Grayndler – Australia 2013

ALP vs GRN 4.2%

Incumbent MP
Anthony Albanese, since 1996.

Inner West of Sydney. Grayndler covers the local government areas of Marrickville and Ashfield and parts of Canterbury and Leichhardt. Main suburbs include Leichhardt, Newtown, Marrickville, Petersham, Lilyfield, Dulwich Hill, Sydenham, Tempe, Hurlstone Park, Ashbury, Ashfield, Summer Hill and Haberfield.

Grayndler was created in the 1949 redistribution, and has always been held by the ALP. The seat was first won by Fred Daly, who had previously held the nearby seat of Martin since 1943. Daly was a highly popular MP and served as a minister in the Whitlam government before his retirement in 1975.

The seat was won by Tony Whitlam at the election following his father’s dismissal as Prime Minister in 1975, but he was replaced by Frank Stewart at the 1977 election following the abolition of Stewart’s former seat of Lang. Stewart had previously served as a minister in the Whitlam government, and had been in Parliament since 1953. Stewart died in 1979, and the following by-election was won by the Assistant General Secretary of the NSW Labor Party, Leo McLeay.

McLeay held the seat until the 1993 election, serving as Speaker from 1989 until 1993. At the 1993 election he was forced to move to the neighbouring seat of Watson in order to free up Grayndler for federal minister Jeannette McHugh, whose seat of Phillip had been abolished.

McLeay held Watson until 2004, and McHugh retired at the 1996 election, when the seat was won by another Assistant General Secretary of the NSW Labor Party, Anthony Albanese, after Albanese had arranged McHugh’s move to Grayndler in 1993. Albanese has held the seat ever since and is now a senior cabinet minister and Leader of the House in the Labor government.


Grayndler is a Labor marginal seat, and the seat with the second-highest Greens vote in the country. 4.2% isn’t a large margin and could easily be overcome if the Greens performed well and gained Liberal preferences.

The decision of the Liberal Party to preference Labor will lock in Albanese’s hold on the seat in 2013.

While both Labor and the Greens have dropped in the polls, the effect has been much worse for Labor. It’s possible that Labor’s vote may be hit by general anti-Labor trends, and the Greens primary vote could still go up. Despite this, Albanese is a strong local member and has been prominent over the last few years and has come out relatively unscathed from the last three years of Labor leadership instability. His profile as Deputy Prime Minister will strengthen his position.

2010 result

Anthony AlbaneseALP38,36946.09-9.37
Sam ByrneGRN21,55525.90+7.26
Alexander DoreLIB20,17824.24+3.30
Perry GarofaniDEM1,0741.29-0.38
James CoganSEP1,0411.25+0.86
Pip HinmanSA1,0221.23+1.18

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Anthony AlbaneseALP45,13854.23
Sam ByrneGRN38,10145.77
Polling places in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election. Ashfield in blue, Canterbury in orange, Leichhardt in red, Marrickville in green, Petersham-Enmore in yellow. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election. Ashfield in blue, Canterbury in orange, Leichhardt in red, Marrickville in green, Petersham-Enmore in yellow. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into five areas. Grayndler covers parts of four local government areas. Booths in Ashfield, Leichhardt and Canterbury local government areas have been grouped along council boundaries. Booths in Marrickville have been split between Petersham-Enmore (covering booths in the northern end of the council area) and the rest in Marrickville.

The ALP won a two-candidate-preferred majority over the Greens in four of five areas. The ALP’s majorities varied from 50.6% in Leichhardt to 59.4% in Canterbury. The Greens won a majority of 52.8% in Petersham-Enmore.

Voter groupLIB %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes27.3955.314,68821.86
Two-candidate-preferred votes in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election.
Two-candidate-preferred votes in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election.
Labor primary votes in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election.
Liberal primary votes in Grayndler at the 2010 federal election.


  1. I bother because I care enough to be involved. In campaigns we can have policy, that promises and the past can be glossed over in glitzy tv campaigns. Apart from the Liberal candidate for Grayndler, Cedric Spencer I was asked by the media upfront to provide material. Official Liberal Party releases, clearly marked and presumeably reforwarded, should not be confused with simple letters to the editor, which all of us send from time to time. I am proud of my contributions and stand by all of them. It is in the course of judgement for all or any editor of the press to decide whether this meets their own or and their readers. This is true of any contributions whether they be Liberal, Green or Labor. Most of supporters of Political parties are not paid and that applies to all sides of politics. It is however how we all carry the good fight and remind ourselves of the good things that can be achieved. And also some of the bad things others have achieved in moving forward. Whilst politics can be a multi dimensional beast, I will always work toward the public having the best grip on politics and obtaining the best deal for their hard won wages and their working time contributed. The issue I have raised does not reflect this and I do not in all fairness feel thiks is absurd at all. I do however respect your opinion and point of difference completely, as this is what discxussion is all about.

  2. C’mon David, if you’re a Lib, fine, but don’t try to hide it behind faux-independent muckraking about Albo and the other candidates.

  3. I never mentioned the other candidates. I wish the Independent candidates Bullet Train candidate, Christian candidate and Clive Palmers candidate a big hello as I feel little coverage has been afforded to them. If so, its been at the last minute. I believe it takes courage to stand as any independent.

  4. Not as a suject changer but a genuine talking point, can I ask everybodys opinion on this. With all the concentration on the house of reps, can we have a look at what Grayndlers figures mean to the Senate? I think its only a couple of Senators coming up this time round. On Saturday Grayndler will vote on a second voting paper for the Senate. Based on resonable figures from the 96,000, what are the figures for Grayndler to Senate? It is unlikely a voter will split their voting party in the ballot room.

  5. I tip Albo to hold. The Greens haven’t been as popular in NSW as elsewhere. They’ll still finish second, ahead of the Liberals, but they won’t make it.

  6. Allow me to be immodest enough to boast “I got it right” on Grayndler. Nothing beats living in the area and having a feel for the way things are hanging. I correctly predicted the Greens would drop to third place.

    But I can’t crow too much. The Libs did not increase their vote (it went to Labor and others), and the “candidate factor” (the highly unsuitable Hall Greenland for the Greens) didn’t have the negative effect I’d factored in. His 3% drop was roughly the same as the Greens decline everywhere…

    … except in Melbourne, of course. The odd seat out, and it would be churlish not to congratulate that remarkable achievement. Finally, a Greens seat not dependent on the Liberals! But when a more sober analysis of that victory starts to emerge, and more thought is put into just how much it costs to keep a single lower house seat (at the expense of everything else), I doubt many will still be celebrating.

  7. Well done Coco Bunter. I also predicted Libs for 2nd place here, and Greens 3rd, although I do remember reading the thread, and realising I wasn’t the first to make that call – I believe that was you! As you say, though, it had more to do with a surge for Albo pulling back Greens voters – the Lib vote was basically static.

  8. I really enjoyed this quote (and you might too, GNav, Yappo and others) from Hall Greenland in today’s Inner West Courier. “He said it was only a matter of time before the progressive electorate (of Grayndler) fell to the Greens, despite the party dropping to third place.”

    So, the Greens went backwards, despite an inevitable trend to a Greens victory. That just states the obvious – something I brought up way (and others) back in this thread: Why was Hall Greenland pre-selected? All he achieved was to stop this inevitable trend!

    Hall Greenland is (was) a journalist. Like me, he knows what words mean. He is speaking garbage. No doubt (since the Courier is News Ltd) he will claim they misquoted him.

  9. Yeah, I thought given that Spencer had his name around certain parts of the electorate for a long time, and Greenland’s apparent leftism, that the Liberals would finish 2nd.

    But all it just means was that people who may have voted Greens in a protest vote last year probably just returned to Labor. Liberals’ primary vote is pretty much the same.

  10. Agree about the “protest” component of the Greens previous vote… Funny that much of that has gone to Palmer – a miner. Though PUP scored pretty dismally in Grayndler, as everyone except a few excitable posters, predicted.

    I know some in the ALP dream of “getting the Green voters” back (and they seem to have done that here, partially). Personally, I’d prefer to see more co-operation between the two like-minded parties and an end to the bitter internecine sniping that characterises the two in areas like Grayndler.

    Many Greens members in the inner west are veterans of the bitter (and quite literally bloody – remember the Baldwin bashing) internal ALP battles of 30-40 years ago. Hall Greenland was a major player in the immolation of the Left in the 70s and 80s. Like Hall, these people are getting on now. But amongst the ultra-leftists, it seems, old wounds never heal.

  11. It was interesting with quite a few factors. The Liberal vote held steady despite Cedric Spencer being highly outflanked in resources by Labor and the Greens. The three unknowns Bullet Train Party, Democrats and PUP attracted votes too 3%. I think people just wanted something positive. The fact that Cedric Spencer the Liberal came second, with the Liberal vote steady from 2010 is a testament to him and his hard work. I think the bitterness in Grayndler was evident at the Courier candidates event. Cedric was out doorknocking that evening trying to defy the odds and the previous lack of coverage he had received from the Courier. Whatever your allegience, I think you have to respect someone like Cedric. As I do all the volounteers on Saturday.

    It will be interesting to see if the newly elected Grayndler candidate steps up to the ALP leadership. Remembering that very few early, opposition leaders survive in the long term, it is a conundrum that will not be lost on those following the issue.

    My tip is if the new Liberal Government runs full term there might well be a by-election in Grayndler. Then we all get the chance to do it again.

  12. You’re right about positivity, David Hunt.
    It seems that there are very few politicians running on campaigns that you’d consider positive – I think that a Liberal on one of the TV stations’ election night teams said that Nick Xenophon was just about the only person with a campaign involving positivity.
    I doubt that there’ll be a by-election, unless Albo loses the leadership contest and decides on the spot that he’s got nothing more to offer.

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