Wentworth – Australia 2019

IND 1.2% vs LIB

Incumbent MP
Kerryn Phelps, since 2018.

Eastern suburbs of Sydney. Wentworth covers Woollahra and Waverley local government areas, as well as eastern parts of the City of Sydney and northern parts of Randwick LGA. Wentworth covers the southern shore of Sydney Harbour as far west as Elizabeth Bay, and covers the east coast from South Head to Clovelly. Main suburbs include Bondi, Woollahra, Vaucluse, Double Bay, Kings Cross and parts of Randwick, Darlinghurst and Clovelly. Wentworth also covers Moore Park and Centennial Park.

Wentworth is an original federation electorate and has always existed roughly in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. It has always been held by conservative parties, including the Liberal Party since its foundation in 1944.

The seat was first won by William McMillan of the Free Trade party in 1901. He was elected deputy leader of his party but retired at the 1903 election. He was succeeded by William Kelly, also a Free Trader. Kelly joined the Commonwealth Liberal Party and served in Joseph Cook’s ministry from 1913 to 1914.

Kelly retired in 1919 as a Nationalist and was succeeded by Walter Marks. Marks joined with other Nationalists, including Billy Hughes, to bring down the Bruce government in 1929, and was reelected as an independent. Marks joined the new United Australia Party in 1931, but was defeated in that year’s election by Eric Harrison, another UAP candidate.

Harrison held the seat for twenty-five years for the UAP and the Liberal Party. He usually held the seat safely, although he only held on by 335 votes in 1943, when feminist campaigner Jessie Street (ALP) challenged Harrison. William Wentworth also polled 20%. He later joined the Liberal Party and was elected in Mackellar in 1949.

Harrison had served a number of brief stints as a minister under Joseph Lyons and Robert Menzies in the 1930s and early 1940s, and served as the first deputy leader of the Liberal Party from its foundation until his retirement in 1956. Harrison was a minister in the Menzies government from 1949 until 1956, when he retired.

Les Bury (LIB) won the seat at the 1956 by-election. He served as a minister from 1961 until 1971, serving as Treasurer under John Gorton and briefly as Treasurer and then Foreign Minister under William McMahon. Bury retired in 1974.

Robert Ellicott (LIB) was elected in 1974. He served as Attorney-General in the first Fraser Ministry and as Minister for Home Affairs from 1977 to 1981, when he resigned to serve on the Federal Court. The ensuing by-election was won by Peter Coleman. Coleman had previously served as Leader of the Opposition in the NSW Parliament, and lost his seat at the 1978 state election.

Coleman retired in 1987 and was succeeded by John Hewson. Hewson was elected leader of the Liberal Party following their 1990 election defeat. Hewson led the party into the 1993 election, where the party went backwards. He was replaced in May 1994 as leader by Alexander Downer, and he retired from Parliament in 1995.

Andrew Thomson won the following by-election. Thomson served briefly as a Parliamentary Secretary and junior minister in the first term of the Howard government. Thomson was defeated for preselection by Peter King in 2001.

King himself was defeated for preselection in a heated preselection campaign in 2004 by Malcolm Turnbull. The preselection saw a massive explosion in membership numbers for the Liberal Party in Wentworth. King ran as an independent and polled 18%, and Turnbull’s margin was cut to 5.5%.

The redistribution after the 2004 election saw Wentworth extended deeper into the City of Sydney, and Turnbull’s margin was cut to 2.5%. Turnbull managed to win the seat in 2007 with a 1.3% swing towards him, in the face of a national swing against the Liberals.

Turnbull had served as a minister in the final term of the Howard government, and ran for the Liberal leadership following the 2007 election, losing to Brendan Nelson. After serving as Nelson’s Shadow Treasurer he was elected Leader of the Opposition in September 2008. After a rocky term as Leader of the Opposition, Turnbull was defeated by Tony Abbott by one vote in another leadership vote in December 2009. Turnbull served as a shadow minister and then as Minister for Communications under Tony Abbott’s leadership.

In September 2015, Turnbull successfully challenged Abbott for the Liberal leadership, and became Prime Minister. He led the Liberal-National coalition to a second term in government in 2016.

Malcolm Turnbull led the Liberal Party in government until August 2018, when he resigned following a motion to spill the Liberal leadership. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by Scott Morrison. Turnbull resigned from Wentworth shortly after losing the leadership.

The 2018 Wentworth by-election was won by independent candidate Kerryn Phelps.


Kerryn Phelps’ victory in the 2018 by-election was very slim, and you could imagine this seat going either way in 2019.

2016 result

Malcolm Turnbull Liberal 52,35362.3-2.4
Evan Hughes Labor 14,91317.7-1.0
Dejay Toborek Greens 12,49614.9+0.8
Anthony Michael AckroydArts Party1,4781.8+1.8
Peter XingScience Party9881.2+1.2
Beresford ThomasChristian Democratic Party9011.1+0.6
David AllenIndependent5730.7+0.7
Marc Aussie-StoneIndependent3900.5+0.5

2016 two-party-preferred result

Malcolm Turnbull Liberal 56,97167.7-1.2
Evan Hughes Labor 27,12132.3+1.2

2018 by-election result

Dave Sharma Liberal 32,79543.1-19.2
Kerryn PhelpsIndependent22,21929.2+29.2
Tim Murray Labor 8,77711.5-6.2
Dominic Wy Kanak Greens 6,5438.6-6.3
Licia HeathIndependent1,7212.3+2.3
Angela VithoulkasIndependent8221.1+1.1
Andrea LeongScience5160.7-0.5
Shayne HigsonVoluntary Euthanasia4930.7+0.7
Deb DoyleAnimal Justice4210.6+0.6
Kay DunneSustainable Australia4130.5+0.5
Robert CallananKatter’s Australian3810.5+0.5
Samuel GunningLiberal Democrats3510.5+0.5
Barry KeldoulisArts3050.4-1.4
Tony RobinsonLiberty Alliance1540.2+0.2
Ben ForsythJustice1330.2+0.2
Steven GeorgantisPeople’s Party820.1+0.1

2018 by-election two-candidate-preferred result

Kerryn PhelpsIndependent38,98851.2
Dave Sharma Liberal 37,13848.8

2018 by-election two-party-preferred result

Dave Sharma Liberal 46,24460.8-7.0
Tim Murray Labor 29,88239.3+7.0

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three parts: Beach, Harbour and City.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 58.4% in Beach to 79.1% in Harbour.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 9.7% in Harbour to 19.0% in Beach.

2016 booth breakdown

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes13.771.114,89117.7

2018 by-election booth breakdown

Voter groupIND 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes40.49,30712.2

Election results in Wentworth at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

Two-candidate-preferred votes at the 2018 Wentworth by-election

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  1. Liberal’s Made a major mistake nominating Sharma again, He cannot win idk what drugs the people are on on sportsbet to think he has a high chance of winning. He cannot win. He’s conservative leaning on issues that doesn’t match this electorate, And you have an Independent that has a high profile and will easily build up her profile further, I see her staying on until she retires or messes up. Since the Liberals are bracing for a landslide defeat i don’t see how this gets regained, I understand if this was 2013, But it isn’t its going to be a reverse of 2013 and Labor vote will be up, They will preference Her over Sharma, Sharma does not match the views of the people of this, He is no Malcolm Turnbull, IND Hold

  2. As with Mayo, some people seem oddly eager to place the blame for Wentworth on the Liberal candidate. In both cases, the loss is much more plausibly explained by the low standing of the government and the quality of the opponent.

    Or to put it another way: if not Sharma, then who?

  3. Christine forester, Tony Abbots sister, A very sensible Small L liberal basically a woman version of Malcolm turnbull, She would have been a much better choice and would have a good chance of winning, You would have to be an idiot to think sharma will win, Sorry but thats the truth, i believe sharma lived in Mackellar hes truly out of touch with wentworth

  4. Daniel – Christine may have done better than David in the by election. In a general election that to but would she want to be a spoiler for Kerryn given they are both lesbian pals. However Christine would be another Liberal women candidate in what eventually would be a safe seat in the future. Abbott name spelling?

    David – In Mayo Georgina was seen as a blow in from Victoria where she has lived for a few years and after she failed to get selected for Goldstein a few months earlier.

  5. Christine Forster’s problem is that her name is usually accompanied by the description “Tony Abbott’s sister”. (As you’ve proven.) The Abbott name would only be a dead weight on the Liberal brand in Wentworth. At least that was the thinking conveyed by Liberal insiders from reports at the time of the by-election.

  6. David – this is a common problem with the media, women are often linked to men (brother in this case) or they are a mother or what clothes they like and all the other women’s magazine trash that is out there.

  7. david’s problem is he is a conservative retard. He does not appeal to any of the voters here, this one of the most if not the most liberal electorate in the county, only turnbull like candidates can win here

  8. Not sure what the gamblers are on to think Sharma will win, Not sure what they are on, The Phelps bill will actually HELP her rather than hurt her, Asylum seekers are more welcomed in electorates like these, But even then, The bill doesn’t allow them in. It gives them medical treatment from Australian Doctors, So really this is going to stay Independent unless she messes up between now and election day

  9. Daniel
    Phelps survival depends on one thing, & one thing only. Whether the people who voted for her realise how badly they stuffed up, & act on it. They did- big time. Whether they will admit or not , or yet.? Well that will be fascinating.
    i grew up in Wentworth, & still know thousands of people that live there. I think i know more about Wentworth than anyone from Queensland. But i’m happy to be wrong. Phelps is a fabulous example of what, & who we DON’T want as a representative. As a particularly ruthless, driven, highly fixated Type 3 she would literally do ANYTHING to win, or to be a winner. Why do you think her own brother (with massive public profile), has never, ever supported, or even endorsed her ?? I’ve met him too.

  10. Simple given the short time between the byelection and the election she is most likely to be given another chance and be reelected

  11. Daniel
    Ha ha, ha, ha. !!! ARE YOU KIDDING !!!. Do you want me to start naming names !!???. BTW was my Deakin post in response too intense, & heavy for you ?

    Could be very likely, however there is lots, of pride, & ego too, in this electorate !!

  12. No, i choose not to respond, quit saying hateful or negative things about, Right honourable members of the house, We are supposed to post about predictions on where seats go, not bash members, Like attacking them wont change the outcome of the election. And nothing has convinced me to change my prediction from Ind hold here.

  13. Daniel
    So you chose not to respond because your question was not a genuine one, with an interest in a genuine answer ?. Instead was it just a challenge on Safe schools ?.

    It is true my observations about MP’s are not impersonal. They are based on observation of behaviour(s) & interpreted through, & confirmed by the enneagram. The enneagram is a powerful, & predictive tool. Sometimes my observations could be interpreted as negative, (hateful is ridiculous) but in making that charge, you would be making presumptions
    Firstly that i lack compassion, & tolerance (for sometimes deeply flawed individuals)
    secondly that their personalities , (or their interpretation of policy) are not influential to results, which is absurd
    thirdly that I have some other motivation “Like attacking them wont change the outcome of the election.”

    Really ?? I Would adore to have that kind of influence !. It is true i have a mental illness , but it is not schizophrenia, or delusional in some way. i can assure that i am now well medicated, & of, & in no risk !! So no need for you to be concerned on my behalf !

    Do try to ask genuine, & authentic questions, rather than tossing around accusations , & judgements . It does tend to be more effective.

    cheers WD

  14. Now old Malcolm is claiming that the coalition dumped him because ”They thought they would win” How ridiculous.

  15. Sharma is way overrated on sportsbet, They have him 60 cents ahead of Phelps, according to them they think sharma will win by a few points well i doubt it, Phelps is a fighter and she does not have the toxic coalition baggage, Everything goes against sharma here. And especially if turnbull doesnt help him this time around. I expect an independent hold. A conservative liberal (Morrison type Liberal) cannot win here. It needs to be a turnbull like liberal like Christine Forester (She ultimately got denied and the preselectors unanimously backed him again because he “almost” won) To say that hes at least not the underdog is a bit foolish. This wont be an easy win. I reckon they have a higher chance of taking Indi because that is an open seat than here. PHELPS hold.

  16. Daniel
    As usual you could not be more mistaken. There are 2 completely contrary factors in play here. Neither one of them have anything to do with the candidates. So you are completely wrong.

    The first is obvious self interest. Labor’s appallingly regressive socialist agenda, & policies are clearly harmful to anyone in business, or possessing wealth.
    This is opposed by the aspiration of image. Coolness, trendiness progressiveness etc. Phelps successfully manipulated this desire to get elected. Mrs WD’s brother (type 3 ) his wife (type 2) & 3 x 20 something kids are a great example. Very conservative , but super social, & avid lifestyle consumers. Voted for Phelps because of image, how it looked to do something new, cool, & different. Labor’s policy on Trusts will mean they pay a huge amount of tax very soon.

    How do you reckon they will vote this time ??
    Do you think they will be turkeys voting for Christmas !!??
    To be honest i just don’t know myself. Maybe they will be that fixated. That stupid.

  17. this seat contains some of most wealthy areas of Australia but is not safe for the libs as the Bondi …. Coogee suburbs and similar can be labor voting…. some times up to 55% 2pp at the federal level… but the gentrification which started in Paddington has also impacted on the bottom end of the electorate. Turnbull when elected I think he had a margin of 3 to 4% he made this seat safe for himself only………..in his absence the seat was very much weakened for the libs. labor got a notional 7% swing at the same by election Phelps won…..suspect this will be a rerun of the byelection with the same result

  18. Mick
    Wentworth has lost about 10,000 voters in the West to Sydney. changes the numbers from 2004. Agree about demographic changes, however important ones are the % of renters, & their income profile. i’d suggest this changing even more rapidly..
    Agree Phelps is more likely to win, although she will disappear in 3yrs after proving her own irrelevance

  19. Jeez poor Kerryn Phelps. She has just had the moz put on her big time – being picked to win by Mick Quinlivan.

  20. Moderate. You can’t always assume I am wrong…….the seat was safe for Trumbull but not so for any other liberal….minus Trumbull it reverts to a seat that the libs will win against labor but by margins of 5 to 7%. See votes in the past. Phelps esp at the by election shifted the vote enough to win against the liberals… Given the closeness of the by-election to the May Federal election I suspect a rerun

  21. I think the ‘centre’ independent woman winning coalition seats is a thing.

    McGowan and now Phelps.

    If Phelps wins again then the Liberals only have themselves to blame for losing their heartland.

  22. But Mick you are batting about 0 for 14 from the NSW election. As much as I love your contributions, if I were managing a baseball team with you in it, you be squarely on the bench old son. No more forecasting for you!!

  23. There was an article with a liberal source saying this seat is “looking good” apparently, but in the same article he said they were looking to pick up Dobell and Macarthur so he may just be full of shit.

    Think Phelps should be returned, it’s only been a few months and Phelps got a big victory with her medievac bill. Turnbull made this seat very safe, through the 90s and up to 2007 it was only by a 5-7% margin. Think there’s enough support in the South of the seat and the Paddington area for her to hold it. Right wing religious conservative Morrison goes down like a tonne of bricks here

  24. Boatswain1025
    My post above still holds true. A contest of image vs substance. If i had to bet my money, it is on image. Phelps to hold. Morrisons religion is more inconsequential, than the Medivac legislation. Secular prejudice is as unwelcome in Wentworth as any other. I don’t know where you get Morrison been “right wing”. The man is one of the most shameless transactional PM’S of all time. Principles cost electoral capital, & he has shown himself to be a horrible miser of said capital. What exactly are his right wing views, because i ain’t seeing much?
    Dobell is no chance now that Morrison has pissed ofF Hanson, not that it was in the first place. Note that no- one wants to speculate on E-M !! See my latest post !!

    Wentworth is very different to a decade ago. that 5-7% is ancient history for a number of irrefutable facts. The comparison is sillier than comparing pre 96 Hughes with today.

  25. @boatswain1025

    Yeah the article also suggested the Liberal picking up Lindsay as well along with as already mentioned Wentworth. I know one political expert was unimpressed hinting the Liberals were using state results and claiming it was ‘internal polling’. The article also claims Liberals were hoping to hold Labor to a minority government. The article sounds dodgy to me.

    My prediction Phelps retains Wentworth.

  26. Wentworth is an odd one, very socially progressive but also very wealthy and financially conservative. Phelps fits the bill perfectly here, as did Malc before he became a conservative puppet. Phelps already has posters up and I saw her team out and about today, nothing from the Libs yet.

    Should be a Phelps retain in my book.

  27. I don’t believe anything about the Liberals “leaked” poll saying that Sharma will get up here – the article seemed to be grasping at straws suggesting the Liberals had a path to victory. On sophomore surges alone I don’t think the Liberals will nab any of their target seats except maybe Lindsay. All the crossbenchers in NSW got handily reelected at the state election and Phelps has acted exactly as promised after getting elected.

    Phelps’ challenge will be the following election when voters might want to see the back of Labor government and can’t necessarily trust Phelps to deliver that.

    Incredible that a “nothing to see here” electorate has turned into a bridge too far for the party that once safely held it.

  28. The Liberals will probably be in with a chance in 2022 but this time it looks like being an easy hold for Phelps.

    Really ?? An “EASY” hold ?? Really?? She has a 1.2% margin. How much will she increase it ??. There is no way this will be called on the night. She may just get over the line. But it will not be “easy”

    . Bear in mind i want her to win. Why ??. Because i know so many people who voted for her, & i want them to humiliate themselves, as did so many who voted for Rudd in 2007.

    Sophomore surges are earned, not bestowed. As is respect. A few months is NOT a few years. To think otherwise is a massive self indulgence, if not self delusion. i will be incredibly shocked if there is anything resembling a SS.

  30. Conor
    Read my earlier posts. The paradigm you suggest is completely illusory. Never mind, I’ll clear up some historical misconceptions, & untruths for you
    1/ Malcolm was never a puppet.
    2/ He simply lacked the courage, conviction etc to demand the job of PM ,ON HIS OWN TERMS.
    3/ The Nats bluffed him into accepting their conditions. Thats probably why he hated Barnaby
    4/ He was so blinded by his own hatreds, & ambitions that he was willing to take the deal just to reach his “goal”
    5/ Because he was bereft of any transpersonal goals, or vision for the nation he then had no idea where he wanted to lead the country. Winning was everything. Having won the position what then ??
    6/ This is one (& there are many) of the dangers, of electing such a shockingly fixated Type 3 as leader.

    Note the country only just barely did elect MT That demonstrates doubt, if not an awareness !!

    Malcolm stands as a monument as to what to be wary with TYPE 3 s. Morrison is emphasising it. Type 3’s will endlessly create the image of success regardless of how much deception is needed. In their minds they are incapable of failure !!. Malcolm just recently propagandised his removal, as because of his imminent success in being re- elected !!!. Morrison believes he is part of a successful govt, that has no fatal flaws !!.
    Image over substance
    Ironically Wentworth just voted for the most tragically, & extremely fixated Type 3 i’ve ever seen – Kerryn Phelps. So image is all important for Wentworth, not substance.

    Refer to the enneagram

  31. Malcolm I don’t think liked hard work. He wasn’t a good Prime Minister. Couldn’t be bothered campaigning wasn’t his thing. I think the seat will return to the Liberals if Dave Sharna gets in.
    How can Kerryn Phelps do 3 jobs properly. I don’t think so.

  32. There is one really clever comment about this seat and it is about image. Image has been key for people who have held this seat in the recent past, especially when you consider the demographics of the seat once you move beyond what would be considered part of the state seat of Vaucluse, which is about as White Bread as you can get.

    David Sharma is highly intelligent and very affable. I would say he would be similar in quality and mind-set as Julian Leeser. But Sharma doesn’t have an image in the area. He was raised in the Upper North Shore and doesn’t really have that much of a connection with the Eastern Suburbs, whereas Kerryn Phelps has had more time to build up her profile, especially in the Eastern side of this seat (from her time on Sydney City Council). What people may not know about her is that she was actually born and raised in Avalon.

    It’s why Turnbull fit the bill so well here. Incredibly image-conscious and was born-and-bred Eastern Suburbs.

    Would I be going so far as to calling Wentworth the most shallow seat in Australia? 😛

  33. Hawkeye
    Thanks for acknowledgement, & i wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said. The last sentence is very provocative !!. i believe it is a stretch to say that one of the most successful highly educated, & eclectic electorates is shallow. i’d point to all the safe electorates on BOTH sides that mindlessly, & continuously vote for team Red, or Team Blue. That really doesn’t demonstrate much depth, or thought. I can’t think of a better motivation for an MP THAN TO BE FORCED TO PREFERENCES .
    Of course compulsory voting doesn’t help.

  34. Whatever you think of Malcolm’s politics or prime ministership, he was a perfect fit for this seat.

    Still don’t think Sharma is winning this even though the bookies disagree, recent history with independents shows they tend to increase their hold on the seat once they are in

  35. There are exceptional circumstances at play this time though. Phelps only narrowly prevailed at the by-election AT THE HEIGHT of the anger at Turnbull’s ousting, with the full national media spotlight favourably predisposed on her. This time, it will be a much more quiet affair and the Libs are polling much better now than they were then.

    I really can’t predict this one but would be inclined to say that Sharma will win. However, I would not be surprised if Phelps also increases her margin, partly due to Morrison being a poor fit for the seat, but also due to the medivac bill. Regarding the latter, I’m sure the Coalition’s rhetoric on that went down like a lead balloon here.

  36. Phelps won’t win, Sharma will. Phelps is trying to do 3 jobs at once. Not a nice person how she got into Parliament and wanted to make changes in a hurry. She’s a strange lady.

  37. Margaret, No chance, sorry conservative supporter but i do not see a conservative winning in a progressive seat, Morrison and the sharma cult is not fit for wentworth, Independent retain, Do you realise how hard it is to dislodge independents?

  38. I think Sharma jumping on board the EV scare campaign will hurt his chances in Wentworth. Kinda undermines his claims of being a “Modern Liberal”.

  39. Some guy – what does EV mean? Abbreviation should only be used if everyone reading them understands them.

  40. Some guy
    Don’t think so. IN such an image conscious place, what someone drives, is pretty important. Call it shallow, ( & i would) but there it is.

  41. I agree that Sharma will win this back for the Libs. They had a shocker during the by-election where everything that could go wrong for them did but however only narrowly missed out. The Libs voters who didn’t bother to show up at the by-election will come back to the fold this time. Now Sharma has moved into the electorate and rebranded himself as “Modern Liberal” to distance himself from ScoMo will ensure it will be a close victory this time, despite the Libs possibly losing the election overall. Mind you, I was doubtful Phelps would win in the first place and knew it would be a closer victory once all the postals came in. Interesting though at the state election, Coogee was one of the only two Labor gains.


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