Hornsby by-election, 2024

Cause of by-election
Sitting Liberal MP Matt Kean announced his retirement on 18 June 2024.

MarginLIB 8.0%

Incumbent MP
Matt Kean, since 2011.

Northern Sydney. Hornsby lies entirely within Hornsby shire, covering Hornsby, Asquith, Berowra, Cowan, Mt Colah, Mt Ku-ring-gai, Cherrybrook and parts of Dural, Galston and Waitara.


Hornsby first existed as an electoral district from 1927 to 1991. It was restored in 1999. It has always been held by the Liberal Party and its predecessors.

The first Member for Hornsby, James Shand, represented the seat for the Nationalist Party and then the United Australia Party from 1927 to 1941. He served as a minister from 1935 to 1938, and became an independent shortly before the 1941 election.

In 1941 Shand shifted the neighbouring seat of Ryde, holding it until his death in 1944.

In 1941, Hornsby was won by independent UAP candidate Sydney Storey, defeating the party’s official candidate. Storey joined the newly-formed Liberal Party in 1945, and held the seat until 1962, when he lost Liberal preselection and unsuccessfully ran as an independent.

John Maddison won Hornsby as a Liberal candidate in 1962. He became a minister in 1965, serving in the role until the government lost power in 1976. In 1973, a redistribution created the new seat of Ku-ring-gai, and Maddison moved to the seat. He held it until his retirement in 1980.

Neil Pickard won Hornsby in 1973. He became Minister for Education in early 1976, serving for a few months before the Coalition government lost power. He became a minister in the first term of the Greiner government from 1988 to 1991. In 1991, the seat of Hornsby was abolished at the 1991 redistribution, and Pickard retired.

Much of the former seat of Hornsby was absorbed by Ku-ring-gai, which moved north. Parts were also absorbed by Northcott. In 1991, Ku-ring-gai was held by Premier Nick Greiner, and Northcott was held by state minister Bruce Baird. Greiner retired in 1992, and the Ku-ring-gai by-election was won by Stephen O’Doherty.

Baird became Liberal Party deputy leader in 1992, serving in the role until 1994. He served as a minister until his retirement at the 1995 election. Northcott was won in 1995 by Liberal Party state director Barry O’Farrell.

The redistribution prior to the 1999 state election substantially redraw boundaries in northern Sydney. The seats of Northcott, Gordon, Eastwood, Ermington and Gladesville were all abolished, with the seats of Hornsby, Parramatta, Epping and Ryde created, and Ku-ring-gai moved substantially to the south.

O’Farrell took on the seat of Ku-ring-gai, while O’Doherty moved to the seat of Hornsby. O’Doherty retired in 2002.

The 2002 Hornsby by-election was won by Liberal candidate Judy Hopwood. She won re-election in 2003 and 2007, surviving a challenge to her preselection in 2007.

Hopwood retired in 2011, and the preselection was contested by Matt Kean and Nick Berman, mayor of Hornsby. After losing preselection to Kean, Berman ran for Hornsby as an independent, but Kean retained the seat for the Liberal Party. Kean was re-elected in 2015 and 2019.

Kean joined the ministry in 2017, and was promoted to Treasurer in 2021 upon the resignation of Gladys Berejiklian and the election of Dominic Perrottet as premier.

Kean was re-elected in 2023, but returned to the backbench after the government was defeated.

No information.

Hornsby has a long history as a Liberal seat. It doesn’t have an enormous margin but it’s hard to see Labor winning here. The right independent could have a chance.

2023 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Matt Kean Liberal 23,451 43.3 -11.6
Melissa Hoile Labor 13,418 24.8 4.0
Tania Salitra Greens 7,738 14.3 3.3
Steve Busch One Nation 4,298 7.9 4.5
Jeffrey Grimshaw Liberal Democrats 2,125 3.9 3.9
Benjamin Caswell Independent 1,557 2.9 2.9
Justin Thomas Sustainable Australia 918 1.7 1.7
Adrian Dignam Independent 661 1.2 1.2
Informal 1,308 2.4

2022 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Matt Kean Liberal 26,506 58.0 -8.8
Melissa Hoile Labor 19,163 42.0 8.8

Booth breakdown

Booths in Hornsby have been split into four parts. The main urban centres of Berowra, Hornsby and Cherrybrook have been grouped together, and the semi-rural parts have been grouped as “west”.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, with 72% in the west and with a vote ranging from 52.2% in Berowra to 57.7% in Cherrybrook.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 12.3% in Cherrybrook to 19.1% in Berowra.

Voter group GRN prim % LIB 2PP % Total votes % of votes
Hornsby 16.9 53.6 14,609 26.3
Cherrybrook 12.3 57.7 9,053 16.3
West 9.5 72.1 4,670 8.4
Berowra 19.1 52.2 4,058 7.3
Pre-poll 12.1 59.8 13,613 24.5
Other votes 13.6 58.8 9,471 17.1

Election results in Hornsby at the 2023 New South Wales state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor, the Greens and One Nation.

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