Bennelong – Australia 2019

LIB 9.7%

Incumbent MP
John Alexander, since 2010.

Geography
Bennelong straddles the north shore and western suburbs of Sydney. The seat covers the entirety of Ryde local government area, as well as Epping, Carlingford and Ermington, from Hornsby and Parramatta council areas. Main suburbs in the seat are Ryde, Epping, Ermington, Eastwood and Gladesville.

History
Bennelong was created in 1949, and was held by only two MPs between then and the 2007 federal election. Bennelong originally covered Ryde, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove, but not areas such as Eastwood and Epping that are now contained within the seat.

Bennelong was first won by John Cramer (LIB) in 1949. Cramer served as Minister for the Army under Robert Menzies from 1956 to 1963. During his time holding Bennelong the seat was never a very safe seat, and in 1961 Cramer only held on by 1832 votes. His largest margin was 15.4% in 1966.

Cramer retired at the 1974 election and was succeeded by John Howard (LIB). Howard went on to serve as a minister under Malcolm Fraser, including as Treasurer from 1977 to 1983. He then served in a variety of roles on the opposition frontbench after 1983, including as two stints as Opposition Leader (1985-1989, 1995-1996). He was elected as Prime Minister in 1996 and served until 2007.

The seat of Bennelong had gradually shifted to the north-west over the decades, taking in Epping. The 1992 redistribution saw the last parts of Lane Cove removed from the seat, and Howard’s margin was cut in 1993. After recovering in 1996 to a margin over 10% it gradually declined to a 4.3% margin in 2004, when the Greens ran high-profile former intelligence officer Andrew Wilkie against Howard.

The 2006 redistribution saw Howard’s margin cut slightly and the ALP decided to target the seat, running former journalist Maxine McKew. McKew won the seat with 51.4% of the two-party vote.

In 2010, McKew was defeated by former tennis champion John Alexander. Alexander was re-elected in 2013 and 2016.

John Alexander was found to be a British dual citizen in 2017, and resigned from his seat to recontest without any citizenship concerns. He was re-elected at that by-election, despite a swing to Labor.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Bennelong could be vulnerable to Labor, but a strong candidate (now unavailable) and a high-profile campaign weren’t enough to win the seat in 2017, so it’s hard to see Labor doing better and winning.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
John Alexander Liberal 46,49750.4-2.6
Lyndal Howison Labor 26,27028.5-4.0
Justin Alick Greens 8,4249.1+0.7
Julie WorsleyChristian Democratic Party5,9036.4+4.0
Martin MulcareIndependent2,8853.1+3.1
John Peter AugustPirate Party Australia1,2601.4+1.4
Christopher GordonArts Party9921.1+1.1
Informal4,9425.1

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
John Alexander Liberal 55,07759.7+2.0
Lyndal Howison Labor 37,15440.3-2.0

2017 by-election result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
John AlexanderLiberal37,89845.0+5.4
Kristina KeneallyLabor30,08535.8-7.3
Justin Alick Greens 5,6886.8-2.4
Joram RichaConservatives3,6094.3+4.3
Gui Dong CaoChristian Democrats2,6263.1-3.3
James JanssonScience1,0411.2+1.2
Wesley FolitarikSustainable Australia9951.2+1.2
Anthony ZiebellAffordable Housing7420.9+0.9
Tony RobinsonLiberty Alliance7190.9+0.9
Chris GoldingProgressives4260.5+0.5
James PlatterPeople’s Party1860.2+0.2
Anthony FelsNon-Custodial Parents1320.2+0.2
Informal7,4368.1

2017 by-election two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
John AlexanderLiberal46,17954.9-4.8
Kristina Keneally Labor 37,96645.1+4.8

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five parts around the main suburbs of Bennelong: Eastwood, Epping, Gladesville, Ryde and West Ryde.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all five areas at both the 2016 general election and the 2017 by-election. The 2016 vote ranged from 54.3% in West Ryde to 63.7% in Gladesville. The 2017 vote ranged from 50.5% in West Ryde to 60% in Gladesville.

2016 booth breakdown

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Eastwood60.516,31017.7
Ryde58.115,34816.6
Epping61.614,59515.8
West Ryde54.311,89512.9
Gladesville63.78,3879.1
Other votes60.713,65714.8
Pre-poll59.812,03913.1

2017 by-election booth breakdown

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Ryde55.614,70617.5
Eastwood52.313,92416.5
Epping55.011,37413.5
West Ryde50.510,91713.0
Gladesville60.08,2669.8
Other votes60.412,51414.9
Pre-poll51.712,44414.8

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

Two-party-preferred votes at the 2017 Bennelong by-election

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