Riverstone – NSW 2019

LIB 12.2%

Incumbent MP
Kevin Conolly, since 2011.

Geography
North-western Sydney. Riverstone includes northern parts of the City of Blacktown, including Glenwood, Quakers Hill, Riverstone and Stanhope Gardens.

History
Riverstone was first created for the 1981 election. It was Labor-held continuously until 2011.

The seat was first won in 1981 by Tony Johnson, who had served as Member for Mount Druitt since 1973. Johnson retired in 1983, triggering a by-election.

The 1983 by-election was won by Richard Amery. He held the seat until 1991. In 1991, the redistribution saw the restoration of the seat of Mount Druitt, covering areas previously covered by Riverstone. Amery moved to Mount Druitt, which he has held ever since. He served as a minister in the state Labor government from 1995 to 2003.

Riverstone was won in 1991 by John Aquilina, who had served as Member for Blacktown since 1981. He served as a minister in Labor governments from 1986 to 1988 and again from 1995 to 2003. In 2003 he left the ministry and was elected Speaker. He served as Speaker until the 2007 election, and then sat on the backbench until his retirement in 2011.

At the 2011 election, Riverstone was won by Liberal candidate Kevin Conolly with a 30% swing. Conolly was re-elected in 2015.

Candidates

Assessment
Riverstone is a reasonably safe Liberal seat, but the seat was held by Labor until 2011 so could well go back if there is a surge in Labor support.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Kevin Conolly Liberal 25,91855.2-3.2
Ian Morrison Labor 14,81931.6+7.9
Rob Vail Greens 2,5415.4FALSE
Allan GreenChristian Democrats2,5255.4+0.7
Karen CacciottiNo Land Tax1,1522.5+2.5
Informal1,5493.2

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Kevin Conolly Liberal 27,06562.2-7.8
Ian Morrison Labor 16,41837.8+7.8

Booth breakdown

Booths in Riverstone have been split into three parts: east, north and south.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 60.1% in the south to 65% in the north.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
East64.815,57133.2
South60.111,92225.4
North65.03,9278.4
Other votes61.210,55322.5
Pre-poll59.64,98210.6

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

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I think this is an area that will swing big esp with what looks like a change of govt………. I am pretty sure all of Riverstone falls in the corresponding federal seat…………. also the margin is much inflated and Mr Connolly relied on the Diaz family for internal support

  2. Error in text: “it has always been won by the ALP.”

    Other notes: holy cow, a 30% swing in 2011? Looks like there’s a lot of swinging voters in Riverstone when the statewide 2PP is 50/50.

    I graphed the Riverstone 2PP vs the statewide 2PP going back to 1999 – you can see it’s a sort of an S curve with a greater-than-uniform swing in the middle and a less-than-uniform swing at the sides.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/56SaGGO

  3. I live in this electorate. It’s important to realise that this is one the fastest-growing electorates in the state, and therefore is very much evolving demographically. Demographic changes may partly account for the whopping 30% swing against Labor in 2011. Riverstone is a seat of negatively-correlated demographic extremities. It has a young population, with a median age of 33. It has a large and growing migrant population, predominantly from India. These two factors would suggest a seat favourable to Labor. However, the electorate is also very high SES – with average incomes on par with neighbouring Castle Hill and Baulkham Hills.

    I think it is difficult to discern what will happen here in 2019. It is also hard to tell where this seat is headed in the long-term. The 2019 result may give some indication.

  4. Also my electorate. From memory (not always a reliable thing), there was a significant redrawing of the Riverstone electoral boundaries prior to the 2011 election, which was a main factor in the “30% swing” to the Liberals in the 2011 election.
    Whilst the electorate does roughly match the federal seat of Greenway, the later also includes a sizeable Labor dominated area to the south, plus the federal Labour MP is quite active in the local community. Mind you, Conolly is very much the absentee landlord.
    With the demographic trend in the electorate I suspect it is increasingly going to mirror the neighbouring Castle Hill & Baulkham Hills electorates. The Indian & Chinese ethnic population is packed into the SE corner, with little room for population growth. The recent development of the Schofields & Riverstone areas means the results from the north are going to be more like that of the booths in the central area, so I suspect Conolly will either hold steady or get a slight increase, even if there’s a statewide swing against the Liberals.

  5. No, the 30% swing wasn’t effected by a redistribution. There was a redistribution after the 2011 election which significantly reduced the area of the seat, but it didn’t cause much of a change to the margin.

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