Division of Barton

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The Division of Barton is an Australian Electoral Division in New South Wales. The division was created in 1922 and is named for Sir Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia. It has always been based in the inner southern suburbs of Sydney, and currently includes the suburbs of Arncliffe, Banksia, Bardwell Valley, Beverley Park, Bexley, Bexley North, Brighton-Le-Sands, Carss Park, Dolls Point, Kogarah, Kogarah Bay, Kyeemagh, Monterey, Ramsgate, Ramsgate Beach, Rockdale, Sandringham, Sans Souci, Turrella and Wolli Creek and parts of Beverly Hills, Carlton, Earlwood and Kingsgrove. For most of its history Barton was been a marginal seat, changing hands regularly. However, since 1983, it has grown safer for the Australian Labor Party.

Barton's most prominent member has been Dr H.V. Evatt, who was Leader of the Labor Party 1951-60. Evatt nearly lost the seat in 1951 and 1955, and in 1958 he transferred to the safe seat of Hunter.

The Division of Barton is linked to one of the more unusual episodes in Australian politics. The first member for Barton, Labor's Frederick McDonald, disappeared after his 1925 defeat by Nationalist Thomas Ley, and it is now believed that Ley had him murdered.[1] Ley was later found to be insane and died in Broadmoor Asylum in Britain. The current member for Barton is Robert McClelland.


  1. Lateline History Challenge: Minister for Murder, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2004.