Richmond – Australia 2022

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  1. Greens flagged this as a target seat (unlike 2019). A very possible gain. Justine Elliot is an old school Labor Right MP in a seat that could increasingly use a cosmopolitan MP (whatever their true faction). Wealthy people are moving to Byron but as gentrifying suburbs in Melbourne show, those can still be strong Green votes.

    Not seeing the Nats gaining ground here though they will win the primary vote as usual. Perhaps Liberals may have better luck.

  2. I hardly know this seat but I was under the impression that Greens have real trouble breaking much about 20pts outside Byron shire? Seems p optimistic, I mean they’d need thousands of new immigrants otherwise

  3. the Greens candidate is a local comedienne, Mandy Nolan, who also has a column in the Echo.

  4. The Nats have no chance if they run their same failed candidate for a 4th time. There was a blog on fivethiryeight about losing candidates running again and almost all don’t win after losing more than twice

    The Nats should look for a new candidate because clearly their 3 time candidate has an issue with appealing to voters

    What is Larry Anthony up to nowadays?

  5. Daniel
    Quite correct. I seem to remember St Paul (Keating) mentioning soufflés rising twice….

    This might be interesting . Although the result appeared to offer no change this is a little deceptive. The vote polarised strongly. The strong Labor/green booths got much stronger. The Tweed swung the other way.

    Eliott lost her ministry in 2010 what has she accomplished since ? Being sacked from that govt is a pretty major achievement !. Her latest effort is to lead the campaign against the cashless debit card.
    There seems to be an attempt to portray this as resistance to pensioners having this imposed on them as pensioners are welfare recipients too. It is truly amazing that anyone could think this kind of duplicity, & fraud could even be suggested, let alone promoted

    Don’t worry i am just as appalled at the govt’s Covid ad with the chick actor wheezing on a ventilator.

    Regardless this latest outrage is a sure sign of Elliots total stupidity.
    A leading award contender

    a thoroughly undeserving labor hold…..this time.

  6. This is excerpt from Crikey
    It seems that Elliot as volunteered to be Labor’s leading suicide bomber, primary mudslinger. Ill put the rest into the election thread

    Is the cashless welfare card for pensioners a real thing or just a Labor MP having a rant?
    Labor backbencher Justine Elliot is pushing the line on social media based on unsupported allegations. Is this ‘Mediscare’ 2.0?
    TONY JAQUES JUN 22, 2021

    How often do you have to repeat an unsupported allegation before it’s accepted? Many times.
    That seems to be the hope of Labor backbencher Justine Elliot who has launched a social media campaign claiming that the Morrison government plans to introduce a cashless welfare card for pensioners.
    The MP For Richmond told her Facebook followers: “If reelected, Scott Morrison will force pensioners on to the cashless welfare card. The plan will put 80% of your pension on a card that will limit what and where you can spend your own money.”
    She cites as “evidence” a statement from Senator Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services, saying the government was considering broadening use of the already highly controversial cashless debit card program (under which 80% of a person’s welfare payments is quarantined on a card that cannot be used to withdraw cash or buy alcohol or gambling products).

    From Mediscare to the TPP, lies create trust-resistant political environment
    However, Ruston says the government has “publicly ruled out ever requiring age pensioners to use the cashless debit card” and characterises Elliot’s campaign as a “social media rant”.
    So is this just unplanned freelancing, or is it a trial balloon for a new “Mediscare”?

  7. Watson Watch
    I DIDN’T SAY THAT. My comment was one sentence prefacing.

    ” I doubt that the Department of Social Security would be ‘freelancing’ as you call it or acting on a ‘social media rant’.”

  8. WD,
    Sorry! I didn’t realize that it was all a quote from the Crikey article. My mistake.

  9. Watson Watch
    No worries mate. Very good of you to show such courtesy. Sorry i got a bit medieval & primal, but i guess you know that about me !!.
    cheers WD

  10. I doubt that Mandy Nolan will make a big difference to the Greens vote. She has a high profile as a comedian but might find it difficult to make the transition to serious political candidate.

    The Nats are planning to target this seat. In an article in the Australian this week “a senior Nationals source said Mr Joyce’s return had dramatically shifted the party’s election strategy, which would centre on hyper-local and targeted campaigns. In those northern NSW seats like Page, which we hold, and Richmond – the campaign will need some focus on climate change, the environment,” the source said.

    The reliability of sourced stories should always be questioned, but it will be interesting to see how Barnaby straddles a local environmental message with his broader climate message (we might be looking at a slight shift away from net zero.

  11. Tough to see the Nats taking this one back. I’m still skeptical that the Greens have much of a shot, at least not yet, but the demographic march is surely against the Coalition, and if there was no swing against Labor last time, I don’t see all those tree/sea-changers voting for Barnaby’s Nationals. Maybe he could try whining about the border again but that was hardly a roaring success for the LNP last year.

  12. The Nats will never win this seat again, given their various views on things.
    There’s very much a dividing line where Barnaby either appears like a good guy or a moron.

  13. This is probably leaning labor but in no way should be called yet, I think a lot of people forget to mention the effect of the border towns and how the Queensland labor government kept locking border towns out so it’ll be interesting how much of that ends up turning into votes for the nats due to frustration

  14. The Palaszczuk government have made noises about a border bubble anyway, but if the Nats do get too enthusiastic about the border issue, especially if Queensland is still covid free by election time, they’d essentially be agitating on behalf of Richmond and Page (already a safe Nats seat) at the risk of… pissing off most of Queensland. That includes 8 (notional at least) marginals. The Gold Coast and border towns in Queensland might appreciate it too, but they’re already voting LNP anyway.

  15. It might be time again for the Libs to give this seat a crack. Considering about 50% of the population are statistically the Gold Coast, this seat can really no longer considered to be the sort of regional / rural seat that the Nats tend to hold. There may also be voters who would vote for the Libs but can’t come at voting for the Nats.

  16. Redistributed – I think you are correct. There are a number of seats like this and Cowper that seem to be more Liberal demographic seats than Nationals demographic. Also consider Eden-Monaro.

  17. The Libs have always been stronger in Southern NSW compared to the North. Do they even have an infrastructure on the North Coast that would act as a base for campaigning?

  18. Having said that, the Nationals hold Tweed, Clarence, and formerly held Ballina and Lismore. Having said that, the demographic changes have slowly benefitted Labor and the Greens, so the Liberals suddenly contesting this seat is a bit of a confusing concept. For starters, the Liberals probably have very few members up here, and if they suddenly decided to start running, the LNP would be greatly disaffected. Also, strangely (citing 2010) Greens voters were more likely to preference the Nats over the Liberals, which meant that the Liberals’ chances of making the 2PP were ended. The redistribution also added Ballina, which meant the Liberals were far less likely to contest the seat.

  19. On the issue of borders – how does one account for what happened on the Gold Coast at the last Queensland state election? There was a huge swing to Labor in Gaven, a seat which many had written off as an easy LNP gain.

    I know Richmond is on NSW side, but my question still stands. What did the results of the QLD state election suggest about the impact of border closures on voting?

  20. Nicholas Weston
    That’s easy
    1/ QLD bought what Anna was selling
    2/” What did the results of the QLD state election suggest about the impact of border closures on voting?
    Equally easy : Nothing. However a year further on with lockdowns, 7 border closures in spite of ZERO cases. I dare anyone to think nothing has changed.
    I’d predict a 2-3% swing to the Nets atm, but things can evolve further , & this seat may well come into play.
    As for anyone talking a Green win – forget it. The small swing in Tweed balanced the huge lift in the “Bush tick” vote in Byron & hinterland. We can expect a significant backlash in the Tweed.

  21. Labor and the Nats are both on the nose big time in this electorate. They were already but after Labor teamed up with the Coalition to back fracking in the Beetaloo Basin the outrage is palpable. This area is very anti-CSG, it was one of the big reasons the NSW state seat of Ballina went Green. The Greens have also selected a much better candidate than last time in Mandy Nolan. Justine Elliot is of the NSW Labor Right and is completely unsuitable for the area and the Nats are even less of a fit these days. Genuine three way contest that could go to any of them.

  22. The Nats have little chance of ever winning this seat again. I’ll rephrase that, they have no chance. The Greens vote is still very heavily concentrated in Byron Shire with little support in the Tweed or Ballina.

    Unless there hase been a mass immigration of Greens in the last three years they have no hope. Justin Elliot works her electorate very well and I see no change in 2022.

  23. Agree with Alan’s sentiments. However, as a Tweed resident, I’ve noticed a huge uptick in Greens presence in the past months. Lots of ripe populace to campaign here. Likely to stay ALP but wouldn’t be shocked to see enough Greens sway to pick it up – they only need about a 5% swing from Labor. Mandy seems to be very popular too!

  24. There will need to be a time when the Nats call time on this seat and let the Libs run. 50% of the population are in the Tweed Heads / Kingscliff area which is part of the Gold Coast urban area. With major developments in the pipeline, the seat will only move north and become more urban. The Libs dominated the Gold Coast federally whilst the Nats held state seats on the Gold Coast. There is no reason why it can’t happen here. I would also not be suprised if there are voters in Richmond who would vote Lib but not for the Nats, especially with the way that Joyce, Canavan and Christensen are carrying on.

  25. There are a number of seats that the Nationals should give up to the Liberal Party, eg Cowper is another with a strong urban area.

  26. There might be an outside chance for the Nationals here. The Greens vote collapsed in Byron – largely going to a former Green – over what seems like the issue of vaccines.

    If there’s a decently large bloc switching from Greens to conservative parties over the vaccine issue, then I can see a rightward swing happening, and the influx of affluent voters to Byron may put Nationals over the top. The most recent Canadian election had a large swing from their collapsing Green Party to the Trumpian right wing PPC.

    It’s also possible however that those voters may still preference Greens over the majors, or the local Greens may figure out how to keep anti-vaxxers on side even though the Greens are heavily pro-vax. Plus the influx of people to Byron may be like the gentrifiers in major cities who vote Green/Labor despite having Liberal affluence.

    If there’s any seat where pandemic related political realignments can change the outcome, it’s here.

  27. It’s a big ideological leap from the Greens to the Nationals. I can’t see many making that leap. Going to independents, Animal Justice, Marijuana Party, yes, Nationals no.

  28. I dunno, I think John’s right and there’s a lot to worry about here. Most voters aren’t that ideological, especially the roughly 40% who wouldn’t turn up on election day if they didn’t have to. They have heterodox and often myopic fixations, and if UAP can exploit this wedge and direct former Greens preferences, Justine Elliot is in real trouble

    What concerns me most now is that the anti-vax crowd in general mirror the Trump coalition in being elusive to opinion pollsters, and that the issue threatens to creep up across other marginal electorates where most people assume Labor are safe.

  29. Are people leaving the cities (unless they are very right wing) really going to vote for the National Party? Especially after the carry on of the last few months? Sooner or later the Libs have either got to go for a 3 way contest or lay down the law that the Nats have hit their use by date in Richmond.

  30. @Furtive Lawngnome

    The antivaxxers I know are generally anti authority and wouldn’t vote for any of thr parties and are likely to vote informal

  31. Well that might even be enough in itself; the informal vote already doubled in Richmond at the last election- 7.44%, up from 3.77. If there’s another rise in informal voting because of vaccines it’s gonna ultimately be at the expense of JE. She absolutely relies on Byron turning out overwhelmingly for Labor and the Greens.

  32. It’s not actually what it looks like. The current mayor Lyon was first elected as a Green, became mayor while still a Green, then quit the party and ran as an independent when he failed to win preselection for this election. So the Greens vote has been split but not because of any ideological or policy reasons, just a disagreement over preselection.

    You can read about what happened here:

    Labor’s vote tanked by negative -8% even with this free kick the Greens gave them. Says it all really.

  33. From 2007 onwards – except 2010 – the Nat vote has been stuck in a 36-37% range. In 2010, the Libs also ran and the combined vote was over 40%. That alone says something.
    The UAP might be able to do well here if they can harness the anti vax vote.

  34. Michael Lyon also isn’t anti-vax, he’s pro-choice.

    I feel like the Greens need to harness the anti-establishment vote here to even have a sniff of getting Nolan elected.

  35. I guess that depends what your definition of anti-vax is. He’s against the mandates. The Greens are for them. That’s not the reason for his deselection, or at least not the only reason (not sure why Firefox seems to believe multiple sitting councillors would get deselected on a whim, Lyon’s at odds with the party on multiple issues from what I’ve read), but he and his ticket did well while Labor and especially the Greens suffered a crushing swing.

    The Greens themselves will probably make up the votes elsewhere, but Richmond was their best hope for a NSW HoR seat, at least on paper. You can safely put a pin in that one. Like I said, I’m more concerned about how this impacts Labor’s prospects, here and in other seats.

  36. “The Greens themselves will probably make up the votes elsewhere, but Richmond was their best hope for a NSW HoR seat, at least on paper. You can safely put a pin in that one. Like I said, I’m more concerned about how this impacts Labor’s prospects, here and in other seats.”


    I wouldn’t be reading too much into what it means for Richmond at all, maybe apart from Labor’s vote. The Green vote split between the Greens and green independents over preselection but Labor didn’t gain any benefit from it whatsoever.

    Pretty safe to assume that all those who voted for the Greens or green independents will vote for Mandy Nolan – there is no disagreement about her selection whatsoever and she is incredibly popular in the area, not just with Greens voters.

    Justine Elliot could be in a lot of trouble though. We know why the Green vote split but does anyone know why Labor went backwards? You would have thought it would have been a prime opportunity for them to grab some voters back off the Greens but apparently not – the Green vote has remained with green politicians.

  37. The Greens have Buckley’s chance of winning this. It will be a close labor vs national 2PP. It is labor’s second largest chance of losing a seat in NSW (behind Hunter) and third largest chance nationwide (behind Blair, Hunter)

  38. Marko, does that mean you’re predicting a swing to the Nationals if you believe it’ll be a close two party vote?

  39. There probably will be due to the smaller number of green votes and hence smaller number of green preferences to labor.

  40. Any information on who is running for National pre-selection? Picking a 4 time loser would be a mistake. Fraser has no chance if he is nominated again. he had his chance at winning in 2013 when the coalition won a landslide. that has now passed.

  41. I’m not sure where Marko is getting their info but as someone who lives in this electorate that is definitely not the mood on the ground here. Mandy Nolan is very well liked in this area and the Green campaign is quite upbeat and energised. If you are expecting the Greens vote to decline you may be very disappointed.

    On the other hand, the Nats are not very popular at all around these parts anymore. Richmond used to be a stronghold for them but it’s certainly not these days. There is a view that they shouldn’t even be running in this electorate, not that the Libs are any more popular around here either mind you. This is a very progressive part of Australia.

    Furthermore, the practice of fracking is absolutely toxic in the Northern Rivers, meaning both Labor and the Coalition are on the nose big time due to their support in parliament for fracking the Beetaloo Basin.

  42. It is interesting to compare the Reps vote to the senate vote in Richmond. The major parties votes always drop off as in the senate there is so much more to choose from. Over the whole seat, the Greens and ALP drop off by about 20% from reps to senate but the coalition drop off by only 6- 7%. However, if you go booth by booth (I looked at a small sample) it gets extremely interesting. At the Byron Bay, Byron Bay Prepoll and Lennox Head booths the Lib senate vote was higher than the Reps vote for the Nats. The Greens and ALP had the expected high drop off. In Kingscliff, the Libs had a small drop off but the Greens much less than Byron.
    What this snapshot shows is that there are voters in Richmond that would vote for the Libs but can’t stomach the Nats (probably more so with return of Barnaby Joyce) and also that the Greens and ALP vote is quite soft. Justine Elliott may have a more substantial personal vote than realised. It also seems that there are a lot of voters looking for the least worst candidate – “I would like to vote Lib, wont vote Labor, can’ t stomach the Nats so I will vote for the Greens” etc. With the right ‘Voices of ..” type candidate, this could turn into a genuine 4 way fight.

  43. Marko, what specifically do you mean by “vaccine mandates”? Venue requirements? Health industry workers?


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