Shellharbour – NSW 2015

ALP 7.8%

Incumbent MP
Anna Watson, since 2011.

Geography
Illawarra. Shellharbour includes parts of the City of Shellharbour and the City of Wollongong. It includes the Shellharbour CBD as well as Flinders, Blackbutt, Oak Flats, Mount Warrigal, Shell Cove, Warilla and Dapto.

Map of Shellharbour's 2011 and 2015 boundaries. 2011 boundaries marked as red lines, 2015 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.
Map of Shellharbour’s 2011 and 2015 boundaries. 2011 boundaries marked as red lines, 2015 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.

Redistribution
Shellharbour expanded in both directions, taking Kanahooka and Dombarton from Wollongong and Shell Cove from Kiama. Shellharbour also lost some areas on the western fringe to Kiama. These changes cut the Labor margin from 8.6% to 7.8%.

History
The electoral district of Shellharbour was created prior to the 2007 election. The redistribution had abolished the seat of Illawarra, which included a large part of the current seat of Shellharbour. Both the former Illawarra and the current Shellharbour have always elected ALP candidates.

The electoral district of Illawarra had existed in various forms since 1859. It was restored in 1927, when it was won by the ALP’s Andrew Lysaght Jr. He had previously won one of the seats in Wollondilly in 1925. He moved to the new seat of Bulli and became Attorney-General in the Lang government. Clashes with his rivals saw him resign from the ministry in 1931, and he died in office in 1933.

He was replaced in Illawarra in 1930 by Billy Davies, who had held other Illawarra-based seats since 1917. He served in both Lang governments in 1927 and 1930-32. In 1941 he moved to the new seat of Wollongong-Kembla, and in 1949 moved to the federal seat of Cunningham. He held that seat until his death in 1956.

The ALP’s Howard Fowles won Illawarra in 1941, and held it until his retirement in 1968. Illawarra was abolished in 1968, when the neighbouring seat of Wollongong-Kembla was split into two districts, named Wollongong and Kembla.

Kembla was won in 1968 by George Petersen, but in 1971 the seat was renamed Illawarra, and Petersen retained that seat. Petersen was expelled from the ALP in 1987, and ran in 1988 for his own Illawarra Workers Party.

Petersen was defeated by the ALP candidate Terry Rumble. He was re-elected in 1991 and 1995, and retired in 1999.

Marianne Saliba won Illawarra in 1999. She held it until 2007, when she retired and Illawarra was replaced by Shellharbour. Shellharbour was won by Lylea McMahon.

McMahon stepped down in 2011, and Labor candidate Anna Watson won the seat.

Candidates

  • Peter Moran (Greens)
  • Hugo Morvillo (No Land Tax)
  • Anna Watson (Labor)
  • Romeo Cecchele (Independent)
  • Wayne Quinn (Independent)
  • Mark Jones (Liberal)
  • John Kadwell (Christian Democratic Party)

Assessment
Shellharbour is a safe Labor seat.

2011 election result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Anna Watson Labor 20,45946.7-11.145.5
Larissa Mallinson Liberal 13,76631.4+16.731.7
Peter Moran Greens 6,70015.3+7.714.5
Jeff DakersChristian Democrats2,8806.6+6.66.3
Others2.0

2011 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Anna Watson Labor 22,73758.6-18.257.8
Larissa Mallinson Liberal 16,05041.4+18.242.2
Polling places in Shellharbour at the 2011 NSW state election. Dapto in orange, Shellharbour in blue, Warilla in green. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Shellharbour at the 2011 NSW state election. Dapto in orange, Shellharbour in blue, Warilla in green. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths in Shellharbour have been split between three main suburbs. The seat is split down the middle by Lake Illawarra, which also acts as the local government boundary. All those booths on the north side of this boundary have been grouped as “Dapto”. Those on the south side of the lake have been split between Warilla in the north and Shellharbour in the south.

The Labor two-party-preferred vote ranged from 56.1% in Shellharbour to 65.3% in Warilla.

The Greens polled 14% in Dapto and 14.8% in both Shellharbour and Warilla.

Voter groupALP 2PP %GRN %Total% of votes
Dapto57.214.015,06831.5
Shellharbour56.114.811,47924.0
Warilla65.314.89,57320.0
Other votes53.914.511,75624.6
Two-party-preferred votes in Shellharbour at the 2011 NSW state election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Shellharbour at the 2011 NSW state election.
Greens primary votes in Shellharbour at the 2011 NSW state election.
Greens primary votes in Shellharbour at the 2011 NSW state election.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Good Liberal candidate here who is actually campaigning like he can win it. Very poor Labor MP who was lucky to be re-installed as the Labor candidate. Was likely to have faced a bitter preselection battle. No longer has support from her colleague and former friend Noreen Hay. Still expect a swing to Labor of about 10% TPP. It is very much a safe-Labor area.

  2. @PRP, your right. Frankly I am surprised that the Libs managed to shave the margin to under 10%!

Comments are closed.