Margin: Liberal 11.2%
Location: South-Western Regional, New South Wales
In a nutshell: Farrer became the latest seat to transfer from Nationals to Liberal control when Tim Fischer retired at the 2001 election, at which the Nationals candidate was defeated by Sussan Ley.
Electorate analysis: Farrer has taken in the city of Albury on the border with Victoria since it was created in 1949, extending further eastwards over time due to relative population decline in the country. The current redistribution has dramatically increased its surface area by adding Broken Hill from Parkes and the largly empty “Unincorporated Area” to its north, all the way to the Queensland border. The latter area was added after the redistribution consultation process, following objections to the original proposal that the load of remote territory be borne entirely by Parkes. The seat was held by the Liberals from its creation until 1984, and while that year’s redistribution substantially changed its character by depriving it of Wagga Wagga (leading Liberal incumbent Wally Fife to contest its new home of Hume), Tim Fischer’s success in winning it for the National Party can be largely credited to his 13 years as member for the local state seat of Sturt. When Fischer retired in 2001, Liberal candidate Sussan Ley defeated Bill Bott of the Nationals by 206 votes after leading the primary vote 37.7 per cent to 23.4 per cent.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.