Robertson – Australia 2022

LIB 4.2%

Incumbent MP
Lucy Wicks, since 2013.

Geography
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.

History
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.

Candidates

  • Patrick Murphy (Animal Justice)
  • Gordon Reid (Labor)
  • Paul Borthwick (Citizens Party)
  • Lucy Wicks (Liberal)
  • Barbara-Jane Murray (United Australia)
  • Bentley Logan (Liberal Democrats)
  • Jeffrey Lawson (Indigenous-Aboriginal Party)
  • Billy O’Grady (One Nation)
  • Kate Mason (Informed Medical Options)
  • Alexandra Hafner (Federation)
  • Shelly McGrath (Greens)
  • 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

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    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
    Informal7,4937.2+2.2

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    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
    Erina8.956.722,04122.9
    Woy Woy8.847.413,79314.4
    Gosford9.249.911,66912.1
    West8.162.51,8231.9
    Pre-poll6.454.735,92537.4
    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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    62 COMMENTS

    1. This is a seat which has received remarkably little attention – especially considering it doesn’t need a big swing to fall. It has also been mentioned in the last few days as a seat where the Libs are in trouble – and if the swing is on, that may really be the case. Any local intel out there?

    2. If the polls are to believed it’s seats like Robertson, Lindsay, Casey, Pearce and Deakin that will be close. Seems all the attention is being given to seats with smaller margins like Chisholm, Reid, Swan which Labor should easily win theoretically on a uniform swing.

    3. Real tight race here. It’s been a bellweather seat since 1983 (that’s 8 Prime Ministers) and yet has gotten little attention.

      I guess it’s because the outer-suburban mortage belt seats are less interesting than say, inner-city, small-l liberal seats and regional Queensland and Tasmanian seats.

    4. I’d be suprised Labor is ahead by this much in Robertson because Robertson hasn’t had as much chatter as Reid, Swan, Pearce, Chisholm, or Boothby. It’s certainly in play for Labor though.

      “Industry Association of 800 respondents per seat showed Liberals incumbents trailing 58-42 in Robertson”.

    5. Robertson ALP booth volunteers posting on pollbludger seem positive about the crowd response so far…

    6. Our real problem here is the empty shop growing community and not much infucsturture, real problems lie with the local and state. Whoever wins I hope it’s the party in charge and wants to hold onto the seat and do some real work!

    7. I live in Roberson. The ALP candidate is popular and personable and a doctor. Looking good to win. But the corflute coverage and advertising has been way stronger from the Libs here. ALP don’t seem to have spent nearly as much as the Libs in Dobell, Robertson, Paterson and Shortland where I’ve been this week.

    8. @Su is it true that the Libs have campaigned hard in Shortland? I don’t think they’ve ever held that seat.

      I know the candidate in Paterson is a well-connected photogenic ex-staffer, but didn’t seem to detect much momentum for her.

    9. Local here, not much advertisement for Alp candidate BUT could be a big win for them as there are lot of health care workers, including myself, that were visited by various union reps weeks leading up and will all be voting labor.
      That goes for everywhere else too. Don’t underestimate the voting influence of one of the biggest industries in the country.

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