Werriwa – Australia 2022

ALP 5.5%

Incumbent MP
Anne Stanley, since 2016.

South-western Sydney. Werriwa covers western parts of the City of Liverpool and a small northern part of the City of Campbelltown. Key suburbs include Casula, Glenfield, Macquarie Fields, Hoxton Park, Prestons, Rossmore, Austral, Green Valley, Cecil Hills, Miller, Ashcroft and Badgerys Creek.

Werriwa is an original federation electorate, named after an indigenous name for Lake George, near the ACT. The seat originally covered parts of southern NSW including what became northern parts of the ACT. It gradually shifted northeast to the Illawarra, eventually reaching the Liverpool-Campbelltown area. The seat has been a safe Labor seat since the 1930s, and has been held by a number of prominent Labor figures, including a Prime Minister, a Treasurer and a Leader of the Opposition. The seat has seen a record number of five federal by-elections, which have all seen Labor retain the seat, in 1912, 1952, 1978, 1994 and 2005.

The seat was first won by Alfred Conroy of the Free Trade Party in 1901. Conroy was defeated by David Hall (ALP) in 1906. Hall was re-elected in 1910, but resigned in 1912 to return to state politics. Hall served as Minister for Justice then Attorney-General from 1912 to 1920. Hall was expelled from the ALP in 1916 for supporting conscription, along with Premier William Holman.

Werriwa was won by the ALP’s Benjamin Bennett at the 1912 by-election, but retired at the 1913 election, when Conroy was re-elected for the Liberal Party. John Lynch gained the seat back from Conroy in 1914, and left the ALP in 1916 over conscription, becoming a Nationalist.

Lynch was re-elected as a Nationalist in 1917 but lost the seat to the ALP’s Hubert Lazzarini in 1919. Werriwa began to strongly shift from the Southern Highlands into the Illawarra region at the 1922 redistribution, and over the next thirty years Lazzarini saw the seat shift into the Liverpool district and eventually lose the Illawarra.

Lazzarini followed NSW Premier Jack Lang out of the ALP in 1931, and was one of the Labor splitters who brought down the Scullin government, and lost Werriwa to Country Party candidate Walter McNicoll at that year’s election.

Lazzarini regained Werriwa as a Lang Labor candidate in 1934, and returned to the ALP in 1936. Lazzarini served as a minister in the Curtin government and the first Chifley ministry in the 1940s, and held the seat until his death in 1952.

The 1952 by-election was won by ALP candidate Gough Whitlam. Whitlam ascended to the leadership of the Labor Party in 1967 and was elected Prime Minister in 1972. Whitlam was Prime Minister for three years, losing the 1975 election following the dismissal of his government. He remained Leader of the Opposition and led the ALP into the 1977 election, retiring in 1978.

The 1978 by-election was won by John Kerin, who had previously held the neighbouring seat of Macarthur from 1972 until his defeat in 1975. Kerin served as a minister for the entirety of the Hawke government, rising to the position of Treasurer after Paul Keating moved to the backbench in 1991, but a troubled period as Treasurer saw him move to the backbench just before Keating became Prime Minister, and he retired in 1994.

The 1994 by-election was won by Mayor of Liverpool and Whitlam protege Mark Latham. Latham quickly rose to the ALP frontbench following their 1996 election defeat, although he left the frontbench after the 1998 election because of conflicts with ALP leader Kim Beazley.

Latham returned to the frontbench following the 2001 election, when Simon Crean succeeded Kim Beazley as Leader of the Opposition, rising to the position of Shadow Treasurer before Crean resigned as Leader, and Latham was narrowly elected as Labor leader in December 2003.

Latham led the ALP to a defeat at the 2004 election and resigned in early 2005 as both Labor leader and Member for Werriwa. The ensuing by-election (at which the author stood as a candidate for the Greens) saw ALP candidate Chris Hayes safely elected, and he won re-election in 2007.

The 2010 redistribution saw the seat of Reid effectively abolished in its existing form, and this triggered a reshuffling of Labor MPs in Western Sydney. Laurie Ferguson moved from Reid to Werriwa. Hayes shifted north to Fowler.

Ferguson had been a state MP from 1984 to 1990 and had already served twenty years in federal Parliament when he shifted to Werriwa.

Hayes and Ferguson were both re-elected in their new seats, with Ferguson being hit by a large 8.3% swing. Ferguson was re-elected again in 2013.

Ferguson retired in 2016, and was succeeded by Labor candidate Anne Stanley. Stanley was re-elected in 2019.


  • Victor Tey (Liberal Democrats)
  • Tony Nikolic (United Australia)
  • Anne Stanley (Labor)
  • Apurva Shukla (Greens)
  • Sam Kayal (Liberal)
  • Adam Booke (One Nation)
  • Assessment
    Werriwa has slowly become more marginal over the decades but it’s not likely to be a critical marginal at the next election.

    2019 result

    Anne Stanley Labor 45,00247.8-4.4
    Shayne Miller Liberal 33,23435.3-1.3
    Signe Westerberg Greens 5,0605.4+0.8
    Narelle StoreyChristian Democratic Party4,8415.1-1.6
    Ignatios TsiriplisUnited Australia Party3,9574.2+4.2
    Michael WhiteIndependent2,1352.3+2.3

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Anne Stanley Labor 52,27055.5-2.7
    Shayne Miller Liberal 41,95944.5+2.7

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into four parts. Most of the seat’s population lies in the eastern half of the seat, and these areas have been split into central (including West Hoxton and Prestons), north-east (including Cecil Hills, Green Valley and Hinchinbrook) and south-east (including Casula, Glenfield and Macquarie Fields). The remaining rural booths in the western end of the seat were grouped as “west”.

    The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in three areas, with a vote ranging from 52% in the centre to 60.4% in the south-east. The Liberal Party won 73.2% in the sparsely-populated west of the seat.

    Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Other votes52.510,44721.6

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

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    1. 2 months ago I thought this would be a very close race. But now with the botched COVID situation in Sydney this will be a Labor hold by a decent margin.

    2. I think there were a number of seats that were doubtful for Labor before this outbreak of COVID, however that has all changed. MacArthur, Parramatta, Greenway were others. But now there might be some doubtful for the Liberal Party – Bennalong, Reid, Lindsay

    3. James
      Not a chance of labor getting any of those.

      Ann Stanley is arguably the most useless of the “Emily’s Lister) Labor women. Another ineffectual type 9 fixation, that will quietly occupy the seat of Werriwa, & never challenge anyone, or anything. Just do as she is told. Complete waste of time.

      Werriwa will change beyond recognition in the next redistribution. It could even get drawn as far south as Campbeltown. I expect Ann STANLEY to lose another 2-3 % of her margin. The only interesting thing will be how the western suburbs (west of M7) move. These will be in a liberal seat in 2025. What that seat is, or will be called who would know. I’D expect the eastern boundary of this (liberal seat to be Smithfied rd/ camden valley way , M7,M5 with boundaries to Lindsay, werriwa , macarthur? Probably it might end up being McMahon

    4. It’s interesting how much this seat has moved right over time. Labor’s margin here (on current boundaries) is the lowest it has been in living memory.

      Appears in particular a lot of demographic change/development in the suburbs west of the M7/Cowpasture Road. But Labor are even underperforming somewhat in the more working-class booths. Those could shift left in 2022 with a candidate more appealing to the Sydney working-class than Shorten but the days of this seat being 65%+ Labor are probably done.

      Longer term (like post-2030) I’d think we’d see those new west booths become an entierely new seat altogether. 2025? I think we’d end up seeing everywhere north of Camden Valley Way move to a “new” Liverpool area seat (I think Hughes will move towards being a primarily Liverpool LGA with some booths in the westernmost parts of the Shire) and Werriwa be largely the Campbelltown area corridor with a few new west-of-M5 suburbs. That actually would be a safer seat than the current one most likely, though still not ultra-safe.

    5. wine diamond – I agree with you comment on Anne Stanley – I wonder how she is still holding the seat, considering it was once a very safe seat and should have had a potential Minister / Leader in the seat.

    6. WD
      If Perrottet gets control and takes Sydney out of lockdown too early leading to the health system being overrun, then Labor will win all the seats James discussed and more.

    7. Marko
      No chance of that due to factional control . Remember “those factions ” that you have when you don’t say you have factions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

      It always nice to find common ground ain’t it. Indeed.- why do party’s put plough horses in the best paddocks !? If ever there was a plough horse, actually Annie is more os a donkey!. Even a mule like Fiona Phillips has some strength.
      Ah the Emily’s Listers what a case they are making AGAINST “equal representation”?

    8. If Sydney ends up in a prolonged lockdown Gladys may be removed by some in her own faction who are frustrated by the long lockdown.

    9. If you really think that, then you don’t understand NSW. Apart from being political suicide to remove a leader in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, the NSW Libs are dominated by moderates (i.e. members of the same faction as Gladys). Perrotet is a member of the hard right and will never have the numbers to be rid of Gladys. His only path to power is to wait his turn – as per the deal that was agreed when he was made Treasurer. Besides, I don’t think Gladys is in any real long-term danger. How long did it take Andrews to politically recover from one of the longest lockdowns in the world? In fact, I don’t even think he fell behind 2PP during the lockdown.

      Even at a nadir for the Coalition in NSW, I severely doubt Labor’s chances in Bennelong, particularly with John Alexander as the MP. Lindsay and Reid are only slightly less fanciful targets for Labor. Morrison is copping a bit of flack now, but will it last?????

    10. I don’t think this scenario will eventuate. I am just thinking that if it did the libs would get whacked with a baseball bat. I think Sydney will be a stasis where no seats change hands (except for an indie in Wentworth possibly)

    11. James
      Warringah & maybe Greenway are toss ups. Only dark horses after that. Wish it weren’t so

      Marko Wentworth see thread but NO
      Wreathy of Sydney
      Spot on as usual mate. Agree with every word you have written

    12. Who in the NSW government opposes the lockdown? I have not heard even a hint of anything to suggest that anyone in the NSW Liberal caucus opposes it – quite the contrary.

      Perrottet has been chief among those urging the federal government to reinstate JobKeeper. In the context of the COVID crisis, he may as well be considered a moderate!

    13. I’d love for Labor to lose a seat formerly held by one of the worst prime ministers in Australian history but ai don’t see it happening under current circumstances but I agree it could be in play if covid eases and the vaccine rates are above 80% by the next election.

      As for why I think Whitlam was a poor pm, mainly because he rushed change way too fast and he ruined the economy. He shouldn’t have been dismissed as he was democratically elected as PM and the senate shouldn’t get to decide who is pm. I believe the ‘75 election was a gold standard election and was a great outcome for the Australian people. I still retain hope a 1975 result could happen in the distant future but probably not 2022.

    14. Predicting Werriwa will fall and a 1975 election-style wipeout of Labor across the board (at this point in the election cycle) is bad partisan psephology. Also concerning is winediamond referring to certain Labor MPs (presumably affiliated with Emily’s List) as “mules”, which despite the fact I’m not a woman, is incredibly misogynistic and really does continue the form of certain right of center-right Liberal supporters in terms of the misogyny

    15. 1975 was a confluence of unique circumstances which will almost certainly never happen again. You had the onset of stagflation, an inexperienced government, a politically courageous Opposition and Senate majorities all at play. Besides, if you’re looking for the gold standard, 1931 was much worse for Labor.

      Right now, the best result I would expect for the Libs is a 2001-style victory with around 80 seats.

    16. Ryan
      WD junior was quick to agree with you, give me (the usual !) puritanical lecture, judgement correction, & instruction in his usual loving & tender way !!. His prevailing narrative (toward me) is along the lines of “old, out of touch, wrong ” & so on !!. Just thought you would like the confirmation.

      I would remind you that there are just as many MALE mules, as Female. Indeed i can’t recall any reticence on my part in making comparisons of MALE MPs of both sides to many farm animals, & wildlife. “Equal opportunity” cuts both ways chum, especially regardless of political persuasion ! I fail to see why female MP’S need some special exemption, or dispensation, unless you consider them “the weaker sex”. Hang on, wouldn’t that be sexist too !?
      Having spent 37 years with 2 powerfully(perhaps even ferociously) feminist women,” REVERSE Sexism” is a reality, & bears due scrutiny
      cheers WD

    17. It is interesting to note that Anne Stanley is not a member of Emily’s list.

      WD – reverse sexism is a significant reality. Cost me more than one job so quotas can be achieved. There are some great female leaders however, the poor ones who got there on quotas let these good ones done.

    18. James
      I’m shocked. I’d have expected (& it seemed ) that signing the Emily’s list was mandatory, for all female Labor MP’s, if not members.? What a surprise. After i noticed (with disappointment ) that Julie Owens (a “Thoroughbred”if ever there was one”!) had signed i stopped checking, & made the assumption.

      Sorry to read of such injustice being so commonplace, & personal for you.. I was just being playful but it’s a sad reality for some.
      The best chance of Anne Stanley losing this seat is if Michelle Rowland loses Greenway & is “relocated”!.

    19. Rowland lives in Glenwood IIRC. So probably would want to stay in Greenway. I’d be curious to know how many MPs actually live in their electorate.

    20. Nicholas Weston
      Glenwood eh. in reality do MPs need to live IN their electorates to represent them ? A lot is made of this, but is it a reality ?
      I kid one of my friends that lives in Baulkam Hills that she lives in the “whitest, most middle class suburb in the whole of Australia”. That you could transport the whole suburb in entirety to (the appropriate area) of any other (major) australian city so seamlessly you wouldn’t even see the stretch marks !
      eg CHAPEL HILL Brisbane , scoresby MELBOURNE, magill ADELAIDE, Perth Victoria Park?. Someone can have a crack at closer comparisons.
      My point is that if Rowland wants to continue her career it hardly a stretch to find a similar locale in the Liverpool -Campbelltown area. When i lived in the USA it was pretty wild that most americans my age ( 35) had usually lived in up to 6 different cities. A much more mobile & competitive society. Compare that to the trauma most aussies go through just moving interstate once !. We really are getting soft as a nation, don’t you agree?
      cheers wd

    21. You have a point, and there are probably much more significant characteristics of politicians that make them incapable of representing their constituents. Rowland would be an effective Member for Werriwa if she made the switch.

      One could argue that there are issues that are local to an area, not just demography. I imagine it helps logistically to live in one’s electorate. I am reminded of Dominic Perrottet’s (sorry to mention him yet again in this thread) discontent with having to represent Hawkesbury due to how far he had to travel. (Beecroft to the Hawkesbury is really not that far at all! Of course, there were ulterior motives at play.)

      Greenway and Werriwa are indeed very similar electorates. Both outer metropolitan, both a mix of established low SES suburbs and new middle-to-high SES suburbs.

      As for Baulkham Hills, I’ve lived in The Hills and can tell you that your friend’s characterisation is not quite accurate, to say the least. Data from the census certainly does not back it up.

      I seem to be an exception in that I’m in my 20s but have lived in three different cities. And I wouldn’t discount the possibility of a fourth or fifth. Times might be changing given the housing market and the rise of work-from-home.

    22. my local MP is Steve Irons and he lives in Melville, a suburb almost 10 kilometres away from the western end of the electorate (Swan)

    23. Nicholas Weston
      The census data was a little surprising However i don’t think i’ll stop teasing my friend !! .Sounds like you will have an interesting life with that much movement. Perrotet is annoying but so are most of the nsw libs. The ego passion of the type 3 is VANITY, Dom, the PM, Tanya et al all express the same thing in different ways. Thereby causing different intensity of irritation. At least for me. Hopefully that explanation might be helpful ? I’m not a Morrison hater, but at the moment he is pissing me off so much i can’t watch him, even with the sound off !!. Bad isn’t it.?

      Michelle Rowland has accomplished something almost unique . My opinion of a politician has turned round
      180 degrees!!. My opinion of her. So i agree she is one of the most deserving of MPs. anywhere. More on the Greenway thread.

    24. The best thing to say of Anne Stanley was that she was a very effective councillor on Liverpool Council. She would make a better candidate for Mayor than Nathan Hegarty who is running this time around. Her ability as a Federal MP is up for debate. Even a past his prime Paul Lynch would have been a more viable candidate. I find it quite extraordinary that Anoulack Chantivong and Charisma Kaliyanda were not considered for this seat before Stanley, considering from memory, that they all have links to the Ferguson-Lynch faction.

      As for Werriwa itself, it’s not in danger in 2022. The next redistribution could change everything though.

    25. Hey Daniel, no body on here cares about your views on Gough Whitlam’s prime ministership, nor do we care that you would love to see a seat held by him fall to the Libs. The point of this website is to discuss elections, not one’s own partisan political views.

    26. Any chance the Liberals had of picking up seats in New South Wales has been botched by Dom’s inept handling of the Omricon surge in New South Wales. Many people are angry that “Dim Dom” didn’t act quickly enough with providing testing centres . This seat is a Labor retain.

    27. I live on the border between Fowler and Werriwa up around the Cecil Hills end. McMansions springing up left right and centre in the 2171 post code. This end of the electorate is definitely trending Liberal and becoming more affluent. With the growing population, this seat would be a “Key seat” in a Labor landslide loss year. However, with the next redistribution coming, I’m pretty sure the ALP will be keen to annex the 2171 post code out to ensure it still remains a safe ALP seat.

    28. Driving to Costco Casula today, and I noticed corflutes for the Liberal Democrats and United Australia Party on Denham Court Rd at Denham Court. Corflutes at one particular property, on the Bardia side of Campbelltown Road for Anne Stanley, and at the intersection of Macdonald Rd and Campbelltown Rd, intersecting Edmondson Park and Bardia, quite a few corflutes for the United Australia Party and Liberal Democrats again. Not a corflute from the Liberal Party to be seen anywhere.

    29. Scott Morrison was in Werriwa just this afternoon. Interesting development this is. The Liberals coveted this seat in 2013 and 2016. Turnbull spent a fair bit of time here in 2016. Is this just desperation? Scott Morrison going to places where he hopes will be favourable to him. Or have the Liberals seen a shift here, something that everyone else has missed, and that this seat is in play. Or are they just trying to spook Labor into diverting resources from Reid, Bennelong and Banks.

    30. FWIW, I think the big YouGov poll showed this seat unexpectedly close. There’s also been noises about internal party polling showing it’s close as well.

      Possibly some of the negativity against Labor from Fowler next door is spilling over too?

      It still seems odd he’d be here, I would have thought he had more pressing things to worry about in terms of sandbagging his own seats. Maybe he’s more popular in the outer suburbs than in the inner city marginals like Reid and Bennelong?

    31. Demographic change is slowly lowering the ALP margin in this seat. This seat will be a close contest if Albo flounders in the future.

    32. The West of the seat is more aspirational in areas like West Hoxton, Middleton Grange etc and this is the part of set that is growing. However, this is a seat that is prone to redistributions so hard to say how this will play out in the coming years.

    33. The anti-lockdown freedom message had the most traction in the outer suburbs. If Dutton calibrates his pitch correctly he could win seats like Werriwa, plus the demographic changes mentioned above mean that the Libs can probably win Werriwa by the end of the decade if not sooner.

    34. Comparing first preferences to the 2PP, there are evidently many voters who voted LDP / UAP / ON but still preferenced Labor above Liberal.

    35. I noticed that UAP support in south-western Sydney was really high. It might be the highest outside of Queensland. I think that it wasn’t just pandemic politics but also UAP’s bogus policy of capping mortage rates. I often saw UAP supporters and corflutes out and about in SW Sydney before the election and so campaigning probably helped to become the third party of choice for disillusioned voters.

      LDP drew first spot on the ballot paper. I suspected that some Liberal voters accidentally voted for LDP because they mistook the LDP for the Liberal Party when they looked at the top of the ballot paper.


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