Hornsby by-election incoming after Kean’s resignation


Former NSW treasurer Matt Kean has chosen today, NSW budget day, to announce that he will be retiring from state politics, thus triggering a by-election for his seat of Hornsby.

He has also said that he won’t run for federal politics, dismissing speculation about a challenge to federal Liberal MP Paul Fletcher in Bradfield.

You can read my guide here.

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  1. @Nimalan and @DanM, it’s mainly Manningham that is similar to The Hills as indicated from The Libs and No vote. Whitehorse and Monash is rather unique with a has a large socially progressive (as evident from the High Yes Vote) but slightly fiscally conservative middle class swing voting Anglo so that is why ALP/Libs is known to be close in this part of Melbourne

  2. Agree Marh, Monash is very similar to Ryde or Parramatta councils in Sydney. Both Monash and Ryde/Parramatta councils are located in the middle ring suburbs and have a high proportion of ethnic minorities (mostly of Asian background), more so compared to the outer suburbs in Manningham/Hills Shire respectively.

  3. I expect Liberals to gain ground here even if Labor runs.

    Liberal Democrats are now Libertarians and so this would reduce the confusion between the Liberals and Libertarians, not to mention Libertarians were first on the ballot in 2023. One Nation is in the pits now that Mark Latham’s out. There’s a slim chance a teal or independent will knock off the Liberals.

    Matt Kean will head the Climate Change Authority. He won’t be forgotten by Sky News After Dark. He probably cops more criticism from Sky News than Mark Speakman does.

  4. @Votante Cops more criticism from Sky Aftrr Dark than any other Liberal, and probably more than everyone bar Albo, Bowen, Bandt and maybe Wong as well

  5. @ Marh/Yoh An
    Sorry i missed this for some reason. Agree Manningham is more comparable to the Hills than Whitehorse or Monash LGA. Manningham despite not being as far from the CBD does have an outer Surburban vibes large McMansions and the Urban Growth boundary goes through the middle of it and half of it is semi-rural. This is contrast to Monash or Whitehorse LGA. However, maybe parts of Whitehorse like Vermont area can be compared to Winston Hills and Wheelers Hill maybe West Pennant Hills etc. However, i agree that Manningham is more socially conservative than Whitehorse or Monash councils.

  6. @Votante @SCart someone should count how many times each politician has been criticised by Sky After Dark. Kean and Pesutto would definitely make the top 10, and if Speakman was more well-known he would be too. I’ll see what I can do.

    Anyway, Kean should run for a federal teal seat. He would be able to win it and it would’ve been better than taking the job with Albo and Bowen.

  7. NP – although Kean as a moderate with outspoken views would be sidelined from the party room frequently, probably worse than Bridget Archer (who largely stays quiet but speaks up when needed). As a result, he probably feels that he doesn’t want to endure that sort of treatment and would prefer to just take up an external role instead.

  8. Hes due to retire in August apparently in line with the 18 month hiatus of him ceasing to be a minister and thereby removing conflict of interest clause. Ideal date for this would be sept 14 along with NSW council elections to save the Hornsby voters having to go back to the polls twice

  9. The 18 month limit applies to ex-ministers who seek to undertake lobbying. It has no impact on ex-ministers appointed to public authorities.

  10. Extremely bad idea to hold the by-election alongside the council elections. We just talked about this in relation to the QLD council elections.

  11. Ben Raue – although a difference is that for NSW elections, they all have similar instructions to ‘number at least one box, with further preferences optional’ regardless of whether it is a single member or multi member contest. Unlike Queensland which had contrasting instructions (OPV for mayoral and most council ward elections, a special type of FPTP block vote for certain council ward elections and then full preferences required for the state by elections).

  12. Although the argument against holding the by election in conjunction with the council election still holds weight due to the different systems involved (single member vs multi member) that would cause confusion when it comes round to counting the votes.

  13. @josh do you really think hes giving up a $172000 a year just for a job that pays $65000? hes got another private sector job lined up in addition to that position announced by albo

  14. he’s giving up a job that pays $65k *base*, plus his parliamentary pension. He needs to resign to be appointed to CCA, so he’ll be out imminently now that his announcement is public.

    Re: timing; what would prevent them being on the same day? Seems ludicrous to let Hornsby residents go to the polls twice in short succession. The OPV voting is the same in the Hornsby Mayoralty and the Hornsby Assembly… Just give them 3 ballot papers instead of 2.

  15. @josh im sure the job isnt a full time job and im pretty ure hes got some other private sector job lined up. why do you think hes ritring exactly 18 months after he stopped being a minister?

  16. Instructions should be number all squares with a savings provision to catch possible informal votes

  17. Michael/Mick Quinlivan, CCA is the Climate Change Authority – a government agency responsible for providing advice on climate change policy.

  18. I believe Matt Kean wants a private sector job to do with climate change or renewable energy.

    @Moderate, you’re talking federal parliamentary pensions. I’m not sure if Matt Kean as an ex-state minister will get a golden handshake.

    @Nether Portal, he won’t win a teal seat. First off, his options are very limited. North Sydney is getting abolished. Secondly, the Northern Beaches LGA is like an exclave and has its own identity. It is insular and cut off by bush land such as that of Ku-Ring-Gai NP. If he runs in Mackeller or Warringah, he’ll be seen as a complete outsider and parachute candidate. The teals can easily tie him in with Peter Dutton and rerun the election on climate politics.

  19. I agree with Votante that the Northern Beaches has it own identity. It sort of also has a different culture in the sense it not really full of elite private schools like the North Shore and the Eastern Suburbs rather it is more of a surfer boy culture. I feel it is a bit like Orange County, California.

  20. @Nimalan @Votante I agree that the Northern Beaches isn’t full of rich private schools or people with mansions, which is part of why I like it so much as someone from regional NSW who grew up going to the beach all the time. But I still think that if Matt Kean moved to the Northern Beaches he could win a seat from the teals especially if he’s like Bridget Archer (i.e criticising some of Peter Dutton’s policies on social issues and climate change).

    I started a thread a while ago (I think it was in April) where I asked if people thought that if the NSW state Liberal MPs from federal teal seats could run and beat the teals.

    Mackellar: Matt Cross (Davidson), Rory Amon (Pittwater)
    North Sydney: Felicity Wilson (North Shore), Tim James (Willoughby)
    Warringah: James Griffin (Manly)
    Wentworth: Kellie Sloane (Vaucluse)

    For the record, I think they could and I also think Gladys Berejiklian could run in North Sydney and win.

    Any thoughts?

  21. I think Bridget Archer can easily fend off teal or independent challengers. This is because she is seen as a renegade and a moderate. She can pull in voters who like the party but not her and those who like her but not Dutton or the party. Bass is a relatively conservative, working-class electorate.

    The dynamics on the Northern Beaches are different. Sophie Scamps or Zali Steggall, as incumbents, can easily turn the election into a referendum on Peter Dutton and not Matt Kean. Add to that, their electorates are socially small-l liberal with high Yes votes for the Voice (less so in Mackeller) and same sex marriage.

  22. @ NP
    I do think Dutton will need to be gone by the time the Libs can win the Teal seats back likely either 2028 or even 2031 at the earliest. Even if they dont have a moderate leader by then they would at least need a Centre Right one like Dan Tehan or Susan Ley. I agree with Votante the Teals can easily make it about Dutton rather than Kean. Some have said that it was Morrison that caused these voters to leave the Libs. However, ultimately it was Dutton that triggered a chain of events in August 2018 that led to the Libs to where they are today. Tony Barry said in his research about a month ago that there is really no evidence that the Teal demographic is coming back. The only exception maybe Jewish voters who may swing right in 2025.

  23. @nimalan the teals will be there own downfall. if they side with labor in a minority government in 2025 they will be thrown out in 2028 dutton or no dutton. dutton has made a very good gamble in my opinion he has sacrificed the few teal seats which are basically liberal seats waiting for the teals to retire in order to take seats from labor which will only benefit the libs in the long run

  24. Frydenberg lost his seat to a teal even with his personal vote. There was a cohort who voted for him because of him in spite of Morrison and the LNP. Some voted for him to an attempt to keep the party moderate or because they saw him as a future leader.

    Matt Kean and other moderate state Liberals won’t have a personal vote if running in a federal teal seat. A teal seat might flip if there’s a major stuff up or a teal retiring.

  25. @john But you’d have to think it’d be a lot easier to win back the teal seats with Frydenberg, Tehan or maybe Birmingham as leader

  26. @scart but potentially lose others or not win some as a result. Look at what happened with Turnbull. If tehan or Birmingham the libs wouldnt win the election. Jury’s still out on frydenberg. The libs won’t be able to out teal the teals. The same that labor can’t out green the greens. They would lose votes from their core to the other side in the process.

  27. Latest rumours going around for the Liberal Pre-Selection is that KRG Councillor Barbara Ward and former NSW YL President James Wallace are considering running for Pre-Selection, along with Hornsby Councillors Sreeni Pillamarri and Nathan Tilbury.

    This could be a really messy pre-selection

  28. Per Preselection Updates: The Sustainable Australia Party have announced their candidate for the Hornsby by-election, Justin Thomas. He is the first candidate to be announced.

  29. @Hawkeye interesting update indeed. I had one source saying that Warren Waddell was being pushed to run to block another one of those you listed from succeeding. Another source said applications that they had been contacted so far by only Michael Hutchence (former Liberal Ward C Councillor, whose term finished in 2021) but wouldn’t mention who they were spruiking.

    I agree, messy indeed!

    @James thanks for the update. Probably the most invisible candidate for Hornsby during the 2023 Election.


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