Adam Carr's guide to
The 2007 Australian federal election

The House of Representatives


Division of Braddon


Mark Baker (Lib)

His Liberal Party website and his
campaign website

Sid Sidebottom (ALP)

His ALP website and
his campaign website

Peter Cunningham (LDP)

His Liberty and Democracy website

Wayne de Bomford (FF)

His Democrats website

Paul O'Halloran (Grn)

His Greens website
Location: Northern Tas: Burnie, Devonport, Ulverstone, Wynyard
Division named for: Sir Edward Braddon, Premier of Tasmania and member of the first federal Parliament
Median weekly family income: $689 (141st highest)
Persons born in non English speaking countries: 2.5% (146th highest)
Persons in professional occupations: 23.0% (97th highest)
Persons aged 65 and over: 14.1% (56th highest)
Couple families with dependent children: 35.8% (110th highest)
Dwellings being purchased: 26.7% (68th highest)
Sitting member: Mark Baker (Liberal), elected 2004
Born: 31 December 1958, Latrobe, Tasmania. Career: Carpenter and joiner, school teacher, business and financial consultant
1996 two-party majority: Liberal 05.7
1998 two-party majority: Labor 04.3
Effect of 2001 redistribution: no change
2001 two-party majority: Labor 06.0
2004 primary votes: Labor 43.0, Liberal 47.4, Green 5.6
2004 two-party majority: Liberal 01.1
2004 enrolment: 69,988
2007 enrolment: 71,022 (+01.5%)
Braddon was created in 1955 when the old seat of Darwin, which had occupied the same area of north-western Tasmania since 1903, was renamed. The seat has always included Burnie and Ulverstone, and more recently Devonport as well. It has at different times been strongly Labor and strongly anti-Labor, reflecting an electorate which is both largely working-class but also parochial and conservative. Consistent with this, Braddon has the 9th lowest median income level of any seat, and the 4th lowest level of people born in non English speaking countries. At the same time it has low levels of families with dependent children and of dwellings being purchased: this is a seat of low-income home-owners, not homebuyers. In 2004 the Liberals did best at Sassafras, Forest and Marrawah, with over 70% of the two-party vote, while Labor polled 66% at Acton and 63% at Savage River. Labor won most booths in Burnie, but the Liberals did better in Devonport, Ulverstone and Wynyard. Sid Sidebottom won Braddon for Labor in 1998-2004. He seemed well-entrenched, but was defeated by Mark Baker in 2004, a victim of Mark Latham's anti-logging forestry policy and John Howard's courting of the timber workers. With a new Labor leader and a new forests policy Sidebottom is hoping to reclaim the seat, and a local poll in June showed Sidebottom to be well ahead. In August John Howard staged a dramatic takeover of the state-run Mersey Hospital in Devonport in an effort to bolster Baker's position. It is not yet clear what the local effect will be (see link below): there is a risk that it may gain votes for the Liberals in Devonport but lose them in Burnie.
Candidates in ballot-paper order
  • Wayne de Bomford (Family First) is a contractor.
  • Mark Baker (Liberal) is the sitting member: see biography above.
  • Paul O'Halloran (Greens) lives on a farm near Ulverstone and teaches at the Burnie campus of the University of Tasmania.
  • Sid Sidebottom (Labor) was Member for Braddon 1998-2004. Before his election he was a senior secondary college teacher and administrator.
  • Stephen Dick (CEC) is a rigger.
  • Peter Cunningham (Liberty and Democracy) is a project manager.

    Campaign news
    Hospital may not stitch marginal


    Two-party vote by booth, 2004 Click to enlarge map

    Two party swing by booth, 2004 Click to enlarge map

    Members for Braddon

    (includes Darwin 1903-55)

    Return to front page
    Return to Tasmanian seats index