Wentworth – Australia 2022

LIB 1.3% vs IND

Incumbent MP
Dave Sharma, since 2019.

Geography
Eastern suburbs of Sydney. Wentworth covers Woollahra and Waverley local government areas, as well as eastern parts of the City of Sydney and northern parts of Randwick LGA. Wentworth covers the southern shore of Sydney Harbour as far west as Elizabeth Bay, and covers the east coast from South Head to Clovelly. Main suburbs include Bondi, Woollahra, Vaucluse, Double Bay, Kings Cross and parts of Randwick, Darlinghurst and Clovelly. Wentworth also covers Moore Park and Centennial Park.

History
Wentworth is an original federation electorate and has always existed roughly in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. It has been held by conservative parties, including the Liberal Party since its foundation in 1944, except for a brief period in 2018-19 when it was won by an independent.

The seat was first won by William McMillan of the Free Trade party in 1901. He was elected deputy leader of his party but retired at the 1903 election. He was succeeded by William Kelly, also a Free Trader. Kelly joined the Commonwealth Liberal Party and served in Joseph Cook’s ministry from 1913 to 1914.

Kelly retired in 1919 as a Nationalist and was succeeded by Walter Marks. Marks joined with other Nationalists, including Billy Hughes, to bring down the Bruce government in 1929, and was reelected as an independent. Marks joined the new United Australia Party in 1931, but was defeated in that year’s election by Eric Harrison, another UAP candidate.

Harrison held the seat for twenty-five years for the UAP and the Liberal Party. He usually held the seat safely, although he only held on by 335 votes in 1943, when feminist campaigner Jessie Street (ALP) challenged Harrison. William Wentworth also polled 20%. He later joined the Liberal Party and was elected in Mackellar in 1949.

Harrison had served a number of brief stints as a minister under Joseph Lyons and Robert Menzies in the 1930s and early 1940s, and served as the first deputy leader of the Liberal Party from its foundation until his retirement in 1956. Harrison was a minister in the Menzies government from 1949 until 1956, when he retired.

Les Bury (LIB) won the seat at the 1956 by-election. He served as a minister from 1961 until 1971, serving as Treasurer under John Gorton and briefly as Treasurer and then Foreign Minister under William McMahon. Bury retired in 1974.

Robert Ellicott (LIB) was elected in 1974. He served as Attorney-General in the first Fraser Ministry and as Minister for Home Affairs from 1977 to 1981, when he resigned to serve on the Federal Court. The ensuing by-election was won by Peter Coleman. Coleman had previously served as Leader of the Opposition in the NSW Parliament, and lost his seat at the 1978 state election.

Coleman retired in 1987 and was succeeded by John Hewson. Hewson was elected leader of the Liberal Party following their 1990 election defeat. Hewson led the party into the 1993 election, where the party went backwards. He was replaced in May 1994 as leader by Alexander Downer, and he retired from Parliament in 1995.

Andrew Thomson won the following by-election. Thomson served briefly as a Parliamentary Secretary and junior minister in the first term of the Howard government. Thomson was defeated for preselection by Peter King in 2001.

King himself was defeated for preselection in a heated preselection campaign in 2004 by Malcolm Turnbull. The preselection saw a massive explosion in membership numbers for the Liberal Party in Wentworth. King ran as an independent and polled 18%, and Turnbull’s margin was cut to 5.5%.

The redistribution after the 2004 election saw Wentworth extended deeper into the City of Sydney, and Turnbull’s margin was cut to 2.5%. Turnbull managed to win the seat in 2007 with a 1.3% swing towards him, in the face of a national swing against the Liberals.

Turnbull had served as a minister in the final term of the Howard government, and ran for the Liberal leadership following the 2007 election, losing to Brendan Nelson. After serving as Nelson’s Shadow Treasurer he was elected Leader of the Opposition in September 2008. After a rocky term as Leader of the Opposition, Turnbull was defeated by Tony Abbott by one vote in another leadership vote in December 2009. Turnbull served as a shadow minister and then as Minister for Communications under Tony Abbott’s leadership.

In September 2015, Turnbull successfully challenged Abbott for the Liberal leadership, and became Prime Minister. He led the Liberal-National coalition to a second term in government in 2016.

Malcolm Turnbull led the Liberal Party in government until August 2018, when he resigned following a motion to spill the Liberal leadership. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by Scott Morrison. Turnbull resigned from Wentworth shortly after losing the leadership.

The 2018 Wentworth by-election was won by independent candidate Kerryn Phelps. Phelps held the seat until the 2019 election, when she was defeated by Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.

Candidates

Assessment
Wentworth has traditionally been a safe Liberal seat, although the margin was cut to the bone when Malcolm Turnbull first won the seat.

Sharma appears to be facing a serious threat from independent Allegra Spender, who could well win the seat.

2019 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Dave Sharma Liberal 42,57547.4-14.8
Kerryn PhelpsIndependent29,10932.4+32.4
Tim Murray Labor 9,82410.9-6.8
Dominic Wy Kanak Greens 6,7597.5-7.3
Michael John BloomfieldUnited Australia Party6250.7+0.7
Matthew Drake-BrockmanIndependent5160.6+0.6
Paul TreacyChristian Democratic Party3460.4-0.7
Informal2,7713.0-2.1

2019 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Dave Sharma Liberal 46,05051.3+51.3
Kerryn PhelpsIndependent43,70448.7+48.7

2019 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Dave Sharma Liberal 53,71659.8-7.9
Tim Murray Labor 36,03840.2+7.9

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three parts: Bondi-Waverley (the beach), Paddington (the city) and Vaucluse (the harbour).

The Liberal Party won a large 62.1% majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote in Vaucluse while Phelps won narrower majorities of 56.5% in Bondi-Waverley and 53% in Paddington.

Voter groupALP prim %LIB 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Bondi-Waverley13.643.522,44325.0
Paddington11.047.014,86416.6
Vaucluse6.162.110,88012.1
Pre-poll10.852.928,28531.5
Other votes10.657.013,28214.8

Election results in Wentworth at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes, two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the independent candidate Kerryn Phelps, the Liberal Party, and Labor.

Become a Patron!

48 COMMENTS

  1. Liberal Retain. Likley increased margin

    I’d be interested to see where the Kerryn Phelps first preference voters of 32.4% go. Mostly back to Dave Sharma or another Independent candidate who runs. A strong Green candidate or a Labor candidate with the right messaging for Wentworth voters would also poll well.

  2. Probably going to be at least one independent that’s an actual contender. Phelps may recontest and Malcolm Turnbull, John Hewson or Peter King may also want their old seat back. Turnbull (or his son) would love the profile.
    Phelps being a “high profile independent” was a media construction and they can do it again. The campaign strategy is easy. In addition to COVID woes, Sharma’s moderate image is easy to debunk with his voting record, and Zali in Warringah can be the comparison.

    Without an independent. I see Greens featuring heavily. David Shoebridge is the Greens senate candidate and he got his start in the area – he’ll be looking for votes here. They’ll be hot off the heels of council elections, and Greens do quite well in both Woollahra and Waverley councils.

    Sharma would beat Labor or the Greens and he’s probably safe in most other scenarios, but hard to say how something like Sharma vs Turnbull would go.

  3. In the absence of a high profile independent, this seat should revert to Sharma winning with about 55% of the vote, maybe more depending on what level of personal vote he can build up. (55% is what the Coalition got on Senate 3PP last time, so I think it’s the baseline here.)

  4. Word is that there will be a high profile independent running, and it’s likely the campaign will be managed by the person who ran Zali Steggal’s campaign (and Kerryn Phelps by-election campaign). Could be interesting.

  5. While a good progressive Independent could make this seat interesting, Sharma will likely consolidate his position. Phelps ran a textbook campaign as the high profile incumbent with a lot of resources, a strong track record and a big presence and still lost in 2019. (Disclaimer: I volunteered for her last time, so may still have PTSD) Sharma has chipped away with local community groups over the last three years. He also is very networked with big donors and will have lots of money to use in his campaign. Sharma is much more moderate than Abbott, so tempting comparisons with Zali and Warringah aren’t relevant in this seat. North Sydney is a more relevant comparison, where another moderate Lib has consolidated a high income inner metro seat. I know it’s a well versed subject, but house prices keep rising at a rapid pace and putting more Lib-leaning voters into this area. While many talk a big game about climate change, economic issues and the prospect of a Labor Govt always win the day with the SUV crowd. The long term increase in the Liberal vote in places like Paddington, Bondi Junction and Bondi, all areas where Labor used to beat the Libs in the early 2000s, will make the mountain harder and harder to scale.

  6. There is media coverage today suggesting that Allegra Spender might run for the Wentworth Independents group. While sympathetic to the cause, I don’t think her candidacy would change my assessment above. I’ve had excited messages from fellow travellers this morning, but I just don’t get what the thinking is in terms of a plan to win. Sharma secured 47.5% of the vote in 2019. So the only way Spender (or another Independent) wins is if they convince at least 2.5k people who voted Liberal in 2019 to switch this time around while holding onto every single voter Phelps secured – a very big ask. Sharma has had three years to dig himself in and is furiously messaging on net zero, something he couldn’t do in 2019. If they didn’t vote for Phelps, who had incumbency and a strong track record, what makes people think they will move over this time around?

  7. Sharma is not safe if the right candidate pops up to dislodge him but nobody seems to be running against him. Phelps has already ruled it out I believe and I doubt Alex Turnbull or any of the other Turnbull’s will give this a crack. (Despite the criticism of his party Malcolm Turnbull still has very high respects for his Liberal successor)

    Labor could win this if they are going for a landslide as this was marginal in 2004 and 2007 and that was with Turnbull at helm but this isn’t a Blue-Ribbon seat it once was. Turnbull clearly had 5-10% personal support. Don’t look at state figures because state elections are different to federal ones so looking at Vaucluse doesn’t give you a clear picture of where this will go.

    I agree Sharma will hold but not because him or his party is popular here. I believe they are distasted here but the lack of opposition means he will win again but it is still highly unlikely it will become a safe seat. Perhaps 55-45 LIB vs ALP after the election.

  8. The Coalition’s net zero plan is basically a fraud, the religious freedom bill would be very unpopular in an electorate that voted 80% in favour of same sex marriage, and the Coalition’s intransigence on ICAC is indefensible whether you’re campaigning in Grayndler or Maranoa. An organised and motivated independent campaign could hammer Sharma on all those and other issues regardless of how ‘moderate’ he claims to be. It’s just a matter of whether that organisation comes together in time. Clock’s ticking.

  9. Does anybody think there may be a possibility that Malcolm Turnbull could burst out and form a new ‘liberal’ – note the small ‘l’ – party before the election? He could sweep up a few of the Liberal moderates – Sharma, Allen, Evans, Zimmerman as well as Steggall, Haines, Sharkie, Griff and Rex Patrick. He has the profile, a track record and most importantly the money – and could pull in Simon Holmes a Court’s stuff as well. He is 67 – not young by our political terms but a wee stripling in the US!! It would liven things up and there seems to be no great enthusiasm for an Albo led ALP.

  10. Redistributed, I believe TNL (The New Liberals) party is one of these small ‘l’ liberal parties. If Turnbull decides to join this party and campaigns with Victor Kline he could have a major influence.

  11. I doubt it. But could he endorse a candidate running against Sharma? Given the way he’s been talking lately, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

  12. Allegra Spender was in the AFL today. It’s becoming a competition amongst high achiever corporate women as to who can back her fastest. A veritable who’s who of woke feminist business “leaders” !!.
    Sharma is gone. None of the reasons put forward, so far is actually correct. Spender will capture most of the same people that voted for Phelps & then some (more). For exactly the same reason. It is all about the image.
    Mrs WD put it so well. All those people with their big empty lives, searching for some meaning…..
    Well they will probably think they have found it, or something …..
    Independent win

  13. Allegra Spender is a threat to Sharma for sure, but she needs to eat into his primary vote. She should be able to do that, just depends how the campaign evolves, Sharma has more experience now that he did in 2018 and 2019 perhaps that will work to his advantage.

  14. I don’t think Sharma or Spender have what it takes. Sharma pretends to be a new type of liberal but no mention of A Federal ICAC. Allegra Spender is descended from a long line of Liberal Ministers. I think Wentworth needs an independent who will throw a spanner in the works like Clover Moore moving up to Federal politics. That would send a shiver down Dave Sharma’s spine. Bring on a savvy independent.

  15. I don’t see the point in swapping out one Liberal for another who will vote exactly the same? These faux independents are just Libs pretending to be Democrat-style independents in seats the Libs are worried about losing. Having an each way bet picking who they lose to if they do lose.

    Sharma hasn’t done anything particularly wrong that he would be turfed out for a fake independent.

  16. Thinking Clover Moore type would play well here shows no understanding of the area. Yes it’s next door to the city but it is very different demographic.

  17. The next redistribution could see the Libs in a world of pain in Wentworth. It is now 11.2% below quota so will need to pick up lots of Labor votes from either Sydney or Kingsford Smith.

  18. Redistributed
    Yep. Kingsford Smith will need numbers too. It’s hard to see the AEC not taking most of the remaining Randwick LGA from Wentworth ie 5-7 000 voters. That should mean 17-20, 000 voters from an over quota Sydney. This is the start of cascade effect of Sydney seats all being drawn west as they lose numbers to the east. All the way to Hume, & Lindsay.
    Wentworth will be concretised as an indi seat as a result. I’ll be surprised if the Libs ever get this one back.
    Kerryn Phelps is nothing like Clover. The only person Kerryn has ever been interested in–is Kerryn.

  19. In the Sydney Basin the only seats now over quota are Lindsay, Chifley, Greenway, Mitchell, Macarthur, Werriwa and Sydney (and Hume as it goes into Camden). Bennelong and Reid are just under quota but every other seat is under quota – and some like Wentworth, Parramatta, Berowra and Warringah by a long way. And from the Hunter up the North Coast is cumulatively 55% over quota. The redistribution is going to have big changes even if the seat number doesn’t change.

  20. WD
    I could see Wentworth like Macnamara / Melbourne Ports. Libs lead on primary but stuck at 45% 2pp. The right indie would need to span the Darlinghurst / Vaucluse divide – though if it moves south that Indie could span the Darlinghurst / Coogee divide.

  21. Does that mean that wentworth will resume its 2007 boundaries .. if so it is in theory alp/lib marginal… but with no turnbull and that 10% turn around… whilst Paddington and the Bondi suburbs remain in the seat … it is likely that some one like Phelps will win. If the liberals lose

  22. The big thing playing in favour for Sharma is the possibility of a Sophomore Surge, especially as Phelps won’t be running. Some of those independent voters will break for Spender but the big shift that occured from the By-Election to 2019 was that there were an extra 10k in votes (predominantly due to low voter turn-out for a by-election). These appear to have predominantly broken for Sharma, while the vote for Phelps was predominantly a mop-up of the existing minor party votes that broke to her on preferences. For Phelps to win, she now needs to directly win voters off Sharma and that means turning around 1/4 of the voters who broke for Sharma as a result of the increased turn-out from the last election, all while trying to resist the Sophomore Surge that would be expectd for Sharma.

  23. Hawkeye_au
    iS Phelps running ?. That wouldn’t help Spender. Sharma is pretty insipid, so i’d doubt that he’ll win much of a personal vote, perhaps nothing. Your point about voter turnout is well made. The reason Spender will win is that she will turn Lib voters in large numbers. Also she is likely to be far more likeable than Phelps was. The libs need a high profile candidate like Erin Molan, a senator, or the prodigal son Andrew Hastie. After the election it will be essential.

  24. Mick
    It will take more than the 7k voters from 2007 boundaries . We are probably looking at most of the CBD too.

    Redistributed
    Correct. Big changes. Re McNamara. Can’t see that.
    1/ very different places.
    2/ The ALP VOTE in the new areas contains an absolutely massive personal vote for Tanya. Beats the living hell out of me why, but it could be as much as 10%. Evidence is the suppressed Green vote, senate vote etc.
    No Tanya – no votes !
    3/ the Nsw govt policy of selling of Public housing in this area
    4/ The Indie will come through, but preferences will be crucial, & become more so.

    Can’t see how Wentworth could move south. KS would have to move east massively. More likely KS LOSES Botany LGA to Grayndler, & moves north.

    Ps Are you Still working on a response to my post to you in the Hunter thread ?
    cheers wd

  25. It seems there is a massive turnaround in enrolments in the past 5-10 years. Before the previous 2016 redistribution, the seats of Wentworth and Sydney were over quota, even with the loss of a seat in reapportionment. At the same time, all the North Coast seats north of Newcastle were under quota.

  26. Tom the first and best
    Fair enough. However the Randwick LGA is most of K-S. Don’t you think the AEC will be inclined to add Waverly LGA if the Botany thing can’t work anymore. The AEC does seem to prefer minimalist movements.

  27. The AEC should hopefully recognise the absurdity of Bayside Council and hopefully not align with it. Then again, Snowy Valleys Shire is in Eden-Monaro so anything is possible.

  28. Allegra Spender is probably a strong favourite to win here, a high profile female business identity with famous last name is a very impressive pick for this seat.

    She may romp it in if the Coalition looses by a large margin federally.

    She may even pick up safe Liberal booths that Sharma won in 2018 and 2019.

  29. CG it is an interesting observation you make. However, Allegra Spender may be a bit too ‘Liberal’ and ‘establishment’ for some of the people who voted for Kerryn Phelps though she may pick up a few Sharma voters from 2019. So how many voters might Allegra lose back to the ALP and the Greens? It could be a lot. It is hard to see the Greens directing preferences to Allegra before the ALP. Then should Allegra end up third, will there be a bigger leakage back to Dave Sharma?

  30. @Redistributed

    I would doubt the greens would preference labour by some margin. given Allegra and the voices are beating the alp by a country mile on both economic, Icac and refugee policy. Further more she is the candidate most likely to win, the only reason the greens would do so is if they are trying to get a candidate whp assured to support labour on confidence and henceforth a labor/green minority government. However I still find this eventuality very unlikely due to the fact they didn’t do it last time. They might now that Bandt is manoeuvring for minority government but I still think thats a bit far.

    The Alp on the other hand might well indeed. They care about the confidence bit a lot more. But I’d reckon their animosity toward the greens is enough that they won’t. Also, you know … actually winning.

  31. Don’t agree that Spender or the other Voices candidates are much better than Labor all told; they’re better on emissions policy, worse on industrial relations, and practically the same on everything else (where they even have policies- I’m not sure they have one for refugees other than med-evac and occasionally cheerleading for the odd high-profile refugee case that manages to make the news, again putting them where Labor is).

    Nonetheless I don’t think Labor are getting Greens preferences. If the branches are allowed to choose how their HTVs look then it’s possible, maybe. But the Greens (and Labor) both have form preferencing independents ahead of each other, and if its left to state executive, without ironclad assurances of reciprocity from the ALP, the Greens leadership will punish Labor for their belligerence. And of course it’s tactically the best choice for ousting the Liberal incumbents anyway. IND->LIB preferences would flow far more strongly than LAB->LIB.

  32. Sharma’s website identifies him solely as ‘The Member for Wenworth’ with no Liberal Party branding anywhere on the front page, but for a tiny fine print ‘authorised by Dave Sharma, Liberal Party yardy yarda’ right down the bottom. The obligatory slo-mo campaign video features Josh Frydenberg and John Howard, but Morrison is no where in sight. His purported new campaign flyers also lack any Liberal Party branding… but have colour accenting in *teal*.

  33. I haven’t commented on Wentworth since back in November and a lot has changed. It does appear that the Spender campaign has more resources behind it than either the 2018 or 2019 Phelps campaigns and many fellow travellers in this seat are toasting an imminent victory. I’m more circumspect. For all of the hyperbole about the Liberal Party moving to the right and leaving high income urban liberals behind, there really isn’t much, if any, evidence of a broad structural shift in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The local government elections in December were instructive. The Liberal Party secured swings to it in Waverly Council (+4.2%) to win 49% of the vote. In Woollahra Council there was a 1.3% swing to the Libs who scored nearly 51% of the vote. Most non-political types pay very little attention to local government elections. They tend to vote for the party that generally reflects their preference. Both Councils are dominated by moderate Libs who are similarly positioned to Sharma. In Woollahra Council, the Independent Residents First ticket, aligned politically and publicly with Independent Sydney State MP Alex Greenwich, was widely tipped to prevent the Libs from a majority, yet the Liberals held 8 out of 15 seats. From a visibility perspective, this result surprised many locals, myself included. Certainly in my part of Woollahra Council, there were many more Residents First posters on terrace balconies than Liberal posters, yet the status quo comfortably prevailed. While I don’t entirely buy the ‘shy Tory’ narrative that emanated out of the UK, it clearly has some merit. I no longer think posters in gardens and on balconies are in any way a proxy for how the majority of people, many of whom ultimately don’t care that much about politics, will vote. The same is true for social media. As controversial as it may be in local progressive circles, I don’t think Wentworth is a lay down misere for Spender. Political groupies get animated about colour similarities in election material. I just don’t think that stuff matters to the people who determine election outcomes. The new Sharma attack lines on Spender’s perceived sense of entitlement may bite. Foreign policy issues are higher profile amongst Wentworth voters than in 2019. For all the froth and vintage bubble, I think Wentworth is still line ball.

  34. @Candice, I completely agree with you. Also important to note that Phelps had some profile (however inconsequential that might have been) considering she was the incumbent MP, albeit for a few months. Spender doesn’t have that advantage or the rolling of a moderate Liberal leader fresh in the minds of voters.

    While there is some evidence that moderate voters have turned away from the Libs, I am still skeptical that will translate into wins in Wentworth, Goldstein, North Sydney etc.

  35. It’s not that I expect average voters to care about the colour of their leaflets and whatnot, I pointed it out because it’s indicative of Sharma’s desperation to avoid being associated with the Liberal party brand, and Morrison in particular at all costs.

    Mostly agreed on corflutes, carpet bombing electorates with them isn’t enormously persuasive, much like campaign flyers. I saw much the same thing in 2020 at the Queensland state election. The LNP plastered their faces all over Brisbane, far more than Labor did, for all the good it did them. Direct engagement and voter contact is so much more effective than the billboarding approach to politics. But that’s not to say that it counts for nothing.

  36. @FT, oh for sure but that’s hardly new. One of the better-known examples was Bob Carr’s infamous use of ‘State Labor’ in 1995 to avoid being associated with Keating – and it worked!

  37. A poll was reported in The Conversation last week is suggesting as expected a close contest, reporting 51% Sharma – 49% Spender after preferences:

    https://theconversation.com/the-wentworth-project-polling-shows-voters-prefer-albanese-for-pm-and-put-climate-issue-first-in-teal-battle-179839?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitterbutton

    If you look at seats like Wentworth, North Sydney, Kooyong, Higgins, Goldstein and Curtin it’s a concern for the Liberal party that these seats are even competitive given that they share common traits being inner urban seats that are among the wealthiest seats in the country. They are the most educated seats in the country and I think by far the single biggest thing turning voters away is the belief there is a lack of integrity with growing perceptions of corruption in the overall body politic which looks like a path to damaging the nations future prospects.

    Voters in these seats clearly think they are being taken for granted and not being actively listened to or represented, as they are supposedly safe. The teal independent movement, has given voters in these seats candidates worth considering, and who are free from the constraints of party discipline.

    We’ve had these movements before, in the 1990’s in WA there was the “liberals for forests” (they intentionally uncapitalised their name) who won a seat and were competitive in other seats at state elections and before that the Liberal Movement who split from the SA Liberals in the 1970’s and eventually became the Democrats. If you look at the teals they essentially target the same group of socially progressive, economically moderate to conservative, and very politically aware voters. Essentially more centrist versions of the Greens.

  38. Agree with you Wreathy of Sydney and Candice in that this is essentially a tossup. I am currently predicting Spender to win, but it could go either way. Due to Spender being less progressive than Phelps, I would expect an increase in ALP/Green primary vote, but Spender will eat away at Sharma’s primary enough to remain in the 2CP. From there, she should be able to win with a moderate swing against the Liberals at this election. It seems like the Liberal brand is not what it used to be in these wealthy, educated inner city electorates. I am predicting a similar result in Goldstein. Kooyong, North Sydney, and Curtin will be competitive too as you said Malcolm, but I currently suspect all 3 to be Liberal holds. In Higgins I predict a Green gain.

  39. Turnbull set to make a speech backing former liberal voters to vote independent. Fatal for Sharma I think

  40. It’s still challenging to read the state of play here. From a visibility perspective, it was a teal wave. Spender supporters everywhere. Plenty of support in gardens and on balconies. There was, however, a noticeable increase in Sharma posters and volunteer activity after ANZAC Day. Sharma has spent big on direct mail, particularly since early voting started. His efforts in the letterbox have far exceeded previously campaigns. Timing is everything in politics and I am concerned Allegra peaked too soon while Sharma has really ramped up just as people get to polling booths. I’ve noticed the betting markets have shifted back in Sharma’s favour, presumably on the back of polling. This is easily the biggest spending campaign from both sides I’ve seen in Wentworth. Having spent some time on pre-poll at different locations over the last 10 days (wearing teal), I can attest Allegra voters are usually very vocal and easy to spot. Sharma voters less so, but this doesn’t necessarily make them smaller in number. My guess is the non-Liberal vote has further consolidated around Allegra compared with 2019. I’m expecting a drop in the Labor and Greens primary vote and a commensurate increase in Allegra’s primary vote support compared with Phelps. This cohort of voters wants Morrison gone and are now transactional about how to make that happen. But in a close race, the little things often make a big difference. The UAP and LDP are running stronger campaigns than previous elections and will hoover up some of the disaffected Liberal vote and send it back to the blue column via preferences. But the bigger issue is the Liberal primary vote. It may be down, but my observation is that if it is down, it is not down by much. If the Libs end up above 43-44%, it is very likely they will retain Wentworth courtesy of the UAP, LDP and a small fraction of leakages from other candidates. The other concern is Allegra’s HTV card, which doesn’t recommend preferences. If only a small number of her supporters just vote one, it could be extremely impactful. I have spent hours reminding teal voters to number every box. I understand the rationale for the decision, but I think ultimately removing any ambiguity around formal voting must be the primary concern.

  41. Candice .. i don’t know how a person could “just Vote 1′ because of a How To Vote card when polling officials distinctly tell voters “fill in squares 1 to 6” (or whatever) when they hand them the House Of Reps ballot paper.

  42. Same noise as in Kooyong.

    I don’t buy it – it’s too well-educated an electorate for people to get confused by an open ticket.

  43. The interesting thing about this seat is that whilst it has some very pro-Liberal areas it draws into the inner-city, i guess the equivalent in Melbourne is Richmond been in Kooyong, although the natural barrier of the Yarra river prevents this from happening, something that the Sydney and Wentworth boundary doesn’t seem to have. The Libs could offset this by really consolidating in the blue-ribbon areas of the seat.
    WineDiamond you will know the area better than me but is it reaally appropriate to add the CBD into Wentworth (if i’m reading what i think you said). What does the CBD and Vacluase have in common. Would it not be more appropriate to jump water and take in parts of Warringah or move south into Kingsford-Smith (which will then have to move west into Barton).

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here