Warringah – Australia 2013

LIB 13.1%

Incumbent MP
Tony Abbott, since 1994.

Northern Sydney. Warringah covers parts of the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore of Sydney, including Manly, Mosman and parts of Neutral Bay, Allambie Heights, Brookvale and Curl Curl. The seat covers the entirety of Manly and Mosman council areas, as well as parts of North Sydney and Warringah. The largest proportion of the population lives in Warringah.

Warringah was first created at the 1922 election, and has never elected a Labor candidate, electing a conservative candidate at every election, the one exception being 1937 when an independent was elected, who proceeded to join the United Australia Party shortly after his election and went on to serve as a minister in a number of conservative governments.

The seat was first won by Granville Ryrie in 1922. Ryrie had been Member for North Sydney since a 1911 by-election and was elected to Warringah unopposed. The ALP challenged him in 1925 but he managed over 80% of the vote.

Ryrie was appointed High Commissioner to London in 1927 and the by-election was won by Archdale Parkhill, in a race where the two Labor candidates polled barely 18% between them.

Parkhill had been the Lynton Crosby of early 20th Century Australian politics, coordinating many campaigns for the early Liberal Party and Nationalists over two decades. Parkhill served as a minister in the Lyons government from 1932 until 1937, serving as Minister for Defence during Lyons’ second term.

Parkhill was defeated at the 1937 election by conservative independent Percy Spender, who won the seat in a close race on preferences after falling 15% behind on primary votes. Spender went on to join the UAP shortly after his victory. Spender served in the wartime governments of Robert Menzies and Arthur Fadden and served as Minister for External Affairs until 1951, when he retired at the election before being appointed Ambassador to the United States. Spender went on to serve as Australia’s first representative on the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Spender was succeeded in 1951 by Francis Bland, who held the seat for ten years with massive majorities, polling over 70% on two occasions and being elected unopposed on a third. He retired without ever taking a ministerial role.

Bland was succeeded in 1961 by John Cockle, who held the seat until his death shortly before the 1966 election.

Cockle was succeeded by prominent Edward St John in 1966. St John caused controversy in 1969 attacking Prime Minister John Gorton, which led him to resign from the Liberal Party, and he was defeated at the 1969 election by Liberal candidate Michael MacKellar.

MacKellar served as a minister in the Fraser government until 1982, when a scandal involving the importation of a colour television saw him resign from the ministry.

MacKellar resigned from Parliament in 1994, and the ensuing by-election was won by Tony Abbott. Abbott went on to serve as a minister for the entirety of the Howard government from 1996 to 2007, becoming a senior member of Cabinet in the last two terms of the government.

Abbott had always held Warringah by large margins over the ALP, and the only serious threat to his hold on the seat came in 2001, when Peter Macdonald, former independent member for the state seat of Manly, challenged Abbott. Macdonald polled 27% of the primary vote and came within 6% of defeating Abbott.

Abbott served as Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs following the Howard government’s defeat in November 2007, serving in the role under leaders Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull.

Abbott resigned from the frontbench in November 2009 in protest at Malcolm Turnbull’s support for the Emissions Trading Scheme, which triggered the collapse of Turnbull’s leadership. Abbott won a slim majority in a frontbench ballot against Turnbull in December 2009 and was elected Leader of the Liberal Party.

Abbott led the Coalition into the 2010 election. The Labor government lost its majority, but managed to piece together a majority with the support of crossbench MPs. Tony Abbott has continued to serve as Leader of the Opposition for the entirety of the current parliamentary term.


  • Jules Zanetti (Labor)
  • Brodie Stewart (Palmer United Party)
  • Mike Bloomfield (Rise Up Australia)
  • Will Kitching (Greens)
  • Ula Falanga (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Tony Abbott (Liberal)
  • Mike Cottee (Stable Population Party)

Warringah is a safe Liberal seat.

2010 result

Tony AbbottLIB50,06358.92+4.91
Huch ZochlingALP18,38521.64-6.85
Matthew Drake-BrockmanGRN13,88316.34+4.03
Alexander GutmanSXP2,0752.44+2.44
Kenneth CookeSEC5660.67+0.67

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Tony AbbottLIB53,61263.09+4.31
Hugh ZochlingALP31,36036.91-4.31
Polling places in Warringah at the 2010 federal election. Manly in green, Mosman in blue, Warringah in orange.
Polling places in Warringah at the 2010 federal election. Manly in green, Mosman in blue, Warringah in orange.

Booth breakdown
Warringah covers all of the Manly and Mosman council areas, and parts of Warringah and North Sydney council areas. Polling places have been split by council areas, with the North Sydney booths rolled in with Mosman.

The Liberal Party won a majority in all three areas, ranging from 62.1% in Warringah to 64.6% in Mosman. The Greens vote ranges from 15.1% in Warringah to 17.8% in Manly.

Voter groupGRN %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes17.7263.0921,28125.04
Two-party-preferred votes in Warringah at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Warringah at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Warringah at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Warringah at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Not much to say about this one, although I expect the Liberal margin here to be higher than the Labor margin in Lalor post election.

  2. I think he is wondering whether Labor or Greens will come in the top two in 2013. Labor should go backwards, although they are already pretty low and I can’t imagine they’ll get a huge swing. Greens are unlikely to do much better than in 2010, but it’s not inconceivable the Greens could end up ahead. Same in North Sydney.

  3. I would say that in normal circumstances Warringah should be a safer seat then Lalor. If go back to 2004 election Lalor sat on a margin of 8.8 percent while Warringah sat on a much more comfortable margin of 11.3. Much of Lalor margin seems mostly due to people wanting the perks which go along with a sitting Prim Minster since Gillard was already a sitting member at this time so it could not be her personal vote. I am going to predict that Lalor may very well be marginal after the election. Yes a margin of 5.999 on a TPP counts as marginal.

  4. I agree with Ben, my first thought looking at the numbers is a possible Liberal vs Greens two party preferred. I agree about North Sydney as well.

    I will also put out Dickson in Queensland as a possible Liberal vs Greens.

  5. Queensland Observer, do you think Dutton will gain that much of a swing and/or the Labor vote will collapse that much? If any QLD seat is going to have a Lib vs Grn 2PP post-election, it will be Ryan.

  6. Correct Ben. That was more pondering lib v lab or green. My electorate and I vote at Neutral Bay Primary – the big 61 in the bottom left of the diagram. Greens and Labor don’t seem to have had as much presence around the electorate (or North Sydney) as they had in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

  7. BTW I still think Dutton will have a heavy swing to him, but not enough to change the two party preferred. Ryan is in play for the Greens to run second.

  8. Parkhill was a machine man he was particularly derisive of the right-wing citizens’ movements of the early 1930s & he was disliked by them intensely. 1937 was their revenge

  9. So, apparently Tony Abbott felt it important to let people know that he isn’t a “suppository of all wisdom”. Take that as you will.

  10. Open invitation to Jules Zanetti – if you door knock my place and ask for my support I will vote for you.

  11. Observer – he already mentioned enough: “My electorate and I vote at Neutral Bay Primary”. Wouldn’t expect him to be any more specific than that.

  12. Sure, but I think part of Pollster’s point is that Jules needs to be active in seeking support. If Jules were to single Pollster out and seek out that one vote, it would be kind of weird.

    Also, I feel I should note that Pollster may not be male (and I made the mistake myself of defaulting to “he”) – if we’re in error, I’m sorry, Pollster.

  13. Assumption that I am a male is correct. And good pick up from my past post that I ive in Neutral Bay, Glen. The point I am trying to illustrate is I have lived here for 10 years and we never get any attention from any candidates – it is assumed that Hockey / Abbott will win so no candidates really have red hot go. I suspect there are alot of people who would vote for the non-liberal candidates if someone spent the time (and money and yes it would be expensive) to canvass over a long period or build up a profile through local Government like a Ted Mack (or the Manly independent whose name escapes me). It appears over the other side of the Harbour in Wentworth, Turnbull works the electorate hard and people respond positiviely to that effort. Nominating a candiate for a seat two or three months before an election doesn’t seem to give the seat the appropriate respect it derserves. Look what happened in the State seat of Cabramatta when the Libs actually campaigned over a long period (and Labor took the seat for granted) with a good candidate. A seat with a margin of over 30% two elections ago becomes very marginal.

    Suspect both Hockey and Abbott will increase their votes at this election. As will Turnbull as he has at every re-election.

    PS: Jules you have a 61% chance of getting an extra vote. And I can probably persuade my partner to support you as well!

  14. I received my first pamplet today – from the Greens. Who are now leading in my “most likely to support” list (of one).

    Still feeling very unloved from a political perspective – I have not even received the PUP DVD.

    PS: I have just changed e-mail so my avatar has changed. There is (fortunately) only one Pollster. Ben any chance of getting my old one allocated to this address?

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