Battlegrounds: NSW and ACT

20 August 2013

Written by: Liam Quinn

In the final few weeks prior to the election, several key seats are still up for grabs across the country. Adria De Fazio will profile some of the most crucial electorates state-by-state, turning her attention to New South Wales and the ACT.

Australian Capital Territory

There are two seats in the ACT – Fraser and Canberra.

Canberra is held by Labor’s Gai Brodtmann, who when elected in 2010, did so with 59.2 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote. Fraser tells the same story, with Andrew Leigh – a Labor Party member – being elected to the seat with 64.2 per cent of the vote.

New South Wales


The electorate, found near Sydney, has spent most of its 29 years in Labor hands – the Liberal Party had control from 2004-2010. The current MP, ALP’s Michelle Rowland was elected in 2010 with a two-party preferred margin of 0.9 per cent.




Jamie Cavanough – Australian Voice

Allan Green – Christian Democrats (Fred Nile Group)

Chris Brentin – Greens

Anthony Belcastro – Katter’s Australian Party

Michelle Rowland – ALP

Jaymes Diaz – LNP

Jodie Wootton – Palmer United

Tom Lillicrap – Sex Party

Maree Nichols – Rise Up Australia

Why’s it vulnerable?

Labor’s grasp over Greenway is precarious. The latest Galaxy Research poll shows the Liberal Party will form government. The only saving grace for Michelle Rowland and Greenway is Jaymes Diaz: the LNP candidate that is certain of one element of the party’s six-point plan. That said; will Diaz be a help or a hindrance for Labor?


Macquarie stands as the Liberal Party’s most-marginal NSW seat. Louise Markus, who is recontesting this election, gained a seat in the House of Representatives in 2010. When looking at the electorate’s recent voting history, Labor has held the seat for short stints, whereas the Liberal’s have been re-elected. In 2010, the Liberla Party regained the seat from Labor with a swing of 1.54 per cent, according to the Tally Room.


Matt Hodgson – Australia First

Tony Piper – Christian Democrats (Fred Nile Group)

Teresa Elaro – Democratic Labour

Danielle Wheeler – Greens

Susan Templeman – ALP

Louise Markus – LNP

Philip Maxwell – Palmer United

Mark Littlejohn – Sex Party

Why’s it vulnerable?

With NSW being hotly contested, all parties and candidates must be on their best behaviour. As Macquarie holds the title of Liberal NSW’s most marginal seat, Labor and the Greens will be working hard to topple Markus. If she wants to hold onto her electorate, there is a need for a strong political debate in Macquarie (and Australia!)


The seat of Robertson has seen great peaks and troughs. At the 2004 election, then Liberal MP Jim Lloyd regained his seat with 56.8 per cent of the vote. Three years later, the gap closed, with Labor candidate Belinda Neal taking the reigns and 50.1 percent of the vote. In 2010, incumbent MP, Labor’s Deborah O’Neill took over.


Douglas McFarland – Australian Independents

Holly Beecham – Christian Democrats (Fred Nile Group)

Paul Sheeran – Democratic Labour

­Kate da Costa – Greens

Deborah O’Neill – ALP

Lucy Wicks – LNP

Steven Whitaker – Palmer United

Jake Cassar – Independent

Lawrie McKinna – Independent

Why’s it vulnerable?

The electorate of Robertson has seen some substantial shifts between parties. This graph, by The Tally Room, shows that there is no certainty when it comes to this NSW electorate. In an age when everything is documented online, these candidates must appeal directly to their electors.

Adria De Fazio is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University, and part of upstart’s election coverage. Follow her on Twitter: @adriadf.

Photo: Twitter