Clarence state by-election, 2011

Clarence state by-election, 2011

A by-election was held for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly electorate of Clarence on 19 November 2011, following the resignation on 16 September of sitting member, The Nationals' Steve Cansdell, after he admitted to making a false statutory declaration regarding a speeding offence.[1]

Eight candidates contested the by-election including the Nationals candidate for the Federal seat of Page at the 2007 Federal Election Chris Gulaptis and Labor candidate Peter Ellem. One of the main issues of the campaign has focused on controversial Coal Seam Gas Mining. Labor have accused the Coalition of putting the environment at risk by not ruling out future CSG, while resources minister Chris Hartcher claimed that "Every CSG licence that exists in NSW was granted by the Labor government of which John Robertson was a minister" [2]. Other issues in the campaign have been more locally based with candidates jousting over ways to create more jobs in Grafton [3] and reduce crime in Casino [4].

The National Party retained the seat despite suffering a 16 per cent two-party swing against them.[5][6]


Clarence state by-election, 2011[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Chris Gulaptis 56.7 -6.1
Labor Peter Ellem 28.0 +17.8
Greens Janet Cavanaugh 7.2 +0.3
Outdoor Recreation Clinton Mead 2.5 +2.5
Independent Wade Walker 2.2 +2.2
Christian Democrats Bethany Camac 1.9 +0.1
Independent Stewart Scott-Irving 0.8 +0.8
Democrats David Robinson 0.6 +0.6
Total formal votes
Informal votes
Turnout 81.8
Two-candidate preferred result
National Chris Gulaptis 65.0 -16.3
Labor Peter Ellem 35.0 +16.3
National hold Swing -16.3


  1. ^ Frazier, Justine: Clarence MP quits politics, ABC North Coast NSW, 16 September 2011.
  2. ^ Stevens, Rodney: It Must Stop: Ellem, The Daily Examiner, 11 November 2011
  3. ^ Deefholts, Terry: Nationals expect to lose votes, The Daily Examiner, 28 October 2011
  4. ^ Benny-Morrison, Ava: Emotions high as Casino fights to take back town, The Northern Star, 10 November 2011
  5. ^ 2011 Clarence by-election results: ABC
  6. ^ Nationals retain Clarence in by-election: ABC 20 November 2011
  7. ^ Green, Antony: 2011 Clarence by-election, ABC, 2011.

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