Summer Hill – NSW 2019

ALP 10.5% vs GRN

Incumbent MP
Jo Haylen, since 2015.

Inner west of Sydney. Summer Hill covers the suburbs of Ashbury, Ashfield, Dulwich Hill, Haberfield, Summer Hill and parts of Lewisham, Marrickville and Petersham. The seat covers most of the Ashfield council area and about half of the Marrickville council area, along with a small part of the City of Canterbury.

The seat of Summer Hill was created in 2015, mostly replacing the former seat of Marrickville.

There has been an electoral district named Marrickville since 1894, with the exception of three elections in the 1920s when the seat was merged into the multi-member district of Western Suburbs. The seat continuously elected Labor members from 1910 until it was abolished in 2015.

The original district of Marrickville covered a smaller area, with the other seats of Newtown-Camperdown, Petersham, Darlington, Newtown-Erskine and Newtown-St Peters covering parts of the modern seat.

The seat was won in 1917 by the ALP’s Carlo Lazzarini, who defeated Thomas Crawford, a former Labor member who had joined the Nationalists over the issue of conscription.

In 1920 Lazzarini moved to the multi-member district of Western Suburbs. He briefly served as a minister from 1921 to 1922, and in 1927 he returned to the seat of Marrickville.

Lazzarini was opposed to Jack Lang’s leadership of the NSW Labor Party, and he was expelled from the ALP in 1936. He rejoined in 1937, but later joined the dissident Industrial Labor Party. Following Lang’s departure he served as an assistant minister in the new Labor state government from 1941 to 1944. He held Marrickville until his death in 1952.

Marrickville was won at the February 1953 election by the Mayor of Marrickville, Norm Ryan. He served as a minister in the state Labor government from 1959 to 1965, and retired in 1973.

Ryan stepped aside in 1973 in favour of Tom Cahill. The son of NSW Premier Joseph Cahill, Tom had won his father’s seat of Cook’s River after his father’s death in 1959. Cook’s River was abolished at the 1973 election, and he moved to Marrickville. He held that seat until his death in 1983.

The 1983 by-election was won by Andrew Refshauge. Following the ALP’s election defeat in 1988 he was elected Deputy Leader. He served in this role until 2005. Refshauge became Deputy Premier when the ALP gained power in 1995. He served in a variety of ministerial roles over the next decade.

In 1995, the Liberal Party was pushed into third place behind the No Aircraft Noise party, who polled over 23% of the primary vote. The Greens came second after preferences in 1999, and the Liberals have never again come in the top two in Marrickville.

When Premier Bob Carr announced his retirement in 2005, Refshauge also announced his retirement, along with senior minister Craig Knowles. The Marrickville by-election was held alongside by-elections in Maroubra and Macquarie Fields.

The ALP ran Carmel Tebbutt, a former Marrickville councillor who had been a Member of the Legislative Council since 1998 and a minister since 1999. The Greens ran Deputy Mayor of Marrickville, Sam Byrne. The ALP’s 10.7% margin was cut to 5.1% in the by-election.

Tebbutt was re-elected in 2007, winning with a 7.5% margin over the Greens, less than in the 2003 election, but more than in the 2005 by-election. Tebbutt served as Labor deputy leader and Deputy Premier from 2008 to 2011.

At the 2011 election, Tebbutt again faced strong opposition from the Greens. Her margin was cut to 0.9%.

Tebbutt retired in 2015. The redrawn seat of Summer Hill was won by Labor candidate Jo Haylen.


  • Leo Wei (Liberal)
  • Andrea Makris (Keep Sydney Open)
  • Teresa Romanovsky (Animal Justice)
  • Dale Sinden (Sustainable Australia)
  • Tom Raue (Greens)
  • Jo Haylen (Labor)
  • Assessment
    Summer Hill is a reasonably safe Labor seat, although a surge in support for the Greens could imperil Labor’s position.

    2015 result

    Jo Haylen Labor 20,37043.3+1.5
    Max Phillips Greens 12,85627.3+3.0
    Julie Passas Liberal 11,21623.8-4.4
    Don TaurielloNo Land Tax8551.8+1.8
    Kylie FrenchChristian Democrats7991.7-0.3
    Susan PriceSocialist Alliance6941.5+1.5
    James CoganIndependent2870.6+0.6

    2015 two-candidate-preferred result

    Jo Haylen Labor 22,14860.5-2.1
    Max Phillips Greens 14,44039.5+2.1

    2015 two-party-preferred result

    Jo Haylen Labor 28,60870.1+7.5
    Julie Passas Liberal 12,18329.9-7.5

    Booth breakdown

    Booths in Summer Hill have been split into four parts, based on the major centres of the electorate: Ashfield, Dulwich Hill, Haberfield and Marrickville.

    Labor won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote (against the Greens) in all four areas, ranging from 59% in Haberfield to 62% in Ashfield.

    The Liberal Party came third, with a primary vote ranging from 16.3% in Marrickville to 34.6% in Haberfield.

    Voter groupLIB prim %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
    Dulwich Hill18.859.66,63714.1
    Other votes24.655.99,45520.1

    Election results in Summer Hill at the 2015 NSW state election
    Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (Labor vs Greens) and Liberal primary votes.

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    1. Carmel Tebbutt is Anthony Albanese’s wife, correct?

      Ben, just curious so I have to ask, is the Greens candidate any relation?

    2. Carmel Tebbutt is indeed Albanese’s wife.

      I know there was substantial redrawing but I kind of think it was a mistake to lose the name Marrickville. It is a good bit of metonymy for the seat in a way Summer Hill just isn’t (surely Summer Hill wouldn’t even be in the top 3 most recognisable suburb names in the seat, it’d be like if they had decided to name Newtown Stanmore instead) plus it still makes up a huge portion of the seat’s area. SH is kind of in the geographic centre, sure, but come the next redistribution it may well not be. It’s one of a few seats I’d like to see renamed next time.

    3. Labor’s Jo Haylen will win this in a canter. I can’t predict whether the Greens or the Coaltion will come in second.

    4. Labor has indeed made a miscalculation on the metro – it’s a bit weird to say to Dulwich Hill and elsewhere “We won’t upgrade your public transport – we’ll keep it exactly as it is, so you lot can stay in your cars.” But that’s exactly what “progressive” Labor has done here in order to out-Nimby the Greens. Who are not only opposed to this metro, but all metros across the metropolitan area.

      Locally, both parties are quite cynically running a fear campaign about the line conversion – the fear of change often found amongst elderly and conservative voters. They’re hoping to attract anyone who has a stake in the status quo too. That includes a whole lot of retirees and sitting pretty baby boomer property owners who’ve gotten rich off the back of property scarcity in these conveniently located and increasingly fashionable suburbs.

      Last election the Libs ran a high profile but divisive candidate (Julie Passas). They’ve made a safer choice this time, but I’m not close enough to the ground here to call this one… The metro issue may bite, but where will those voters go? I suspect little change…

    5. It seems the Greens have not even made the final 2 here.

      ABC projecting a Labor vs Liberal 2PP final cut.

    6. Greens scored a -7.3% swing, according to the ABC. Given the strength of the Greens vote in neighbouring Newtown and Balmain, their dramatic decline heres seems a bit of a puzzle. Two theories:

      (1) The only local media exposure the Greens candidate got was when he stood next to David Shoebridge and advocated the legalisation of cannabis and MDMA. Their suggestion was that local pharmacies could sell festival and party-goers their ecstasy – a brain snap if ever there was one… The News Ltd owned IWCourier didn’t beat this story up in the tabloid the way the Tele once would have (and they can’t be bothered anymore, they had bigger fish to fry), the local paper just reported it straight. Some in the Greens may imagine this is a vote-winner, but (gut feeling only) they may also be very, very mistaken… Numbers don’t lie, that’s a big minus, beating the state-wide decline in the Greens vote by a full 6.5%

      (2) Jo Haylen ran a highly negative, Nimby-ish campaign on development – basically she seem to be against everything, even a major public transport upgrade (the Bankstown metro). So her higher profile took the wind out of the sails of the Greens, who normally dominate this crotchety “get off my patch” space. She certainly proved to be a highly visible campaigner on the issue, and very, very grumpy…

      One more observation: Labor scored one of their rare positive swings here, so one thing Summer Hill’s gentrifiers don’t seem to mind is Michael “Asians are taking our jobs” Daley’s overt racism… Jo Haylen was one of the Labor MPs reported to be most worried by his remarks (Ashfield still has a large Chinese community), but it appears she didn’t have to be…


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