Shortland – Australia 2019

ALP 9.9%

Incumbent MP
Pat Conroy, since 2016. Previously member for Charlton 2013-2016.

Lake Macquarie and Central Coast regions of New South Wales. Shortland covers the suburbs of Lake Macquarie council on the eastern shore of Lake Macquarie, as well as northeastern suburbs of Wyong LGA. Key suburbs include Belmont, Charlestown, Cardiff, Warners Bay, Gateshead, Swansea, Budgewoi and Lake Munmorah.

Shortland was created in 1949, and has always been a safe Labor seat, with the ALP polling over 60% at every election except for six elections when the Liberal Party polled very well nationally (1966, 1975, 1977, 1996, 2001, 2004).

The seat was first won in 1949 by the ALP’s Charles Griffiths, an official for the Australian Railways Union. Griffiths held the seat for the entirety of the 1950s and 1960s, and retired in 1972. He was replaced in 1972 by Peter Morris. Morris served as a junior minister from the election of the Hawke government in 1983 until he was promoted to Cabinet in 1988. He was dropped from Cabinet in 1990 due to lack of factional support and retired in 1998.

The seat was won in 1998 by Jill Hall, who had been elected to the state seat of Swansea in 1995. Hall held the seat for six terms.

The redistribution leading up to the 2016 election abolished the neighbouring seat of Charlton. Pat Conroy, who had held the seat of Charlton since 2013, replaced Jill Hall in Shortland.


  • Susan Newbury (Sustainable Australia)
  • Xing Yu (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Pat Conroy (Labor)
  • Dani Rifai (United Australia)
  • Wylie Campbell (Greens)
  • Bryan McGrath (Animal Justice)
  • Nell McGill (Liberal)
  • Assessment
    Shortland is a reasonably safe Labor seat.

    2016 result

    Pat Conroy Labor 50,16451.2+3.0
    Jenny Barrie Liberal 34,51435.2-1.3
    Ivan Macfadyen Greens 9,2799.5+3.1
    Morgan CoxChristian Democratic Party4,0814.2+2.6

    2016 two-party-preferred result

    Pat Conroy Labor 58,76159.9+2.5
    Jenny Barrie Liberal 39,27740.1-2.5

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into five areas: Cardiff-Warners Bay in the north-west, Charlestown in the north-east, and then from north to south Belmont, Swansea and Wyong. The “Wyong” area covers those polling places in Wyong Shire, with the remaining polling places in the City of Lake Macquarie.

    The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in every area, ranging from 57.3% in Belmont to 62.9% in Charlestown.

    Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Cardiff-Warners Bay58.415,62715.9
    Other votes60.510,69510.9

    Two-party-preferred votes in Shortland at the 2016 federal election

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    1. Lowest margin ever recorded for Shortland, this demonstrates the effects of Labor being too close to the Greens and how the working class have abandoned them this election.

    2. As I said in 2016, I wonder if this seat is slowly starting to attract a different demographic? Its location between the coast and the lake, not too far from Sydney, might make it attractive for retirees, sea-changers, young families, etc? Maybe the area just isn’t quite the rock-solid blue collar seat it used to be? (

      I confess I know almost nothing about this area, so could be completely wrong. But there have been ‘battler backlashes’ against Labor before, and the margin has never been as close as this.

    3. It’s not just here. The whole Central Coast swung to the Libs, quite significantly in some cases too. Dobell Shortland and Paterson are all marginal seats now. While I doubt the Coalition will be winning the latter two anytime soon, it ought to be cause for concern for Labor.

    4. This result is worse than the 1975, 1977, 1996, 2013 (Bad election years for Labor). @Winediamond I have seen how bad Hunter has swung against Labor. Lowest margin since like 1984, but back then I believe the seat was bigger and contained more areas which are now in New England I believe. Some outer suburbia seats have a margin that is lower than the 1996 and 2013 elections.

    5. Alex
      Dead right. Hunter used to be centred on Maitland, which was far more conservative before being flooded with re-located PS Departments. My grandmother was born there, & much of her mothers possessions are in the museum . ALSO about 12000 voters from Scone now in NE. UNLESS Labor pulls it’s head out of it’s arse over coal PHON WILL win this . i doubt the redistribution will help. Fiztzy ought to defect to ON. Patch things up with former mate Latham etc !!.

    6. Haha lol Latham’s former electorate borders to my current one. Defs Latham’s profile propelled the PHON vote there.


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