Friday, February 4, 2011

Charlestown (Key Seat)

Current MP: Matthew Morris (ALP), since 2003. Like many Hunter MP's, his dad was an ex-federal MP.
Federal electorates covered by: Newcastle/Shortland/Charlton
Margin: ALP by 7.0% over Paul Scarfe (vs the Liberals it is by 14.6%)
Candidates: Matthew Morris is running again. Vet Andrew Cornwell is the Liberal candidate. Barry Johnston, a Lake Macquarie councilor, says he will run if no strong independent runs.
Observation: This seat could still fall in an election like this. If independents announce, this could be at a very good chance of falling, although OPV may affect it (if it was CPV, if independents announced Morris would be gone). Even if no independents announced, Cornwell is seen as a good candidate, so even then it might fall.
Prediction: Labor retain (this may change if a strong independent announces)

Cessnock (Key Seat)

Current MP: Kerry Hickey (ALP), since 1999. He is retiring at this election.
Electorates covered by: Hunter/Charlton
Margin: ALP by 12.4%
Candidates: The new Labor candidate is Clayton Barr, a teacher. The Nationals candidate is Alison Davey, also a teacher and a local mayor. Two local councilors (Dale Troy and Allan McCudden) are contesting as independents, and Ian Olsen (the deputy mayor) might too.
Issues: Another seat where the selloff may hurt. Also, the previous MP, Kerry Hickey, got himself into hot water over an affair with a staffer, which tendered his retirement.
Observation: This is usually a safe seat (and even safer on federal figures), but 12% doesn't seem all that safe. In this climate, it could still go. Add a retiring MP to the figures, and you have a seat to watch.

Castle Hill

Current MP: Michael Richardson, since 1993 (Liberal). He is retiring at this election.
Electorates covered by: Mitchell/Berowra
Margin: Liberal by 19.1%
Candidates: The new Liberal candidate is Dominic Perottet, a lawyer associated with the Christian Right of the party. Labor's candidate is Ryan Tracey.
Demographics: The electorate contains the 2nd highest proportion of traditional families (48.9%) and has the 4th highest proportion of dwellings (78.5%). However, in contrast to electorates with similar demographics, it is a safe Liberal electorate, rather than a marginal.
Observation: This seat is a very safe Liberal electorate, and it is very hard to see anything changing in this election.
Prediction: Liberal retain


Current MP: Linda Burney (ALP), since 2003. She is the Minister of Community Services, and was the first Aboriginal MP in NSW.
Federal electorates covered by: Watson/Grayndler
Margin: ALP by 27.1%
Candidates: Linda Burney is running again. Liberal candidate is Ken Nam, who contested Watson in the federal electorate and got a nice swing towards him.
Demographics: Nothing really special, it is ranked 7th in the NESB rankings, but unlike some seats the migrants tend to be across the board.
Observation: This seat is still safe for Labor and it is hard to see if that will change in this election.
Prediction: Labor retain

Campbelltown (Key Seat)

Current MP: Graham West (ALP), since the 2001 by-election. He is retiring at this election.
Federal electorates covered by: Werriwa/Macarthur
Margin: ALP by 18.5%
Candidates: The new ALP candidate is Nick Bleasdale, who contested Macarthur in 2007 and 2010, narrowly losing in both elections. The branches wanted Anoulack Chanthivong, but due to race issues, head office planted Bleasdale. Liberal candidate is local policeman Bryan Doyle.
Demographics: The electorate (god only knows why) has a lot of young people, with it having the 4th highest proportion of 15-24 year olds, as well as having a lot of housing commission. It is probably the most mono-cultural of Labor's safe seats in Sydney, with only 18.46% of the population being born with in a non-English speaking country.
Issues: The dumping of the original candidate might not be seen as a good move by some people.
Observation: Campbelltown's one of the strangest electorates, being a bridging gap of sorts between Labor's ethnic heartland and the more marginal outer suburbs. In this case, it is normally a safe Labor electorate, but in a year like this, it could still fall.
Prediction: Labor retain


Current MP: Geoff Corrigan (ALP) since 2003
Federal electorates covered by: Macarthur/Werriwa
Margin: ALP by 3.9%
Candidates: Corrigan is running again. Chris Patterson, the local mayor, is the Liberal candidate.
Demographics: A very new and young area, with a very high proportion of children (8.3% are under 5, and a further 17.3% are 5-14). Also, 20% of people in this electorate currently attend school.
Observation: This electorate is changing. Once a rural electorate on the fringe of Sydney, it is now an area with a lot of new housing estates, making it more desirable for 'aspirationals', also making it more of a swing seat. In a year like this, it is very hard to see how Labor can win a seat like this.
Prediction: LIBERAL GAIN

Cabramatta (Key Seat)

Current MP: Nick Lalich (ALP), since the 2008 by-election, where he replaced Reba Meagher.
Federal electorates covered by: Fowler
Margin: ALP by 29.0% (or 7.2% on the by-election results)
Candidates: Nick Lalich is re-contesting. Vietnamese documentary producer Dai Le is the Liberal candidate. Danny Griffiths is the Greens candidate.
Demographics: At least on demographics, this should be the solidest Labor seat out there. It has a ridiculous Vietnamese population (32% of people are born in South East Asia, around 10 times the average), a very high proportion of Buddhists (35% of the population, 15 times the average), around 4/5ths of the population have at least one parent born overseas, and few people in the electorate with professional employment, with most people being employed as unskilled workers.
Observation: With that in mind, that fact that it seen as even close is showing how bad NSW Labor are. That's what might well happen, with Lalich seen as a hack and Le seen as quite impressive. Also, in ethnic areas of NSW, there was a huge swing against Labor.
Prediction: Labor retain