Division of Richmond

The Division of Richmond is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales.

Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Richmond in New South Wales, as of the 2016 federal election.
MPJustine Elliot
NamesakeRichmond River
Electors119,446 (2019)
Area2,148 km2 (829.3 sq mi)


The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 65 divisions to be contested at the first federal election. The division is named after the area in which it is located,[1] namely the Richmond Valley and Richmond River, which was named in honour of Charles, the fifth Duke of Richmond.[2]

Historically, the division has been a rural seat and fairly safe for the National Party (formerly called the Country Party), which held it for all but six years from 1922 to 2004. For 55 of those years, it was held by three generations of the Anthony family—Hubert Lawrence Anthony (a minister in the Fadden and Menzies governments), Doug Anthony (leader of the National Party from 1971 to 1984 and Deputy Prime Minister in the Gorton, McMahon and Fraser governments) and Larry Anthony (a minister in the Howard government)—the first three-generation dynasty in the Australian House of Representatives.[3] However, it became far less safe for the Nationals from 1983 onward, and strong population growth over the last three decades has seen it progressively lose its rural territory and reduced it to a more coastal-based and urbanised division. Accompanying demographic change has made the seat friendlier to Labor since the 1990s.

The division's most notable member outside of the Anthony family was Charles Blunt, leader of the National Party from 1989 to 1990. His tenure was short-lived, however. Just months after becoming leader of the Nationals, he was defeated in the 1990 election when the preferences of anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott allowed Neville Newell to claim the seat for Labor for the first time ever, despite only winning 27 percent of first preferences. It was only the second time that a major party leader had lost his own seat in an election. Larry Anthony (junior) regained the seat for the Nationals in 1996, only to be defeated by Labor's Justine Elliot in 2004—the first time a member of the Anthony family had been unseated in an election. In 2007, Elliot picked up a large swing as Labor won government, technically making Richmond a safe Labor seat. She retained the seat at the 2010, 2013 and 2016 elections. The victory in 2013 came even as Labor lost government, marking the second time (her 2004 victory being the first) that the non-Labor parties have been in government without holding Richmond.

Richmond had the sixth highest vote for the Australian Greens, and saw the highest rural seat vote for the Greens in the nation. A redistribution ahead of the 2016 election pushed the seat to the south, into the area around Ballina. Much of this area is in the state seat of Ballina, which was taken by the Greens at the 2015 state election.


The division is located in the far north-east of the state, adjacent to the Coral Sea. It adjoins the Queensland border to the north, and encompasses the towns of Ballina, Tweed Heads, Murwillumbah and Byron Bay.


Image Member Party Term Notes
  (Sir) Thomas Ewing
Protectionist 29 March 1901
26 May 1909
Previously held the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Lismore. Served as minister under Deakin. Retired
  Commonwealth Liberal 26 May 1909 –
19 February 1910
  Walter Massy-Greene
Commonwealth Liberal 13 April 1910
17 February 1917
Served as Chief Government Whip in the House under Cook and Hughes. Served as minister under Hughes. Lost seat. Later appointed to the Senate in 1923
  Nationalist 17 February 1917 –
16 December 1922
  Roland Green
Country 16 December 1922
23 October 1937
Lost seat
  Hubert Lawrence Anthony
Country 23 October 1937
12 July 1957
Served as minister under Menzies and Fadden. Died in office. Son is Doug Anthony and grandson is Larry Anthony
  Doug Anthony
Country 14 September 1957
2 May 1975
Served as minister under Menzies, Holt, McEwen, Gorton, McMahon and Fraser. Served as Deputy Prime Minister under Gorton, McMahon and Fraser. Resigned in order to retire from politics. Father was Hubert Lawrence Anthony and son is Larry Anthony
  National Country 2 May 1975 –
16 October 1982
  Nationals 16 October 1982 –
18 January 1984
  Charles Blunt
Nationals 18 February 1984
24 March 1990
Lost seat
  Neville Newell
Labor 24 March 1990
2 March 1996
Lost seat. Later elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Tweed in 1999
  Larry Anthony
Nationals 2 March 1996
9 October 2004
Served as minister under Howard. Lost seat. Grandfather was Hubert Lawrence Anthony and father is Doug Anthony
  Justine Elliot
Labor 9 October 2004
Served as minister under Rudd and Gillard. Incumbent

Election results

2019 Australian federal election: Richmond[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Matthew Fraser 36,979 36.86 −0.75
Labor Justine Elliot 31,807 31.71 +0.66
Greens Michael Lyon 20,384 20.32 −0.12
United Australia Hamish Mitchell 3,913 3.90 +3.90
Sustainable Australia Ronald McDonald 3,154 3.14 +3.14
Independent Ray Karam 1,566 1.56 +1.56
Christian Democrats Morgan Cox 1,338 1.33 −0.18
Involuntary Medication Objectors Tom Barnett 1,179 1.18 +1.18
Total formal votes 100,320 92.56 −3.77
Informal votes 8,061 7.44 +3.77
Turnout 108,381 90.82 +0.20
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Justine Elliot 54,251 54.08 +0.12
National Matthew Fraser 46,069 45.92 −0.12
Labor hold Swing +0.12


  1. "Profile of the electoral division of Richmond (NSW)". Current federal electoral divisions. Australian Electoral Commission. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  2. "Richmond River". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  3. Hogan, Allan (2011). "Dynasties: Anthony". ABC TV. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  4. Richmond, NSW, Tally Room 2019, Australian Electoral Commission.

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