Tanya Plibersek, since 1998.
Inner suburbs of Sydney. Sydney covers most of the City of Sydney and parts of the Leichhardt council area. The seat covers the Sydney CBD, Pyrmont, Ultimo, Surry Hills, Redfern, Waterloo, Alexandria, Erskineville, Glebe, parts of Newtown, and the southern parts of the City of Sydney, extending as far south as Rosebery.
The seat also covers Annandale and the Balmain peninsula, including the suburb of Rozelle. Sydney does not cover eastern parts of the City of Sydney such as Kings Cross and Darlinghurst, which are included in Wentworth.
Sydney was created for the 1969 election by the merger of the seats of East Sydney and West Sydney, which had existed since federation.
Sydney has been held by the ALP ever since its creation, and its predecessors had almost always been held by Labor.
West Sydney (which, despite its name, actually covered inner city suburbs like Darling Harbour and Pyrmont) always elected a Labor MP, although it was briefly held by a conservative party from 1916 to 1917, as its first MP was Billy Hughes, who as Prime Minister left the ALP and formed the Nationalist party. He proceeded to move to a different seat at the 1917 election, and the ALP held West Sydney from 1917 until its abolition, although Jack Beasley, who held the seat for eighteen years, left the ALP to join a Lang Labor breakaway party on two occasions in the 1930s and 1940s.
The seat of East Sydney was first held by George Reid, a former NSW premier and leader of the Free Trade party, from 1901 to 1909, when he retired. John West (ALP) won the seat in 1910 and held it until his death in February 1931. The ensuing by-election was won by Eddie Ward, who left the ALP later that year when he was one of a number of supporters of NSW Labor leader Jack Lang to cross the floor and bring down the Scullin government.
East Sydney was won at the 1931 election by John Clasby (UAP) who benefited from a split Labor vote, with the two Labor parties gaining 55% of the primary vote but enough preferences from the official ALP leaking to Clasby to see Ward lose. Clasby died a month later without taking his seat and Ward won back the seat at a January 1932 by-election, less than a year after he had previously won the seat at a by-election. Ward returned to the ALP in 1936 and the ALP held the seat from then until its abolition in 1969.
The new seat of Sydney was first won in 1969 by Jim Cope. Cope had previously held the seats of Cook and Watson before their abolitions. Neither seats have any connection to the modern seats with those names. Both Cook and Watson had covered parts of South Sydney now covered by Sydney. Cope had won Cook at a 1955 by-election following the death of the previous member, but the seat was abolished at the general election in the same year. Cope then held Watson from 1955 until it too was abolished in 1969, at which point he moved to the new seat of Sydney.
Cope held Sydney until 1975, and served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1973 until a dispute with the Whitlam government saw him resign in protest in 1975.
Cope was succeeded in 1975 by Leslie McMahon (ALP), who served until he was defeated for preselection before the 1983 election.
The seat was won in 1983 by Peter Baldwin, previously a Member of the Legislative Council who had become a symbol of the conflict between the Left and Right within the ALP in the Inner West in 1980 when he was brutally bashed in his home. Baldwin served as a federal minister from 1990 to 1996 and retired at the 1998 election.
The seat has been held since 1998 by Tanya Plibersek, who has served as a minister since the 2007 election. Plibersek served as Housing Minister in the first term, then as Minister for Human Services from 2010 until 2011, and as Health Minister since 2011.
The seat has always been considered a very safe Labor seat according to the two-party-preferred vote, but has recently become one of the strongest Greens seats in the country. The seat of Sydney has seen votes for the Greens of over 20% at the last three elections, and was the top-polling seat for the Greens at the 2004 election.
- Jane Ward (Independent)
- Sean O’Connor (Liberal)
- Peter Boyle (Socialist Alliance)
- Lesley Mason (Christian Democratic Party)
- Joanna Rzetelski (Independent)
- Timothy Daniel Kelly (Palmer United Party)
- Leah Gartner (Bullet Train For Australia)
- Dianne Hiles (Greens)
- Tanya Plibersek (Labor)
Sydney’s 17.1% margin is misleading, as the main competition to Labor comes from the Greens, not from the Liberal Party. If the Greens were to overtake the Liberal Party, and preference flows from the Liberal Party were similar to those in Melbourne and Grayndler, than the Greens would be very close to winning.
Despite these underlying strong conditions for the Greens, it’s unlikely to happen in 2013. Even if the Greens’ vote goes up, which is possible, the Greens are unlikely to close the 4.35% gap with the Liberal Party in circumstances where the Liberals should also gain a solid swing.
The decision of the Liberal Party to preference the ALP ahead of the Greens has closed any window of opportunity for the Greens to win.
2010 two-candidate-preferred result
Booths have been divided into five areas, based on the key suburbs: Balmain, Annandale-Glebe, Newtown-Erskineville, with the remainder divided into Inner Sydney and South Sydney.
The ALP topped the poll in all five areas, varying from 41% in Inner Sydney to 47.4% in South Sydney. The Liberal vote varied from 16.5% in Newtown-Erskineville to 32.1% in Inner Sydney. The Greens vote varied from 18.8% in South Sydney to 34.8% in Newtown-Erskineville.
|Voter group||GRN %||LIB %||ALP %||Total votes||% of votes|