Margin: Labor 4.0%
Region: Outer South-Western Sydney
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Electorate analysis: The electorate of Camden is located in Sydney’s south-western outskirts, from Camden itself north to Bringelly and east to Claymore. It was created in its modern incarnation at the 1981 election when it was won for Labor by Ralph Brading, who was defeated in 1984 by future Liberal Premier John Fahey. Fahey moved to the new seat of Southern Highlands after new boundaries eliminated his margin, allowing Labor’s Peter Primrose to secure the narrowest of wins against the trend of the 1988 election. The redistribution at the 1991 election sent it back the other way, and Primrose was defeated by Liberal candidate Liz Kernohan. The Liberals dispiritingly failed to carry the seat when Kernohan took her personal vote into retirement at the 2003 election, with Labor’s Geoff Corrigan charging to victory on an 8.9 per cent swing. Corrigan gained a handy 3.3 per cent boost when the 2007 redistribution shifted the electorate closer to city, before suffering a 4.7 per cent swing that reduced his margin to 4.0 per cent.
Corrigan had previously been mayor of Camden, and also worked as a state public servant and with a mortgage broking business. After two terms on the back-bench he is saddling up for the seemingly hopeless task of defending his seat. The Liberal candidate is the current mayor, Chris Patterson, who also ran in 2007. Federal MP Pat Farmer was interested in moving to the seat after losing preselection for his existing seat of Macarthur, but by all accounts Patterson’s grip on the preselection was never in doubt.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.