Gosford – NSW 2019

ALP 0.2%

Incumbent MP
Liesl Tesch, since 2017.

Central Coast. The seat of Gosford covers western parts of the City of Gosford, including the Gosford and Woy Woy areas.

A district with the name ‘Gosford’ has existed since the 1950 election. Prior to that period the southern parts of the Central Coast were combined with a seat covering the Hawkesbury.

The seat was held by the Liberal Party from its creation in 1950 to 1971, when it was won by the ALP.

In 1973, the seat of Gosford was broken into the seats of Gosford and Peats. The seat of Peats is the most immediate predecessor of the current seat of Gosford.

Keith O’Connell, who had won Gosford in 1971, moved to the safer Labor seat of Peats in 1973. O’Connell held the seat until his retirement in 1984.

O’Connell was succeeded in Peats by Paul Landa. Landa had been a Labor member of the Legislative Council since 1973 and had served as a minister in the Labor government since 1976. Landa held the seat for only nine months before his death in December 1984.

The ALP’s Tony Doyle won the 1985 by-election. He was re-elected safely in 1988 and 1991, and held the seat until his death in 1994. No by-election was held due to the impending 1995 election.

In 1995, the ALP’s Marie Andrews won the seat of Peats. She won re-election in 1999 and 2003.

In the lead-up to the 2007 election, the redistribution shifted the boundaries of seats on the Central Coast, moving the centre of Gosford from the original seat of Gosford into Peats. In response the seat of Gosford was renamed ‘Terrigal’ and Peats was renamed ‘Gosford’. Andrews was elected to the newly-renamed Gosford.

In 2011, Marie Andrews retired, and Liberal candidate Chris Holstein won Gosford with a 16.7% swing.

Holstein was defeated in 2015 by Labor’s Kathy Smith, who won the seat by barely 200 votes after a 12.2% swing. Smith resigned from parliament in early 2017 due to illness, and she died shortly after the by-election.

The 2017 by-election was won easily by Labor’s Liesl Tesch.


Gosford was the most marginal Labor seat in the state at the 2015 election, but the 2017 by-election result suggests Labor shouldn’t have trouble winning this seat.

2015 result

Chris Holstein Liberal 20,53542.5-7.6
Kathy Smith Labor 18,65438.7+11.0
Kate Da Costa Greens 4,3469.0-2.9
Jake CassarIndependent2,6985.6+5.6
Andrew ChurchChristian Democrats1,0912.3-1.2
Matthew MaroneyNo Land Tax9381.9+1.9

2015 two-party-preferred result

Kathy Smith Labor 22,02950.2+12.2
Chris Holstein Liberal 21,82649.8-12.2

2017 by-election result

Liesl Tesch Labor 22,93149.5+10.9
Jilly Pilon Liberal 14,20830.7-11.9
Abigail Boyd Greens 3,4547.5-1.5
Larry FreemanShooters, Fishers & Farmers2,3785.1+5.1
Skyla WagstaffAnimal Justice1,8414.0+4.0
Andrew ChurchChristian Democrats1,4753.2+0.9

2017 by-election two-candidate-preferred result

Liesl Tesch Labor 26,44062.5+12.3
Jilly Pilon Liberal 15,85337.5-12.3

Booth breakdown

Booths in Gosford have been split into three parts: north-east, south-east and west. Most of the seat’s population lies in the two urban areas in the east, while ‘west’ covers a large rural areas.

Labor only won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in one of the three areas at the 2015 election., polling 54.5% in the south-east. The Liberal Party polled 51.8% in the north-east and 63.8% in the west.

Labor won a majority in both the north-east (59.6%) and the south-east (68.7%) at the 2017 by-election, while the Liberal Party polled 57.7% in the west.

2015 booth breakdown

Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes46.88,20517.0

2017 by-election booth breakdown

Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes56.14,90410.6

Two-party-preferred votes in Gosford at the 2015 NSW state election

Two-party-preferred votes at the 2017 Gosford by-election

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  1. Ben – please fix Gosford’s positioning on the pendulum to reflect the by election results. Other seats that have had a by election this term (Coota, Murray, Wollongong, Wagga) have their position on the pendulum defined by the by election results. In the case of Gosford, it’s position is based on the 2015 general election results.

  2. Mathew, you are wrong. Only Orange and Wagga Wagga have been changed because they were won by a different party. Cootamundra, Murray and Wollongong all have the 2015 figures on the pendulum. I won’t be changing it.


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