Division of Robertson

The Division of Robertson is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales.

Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Robertson in New South Wales, as of the 2016 federal election.
MPLucy Wicks
NamesakeSir John Robertson
Electors111,255 (2019)
Area980 km2 (378.4 sq mi)


Sir John Robertson, the division's namesake

The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 65 divisions to be contested at the first federal election. The division was named after Sir John Robertson, the fifth Premier of New South Wales.

Originally, Robertson was anchored in rural central NSW, encompassing the area around Dubbo, Mudgee and Wellington. It moved eastward to take in Gosford in 1913, and since then it has been moved further eastward in successive redistributions. By 1969, it had moved to approximately its current position on the Central Coast, immediately north of the Hawkesbury River, and now includes none of its original territory. Nonetheless, it has retained the name of Robertson, in part because the Australian Electoral Commission is required to preserve the names of original electorates where possible.[1]

It encompasses the towns of Woy Woy, Gosford and Terrigal.

Two of its members have served as Senators prior or subsequent to their tenures on Robertson. Former Senator Belinda Neal was elected in Robertson in 2007 and Deborah O'Neill became a Senator shortly after losing Robertson in 2013.

In recent years, Robertson has been a bellwether electorate in federal elections, taking on a character similar to mortgage belt seats on Sydney's outer fringe. It has been held by a member of the party of government since the 1983 federal election. In addition, after Mike Kelly became the first opposition MP elected to represent Eden-Monaro since 1975, Robertson currently holds the record for the longest-running bellwether seat in Australia.

The current Member for Robertson, since the 2013 federal election, is Lucy Wicks, a member of the Liberal Party of Australia.

The new bellwether

Ahead of the 2016 election, ABC psephologist Antony Green listed Robertson in his election guide as one of eleven which he classed as "bellwether" electorates. Prior to the 2016 election, the seat of Eden-Monaro was long regarded as Australia's most famous bellwether. From the 1972 election until the 2013 election – over 40 years – Eden-Monaro was won by the party that also won government. No longer the nation's famous bellwether seat after the Labor opposition won it at the 2016 election, the nation's new longest-running bellwether is Robertson – continually won by the party that won government since the 1983 election.[2]


Image Member Party Term Notes
  Henry Willis
Free Trade 29 March 1901
Lost seat. Later elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Upper Hunter in 1910
  Anti-Socialist 1906 –
26 May 1909
  Commonwealth Liberal 26 May 1909 –
13 April 1910
  William Johnson
Labor 13 April 1910
31 May 1913
Lost seat
  William Fleming
Commonwealth Liberal 31 May 1913
17 February 1917
Previously held the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Upper Hunter. Lost seat
  Nationalist 17 February 1917 –
March 1921
  Country March 1921 –
16 December 1922
  Sydney Gardner
Nationalist 16 December 1922
7 May 1931
Served as Chief Government Whip in the House under Lyons. Lost seat
  United Australia 7 May 1931 –
21 September 1940
  Eric Spooner
United Australia 21 September 1940
21 August 1943
Previously held the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Ryde and served as Deputy Leader of the United Australia Party in NSW. Served as minister under Menzies and Fadden. Lost seat
  Thomas Williams
Labor 21 August 1943
10 December 1949
Lost seat
  Roger Dean
Liberal 10 December 1949
30 September 1964
Resigned in order to become Administrator of the Northern Territory
  William Bridges-Maxwell
Liberal 5 December 1964
25 October 1969
Lost seat
  Barry Cohen
Labor 25 October 1969
19 February 1990
Served as minister under Hawke. Retired
  Frank Walker
Labor 24 March 1990
2 March 1996
Previously held the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Georges River. Served as minister under Keating. Lost seat
  Jim Lloyd
Liberal 2 March 1996
24 November 2007
Served as Chief Government Whip in the House under Howard. Served as minister under Howard. Lost seat
  Belinda Neal
Labor 24 November 2007
19 July 2010
Previously a member of the Senate. Lost preselection and retired
  Deborah O'Neill
Labor 21 August 2010
7 September 2013
Lost seat. Later appointed to the Senate in 2013
  Lucy Wicks
Liberal 7 September 2013

Election results

2019 Australian federal election: Robertson[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Lucy Wicks 45,011 46.86 +2.18
Labor Anne Charlton 32,761 34.10 −4.33
Greens Cath Connor 7,601 7.91 −0.44
Independent David Abrahams 2,915 3.03 +3.03
United Australia Robert Marks 2,702 2.81 +2.81
Animal Justice Sean Bremner Young 2,000 2.08 +2.08
Sustainable Australia Judy Singer 1,719 1.79 +1.79
Christian Democrats Fiona Stucken 1,352 1.41 −1.25
Total formal votes 96,061 92.76 −2.21
Informal votes 7,493 7.24 +2.21
Turnout 103,554 93.17 +0.65
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Lucy Wicks 52,100 54.24 +3.10
Labor Anne Charlton 43,961 45.76 −3.10
Liberal hold Swing+3.10


  1. "Guidelines for naming divisions". Australian Electoral Commission. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  2. The Bellwether Contests: Antony Green ABC
  3. Robertson, NSW, Tally Room 2019, Australian Electoral Commission.

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