North Sydney – Australia 2022

LIB 9.3%

Incumbent MP
Trent Zimmerman, since 2015.

Geography
Lower North Shore of Sydney. The seat covers the north shore of Sydney Harbour from Hunters Hill to Kirribilli and extends as far north as Chatswood. Main suburbs are North Sydney, Willoughby, Lane Cove, Chatswood and Hunters Hill.

The seat covers the entirety of Hunters Hill and Lane Cove local government areas, almost all of Willoughby (except for Castle Cove and parts of Chatswood) and a majority of the City of North Sydney (except for Neutral Bay).

History

North Sydney is an original federation electorate, and has never been held by the ALP, being held by the Liberal Party and its predecessors with the exception of two terms when it was held by an independent.

The seat originally extended much further than the immediate lower north shore of Sydney. The original seat covered all of the north shore and extended further north to cover the Central Coast and reached Morisset on Lake Macquarie. The seat rapidly retreated back to Pittwater by the 1906 redistribution. The 1922 redistribution saw the creation of Mackellar covering Manly and the Northern Beaches, and North Sydney retreated to most of the area it covers today around North Sydney, Chatswood and Lane Cove.

The seat was first won by Dugald Thompson, originally of the Free Trade Party and then the Commonwealth Liberal Party. Thompson served as a minister in George Reid’s government from 1904 to 1905, and retired in 1910. The seat was won in 1910 by George Edwards, who, like Thompson, had moved from the Free Trade party to the Liberal party. Edwards had previously held the seat of South Sydney from 1901 to 1906.

Edwards died in 1911, and the seat was won by Granville Ryrie (LIB). Ryrie was a Boer War veteran, and was promoted to Brigadier-General at the beginning of the First World War and served in battle at Gallipoli and in Sinai and Palestine. Ryrie continued to serve as Member for North Sydney and became a minister under Billy Hughes in 1920. Ryrie moved to the new seat of Warringah in 1922 and remained in Parliament until 1927.

North Sydney was won in 1922 by then-Prime Minister Billy Hughes. Hughes had previously served as Labor member for West Sydney from 1901 to 1917, when he became the Nationalist member for Bendigo. Hughes had become Prime Minister in 1915 and had left the ALP in 1916 over the issue of conscription, and created the new Nationalist party with the support of fellow ALP defectors and his former conservative opponents.

At the same election when Hughes moved to North Sydney, his party lost its overall majority in the House of Representatives. The Country Party decided to support the Nationalists, but animosity between Hughes and Country Party leader Earle Page saw Hughes resign as Prime Minister and Stanley Bruce take over.

Hughes went to the backbenches and remained there until 1929, when he crossed the floor and brought down the Bruce government. He served as an independent for two years before joining with his former party and another group of Labor rebels, led by Joseph Lyons, to form the United Australia Party.

Hughes served as a minister once more from 1934 to 1937, after first becoming a minister in 1904. He became leader of the United Australia Party in 1941 and led the party, barely, into the 1943 election. Hughes held the seat of North Sydney until the 1949 election, when he moved to the new seat of Bradfield, and stayed in Parliament until his death in 1952.

The ensuing by-election was won by William Jack, who remained a low-profile, yet locally popular, backbencher until his retirement in 1966.

The seat was won in 1966 by Bill Graham, another Liberal who had previously held the marginal seat of St George from 1949 to 1954 and from 1955 to 1958. Graham remained in North Sydney until 1980.

Graham was succeeded by John Spender, who was defeated at the 1990 election by Ted Mack, an independent who had previously been Mayor of North Sydney and member for the state seat of North Shore. Mack had previously been a member of state Parliament from 1981 until 1988, when he resigned just before he qualified for a parliamentary pension in protest against excesses of public office. He retired at the 1996 election for similar reasons.

The seat was won in 1996 by Joe Hockey, and he held the seat for the next nineteen years. Hockey was a junior minister in the Howard government from 1998 to January 2007, when he was elevated to Cabinet as Minister for Workplace Relations.

Hockey became a senior member of the Opposition frontbench following the 2007 election and became Shadow Treasurer in February 2009. Hockey served as Treasurer from 2013 until 2015. Hockey moved to the backbench when Tony Abbott was replaced as Prime Minister, and resigned from Parliament soon after.

The 2015 by-election was won by Liberal candidate Trent Zimmerman, and he was re-elected in 2016 and 2019.

Candidates

Assessment
This seat appears to be under threat from two candidates: independent Kylea Tink and Labor’s Catherine Renshaw. It seems likely that Tink will do better from Renshaw’s preferences than Renshaw would do from Tink’s preferences, but some polling suggests Renshaw could still win.

2019 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Trent Zimmerman Liberal 50,31952.0+0.5
Brett Stone Labor 24,28925.1+8.3
Daniel Keogh Greens 13,19313.6+0.6
Arthur Chesterfield-EvansIndependent4,2954.4+4.4
Greg GrahamSustainable Australia1,8311.9+1.9
David VernonChristian Democratic Party1,6601.7-0.3
Peter VaggUnited Australia Party1,2491.3+1.3
Informal4,0774.0-0.7

2019 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Trent Zimmerman Liberal 57,39859.3-4.3
Brett Stone Labor 39,43840.7+4.3

Booth breakdown

Polling places have been split into four areas, in line with the local government areas.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 54.4% in North Sydney to 64.6% in Hunters Hill.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 9.8% in Hunters Hill to 16.2% in North Sydney.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Willoughby13.958.521,32222.0
North Sydney16.254.418,70819.3
Lane Cove13.658.113,28313.7
Hunters Hill9.864.65,9016.1
Pre-poll12.161.323,72524.5
Other votes14.062.313,89714.4

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

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238 COMMENTS

  1. Angel of Death? If you mean a scare campaign on imaginary “ALP death taxes” like in 2019, I doubt she’d go there.

    Tink needs to keep focus on the Libs having abandoned moderates. Attacking Labor too obviously is more like to scare her soft supporters into just voting for the Liberals.

  2. His internal Lib codename, as he’s sent out to electorates where the candidates are already on life-support.

  3. On the ground: Are the Liberals even trying here? They’re sandbagging Bennelong like there’s no tomorrow but there’s almost no Liberal prescence here…

  4. @Ben have not seen polls or much talk of this electorate in general recently, but I suspect it’s because the Liberals are not particularly worried about Zimmerman’s chances. Either that or they got caught up fighting a war on two fronts elsewhere and left Trent to fend for himself.

  5. I think they are trying. But the Liberal Party is light on members and volunteers. Zimmerman would be desperate to hold on here, but he’ll always be outnumbered on the ground by the Teal forces at least.

  6. There are were rumours at prepoll yesterday of Liberal internal polling showing a low primary vote – mid 30’s. We will see – unwise to take much notice of such things

  7. Labor came close-ish in 2007 with a strong candidate ABC weatherman Mike Bailey & demographic/cultural change has helped them but winning here would be a WTF moment more even than the teals as Indies in right circumstances can win anywhere.

  8. The Weatherman! He worked in GMT during the dying years of the last state Labor government.
    Didn’t do much other than photocopy newspaper articles and famously interrupt a minister’s staff briefing to show off how much he had printed.
    What a flashback.

  9. Zimmerman might struggle to get volunteers as tbe general membership might not be strong in this seat or supportive (aka they would rather work for the Warringah or Bennelong candidates)

  10. seat Poll in the Australian in seems. Will crate a few shockwaves but explains my no good polls for the IND have been released in this seat recently

  11. So its not a true old fashion seat poll, but a nation wide poll and using demographics to predict each seat – so it seems.

    Still, North Sydney is an outlier compared to the other teal seats

  12. Ucomm polling is relentless in this seat and word is TZ is v worried. There is still some residual Tim James backlash floating around and Kylea will benefit from this. Oh and Scomo is poison in this seat, no place for him and his Zealous right wing nut jobs in this small L electorate. My sense is There is an overall swing against the libs and that’s only building, expect this to go down to the wire but with the prospect of blood in the water I think the good burghers of Willoughby will bring it home for Kylea.

  13. I can believe that Tink might struggle to pip Labor in the 2PP. Unlike Warringah, Wentworth and Mackellar, there is/was a stronger Labor Greens vote here, and Labor did well in the council elections, and there’s even a Labor mayor in Lane Cove. Perhaps Labor voters aren’t yet as keen to flock to Tink en masse. The teals seem to do best where there’s very little Labor strength, hence why Jo Dyer in marginal Boothby hasn’t got out of first gear.

    I wonder what would have happened if Kylea Tink wasn’t running here. I think the margin would have been far too high for Labor to overcome to win this seat. But this part of Sydney is probably demographically trending towards Labor. There’s an increase in younger renters. This sort of inner urban, highly educated seat is the sort of place where Scott Morrison would go down exceptionally badly. I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was a big swing to Labor here, had Tink not run, even if it was not enough to win it.

  14. Echo the sentiment that Tink’s biggest challenge is overcoming Labor to make it to the 2CP. View in the Tink camp is that Tink being eliminated in 3rd will release historically liberal preferences back to Zimmerman, sending him back to Canberra.

    I don’t see any chance Labor win – the traditionally liberal voters already feel guilt voting for Tink over Zimmerman, let alone defecting all the way to Labor. Sportsbet saying it best: $1.60 Lib, $2.10 Tink and $15 Labor.

  15. The problem for Tink is that the Labor party have actually selected a good local candidate. Renshaw performed very well in the candidates debate, lives in the electorate (husband a good golfer and long term connections with one of the local golf clubs), generally very likable person etc. If you normally vote labor in NS why would you vote for a teal when the first time in 15 years there is an excellent labor candidate?

    Over in Warringah, when the labor party were handing out how to votes at the bus stop they had recycled the North Shore (state electorate) tee shirts from the last state election….. ie running dead.

  16. Couldn’t stand or even envisage Labor winning here and Independents aren’t really that independent anymore. The climate is fine. It’s running the economy that is important. Can’t vote Liberal this time because Trent let me down badly on Religious D Bill. Vote for your constituents not yourself next time! Not voting for Tink. The Greens (reds) are hopeless. It‘ll have to be Nalbandian because he’s a Christian. I like Scomo and have lived in this seat for over 15 years. But Trent will be punished for his betrayal. Libs get my vote in the Senate only.

  17. Albo was in Willoughby, with Renshaw, spruiking Labor’s childcare policies. A strong indication, that Labor sees this seat in play and a possible pickup. This would be one massive boilover if it were to happen.

  18. I was in this area today and saw quite a few yard signs for both Zimmerman and Tink, the latter having slightly more. What I found amusing was the number of places where the signs were either directly opposite or next to each other…..neighbourly conversations must be *interesting* at present 🙂

  19. A poll in the North Sydney Sun suggested that Labor not an independent is the biggest threat to Trent Zimmerman in North Sydney.

    “Independent Kylea Tink is running fourth and the threat Liberal member Trent Zimmerman faces is in fact from Labor’s Catherine Renshaw. The poll has Zimmerman on 34.9%, Renshaw on 25.0% and Tink on 12.4%, with Greens candidate Heather Armstrong on 15.0%. The online poll was conducted on May 6 from a sample of 507.”

  20. If Zimmerman’s really on a PV of only 35% then ANY of the other three could possibly beat him, as they’ll mostly preference each other.

    But obviously Tink has a far better chance than Renshaw or Armstrong, as the ALP and Green prefs will flow solidly to her, whereas Tink’s will split maybe 50-50 with Zimmerman.

    Also though, 12% seems too low for Tink, with the amount of noise being generated. If her PV is actually closer to 15-20%, then she might do a Prahran – land third behind Labor, leapfrog Renshaw on Greens prefs, then beat Zimmerman on Labor prefs.

    At any rate, I’d throw a few bucks on this seat not being called on the night, and the count being rebooted for a changed 2CP at least once.

  21. Tink’s preferences will be nowhere near 50/50, judging by past preference flows of climate independents in 2019. Still, there will be substantially greater leakage in ALP-LIB than IND-LIB, enough to create a 5% difference or higher in the margin.

  22. Kevin Bonham says the history of preference floes from Climate focused Indies is 65% to Labor, so Expat, your 50% might be too low. Having said that, I sense that Tink is mainly taking votes off Zimmerman, so the preference flow might be low, but the gap on PV significant. I can’t see Tink getting into 2nd, leapfrog or otherwise, unless her PV is close to 25% and there haven’t been any polls really, that say it is.

    Also, noise does not equal votes.

  23. High Street you are quite correct that noise does not equal votes and similarly silence does not equal no votes. The Senate is just about ignored by all commercial media outlets .

  24. It will be very interesting to see the LIB and ALP senate votes here to see which major lost more votes to Tink in the Reps. It is easy to see the normal Rep/Senate differential from the 2019 results. ALP almost matched their Reps 25% whereas LIBs were 4% lower, I think.
    I can see the ALP senate vote being >30%, but the Reps vote being mid 20’s.

  25. The flow from Teal indie back to the coalition depends on where the votes came from to begin with. In Flinders, just under 30% of Julia Banks votes came from the Libs with rest coming from the ALP, Greens and Animal Justice. With the final preferences, the same number basically went back to the Libs. Similar pattern in Wentworth where the 14.8% Lib primary vote loss turned into a 7.9% Lib/ ALP 2pp loss. Taking into account the latter, basically what came from the Libs went back.

  26. Unfortunately for Kylea Tink, she seems to be the least likely of the “Teals” to win and may get the lowest primary vote. I say Zimmerman will hold but only narrowly.

    The Teals are often compared to Zali Stegall. The big difference is that in 2019, Stegall was up against a much older, long-tenured conservative, right-wing Liberal. There was much greater distinction between the Liberal MP and the independent back then.

  27. Got robocalled to join a live forum with TZ and Frydenberg last night which I joined. A few locals asking questions, nothing controversial.

    BUT, how worried must they be to have Josh who’s own seat is under threat but is a small L liberal giving up up his time to help TZ.

    Having seen the debate, Renshaw is very impressive but doesn’t seem to have the volunteer army / resources Tink does. TZ is a nice guy but with a toxic PM. I think this is the most interesting seat of the election. Lots of strategic voting going on. Bet that TZ regrets preferencing Renshaw so high in his HTV card. Oldies will still vote Blue but my sense is a change is coming.

  28. Should have stuckwithGGG

    Tink resources: she states herself are approx $1.3M. Million! I can tell you that Renshaw’s are way less than $100K. Tink’s army is also mainly retirees who are tired of voting Liberal.

    Not sure what it matters that TZ put Renshaw above Tink. Perhaps he likes her more than Tink. Are you thinking he will come in 3rd??!

  29. High Street

    Fair point, can’t see TZ coming third.
    Real shame Labor didn’t throw more early support behind Renshaw: It really is about who comes second and how the preferences break. I know many who voted early for Tink but are Labor supporters who are now regretting their decision. The big Q is how Tinks preferences break if she comes third. It’s telling to see Rudd out in support today in Chatswood – must think they’re a real show.

  30. Apart from a few postals, early voting only started last Monday. They’d had plenty of opportunity by then to weigh up the respective candidates

  31. High Street

    They’d seen a lot of Tink early in the campaign and never thought Renshaw was a chance until that poll came out showing her in front of Tink.

    FWIW, if Renshaw misses out, she seems very capable and needs to be given an opportunity somewhere in the Labor machine.

    Rudd in Chatswood today was a master stroke and maybe a sign of how close it is.

    In any case we have 3 pretty good candidates who should hopefully represent us well, with a new Labor majority government at the helm.

  32. Looking at the results, Ben’s 2022 Toggle map between after preference counts and the primary votes will be quiet interesting. There were some locations where the IND ran clear 3rd on PV and the ALP vote was only 0 – 2% below 2019 primary and some more where the PV was even increased on 2019 and either won the primary vote or were within couple of percent of the Liberal primary.
    Then the were others where the IND did well and the ALP votes was down 7 – 8%.
    As has been noted on social media, the combined ALP/GRN senate vote is around 46%, far ahead of the liberal 39%.

  33. Zimmerman 38%
    Tink 26%

    Tink may be the seat winner with the lowest primary vote out of all 151 seat winners.

    I don’t think there’ll be a strong Teal movement in the state seats of North Shore nor Willoughby but I might be wrong. The federal election results serve as a wakeup call for the state Liberal Party.

  34. Will be interesting to see the TPP count in this seat when the AEC goes back and does it. Preferences are currently flowing at around 76% to the IND so very interesting too see what differential there is witht eh flo to the ALP candidate.
    Also will be interesting to see what the final gap is between the IND and ALP at point of exclusion, based on the flow of GRN preferences and how many GRN voters followed the HTV recommendation. Notable that the IND is doing dreadfully on Absents and Pre-Poll (Out of Division) – almost being beaten into 3rd place on PV by the Greens.

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