Division of Cowper

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Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of COWPER 2016.png
Division of Cowper in New South Wales, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1901
MP Luke Hartsuyker
Party National
Namesake Charles Cowper
Electors 118,388 (2016)
Area 7,296 km2 (2,817.0 sq mi)
Demographic Rural

The Division of Cowper is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The division was created in 1900 and was one of the original 75 divisions contested at the first federal election. It is named for Charles Cowper, an early Premier of New South Wales.[1]

The division is located on the north coast of New South Wales, and on its current boundaries takes in the towns of Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Macksville and Nambucca Heads.

The Member for Cowper, since the 2001 election, is Luke Hartsuyker, a member of the National Party of Australia.

Now covering his Port Macquarie base, former independent MP Rob Oakeshott is contesting Cowper at the 2016 election. Multiple seat-level opinion polls in the seat of Cowper found incumbent National Hartsuyker and independent Oakeshott neck and neck on the two-party vote.


Except for one brief break, the seat has been held by the National Party (previously known as the Country Party) and its predecessors since 1919.[1] Its most prominent member has been Sir Earle Page, former leader of the Country Party and interim Prime Minister of Australia in 1939. He represented Cowper from 1919 to 1961, longer than any other MP who represented one seat (or its predecessors) for his entire career. It has usually been fairly safe for that party, and became even more so when its more urbanised area (including Page's hometown of Grafton) was shifted to the newly created Division of Page in 1984.

As at the 2011 Australian census, residents within the Division of Cowper had the lowest level of median weekly household income.[2]

In February 2016, New South Wales federal electoral districts were redistributed. The northern parts of Cowper, from Sapphire Beach to Red Rock were shifted to the division of Page.


Member Party Term
  Francis Clarke Protectionist 1901–1903
  Henry Lee Free Trade, Anti-Socialist 1903–1906
  John Thomson Protectionist 1906–1909
  Commonwealth Liberal 1909–1917
  Nationalist 1917–1919
  (Sir) Earle Page Country 1919–1961
  Frank McGuren Labor 1961–1963
  Ian Robinson Country 1963–1975
  National Country 1975–1982
  National 1982–1984
  Garry Nehl National 1984–2001
  Luke Hartsuyker National 2001–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2013: Cowper[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Luke Hartsuyker 45,820 53.05 +2.28
Labor Alfredo Navarro 21,910 25.37 −2.45
Greens Carol Vernon 10,685 12.37 +3.28
Palmer United Rod Jeanneret 5,739 6.64 +6.64
Christian Democrats Bethany McAlpine 2,224 2.57 +0.18
Total formal votes 86,378 94.72 −0.95
Informal votes 4,813 5.28 +0.95
Turnout 91,191 93.86 −0.19
Two-party-preferred result
National Luke Hartsuyker 53,303 61.71 +2.44
Labor Alfredo Navarro 33,075 38.29 −2.44
National hold Swing +2.44


  1. ^ a b Profile of the Electoral Division of Cowper, Australian Electoral Commission, retrieved 9 May 2012 
  2. ^ "Median weekly household income". Mumble census gallery. 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Cowper, NSW". Election 2013. Australian Electoral Commission. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°23′02″S 152°52′12″E / 30.384°S 152.870°E / -30.384; 152.870