New South Wales election 2015

Oxley

Margin: Nationals 28.8%
Region: North Coast
Federal: Cowper (79%)/Lyne (21%)

Outgoing member: Andrew Stoner (Nationals)

Candidates in ballot paper order

oxley-nat

oxley-alp

MELINDA PAVEY
Nationals (top)

JOHN KLOSE
Christian Democratic Party

FRAN ARMITAGE
Labor (bottom)

JOE COSTA
No Land Tax

CAROL VERNON
Greens

2011 BOOTH RESULTS MAP

PAST RESULTS

DEMOGRAPHICS

Two-party preferred booth results from 2011 state election showing Nationals majority in green and Labor in red. New boundaries in thicker blue lines, old ones in thinner red lines. Boundary data courtesy of Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

To be vacated at the coming election by the retirement of former Nationals leader Andrew Stoner, Oxley covers 100 kilometres of coast north of Port Macquarie and south of Coffs Harbour, from Urunga south to Crescent Head. Further inland, it extends from Dorrigo in the north through Wauchope south to the Manning River. The redistribution has added the Urunga township and its 3400 voters from Coffs Harbour, and transferred thinly populated territory at the interior end to Tamworth and Northern Tablelands.

Oxley was created as a three-member district when proportional representation was introduced in 1920, the name being retained when single-member electorates were reintroduced in 1927. It has never been held by Labor since the latter event, and last changed hands in 1965 when the Country Party recovered it upon the death of Liberal member Leslie Jordan, who had switched parties in 1959. The electorate included Port Macquarie until its temporary abolition between 1988 and 1991, when its territory was divided between the new seats of Port Macquarie and Manning. With the 1991 redistribution, Port Macquarie was maintained as an electorate independently of a recreated Oxley. Bruce Jeffery transferred from Oxley to Port Macquarie as Nationals member in 1988, while Manning went to party colleague Wendy Machin, previously member for abolished Gloucester. When Manning was abolished in 1991, Machin was accommodated in Port Macquarie and Jeffery moved back to the re-created Oxley.

Jeffery retired in 1999 and was succeeded by employment agency manager Andrew Stoner, who won promotion to the front bench in March 2002 and assumed the Nationals leadership when George Souris stepped down after the 2003 election, winning a party room vote over Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser by seven votes to five. The 2011 election victory made him Deputy Premier as well as Minister for Trade and Investment and Regional Infrastructure and Services, and he further took on tourism, small business and the North Coast when Mike Baird became Premier in April 2014. The following October he announced he would not contest the next election and resigned as party leader, to be replaced by Dubbo MP Troy Grant. At first Stoner declared himself set on staying in cabinet, but he resigned two days later citing family reasons. However, Andrew Clennell of the Daily Telegraph reported that his enemies within the party, George Souris and Andrew Fraser, had put it to Grant that his leadership would be in danger if Stoner’s position in cabinet wasn’t made available.

The Nationals’ new candidate is Melinda Pavey, who has served in the Legislative Council since 2002 and holds the position of parliamentary secretary for rural and regional health. Other candidates for the preselection were Adam Roberts, a Port Macquarie-Hastings councillor, and Patrick Conaghan, a local solicitor.

Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.

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