Margin: Labor 14.4%
Region: Sydney St George District
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Electorate analysis: Renamed from Georges River at the redistribution before the 2007 election, Oatley sits on the northern bank of Georges River about 12 kilometres south-west of the city centre, from Oatley west to Lugarno and north through Mortdale to Narwee. Georges River was usually in conservative hands from its creation in 1930 until 1970, when Frank Walker gained it for Labor at a by-election with an 11 per cent swing. A minister in the Wran/Unsworth government, Walker held the seat until 1988 when he was defeated by Liberal candidate Terry Griffiths. The Liberals’ position was strengthened by the redistribution that took effect at the 1991 election, and Griffiths was easily re-elected. Griffiths served as Police Minister from 1992 to 1994, when he was compelled to resign from cabinet and the Liberal Party after it emerged that a number of staff members had made complaints of sexual harassment against him. Marie Ficarra retained the seat for the Liberals at the 1995 election, but it fell to Labor in 1999 after an unfavourable redistribution and an 8.3 per cent swing.
The new member was former primary school headmaster Kevin Greene, who secured the seat with a further 7.4 per cent swing in 2003 and won promotion to Community Services Minister after the 2007 election. In September 2008 he was one of five ministers Morris Iemma sought to have dumped from the ministry, prompting the Right faction rebellion that cost him his job. Greene was instead eased into the more modest gaming and racing and sport and recreation portfolios, further acquiring major events in June 2010. His Liberal opponent is local councillor Mark Coure.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.