Jason Falinski, since 2016.
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.
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.
- Barry Steele (TNL)
- Darren Dickson (One Nation)
- Sophie Scamps (Independent)
- Paula Goodman (Labor)
- Jason Falinski (Liberal)
- Christopher Ball (United Australia)
- Ethan Hrnjak (Greens)
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.
|Suzanne Daly||Sustainable Australia||2,550||2.6||+2.6|
|David Lyon||United Australia Party||2,317||2.4||+2.4|
|Greg Levett||Christian Democratic Party||1,401||1.4||-1.1|
2019 two-party-preferred result
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 group||IND prim||GRN prim||LIB 2PP||Total votes||% of votes|
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.