Richmond – Australia 2022

ALP 4.1%

Incumbent MP
Justine Elliot, since 2004.

Geography
Far north coast of NSW. Richmond covers Tweed Heads, Byron Bay, Ballina, Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby and surrounding areas. It covers the entirety of Tweed and Byron council areas, as well as the majority of Ballina council area.

History
Richmond is an original federation seat, and has always covered the northeastern corner of New South Wales, although it has contracted further into that corner over the last century as other seats have been created in northeastern NSW. The seat was consistently held by conservative parties from its creation until 1990, and was gained by the Country Party early in its existence in 1922, and they held it continously for almost seventy years.

Recently it has become a much more marginal seat, although the 2007 election result pushed the seat out of the marginal category.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Protectionist Thomas Ewing, who served as a minister in the Deakin government from 1905 to 1908 before retiring in 1910. His seat was retained by Liberal candidate Walter Massy-Greene. Massy-Greene went on to serve as a minister in Billy Hughes’ Nationalist governments, but lost Richmond to Country Party candidate Roland Green in 1922. He was appointed to the Senate in 1923, and served there until his retirement in 1938. He was relegated to the backbench during the Stanley Bruce government, but returned to the ministry as part of the Lyons government in the 1930s.

Green was regularly challenged by other Country Party candidates at subsequent federal elections. While the ALP stood in Richmond in 1925, Green was reelected unopposed in 1928 and faced opposition only from another Country Party candidate in 1929. At the 1931 election Green was challenged by three other Country candidates and one independent. He was regularly challenged by Robert Gibson at every election from 1928 to 1937. Green barely held on against internal party opponents at the 1931 and 1934 elections.

In 1937, two Country Party candidates and an ALP candidate all stood against the sitting Country MP. While Green came first on primary votes, Gibson’s preferences pushed Country candidate Larry Anthony ahead of the ALP candidate, and then ALP preferences gave the seat to Anthony.

Anthony served as a minister under Robert Menzies and Arthur Fadden in 1940 and 1941 and was a senior member of the Opposition during the Curtin/Chifley Labor government. In 1949 he joined Robert Menzies’ cabinet, and served in it until his death in 1957.

The subsequent by-election saw four Country Party candidates stand, although one clearly stood out, with Anthony’s son Doug polling 49.8% of the primary vote.

The younger Anthony joined the ministry in 1964 and was groomed to be the next leader of the Country Party, and upon Jack McEwen’s retirement in 1971 he became Deputy Prime Minister. The Coalition lost power in 1972, and Anthony returned to the role of Deputy Prime Minister upon the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975. He served in this role throughout the Fraser government, during which time his party’s name changed first to the National Country Party and then to the National Party. Following the election of the Hawke government in 1983, Anthony retired in 1984.

The seat was retained in 1984 by Nationals state director Charles Blunt, outpolling a Liberal Party challenger and overtaking the ALP on Liberal preferences, despite Blunt having no local links with the far north of NSW. Blunt immediately moved to the shadow ministry and in 1989 managed to win a leadership challenge against Ian Sinclair. His leadership saw attempts to modernise the party and bring it closer to the Liberal Party, but Blunt’s leadership was cut short in 1990 when he lost Richmond to ALP candidate Neville Newell, who won a slim margin after a 7.1% swing. While the Nationals margin had fallen below 60% in the 1980s, this still saw a big jump in the ALP vote.

Newell held on in 1993 against a challenge from Nationals candidate Larry Anthony (son of Doug and grandson of Larry Sr) and a Liberal candidate. In 1996, Newell was defeated by the third-generation of the Anthony family. Newell went on to hold the state seat of Tweed from 1999 until his defeat in 2007.

Anthony was reelected in 1998 and 2001, although won by slim margins very different to the huge margins won by his father and grandfather. The 2004 election saw Anthony, then a junior minister in the Howard government, defeated by ALP candidate Justine Elliot, despite a national swing to the Coalition in a backlash against Mark Latham’s leadership of the ALP.

Elliot has been re-elected five times.

Candidates

  • Terry Sharples (Independent)
  • Nathan Jones (Independent)
  • Monica Shepherd (Informed Medical Options)
  • David Warth (Independent)
  • Gary Biggs (Liberal Democrats)
  • Justine Elliot (Labor)
  • Kimberly Hone (Nationals)
  • Tracey Bell-Henselin (One Nation)
  • Mandy Nolan (Greens)
  • Robert Marks (United Australia)
  • Assessment
    Don’t be fooled by Elliot’s long tenure in this seat: it remains very marginal. In addition to the Nationals, the Greens have ambitions here. If they were to overtake Labor they would be in a strong position to win, but the gap is still quite wide.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Matthew Fraser Nationals 36,97936.9-0.8
    Justine Elliot Labor 31,80731.7+0.7
    Michael Lyon Greens 20,38420.3-0.1
    Hamish MitchellUnited Australia Party3,9133.9+3.9
    Ronald McdonaldSustainable Australia3,1543.1+3.1
    Ray KaramIndependent1,5661.6+1.6
    Morgan CoxChristian Democratic Party1,3381.3-0.2
    Tom BarnettInvoluntary Medication Objectors1,1791.2+1.2
    Informal8,0617.4+3.8

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Justine Elliot Labor 54,25154.1+0.1
    Matthew Fraser Nationals 46,06945.9-0.1

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into four parts. Polling places in Byron and Ballina council areas have been grouped together. Booths in Tweed, which cover a majority of the population, have been split between those in Tweed Heads and in the remainder of the council.

    The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in three areas, with a majority of 54-55% in Ballina and the rural parts of Tweed Shire, and a massive 74.2% majority in Byron Shire. The vote was a dead heat in Tweed Heads, with the Nationals winning by four votes.

    The Greens primary vote ranged from 13.2% in Tweed Heads to 43.7% in Byron.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Byron43.774.213,26213.2
    Tweed Heads13.250.012,61012.6
    Tweed Shire20.854.412,24612.2
    Ballina22.255.18,4268.4
    Pre-poll15.449.746,71846.6
    Other votes18.650.77,0587.0

    Election results in Richmond at the 2019 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Nationals and the Greens.

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    144 COMMENTS

    1. Agreed with Yoh An. I’ve only ever visited Byron Bay/Richmond twice in my life but a lot of my family lived in the Noosa area for decades and I’ve always either had that impression or been flat out told that’s how things are.

    2. A high concentration of people with alternative lifestyles, environmentalists and educated tree changers (and descendants of said groups) would be the likely main reasons. Increasing costal housing costs may have contributed to the inland town Green vote.

    3. @Votante funny that you associate the Greens with “inner capital city electorates”. When “tree-hippies”, generally from villages and rural towns, with strong connection to the natural environment, is where the Greens (environmentalist) movements were birthed. A place like Richmond is somewhat a natural home to Greens politics due to the alternative lifestyles other commentators have pointed out.

      Tree-abundant Tasmania was the birthplace of the Australian Greens – not Melbourne, as their electoral dominance might suggest. Tasmania is credited by some as having the world’s first Green party to contest elections. Greens politics have only become synonymous with progressive, urban inner-cities in more recent history. This has happened when Green parties (Australian Greens in particular), seeking to become more mainstream, began emphasising the social-policies of the New Left that resonated strongly with young, educated voters who also happened to have a “socio-environmental consciousness”.

      Assessing the rural vs urban divide is a little more nuanced than urban = left and rural = right. That is not true, the left and the right are expressed in both urban and rural communities but with differing interests and issues. The Liberal party for example is a brand tailored towards the “right” in urban communities, whereas the Nationals target the “right” in rural communities. Each animated by different issues and interests. The “left’s” difference in expression between rural and urban Australia is a lot more complex. I would not be able to find enough time to adequately describe it.

    4. Careful saying that around some of the older Greens in Sydney, SEQ Onserver. Sydney had the Green Bans and the first Greens political party in Australia was in the inner Sydney area in 1984. Definitely not Melbourne though, I agree on that.

    5. Votante
      It includes Byron Bay and Mulumbimby and most of the Nimbin surrounds. In the 1960s/70 it became the hippie drop out, live off the land capital of NSW. it is physically very, very beautiful and there are many co-operative settlements there. While many of the 1960s/70s crowd did return to the city, many remained, had families who all stayed. These were essentially foundation green Party members. Their kids went to school with the kids of the local farmers etc and no doubt many of their beliefs etc have spread. Think Tasmania winderness/rural areas- rather similar. There are areas in the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast hinterland that are similar. There is even a tiny pocket in Peter Dutton’s electorate which votes 36% green.

    6. SEQ
      Not quite the whole story. I am no expert on this but the Greens started more as a movement and were very different in each state, with different emphasis.

      Now I thought the first Greens senators were in WA, arising our of the CND movement ie essentially peace activists.

      Now the environmental implications of the anti uranium mining efforts, naturally formed a bond with the naturalist movement and of course the hippie drop out, grow your own movement. This is the Northern NSW mob

      In Tasmania, the save Lake Pedder movement spread into protection of wilderness areas and drew in many natural environment movements eg Fraser island, Myall lakes etc.

      Now in Sydney, the issues were mostly about urban planning, so the Green movement was mostly about the green Bans and was strongly linked to the BLF activities. It tended to draw in people on the far left. Concerns about urban pollution were significant too.

      Now in Melbourne, this is more my observation than knowledge, but it has always been my gut feel, that environmental concerns were always a middle class issue for Melbourne. They loved their gardens and many Liberal premiers eg Hamer were really quite green in thinking. Kooyong for example was always green thinking in terms of heritage protection. Also in Victoria the BIG green issues were industrial pollution-largely because it was a manufacturing state.

      In Qld, I think as in Melbourne greens were rather centrist and of course at times even directed preferences to the Liberal Party.

      The final comment is that before there was a Greens Party as such, most of those who shared the broader movement ideals- peace, the environment and anti pollution, were attracted to the Left of the ALP, where in 1980, the big lefty issue was policy regarding Uranium mining, and many of those now active in environment movements were in the ALP.

    7. SEQ observor
      The elected green senators show their affinity for bricks , mortar and high rises by where they set up offices.They move to areas of artificial grass not to inland forests.
      I can not see Green’s Senators setting up office in Rockhampton where Canavan is or Innisfail where Katter is oe Armidale where Joyce is.

    8. Thanks for explaining these in more detail Ben and maverick.

      I was aware of these but opted to omit a lot of the full-picture just to keep my message simple so I could go to bed 😄 What I was going to expand on (but didn’t) was how hyper-local and issue specific regional Greens movements generally were. And yes Queensland Greens was a little more centrist due to a bigger faction of “environmental Tories” (sometimes called Tree-Tories). A good cultural touch-point to understand Green Conservatism in the Queensland context, is the music of John Williamson.

      The Queensland Greens had slight growing-pains with short lived infighting between their “environmentalist Tories” and “inner-city progressive socialists”.

      An interesting part of the Northern NSW mob @maverick that is also worth mentioning, was their anti-Maccas protests in the 90s that have echoed throughout Northern Rivers right up to recently. This has come in the form of opposition to other multinational franchises including Netflix.

      This aversion to multinationals has helped Northern Rivers keep a lot of its small businesses, boutique shops, restaurants and “character”. But after waves of new residents, these sensitivities have waned and the major brands and retailers are rushing to open up in Byron in wake of its rapid urbanisation & gentrification.

      There are many other touch-points to understand the environmentalist leanings of Northern NSW. One I’ll throw out quickly but not explain is Fern Tree Gully.

    9. Agree with you @Andrew Jackson, that this is somewhat of a bad look for them. They’ve got to be really careful that they do not lose sight of their core-environmentalism while chasing immediate electoral success from progressive inner-city voters. They’ve also got to be cautious with their uncritical enthusiasm of new technology and urban-developments.

      Over-development is a serious issue in South East Queensland, but it sometimes feels like the Greens are averse to huge new urban developments right up until the developer chucks some turf on the roof or balconies or something like that in his 3D renderings.

      To counter this Brisbane-centric image, I notice that the Queensland Greens have been emphasising that their Senate candidate is from Gladstone. And they’ve been talking a lot more about Cairns & Kuranda as well as Mackay than they usually do. Their path to strengthening their senate vote in Queensland probably is growing in the regions and staying committed to environmentalism.

    10. Not saying this will happen at all but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Greens suck up votes from Labor, the National vote drops a little (but stays high-ish due to loyalty), then the loyal Labor votes (the traditional, old-fashioned ones) elect the National on preferences.

      10 candidates is a lot for the unengaged to get lost in & could spray things anywhere.

    11. People diss the Greens a lot for being inner city latte sippers… if the correlation was that strong then they’d have won five lower house seats a decade ago!

    12. How dare the Greens set up their offices in the places with the heaviest concentrations of people and jobs, and the place where people can easily get to them by public transport!

      All of the Greens NSW senators have had offices on the street right near Central because that makes it easiest for people to get there. Even people in regional areas. It’s much easier for someone in Bathurst or Wagga to get to Sydney than to, say, Byron.

    13. Don’t get me wrong, also agree with your point here too @Ben. The ideal office for your constituents is one with the greatest accessibility for everyone to access it. In a high-density location with easy public-transport access accommodates for most.

    14. SEQ Observer, agree with you that the Greens need to still maintain a strong regional presence in Queensland especially as it is the most decentralised state and the only one where <70% of people live in the state capital.

      I would argue that new developments in some parts (especially Brisbane) may be necessary to either avoid or reduce the rapid expansion of the urban footprint (so called sprawl) into rural areas. I feel Brisbane today is probably like Sydney 2000-10 when most of the growth was focused outwards into newly built suburbs without much supporting infrastructure.

      Whilst there is some consolidation happening around places like Nundah and Chermside, I feel in the near future (pre 2030) there could also be similar types of developments in other areas like Runcorn/Mt Gravatt and Indooroopilly as these areas are also major 'hubs' to a certain extent.

    15. Haha the argument within the Greens about who were the “real original Greens” will never die ie. either Bob Brown and his Tasmanians or the Green Ban activists in Sydney.

    16. Really doubt the Greens are in any danger of ever being outflanked on the environment whatsoever

    17. @Yoh An, definitely concede that urban sprawl is a huge issue that SEQ faces and that re-urbanisation upwards along with sufficient supporting infrastructure is a necessary mitigation to prevent further land-clearing and habitat destruction out on the fringes.

      Due to the urban-sprawl reaching out into northern fringes of the Gold Coast in the previous decade (Coomera, Pimpama, Ormeau), we saw a significant population of Koalas disaffected. We are now seeing suburbs with similar dwelling profiles sweep through the Western corridor out through ex-rural Logan, Scenic Rim, Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley. There’s a similar sweep happening up on the southern fringes of Sunny Coast and Northern Brisbane. Mass-land clearing has been contributing to the urban heat-island (UHI) effect. The UHI requires more research in the context of SEQ but has been speculated to increase the severity of “storm-season” and also heat-waves in the region. In Western Sydney, research has shown suburbs with localised temperatures approaching close to 50C because of UHI. All due to these sprawling car-dependent suburbs with hot baking roads and densely concentrated homes and little green-space.

      @Al sorry for reigniting this long-standing debate while making my innocent point that it is too simple to conflate the Greens with the inner-cities where they have found electoral success 😄

    18. Ben
      I am not suggesting Green MP be moved to Birdsville. But they make a decision and then have to live with that decision and the criticisms associated with it. It was the artificial plastic grass that amazed me with one of them. Realistically They are setting up offices in the areas where they feel most comfortable amongst the yuppie cafes, Retail outlets and brothels of the inner city.

    19. Ryan beat me to it – yep PAP is based in regional QLD.

      Also, let’s not forget that the Greens hold the NSW state electorate of Ballina, which makes up roughly the southern half of this federal electorate of Richmond. The Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith, has her office in the town of Ballina itself – a very long way from inner city Sydney. See here: https://www.tamarasmith.com.au/contact

    20. A work colleague – whose parents in law are long term Ballina residents – told me yesterday that his family believed that the Greens would overtake Labor this time. Apparently it is the talk around town.

    21. Climate is the big issue here in Richmond. Has been for a long time but it is even more so now after the two disasters which have impacted the region recently – first the horrific bushfires in 2019 and then this year’s massive floods. We’ve gone from one extreme to another. But well before that the people here were very focused on the climate crisis. Opposition to fracking CSG played a big role in the Greens winning the state seat of Ballina a few elections ago. It may well play a role again this time too, as just during the last budget sitting week Labor and the Coalition teamed up to support fracking the Beetaloo Basin in the NT with handouts of hundreds of millions of tax payer money. That kind of thing does not go down well around here at all.

    22. Redistributed, for what it’s worth, I also hear this from Murwillumbah residents. From Lismore residents (even though they are in the neighbouring division of Page), I hear that the Greens Ballina State MP has left a positive impression of the Greens on the surrounding local communities. As an aside regarding Lismore & Page, I think that ALP are in play and Page is going to cement itself as a longstanding bellwether.

      In Tweed however, the conversation is only about Labor vs Nationals. Tweed is where the Greens will face most difficulties. I think if Greens can pass ALP and go up against Nationals in the 2CP they’ve got it in the bag but that will be difficult because Justine Elliot has established a decent profile in Richmond.

      The YouGov MRP poll currently only has the Greens on 18% on first-preferences with them behind ALP (32%) and Nats (25%). However there is an unusual 20% for Others registered in this poll. If these are people intending to vote for a climate or teal style independent, much of this 20% could go towards the Greens. Much like Brisbane electors did when realising there were no Climate independents they could vote for.

    23. Ryan Spencer
      If that happens my criticismd of Green ultra centralism will cease but it might be counting your chickens/ ???? before the eggs of hatched.

    24. Am wondering if anyone can shed more light as to why some urban areas (like Tweed-Gold Coast) don’t seem to be as strong for the Greens compared to the principal capital cities. Perhaps they don’t have the same inner city vibe that is strong in places like Sydney and Melbourne. This is particularly noticeable even in the smaller capital cities like Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide probably because these places are considered ‘newer’ and haven’t had the opportunity to do large scale urban renewal that Sydney and Melbourne have gone through.

      Also noticed that smaller cities interstate (like Newcastle and Wollongong) are also weak for the Greens, but that is because they are more industrial in nature, similar to a place like Gladstone in Queensland.

    25. @ Yoh An the Gold Coast has always been like that barring some landslide elections at the state level. They would still happily vote for the National Party if any LNP candidate aligned with them ran in the city’s seats. Obviously that is understandable when you take into account how the region was decades ago but I’m not sure why Labor to this day utterly fails to make inroads there. The city is experiencing huge population growth and the last time I was traveling down there I tried and yet couldn’t even tell where Brisbane ended and the Gold Coast began. Yet Labor makes no real progress and even on the state level with a convincing win they can only score one seat and some close margins elsewhere.

      I can’t really tell you the deeper story as to why the Gold Coast is like this but I’d assume it’s something to do with the demographics and employment sector. Some part of it may simply even be loyalty because the LNP is the party you’re “supposed” to vote for.

    26. Yeah agree Laine I found SEQ interesting in that the adjacent ‘satellite’ cities of Brisbane (namely Gold and Sunshine Coasts) are pretty much solid LNP whilst the equivalent places for Sydney (Central Coast/Newcastle and Wollongong/Illawarra) are pretty much either safe Labor or swinging territory (Central coast only).

    27. I think the same pattern also emerges interstate, with the satellite cities of Melbourne (namely Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo) being considered safe ALP to some extent.

    28. @Yoh An, without being too detailed because I don’t want to write a novella on the topic over the weekend, I’ll provide some context. Put simply, because I know that you are familiar with the Sydney context, the Sutherland shire region in Sydney is the most similar to the Gold Coast & Tweed in its demographic profile and political leanings. Think of the electorates Hughes and Cook. Now without trying trying to be disrespectful to the electors of both the Gold Coast and Sutherland Shire, these are the heartlands for what I and many others lovingly refer to as “cashed up bogans”. A component of this are boomers who’s fortunes changed from aspirational to affluent because of the many winds in their favour throughout their lifetime.

      You are right in mentioning that they aren’t as industrial in nature. Instead I would posit that they are more “dormitory” and “residential” in nature. Rather than being high-density places centered around a distinct CBD, an economy which attracts young professionals and high cultural-amenity (“vibes”). They are instead suburban places attractive for people who wish live and raise a family. People who intend to commute elsewhere by car to work. There is also a significant retiree population who no longer work and sought a “sea-change”.

      The higher-density suburbs of the Gold Coast marked by their significant high-rises might be misleading too and shouldn’t be misconstrued as a typical inner-city region. These are not predominantly commercial towers where young, educated professionals would work. They are also not really permanent residences. These are generally hotels and temporary places of residence for itinerant populations of visitors and tourists (that wouldn’t be voting in GC).

      Of course a lot of what I am mentioning is also rapidly changing too as the permanent population continues to boom due to interstate migration. There is an increasing amount of commercial enterprises that are attracting young professionals being established on the Gold Coast. The composition of employment is also changing. It is also worth mentioning that the Greens vote is climbing along the coastal strip above the border for various reasons.

    29. You mentioned how the satellite towns and cities of various states are more ALP leaning and wondered why Queensland bucks the trend.

      I argue that it doesn’t really buck the trend but only if you think about it a bit differently. One way that could help you think about Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, is instead think of the entire South East corner as an urban conglomeration similar to Greater Sydney or Greater Melbourne. Now that you have considered the South East Queensland as one large metropolitan population, then consider Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast as its outer-metro suburbia rather than satellite towns. Looking at South East-Queensland at this scale gives you a similar scale to Sydney and Melbourne in terms of area-size.

      In this way you can think of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast as an extension of Brisbane in the same way Sutherland Shire, Northern Beaches and Penrith are an extension outward from Sydney. These are places vote for the Coalition. In the Melbourne context think about the Mornington Peninsula instead of Geelong as being most similar the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast.

    30. Yes accepted your points SEQ Observer, that SEQ is considered a much bigger ‘conurbation’ to some extent and there is not much segregation between Brisbane and its surroundings. In Sydney you have national parks and other natural features that act as a barrier between Sydney and its surrounding regions.

    31. “The higher-density suburbs of the Gold Coast marked by their significant high-rises might be misleading too and shouldn’t be misconstrued as a typical inner-city region. ”

      ***

      Yes, this is a really good point. The Gold Coast you often see in the postcards – the stretch of beach with skyscrapers – is the suburbs of Broadbeach and Surfer’s Paradise. You’ll only mostly find tourists there and very few residents. The few that do live there are obviously quite wealthy. The rest of the GC, so like 95% of it, is much more suburban and is quite similar to the Logan area that it merges into at the northern end.

    32. Although distance wise Gold Coast to Brisbane CBD is equivalent to say Gosford to Sydney likewise Maroochydore (centre of Sunshine Coast) to Brisbane is also pretty much the same as Wollongong to Sydney, so I was basing my analysis on this fact that these distances (almost 100km) are quite far and considered excessive to be classed as commuter belts, although Central Coast and Wollongong are now starting to have more ‘tree changers’ moving in who wish to avoid the congestion of the main city.

    33. @Yoh An, one point I would suggest given the distances you mentioned is that while there might be up to 100km distances between Brisbane City and the Coasts, the travel time between the two is almost the same as Penrith to the Sydney CBD, or out to Cronulla.

      And again it might be misleading measuring the distance from Brisbane CBD to say Surfers Paradise. The commuter belts of the Gold Coast hug along the Pacific Motorway for quick access. These distances end up being very similar (if not better) to commutes from Sutherland or Penrith into Sydney CBD.

      Constructing on your point that there is not as much national parks segregating Brisbane from its surrounding regions, this is somewhat true given the massive national parks surrounding Sydney. I would note that there is also segregation within Brisbane and its surrounds by ranges, valleys, creeks and rivers and finally green-belt suburbs built backed onto forests. Quite similar to Sydney but dissimilar to Melbourne. Also worth mentioning is the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast’s elaborate Hinterlands.

    34. Yoh An .. I suspect that the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are more LNP territory than ALP because they were built on tourism and as virtual dormitories for well off retirees not on labour intensive industries that were the keys in the development of ALP voting areas such as Newcastle, Wollongong and Geelong. Also worth noting that prior to development the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast were a string of country towns with the accompanying rural conservatism.

    35. Yoh An, I have no basis in fact for this comment, but your question did make me think about it.

      I wonder if it’s industry structure rather than education or income levels that make somewhere vote Green as opposed to Liberal or the like. Sydney and Melbourne, being of a population order higher than the other capital cities, dominate the national culture conversation and its media. Likewise, I think it’s probable that they also have larger advertising, graphic design, industrial design, software, and architecture industries. If working for/or at least the presence of said industries ties in with a Green presence, then once a critical mass of people is reached, there are enough voters clustered in particular areas to start to have an impact politically.

      It’s maybe not so much that other cities don’t have these industries, but that they don’t play as big an economic role as a share of the economy in places like the Gold Coast.

    36. I don’t know if this is even gonna help them but surely last night spelt an end for the National Party here and another attempt to prop up a Liberal at the next election like they did a couple years back. They took a huge primary vote blow and might not even end up in the 2CP.

    37. This is the big untold story of the night. The utter collapse of the Nationals here is just breathtaking, to the extent that they might end up feeding preferences to save Labor from the Greens… I frankly didn’t see it coming. Firefox was right. What an extraordinary recovery from the local elections last year.

      This seat more than any other is a cautionary tale to Labor, the Coalition and the media both that you ignore Climate Change at your fucking peril. It’s not a sideshow, it’s definitely not a fringe issue, it’s front and centre, and it’s affecting people’s lives now.

      And at this stage it’s not a cert that Mandy Nolan’s necessarily lost it. Watch how the postal votes come in. Justine Elliot could slip back into third. God I hope so. Mandy Nolan deserves it, and honestly, Justine Elliot deserves the loss even more.

    38. I am surprised this seat is not in the doubtful category. I assume the preferences will put the LNP Higher and probably push the ALP ahead of the Greens, but it is not a sure thing (without knowing how the preferences flow)

    39. The Nats need to give up Richmond, Page, Cowper and Lyne to the Liberal Party. But they won’t do it. The demographics are against them.

    40. LNP Insider, it seems Page and Lyne have been comfortably retained by the Nationals, with Page even swinging in favour of incumbent Kevin Hogan so it appears the Nats are still safe in these areas.

      But Richmond and Cowper are where the Nats suffered big swings against them, probably because they are more urban compared to Page and Lyne (which still retain most of the smaller townships).

    41. Lyne has both Port Macquarie AND Coffs. Long term they won’t be voting Nationals.

      You might be right about Page though.

    42. It is now in the doubtful category. It would seem that Labor is very likely but a look at the AEC indicates the Lismore prepoll is not in the current count

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