New South Wales election 2015


Margin: Liberal 34.5%
Region: Northern Sydney
Federal: Mackellar

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 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.

Pittwater covers Sydney’s northern beaches from Narrabeen north to the Pittwater peninsula, and inland to Duffs Forest and part of the Ku-ring-gai National Park. It has been left almost entirely undisturbed by the redistribution. The electorate came into existence at the 1973 election in place of abolished Collaroy, which Liberal Premier Bob Askin had held since its creation in 1950. Askin was briefly succeeded after his retirement in 1975 by television newsreader Bruce Webster, who resigned in 1978 after pronouncing himself disillusioned with politics. The scheduled by-election became unnecessary when Neville Wran called the early election at which the Liberals were reduced to only 18 seats, one of which was Pittwater.

Max Smith then held the seat for the Liberals until his mid-term resignation in 1986, prompting a by-election at which Liberal candidate Jim Longley struggled to see off an independent challenge from surfing champion Nat Young, who came within 3.1% of victory amid outrage over sewage pollution at local beaches. Longley quit parliament after the Fahey’s government’s 1995 election defeat and was succeeded by John Brogden, who went on to lead the party from May 2002 until his resignation in May 2005. Despite an apparent suicide attempt at this time, Brogden remained as member for three months before resigning in August 2005.

Brogen’s departure resulted in yet another by-election, this one producing a disastrous result for the Liberals as locals reacted against Brogden’s perceived rough treatment at the hands of his rivals in the party’s Right faction. The winner was independent candidate and Pittwater mayor Alex McTaggart, who had won local admirers by opposing the filming of Baywatch at Avalon beach. McTaggart finished with a 5.4% winning margin over Liberal candidate Paul Nicolau, a party fundraiser who has lately been entangled in the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiries into donations from property developers.

The seat returned to the Liberal fold at the 2007 election, since when it has been held by Rob Stokes, a former staffer to John Brogden who had unsuccessfully sought preselection to succeed him at the by-election. Stokes won promotion to cabinet in the reshuffle that followed Barry O’Farrell’s departure in April 2014, taking on the environment and heritage portfolios.

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

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