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.
Margin – ALP 5.0%
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.
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.
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.
|Vinay Orekondy||Keep Sydney Open||1,443||3.1||+3.1|
|Simon Fletcher||Animal Justice||1,029||2.2||+2.2|
2019 two-party-preferred result
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 group||GRN prim||ALP 2PP||Total votes||% of votes|