Electoral district of Newcastle

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This article is about the New South Wales state electorate. For the Australian federal electorate, see Division of Newcastle. For the abolished South Australian electorate, see Electoral district of Newcastle (South Australia).
New South WalesLegislative Assembly
State New South Wales
Dates current 1859–1894
MP Tim Crakanthorp
Party Australian Labor Party
Area 121.22 km2 (46.8 sq mi)

Newcastle is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales named after and including Newcastle. It was represented since 2011 by Tim Owen of the Liberal Party of Australia who became an independent in 2014 shortly before resigning from parliament. The 2014 Newcastle by-election occurred on 25 October, Tim Crakanthorp of the Australian Labor Party regained the seat.

The district takes in the eastern part of the City of Newcastle, including the parts of the suburbs from Hexham to Mayfield lying to the east of the Main North railway line, Broadmeadow, Hamilton South, Merewether Heights and Merewether and the suburbs further east, including central Newcastle and Hamilton. It also includes the Port Stephens Council suburbs of Fern Bay and Fullerton Cove.[1]


Newcastle was created in 1859 from part of North Eastern Boroughs. It gained a second member in 1880 and a third member in 1889.[2] With the abolition of multi-member electorates in 1894, it was divided into Newcastle East, Newcastle West, Kahibah, Waratah and Wickham. Newcastle East and Newcastle West were abolished in 1904, with the reduction in the size of Parliament and Newcastle was recreated. With the introduction of proportional representation in 1920, it absorbed Kahibah, Wallsend and Wickham and elected five members. With the end of proportional representation in 1927, Newcastle was split into the single-member electorates of Newcastle, Hamilton, Kahibah and Wallsend. Changes to the electoral boundaries were debated.[3][4]

It has since been usually held by the Australian Labor Party; the Upper Hunter is one of the few country areas where Labor consistently does well. This pattern was threatened in early 2007, when sitting member Bryce Gaudry lost his preselection to a former local newsreader, Jodi McKay. Gaudry opted to stand as an independent and as a consequence split the Labor Party's vote. Independent former Lord Mayor of Newcastle John Tate came close to winning the seat after preferences but McKay managed to hold on. Labor's previous margin of over 15% had been slashed to as little as 1.4%, making it one of Labor's most marginal seats.

At the New South Wales state election, 2011, Liberal Tim Owen defeated incumbent and one-term member McKay and popular Independent Tate, marking the first time the Liberals or their predecessors had won Newcastle as a single-member seat in over a century. This was one of many gains the Liberals made in what was previously Labor heartland.

Owen became an independent and moved to the crossbench on 6 August 2014 after accusations at ICAC.[5] He resigned from parliament on 12 August 2014 after evidence of corruption was uncovered.[6] The Liberals opted not to contest the ensuing by-election, which saw Labor reclaim the seat handily.

Members for Newcastle[edit]

First incarnation (1859—1880, 1 member)
Member Party Term
  Arthur Hodgson None 1859–1860
  James Hannell None 1860–1869
  George Lloyd None 1869–1877
  Richard Bowker None 1877–1880
(1880—1889, 2 members)
Member Party Term Member Party Term
  James Fletcher None 1880–1887   George Lloyd None 1880–1882
  James Ellis None 1882–1885
  George Lloyd None 1885–1887
  Protectionist 1887–1889   James Ellis Free Trade 1887–1889
(1889—1894, 3 members)
Member Party Term Member Party Term Member Party Term
  James Fletcher Protectionist 1889–1891   Alexander Brown Protectionist 1889–1891   William Grahame Protectionist 1889–1889
  James Curley Free Trade 1889–1891
  David Scott Labour 1891–1894   John Fegan Labour 1891–1894   William Grahame Protectionist 1891–1894
Second incarnation (1904—1920, 1 member)
Member Party Term
  William Dick Liberal Reform 1904–1907
  Owen Gilbert Liberal Reform 1907–1910
  Arthur Gardiner Labour 1910–1917
  Independent Labor 1917–1920
(1920—1927, 5 members)
Member Party Term Member Party Term Member Party Term Member Party Term Member Party Term
  Arthur Gardiner Independent 1920–1922   John Estell Labor 1920–1922   John Fegan Nationalist 1920–1922   William Kearsley Labor 1920–1921   Hugh Connell Labor 1920–1927
    David Murray Labor 1921–1927
  Walter Skelton Independent 1922–1925   Jack Baddeley Labor 1922–1927   Magnus Cromarty Nationalist 1922–1925
  Protestant Labor 1925–1927   George Booth Labor 1925–1927
(1927—present, 1 member)
Member Party Term
  Peter Connolly Labor 1927–1935
  Frank Hawkins Labor 1935–1968
  Arthur Wade Labor 1968–1988
  George Keegan Independent 1988–1991
  Bryce Gaudry Labor 1991–2007
  Independent 2007–2007
  Jodi McKay Labor 2007–2011
  Tim Owen Liberal 2011–2014
  Independent 2014–2014
  Tim Crakanthorp Labor 2014–present

Election results[edit]

New South Wales state election, 2015: Newcastle[7][8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labor Tim Crakanthorp 19,324 40.1 +9.1
Liberal Karen Howard 17,082 35.5 −1.7
Greens Michael Osborne 8,824 18.3 +3.3
Cyclists Sam Reich 817 1.7 +1.7
Christian Democrats Milton Caine 787 1.6 +0.3
No Land Tax Jasmin Addison 714 1.5 +1.5
Socialist Alliance Steve O'Brien 601 1.2 −0.2
Total formal votes 48,149 96.3 −0.4
Informal votes 1,837 3.7 +0.4
Turnout 49,986 90.3 +1.1
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Tim Crakanthorp 24,384 57.4 +9.8
Liberal Karen Howard 18,116 42.6 −9.8
Labor gain from Liberal Swing +9.8


  1. ^ "Newcastle Electoral District". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "A Third Member for Newcastle". Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate. 16 March 1888. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "District News". Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate. 30 June 1893. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Division of Electorates". Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate. 4 June 1901. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Two NSW Liberal MPs stand aside from the party following ICAC revelations on campaign funding: ABC 6 August 2014
  6. ^ Newcastle MP Tim Owen and Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell resign from NSW Parliament following ICAC donations inquiry: SMH 12 August 2014
  7. ^ State Electoral District of Newcastle: First Preference Votes, NSWEC.
  8. ^ State Electoral District of Newcastle: Distribution of Preferences, NSWEC.

External links[edit]