Rockdale – NSW 2019

ALP 4.8%

Incumbent MP
Steve Kamper, since 2015.

Geography
Southern Sydney. The seat of Rockdale covers most of the City of Rockdale and part of Kogarah council area, in the St George district of Sydney. Suburbs include Sans Souci, Sandringham, Brighton-Le-Sands, Rockdale, Arncliffe, Turrella and Bardwell Park.

History
The electoral district of Rockdale was first created in 1927 upon the abolition of the multi-member district of St George. It was abolished in 1930, but was restored in 1941. It was held by the ALP continuously from 1941 to 2011.

The original district was won in 1927 by the Nationalist candidate James Arkins. He attempted to move to the seat of Waverley in 1930 unsuccessfully. He went on to serve in the Senate from 1935 to 1937, and again served in the Legislative Assembly as Member for Dulwich Hill from 1938 to 1941.

In 1941, the seat of Rockdale was restored. The seat was won by the ALP’s John McGrath. He served as a minister from 1953 until his retirement in 1959.

McGrath was succeeded in 1959 by Brian Bannon. He held the seat as a backbencher until 1986, when he resigned in order to give Barrie Unsworth a path into the Legislative Assembly. Unsworth had been a member of the Legislative Council since 1978, and had been a minister since 1984. When Neville Wran retired in 1986, Unsworth was elected Labor leader, and Bannon resigned to give him a seat in the Assembly.

Rockdale had been held by the ALP in 1984 with 63% of the primary vote. A massive swing saw Unsworth narrowly survive, winning by 54 votes.

Unsworth held on more comfortably in 1988, despite the ALP losing the state election in a landslide.

Unsworth retired in 1991, and he was succeeded by George Thompson, his former campaign manager. Thompson was re-elected in 1995 and 1999, and retired in 2003.

Thompson was succeeded in 2003 by Frank Sartor. Sartor had served as the independent Lord Mayor of Sydney since 1991, stepping down in 2003 to become a Labor MP in state Parliament. He immediately joined the Carr government’s ministry, serving in a variety of portfolios except for a period on the backbench from 2008 to 2009.

In 2011, Sartor retired and Liberal candidate John Flowers won Rockdale with a 14% swing.

Candidates

  • Steve Kamper (Labor)
  • Peter Strong (Greens)

Assessment
Rockdale is a marginal Labor seat.

2015 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Steve Kamper Labor 21,24245.9+9.6
John Flowers Liberal 18,18239.3-4.0
Madeleina Snowdon Greens 3,1946.9-1.9
Lena El-DaghlChristian Democrats1,4983.2-1.0
Sam ChokerNo Land Tax1,1542.5+2.5
Jamal DaoudIndependent1,0092.2+2.2
Informal2,1324.4

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Steve Kamper Labor 23,12154.8+8.3
John Flowers Liberal 19,10745.2-8.3

Booth breakdown

Booths in Rockdale have been split into three parts: north, central and south.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in the centre (59.3%) and the north (61.9%), while the Liberal Party polled 52.1% in the south.

Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South47.913,20628.5
Central59.310,52522.7
North61.98,92119.3
Other votes49.18,77719.0
Pre-poll61.04,85010.5

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

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