|Term due to expire 2017||Term due to expire 2020|
|Sam Dastyari (ALP)1||Doug Cameron (ALP)|
|Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (LIB)||David Leyonhjelm (LDP)|
|Bill Heffernan (LIB)||Deborah O’Neill (ALP)3|
|Jenny McAllister (ALP)2||Marise Payne (LIB)|
|Fiona Nash (NAT)||Arthur Sinodinos (LIB)|
|Lee Rhiannon (GRN)||John Williams (NAT)|
1Sam Dastyari replaced Matt Thistlethwaite on 21 August 2013 after Senator Thistlethwaite’s resignation to run for the House of Representatives.
2Jenny McAllister replaced John Faulkner on 6 May 2015 after John Faulkner’s resignation.
3Deborah O’Neill replaced Bob Carr on 13 November 2013 after Bob Carr’s resignation.
Dating back to 1951, when the Senate for the first time was entirely made up of Senators elected by proportional representation, Senate representation from New South Wales has been relatively stable. Up until 1958 the numbers remained steady with 5 ALP senators, 4 Liberal senators and 1 Country Party senator. 1958 saw the Country Party win a seat off the ALP, giving the Coalition a 6-4 majority amongst NSW senators. The ALP gained two seats in 1961, giving them a 6-4 majority. The Country Party recovered a second seat in 1964, restoring an even balance of ALP and Coalition senators. In 1970, the sitting Country Party senator was defeated, as was the Country Party senator who had filled a casual vacancy, meaning that the party lost both its seats, while the Democratic Labor Party won a NSW senate seat for the only time. The result produced a 6-4 majority for the ALP over the right-wing parties.
The 1974 double dissolution restored the 5-4-1 balance between the Labor, Liberal and Country Party, which was maintained in 1975. 1977 saw the ALP lose one of its five senate seats to the Australian Democrats. This 4-4-1-1 balance was maintained in 1980. The 1983 double dissolution saw the Liberal Party lose a seat to the ALP, seeing five ALP senators, three Liberals, and one senator each for the Democrats and National Country Party. This result produced a 6-4 majority for parties of the left for the first time 1970. The ALP and Democrats collectively maintained a majority in the NSW senate delegation for the entirety of the Labor government.
The 1984 election saw the Senate’s size increased, with New South Wales gaining an eleventh and twelfth senator. The Democrats and the National Country Party each maintained a single senator whilst the ALP gained a sixth and the Liberals a fourth. The 1987 double dissolution saw the ALP lose its sixth senator to the Nuclear Disarmament Party. The 1990 election saw the ALP and Democrats each gain a senator, at the expense of the Liberals and NDP, producing a result of 6 ALP, 3 Liberals, 2 Democrats, 1 National. This gave the ALP and Democrats an 8-4 majority. In 1993 the Democrats lost a seat, with the Nationals gaining a second senator in NSW for the first time since 1970.
In 1996, the ALP lost a senate seat to the Liberals, producing an even split between the ALP and Democrats and the Coalition. The left gained a majority again, however, in 1998, when the Nationals lost a senator to the Democrats. In 2001, Democrat Vickie Bourne was defeated by Greens candidate Kerry Nettle, maintaining a 7-5 left-right split.
The last Democrat, Aden Ridgeway, was defeated in 2004, replaced by Nationals candidate Fiona Nash, restoring a 6-6 split between the ALP and Greens and the Coalition. The 2007 election saw the ALP win a sixth senate seat at the expense of the Greens. This was the first election since 1975 to result with NSW having no minor party senators, with a 6-6 split between the ALP and the Coalition.
In 2010, the Greens won back a single Greens seat, with former state MP Lee Rhiannon moving to the Senate. The ALP lost one of their three seats to the Greens, while the Liberal Party maintained their three seats.
In 2013, the Coalition maintained their three seats, while Labor lost their third seat to the Liberal Democrats’ David Leyonhjelm. The LDP benefited from a massive donkey vote thanks to a good ballot position on an extremely large ballot, polling 9.5%. Labor was reduced to four NSW senators for the first time since the Senate was expanded.
|Palmer United Party||148,281||3.4||+3.4||0.2373|
|Christian Democratic Party||72,544||1.7||+0.9||0.1162|
|Democratic Labour Party||67,549||1.5||+0.9||0.1078|
|Shooters and Fishers||54,658||1.3||+0.3||0.0875|
|Help End Marijuana Prohibition||30,003||0.7||+0.7||0.0483|
The ALP and the Coalition each won two seats on first preferences.
Fast-forwarding to the last eight candidates, the position was:
- David Leyonhjelm (LDP) – 0.6960 quotas
- Cate Faehrmann (GRN) – 0.5821
- Arthur Sinodinos (LIB) – 0.4094
- Karl Houseman (SFP) – 0.3011
- Graeme Dunne (SXP) – 0.2858
- Pauline Hanson (ON) – 0.2621
- Matthew Adamson (PUP) – 0.2446
- Ursula Stephens (ALP) – 0.2180
Labor was knocked out, with most Labor preferences flowing to the Greens:
- Faehrmann (GRN) – 0.7904
- Leyonhjelm (LDP) – 0.6971
- Sinodinos (LIB) – 0.4139
- Houseman (SFP) – 0.3014
- Dunne (SXP) – 0.2880
- Hanson (ON) – 0.2625
- Adamson (PUP) – 0.2454
Palmer United flowed to Sinodinos:
- Faehrmann (GRN) – 0.7918
- Leyonhjelm (LDP) – 0.6981
- Sinodinos (LIB) – 0.6525
- Houseman (SFP) – 0.3024
- Dunne (SXP) – 0.2891
- Hanson (ON) – 0.2644
Pauline Hanson’s preferences split between the Liberal Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers:
- Leyonhjelm (LDP) – 0.8347
- Faehrmann (GRN) – 0.7931
- Sinodinos (LIB) – 0.6558
- Houseman (SFP) – 0.4242
- Dunne (SXP) – 0.2905
Sex Party preferences mostly flowed to Leyonhjelm, electing him:
- Leyonhjelm (LDP) – 1.0453
- Faehrmann (GRN) – 0.8513
- Sinodinos (LIB) – 0.6569
- Houseman (SFP) – 0.4442
Leyonhjelm’s small surplus mostly flowed to Sinodinos, and then the Shooters and Fishers were knocked out, electing Sinodinos over Faehrmann:
- Sinodinos (LIB) – 1.0974
- Faehrmann (GRN) – 0.8879
- A – Andrew Patterson (Health Australia Party)
- B – Gillian Evans (Seniors United Party)
- C – Phil Jobe (Family First)
- D – David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democrats)
- E – Steven Lopez (VOTEFLUX)
- F – Liberal/Nationals
- G – Teresa Van Lieshout (Unaffiliated)
- H – Paul McCormack (Democratic Labour)
- I – James Jansson (Science Party)
- J – Karl Houseman (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
- K – Shayne Higson (Voluntary Euthanasia Party)
- L – Ken Canning (Socialist Alliance)
- M – Brian Tucker (Rise Up Australia)
- N – Labor
- O – Berge Der Sarkissian (Online Direct Democracy)
- P – Ken Stevens (Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party)
- Q – Allan Thomas (Jacqui Lambie Network)
- R – Sam Kearns (Pirate)
- S – Brian Burston (One Nation)
- T – Raymond Bennie (Veterans Party)
- U – Ian Bryce (Secular Party)
- V – Christopher Buckman (Country Minded)
- W – James Cogan (Socialist Equality Party)
- X – Tom Harris (Katter’s Australian Party)
- Y – Suellen Wrightson (Palmer United Party)
- Z – Ann Lawler (Citizens Electoral Council)
- AA – Rob Bryden (Motoring Enthusiast)
- AB – Lynda Stoner (Animal Justice)
- AC – Barry Keldoulis (The Arts Party)
- AD – Eric Greening (Non-Custodial Parents Party)
- AE – Paul Quinn (Mature Australia)
- AF – Nella Hall (Christian Democratic Party)
- AG – Ross Fitzgerald (Sex Party)
- AH – Allan Quartly (Australian Progressives)
- AI – Aidan Dalgliesh (Nick Xenophon Team)
- AJ – Ray Thorpe (Drug Law Reform)
- AK – William Bourke (Sustainable Australia)
- AL – Greens
- AM – Kirralee Smith (Liberty Alliance)
- AN – Peter Breen (Renewable Energy Party)
- AO – Jason Olbourne (Help End Marijuana Prohibition)
- Warren Grzic
- Jane Ward
- Liam Munday
- Bryan Lambert
- Peter Wallace
- James Wright
- Joanna Rzetelski
- Danny Lim
- Maree Cruze (Antipaedophile)
- Stephen Muller
- Peter Muller
- John Cooper
- Santa Spruce-Peet-Boyd
- David Ash
- Nigel Smith
- Ron Poulsen
- Peter Gooley
- Nick Chapman
- Leonard Brown
- Richelle Tsay
The Liberal/National ticket should win at least five seats, Labor should win four, and the Greens should win one. This leaves the last two seats up for grabs, with the three big tickets all competing to win an additional seat.
It’s difficult to predict what other parties could be in contention, with the most likely contender being incumbent LDP senator David Leyonhjelm.
In 2013, the LDP benefited from voter confusion and a strong donkey vote, which they will be lucky to achieve again. Reforms to introduce party logos should help reduce the risk of this quirk happening again. On the other hand, the profile of Leyonhjelm and his party is much higher than in 2013. The party also received approximately $1 million in public funding after the 2013 election, which should be helpful for their campaign. Considering these factors, it would be safe to assume that the base LDP vote will increase, if not anywhere near high enough to compensate for the lost donkey vote.
Beyond the LDP, the strongest minor parties in New South Wales have been the Christian Democratic Party and the Shooters and Fishers, both of whom have polled more strongly in the past when they have drawn better ballot positions.
We have no information about support for the Nick Xenophon Team, but national polling, and polling in other states, suggests that NXT could be a contender for the last seat in any state.