Electorate: Lake Macquarie
Margin: Independent 0.1% versus Labor
Region: Central Coast
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Electorate analysis: The electorate of Lake Macquarie is bounded to the east by the feature that bears its name, consisting of a thinly populated western half dominated by state forest and an east dominated by the Sydney to Newcastle Freeway and Main Northern Railway. The main population centres, from south to north, are Wyee, Morriset, Cooranbong and Fassifern. Lake Macquarie was in Labor hands from its creation in 1950 until 2007, previous member Jeff Hunter having succeeded father Merv in 1991. Like many other local MPs, Hunter was compelled to deny knowledge of rumours surrounding Swansea MP Milton Orkopoulos after his arrest on child prostitution, sexual assault and drugs charges in November 2006. At the 2007 election he was unseated by local mayor and independent candidate Greg Piper, who comfortably outpolled the Liberal candidate and ended up 106 votes clear of Hunter after preferences. The Labor candidate this time is Marcus Mariani, a former police officer and current project officer at the University of Newcastle.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.