here. At the end of the day, Labor improved in Parramatta and got a huge swing in Greenway and gained Robertson so the swing against them here is an unknown.

      Dutton wouldn’t be able to win here but Labor if on the nose could lose here come 2025.

    12. NSW is due a redistribution before 2025.

      The North Coast is over quota, so I suspect a reversal (at least partially) of the last round of changes, with Paterson pushing north and becoming more rural and conservative again. So I think that will have a significant impact no matter what the political scenario in 2025.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here