Division of Newcastle

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This article is about the Australian federal electorate. For the New South Wales state electorate, see Electoral district of Newcastle. For the historical South Australian state electorate, see Electoral district of Newcastle (South Australia).
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of NEWCASTLE 2016.png
Division of Newcastle in New South Wales, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1901
MP Sharon Claydon
Party Labor
Namesake Newcastle, New South Wales
Electors 113,386 (2016)
Area 171 km2 (66.0 sq mi)
Demographic Provincial

The Division of Newcastle is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 75 divisions to be contested at the first federal election. The division was named after the city of Newcastle, around which the division is centred.

The current Member for the Division of Newcastle, since the 2013 federal election, is Sharon Claydon, a member of the Australian Labor Party.


It has been held by the Australian Labor Party for its entire existence. Historically, it has been one of that party's safest non-metropolitan seats; the Hunter Region is one of the few country regions where Labor consistently does well. Labor has never tallied less than 58 percent of the two-party preferred vote in a general election, and has only come close to losing it once, when it tallied 53 percent in a 1935 by-election. It is the only original division to be held by just one party since the first federal election.

The Division of Newcastle has had just six members since 1901, the equal fewest (with Melbourne Ports) of any of the original divisions. From 1901 to 1958, the seat was held by the Watkins family. The seat's first member, David Watkins, held the seat until his death in 1935. The ensuing by-election was won by his son, David Oliver. Allan Morris' brother Peter Morris was also a Member of the House, holding the Division of Shortland, which lies immediately to the south. Charles Jones' brother Sam was the member for Waratah in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for much of the time that he was the member. The electoral district of Waratah lay within the boundaries of the Division of Newcastle.

The seat's most prominent members were David Watkins, the second-longest serving member of the First Parliament, and Charles Jones, a minister in the Whitlam government.


Member Party Term
  David Watkins Labor 1901–1935
  David Oliver Watkins Labor 1935–1958
  Charles Jones Labor 1958–1983
  Allan Morris Labor 1983–2001
  Sharon Grierson Labor 2001–2013
  Sharon Claydon Labor 2013–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2016: Newcastle[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labor Sharon Claydon 46,762 47.12 +2.83
Liberal David Compton 29,689 29.92 −3.26
Greens John Mackenzie 13,558 13.66 +2.06
Drug Law Reform Karen Burge 3,391 3.42 +3.42
Independent Rod Holding 2,735 2.76 +2.17
Christian Democrats Milton Caine 2,132 2.15 +0.43
Democratic Labour Stuart Southwell 968 0.98 +0.98
Total formal votes 99,235 95.26 +1.56
Informal votes 4,939 4.74 −1.56
Turnout 104,174 91.88 −2.39
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Sharon Claydon 63,348 63.84 +4.44
Liberal David Compton 35,887 36.16 −4.44
Labor hold Swing +4.44


  1. ^ Newcastle, NSW, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°50′28″S 151°45′11″E / 32.841°S 151.753°E / -32.841; 151.753