Division of Hunter

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This article is about the federal electoral division. For the New South Wales electoral district, see Electoral district of Upper Hunter.
Hunter
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of HUNTER 2016.png
Division of Hunter in New South Wales, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1901
MP Joel Fitzgibbon
Party Labor
Namesake John Hunter
Electors 113,469 (2016)
Area 10,640 km2 (4,108.1 sq mi)
Demographic Rural

The Division of Hunter is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The Division was named after Captain John Hunter, the second Governor of New South Wales.

The division is located in northern rural New South Wales, and covers about 36 percent of the Hunter Region, including the towns of Singleton, Muswellbrook, Cessnock and Denman. The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 75 divisions to be contested at the first federal election.

The Member for the Division of Hunter, since the 1996 federal election, is Joel Fitzgibbon, a member of the Australian Labor Party.

2015 abolition[edit]

In 2015 the Australian Electoral Commission announced plans to abolish the federation seat of Hunter. Electors in the north of Hunter will join New England. The roughly 40 percent remainder will become part of Paterson, where the Liberal margin is set to be notionally reduced from 9.8 percent to just 0.5 percent as a result. Since the Commission's guidelines require it to preserve the names of original electorates where possible, the commission proposed renaming Charlton to Hunter. Due to changing populations, overall New South Wales loses a seat while Western Australia gets an extra seat.[1][2][3]

The final plan, however, saw Charlton abolished, with Hunter pushed slightly eastward to absorb much of Charlton's former territory.[4] While most of the new Hunter's voters come from the old Charlton, as previously mentioned Commission guidelines required the name of Hunter to be retained.[5] The Labor incumbent for Charlton, Pat Conroy, opted to contest neighbouring Shortland in order to allow Fitzgibbon to contest the new Hunter.

History[edit]

The seat has been in Labor hands since 1910, and for most of that time has been reasonably safe for that party. The Hunter Region has been one of the few country areas where Labor has consistently done well. Among its notable members have been Prime Minister Edmund Barton, former Labor Leaders Matthew Charlton and Dr H. V. Evatt, and Joel Fitzgibbon, who was a minister in the first and second Rudd governments. The seat became somewhat marginal in 1984 when much of its territory was shifted to the newly created Charlton, but since 1990 Labor has never tallied less than 53 percent of the two-party vote.

The seat has been held by two father-son combinations. Rowley James held the seat from 1928 to 1958 before giving it up for Evatt, who was in danger of losing his Sydney-area seat of Barton and wanted a friendlier seat in which to run. Evatt was succeeded after one term by Rowley James' son, Bert, who held it until 1980. Eric Fitzgibbon won the seat in 1984, handing it to his son and current member, Joel, in 1996.

Members[edit]

Member Party Term
  (Sir) Edmund Barton Protectionist 1901–1903
  Frank Liddell Free Trade, Anti-Socialist 1903–1909
  Commonwealth Liberal 1909–1910
  Matthew Charlton Labor 1910–1928
  Rowley James Labor 1928–1931
  Lang Labor 1931–1936
  Labor 1936–1958
  H. V. Evatt Labor 1958–1960
  Bert James Labor 1960–1980
  Bob Brown Labor 1980–1984
  Eric Fitzgibbon Labor 1984–1996
  Joel Fitzgibbon Labor 1996–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2016: Hunter[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labor Joel Fitzgibbon 49,962 51.79 +7.08
National Ruth Rogers 25,409 26.34 +9.65
Greens Peter Morris 6,842 7.09 +1.00
Independent John Harvey 4,740 4.91 +4.91
Christian Democrats Richard Stretton 3,260 3.38 +0.79
Independent Cordelia Troy 3,216 3.33 +3.33
Independent John Warham 1,934 2.00 +2.00
Independent Arjay Martin 1,103 1.14 +1.14
Total formal votes 96,466 92.12 −1.26
Informal votes 8,249 7.88 +1.26
Turnout 104,715 92.29 −0.51
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Joel Fitzgibbon 60,255 62.46 +6.78
National Ruth Rogers 36,211 37.54 −6.78
Labor hold Swing +6.78

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°22′30″S 150°46′41″E / 32.375°S 150.778°E / -32.375; 150.778