1973 New South Wales state election

Elections for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly were held in the state of New South Wales, Australia, on Saturday 17 November 1973. The result was a win for the Liberal-Country Party coalition under Sir Robert Askin, which had been in office since 1965. As of 2019, this was the last time the Coalition won a fourth-term in New South Wales.

1973 New South Wales state election

← 1971 17 November 1973 (1973-11-17) 1976 →

All 99 seats in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
50 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Robert Askin 1966.jpg Pat Hills.jpg
Leader Robert Askin Pat Hills
Party Liberal/Country coalition Labor
Leader since 17 July 1959 2 December 1968
Leader's seat Pittwater Phillip
Last election 49 seats 45 seats
Seats won 52 seats 44 seats
Seat change Increase3 Decrease1
Percentage 44.33% 42.93%
Swing Decrease0.06 Decrease2.09

New South Wales Legislative Assembly 1973.svg
Legislative Assembly after the election

Premier before election

Robert Askin
Liberal/Country coalition

Elected Premier

Robert Askin
Liberal/Country coalition


The Legislative Assembly had been enlarged by three members to 99 adding the seats of Woronora, Penrith and Ku-ring-gai.

The election was held just eleven months after the Liberal/Country coalition lost the federal election after 23 years in power. Askin called an early election to take advantage of the increasing economic issues which had been attributed to the Whitlam Labor government.

Leader of the Legislative Council Neville Wran, who would become Premier at the next election moved from the unelected Legislative Council to the Legislative Assembly after the late retirement of Clarrie Earl in the seat of Bass Hill.

Key datesEdit

Date Event
19 October 1973 The Legislative Assembly was dissolved, and writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.[1]
25 October 1973 Nominations for candidates for the election closed at noon.
17 November 1973 Polling day, between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
3 December 1973 The sixth Askin-Cutler ministry was constituted.
4 December 1973 Parliament resumed for business.
7 December 1973 The writ was returned and the results formally declared.


The Democratic Labor Party won its only lower house seat at the 1973 election following the Liberal Party's incumbent for the northern Sydney seat of GordonHarry Jago failed to nominate in time. Conservative voters were urged to vote for the DLP candidate, Kevin Harrold.

New South Wales state election, 17 November 1973[1][2][3]
Legislative Assembly
<< 19711976 >>

Enrolled voters 2,767,876[a]
Votes cast 2,560,653 Turnout 92.51 -0.75
Informal votes 69,225 Informal 2.70 +0.36
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 1,069,614 42.93 –2.09 44 – 1
  Liberal 843,325 33.85 –1.89 34 + 2
  Country 261,504 10.48 +1.83 18 + 1
  Democratic Labor 148,378 5.96 +2.79 1 + 1
  Australia 104,821 4.21 +3.15 0 ± 0
  Communist 838 0.03 –0.06 0 ± 0
  Independent 63,358 2.54 –3.24 2 ± 0
Total 2,491,428     99  

Seats changing handsEdit

Seat Pre-1973 Swing Post-1973
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Burrendong   Labor Leo Nott 1.8 -5.6 3.8 Roger Wotton Country  
Gordon   Liberal Harry Jago* N/A N/A 29.4 Kevin Harrold Democratic Labor  
South Coast   Liberal Jack Beale 0.9 -2.3 1.7 John Hatton Independent  
  • Members in italics did not recontest their seats.
  • Sitting Liberal MP for Gordon, Harry Jago failed to renominate as a candidate by the deadline. As a result, the Liberal party endorsed the DLP candidate against the Labor candidate, and Kevin Harrold won the seat.
  • In addition, the Liberal party held the seat of Murray, which it had won from an Independent in the 1973 by-election.

Redistribution affected seatsEdit

Seat 1971 Election 1973 Redistribution Swing 1973 Election
Party Member Margin Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Gosford   Labor Keith O'Connell 2.6   Liberal Notional 1.1 +4.6 5.7 Malcolm Brooks Liberal  
Nepean   Labor Ron Mulock 1.6   Liberal Notional 1.9 +1.4 3.3 Ron Rofe Liberal  

Post-election PendulumEdit

Murray Mary Meillon LIB 2.7% v IND
Hurstville Tom Mead LIB 3.1%
Nepean Ron Rofe LIB 3.3%
Ashfield David Hunter LIB 3.6%
Burrendong Roger Wotton CP 3.8%
Cronulla Ian Griffith LIB 4.7%
Fuller Peter Coleman LIB 5.3%
Gosford Malcolm Brooks LIB 5.7%
Fairly Safe
Miranda Tim Walker LIB 6.4%
Earlwood Eric Willis LIB 6.7%
Monaro Steve Mauger LIB 7.3%
Yaralla Lerryn Mutton LIB 9.8%
Young George Freudenstein CP 10.4%
Wakehurst Allan Viney LIB 11.4%
Wollondilly Tom Lewis LIB 12.0%
Burwood John Jackett LIB 12.4%
Bathurst Clive Osborne CP 12.8%
Armidale David Leitch CP 13.0%
Manly Douglas Darby LIB 13.0%
Albury Gordon Mackie LIB 13.4%
Tamworth Noel Park CP 13.6%
Upper Hunter Col Fisher CP 13.8%
Byron Jack Boyd CP 14.3%
Kirribilli John Waddy LIB 14.3%
Dubbo John Mason LIB 15.0%
Hornsby Neil Pickard LIB 15.4%
Hawkesbury Kevin Rozzoli LIB 16.5%
Eastwood Jim Clough LIB 17.4% v AP
Goulburn Ron Brewer CP 17.9%
Clarence Matt Singleton CP 18.1%
Raleigh Jim Brown CP 18.4%
Tenterfield Tim Bruxner CP 18.6%
Vaucluse Keith Doyle LIB 18.8% v AP
Davidson Dick Healey LIB 19.0%
Pittwater Robert Askin LIB 19.2%
Lane Cove Ken McCaw LIB 19.3%
Willoughby Laurie McGinty LIB 19.3%
Maitland Milton Morris LIB 19.6%
Wagga Wagga Wal Fife LIB 19.7%
Orange Charles Cutler CP 20.1%
The Hills Max Ruddock LIB 20.2%
Northcott Jim Cameron LIB 20.4% v AP
Temora Jim Taylor CP 20.5%
Sturt Tim Fischer CP 21.7%
Oxley Bruce Cowan CP 22.6%
Lismore Bruce Duncan CP 24.8%
Gloucester Leon Punch CP 25.2%
Barwon Geoff Crawford CP 25.5% v AP
Bligh John Barraclough LIB 30.0% v AP
Mosman David Arblaster LIB 30.0% v AP
Ku-ring-gai John Maddison LIB 31.2%
Coogee Michael Cleary ALP 0.1%*
Drummoyne Michael Maher ALP 0.7%
Georges River Frank Walker ALP 0.7%
Casino Don Day ALP 1.0%
Castlereagh Jack Renshaw ALP 1.3%
Murrumbidgee Lin Gordon ALP 1.7%
Burrinjuck Terry Sheahan ALP 2.0%
Woronora Maurie Keane ALP 2.2%
Kogarah Bill Crabtree ALP 5.1%
Campbelltown Cliff Mallam ALP 5.6%
Fairly Safe
Waverley Syd Einfeld ALP 6.4%
Parramatta Dan Mahoney ALP 6.6%
Peats Keith O'Connell ALP 7.3%
Charlestown Richard Face ALP 8.4%
Lakemba Vince Durick ALP 9.7%
Canterbury Kevin Stewart ALP 9.9%
Maroubra Bill Haigh ALP 9.9%
Penrith Ron Mulock ALP 9.9%
Wentworthville Ernie Quinn ALP 10.1%
Bass Hill Neville Wran ALP 10.7%
East Hills Pat Rogan ALP 11.1%
Merrylands Jack Ferguson ALP 11.9%
Wollongong Eric Ramsay ALP 12.4%
Blacktown Gordon Barnier ALP 12.7%
Bankstown Nick Kearns ALP 12.8%
Newcastle Arthur Wade ALP 12.9%
Mount Druitt Tony Johnson ALP 13.3%
Rockdale Brian Bannon ALP 13.4%
Auburn Peter Cox ALP 14.1%
Munmorah Harry Jensen ALP 14.6%
Corrimal Laurie Kelly ALP 14.8%
Heathcote Rex Jackson ALP 15.5%
Granville Pat Flaherty ALP 17.5%
Marrickville Tom Cahill ALP 17.7%
Fairfield Eric Bedford ALP 17.8%
Liverpool George Paciullo ALP 18.0%
Illawarra George Petersen ALP 22.7% v DLP
Lake Macquarie Merv Hunter ALP 23.2% v IND
Heffron Laurie Brereton ALP 23.8% v DLP
Phillip Pat Hills ALP 24.9%
Balmain Roger Degen ALP 26.5% v DLP
Wallsend Ken Booth ALP 26.5% v DLP
Waratah Sam Jones ALP 26.6% v DLP
Cessnock George Neilly ALP 28.1% v DLP
Broken Hill Lew Johnstone ALP unopp.
South Coast John Hatton IND 1.7% v LIB
Blue Mountains Harold Coates IND 6.5% v ALP
Gordon Kevin Harrold DLP 29.4% v ALP
  • The results for Coogee was based on the result of the by-election that was held as a result of the decision by the Court of Disputed Returns due to the closeness off the result for the electorate at the 1973 election.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ There were 2,788,733 enrolled voters but 20,857 were enrolled in Broken Hill (Labor) which was uncontested at the election.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Green, Antony. "1973 election totals". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  2. ^ Australian Government and Politics Database. "Parliament of New South Wales, Assembly election, 17 November 1973". Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  3. ^ Hughes, Colin A. (1977). A handbook of Australian government and politics, 1965-1974. ANU Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-7081-1340-0.