Warringah – Australia 2019

LIB 11.6% vs GRN

Incumbent MP
Tony Abbott, since 1994.

Northern Sydney. Warringah covers parts of the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore of Sydney, including Manly, Mosman and parts of Neutral Bay, Allambie Heights, Brookvale and Curl Curl. The seat covers the entirety of Manly and Mosman council areas, as well as parts of North Sydney and Warringah. The largest proportion of the population lives in Warringah.

Warringah was first created at the 1922 election, and has never elected a Labor candidate, electing a conservative candidate at every election, the one exception being 1937 when an independent was elected, who proceeded to join the United Australia Party shortly after his election and went on to serve as a minister in a number of conservative governments.

The seat was first won by Granville Ryrie in 1922. Ryrie had been Member for North Sydney since a 1911 by-election and was elected to Warringah unopposed. The ALP challenged him in 1925 but he managed over 80% of the vote.

Ryrie was appointed High Commissioner to London in 1927 and the by-election was won by Archdale Parkhill, in a race where the two Labor candidates polled barely 18% between them.

Parkhill had been the Lynton Crosby of early 20th Century Australian politics, coordinating many campaigns for the early Liberal Party and Nationalists over two decades. Parkhill served as a minister in the Lyons government from 1932 until 1937, serving as Minister for Defence during Lyons’ second term.

Parkhill was defeated at the 1937 election by conservative independent Percy Spender, who won the seat in a close race on preferences after falling 15% behind on primary votes. Spender went on to join the UAP shortly after his victory. Spender served in the wartime governments of Robert Menzies and Arthur Fadden and served as Minister for External Affairs until 1951, when he retired at the election before being appointed Ambassador to the United States. Spender went on to serve as Australia’s first representative on the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Spender was succeeded in 1951 by Francis Bland, who held the seat for ten years with massive majorities, polling over 70% on two occasions and being elected unopposed on a third. He retired without ever taking a ministerial role.

Bland was succeeded in 1961 by John Cockle, who held the seat until his death shortly before the 1966 election.

Cockle was succeeded by prominent Edward St John in 1966. St John caused controversy in 1969 attacking Prime Minister John Gorton, which led him to resign from the Liberal Party, and he was defeated at the 1969 election by Liberal candidate Michael MacKellar.

MacKellar served as a minister in the Fraser government until 1982, when a scandal involving the importation of a colour television saw him resign from the ministry.

MacKellar resigned from Parliament in 1994, and the ensuing by-election was won by Tony Abbott. Abbott went on to serve as a minister for the entirety of the Howard government from 1996 to 2007, becoming a senior member of Cabinet in the last two terms of the government.

Abbott had always held Warringah by large margins over the ALP, and the only serious threat to his hold on the seat came in 2001, when Peter Macdonald, former independent member for the state seat of Manly, challenged Abbott. Macdonald polled 27% of the primary vote and came within 6% of defeating Abbott.

Abbott served as Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs following the Howard government’s defeat in November 2007, serving in the role under leaders Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull.

Abbott resigned from the frontbench in November 2009 in protest at Malcolm Turnbull’s support for the Emissions Trading Scheme, which triggered the collapse of Turnbull’s leadership. Abbott won a slim majority in a party room ballot against Turnbull in December 2009 and was elected Leader of the Liberal Party.

Abbott led the Coalition into the 2010 election. The Labor government lost its majority, but managed to piece together a majority with the support of crossbench MPs. Abbott led the Coalition through the next term, before winning the 2013 election. Tony Abbott served as Prime Minister until he was defeated for the Liberal leadership in September 2015.


Warringah is a reasonably safe Liberal seat, in the absence of a strong independent challenge.

2016 result

Tony Abbott Liberal 44,75951.6-9.2
Andrew Woodward Labor 12,82014.8-4.5
Clara Williams Roldan Greens 10,56512.2-3.3
James MathisonIndependent9,88711.4+11.4
Marie RowlandNick Xenophon Team5,5066.4+6.4
June ScifoChristian Democratic Party1,0391.2+0.5
Marc GiordanoScience Party8000.9+0.9
Shea CapliceArts Party6690.8+0.8
Tony BackhouseIndependent3680.4+0.4
David BarrowIndependent2530.3+0.3

2016 two-candidate-preferred result

Tony Abbott Liberal 53,34661.6
Clara Williams Roldan Greens 33,32038.4

2016 two-party-preferred result

Tony Abbott Liberal 52,94861.1-4.2
Andrew Woodward Labor 33,71838.9+4.2

Booth breakdown

Warringah has been split into three areas: Manly, Mosman and Warringah. Polling places in the Mosman and North Sydney council areas have been grouped as “Mosman” while those booths in the Northern Beaches council area have been split between the two former council areas of Manly and Warringah.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote (against the Greens) in all three areas, with just under 60% in Warringah and Manly and over 64% in Mosman.

Labor came second on primary votes, but fell into third behind the Greens on preferences, with a primary vote ranging from 13.6% in Manly to 16.3% in Warringah.

The primary vote for independent candidate James Mathison ranged from 9.1% in Mosman to 14% in Warringah.

Voter groupALP prim %IND prim %LIB 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes15.010.262.712,65514.6

Election results in Warringah at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes, Labor primary votes and primary votes for independent James Mathison.

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  1. Abbott appeared at a Sky candidates “debate”….
    he bangs on about the excessive levels of immigration………conveniently forgetting that he was a migrant himself…as a toddler Abbott was brought to Australia by his English parents…….

    of course no doubt thinks that he was the right type of migrant

    It sort of explains why Abbott loves all things British…the Union Jack,Royalty,Knighthoods,warm beer,Brexit,Coal

    cant wait for the !8th May to play my part in booting Abbott out

  2. @The Phantom Bantam that is such ridiculous dribble that you make Daniel look like a towering intellectual. Being an immigrant doesn’t oblige oneself to support ongoing high immigration numbers. Nor is there anything British about coal or, for that matter, the Union Jack, royalty, or knighthoods. Please try to educate yourself before posting – you’re only embarrassing yourself.

  3. @The Sheriff, too late. he has already shown himself to be worse than Daniel in terms of offering meaningful analysis and is only capable of mindless, moronic dribble.

  4. Tomorrow the first vote will be cast in the campaign to send Abbott into oblivion

    How sweet it is

  5. Tony was at the Neutral Bay junction this morning. A number of older (60s) people were telling him how tough life would be if they lost their franking credits…… The liberal campaign does seem to be hitting a mark on this point with this age group (and demographic). I am sure if I hadn’t got on the bus they would have got onto negative gearing.

    Of course, the 60 year olds would be swiping their Opal Gold cards (for 60 years and older – something like $2 for all day public transport) compared to the 25 year old who pays the full rack rate on the bus (and can’t get access to super, aged pension, and has to pay rent out of post tax income). No wonder the APL thinks they are on a winner with intergenerational in-equity.

    Two weeks ago I thought ZS would win Warringah. Now I think TA will. But will be close. Libs have had the better of the campaign so far.



  6. Over 65s are the demographic already most likely to vote Liberal. Over 65s in a wealthy blue ribbon seat like Warringah even moreso, and self-funded over 65s with an investment portfolio even moreso again.

    So how many votes will Labor’s franking credit policy really cost them, when the demographic it negatively impacts is already most likely to be rusted onto the opponent anyway?

    I just can’t imagine too many self-funded retirees with investment portfolios walking around Mosman saying “I was gonna vote for Labor if it wasn’t for this.”

    Overall, Labor’s seniors dental policy will probably capture more swinging pensioner votes than their franking credits policy loses.

  7. @Adrian Jackson you usually have informative comments to make but your bigoted hatred of religious people is inappropriate for this blog. Comments like that shouldn’t be published – it’s not fair to Ben who would be exposed to litigation risk for falling afoul of religious vilification laws. Please consider the future of the great asset that this website is, which is provided to us readers free of charge.

  8. Sheriff concur completely. Into which concentration camp should Cardinal Pell’s RC mates be sent?

  9. A great big camp like Xmas Island but in an isolated hot place in the Australian desert as there are many evil do’ers in Australian religion businesses. No argument from me that I am bigoted against religion, all of them.

  10. Abbott very upset about a few defaced posters…he is now playing the victim

    Recall how Abbott was once the go to headkicker for the Liberal Party?

    how times have changed

    only a couple of weeks to go until Abbott has to pack his bags….

    oh to see the look on his face when he realises that he has been defeated

  11. Trent
    You are wrong about over 65s franking credits in so so many ways, it is simply ridiculous.
    Anyone i repeat anyone trying to build a super balance will be affected, Not to mention 100s of thousands of low income earners

    What do you not understand ? A lot of people early access their super even under 55, & yes you pay tax. I have. ALL YOU NEED IS FOR 2 DOCTORS TO SAY THAT YOUR CHANCE TO WORK FULLL TIME IS UNLIKELY. Obviously there is a strong link with the DSP.
    Nothing is as simple as you seem to like to believe.

    Your typifications are myopic. Try making suggestions, or inquiries instead of statements.

  12. Winediamond, what are you talking about? In what post did I make any statement whatsover about the franking credit policy itself? I haven’t said a single word in either support or opposition to it.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is supposed to be a psephology site where we discuss electoral trends and probabilities, not a place where we engage in heated partisan debate in support or opposition or parties & their policies.

    Where did I say anything about who is affected, or typify them, when you read my comment in the context of the comment I was specifically replying to?

    If you actually took the time to read the conversation, you’d see that Pollster suggested that the vocal opposition to the franking credits policy among over 60s in Warringah appears to be looking better for Tony Abbott; and I responded that over 60s specifically in Warringah (a very wealthy electorate) are likely to already be voting Liberal so it probably doesn’t hurt Labor’s chances.

    My discussion was entirely about my thoughts on how the policy might impact Labor’s electoral chances, in the context of a very specific demographic that I was replying to a comment about. Considering you can plainly see that I was responding to a specific comment about over 60s in Warringah, please tell me where I suggest anything about people on the DSP or under 65s not being affected…??

    Please stay on topic. There’s really no reason to look for a partisan policy argument where there isn’t one…

  13. @Trent, I completely agree re: staying on topic but can you say the same thing to TPB?

    Ballot paper is effectively no order change between Abbott and IND, if you assume that Steggall is taking Matheison’s position.

    Ladbrokes currently has Abbott at $1.70, with Steggall at $2.10. Fairly line-ball on that.

    However, the recent controversy around the distasteful banners regarding Abbott, especially the ones plastered all over the Child Care Center in Seaforth, may end up working in favour of Abbott insofar as they will show the rabid nature of some of the staunch anti-Abbott supporters, many of whom don’t even come from the Northern Beaches or North Shore.

    One thing people need to understand is the insular behaviour of the Northern Beaches. They generally don’t appreciate people coming in from the outside and telling them what to do. Coming in, the way they have, is actually counter-productive and this may end up swaying the soft voter to vote for Abbott, as a result. It’s bad enough that Advance Australia looks moronic and childish. The Get-Up activists are feral.

    I’m not a fan of him in that I don’t think he is a Liberal. He is an old-school DLP-er. But as a local in the area, the people coming and “campaigning” the way they are, makes me sick as to how far the political and campaigning process has gone into the doldrums.

  14. Trent
    My challenge to you was very clear. Specifically you were attempting to confine your judgements to a specific age group, which i viewed as a self -serving construction. This is because the policy is probably the second most important by effect, & is equally the least well understood. The impact is far more broad than is appreciated.

    So i took issue with it, & the assumption you drew from it. That was probably over enthusiastic, so i’ll apologise.


  15. @Trent the franking credit policy will, however, make it easier for Abbott to retain Warringah. For Steggall to win she will need to peel off a significant number of Liberal votes – there aren’t enough Labor/Green votes in this seat for her to win on a leftist platform.

  16. Just loved Penny Wong’s description of Abbott…a small man with small ideas

    what a great snap shot of the soon to be ex-member for Warringah

  17. I would assume supporting a lnp govt on confidence and supply and opposing the franking credits change is not
    left wing

  18. Driving around Mosman / Balmoral on the weekend and was amazed at the ratio of ZS to TA posters. I was also amazed on the type of properties that these were on – true Mosman / Balmoral mansions.

    The Longeren poll was interesting in that it had TA’s primary on 38% (I would take this with a grain of salt due to the “silent” Abbott supporter – someone who will vote for him but won’t admit it and who commissioned the poll). In any event, if TA’s primary is less than 40% he is in real trouble. The sports bet market had TA on $1.45 and ZS on $2.7 on Friday but is now into $1.85 each way.

    Don’t know what is happening north of the Spit Bridge but if Mosman / Balmoral is TA’s stronghold then he could be in trouble.


  19. Pollster, I also noticed the movement in the seat betting market this morning. Last week there was a lot of editorial support for TA “the citizen” (as opposed to TA the politician), and I reckon the betting market was responding to this. Fundamentally, yes he is in a lot of trouble if the Mosman mansion-owners have turned against him.

    Labor hasn’t gone very hard on climate change and the Libs’ leadership instability so far, but when they do in the last two weeks I think momentum will really shift against TA. After all, he’s been right in the thick of these issues which amount to a cluster-whoops for the Coalition.

    He’ll always have his volunteering and sporting pursuits to fall back on I guess…

  20. As unreliable as seat polls are, I’d say the move in the betting odds this morning probably has something to do with the poll published on the weekend that had ZS leading 56-44.

  21. The markets are probably reacting to the 2 seats polls, one which had ZS ahead 56-44 (which I seriously doubt) and the other, more realistic sounding poll that had ZS ahead 51-49.

    I doubt Abbott’s primaries is in the mid 30s, this seat still has some of the most liberal voting areas you could possibly get in lower North Shore Sydney. Nevertheless, if Abbott’s primary vote is anywhere below 45% I think he’s in serious trouble because he’s not going to get strong preference flows from anyone

  22. from Last election…… using Ben’s 3 areas split……Manly and Warringah are approx 60%n lib 2pp and Mosman is about 10 % better for them….. if all 3 areas vote similar than Mr Abbott is in big trouble. Also Manly at a state level has deserted the liberal fold….. via Mr Darby when at times he was an independent liberal, true independents and a 2 term alp member in the Wran better years

  23. I was helping out last week at the pre poll in Mosman for Tony Abbott and the reception was actually quite good compared to what people might be thinking. For the couple hours I was handing out how to votes last week if you had to compare the ratio of people just grabbing the how to votes for one party it was probably 60/40 in Tony Abbotts favour, yes there was mostly older people voting which is expected to go to Abbott anyways but also a respectable amount of middle age women and even a few younger women and more men also who were intending to vote Abbott on the day aswell. The only thing that was hard to tell was with the people grabbing everyones how to votes as you cant get a clear indication of who these people were going to vote for. Mosman should hold up well enough I believe for Abbott by him surely getting at least 55%-60% of the 2PP with the worry being Manly and the east side of the electorate where we will probably fall short of winning most of those areas. Still predicting a Liberal hold but not by much as I still think also as some people are saying that there is a soft Abbott vote still lurking around and it will show on the day.

  24. Zali has now moved into favourite on Sportsbet, one day after John Howard was in the area giving character references. This will be a very close count.

    In the last three days across all channels there will be a saturation of messaging from Labor on climate change, leadership spills, attack ads on MPs who abstained on SSM (Dutton, Abbott, Morrison) which will deliver a last minute surge. This is starting already today, and an advantage for Labor as the Libs have already gone hard early on the attack ads, I wonder what messages they can push that we haven’t already seen repeatedly. Labor seems to have held back some of it’s more potent attack angles to the last 72 hours.

    This late surge will be the difference between Labor winning with ~80 seats and them winning with 86 plus. And it will be the difference between Abbott winning or losing Warringah…in my estimation.

  25. Got a call from SocMo asking for support for TA last night. Interestingly, TA hasn’t called himself (neither has ZS for that matter). Two lib phamplets – one from Gladys. Text today: if you vote Zali you get Bill… Full on. Must be close.

  26. Libs are throwing huge resources at this seat, they must be worried.

    I’ll predict an IND gain

  27. Just about fell off my chair – odds ZS $1.4 & TA $2.65.

    BW think you may be correct with your prediction.

    One of my fellow Warringah residents thinks TA is going through the motions and is resigned to his fate……

    Still can’t get my head around Warringah being won by anyone other than the liberals. Hawthorne in Victorian election is about the same shock level.

    Thankfully it is all over tomorrow.


  28. David Speers said today that he’s heard from the Libs, & Labor that TA is in “a world of trouble”. That is pretty compelling

  29. I suspect his distasteful Hawke tribute may just be the final nail in the coffin for Abbott here.

    Steggall should win, by a slim margin but still a win nonetheless, something like 51 – 49.

  30. There was nothing wrong with Abbott’s comments on the passing of Bob Hawke. They were entirely factual and reasonable.

  31. Wow Sheriff, you’ve picked your wording on that one. The man who was “stabbed” (attacked with a corkscrew, no serious injuries) had it done so by a 62 year old man who doesn’t really fit the description of a Zali supporter. In fact, he’s accused the “stabbing victim” of abusing him first.

    There was something wrong with Tony’s comments. He used the death of a well respected former leader of the country as a method of political grandstanding to push his campaign forward. He did it in a disrespectful way. I’m no Hawke fan, and I vote to the right, but that was a disgraceful display. Abbott is without doubt one of the scummiest people we’ve had in the PM seat for many years, and I look forward to him no longer holding a seat at all.

  32. The Sheriff
    You are right about the other stuff BUT Abbott did what he always does. When he should just say less, he KEEPS ON TALKING !!. Whats WORSE Is that he says what he really thinks !!. & WE ALL KNOW THAT HE REALLY THINKS IT. IT’S GENUINE !!.
    What is it that compels him to share. When WD Junior was a teenager i used to goad him with “You are like a girl. You can’t have a (f^%%##G )thought without sharing it !!” Junior learned well, at 27, he rarely says anything without calculated deliberation !!. How has Tony not learned this in 62 years !!?? WTF

    the dumbest thing he done recently is keep talking about being a true friend — To CARDIANAL PELL. Why did he need to take the opportunity to share his wisdom on friendship ?? The same thing happened on Thursday with him taking the “opportunity” to make a philosophical historical assessment of Bob HAWKE.Why did he go there ??
    Perhaps there is some mutant aberrant, female gene, or programming in his brain, that compels him to keep talking. OR is it his preaching, & seminal frustrations. Or unlike Junior (WD!!) did he just miss out on the merciless de-programming that every son needs ??
    Abbott continues to make the case for compulsory psych assessments for ALL POLITICIANS !!
    Hope that helps
    cheers WD

  33. Cant wait to see Abbott concede…hopefully around 8.30…

    the look on his face will be priceless

  34. I wonder how Cardinal George Pell is feeling in gaol with his mate gone here in the electorate?

  35. CONGRATULATIONS to Dean Harris, Labor candidate for Warringah, for receiving the lowest primary vote for a major party at a polling booth in a capital city since WW2 (and possibly WW1). Balmoral where Dean received 25 votes out of 714 formal votes for a primary of 3.5%.


    Well done Dean.



    PS: my assertion re the lowest primary vote for labor at a booth in a capital city since WW2 (and possible WW1) has not been fact checked and indeed was made up. That said if anyone can find a lower primary at a booth in a capital city for either labour or liberal since WW2 I’d be very interested (and would of course amend my post). The only reason I looked at this booth’s was because I voted there. Feed back from the liberal people handing out htvs was that the older people were voting for Tony and the younger people particularly females were voting for Zali. By younger I suspect they meant under 50…….

  36. Wow Andrew, you really are deranged in your desperate attempt to try and justify political violence and to sidestep the fact that this was perpetrated by an anti-Abbott nutjob. Your obscene comments about Abbott’s character clearly show that you have never met the man.


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