New South Wales election 2015


Margin: Liberal 23.0%*
Region: Sutherland Shire
Federal: Miranda
* Labor 5.1% at by-election on 19/10/2013

Outgoing member: Barry Collier (Labor)

Candidates in ballot paper order



Christian Democratic Party


No Land Tax

Labor (bottom)


Liberal (top)




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

The Sutherland Shire electorate of Miranda was the scene of a spectacular by-election result in August 2013, at which Barry Collier reversed the drubbing Labor had received at the 2011 election to win a seat he had formerly held for Labor from 1999 to 2011, with a swing of 26.1%. This was the fifth time the seat had changed hands since being won by the Liberals on its creation in 1971, the previous occasions being in 1978, when it fell to Labor’s Bill Robb as part of that year’s “Wranslide”; in 1984, when Ron Phillips recovered it for the Liberals; when Barry Collier won it for Labor at the 1999 election; and with the Liberals’ thumping win at the 2011 election, at which the effect of the Liberal landslide appeared to be compounded by the loss of a substantial personal vote for Collier.

On its new boundaries, the electorate extends along the south bank of the Georges River from Taren Point to Alfords Point, and south to Miranda itself. The Liberals are strongest at Sylvania and Sutherland, while Miranda has traditionally leaned to Labor. The redistribution has effected a substantial territory swap with its eastern neighbour Cronulla, extending its Georges River frontage eastwards by adding over 10,000 voters in Taren Port, Sylvania Waters and eastern Sylvania, and excising its southern territory around Gymea Bay, an area accounting for around 12,500 voters. Based on the 2011 election result, the changes increase the Liberal margin from 21.0% to 23.0%.

The successful Liberal candidate at the 2011 election was Graham Annesley, formerly chief operating officer of the NRL, who won immediate promotion to the position of Minister of Sport and Recreation. Annesley announced his decision to bow out of politics in August 2013 to return to NRL administration as chief executive of the Gold Coast Titans, tearfully telling parliament that while he regretted causing a by-election, he had found there were “many aspects of politics that I don’t really care for”.

The propitious circumstance for Labor of a by-election held to accommodate Annesley’s career change was enhanced by Barry Collier’s decision to come out of retirement at the age of 63. Collier had been a lawyer and school teacher before entering parliament, and while he never rose from the back bench, he established his local popularity when the government backed down on a plan to build the Southern Freeway through the electorate, partly because it feared the prospect of Collier running as an independent. The result nonetheless exceeded all expectations in delivering Collier a 5.5% winning margin over Liberal candidate Brett Thomas, a Bonnet Bay criminal lawyer and former Sutherland Shire councillor who ran unsuccessfully in Menai in the Liberals’ lean years of 1999 and 2003.

Collier will not seek to extend his comeback beyond the coming election, leaving Miranda as an open contest between Labor’s Greg Holland, owner of a corporate public affairs consultancy and the party’s unsuccessful candidate for Hughes at the federal elections in 2004 and 2007, and Liberal candidate Eleni Petinos, a 28-year-old tax lawyer and adviser to Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. Petinos won preselection with 45 votes ahead of Sutherland Shire mayor Steve Simpson on 38, and councillor Carol Provan on six.

Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.

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