Margin: Labor 15.5%
Region: Western Sydney
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Electorate analysis: Smithfield covers Sydney’s western suburbs from Prospect and Greystanes out to Erskine Park and Mount Vernon. The seat has had two Labor members since it was created in 1988 – Janice Crosio, who became the federal member for Prospect in 1990, and Carl Scully, a senior minister in Bob Carr’s government who was one of two front-runners to replace Carr when he resigned in August 2005. He was outmanoeuvred in the ensuing leadership contest by Morris Iemma, having been damaged by the emergence of a pamphlet he wrote in 1992 querying the value of immunisation. In October 2006 he was forced to resign as Police Minister after twice misleading parliament over a report into the 2005 Cronulla riots, which led the party to conclude he would be a liability going into an election campaign.
After announcing three months out from the 2007 election that he would not seek another term, Scully was succeeded as Labor candidate by Fairfield mayor Ninos Khoshaba, who won preselection with the backing of Morris Iemma. Khoshaba was born in Iraq and is of Assyrian background, but emigrated to Australia at the age of four months. His Liberal opponent is Fairfield councillor Andrew Rohan, who also ran in 2007. Two weeks out from polling day, the Daily Telegraph reported internal polling had Labor bracing for defeat.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.