Robertson – Australia 2022

LIB 4.2%

Incumbent MP
Lucy Wicks, since 2013.

Robertson covers the southern half of the Central Coast. It covers most of Gosford LGA, with the exception of a few suburbs on the border with Wyong LGA including Wamberal, Matcham, Holgate and Mt Elliot. Major centres in the electorate include Gosford, Erina, Terrigal, Woy Woy and Umina.

Robertson was first created in 1900 for the first federal election in 1901. The seat originally was an inland seat particularly covering Dubbo and Wellington and the Upper Hunter. It quickly moved towards the Central Coast, which it first covered in 1913.

The seat continued to shift and at one point also covered the coast to the north of Newcastle, before firmly settling on the Central Coast in 1974. The 1984 redistribution saw the seat take its current shape covering the southern half of the Central Coast.

For most of its history the seat was dominated by conservative MPs before mostly supporting the ALP over the last forty years. The seat was held by Henry Willis who won it for the Free Trade Party and maintained his hold until he lost it in 1910 to William Johnson of the ALP. Johnson only managed to hold the seat for one term, and was the only Labor member for the seat before the Second World War. He was succeeded by William Fleming of the Liberals, who proceeded to represent the Nationalists and joined the newly-formed Country Party in 1921. He ran for the seat as a Country Party candidate in 1922 and came third, with Sydney Gardner of the Nationalist Party holding the seat. Gardner maintained the seat until 1940, joining the United Australia Party in 1931.

At the 1940 election Gardner was one of two UAP candidates to run in Robertson, and came third on primary votes, and the other UAP candidate, Eric Spooner, won the seat on Gardner’s preferences in a close race with the ALP. Thomas Williams of the ALP won the seat in 1943 and held it until 1949, when he was defeated by the Liberal Party’s Roger Dean. Dean held the seat until he resigned in 1964 to become Administrator of the Northern Territory. His successor, William Bridges-Maxwell, won a by-election and was reelected in 1966 before being defeated by the ALP’s Barry Cohen in 1969.

Cohen held the seat for 21 years, serving as a minister from 1983 to 1987 in the Hawke government before retiring in 1990. He was succeeded by Frank Walker, who had been a minister in the state government before losing his seat in the 1988 state election. Walker served as a minister in the second Keating government from 1993 to 1996 before losing his seat to Jim Lloyd of the Liberal Party.

Lloyd held the seat for the entire length of the Howard government. He saw off Belinda Neal in 1998, when she resigned from the Senate to run for the seat. Lloyd was a minister from July 2004 until he lost his seat to Neal at the 2007 election. The seat was the ALP’s most marginal victory at the 2007 election, with Neal winning by 184 votes.

Belinda Neal was a controversial MP, and she lost preselection in 2010 to Deb O’Neill. O’Neill retained the seat for the ALP with an increased margin in 2010, but lost in 2013 to Liberal candidate Lucy Wicks. Wicks was re-elected in 2016 and 2019.


  • Vania Holt (Independent)
  • Jeff Lawson (Indigenous-Aboriginal Party)
  • Gordon Reid (Labor)
  • Lucy Wicks (Liberal)
  • Assessment
    Robertson is a marginal seat and has traditionally clung close to the national result. Labor would be hoping to win this seat back.

    2019 result

    Lucy Wicks Liberal 45,01146.9+2.2
    Anne Charlton Labor 32,76134.1-4.3
    Cath Connor Greens 7,6017.9-0.4
    David Fraser AbrahamsIndependent2,9153.0+3.0
    Robert James MarksUnited Australia Party2,7022.8+2.8
    Sean Bremner YoungAnimal Justice2,0002.1+2.1
    Judy SingerSustainable Australia1,7191.8+1.8
    Fiona Phoebe StuckenChristian Democratic Party1,3521.4-1.3

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Lucy Wicks Liberal 52,10054.2+3.1
    Anne Charlton Labor 43,96145.8-3.1

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into four areas.

    Most booths are in the eastern part of the seat near the coast, and these have been divided between the three main centres of Gosford, Erina and Woy Woy. The remainder of booths in the sparsely-populated west have been grouped together as “West”.

    The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in Erina (56.7%) and the west (62.5%). Labor won 50.1% in Gosford and 52.6% in Woy Woy.

    Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Woy Woy8.847.413,79314.4
    Other votes8.559.610,81011.3

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

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    1. I would have thought the Liberals would be favorites to retain. However, if Scott Morrison continues to sag in the vaccine rollout and the NSW state government continues to have problems with the Covid outbreak. Then voters may turn on the Liberals in a seat like this.

      I know there was speculation months ago that if Labor Senator Deborah O’Neil wanted to continue her political career she would have to contest her old seat. She is in a battle in the Labor Right for the top spot on the senate ticket against Kristina Keneally and the constellation prize of third spot on the ticket is viewed as unwinnable.

      A seat to keep an eye on.

    2. i think 1 name is going to surprise a lot of people in this seat is vania holt as Ms Holt will be taking on the role of instructing solicitor, assisted by new law graduate Eric Zhang(TNL senate candidate nsw). They will work with criminal barrister Mark Higgins and senior sex crimes detective Susan Campbell. with them taking on the case against christian porter they will get a lot of tongues wagging and take this seat from the current member

    3. raymond johnson
      I’M surprised that Ben hasn’t warned you about posting this weirdo stuff. No matter. I’m always curious, so ill ask you what is it that you want ? You & your fellow travellers have won. You people have destroyed Christian Porter’s political future, & career. What more do you want ?. Isn’t that enough ? What will satisfy you ?

    4. raymond johnson the party you’ve also been bragging about on twitter has next to no support, and if you really wanted to get tongues wagging against Christian Porter (a bit of a sham case anyway given none of your cronies were his alleged victims) then run in Pearce. Robertson don’t/won’t care about something which has no relevance to their electorate at all. The contest is between Labor and Liberal; no one else. It could well swing, we’ll just have to see.

    5. @raymond johnson
      I have been seriously considering voting for The New Liberals. I think I may be somewhat turned off after reading that.

    6. Wicks has got lucky 3 times. I don’t see why she can’t be lucky a 4th time. Wicks is popular here and Woy Woy is likely to turn on Labor because Albanese will be toxic in towns like this.

      Unless covid reaches this part of the state I see not only Wicks holding but she will increase her margin and Gosford will be gained by the Liberals at the next state election.

    7. Why is Albanese “toxic” in Woy Woy? (Don’t just restate your own heavily-biased opinion as an assumed fact – explain why.)

    8. Well backing the coalition’s tax cuts for a start is one example of a recent bad move (Many Labor folk will hate him for this trust me) but also Labor won’t be able to win Robertson in general because of Asylum Seekers (I believe this cost them this seat in 2013)

      Even if Albanese says he won’t reverse the coalition’s immigration policies, there are many Labor backbenchers who will disagree and do anything to change that. and the Greens could make Labor change the immigration policies as a deal in the senate considering they would hold the balance of power if Labor does much better in the senate.

      The NSW Central coast has been drifting from Labor in recent election cycles (Shortland and Hunter is evidence) despite Dobell and Paterson being won in 2016 that was a fluke because of redistributions and retiring mps and Turnbull wasn’t exactly “liked”

      People have got to understand Morrison is no Turnbull. At the last election it eas evident Labor was campaigning against Turnbull not Morrison. And the strategy they used against Turnbull in 2016 didn’t work in 2019 because Turnbull wasn’t pm.

      Albanese is no Shorten but Labor’s policies are disliked by a majority of Australians. After-all who has been in government for 50 of the last 72 years? Answer that.

      It’s because the Coalition is extremely popular with the Australian public and almost every election Labor makes the same mistakes it always has. Natural governing parties in the western world have 1 thing in common, they are popular.

      Robertson is not moving because this seat traditionally goes with government and this seat voted to the right of the nation in both 2016 and 2019. Shift going on?

    9. Look Daniel, I’m certainly in the right side of the spectrum but I’m certainly not deluded enough to think that the Coalition are “extremely popular with the Australian public”. If anything, a majority of the Coalition’s success is from Labor’s mistakes.

      While you may be correct on the Central Coast as a whole, lumping Robertson in with Shortland and Hunter is a mistake – they have fundamentally different demographics. If anything, I think this is one of the more vulnerable seats in NSW due to the weak incumbent.

    10. Daniel
      Well done to identify the running sore of asylum seekers. If ever there was issue that the public has spoken on (emphatically) asylum seekers would be it. Whatever position labor takes on this issue, they will never, repeat NEVER have any credibility with it. The history/record of most senior figures is on record. Oh and no one has ever apologised to all australians for getting it so wrong, & then opposing the (solutions ?) remedies (as there was no solution) to all the problems that they created . This kind of issue cuts deep in aN “Anglo” electorate like this one.As does Labor’s, self serving dissembling nonsense on this issue.

      Robertson is a good example of last election’s “shift phenomenon”. Lib booths swinging strongly to Lab/greens, & the reverse for Lab booths. Check out Pretty Beach (13%+!!) Holgate, Matcham. Without this counter trend Labor’s electoral debacle would be a lot clearer. I’ll be surprised if the wave of resentful malice displayed across the Labor booths is finished yet. OTH the climate alarmism that inspired the shift in Lib booths must eventually abate.Perhaps not this election ?
      The public keep telling pollies that “”COST OF LIVING”” is the biggest issue that determines votes. Politicians keep on ignoring this (clear fact/message). If they respond it’s with complex obfuscations . This election the govt can point to “historic” tax cuts as a response. Its really a ‘one trick pony” without addressing “bracket creep “. The pretence of one policy “solution” to a wide ranging, complex issue is spectacularly absurd, as to be almost insulting & dismissive (to we voters). However tax cuts, will be a teflon suit for the govt.

      2016 VS 2019 hmmm . Let’s not overlook the impact of”‘ Mediscare “. Turnbull didn’t deal with it, but it was pretty big. Mediscare nearly won the day here. It’s amazing how often i hear apprehensions ( often even presented as fact) of attacking, or even abolishing Medicare as potential liberal policy !!!!!!!!!!. “They have form”” (so it goes) What in ?? committing existential, political “HARA KIRI” !!!!!??? 2016 was thus an “INCOMPARABLE”! election !!
      In conclusion i’d add that reducing any aspect of the social justice safety net is as electorally suicidal for the libs, as (introducing) capital gains tax on the family home is for Labor !!!. Both are as equally improbable & UNLIKELY , as the proverbial ant climbing an elephants leg with the intention of RAPE !!!.

    11. Daniel if Labor folk are going to vote away from Labor because of the tax issue, then surely they won’t vote Liberal? Also winning Paterson wasn’t a fluke. A popular local MP who likely held up the Liberal vote artificially high for a while retired, the redistribution moved more Labor-friendly areas in, and the swing was similar to what we saw in Macarthur and Burt at the same election, where heavy redistributions meant that the voters Labor could pitch to were likely to be more favourable to them.

    12. Ryan, they could vote Liberal to punish Labor on the issue but they could also cast an informal vote for a minor party by not numbering all the boxes. Or they could cast a spoilt ballot. Some left wing voters I know did this at the last election.

      And the coalition is popular, look at Scott Morrisons approval rating, it is way higher than Albanese who’s approval and disapproval are both neck and neck. There is a reason why John Howard was rated as a top prime minister, it was because the Australian public loved him up until workchoices killed his government.

      On the topic of Robertson, the Howard government almost held the seat in 2007 and most pundits were surprised when Labor had a swing to them here in 2010. This seat definitely leans to the right but isn’t safe. Well not safe under normal circumstances but at this election it isn’t in play in my opinion, again we shall see.

      It probably isn’t going to be a coalition landslide anymore, likely a narrow majority at this stage with a hung parliament possible but unless someone here can tell me how Labor is getting to 76 because I struggle to see Labor getting 76 with the likely loss of seats in QLD and NSW

    13. I’m not all that familiar with the Hunter and Central Coast, but it would appear that it’s quite a diverse region and I do wonder if a lot of the discussion around the politics of the region treats it too homogeneously.

    14. There is a particular reason for this reprint of my post in 2019
      If any “spoiled brat” from any marginal electorate wants to whinge about not getting enough –WHATEVER
      i’ll personally give them a worse going over (thrashing) than i did this ingrate !!. Thats a pledge. Try getting anything if you live in a safe electorate !! sheesh!!.
      cheers WD

      Sally April 17, 2019 at 6:01 pm
      As a liberal voter I think Lucy wicks has done sod all for her electorate. The 600 jobs she promised for the ato turned out to be for a call centre. She backed abbot over turnball and is so low key as to be invisible. What has she achieved for our electorate.

      winediamond April 24, 2019 at 3:53 pm
      Looking at Wick’s twitter for a couple of minutes. It appears that she is organising, & orchestrating, nearly daily visits of Fed MINISTERS literally throwing tens of $millions at Robertson. Not just announcements, but commitments. Exactly what more do you expect ??. Doubtless we would all like our MPs to be doing the same for us. Perhaps you believe more is being done up the road in Dobell ??. If so you would be sadly mistaken !!.
      I suggest your criticisms, & complaint are groundless. You are fortunate enough to live in a crucial marginal electorate, & no matter which side is in power, it will receive huge benefits. Perhaps you ought show some gratitude, & appreciation.

    15. hard to tell if this will swing or not. It is a classic marginal seat but with an ongoing strengthening of the lib vote in the equivalent of the State seat of Terrigal. post Barry Cohen….. the ALP tends to win here when win government and lose here when they lose.

    16. With the Central Coast in lockdown I wonder how that will impact the voting in Roberston. Only 7 cased in the last 4 weeks but still locked down.

    17. WD, perhaps its my own bias talking but I don’t put much virtue in people who have been staffers.

    18. Wreathy of Sydney
      Thanks mate. I guess Wicks has hardly set the world on fire… Yes we have to really question what staffers actually bring to the table ?

    19. My question, Is Vania Holt (New Liberals) who is their candidate for this seat in any relation to former moderate Liberal prime minister Harold Holt?

    20. I wouldn’t exactly know although two New Liberals candidates have resigned in the last month or so out of an original batch of seventeen.

    21. The Liberal Party have been working to chip away at Woy Woy for a while now and the results have been fairly mixed. But she is recording very strong numbers the further east you move in the seat.

      The biggest surprise for me is the LIB flipping Kincumber and Avoca Beach and coming close to flipping Copacabana. What will be crucial is whether she retains that.

    22. Its been reported in the Australian, Gordon Reid, a local doctor of Aboriginal heritage, has been preselected unopposed to run as Labor’s candidate for Robertson.

    23. I think the liberals hold here, the fact they performed better then the 2013 landslide in 2019 shows the traction here is leaning liberal over this cycle, potentially a slight swing to labor but won’t be near enough to flip the seat.

    24. Pez – who do you think will win the nation overall? Robertson has voted with the winner since 1984.

    25. Robertson is definitely a seat to watch. Lucy Wicks will be lucky to retain it, as Vania Holt will take votes away from the worn out Liberals.

    26. John T
      Yeah Vania Holt will capture thousands, no tens of thousands of votes from the libs !!!!. Yeah sure.
      & Clive palmer is a threat too. Mate she will have all the force, & impact of wet noodle wielded by a quadriplegic !

    27. James January 4, 2022 at 1:12 pm
      So today Albo is on the Central Coast – Dobell and Robertson – what does this mean. Dobell Labor holds by 1,5% and Robertson is held by the Liberal Party by 4.2%. So does that mean Dobell is in trouble for Labor or Robertson is a change?

      iF we could find out how time Albo spent in each seat. If most was in Dobell that would be significant.
      However i reckon Albo thinks he is going to win, & that he needs Robertson to form majority govt, so maybe it was pretty even?
      He ain’t going to get Robertson so that means minority govt. OTH if manages to lose Dobell…..!
      I’ts illustrative yet again of just how breathtaking, & massive his conceit is. Man does he rate himself, on the quiet of, course !.

    28. It is almost a pointless exercise to speculate if Labor were campaigning in Robertson OR Dobell. They are so intertwined. Same local government area and the boundaries split places like Wyoming and Wamberal in two. And both are marginal. The Central Coast is always a region in play.

    29. Redistributed
      Just because the two seats are connected, doesn’t mean that speculation can’t be made , or drawn from the attention given to them by each side. Your eagerness to dismiss my speculation is revealing, but there is no reason not to examine the tactics of the parties, & leaders.

      You are correct that it is difficult to find other seats so “intertwined”. However for every similarity , there would be comparable difference. Those differences are rapidly evolving, & burgeoning.

      It is highly doubtful that Robertson will be very marginal at all after the next redistribution. There are quite a few seats Labor lost 1996 that don’t look marginal now. This is likely to become another. As always Keating was quick to take credit for Labor being “a victim of it’s own success” in creating an aspirational middle class !


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