Bradfield – Election 2010

LIB 13.9%

Incumbent MP
Paul Fletcher, since 2009.

Northern Sydney. Bradfield mainly covers the Ku-ring-gai council area, as well as parts of Hornsby.

Bradfield moved further northwest. It lost most of the territory around Chatswood, and gained more territory in Hornsby council area. It also gained the remainder of the Ku-ring-gai council area from Warringah.

The seat was created for the 1949 election, and has always been held by the Liberal Party.

It was first won by former Prime Minister Billy Hughes in 1949. Hughes had been an MP since he won election to the NSW colonial parliament in 1894, and had then held the federal seats of West Sydney, Bendigo and North Sydney. He had originally served as a Labor prime minister before leaving the party over the issue of conscription and leading the new Nationalist party. He eventually ended up in Robert Menzies’ Liberal Party and was the last remaining member of the first federal Parliameent to hold a seat.

Hughes died in office in 1952, and the ensuing by-election was won by state Liberal MP Harry Turner.

Turner held the seat for the next twenty-two years, and never rose to a ministerial role during twenty years of Coalition government. He retired at the 1974 election, and was succeeded by David Connolly.

Connolly also held Bradfield for twenty-two years, and was expected to take on a ministerial role after the 1996 election, but lost preselection to Brendan Nelson, former president of the Australian Medical Association.

Nelson won Bradfield in 1996 and quickly rose through the ranks of the Liberal government, joining the cabinet following the 2001 election and serving first as Minister for Education and then Minister for Defence.

Following the defeat of the Howard government in 2007, Brendan Nelson was elected Leader of the Opposition, narrowly defeating Malcolm Turnbull in the party room. His leadership was troubled by low poll ratings and being undermined by Turnbull and his supporters, and Nelson lost a leadership spill in September 2008. Nelson resigned from Parliament in 2009, triggering a by-election in Bradfield.

The 2009 Bradfield by-election was held in December, and was a contest between the Liberal Party and the Greens, with the ALP declining to stand a candidate, along with a field of twenty other candidates, including nine candidates for the Christian Democratic Party. While the Greens substantially increased their vote, Liberal candidate Paul Fletcher comfortably retained the seat.


Political situation
This seat is very safe for the Liberal Party and Fletcher should win re-election comfortably.

2007 result

Brendan NelsonLIB49,81759.07-3.41
Victoria BrookmanALP22,50926.69+5.11
Susie GemmellGRN9,49511.26+0.01
Witold WiszniewskiCDP1,4661.74+1.45
James TurnbullFF7590.90-0.88
Robert ButlerCEC2850.34+0.34

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

Brendan NelsonLIB53,51263.45-4.10
Victoria BrookmanALP30,81936.55+4.10

Results do not take into consideration effects of the redistribution.

2009 by-election result

Paul FletcherLIB39,81556.40-2.63
Susie GemmellGRN17,79925.20+14.00
Marianne LeishmanSXP2,2993.16+3.16
Simon McCaffreyDLP1,5332.17+2.17
Simon KellyIND1,3591.93+1.93
Bill KoutalianosIND1,1911.69+1.69
James WhitehallCDP1,0541.49
Goronwy PriceCNE7581.07+1.07
Deborah BurtCCC6860.97+0.97
Brian BuckleyIND6180.88+0.86
Lucy GabbLDP5890.83+0.83
Philip DowlingIND5550.79+0.79
Victor WatersonON4490.64+0.64
Peter HanrahanIND4430.63+0.63
Other CDP candidates1,4702.08

2009 two-candidate-preferred result

Paul FletcherLIB45,72564.81
Susie GemmellGRN24,82335.19

Booth breakdown
Bradfield covers most of Ku-ring-gai council area, along with parts of Chatswood in Willoughby council and parts of Hornsby council area. The 2007 map and breakdown uses the results of the 2007 election, redistributed to the 2010 boundaries, while the 2009 by-election figures are based on the by-election, which was conducted on the old boundaries. This is why Chatswood is larger than Hornsby in one set of figures, but is not in the other.

The Liberal Party won a similar overall majority over the ALP in 2007 as they did over the Greens in 2009. Having said that, the ALP and Greens performed better in different areas. In 2007 the ALP won over 48% of the vote in Hornsby. In contrast, the Greens did worse in the Hornsby area in 2009, but better in Chatswood and northern parts of Ku-ring-gai.


Polling booths in Bradfield on 2010 boundaries. Chatswood in blue, South Ku-ring-gai in yellow, North Ku-ring-gai in red, Hornsby in green. The 2007 boundaries used for the 2009 by-election include less booths in Hornsby and more booths in Chatswood.

2007 election breakdown

Voter groupGRN %LIB 2CP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
North Ku-ring-gai10.3870.9425,98138.25
South Ku-ring-gai11.4264.5324,47636.04
Other votes11.3962.6217,882

2009 by-election breakdown

Voter groupLIB 2CP %Total votes% of votes
North Ku-ring-gai67.7024,14933.51
South Ku-ring-gai64.5120,09627.89
Other Votes68.4510,01213.89
Results of the 2007 federal election in Bradfield (after redistribution of boundaries).
Results of the 2009 Bradfield by-election


  1. It wasn’t a bad result in the by-election, but I think, given the troubles the Libs were having at the time, it shows just how blue-riband Liberal this seat is.

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