Margin: Labor 28.7%
Region: Western Sydney
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Electorate analysis: Auburn is located 10 kilometres due west of the city centre, from Homebush Bay south through Auburn and Lidcombe to Regents Park and Greenacre. It was created at the 1927 election when it was won by Jack Lang, who was then leading his first Labor government to defeat. Lang led Labor back to power in 1930, and out of it again when Governor Phillip Game dismissed him in 1932. He was eventually expelled by the party in 1942, but continued to hold Auburn for his own ALP (Non-Communist) Party until 1946. Indulgent local voters elected him to the federal seat of Reid in 1946; his state vacancy was filled at a by-election by his son, James Christian Lang. Labor finally recovered the seat in 1950 and have held it ever since.
Barbara Perry, a Legal Aid lawyer and Auburn councillor of Lebanese descent, won Auburn at a September 2001 by-election after her predecessor Peter Nagle retired due to ill health. Luke McIlveen of The Australian reported that Right powerbrokers (including Eddie Obeid and Eric Roozendal) had originally backed Talal Yassine, a solicitor and Lebanese community leader, but the faction instead threw its weight behind Perry to ward off a challenge from Caroline Staples of the Left. Perry remained associated with the Terrigals Right sub-faction of Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid. After the 2007 election she was elevated to the ministry in the juvenile justice portfolio, winning further promotion to local government when Nathan Rees became leader in September 2008, and gained added responsibility for planning when Kristina Keneally became leader in December 2009.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.