IND 16.6% vs ALP
Clover Moore, since 2007. Previously Member for Bligh 1988-2007.
Central Sydney. The seat of Sydney mainly covers parts of the City of Sydney, as well as parts of the neighbouring Woollahra and Randwick local government areas. It covers the Sydney CBD and the suburbs of Pyrmont, Ultimo, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Potts Point, Woolloomooloo, Paddington and Woollahra.
The current electoral district of Sydney was only created in 2007, replacing the abolished seat of Bligh.
The original Legislative Assembly had four members elected representing the City of Sydney. In 1859 the seat was split into the two districts of East Sydney and West Sydney. Each district elected four members, and were the most prestigious districts in the colony. Leading political figures would contest these seats, and if they failed to win them, they would then move on to another district, as elections were not all held on the same day.
The 1894 election was the first where all MLAs were elected in single-member districts. The former multi-member districts of South Sydney, East Sydney and West Sydney were broken up into ten districts, all of which had “Sydney” in their name, along with the name of a significant figure in early NSW (Bligh, Phillip, Cook, Gipps, Lang, Flinders, Fitzroy, Denison).
From 1904, the word “Sydney” was dropped, but there continued to be numerous seats in the area now covered by Sydney. The 1904 seats included Pyrmont, Darling Harbour, Surry Hills, Belmore, Darlinghurst, Paddington and King (which covered the CBD itself).
Throughout this period, most of these seats reliably elected Labor candidates. In 1920, the multi-member district of Sydney was created, covering a similar area as the current seat, stretching from Pyrmont/Ultimo to Paddington. The seat elected a majority of Labor MPs for all three elections, but it was abolished in 1927, being replaced by a number of inner-city seats.
By the 1970s, the area only included three seats. The seat of King covered the CBD and stretched west to cover Glebe and Newtown. The seat of Phillip stretched from Surry Hills to Rosebery. The seat of Bligh covered Paddington and Kings Cross.
The 1973 election reduced the number of seats to two. King was abolished, and Phillip moved up to cover Redfern, Glebe, Ultimo and the city centre.
For the 1981, election, Phillip was renamed Elizabeth, and Bligh shifted closer to the city centre. The new boundaries saw the ALP’s Fred Miller win Bligh. He only held it for one term, losing in 1984 to the Liberal Party’s Michael Yabsley.
In 1988, Yabsley was challenged in Bligh by City of Sydney councillor Clover Moore. She had been elected to South Sydney Council in 1980. The council was merged with the City of Sydney in 1981, and she was elected to the new council. Moore was the favourite to win the next Lord Mayoral election when the ALP state government sacked the City of Sydney council in 1987. She then decided to run for the seat of Bligh as an independent, and defeated the sitting member Yabsley.
Not long after the 1988 election, Liberal Member for Vaucluse Ray Aston died, and Yabsley won his seat at the following by-election. He immediately became a minister in the Coalition government. He moved to the backbench in 1992 and resigned in 1994.
Meanwhile, in 1988 the seat covering the CBD and western parts of the City of Sydney was again renamed as McKell. This seat, whatever the name, had been held by the ALP continuously for decades. The seat of Phillip had been won in 1954 by Lord Mayor of Sydney Pat Hills. He became a minister in 1959, and Deputy Premier in 1964. He served as Leader of the Opposition from 1968 until 1973, when he was succeeded by Neville Wran. When Phillip was renamed Elizabeth in 1981 he won the new seat, and retired in 1988.
The again-renamed seat of McKell was won by Sandra Nori, also of the ALP. In 1991, McKell was merged with Balmain to form the new seat of Port Jackson, which stretched from Leichhardt and Balmain to Potts Point and Woolloomooloo. Nori held the seat from 1991 until her retirement in 2007. She served as a minister from 1999 to 2007.
Clover Moore continued to win Bligh throughout the 1990s. In the 1991 parliament she was a number of independent MPs to support the Coalition government in minority. She won re-election in 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003.
In 2004, the ALP state government merged the City of Sydney and the City of South Sydney together just before the local government elections, much as they had done 23 years earlier. The ALP expected that strong Labor-voting areas in South Sydney would allow Labor to gain control of Sydney Town Hall, and ran former federal minister Michael Lee. Clover Moore ran for Lord Mayor and won a solid victory, with a number of her supporters elected to the City of Sydney council. She won re-election in 2008.
The 2007 redistribution redrew the central Sydney electorates substantially. Port Jackson was split between the seat of Balmain, which covered everything west of Glebe, and the seat of Sydney. Sydney covers the city centre and much of Moore’s former seat of Bligh. Cr Moore moved to the new seat, and won re-election for a sixth term in the Legislative Assembly with relative ease.
- Sacha Blumen(Labor)
- Peter Madden (Christian Democratic Party)
- Andrew Patterson (Independent)
- De Brierley Newton (Greens)
- Victor Shen (Fishing Party)
- Adrian Bartels (Liberal)
- Clover Moore (Independent)
Clover Moore’s hold on the seat of Sydney is very solid. The more interesting contest may be for second place. In 2007, the Liberal Party came second on primary votes, but the ALP overtook them on preferences to come second at the end of the count. In the current climate, the ALP will struggle to maintain this position, and will likely lose votes in all directions. The Greens should also perform more strongly, both due to the ALP’s collapse, and because Clover Moore’s popularity has weakened after seven years in power. This seat is very strong for the Greens in the Legislative Council, and they will be looking to challenge Moore’s hold on the seat.
2007 two-candidate-preferred result
Booths in Sydney have been divided into four areas. Most booths lie in the east of the seat, around one of three suburbs: Surry Hills, Darlinghurst or Paddington. Booths have been divided into these three areas. The remainder of the seat, including the CBD, Pyrmont and Ultimo, has been grouped as “Sydney”.
Independent Clover Moore came first in all areas. Her best results came in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, with over 45%. She polled just under 40% in Paddington and just under 35% in Sydney. The Liberal Party polled almost 30% in Paddington. The worst Liberal result was 11.7% in Surry Hills. The ALP’s best result was 25% in Sydney, and the worst was 15% in Paddington. The Greens vote peaked at 17.2% in Surry Hills.
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