Castle Hill – NSW 2019

LIB 29.4%

Incumbent MP
Ray Williams, since 2015. Previously member for Hawkesbury 2007-2015.

Geography
Northwestern Sydney. Castle Hill covers parts of the Hills Shire, including the suburbs of Castle Hill, Beaumount Hills, Kellyville, Glenhaven and Rouse Hill.

History
Castle Hill was created in 2007, replacing the former seat of The Hills. The Hills had existed since 1962, and had always been held by Liberal MPs.

The Hills was first won in 1962 by Max Ruddock, a former president of Hornsby Shire. He served as a minister in the Coalition state government from 1975 to 1976. Shortly after the government lost power in 1976, Ruddock announced his retirement, and died six days later. His son Phillip was elected to the House of Representatives in 1973 and still serves there today.

The 1976 by-election was won by Fred Caterson. He held the seat until he resigned from Parliament in 1990.

Another by-election in 1990 was won by former car dealer Tony Packard. He was re-elected in 1991, but resigned in 1993 after being convicted of installing listening devices illegally when he worked as a car dealer.

The 1993 by-election was won by Liberal candidate Michael Richardson. He held The Hills until 2007, when he won election to the renamed seat of Castle Hill.

In 2011, Richardson lost preselection to Dominic Perrottet, who was elected.

Perrottet swapped seats in 2015 with Hawkesbury MP Ray Williams. Williams had represented Hawkesbury since 2007, and won Castle Hill in 2015.

Candidates

Assessment
Castle Hill is the safest Liberal seat in the state.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Ray Williams Liberal 34,13771.0-3.7
Matt Ritchie Labor 7,68616.0+4.5
Michael Bellstedt Greens 3,3537.0-1.1
Muriel SultanaChristian Democrats1,5353.2-0.4
Anna StevisNo Land Tax1,3812.9+2.9
Informal1,3112.7

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Ray Williams Liberal 35,54479.4-5.3
Matt Ritchie Labor 9,22420.6+5.3

Booth breakdown

Booths in Castle Hill have been split into four parts: north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west. South-East mostly covers the suburb of Castle Hill in the urban part of the seat.

The Liberal Party won huge majorities of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 77.5% in the south-west to 85.1% in the north-east.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South-East77.710,37721.6
South-West77.59,26419.3
North-West80.49,24019.2
North-East85.14,4429.2
Other votes78.410,46321.8
Pre-poll81.74,3069.0

Two-party-preferred votes in Castle Hill at the 2015 NSW state election

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Could someone explain why suburban areas like Castle hill are Conservative leaning? I thought suburbs generally lean Left, Like they do in the USA

  2. I wonder the same. I’m not entirely familiar with Sydney’s suburbs, but looking at the area’s median house price it looks like it would be comparable to a Bentleigh or Ivanhoe type of area (to cover both sides of the city), but even before the wipeout election last month they were only around 50-50 territory, a 30% Liberal margin would be unheard of. In fact, even Malvern, Brighton & Sandringham never have anywhere close to 30% Liberal margins.

    Are political attitudes in Sydney’s suburbs really that different than in comparably priced Melbourne suburbs? Or is Castle Hill just in a particularly conservative ‘bible belt’ area of the city or something?

  3. Castle Hill is a particularly ‘Bible-Belt’ part of Sydney. Notably it is close to the Hillsong headquarters

  4. Sydney’s Bible belt much larger and more concentrated than Melbourne. And it has a lot more money.

    If you wanted a Melbourne area to compare this to – I would suggest Donvale->Croydon Hills->Chirnside Park. So thats Bulleen/Warrandyte/Evelyn.

    But Hillsong does not run at the same volume in Melbourne for sure, and isn’t associated with wealth in the same way.

  5. Someday these areas will become Labor maybe in decades time, Especially if the liberals don’t reform their party, The only areas the coalition will win is in true rural areas

  6. You can google Poll Bludger’s 2015 state election guide which has several demographic indicators for each district.

    What stands out in Castle Hill is the high median income which is very typical of a safe Liberal seat.

  7. David is very much correct, the demographics of much of this seat is distinctly affluent. It takes in many of the most Liberal large booths in the Hornsby LGA with most being part of the Hills LGA which is a LIB fortress. Whilst a good part of this seat was semi rural around 1980, by 2000 almost all had been developed and the demographics very settled.

    As for Sydney’s “Bible Belt”, in state electorates it’s prime concentration is this seat, its southern neighbor Baulkham Hills, parts of Hawkesbury to its north with fringes into the eastern parts of Seven Hills and Riverstone. In Federal electoral terns, the vast majority is concentrated into the seat of Mitchell, with fringes into the western part of Berowra and some parts of Greenway.

  8. If its high income then why the heck is there allot of mortgages here, If people are buying houses and need to borrow money, Then why would they be long term paying their mortgage if they have high income? They should be able to pay off the house quickly

  9. Do not confuse income with wealth. A six figure salary does not automatically translate into a seven figure home. For that you need a mortgage.

  10. Nothing makes a high income Liberal voter consider voting out a Conservative Government faster than mortgage stress.

  11. The high income = Safe Liberal equation is really the part where I feel like Sydney & Melbourne seems to be quite different.

    Albert Park has a high median income and has never been won by the Liberal Party. Prahran has a high median income and has been won by ALP or Greens in 4 of the last 5 elections. Even Sandringham, Brighton, Hawthorn & Caulfield – the “heartland” seats people were surprised to see the huge swings in this time – only had margins of around 10%, nowhere near 29%. Malvern was the safest seat on 16% and is far more affluent than Castle Hill. It’s the most “old money” area in all of Victoria.

    So to me, margins like 29% speak a lot more to social conservatism (combined with wealth) than it does income & affluence. The Hillsong factor makes a lot more sense to me than median incomes.

    Perhaps there’s also a factor where parts of Sydney are more siloed and their communities a little more insular than Melbourne. This could also apply to the Sutherland Shire. If the cultural norm is that everybody votes Liberal and you’d turn heads if at a backyard BBQ you admitted to voting Labor, that sort of tribalism is probably more influencial in rusting entire areas onto the Liberal Party moreso than in Melbourne. I’m sure affluent circles in Toorak & Brighton have a similar tribalism, but it’s probably more muted by the fact that Melbourne’s old money heartland is so surrounded by and well connected to far more progressive-leaning suburbs where they no doubt shop, drink, get coffee and socialise as well.

  12. Daniel, I think the idea that seats like Castle Hill, Baulkham Hils, Hawkesbury and Epping would be won by Labor is honestly laughable. If anything, the demographics change that is going on within the North West is that the gentrification and growth in social conservatism is pushing slowly westward, to the point where Seven Hills is now considered a Marginal Liberal Seat and Riverstone is considered fairly safe for the Liberal Party.

    Blacktown could, in a generation’s time, become marginal for Labor, especially as that gentrification creep continues from Kings Langley and Seven Hills into Lalor Park and south of the M7.

  13. Some strange ideas about demographics in this thread.

    No, I don’t think you can say that suburban areas generally lean left in Australia (not particularly in the US either…) – yes some areas do tend to favour Labor but places like Western Sydney are much more complex than that would imply. There are wealthier and poorer areas in the western suburbs, and fringe suburbs are over-represented amongst marginal seats.

    Wealthier areas still have plenty of mortgages! They just tend to be bigger mortgages for bigger houses. Castle Hill has a lot of areas which are more recent developments, and thus a lot of people with heavy mortgage burdens.

    I don’t think Sydney and Melbourne are that different in terms of the relationship between income and vote. There are wealthy areas in Sydney which favour the left, like the inner west.

  14. demographics are the population changes which cause votes to change…..; usually as a suburb becomes wealthier it tends to vote liberal more…….. the exception is the areas of strong green votes in the inner city namely Balmain and Newtown state electorates. The Sutherland shire, Revesby suburbs and areas of the hills have become much stronger for then liberals……….. The Federal seat of Mitchell was won by labor in 1972 and lost for good in 1974

  15. This part of Sydney is one of the most affluent parts of the country, and (unlike neighbouring Riverstone for example) does not have a particularly large migrant population. All of the suburbs in this electorate rank in the 98th, 99th, and 100th percentile on the IRSAD 2016. This suffices to account for its status as the safest Liberal seat in the state.

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