Electoral district of Clarence

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For the abolished district in Tasmania, see Electoral district of Clarence (Tasmania).
Location in New South Wales

Clarence is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales.

It was represented by Steve Cansdell of the National Party of Australia until he resigned on 16 September 2011 due to issues relating to a statutory declaration related to a speeding offence.[1] The current MP is Chris Gulaptis, who was elected in the November 2011 by-election.

It includes all of the Clarence Valley Council (including Grafton, Maclean, Yamba, Illuka, Junction Hill, Ulmarra, Coutts Crossing and Glenreagh), most of the Richmond Valley Council (including Casino, Coraki, Woodburn, Evans Head and Tatham) and the far northern part of the City of Coffs Harbour (including Red Rock, Corindi and Corindi Beach).[2]


Clarence was created in 1859, replacing Clarence and Darling Downs. In 1920, with the introduction of proportional representation in 1920, it was absorbed into Byron along with Lismore. In 1927, it was recreated.

It has historically been a safe Nationals seat, however has been occasionally won by Labor.

Members for Clarence[edit]

First incarnation (1859–1920)
Member Party Term
  Clark Irving None 1859–1864
  John Laycock None 1864–1866
  John Robertson None 1866–1869
  Thomas Bawden None 1869–1880
  Charles Fawcett None 1880–1880
  John Purves None 1880–1887
  John McFarlane Protectionist 1887–1901
  Progressive 1901–1907
  Liberal Reform 1907–1915
  William Zuill Liberal Reform 1915–1917
  Nationalist 1917–1920
Second incarnation (1927–present)
Member Party Term
  Alfred Pollack Country 1927–1931
  Alfred Henry Country 1931–1938
  Cecil Wingfield Country 1938–1955
  Bill Weiley Country 1955–1971
  Matt Singleton Country 1971–1981
  Don Day Labor 1981–1984
  Ian Causley National 1984–1996
  Harry Woods Labor 1996–2003
  Steve Cansdell National 2003–2011
  Chris Gulaptis National 2011–present

Election results[edit]

Clarence state by-election, 2011[3][4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Chris Gulaptis 24,555 56.7 -6.1
Labor Peter Ellem 12,098 28.0 +17.8
Greens Janet Cavanaugh 3,099 7.2 +0.3
Outdoor Recreation Clinton Mead 1,066 2.5 +2.5
Independent Wade Walker 979 2.3 +2.3
Christian Democrats Bethany Camac 832 1.9 +0.1
Independent Stewart Scott-Irving 372 0.9 +0.9
Democrats David Robinson 272 0.6 +0.6
Total formal votes 43,273 97.4 -0.5
Informal votes 1,139 2.6 +0.5
Turnout 44,412 85.0
Two-party-preferred result
National Chris Gulaptis 25,512 65.1 -16.3
Labor Peter Ellem 13,657 34.9 +16.3
National hold Swing -16.3


  1. ^ "National Party MP for Clarence Steve Cansdell resigns". News.Com.Au. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  2. ^ "Clarence". New South Wales Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  3. ^ "Check Count - Two Candidate Preferred". New South Wales Electoral Commission. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Check Count Results". New South Wales Electoral Commission. Retrieved 25 November 2011.