All you need to know about the Lyne by-election
Posted by Possum Comitatus on August 6, 2008
With acknowledgement to the Pollbludger of the same name
The yellow is the Federal electorate of Lyne, with the State electorates overlaid.
The soon to be independent member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott, currently holds the State seat of Port Macquarie. Now by the word “hold” I don’t mean he scrapes in, I mean he HOLDS it, not only getting 67% of the primary vote, but winning every single booth on the primary vote as well – Rob Oakeshott doesnt know what a preference looks like.
So the Port Macquarie area of the seat, making up approximately half of the population of Lyne, is his -no ifs, no buts.
Yet it doesn’t stop there; Wauchope, once in the Port Macquarie electorate, has strongly supported Oakeshott before an earlier electoral redistribution at the State level and will again now at the Federal level, especially since the good denizens of Wauchope are rather pissed that the Mayor of the Port Macquarie Hastings City Council Rob Drew – now ironically the Nationals candidate for Lyne (oh dear) – proceeded to piss around $70 million of ratepayers hard earned up the wall on the Glasshouse development fiasco in Port, a piece of negligence for which the Council was subsequently sacked for incompetence much to the cheer of many Wauchopians. Mr Drew wont find much in the way of electoral solace in Timbertown.
One of the funny things about Lyne, and something I know about personally having grown up there and retaining large chunks of family in the electorate, is that there are large community ties between the Hastings Valley which makes up most of the Port Macquarie electorate by population, and the Manning Valley which provides the other large population centre of Lyne – Taree. The communities of Taree and Port Macquarie are politically similar, as are the smaller local satellite communities of Wingham and Wauchope.
With Port Macquarie and Wauchope supporting Oakeshott, Taree and Wingham will follow. We can already see how this will play out in Taree by looking at some of the booth results at the last State election. The coastal hamlet of Harrington, which is close to Taree and filled with people that work in Taree (yet has strangely been placed in the Port Macquarie electorate), gave Oakeshott 75% of the primary vote in the Harrington booth. I would be surprised if the Taree booths gave a result that strong, but with the ALP not running, a good chunk of their 30% and a bit vote they usually receive will flow to Oakeshott, and most Liberal oriented voters in the town (of which there are plenty – Vaile only beat a Liberal candidate in the 1993 election by a couple of hundred votes) will vote for Oakeshott – probably giving him around the 55% of the primary vote mark in the Taree booths, maybe a tad higher. Not as high as the 70%+ he will receive in some of the Hastings Valley booths with the ALP not running, but high enough to thump the seven shades of shit out of the Nats.
That’s three out of four of the largest population centres, leaving us Wingham – the place from where I actually originate. The burghers of Wingham are usually Nats voters, but went 25% for One Nation in 1998. I can’t see Wingham doing anything other than following their swamp donkey cousins in Taree and voting for Oakeshott as well, especially considering the 1998 predisposition to vote for a conservative that isn’t Lib/Nat.
The only real question over Lyne is the size of Oakeshott’s win. He wont go to preferences, but my money is on a primary vote of around 63%.
However, here’s a hot tip – the Nats will still poll well in the Comboyne booth, perhaps even coming close to Oakeshott on primaries. Considering the thumping they’re going to receive, 100 votes is nothing to scoff at