Strathfield by-election, 2022

Cause of by-election
Sitting Labor MP Jodi McKay announced her retirement from parliament in October 2021, following her loss of the Labor leadership in May 2021.

MarginALP 5.0%

Geography
Inner West Sydney. Strathfield covers parts of Ashfield, Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury and Strathfield local government areas, specifically the suburbs of Croydon, Burwood, Enfield, Homebush and Strathfield.

History
The electoral district of Strathfield has existed since 1988. The seat was held until 1999 by the Liberal Party, and by Labor from 1999 to 2011, when the Liberal Party won it back.

It was first won in 1988 by Paul Zammit. He had won the seat of Burwood in 1984, holding it for one term before it was abolished. Burwood had been held by conservative candidates for close to a century before the ALP won it in 1978.

Zammit served as a junior minister in the Coalition state government from 1991 to 1995. In 1996, he resigned from Strathfield and won the federal seat of Lowe. He only held it for one term, as he resigned from the Liberal Party in 1998 in protest over aircraft noise. He ran as an independent in Lowe at the 1998 federal election, losing to the ALP’s John Murphy.

The 1996 Strathfield by-election was won by the Liberal Party’s Bruce McCarthy.

Prior to the 1999 election, Strathfield was redrawn to take in parts of the abolished Labor seat of Ashfield, cutting back McCarthy’s margin.

At the 1999 election, McCarthy lost to the ALP’s Paul Whelan, the sitting Member for Ashfield. Whelan had held Ashfield since the 1976 election. He had served as a minister in the Wran Labor government from 1981 to 1984. He served as Minister for Police from 1995 to 2001, and as Leader of the House until 2003, when he retired.

Whelan was succeeded by Strathfield mayor Virginia Judge in 2003. She was re-elected in 2007, and served as a minister in the Labor government from 2008 to 2011.

In 2011, Judge lost to Liberal candidate Charles Casuscelli.

Casuscelli held Strathfield for one term, losing in 2015 to Labor candidate Jodi McKay. McKay had previously represented Newcastle from 2007 until 2011, and had served as a minister from 2008 until 2011. She went straight back to the frontbench after returning to parliament in 2015, and was elected Labor leader after the 2019 election. McKay resigned the Labor leadership in May 2021 and stepped down from Strathfield in October 2021.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Strathfield is a reasonably marginal seat, but it seems unlikely the Liberal Party could win this by-election. Governments rarely win by-elections from the opposition, and it’s unlikely they’ll be contesting this seat while defending their own seats.

2019 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Jodi McKayLabor20,47544.3+2.0
Philip MadirazzaLiberal17,97238.9-3.8
Crisetta MacleodGreens4,0618.80.0
Vinay OrekondyKeep Sydney Open1,4433.1+3.1
Jack LiangConservatives1,2372.7+2.7
Simon FletcherAnimal Justice1,0292.2+2.2
InformalInformal1,4373.0

2019 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Jodi McKayLabor23,51955.0+3.2
Philip MadirazzaLiberal19,24545.0-3.2

Booth breakdown

Booths in Strathfield have been split into three parts: east, south and west.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 52.5% in the west to 56.9% in the east.

Voter groupGRN primALP 2PPTotal votes% of votes
West7.152.511,16724.2
South7.654.29,28420.1
East10.356.98,71818.9
Pre-poll6.057.06,49114.0
Other votes12.155.610,55722.8

Election results in Strathfield 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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10 COMMENTS

  1. The recent trendings around this seat has been pretty consistent. Once a Liberal stronghold, this is becoming more and more friendly for Labor, driven by the growth around Burwood.

    I went over the last 3 elections in the seat and there is a clear divide. The divide was helped along by McKay’s strong performances over the last 2 elections in this seat.

    With McKay now gone, Labor does lose that personal vote, plus the added benefit of having the leader in the seat. This would probably drop the TPP margin to something closer to 51-49 naturally.

    Having said that, with the way the government is going at this stage and given that it is a by-election, I’d expect a harder bounce up in favour of Labor, at least maintaining that margin.

    At this stage, a very early call but, pending candidate announcements, I’d expect a Labor hold around the same or a slightly higher margin.

    Don’t be surprised if LIB goes on the attack here though. I’m more fascinated to see who gets thrown up as candidates

  2. Agree, that Burwood is a suburb that the Liberals are under performing both at a state and federal level. Burwood is still a middle class and desirable area although not as affluent as Strathfield. Appian Way has lovely Federation era houses. I would compare this to the suburb of Mount Waverley (VIC), which while often is won by the Liberal party it is only marginally won. While Homebush and Flemington are more industrial.
    Both Strathfield and Burwood has a large Asian (Chinese and Korean) community and the overall result would depend on the ability of the Liberal party to reach out to these community. I would think Scott Yung who ran for the Liberals in Kogarah last time and did well would be an excellent candidate

  3. Scott Yung wouldn’t be a bad shout for the seat. Not sure if he lives in the area or not there but, given the proximity of Kogarah to Strathfield, it wouldn’t be the biggest stretch.

  4. Kogarah is the most marginal Labor seat, held by the new leader… would Minns have to resign Kogarah to contest Strathfield?

  5. winediamond October 19, 2021 at 1:50 pm
    patreon_5709227
    Sun Tzu is often quoted “he who defends all protects nothing”. A COUNTERPOINT would be “She who attacks everything penetrates nothing”. Mckay was hyper adversarial, & aggressively opposed everything from a fundamentally popular (but nonethelessless flawed) govt, & leader. Her lack of judgement, & discrimination was “scrutinised” by Minns. Who was (proven to be ) right ? Eventually ?
    Her hysterical accusations of being “undermined” & act of revenge in forcing an unnecessary by election say it all.
    IT amuses me that most contributors pour abuse,& scorn, on Latham, Barnaby, Pauline, Lambie ETC (challenger personality types) for their aggression, & are completely blind to the same performance from McKay.
    Likewise the same blindness to all the preaching, lecturing perfectionists in the Greens,& the left generally. THEN when a more functional, rational, restrained version of the same (personality type) appears in the form of Chris Minns, The obvious contrast is unrecognised. Minns has performed brilliantly, & he is judged to be (USEESS, & “Other than that the guy’s been a complete waste of space”). >>
    Furtive Lawngnome
    NO. Minns has refused to engage in reflexive hyper critical obstructionism. He has been constructive, & positive at any opportunity, & extremely reserved & focused in his criticisms. He has no choice but to contest Strathfield, however what exactly does he gain from contesting the other (4) seats ?. Would Labor be able to hold them at the next election ?>>> Unlikely .Could a better strategy be to give an independent a chance to sandbag themselves into a coalition seat ?

    If Minns fails to become Premier, then he may well be the next Labor Prime Minister. He is certainly more talented than any of the current contenders .

  6. By-election hasn’t been set yet as the seat isn’t vacant. I assume that Jodi’s resignation is from the end of the current sitting session of Parliament – 26 November.

    List of current members can be found on parliament.nsw.gov.au
    Any by-election info can be found on elections.nsw.gov.au

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