South Coast – NSW 2023

LIB 10.6%

Incumbent MP
Shelley Hancock, since 2003.

South coast of NSW. The seat contains most of Shoalhaven council area, specifically those areas on the south side of the Shoalhaven river. The seat covers Nowra, Milton, Ulladulla, Sussex Inlet and Jervis Bay.

No change.

South Coast has existed as a seat since 1927. For most of that time the seat has been held by conservative parties, although it has been held by independents on a number of occasions. It was won by the ALP once only, at the 1999 election.

Henry Bate held the seat from 1927 to 1941, first as a Nationalist and then for the United Australia Party.

In 1941, Bate was defeated by independent candidate Rupert Beale. He died in office in 1942, and was succeeded by his son Jack Beale. The younger Beale was first elected as an independent, but became a member of the Liberal Party in 1948.

Beale became a minister in the Coalition state government in 1965, serving until his retirement in 1973.

He was succeeded in 1973 by John Hatton, the independent Shoalhaven shire president. He was re-elected following 1973 by very safe margins, and was once elected unopposed. He held his seat until the 1995 election. He was a renowned campaigner against corruption, and following the 1991 election he shared the balance of power. In this role he helped establish the Independent Commission Against Corruption, bring down Nick Greiner as Premier, and then establish the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption.

Hatton retired at the 1995 election. He announced in 2010 that he would head an independent team running for the Legislative Council.

The Liberal Party’s Eric Ellis won South Coast in 1995. He held it for one term, losing it in 1999 to ALP candidate Wayne Smith.

In 2003, Smith lost to the Liberal candidate, former Shoalhaven councillor Shelley Hancock. Hancock has been re-elected four times.

No information.

South Coast will likely stay in Liberal hands, but Hancock’s retirement could put the seat in play.

2019 result

Shelley Hancock Liberal 27,14355.5+3.0
Annette Alldrick Labor 15,25631.2+0.8
Kim Stephenson Greens 6,48113.3+0.3

2019 two-party-preferred result

Shelley Hancock Liberal 27,90260.6+0.9
Annette Alldrick Labor 18,17839.4-0.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in South Coast have been split into three parts:

  • Central – Currarong, Sussex Inlet, Vincentia and other areas around the Jervis Bay area.
  • North – Nowra and Culburra Beach.
  • South – Milton and Ulladulla.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 58.3% in the north to 60.4% in the south.

The Greens came third, with a vote ranging from 12.7% in the centre to 17.2% in the south.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes16.759.17,37315.1

Election results in South Coast at the 2019 NSW state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor, and the Greens.

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  1. Sea-change style demographic change will be in play here. This is one of the regions that was a recipient of the pandemic migration out of the major capitals. Much like Northern Rivers and South East Queensland but not at the same magnitude. Assuming the momentum of the Greens continues post Federal election, expect a strengthening in their primary vote here.

    As for TPP, much like the Federal division of Gilmore, which considerably overlaps this division, this seat is probably a pick up for Labor. This is especially true if there is an absence of a popular, well-known Coalition candidate, just like neighbouring Bega at their recent by-election. Gilmore was only as tight as it was because a figure like Constance kept it competitive and Bega was a steal for Labor in the absence of Constance.

  2. There might be a big swing to Labor because of Shelley Hancock’s retirement. She had a strong personal vote and booths in Nowra and the ones just outside Jervis Bay even though they overwhelmingly vote Labor federally.

    I wonder if Andrew Constance will run again over here. I doubt that the rank-and-file would welcome him because his retirement from state politics made them lose Bega and he would be seen as opportunistic.


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