Warrandyte by-election, 2023

Cause of by-election
Sitting Liberal MP Ryan Smith is retiring.

MarginLIB 4.2%

Eastern Melbourne. Warrandyte covers the suburbs of Parkwood, Warrandyte, North Warrandyte, Warrandyte South, Warranwood, Wonga Park and parts of Donvale and Doncaster East. The electorate mostly covers eastern parts of the City of Manningham, as well as the suburb of North Warrandyte on the northern side of the Yarra River in Nillumbik Shire, and small parts of Maroondah and Yarra Ranges council areas.

Warrandyte was created for the 1976 election. It has been won by the Liberal Party at all elections except for two elections in the 1980s when the seat was won by the Labor Party.

Warrandyte was first won in 1976 by the Liberal Party’s Norman Lacy, who had previously won the seat of Ringwood in 1973. He held the seat for two terms, losing in 1982.

The ALP’s Lou Hill won Warrandyte in 1982, and was re-elected in 1985. In 1988 he was defeated by the Liberal Party’s Phil Honeywood.

Honeywood became a Parliamentary Secretary when the Kennett government was elected in 1992, and became a minister when the government was re-elected in 1996. He served as an Opposition frontbencher from 1999 until his retirement in 2006.

Warrandyte was won in 2006 by the Liberal Party’s Ryan Smith. Smith was re-elected four times and retired in 2023.


  • Jack Corcoran (Sustainable Australia)
  • Nicole Werner (Liberal)
  • Greg Cheesman (Freedom Party)
  • Cary De Wit (Democratic Labour)
  • Wai Man Chow (Independent)
  • Morgan Ranieri (Independent)
  • Colleen Bolger (Victorian Socialists)
  • Richard Griffith-Jones (Family First)
  • Philip Jenkins (Independent)
  • Maya Tesa (Independent)
  • Tomas Lightbody (Greens)
  • Alan Menadue (Independent)

Warrandyte is a marginal seat and could be in play if Labor chooses to contest the seat.

2022 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Ryan Smith Liberal 21,344 47.3 -2.3
Naomi Oakley Labor 14,946 33.2 -2.3
Deepak Joshi Greens 5,283 11.7 +1.1
Richard Vernay Family First 1,823 4.0 +4.0
Nicola Rae Animal Justice 1,020 2.3 -1.5
Cynthia Pilli Independent 659 1.5 +1.5
Informal 1,582 3.4

2022 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Ryan Smith Liberal 24,426 54.2 +0.4
Naomi Oakley Labor 20,682 45.8 -0.4

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three areas: east, north and west.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in the east (54.2%) and north (52.9%) while Labor won 50.4% in the west. The Liberal Party also won larger majorities on the special votes, which made up almost two thirds of the total vote.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 10.4% in the west to 17.1% in the north.

Voter group GRN prim LIB 2PP Total votes % of votes
East 13.0 54.2 6,628 14.7
West 10.4 49.6 5,443 12.1
North 17.2 52.9 3,756 8.3
Pre-poll 11.3 54.5 20,737 46.0
Other votes 10.1 56.8 8,555 19.0

Election results in Warrandyte at the 2022 Victorian state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor and the Greens.

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  1. Greens had all the right ingredients to pull off an upset, and they didn’t even come close.

    They did better than other recent no-Labor byelections, but in the total results it seems like no shows, Informal and DLP picked up similar shares of the people who usually vote Labor – the latter can come back as preferences but not the former two.

    It varies by booth – the “Warrandyte” booth is the sort of result Greens would have been hoping for across the electorate, though even there they had a 2CP swing against – so there was no real shift to make it winnable. Then in Doncaster East the Greens barely got a few crumbs of a 43% ALP vote.

    No doubt there will never be a single communication to imply that this byelection was any different from the others despite running a real candidate and some doorknocking.

    The Greens do need media support to say a seat is winnable and that this seat was a 2 horse race, not a one horse race (or a huge and focused QLD style doorknocking campaign to essentially become “the media” in the local area). They didn’t even do that with their own social media (the strongest they’d go is “without Labor running, anything can happen”), though they did more than e.g. Aston. Even as a Greens supporter I couldn’t name the key issues they were campaigning on. So not exactly top form from Greens and maybe a different campaign would have actually turned out the way Ian and I thought it would.

    But perhaps more than before, the Greens as they stand now aren’t in a position to get “why not” votes (like e.g. the teals) and they’re even losing to the Liberals on minor party preferences. Antipathy between the two parties is going to make it harder for regular ALP voters to vote 1 Green. In return they didn’t seem to have been able to convince voters they’re better positioned to hold the Andrews government accountable than the Liberals, and that may not just be a campaign fault.

    Really thinking the Greens brand is doing more harm than good in most parts of the country and Deputy Mayor Lightbody would have done better as an independent.

    This may be fine for them though – they’re not close to getting a 2nd senate seat in any state or LC region (except maybe North Metro), so the goal is to win target seats one at a time (Warrandyte isn’t one of them) before they can make a play for anything bigger. The view that Greens should do little more than fly the flag at byelections will probably get even more traction after tonight.

    Still if Greens want to flip federal Liberal held seats like Casey or Sturt, they will need to do a proper post-mortem of this campaign.

  2. No, The greens never had a chance. Why would people vote for a party that has a man in their party that looks like a child who is throwing temper tantrums all because he doesn’t get his way on the Australian housing fund?

    The only people who support the Greens left-wing housing positions like rent freezes (which is unrealistic and would blow the economy) are left-wing voters who most likely already support the Greens or other socialist parties, Not green-conservative or soft Labor voters who are open to voting for the greens, these voters are turned away and are less likely to vote for the greens because of stuff like this.

    Also not to mention their culture wars they are starting such as a Greens NSW senator saying she couldn’t mourn the queen, are just more examples of everything the Australian public needs to know about the Greens.

    Big win for Pesutto, solidifies his position and will stay on until the next election which I predict will be highly competitive as long as Andrews remains as our premier.

  3. Daniel T continues to pass off his opinions as political fact.

    Anyway, the accounts I heard suggested the Banyule branch of the Greens, the ones responsible for this campaign, didn’t give Lightbody enough support because they were busy fighting one another. They need to sort their internal affairs out and start singing from the same hymn sheet if they want to gain a decent vote.

  4. In Warrandyte there were three candidates that polled less than 150 votes. What drives a person to do go on what is essentially a financial suicide mission? Conceit? The desire to get google views?

  5. @Redistributed One of the candidates, I think Maya Tesa, mentioned she funded her campaign through remortgaging her home. Surely you can’t make a more financially idiotic choice then that, especially since she already has contested 3 elections, all in random unrelated places.

  6. Yeah, I just saw it on Maya Tesa’s social media post – she took money from her mortgage to fund her campaign. She’s in it as a perennial candidate to make her views heard. Maybe there are other independents who are just bored and have cash to burn.

  7. if labor ran here they would of lost either way. a labor win would cost pesutto his leadership and andrews likes him where he is. a liberal victory would prove labors going backwards. the only real choice was not to run and why waste resources?

  8. when will this be removed from ”election guides” we are a month later now lol.

    But in conclusion. this is a big win for the opposition leader, The member for Berwick or Caulfield will not take over the leadership, I don’t don’t see it as it would be electoral suicide.


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