Mackellar – Australia 2022

LIB 13.2%

Incumbent MP
Jason Falinski, since 2016.

Geography
Northern beaches of Sydney. Mackellar covers Pittwater council area and a majority of the Warringah council area. Major suburbs include Dee Why, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Avalon and Frenchs Forest.

History
Mackellar was created in 1949 as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives. It has always been won by the Liberal Party with substantial margins.

The seat was first won in 1949 by William Wentworth, grandson of colonial political figure William Charles Wentworth. Wentworth had previously polled 20% of the vote in the seat of Wentworth (named after his grandfather) as an independent in 1943.

Wentworth was a leading red-baiter in Parliament during the 1950s, although he remained in Parliament for almost two decades after winning Mackellar. He was close to John Gorton, and when Gorton became Prime Minister in early 1968 he appointed Wentworth to cabinet as the first ever federal minister with responsibility for Aboriginal affairs. Wentworth remained on the frontbench under Billy McMahon and served in the ministry until McMahon’s defeat in 1972.

Wentworth announced his retirement in 1977, but didn’t wait for the election to resign from the Liberal Party, after returning to the role of outspoken backbench rebel during the first term of the Fraser government. He ran as an independent for the Senate in 1977 and polled 2%.

Wentworth was succeeded in Mackellar by Liberal candidate Jim Carlton, who had served as the state party’s General Secretary during the 1970s. Carlton served as a minister in the final year of the Fraser government, and was a frontbencher in the Liberal opposition from the Hawke government’s election in 1983 until the 1990 election. Carlton retired from Parliament in 1994.

The ensuing by-election was won by sitting Senator and Liberal frontbencher Bronwyn Bishop. Bishop had been a  Senator for New South Wales since 1987, and had been a prominent Opposition frontbencher, and had been discussed as a possible leadership contender. She played a prominent role in the opposition frontbench after winning the by-election, but her colleagues did not share her assessment of her leadership potential, and she was passed over in favour of first Alexander Downer and then John Howard.

Bishop was re-elected to seven full terms from 1996 to 2013. Bishop was appointed to a junior ministerial role after the election of the Howard government in 1996. She was dropped from the ministry after the 2001 election after a controversial tenure as Minister for Ageing. She was elected Speaker after the 2013 election, but was forced to step down in August 2015 after criticisms over extravagant travel expenses.

Bishop lost Liberal preselection to Jason Falinski in 2016. Falinski won Mackellar in 2016 and was re-elected in 2019.

Candidates

Assessment
Mackellar is traditionally a safe Liberal seat, but in current circumstances the Liberals appear to be losing ground in seats like this, and a strong independent in the form of Sophie Scamps appears to be doing well here. She would need to cut down the Liberal primary vote significantly to win, and it’s probably harder to do that here than in some other seats further south.

2019 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Jason Falinski Liberal 52,08853.0+1.8
Declan Steele Labor 16,64816.9-0.4
Alice ThompsonIndependent11,97512.2+12.2
Pru Wawn Greens 11,28311.5-2.6
Suzanne DalySustainable Australia2,5502.6+2.6
David LyonUnited Australia Party2,3172.4+2.4
Greg LevettChristian Democratic Party1,4011.4-1.1
Informal4,8574.7-0.6

2019 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Jason Falinski Liberal 62,12463.2-2.5
Declan Steele Labor 36,13836.8+2.5

Booth breakdown

Mackellar covers all of the former Pittwater council area and a majority of the former Warringah council area, all now contained in the Northern Beaches council area. All of the polling places in the Pittwater area have been grouped together as “north”. Those in Warringah have been split between “south-east” on the coast and “west” further inland.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 60.4% in the north to 66.6% in the west.

Independent candidate Alice Thompson came third, with 16.5% in the north and just over 11% in the south-east and west.

The Greens came fourth, with a primary vote ranging from 9.3% in the west to 13.5% in the north.

Voter groupIND primGRN primLIB 2PPTotal votes% of votes
North16.513.560.423,71924.1
South-East11.311.061.322,55223.0
West11.19.366.614,10514.4
Pre-poll11.410.865.026,33726.8
Other votes8.012.464.811,54911.8

Election results in Mackellar at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor, independent candidate Alice Thompson and the Greens.

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61 COMMENTS

  1. New UComms polling by Climate 200 for the Scamps campaign reported in the Guardian Australia. 60-40 to Scamps on preferences

    Primaries:

    Falinksi – 32%
    Scamps – 31%
    Labor – 15.5%
    Greens – 8.6%

  2. 32% seems very low, especially considering this teal seat hasn’t been as high profile as the others. That being said I don’t think Falinksi has a big a profile as a frydenburg for example. Even if it’s a single seat poll those numbers seem to suggest there may be a big swing to the independent, whether it’s enough is a different matter.

  3. I find it hard to believe that Falinski would drop 20% pv and the Greens and ALP only 4% combined. Especially as in Warringah and Wentworth their votes just fell away.

  4. In Warringah Tony Abbott’s pv fell 12.5% and the Lib vote in Wentworth by 14.8%. Both of those were distinct circumstances that are not happening in Mackellar.

  5. Just had a deeper look into that poll. It is a really weak one, only 834 in the sample. For me, a 20% Primary Vote is way too big of a drop. The fact that it was commissioned by Climate 200 makes it sound really weird.

    If you were that confident, you wouldn’t release that result.

    Couple of things have happened and that i have discovered:
    1. The corflute situation is getting ridiculous, in terms of vandalism. Scamps having been labeled a derogatry expletive and Falinski Corflutes giving him Hitler’s moustache and Swatstikas being drawn on him as well. Given Scamp’s gender and Falinski’s heritage, this is getting disgusting.
    2. Out of no-where, there are UAP Corflutes all over Mona Vale. Dunno where that came from.
    3. I did see those fake Scamps Corflutes with the Greens sticker on them, around the Wakehurst Parkway. I’ve had confirmation they were done by Advance Australia.
    4. Was walking my daughter to school when 3 of the Scamps supporters got right up in our faces and scared her with their banner waving, especially when trying to cross the road. To their credit, the organiser there was apologetic and told me that they had issues with the 3 people before and would be disciplined and was really good about it so full credit to them. But I did discover that a lot of people working on the ground there are ex Labor and Greens Operatives from all over the North Shore and Northern Beaches. Not surprising TBH.
    5. Those from the Right of the Liberal Party have abandoned Falinski and are focusing their efforts elsewhere, I believe up in Robertson and Dobell. Not only that but a couple of the Liberal Councillors have been getting quite nasty on the campaign trail and have attempted to implicate the Mayor of NBC as part of the Scamps Campaign.

    Getting really testy up here atm.

  6. Robertson is probably the second seat after Reid to be won by labor . But dobell will remain Labor

  7. Seems the cops have been called a few times to the Prepoll for Mackellar. Some animosity between the groups it appears. Presume the usual blame the other side excuses will come out.

  8. Haha would be even more hilarious if it turns out the one bedroom flat she rented in Liverpool is just sitting empty and she was living in Scotland Island the whole time.

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