East Hills – NSW 2019

LIB 0.4%

Incumbent MP
Glenn Brookes, since 2011.

Geography
Southwestern Sydney. East Hills covers southern parts of the City of Bankstown, areas on the north and east shore of the Georges River. The seat covers the suburbs of Panania, Revesby, Padstow, Milperra and Condell Park.

History
The electoral district of East Hills was first created at the 1953 election. The seat was held by Labor continuously from 1953 to 2011, with only four people holding the seat during this period.

The seat was first won in 1953 by Arthur Williams. He had been a member of the Legislative Assembly since 1940, first holding the marginal seat of Ryde until 1941, then holding the seat of Georges River from 1941 to 1953. He held East Hills until his retirement in 1956.

Joe Kelly won East Hills for the ALP in 1956. He held the seat until 1973. He was succeeded by Pat Rogan, who held the seat until 1999.

Alan Ashton won East Hills in 1999, and was re-elected in 2003 and 2007.

In 2011, Ashton was narrowly defeated by Liberal candidate Glenn Brookes.

There was a large swing to Labor in New South Wales in 2015, but Brookes gained a tiny swing to hold on despite his slim margin.

Brookes resigned from the Liberal Party in 2016 after his campaign manager was charged with electoral offences, but rejoined the party in 2017.

Candidates

  • Heather Barnes (Animal Justice)
  • Christopher Brogan (Independent)
  • Owen Butt (Christian Democrats)
  • Wendy Lindsay (Liberal)
  • Cameron Murphy (Labor)
  • Sue Virago (Greens)

Assessment
East Hills is the most marginal seat in New South Wales. It was even more marginal in 2015, but there was practically no swing in this seat while the rest of the state swung strongly to Labor. Polls suggest that there will be a statewide swing to Labor again in 2019, at which point it’s hard to imagine the Liberal Party holding on with their slim margin.

2015 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Glenn Brookes Liberal 20,975 44.2 +2.9
Cameron Murphy Labor 19,958 42.1 +1.0
Astrid O’Neill Greens 3,141 6.6 +1.7
Violet Abdulla Christian Democrats 2,310 4.9 +0.7
Jean Russell No Land Tax 1,078 2.3 +2.3
Informal 2,124 4.3

2015 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Glenn Brookes Liberal 22,184 50.4 +0.2
Cameron Murphy Labor 21,812 49.6 -0.2

Booth breakdown

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

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in southern parts of the seat, with 51% in the south-east and 55% in the south-west.

Labor won 57.6% of the two-party-preferred vote in the north.

Voter group LIB 2PP % Total votes % of votes
South-East 51.1 15,671 33.0
South-West 55.1 10,252 21.6
North 42.4 7,253 15.3
Other votes 51.2 8,859 18.7
Pre-poll 48.8 5,427 11.4

Two-party-preferred votes in East Hills at the 2015 NSW state election

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52 COMMENTS

  1. There were expectations of a by-election here; but Brookes’s campaign manager somehow escaped conviction. The re-entry of Brookes into the Liberal caucus surely signals an intention to re-contest. One wonders how much assistance he’ll get from his party.

  2. Labor gain. Brookes’s name has (rightly) been dragged through the mud for the smear campaign his team ran here last time. Voters don’t like to be lied to.

  3. Same ALP candidate as last time. No local narrative at all, a bad choice, similar to the one they have made in B
    anks.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to write Brooke’s off – quirky electorate that likes a rebellious streak.

  4. moderate suspect your own bias shows through…. East Hills will vote Labor…… Mr Brookes is not bucking the liberal party line in any way

  5. The Labor Party candidate lives in the electorate of East Hills. It is only Liberal Party candidates that are required to have absolutely no connection with the electorate they are contesting.

    I read the two local newspapers each week. There has not been any mention of who the Liberal Party candidate will be.
    Glenn Brookes calls himself an independent in the local papers while he is listed as a Liberal Party member on the NSW Parliament website.

  6. Hey Watson Watch – you’d better tell Mark Dreyfus that!!!
    And Mick – you have no bias yourself??

  7. Taking the Glenn Brookes Factor out for a second, this seat shows some similar characteristics to Oatley, with the influence of the Georges River Section of the seat giving some pretty strong Liberal Territory (Padstow Heights, Picnic Point and East Hills). The strong result in Milperra shows that the Liberal Party is starting to make inroads up the seat, as the gentrification continues to occur. Under normal circumstances, I could see this ending up a genuine marginal seat, much more marginal than Oatley (given the strong Labor areas in Condell Park and around Revesby).

    When you factor in Glenn Brookes, the Liberal Party will not retain this seat. He has been a dud MP from the get-go. Unfortunately, NSW Labor could have done a lot better than retain Cameron Murphy for this seat. While he has lived in the seat now for 4 years, he still has that “blow-in” feel that never sits well for a candidate (take the Paul Nicolau example for the Pittwater By-Election back in 2005).

    Labor will win this seat but that will be more because Glenn Brookes has been so ineffective.

  8. I doubt if Labor can win next March – especially if Foley remains leader. But if they have to seriously win or come close, then they MUST win East Hills to have any genuine hope.

  9. 7 seats for a minority….13 seats for an absolute majority yes is a hard ask .but each 3rd election tends to be very close. Alp can win up to half a dozen country seats… also would win urban seats including East Hills. Remember seats in the Parramatta Blacktown area have not returned to labor yet but can as they did 1995 to 2007 elections

  10. Honestly, I think it would be more likely to be a Labor gain if Brookes did contest.

    Given the margin, still very likely to change hands, but I don’t think we can credit Brookes with any personal vote should he have contested (the opposite in fact).

  11. yes there have been population changes…. which have changed the nature of this seat whether Brookes is a positive or negative for the libs I do not know…… but will change handsin 2019

  12. The Liberals haven’t selected a candidate yet.

    There hasn’t been any mention of Liberal preselection or candidates in the local papers (Bankstown Torch & Bankstown Express).

    Under the new electoral laws, declared candidates for the 2019 election need to register with the NSW Electoral Commission.

    The current list of candidates can be accessed from http://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/fd/registers/2019_sge_candidates

    The reports appear to be updated weekly.

  13. Its Dr Wendy Lindsay, She graduated at Adelaide university, She won’t win for certain. But she could try again here in 2023 or 2027

  14. Daniel – that’s not her.

    Wendy Lindsay got 4.4% of the vote in this area at the last council election. Not bad for an ungrouped independent. Given that was only 18 months ago, it’s interesting that the Libs have had to recruit an apparent outsider to a seat they currently hold.

    Berejiklian was in the electorate today to announce her new candidate. One wonders how often she’ll be back.

  15. they asked her last year and she said no. She must have been approached again – wonder what they offered her

  16. ^ Link won’t work says i have to pay, News is important so why do Rupert Murdoch and his clan want us to pay to read newspaper articles, Anyways yeah it is her, but she won’t win. maybe she could have a crack at another office in future?

  17. The Lib candidate presents well and is also a female. The first female candidate from either major party to contest East Hills. I note that her F/B page is starting to ramp up with posts of her campaigning. On the other hand I have to tip my hat to Murphy the Labor candidate. I thought he would pack his bags and head back to the inner city after being parachuted into the seat in 2014 and losing in 2015. To his credit, he has stuck around and built a profile in the community. The longer the polls stay at 50-50, the more attention this seat will get. This seat could determine who wins government. Stand by for some significant announcements from both parties to sway the voters in this seat.

  18. The Liberal Party (Wendy Lindsay) candidate presents well and is the first female candidate from either major party to contest East Hills. I note that her F/B is starting to ramp up with activity as she gets out and about in the electorate. On the other hand, I have to admire the ALP candidate (Cameron Murphy) He was parachuted into the seat in 2014 with the backing of the Left and but lost in 2015. He could have packed his bags and gone back to the inner city but he stayed and has built a solid profile in the East Hills electorate. If the polls stay 50-50, this seat could determine who wins government. I expect that both parties will make major announcements here to sway voters.

  19. Murphy has been out and abouts consistently over the past four years not just in the last few weeks while I think while Wendy may present well she has expressed some unsavoury opinions (now deleted of course!) on facebook over the years and there is a question mark over if she was involved in the 2015 smear campaign with ‘project letterbox’. say no more… it will be one seat to watch to say the least

  20. I think that’s the wrong attitude Daniel. Every vote should be earned and no seat should ever be considered ‘safe’. Labor shouldn’t presume it is theirs but the area does need good representation from a hard working member – bc I don’t think it’s had it with Brookes. Brookes has been quiet on major issues in the area for four years and now he’s spruiking wendy. My worry is more of the same under representation for the next four years when there are big issues facing the area – eg overdevelopment etc

  21. Daniel, I would suggest that this would have been a similar thought back in 2015 (that East Hills would have been an easy Labor gain) The state wide swing to Labor never materialised in East Hills, with the Libs picking up a small swing and thus retaining the seat. The nature of the seat has changed significantly in the years since Labor last held it. Most of the generation who settled in the electorate after WW2 have now passed away, being replaced by a younger generation of voters who aren’t as ‘rusted on’. Add to this the average house price in some parts of the electorate exceeding $1million and I think that the days of the seat being a Labor seat are over. Whoever wins this seat will have to fight very hard for it.

  22. To ascribe the 2015 result in East Hills solely to organic factors is to completely ignore the facts. Do you really believe a 0.4% margin after the Labor candidate was falsely smeared as a “paedophile lover” signals that the seat is naturally Liberal for the foreseeable future? This seat is clearly Labor in a vacuum, 2015 was not a vacuum.

  23. There is a difference, Mike Baird was POPULAR he was very popular, The most popular politician in the country. He was well liked in West Sydney, He did what Newman couldn’t do. Get re-elected with a decent majority from a previous landslide. This time, There is going to be a huge correction and above average swings in seats that Labour held before 2011, The real Tellers about who will win the election are seats like Penrith,Heathcote,Kiama,Bega, These are the sort of seats that will decide Gov, (Labour will get a majority if they sweep all 4 of those) East Hills will get above a 5% swing. Also younger Voters TEND to vote Labour, so im unsure about your argument.

  24. Dryhard, I haven’t completely ignored the facts. I am just offering a perspective. I acknowledge the presence of the smear campaign in ‘15, but I just don’t think that it had as significant an impact on the outcome of East Hills as some might suggest.

  25. Labor achieved a 7% swing in pre-poll votes but went backwards in ordinary votes. Now that’s probably in part due to the explosion in pre-poll voting; but I think it’s unusual for Labor to win the pre-poll ballots whilst losing the election day ones.

    That’s evidence of a last minute shift to the Libs, coincident with the smear campaign.

  26. There is consistency with that smear campaign that was run but there are other factors that came into play with this seat:
    1. This seat is trending towards the Liberal Party, with the vote getting stronger along the Georges River and up, similar to the trend with Oatley.
    2. Cameron Murphy was also targetted for being parachuted into the seat in 2015.

    I still think Labor gains this seat but this will not return to being a safe Labor seat. Long term, this will become a marginal seat.

  27. Cameron has been loving in Padstow for years and his kids go to local schools not sure the parachuted in line applies anymore

  28. Cameron Murphy moved to the electorate for the sole purpose of contesting a pre-selection ballot to stand as the ALP candidate for East Hills, backed by sections of the Left. He moved in only a matter of months before the pre-selection ballot took place. These are all the hallmarks of a parachute candidate. He is not the quintessential local ALP candidate as, for example, Alan Ashton was. To Cameron Murphys credit, despite losing the election in 2015, he has established roots in the area Yvonne as you point out. He is losing the ‘parachute’ status, but it is taking time.
    As a footnote, in recent history, this strategy of parachuting a candidate into the electorate by the Left was tried back in the late ‘90’s, when a staffer from then Deputy Premier Refshauges office moved to the electorate with the impending retirement of Pat Rogan. The same Left members who supported Murphy in 2014 promptly informed Refshauges staffer that she would have zero support in any pre-selection because she was from outside the electorate. A touch of irony.

  29. The Libs have promised 400 additional car parking spaces in Revesby, a new Service NSW centre in Revesby and an upgrade to East Hills station including the installation of lifts and all of this with still over a month until the election. Add to that, last year Brookes announced that one of the major arterial roads that runs through the electorate, Henry Lawson Drive, would be widened. They are quite serious in their attempt to retain the seat, as all of these promises would be reasonably expensive. It will be interesting to see how the ALP respond. For the constituents of East Hills, it certainly serves them well to live in a marginal seat

  30. Cameron Murphy has replied with announcements to stop spot-rezoning in the area, fund TAFE courses, re-regulate electricity prices, nurse to patient ratios and maternity ward upgrades at Bankstown hospital etc. And thats all I have time to look for now but it’s all on his Facebook page as I’ve been asking questions (re hospital) and getting responses

  31. The service centre is mobile. It doesn’t stay in Revesby. There was one in Padstow but the Libs closed it down two months after the last election

  32. From what I’ve read, there will be 10 new permanent Service NSW centres, with one being located in Revesby. The mobile Service Centres will be in addition to those 10. I will stand corrected.
    I have now read Murphy’s policy announcements (thanks Tm) and they all look appealing, especially the one to stop spot rezoning. There is a significant issue with this in the western part of the electorate on an old golf course site that was subject to rezoning that may sway some undecided / swinging voters Murphy’s way. The other announcement I would add is the removal / reduction of the station access fee for workers and commuters going to and from the International and Domestic Airport. This will help all those catching the train from the four stations on the airport line in the electorate.

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