So NSW votes on Saturday next, though some of us already have:
Pre-poll voting at Wollongong Town Hall last Saturday
While it is most likely that Premier Mike Baird’s government will return, though with a reduced majority, the electorate of Wollongong may surprise.
Wollongong has normally been Labor Party heartland, but in the 1980s it temporarily escaped from the fold. The Independent Mayor of Wollongong, Frank Arkell, came close to victory in 1981, and returned to win in both 1984 and 1988. However, after one term of the Greiner government, Labor’s vote returned in the Illawarra, and Labor easily defeated Arkell in 1991.
Wollongong was held for Labor by Gerry Sullivan 1991-99, but he was pushed aside in 1999 as part of a factional deal that resulted in Keira MP Col Markham moving to represent Wollongong. Markham was defeated by current MP Noreen Hay in a rank and file pre-selection ballot ahead of the 2003 election.
Hay was glimpsed on the edges of the ICAC inquiry into the Wollongong Council development and sex scandals that did so much to tarnish the image of the last Labor government. She survived that issue, and then narrowly survived defeated at the hands of Independent Gordon Bradbery at the 2011 election. Bradbery was subsequently elected Lord Mayor of Wollongong in 2012. Hay also recently survived a challenge to her Labor pre-selection.
I predict a win for Arthur Rorris.
And speaking of prediction:
Now that will surprise some of you! I am a participant, and this round (Round 3) which finishes tonight I have done rather well! Aside from foolishly choosing the Cowboys to beat the Broncos, I am spot on. So the Panthers need to beat the Roosters tonight…
Last Wednesday at City Diggers: Satay Chicken Skewers With Fried Rice & Satay Sauce