Hughes – Australia 2022

LIB 9.8%

Incumbent MP
Craig Kelly (IND), since 2010.

Hughes covers southern parts of Sydney. Most of the seat lies in the Sutherland Shire, including Menai, Bangor, Sutherland, Como, Jannali, Illawong, Barden Ridge, Engadine, Heathcote, Waterfall and Bundeena. The remainder of the seat lies at the southeastern end of the City of Liverpool, including Moorebank and Wattle Grove.

Hughes was first created in 1955 and has been held by the ALP for much of its history despite generally covering relatively affluent areas that would usually be thought of as more favourable to the Liberals. Its first MP was Les Johnson, who held the seat for Labor until he was defeated in the 1966 landslide by the Liberal Party’s Don Dobie. Dobie transferred to the newly created seat of Cook in 1969, and Johnson regained Hughes for the ALP, going on to serve as a minister in the Whitlam government.

Johnson resigned in December 1983, and was succeeded at a by-election by Robert Tickner, who went on to serve a high-profile tenure as Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs from 1990 until losing his seat when the Keating government lost office in 1996.

Danna Vale won the seat for the Liberals in 1996 and held the seat for the next five terms.

Vale retired in 2010 and Liberal candidate Craig Kelly won the seat, increasing the Liberal margin to 5.2%. Kelly has been re-elected three times.

Kelly resigned from the Liberal Party in February 2021 to sit as an independent, although he has continued to support the government on confidence and supply.


Hughes has shifted to become safer in recent, despite a history as a key marginal seat. It’s unlikely Labor would have won this seat if not for the Kelly independent candidacy. It seems most likely that Kelly will fall short and that the new Liberal candidate will win (if Kelly even runs), but his candidacy would open up a wider range of possible outcomes, including the potential for independent Georgia Steele.

2019 result

Craig Kelly Liberal 50,76353.2+1.2
Diedree Steinwall Labor 29,08830.5-1.4
Mitchell Shakespeare Greens 6,6316.9-0.4
Gae ConstableAnimal Justice2,4392.6-1.4
Terrance KeepUnited Australia Party2,3662.5+2.5
Leo-Ning LiuChristian Democratic Party2,2162.3-2.5
Matt BryanIndependent1,9882.1+2.1

2019 two-party-preferred result

Craig Kelly Liberal 57,14959.8+0.5
Diedree Steinwall Labor 38,34240.2-0.5

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four parts. The majority of the population is in the urban parts of Sutherland Shire, and these booths have been split into “east” (including Como, Jannali and Sutherland) and “central” (including Menai).

Engadine, Waterfall, Bundeena and Heathcote have been grouped as “south”, while the booths in the Liverpool council area are grouped as “north-west”.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 54.8% in the south to 66.9% in the centre.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes61.610,36910.9

Election results in Hughes at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party and Labor.

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  1. Daniel the Sutherland Shire isn’t really pro-UAP/Anti-vax. I can believe 10% but 15% is a stretch.

  2. Craig Kelly has the advantage of incumbency and name recognition (as the leader of the UAP in the House of Reps). He’ll score really well compared to the UAP-average.

    With their ‘put the majors last’ campaign and ‘don’t trust Labor, Liberals or the Greens’ campaign, I wonder if many UAP voters’ preferences will flow to the independent (Georgia Steele) and help her get across the line.

  3. Votante, UAP HTV for Hughes goes to PHON and then the Liberals, but I think you are right that many UAP voters would choose to put the majors last. Steele 2nd last after Greens on the HTV.

  4. Guesses what Steele will poll. ? This one seat where uap put the majors last could matter.

  5. It was a close-run thing, but the UAP just fell a lazy 76 seats short of making Craig Kelly the next Prime Minister

  6. I reckon Steele at 15% primary is still a bit short! On a night when Holmes a Court (rightly) could say his ROI was spectacular – this was a spectacular fail, and probably the best result for the LP in NSW.

  7. Not exactly much to be proud of for the Liberals to retain a post-Howard heartland outer suburban seat. If they could lose this one they wouldn’t have a single safe seat in the cities.

    I was skeptical of the earlier polls for good reason for this electorate. Simply not the teal demographic. IMO was never a real prospect in the first place.

  8. It’s a similar situation in nearby Banks. The western half is similar to Hughes and barely swung to Labor and some booths even swung to the Libs. It’s the eastern half around Hurstville with a larger Chinese Australian population that’s driving the overall swing in the seat though not enough to unseat Coleman. Both Banks and Hughes will never be won by Labor again.

  9. Is Craig Kelly’s primary vote the lowest ever for a sitting MP who does not have serious criminal matters pending?


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