Manly by-election, 2017

Cause of by-election
Mike Baird stepped down as premier of New South Wales in January 2017 and resigned from his seat of Manly shortly afterwards.

Margin LIB 24.5% vs GRN

Northern Sydney. Manly covers the suburbs of Manly, Balgowlah, Seaforth, Queenscliff, Curl Curl and parts of Brookvale. The entire seat is contained in the new Northern Beaches council, but previously covered the entire Manly council area and the southern end of the Warringah council area.

The seat of Manly has existed since the 1927 election. It has been dominated by the Liberal Party for most of that period. The ALP held the seat for six years in the 1970s and 1980s, and independent MPs held Manly from 1991 to 2007.

The seat was first won in 1927 by Alfred Reid of the United Australia Party, he held the seat until 1945, joining the Liberal Party shortly before his death in 1945.

The 1945 Manly by-election was won by Liberal candidate Douglas Darby. He was at the right-wing end of the Liberal Party, and sat as an independent Liberal from 1962 to 1968. He held the seat as a Liberal from 1968 to 1978, when he retired.

The 1978 election was a landslide for the Labor Party, and Manly was won by the ALP’s Alan Stewart. He was re-elected in 1981, but lost in 1984 to Liberal candidate David Hay.

Hay was re-elected in 1988, and became a minister in the Greiner Coalition government.

In 1991, Hay was challenged by independent Manly councillor Peter Macdonald, who won the seat.

Macdonald was re-elected in 1995, and stepped down in 1999. He was succeeded by David Barr, another independent who had been elected to Manly Council on Macdonald’s independent ticket. Macdonald later won election as Mayor of Manly in 2004, serving one term until he was defeated in 2008.

Barr served two terms as the independent Member for Manly. In 2007, he was defeated by Liberal candidate Mike Baird.

The son of former state minister and federal MP Bruce Baird, Baird won a fierce preselection against Michael Darby, son of former Manly MP Douglas Darby.

Baird was promoted to serve as Shadow Treasurer in 2008, and became Treasurer when the Coalition won power in 2011.

When Barry O’Farrell resigned as Premier in April 2014, Baird was elected Liberal leader and Premier.

Mike Baird led the government to a second election victory at the 2015 state election. Baird resigned as premier and from parliament in January 2017.


  • Haris Jackman (Independent)
  • John Cook (Independent)
  • Kerry Bromson (Voluntary Euthanasia)
  • Annie Wright (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Clara Williams Roldan (Greens)
  • James Griffin (Liberal)
  • Brian Clare (Independent)
  • Ron Delezio (Independent)
  • Kathryn Ridge (Independent)
  • Victor Waterson (Independent)
  • W Bush (Independent)
  • Ellie Robertson (Animal Justice)

Manly is a very safe Liberal seat, and is likely to stay that way. The Greens have come second at the last two elections, but they are a very long way away from threatening the Liberal Party. There is a history of independent MPs holding Manly, and a strong independent could be a threat, but it is not clear whether any of the seven independents running in the seat will pose such a threat.

2015 result

Mike Baird Liberal 32,16068.0-2.2
Clara Williams Roldan Greens 8,10317.1-0.7
Jennifer Jary Labor 6,09812.9+2.5
Rod JamiesonNo Land Tax5171.1+1.1
Annie WrightChristian Democratic Party4200.9-0.8

2015 two-candidate-preferred result

Mike Baird Liberal 32,84874.5-2.5
Clara Williams Roldan Greens 11,23325.5+2.5

2015 two-party-preferred result

Mike Baird Liberal 33,42678.4+1.4
Jennifer Jary Labor 9,20921.6-1.4

Booth breakdown

Booths in Manly have been split into three parts: north, south-east and south-west.

The Liberal vote peaked at 72.6% in the south-west, with the vote just below 66% int he other two areas.

The Greens came second in all three areas, with a vote ranging from 15.5% in the south-west to 20% in the south-east.

The Labor vote ranged from 10% in the south-west to 14.6% in the north.

Voter groupALP %GRN %LIB %Total votes% of votes
Other votes12.618.566.810,36521.9

Election results in Manly at the 2015 NSW state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between primary votes for the Liberal Party, the Greens and Labor.

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room.If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.