New South Wales election: candidate details and seat prospects

Election preliminaries crank up a gear with the publication of candidate lists, revealing the growing footprint of minor parties of the right.

Following the closure of nominations yesterday, today was the day candidates were announced and ballot paper draws conducted. My election guide has been updated accordingly with full candidate lists in ballot paper order on each electorate page, and I’ve also been very busy supplementing it with a few formerly missing bits: more candidate photos and bios, full results of by-elections in the five seats that have had them over the past term, and a fair bit of work on the Legislative Council guide now that I know exactly what’s going on there, which is always obscure until candidate details are published.

The number of candidates is little changed on last time: 562 in the lower house compared with 568, and 21 upper house groups compared with 20. One Nation and the Liberal Democrats are both running in 17 seats compared with 12 and 10 respectively last time; there are 68 lower house independents, up from 52; Animal Justice are down from 48 to 33; Shooters Fishers and Farmers are down from 25 to 20; and Sustainable Australia are up from 55 to 82. Notable absences this time are Keep Sydney Open, Australian Conservatives and the Christian Democrats, who respectively ran in 42, 19 and 18 lower house seats in 2019. New to the game are Legalise Cannabis with 23 lower house candidates and Informed Medical Options with 10, plus a couple of others.

Of note:

• In the Legislative Council, the first two columns have gone to high-profile figures of the right, although neither are part of a registered party, which should put a crimp on their chances. In column A is a ticket headed by Lyle Shelton, high-profile former managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby and a leading figure in the campaign against same-sex marriage. Group B is a ticket headed by Craig Kelly, who remains the national director of the United Australia Party, which is not registered in New South Wales. A membership revolt against John Ruddick’s dumping as lead Liberal Democrats candidate evidently succeeded, as he heads the party’s ticket at Group J, one spot next to the Coalition at Group I. The party does quite a lot better when it is well to the left of the Liberals, and thus the first party with liberal in the name that most voters encounter. Labor are in group D, while the Greens and One Nation have both drawn short straws at groups Q and R on a ticket that extends to Group U. UPDATE: Antony Green points out that the Craig Kelly and Silvana Nile tickets, along with some lesser-known ones, have neglected to nominate 15 candidates, which means that while they will get their own column on the ballot paper, they will not have above-the-line boxes, so those wishing to vote for them will have to number candidates individually – presumably reducing their chances from little to none.

• A surprise late development has been the emergence of outgoing Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons as the Liberal candidate in Kiama, which will be defended by Liberal-turned-independent member Gareth Ward. The party’s candidate review committee last week rejected its only existing nominee the seat, Gail Morgan. Gibbons was defeated for preselection in her existing seat and repeatedly overlooked for a position on the Legislative Council ticket, despite Dominic Perrottet having promised her a position in the ministry when she was persuaded not to pursue the federal seat of Hughes. Perrottet says Gareth Ward’s suspension should continue as long as he faces sexual assault charges.

• Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone will not after all be running in Cabramatta, or backing another independent in Fairfield. As the Sydney Morning Herald’s CBD column noted this morning, Carbone finally came off the fence after Labor promised $115 million for an upgrade of Fairfield Hospital.

Other news:

Max Maddison of The Australian reported on Monday that an unidentified Liberal MP believed the party’s situation was “mirroring the federal election: holding up quite well in Sydney’s west but seeing significant swings across middle Sydney”. In particular, “the swing now appeared to be on in seats like Ryde, Parramatta and Oatley”, and pessimistic noises were further made about Penrith and East Hills in view of their narrow margins. A “senior Liberal minister” was quoted saying “Parramatta is dead”, adding credence to a report from Seven News on Sunday that the party’s internal polling pointed to a 10% swing, more than sufficient to account for a margin of 6.5%. Efforts to take back Coogee from Labor had been abandoned, and there was “a degree of risk” from teal independents in North Shore, Pittwater, Willoughby and Wakehurst, although Vaucluse candidate Kellie Sloane was “doing well and likely to be elected”.

• Antony Green has prepared a splendidly detailed file showing how candidates’ preferences flowed in each seat in 2019, based on the lower house ballot paper data which New South Wales uniquely provides.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

110 comments on “New South Wales election: candidate details and seat prospects”

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  1. 98.6 says:
    Monday, March 13, 2023 at 1:40 pm
    Evan says @ 6.08:
    I doubt an anti Gladys TV ad would work, she was wildly popular.
    I beg to differ.
    I wonder what those voters who thought Gladbags was Miss Popularity, think of her now, after her fall from grace, not only in front of ICAC but live on National TV.
    If you were one of them, would you feel tricked, duped, lied to, cheated on with the endless accusations labeled at her relationship with her SECRET boyfriend.

    Agree Gladys was not popular as the corrupt media made out, i still laughing at the footage where Gladys resigned, the reporter interviewed Gladys at Gladys electorate office and claim Gladys supporters turned up at Gladys electorate office to support her, the camera panned to the supporters there were only 12 people 6adults and their 6 children

  2. Is there a link to where we can see which MPs own investment properties and which don’t? I had a quick look through the NSW election website, but couldn’t see it. The rental crisis is obviously a massive issue, and it’s not going to be fixed until we can kick the sociopaths out of parliament who think housing is for profiting off rather than for providing a basic human need.

  3. Only saw the last 10 minutes of Four Corners

    It appeared to promote the policy of the NSW government over a trial period promoted by Labor and an Independent standing against the NSW Labor Leader

    Noting the lead characters were both Liberal or former Liberal, now presented as an Independent

    So what was the rest of the programme like?

    And impact?

    Noting the election is how many days away

  4. The 4 Corners program was an accurate assessment of the power of the NSW Clubs lobby and it stated that politicians on both sides of politics were frightened to take on Clubs NSW and their addiction to pokie profits .

  5. yes did not watch ita program designed to paint dominelow as the victem against the labor linked pockies lobey how ever the closist party to clubs nsw seems to be the nationals whoes lead is deputy premier the second most powerful minister

  6. acording to 4 corners the same government that has its deputy head barilarow and includes paul toole and dominelow is retiring it seems desperate to save perottit

  7. Interesting that the liberals have contacted the onp tactics.. but the difference here is a liberal candidate at the top of the ticket is likely to win. Split elections for the upper house allow this.. maybe better to allow election of all at once. The problem is of course the quota is halved .. half of 4.5 is 2.25%

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