Warringah – Australia 2022

IND 7.2% vs LIB

Incumbent MP
Zali Steggall, since 2019.

Geography
Northern Sydney. Warringah covers parts of the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore of Sydney, including Manly, Mosman and parts of Neutral Bay, Allambie Heights, Brookvale and Curl Curl. The seat covers the entirety of Manly and Mosman council areas, as well as parts of North Sydney and Warringah. The largest proportion of the population lives in Warringah.

History
Warringah was first created at the 1922 election, and has never elected a Labor candidate, electing a conservative candidate at almost every election. The first exception was in 1937 when an independent was elected, who proceeded to join the United Australia Party shortly after his election and went on to serve as a minister in a number of conservative governments. The second exception was in 2019.

The seat was first won by Granville Ryrie in 1922. Ryrie had been Member for North Sydney since a 1911 by-election and was elected to Warringah unopposed. The ALP challenged him in 1925 but he managed over 80% of the vote.

Ryrie was appointed High Commissioner to London in 1927 and the by-election was won by Archdale Parkhill, in a race where the two Labor candidates polled barely 18% between them.

Parkhill had been the Lynton Crosby of early 20th Century Australian politics, coordinating many campaigns for the early Liberal Party and Nationalists over two decades. Parkhill served as a minister in the Lyons government from 1932 until 1937, serving as Minister for Defence during Lyons’ second term.

Parkhill was defeated at the 1937 election by conservative independent Percy Spender, who won the seat in a close race on preferences after falling 15% behind on primary votes. Spender went on to join the UAP shortly after his victory. Spender served in the wartime governments of Robert Menzies and Arthur Fadden and served as Minister for External Affairs until 1951, when he retired at the election before being appointed Ambassador to the United States. Spender went on to serve as Australia’s first representative on the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Spender was succeeded in 1951 by Francis Bland, who held the seat for ten years with massive majorities, polling over 70% on two occasions and being elected unopposed on a third. He retired without ever taking a ministerial role.

Bland was succeeded in 1961 by John Cockle, who held the seat until his death shortly before the 1966 election.

Cockle was succeeded by prominent Edward St John in 1966. St John caused controversy in 1969 attacking Prime Minister John Gorton, which led him to resign from the Liberal Party, and he was defeated at the 1969 election by Liberal candidate Michael MacKellar.

MacKellar served as a minister in the Fraser government until 1982, when a scandal involving the importation of a colour television saw him resign from the ministry.

MacKellar resigned from Parliament in 1994, and the ensuing by-election was won by Tony Abbott. Abbott went on to serve as a minister for the entirety of the Howard government from 1996 to 2007, becoming a senior member of Cabinet in the last two terms of the government.

Abbott had always held Warringah by large margins over the ALP, and the first serious threat to his hold on the seat came in 2001, when Peter Macdonald, former independent member for the state seat of Manly, challenged Abbott. Macdonald polled 27% of the primary vote and came within 6% of defeating Abbott.

Abbott served as Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs following the Howard government’s defeat in November 2007, serving in the role under leaders Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull.

Abbott resigned from the frontbench in November 2009 in protest at Malcolm Turnbull’s support for the Emissions Trading Scheme, which triggered the collapse of Turnbull’s leadership. Abbott won a slim majority in a party room ballot against Turnbull in December 2009 and was elected Leader of the Liberal Party.

Abbott led the Coalition into the 2010 election. The Labor government lost its majority, but managed to piece together a majority with the support of crossbench MPs. Abbott led the Coalition through the next term, before winning the 2013 election. Tony Abbott served as Prime Minister until he was defeated for the Liberal leadership in September 2015. Abbott was re-elected in 2016, but in 2019 was defeated by independent Zali Steggall.

Candidates

  • Steven Tripp (One Nation)
  • Zali Steggall (Independent)
  • Andrew Robertson (United Australia)
  • Kristyn Glanville (Greens)
  • Katherine Deves (Liberal)
  • David Mickleburgh (Labor)
  • Kate Paterson (Animal Justice)
  • Assessment
    Steggall is a first-term MP and will likely benefit from a new personal vote. There is a long history of first-term independents increasing their margin. But a lot of the swing in 2019 would have been motivated by a dislike for Tony Abbott, who won’t be running again.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Zali SteggallIndependent40,03443.5+43.5
    Tony Abbott Liberal 35,93539.0-12.6
    Dean Harris Labor 6,0916.6-8.2
    Kristyn Glanville Greens 5,6476.1-6.1
    Heather BarnesAnimal Justice1,2911.4+1.4
    Susan MoylanIndependent1,1111.2+1.2
    Emanuele PalettoSustainable Australia6780.7+0.7
    Suellen Marree WrightsonUnited Australia Party6250.7+0.7
    Jason BlaiklockChristian Democratic Party4610.5-0.7
    Brian ClareConservative National Party2500.3+0.3
    Informal4,8975.0-1.0

    2019 two-candidate-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Zali SteggallIndependent52,72857.2
    Tony Abbott Liberal 39,39542.8

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Tony Abbott Liberal 48,01152.1-9.0
    Dean Harris Labor 44,11247.9+9.0

    Booth breakdown

    Warringah has been split into three areas: Manly, Mosman and Warringah. Polling places in the Mosman and North Sydney council areas have been grouped as “Mosman” while those booths in the Northern Beaches council area have been split between the two former council areas of Manly and Warringah.

    Steggall won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 56.5% in Warringah to 62.6% in Manly. She also won the pre-poll and other votes but by smaller margins.

    Voter groupGRN primALP primIND 2CPTotal votes% of votes
    Warringah6.67.256.521,92223.8
    Manly6.05.062.615,91717.3
    Mosman5.56.558.614,66415.9
    Pre-poll5.56.555.728,84631.3
    Other votes7.88.353.210,77411.7

    Election results in Warringah at the 2019 federal election
    Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (Independent vs Liberal), two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for independent candidate Zali Steggall and the Liberal Party.

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    148 COMMENTS

    1. Any small hope the libs have of winning this back surely must be gone now. Even worse surely this trans debate and Morrison’s defence of Deves won’t play well in other inner city seats that the libs are trying to hold

    2. Matt Kean thinks Deves should be cut adrift. Scomo and Tony Abbott disagree.

      I think the danger of disendorsing a captains pick that has not gone through the standard vetting processes reflects poorly on the captain, therefore he won’t do it unless something really hideous comes out.

      However, as Teena McQueen had earlier said, they could still win the election and purge the party of moderates like Zimmerman, Allen and Sharma, which would be good for conservatives. Matt Kean has been raising their ire for quite a while.

    3. “therefore he won’t do it unless something really hideous comes out.”
      Idk, the things that have come out seem pretty damn hideous to me…

    4. My view is that Morrison made this selection knowing that the candidate’s views would give rise to controversy, and he is gambling that having transgender issues in the national debate would play in his favour in outer suburbs/regional seats and also distract from the many vulnerabilities that his government would otherwise be attacked on. It’s a gamble that he’s going all in on at this point so I doubt he disendorses her.

    5. I tend to agree Adda. This election might finally be the one that the dam wall of support for the Liberals in inner urban affluent seats finally breaks, in response to this virtue signalling to outer suburbs and regional seats.

      In the past it was justifiable to say that the LIBS would never lose these seats, and if they lost a couple, it would be to IND’s and that was a reasonable risk to take. But this time round it seems that the threat is greater from IND’s and the leading party of the left is starting from a closer position due to swings against the government in these seats in 2019. Seems a gamble Morrison is willing to take, especially since these seats are mainly held by “moderates”.

      I think we are going to again see swings in opposite directions across nation – seats that heading into 2019 were marginal are going to be quite safe, and seats that were considered safe and very safe for the Liberals, are going to be lost of on a knife edge.

    6. Sorry,I think a lot of these comments are silly. Warringah is not yet an inner city electorate where LGBTQ rights are fashionable. Insofar as there is any backlash it will be from people who have never voted Liberal in this seat and make no difference.
      The numbers of people who take their lead from Matt Kean are few in number.

    7. Matt Kean is an elected member of State Parliament. Are you saying Sabrina that he has no or little influence?

      Why are the Liberal Moderates always dismissed as an irrelevance? How do they win pre selection??

    8. Sabena: It had one of the highest Yes votes in the country on the marriage law postal survey, more than 75%. What evidence there is suggests that voters there are generally supportive of LGBT rights.

      HS: They don’t, basically. They’ve lost so many ‘upset’ preselections in their supposed north sydney heartland lately that it’s very clear they have little remaining support in the branches. I sure wouldn’t bet on Matt Kean of all people holding his seat in Hornsby without intervention. They wouldn’t have fought so hard to oppose open preselections if they had any confidence in winning them.

    9. Sabena no offence but Warringah definitely fits the inner city small l liberal mold. The Manly and Mosman areas are quite progressive socially and would not support an anti-LGBTQI candidate. Like the evidence is the fact Abbott lost so badly last election

    10. Furtive,I don’t see a person who didn’t vote Liberal last time and intends to vote Liberal this time, changing their mind over this.

    11. Simple reason. Payne is basically letting her dig her own grave for two reasons:

      1. She is letting the hard right crash and burn again and quietly distancing herself from the comments.

      2. It could well be that additional outrage could prove a distraction to the rest of the campaign for the anti-deves alliance.

    12. As others have said .
      The liberal candidate who has been in the party for 10 minutes and a captain s pick was chosen here to lose but give the libs a chance to win else where.But the chances of net extra seats in nsw However there is a big.danger in.this strategy shows. The liberal left are gutless and helps the teals.

    13. I’m not really sure the strategy of putting in a conservative cultural warrior is going to work all that well in picking up other winnable seats, and it’ll probably push a few seats to the teals.

    14. Zali a certainty to hold this now but it may help the Libs in some more socially conservative seats.

    15. As a follow up to my comments as to the effect of Katherine Deves comments I would draw attention to this story in the Australian:
      https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/election-2022-coalition-voters-not-drawn-to-teal-group/news-story/7741636acf5c54c27b2a36ee41d2c38f
      Its subscriber protected but here is an extract:

      “The vast majority of people intending to vote for the Simon Holmes a Court Climate 200 independents in the 2022 election voted for the Greens, independents and ALP at the 2019 election.

      Only 8 per cent of people intending to vote for the so-called “teal” candidates on May 21 voted for the Coalition in 2019.

      Liberal MPs, including Josh Frydenberg, fear they will lose much Liberal support to the more than 20 high-profile independent candidates backed by the $10m Climate 200 fund who are running against Coalition MPs and not contesting Greens- or Labor-held seats.

      The biggest leakage from ­Coalition voters in 2019 to independents or minor parties in this election is to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, with 32 per cent.”

      Now the relevant group in Warringah is those people who prior to Katherine Deves’ comments voted for Steggall last time, but have not decided to vote for her this time, or are yet to make up their mind.
      For what it is worth, I think Steggall will be re elected as independents usually are(remember Peter Macdonald and David Barr in the state seat of Manly) unless they make a mess of it. Her real challenge will come next election, assuming the ALP become the government, unless she can show that she has sided with the opposition on important matters.

    16. Some murmors on the grounds indicating that the Deves campaign is actually resonating with parts of the electorate.

      From what I have heard, Deves is crashing and burning south of the Spit. But she has apparently stirred the base on the North Side of the Spit.

      This is apparently causing the Steggall camp to draw resources back into Warringah.

      It could well be that Deves loses but draws enough heat away that Falinksi and Zimmerman wins.

    17. @Hawkeye Recently been south of the Spit in Warringah, many Steggall signs on houses and Deves is invisible. The only other party present in campaigning south of the Spit is the UAP with its new Spit Junction office. Strange as south of the Spit is traditionally stronger Liberal territory.

    18. 8 to 10% from libs to teals changes who wins the seat.. and gets the lib primary vote below 40 to 45%

    19. 2019 was fought on abbott and his views on climate change not a lot of votes for pro trans people might even be a winner from Deves

    20. Tony Abbott was also ditched because he was extremely conservative socially, which put him out of touch with a very socially progressive electorate, especially in relation to LBGTIQ+ issues. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Another point, Deves was never going to win regardless of who she was because the Libs spent too long not picking a candidate.

    21. And are these people with whom the Deves campaign is “resonating” among the 57% who voted for Steggall in 2019, or the 43% who voted for Abbott?

    22. There is no chance Steggall will lose when such an unsuitable candidate has been chosen by the Liberals. The only point of interest is how low the Liberal vote goes.

    23. Reckon 2pp ..alp/lib here will be greater then 50% Labor.. of course this is for statistics 0nly

    24. I think people are missing the point here. Deves won’t win. This is a decoy ploy to distract from Mackellar and North Sydney.

      If the Liberal Party was fair dinkum about winning, they would have selected Buncle ages ago.

    25. To distract from how much trouble they are in, in the others to seats??

      Sorry, I don’t get it. Do you mean they don’t want a vacuum that is filled with stories about seats they currently hold but might lose?

    26. No surprise with the latest article, from the Manly Daily, that the Moderates in the Liberal Party in Warringah are abandoning campaigning for Deves and are moving to support both Zimmerman and Falinksi.

      The only people campaigning in the Electorate for the Liberal Party now are all the conservatives from the nearby electorates (Mackellar, North Sydney, Bradfield, Berowra).

      Interesting side-note, another Liberal Party campaigner has been assaulted by a Steggall supporter, similar scenario to last time, except a cork screw was definitely not used this time.

      Fun Fact – I know the Liberal Party Member that was stabbed the last time. We should never condone violence of any kind, but let’s just say that I’m not surprised that it happened to him. He is someone I did have personal beef with during our times in the Young Liberals (he loved back-stabbing people and some other behaviour that normal people would consider reprehensible).

    27. Think Steggall could win on an increased margin despite the loss of anti-Abbott momentum because Deves is proving a contentious figure herself. Wouldn’t be surprised to see it surpass 60-40, or to see Steggall near 50% on the primary vote.

    28. Zali will hold the seat, poor choice of candidate by Libs, I’ve lived in the electorate for 30 years, last few weeks Zali’s supporters are back on the streets distributing material, older women, same as 2019, would have been former Lib voters. Disappointed to read earlier comments re Zali being lazy, which is untrue, are these comments driven by bile? I just remind the writers Abbott did b all in the 25 years he was local member besides getting the dunnies at Queensie surf club renovated and then as PM became a wrecker and not progressive, that’s why he got the boot in 2019.

    29. Fake campaign signs have gone up here replicating Zali Steggal’s real ones but adding the Greens logo to them. Same thing next door in Mackellar to Dr Scamps. They didnt manage the basic task of putting an authorisation on them so are illegal (probably intentional).

    30. @Mick Doubt ALP 2PP will exceed 50%, Zali preferenced Labor over Liberals in 2019 but is running an open ticket this time/

    31. I watched the crossbenchers panel at the National Press Club on Youtube. Zali Stegall was with Craig Kelly, Rex Patrick and Adam Bandt. It seems she will more likely support Labor in a hung parliament. Albo would rather have her on his side than the Greens.

      If she supports Albo, then this may or may not end her political career. The difference between her and Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott is that she is from a wealthy, urban electorate and not a rural electorate.

    32. 10News Polling shows Steggall ahead 53-47 against Deves, the Liberals on the ground have been campaigning fiercely at pre-poll and I don’t think it will be the safe Steggall victory people think it will.

    33. The seat polls are about as accurate as asking a few friends and family members who they’ll vote for. I’d expect Stegall will increase her majority.

    34. Never preselect a religious hard right Liberal candidate to run in an affluent, small-l liberal seat.

      To those who live in neighbouring seats (North Sydney, Mackellar, Wentworth), do you think this Liberal preselection had a spillover effect?

    35. The Liberal left faction will be blaming Deves for losing in the inner-city, but if we step back, let’s suppose Deves wasn’t the candidate in Warringah. Steggall still would’ve won here and the teals would’ve won anyway – all the teals were up and running and with substantial support well before anyone knew who Deves was.

    36. When you look at the figures, I really don’t think Katherine Deves made much difference at all. Zali was always going to win handsomely and the Libs had it hard finding a candidate to run anyway, and they had no candidate until the last minute. I think we know now what peak Zali is – and it is not that high.

    37. I dunno 60-40 in Liberal heartland is pretty high in my book. Would you have even contemplated it six years ago? She already had a massive swing towards her in 2019.

      I suspect Steggall and actually most of the teal independents are going to have a lot more staying power than conventional wisdom might portend. I agree insofar as most voters weren’t as concerned about Deves’ particular obsession as has been suggested in the media, but they certainly weren’t impressed by her selection. It just fed further into the narrative that the Liberal party were essentially ignoring their values and priorities.

    38. “To those who live in neighbouring seats (North Sydney, Mackellar, Wentworth), do you think this Liberal preselection had a spillover effect?”

      I don’t personally feel that the case of Deves had any effect in Mackellar, but knowing that Warringah had turned IND after a long history of LIB LIB LIB, made the candidacy of Scamps feel like a dream that just maaaaybe could become a reality.

    39. Zali had it won long before the election was called. Her machine was working in every area of the electorate, even managing to get Forestville RSL sub branch executive to put up a progressive motion at the RSLs’ state congress The motion was in favor of LGTBI+ recognition among other things Not really the motion voted on by members to be put to congress but massaged in to the shape Zali wanted Defeated 66 — 34 but still shows up as part of the congress agenda

    40. “To those who live in neighbouring seats (North Sydney, Mackellar, Wentworth), do you think this Liberal preselection had a spillover effect?”

      For North Sydney, I’m not sure if it cost votes but it likely did make it harder for the Liberals to win back votes that were already looking at Tink because it underlined that Liberal spent too much time obsessing about things that didn’t matter and not enough time developing policy for things that did.

    41. The only way Zali was going to conceivably lose was if:
      1. She had made a massive misstep somewhere along the way – and she did not
      2. The Morrison government had done something seriously convincing on Climate Change abatement -and they did not
      2. There had been a Liberal candidate who could basically take the same ground as Zali
      It was 0/3 and by last year, it was obvious she was going to be comfortably re-elected. Why would any ambitious candidate go out and get a hiding for nothing?
      Not so much Warringah, but surely in the other Teal seats, Higgins and the Brisbane seats – Matt Canavan’s little campaign intervention made a world of difference and ripped away any credibility the Libs had.

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