New South Wales election 2015


Margin: Liberal 24.8%
Region: Sutherland Shire
Federal: Cook

Candidates in ballot paper order



Liberal (top)

Labor (bottom)


No Land Tax

Christian Democratic Party




Two-party preferred booth results from 2011 state election showing Liberal majority in blue and Labor in red. New boundaries in thicker blue lines, old ones in thinner red lines. Boundary data courtesy of Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

The electorate of Cronulla is a generally safe seat for the Liberals, Labor’s only wins having come with thet the two “Wranslides” of 1978 and 1981. It encompasses an area bounded by Botany Bay and Georges River in the north and Port Hacking in the south, including the industrial areas of the Kurnell Peninsula together with Cronulla itself and suburbs immediately to the west. The redistribution has changed the boundary with its western neighbour Miranda to extend Cronulla’s Hacking River frontage to areas around Gymea Bay, which adds 12,500 voters, while transferring out of the electorate an area along the Georges River that includes Taren Port, Sylvania Waters and eastern Sylvania, home to around 10,000 voters. Labor’s member after 1978 was future Treasurer Michael Egan, who found refuge in the upper house two years after his defeat at the 1984 election by Liberal candidate Malcolm Kerr. Kerr was frequently mentioned over the years as a possible target of preselection challenges, and eventually bowed out at the 2012 election.

Kerr’s departure initiated a preselection battle in which the present incumbent, Mark Speakman, prevailed by 82 votes to 74 over Stephen Mutch, an upper house MP from 1988 to 1996 who then served one term as federal member for Cook from 1996 to 1998. This marked an intriguing rematch of the stoush that saw Mutch elbowed aside from Cook in 1998 after an exercise of power by moderate backers of Speakman, who had been best man at Mutch’s wedding nine years earlier. The dispute led to the installation as a compromise candidate of another moderate faction identity, Bruce Baird, who had been a senior minister through the Greiner-Fahey NSW government from 1988 to 1995. Speakman and Mutch were respectively backed for the Cronulla preselection by the moderates and a hard Right faction that reportedly feared that Speakman would emerge as a rival to Greg Smith for the position of Attorney-General. It transpired that Smith in fact had more to fear from the tabloid media, as Speakman has thus far remained on the back bench.

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