Miranda by-election, 2013

This profile was written in advance of the by-election. Click here to view election-night results.

October 19, 2013

Cause of by-election
Graham Annesley, Liberal member for Miranda since 2011 and Minister for Sport and Recreation in the first O’Farrell ministry, resigned in August 2013 to take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Gold Coast Titans NRL team.

Read the profile for the seat of Miranda at the 2011 state election.

Margin – LIB 21.0%

Southern Sydney. Miranda covers suburbs in Sutherland Shire, including Miranda, Gymea, Kirrawee, Sylvania and Como.

Boundaries of the electorate of Miranda at the 2013 by-election (in white) and boundaries for the 2015 election (red line).
Boundaries of the electorate of Miranda at the 2013 by-election (in white) and boundaries for the 2015 election (red line).

Miranda has been significantly redrawn for the 2015 election, switching from a north-south axis to an east-west axis. The seat expands to the east to gain Sylvania Waters and Taren Point and to the west to gain Alfords Point and Illawong, losing Gymea Bay, Grays Point and other southern parts of the electorate. This is expected to increase the Liberal margin from 21% to 23%.

These redistributed boundaries will not take affect at this by-election, which will be fought on the old boundaries.

Miranda was first created for the 1971 election. It has been a key marginal seat, and has been won by the party that won government at all but three elections.

The seat was first won in 1971 by the Liberal Party’s Tim Walker. Walker was a former newsagent who had won the seat of Sutherland in 1968. Sutherland was abolished in 1968 and Walker moved to the new seat of Miranda.

Walker was defeated in 1978 by the ALP’s Bill Robb. The 1978 election was a landslide for Labor Premier Neville Wran, who had won power narrowly in 1976. Robb was re-elected in 1981, but in 1984 was defeated by the Liberal Party’s Ron Phillips.

The Liberal Party regained power in 1988, and Phillips served as a minister in the Liberal government from 1991 to 1995. He served as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party after the party lost power in 1995 until he lost his seat in 1999.

The ALP’s Barry Collier defeated Phillips in 1999, and he won re-election in 2003 and 2007.

At the 2011 election, Graham Annesley won the seat for the Liberal Party after coming close in 2007. Miranda saw a 21.8% swing to the Liberal Party: only 14 other electorates saw bigger swings to the Coalition.

The Liberal Party is running Brett Thomas, a former Sutherland Shire councillor and candidate for Menai in 1999 and 2003. The ALP’s Barry Collier held the seat for three terms from 1999 until his retirement in 2011.

  • Murray Scott (Greens)
  • Lisa Walter (Independent)
  • Barry Collier (Labor)
  • George Capsis (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Brett Thomas (Liberal)
  • John Brett (Independent)

The Liberal Party should comfortably retain Miranda. The seat was strongly Liberal prior to the 1999 state election, and a 21% margin should allow them to win comfortably.

The ALP suffered extreme swings well over 20% in many booths at the 2011 state election. The main reason to watch this by-election is to see if the ALP has managed to achieve any recovery off its dismal 2011 result.

2011 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Graham Annesley LIB 26,662 60.7 +18.3
Therese Cook ALP 9,770 22.3 -20.5
Naomi Waizer GRN 3,853 8.8 +2.1
John Brett IND 2,074 4.7 +3.1
Ern Hemmings CDP 1,549 1.6 -0.4

2011 two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Graham Annesley LIB 28,395 71.0 +21.8
Therese Cook ALP 11,598 29.0 -21.8
Polling booths in Miranda at the 2011 NSW state election. Como in blue, Gymea in orange, Kirrawee in green, Sylvania in yellow. Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Miranda at the 2011 NSW state election. Como in blue, Gymea in orange, Kirrawee in green, Sylvania in yellow. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths in Miranda have been divided into four areas: Como in the northwest of the seat, Sylvania in the northeast, Gymea in the southeast and Kirrawee in the southwest.

This booth breakdown is similar to that in the pre-election guide produced in 2011.

In 2007, the ALP had won slim majorities in Gymea, Como and Kirrawee, with the Liberal Party winning in Sylvania.

The 2011 election produced a very different result. The Liberal Party won huge majorities in all four areas, ranging from 68.3% in Como to 74% in Sylvania.

The swing to the Liberal Party ranged from 20% in Sylvania and Como to 23.7% in Gymea.

Voter group GRN % LIB 2PP % LIB swing % Total votes % of votes
Gymea 8.94 70.70 23.65 13,000 29.61
Sylvania 7.29 73.95 20.04 9,518 21.68
Como 12.03 68.33 20.19 5,588 12.73
Kirrawee 8.24 69.03 21.66 5,375 12.24
Other votes 8.46 71.07 21.69 10,427 23.75
Two-party-preferred votes in Miranda at the 2011 NSW state election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Miranda at the 2011 NSW state election.
Two-party-preferred swings in Miranda at the 2011 NSW state election.
Two-party-preferred swings in Miranda at the 2011 NSW state election.


  1. No chance here for the ALP. Very week opposition lead by a very weak leader. I will be surprised if they claw back anything from the damage done in 2010.

  2. Any liberal will tell you that Barry Collier is labors greatest weapon. A seat like this rarely falls to the labor party but it fell to Barry. He had a strong personal vote and is the strongest candidate in this by-election. It’s probably too difficult to win for labor but given the liberal cuts to cronulla fishery, the nature of graham retiring and the fact that this wont change the government, labor is in a strong position to easily record a double digit swing. While I think the libs will retain this, wouldn’t be surprised if labor won given the unpopular sky rise developments in the area and the controversy surrounding Kent johns

  3. ohhh….. also the Libs have 10/15 on Sutherland council…….. see smh articles ……. they are not
    favourable to them…………20% is a huge margin…..but could suprise

  4. Libs to hold easily, but there will be a swing to Labor largely based on people punishing the incumbant party for making them go back to the polls.

    A weak Labor candidate in 2011 and a familiar and well-liked one now will be worth a few points for Labor, plus the new Lib candidate lacks a significant public profile, which Annesley had. I’ll guess Lib 51%, ALP 30%, Greens 9%, Others 10% for a comfortable win. I will also guess a record low turnout and barely any news coverage.

    It will be interesting whether Green votes flow to Labor at a higher level than at the state election and also how whether Robertson can get some momentum as we get closer to 2015.

  5. Its also worth noteing that the entire liberal circus mob have been out to Miranda even if they have no connection at all to the area (member for Hornsby campaigining there). Also Barry Collier has a higher profile then Brett Thomas and has a huge personal vote

  6. I agree with Observer.

    Labor will win Miranda just like they won Robertson, Dobell, Corangamite, Forde, Gilmore, Brisbane, Hindmarsh, Latrobe, Lindsay, and Solomon……….

  7. What about the “internal polling” that was commented on here that said Greenway, Kingsford Smith, Moreton, Lilley, Lingiari, Werriwa, Adelaide, McMahon, Griffith, Wakefield and Newcastle would all fall to the coalition.

    MDM, you don’t seem to realise what a by-election is do you? Whoever wins, it won’t affect the government, its a free kick to try and get the government focussing on the area. No incumbent, Barry’s back, disgraceful way to go back to the polls, inflated margins, overdevelopment in the area aswell as closure of the cronulla fishery.

    I haven’t said this will fall at all to labor, its probably more likely to stay with the liberals. All I’m saying is that 21% can be chipped away and that we shouldn’t be surprised if the swing is large and not a modest swing to labor

  8. people are given a chance to lodge a protest vote without causing a govt change…… could
    surprise with a BIG swing

  9. Liberals have ignored Sutherland Shire. 10 years of promises as opposition to upgrade the Princes Highway, then when Miranda is in the bag, switch funding to S.W. Sydney, to win marginal Labour seats. Kirawee is a parking lot, at peak hour. Money now going to widening M5. Happy to see the self indulgent Annesley go. Send politicians a message that millions spent on a by election is not okay. Politicians must sit their term, unless for health reasons. Vote labor and send politicians and liberals a message. Don’t take Sutherland for granted. A labor win won’t change government, but if Labor hold Miranda at the next state election, maybe we will not be taken for granted.

  10. $1.25/$3.50 now. If Collier wins, the swing will be of Penrith by-election proportions.

    I’ll be interested to follow this now.

  11. Depends on how the campaign is run Observer. If O’Farrell is down there every second day pitching himself over Robertson rather than candidate versus candidate, then he has a good chance to hold.

    Leaders matter in every election.

  12. Not by-elections balmain, they annoy people they are out to voice anger at the government. Keneally was preferred premier during the Penrith one and labor got thrashed, same will happen in Miranda, it’s a horrible reason for voters to go back just pathetic and locals are going to back Barry collier because he’s local, the better candidate and it won’t effect the government numbers

  13. It’s naive to think this by-election is remotely comparable to Penrith. The Liberal member is retiring to run a football club, not because of a ICAC corruption investigation as in the Penrith by-election.

    It’s also incredibly naive to think O’Farrell’s popularity as preferred Premier will not have an impact here. To flip a 20% margin Labor need significantly more than just public annoyance at going back to the polls.

  14. The liberal member who has been the candidate since 2007 is saying after two years, stuff you guys I don’t wanna do this job anymore and further I don’t want to live in the community. Really really bad message people are getting from this retirement, it’s worse because it is by choice and its saying stuff you to the community.

    This has been a tightly run local campaign with overdevelopment and local factors playing a main role with leaders being a minor thought especially in an electorate like Miranda. Liberal polling says labor is more then capable of Turing it around but any double digit swing will be more then embarrassing for the O’Farrel government

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