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2011 NSW Election

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Parliament of Australia Departmentof Parliamentary Services


Introduction ............................................................................................................................................. 1

54th NSW Parliament (2007-10): an overview ......................................................................................... 2

Legislative Assembly ...................................................................................................................... 2

Legislative Council ......................................................................................................................... 2

NSW Labor Governments 2007-2010: controversies and difficulties ..................................................... 4

Iemma government (3 August 2005 - 5 September 2008) ........................................................... 4

Rees government (5 September 2008 - 4 December 2009) ......................................................... 5

Keneally government (4 December 2009 - 26 March 2011) ......................................................... 6

NSW Opposition 2007-2010 .................................................................................................................. 10

The minor parties and independents 2007-2010 ................................................................................. 13

The election campaign: a brief overview ............................................................................................... 14

The election outcome ............................................................................................................................ 20

Legislative Assembly: a snapshot ................................................................................................ 20

Legislative Council: a snapshot .................................................................................................... 21

Women in the 55th Parliament .................................................................................................... 23

Labor’s defeat .............................................................................................................................. 24

The Coalition’s victory ................................................................................................................. 25

Appendix 1: NSW Election results 2011 ................................................................................................. 27

Appendix 2: NSW Election results 2007 ................................................................................................. 30

Appendix 3: Labor government inaugural ministries 2007-2010 ......................................................... 32

Iemma government ..................................................................................................................... 32

BACKGROUND NOTE Updated 23 June 2011

2011 NSW Election

Brenton Holmes Politics and Public Administration Section

Rees government ......................................................................................................................... 32

Keneally government ................................................................................................................... 32

Appendix 4: Coalition government inaugural ministry 2011 ................................................................. 33

Appendix 5: Changes to female representation in NSW Parliament ..................................................... 34

2011 NSW Election



New South Wales voters went to the polls on 26 March 2011 to elect members to the 55th Parliament of NSW. They elected 69 Coalition, 20 ALP, one Green and three independent members to four-year terms in the Legislative Assembly. Eleven Coalition members, five ALP, one Shooters and Fishers, one Christian Democrat and three Greens were elected to eight-year terms in the Legislative Council.

The ALP had governed NSW since the election of the first Carr government in March 1995. In the 2007 state election, the ALP was returned to government under the premiership of Morris Iemma. Barry O’Farrell became Opposition Leader in April 2007 and led the Liberal-National coalition into the 2011 election.

In September 2008, Morris Iemma was succeeded by Nathan Rees, who was in turn replaced as leader by Kristina Keneally in December 2009. Labor’s post-2007 period in office was tumultuous, with leadership changes, scandals, frequent ministerial changes, party squabbles and serious defeats in by-elections. Controversial policies around transport infrastructure and the privatisation of electricity services contributed to Labor’s woes. From mid-2008, opinion polls consistently suggested that Labor would be swept from office at the 2011 election.

Never in Australian opinion polling history has a government polled as badly for as long as the current (NSW) Labor government. 1


1. A Green, ‘Coalition needs tsunami of votes—and it’s on the cards,’ Sydney Morning Herald, 28 February 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, its-on-cards-20110227-1ba1c.html

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54th NSW Parliament (2007-10): an overview

Legislative Assembly

In March 2007, under the state’s optional preferential system of voting, NSW voters elected 93 Assembly members, each representing around 50 000 enrolled voters. There were 72 districts where the core contest had been between Labor and Coalition candidates. The other 21 districts involved contests between a major party candidate and either a Green or independent candidate.2 Labor retained government with a slightly reduced majority. When the parliament assembled there were 52 Labor members, 22 Liberal members, 13 National Party members and 6 independent members.

The Liberal Party had wrested one seat (Port Stephens) from the ALP. Labor lost Lake Macquarie to an Independent (Greg Piper), and the Liberals gained two seats from Independents—Manly and Pittwater (John Brogden's former seat which had been lost at a 2005 by-election). The National Party gained Tweed from Labor, and also Murray-Darling, whose boundaries had changed following an electoral redistribution. Labor won the new seat of Wollondilly. The seat of Lachlan, previously held by the National Party, had been abolished.3

Between 2008 and 2010, four by-elections were held, mostly because of resignations precipitated by controversial events. The Liberal Party won two of these—Ryde in October 2008, and Penrith in June 2010. Both seats saw record swings against Labor of 23.1 per cent and 25.7 per cent respectively. Looking to the 2011 election, analyst Antony Green drew the following conclusion:

The swing in Penrith was 25.7 per cent, meaning one in four voters changed party, and Labor lost half its first preference vote from 2007. Even if the swing is only half the Penrith tsunami, Labor would lose 23 seats to the Coalition, with others falling to the Greens and independents. 4

As the 54th Parliament drew to a close, the party representation in the Legislative Assembly stood as follows: 24 Liberal Party, 13 National Party, 50 Australian Labor Party and six independents.

Legislative Council

The NSW Legislative Council consists of 42 members. Councillors are elected for eight-year terms, with half the Council (21 members) submitting themselves for election every four years. The elections are held in conjunction with those for members of the Legislative Assembly. Councillors are elected by proportional representation, with the state regarded as a single electorate.

To get elected to the Council, candidates must receive at least a quota of 4.55 per cent of the votes. At the 2007 election, 333 candidates contested the 21 available Council seats. The Liberals won five

2. A Green, ‘2007 NSW Election Final Analysis’, Background Paper No. 1/08, NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service , viewed 11 April 2011,$Fi le/2007ELection%20Final.pdf 3. Ibid., p. 7.

4. A Green, ‘Coalition needs tsunami of votes - and it’s on the cards’, op. cit.

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seats, the Nationals won three seats, the ALP won nine seats, the Greens won two seats and the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers Party won one seat each.

Party Composition of Legislative Council following 2007 Election


Retiring 8 4/2 1 1 .. 1 4 21

Newly elected 9 5/3 1 2 1 .. .. 21

Continuing 10 5/2 1 2 1 .. .. 21

53rd Council 18 9/4 2 3 1 1 4 42

54th Council 19 10/5 2 4 2 .. .. 42

Source: A Green, NSW Legislative Council Elections 2007, Background Paper No. 1/09, NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service$File/Legis


A detailed overview of the 2007 election outcomes is included at Appendix 2.

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NSW Labor Governments 2007-2010: controversies and difficulties

Important note: The following brief overview focuses on those issues and events that may have contributed to the decline in support for Labor during the years leading up to the 2011 election. The account does not explore the aspirations, nor assess the achievements, of Labor in government.

Iemma government (3 August 2005 - 5 September 2008)

Morris Iemma’s government was returned in the 2007 election after losing only three seats to the Coalition, notwithstanding earlier controversies involving ministers and internal party struggles.

Iemma continued to be dogged by controversy from early in his new premiership. Paul Gibson lost his cabinet post just hours before he was due to be sworn in, when allegations of assault against his former partner surfaced. Gibson was not charged, but was not reinstated.5 In December 2007, Iemma announced the privatisation of the state’s electricity assets and Water Minister Phil Koperberg stood down during a police investigation into allegations of domestic violence in 1987. In the event, no charges were laid.6

In February 2008, Koperberg resigned from cabinet due to ill health7 and Parliamentary Secretary Noreen Hay was stood down briefly after being named in an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigation into the Wollongong Council.8 The investigation also caused embarrassment to Ports Minister Joe Tripodi because of his association with suspended ALP official Joe Scimone, who was subsequently sacked from his senior position in the NSW Maritime Authority.9

In March 2008, Iemma announced plans for a North West Metro light rail,10 and former minister Milton Orkopoulos—who was sacked by Iemma in November 2006 and was no longer an MP—was convicted of child sex and drug supply offences.11 The government sacked the Wollongong Council

5. ‘Ministers stood down by Iemma’, The Daily Telegraph, 13 June 2008, viewed 8 March 2011, 1111116626324

6. A Clennell, ‘Claims of double standards as Koperberg reinstated’, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 January 2008, viewed 11 April 2011, reinstated/2008/01/17/1200419974167.html 7. S Benson, ‘Sick Phil Koperberg resigns from NSW cabinet’, The Daily Telegraph, 22 February 2008, viewed 11 April

2011, 1111115617371 8. B Glanville, ‘Iemma sacks MP involved in ICAC inquiry’, ABC PM, 29 February 2008, viewed 11 April 2011, 9. A Smith, ‘Scimone sacked from high-paid position’, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 March 2008, viewed 11 April 2011, 10. I Salusinzsky, ‘Iemma hails $12bn “metro revolution”, The Australian, 19 March 2008, viewed 11 April 2011, http://parlinfo/parlInfo/download/media/pressclp/ORXP6/upload_binary/orxp62.pdf;fileType%3Dapplication%2Fp


11. AAP, ‘NSW MP Orkopoulos guilty of sex charges’, 14 March 2008, Channel 9 News, viewed 9 March 2011,

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after the ICAC found systemic corruption in the Council and said that four Labor councillors had ‘an improper relationship with a developer’.12

In May 2008, the ALP State Conference overwhelmingly rejected the proposed electricity privatisation, but the government introduced the relevant legislation in June 2008. Iemma also stood aside Minister John Della Bosca in the aftermath of an incident at a nightclub.13 Later, in the wake of the state's failed electricity privatisation push, and having lost Iemma’s support, Treasurer Michael Costa resigned on 5 September 2008.14 On the same day, Iemma was replaced as leader by Nathan Rees and resigned from parliament.

Rees government (5 September 2008 - 4 December 2009)

Nathan Rees assumed the premiership amid sustained tensions within the ALP, with the new Rees frontbench described as a ‘win for factional hacks’.15 Within days, newly-promoted Police Minister Matt Brown resigned from cabinet, having lied to Rees about his reported antics at a post-Budget party the previous June.16

In October 2008, Rees announced plans for a Sydney Metro light rail from the CBD to Rozelle, and a week later shelved the North West Metro plans.17 In November 2008, Small Business Minister Tony Stewart was sacked after an inquiry found he had acted inappropriately towards a female staffer.18 Stewart sought a judicial inquiry into the matter, and began legal proceedings against the government. The dispute lasted many months.19

12. ‘NSW MP scandals since 2007’,, 1 March 2011, viewed 9 March 2011, 4243-438e-b0c2-a5a5e94734c0

13. B Robins, ‘Della Bosca stood aside over nightclub affair’, Newcastle Herald, 13 June 2008, viewed 9 March 2011, affair/789322.aspx

14. ‘Iemma sacks Costa, reshuffle imminent’, ABC News, 5 September 2008, viewed 11 April 2011, 15. H Nott, ‘Reshuffle win for factional hacks’, Canberra Times, 9 September 2008 , viewed 11 April 2011,;query%3DId%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2FMUHR6


16. A Tibbits and A Smith, ‘New Rees Police Minister Matt Brown quits over sex antics’, The Age, 11 September 2008, viewed 9 March 2011, antics-20080911-4dy5.html

17. N Ralston and D Rose, ‘NSW axes NW metro, trims SW rail project’, The Age, 31 October 2008, viewed 9 March 2011, 18. B Miller, ‘Rees faces backlash over Stewart sacking’, ABC The World Today, 12 November 2008, viewed 8 April 2011, 19. L Carty, ‘Stewart saga haunts Rees’, Sydney Morning Herald, 31 May 2009 , viewed 11 April 2011,

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The year 2009 began with Rees reportedly beholden to his party’s bitterly-divided Right faction over two cabinet vacancies.20 In September 2009, John Della Bosca resigned as Health Minister after revelations he had an extra-marital affair with a 26-year-old woman.21

In October 2009, Premier Rees secured ALP State Conference support to select his own frontbench— something which Kevin Rudd had achieved at the federal level early in his leadership.22 The Conference decision was described as giving Rees an ‘extraordinary power’ to ‘hire and fire’.23 Rees used the power to sack frontbenchers Ian Macdonald and party powerbroker Joe Tripodi.24 But on

1 December 2009, the Sydney Morning Herald reported ‘moves ... within the Labor caucus ... to overthrow the Premier ... in favour of either the backbencher Frank Sartor or the Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal’.25 Two days later it declared that ‘Mr Rees’ fate will be sealed if the Right can settle on a candidate and lock in its 47 MPs for a block vote’.26 A caucus meeting on the evening of 3 December 2009 saw Rees resign, and Kristina Keneally emerge as Premier.

Keneally government (4 December 2009 - 26 March 2011)

Kristina Keneally was sworn in as the 42nd (and first female) premier of New South Wales on 4 December 2009. Keneally and her deputy, Carmel Tebbutt, were the first two-woman parliamentary leadership team in Australian history. Three weeks later, with privatisation a prominent issue, Keneally announced that Sydney’s ferries would remain in public ownership, but that the government ‘remained totally committed to its Energy Reforms and the long term licence of NSW Lotteries’.27 The Premier also announced payroll tax reductions and that the government had selected the proponent to develop the controversial $6 billion Barangaroo precinct.28

20. I Salusinzsky, ‘Labor at war over cabinet vacancies’, The Weekend Australian, 24 January 2009, viewed 11 April 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2FZKMS6%22 21. A Clennell, ‘Della Bosca quits after sex scandal: “I’ve taken my medicine” ‘, Sydney Morning Herald,

1 September 2009, viewed 11 April 2011, ive-taken-my-medicine-20090901-f5fa.html 22. B Norington, ‘Labor to lock in leader’s right to pick cabinet’, The Australian, 11 February 2008, viewed 19 April 2011,

1111115521920 23. T Ong, ‘Rees’s revenge: ministers axed in reshuffle’, Australian Financial Review, 16 November 2009, p.1, viewed 11 April 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F7B7V6%22 24. Ibid.

25. A Clennell, ‘Vengeance day: Right goes for anyone but Rees’, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 December 2009, viewed 11 April 2011, 26. I Salusinzsky, ‘Right-wing warlords circle Rees for leadership challenge’, The Australian, 3 December 2009, viewed 11 April 2011,

leadership-challenge/story-e6frgczx-1225806338046 27. K Keneally (Premier), media release, 22 December 2009, viewed 4 March 2011,


28. ‘Bangaroo concept plan receives NSW Government approval’, Urbanalyst, viewed 11 April 2011, government-approval.html

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In January 2010, Keneally switched on the desalination plant originally promised by Morris Iemma, and in February announced the scrapping of the proposed CBD Metro.29 A mid-February 2010 Newspoll showed Keneally ‘streets ahead as the preferred leader on 40 per cent, compared to Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell on 31 per cent’, but with ‘Labor far behind in the primary vote on 30 per cent, compared to the Coalition's 44 per cent’.30 The Premier expressed confidence in Penrith MP Karyn Paluzzano, who had been named in an ICAC investigation, only to call for Paluzzano’s suspension from the party three months later.31 A 10-year, $50.2 billion funding package for a Metropolitan Transport Plan was announced.32 In mid-March Keneally launched Sydney Towards 2036, a formal public consultation on Sydney’s Metropolitan Strategy,33 which had been originally released in 2005 and which sought to address infrastructure and other issues related to population growth in NSW.

In April, the Premier announced an independent investigation into the troubled F3 freeway,34 and in May 2010, Transport Minister David Campbell resigned in controversial circumstances.35 June 2010 saw the resignation of two more ministers, Graham West and Ian Macdonald, the latter over unauthorised travel expenses.36 An amendment to the NSW Constitution was proposed to recognise Aboriginal people as ‘as the first people and nations of the State’.37 Laws were also introduced for criminals to be electronically monitored, placed on strict curfews and forced to undergo mandatory rehabilitation.38

In July 2010, Cabinet decided to oppose a private member’s Bill seeking to create a criminal offence of wearing a burqa in public places.39 Keneally announced a Joint Select Committee on Parliamentary

29. ‘Keneally scraps CBD metro plans’, ABC News, , 22 February 2010, viewed 11 April 2011, 30. ABC News, 24 February 2010, viewed 11 April 2011, 31. K Keneally (Premier), media release, 11 February 2010, viewed 4 March 2011, 32. K Keneally (Premier), media release, 21 February 2010, viewed 4 March 2011, 33. K Keneally (Premier), media release, ‘NSW Government launches historic Metropolitan Strategy Review’, 17 March


34. News report, ‘Investigation under way over F3 gridlock’, Channel 9 News, 14 April 2010, viewed 11 April 2011, 35. I Salusinzsky, ‘Minister caught at gay club: David Campbell resigns’, The Australian, 21 May 2010, viewed 4 April 2011,

campbell-resigns/story-e6frgczx-1225869390970 36. L Hall, ‘Keneally loses another minister’, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 June 2010, Viewed 4 April 2011, 37. K Keneally (Premier), media release, 16 June 2010, viewed 4 March 2011, 38. K Keneally (Premier), media release, 10 June 2010, viewed 11 April 2011, 39. L Hall, ‘NSW Cabinet votes against burqa law’, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 August 2010, viewed 11 April 2011,

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Procedure—comprising across-party representatives from both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council—to examine parliamentary reforms, including appointing an ethics adviser.40

In September 2010, the Premier introduced legislation for whistleblower protection, and in October, announced a $1 billion surplus for 2009-10 ‘well above the revised forecast’. 41 The Premier also introduced ‘a bill that implements groundbreaking reforms to political donations ... and increased public funding of election campaigns’.42 The bill passed into law, and came into effect on 1 January 2011. Keneally later criticised Opposition Leader O’Farrell about the Liberal Party’s reported rush to secure donations before the 1 January deadline.43 Keneally also threw her support behind the Greens’ proposals to ban donations from tobacco companies.44

In December 2010, Keneally announced ‘the largest investment in disability services in New South Wales’ history and the most significant investment made by a State Government anywhere in Australia’45—a $2 billion Stronger Together 2006-2016 initiative—and also released the Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036. But events were overshadowed by the Premier’s sacking of Drummoyne MP Angela D’Amore after a corruption inquiry found that she had ‘rorted staff expense claims and should be considered for possible criminal charges’.46 On 14 December 2010, Treasurer Roozendaal announced the $5.3 billion outcome of the first tranche of the electricity privatisation process. Eight board members of the two state-owned companies involved resigned in protest—an action that the Treasurer reportedly described as ‘a minor hitch in a major process’.47

To the dismay of many, parliament was prorogued on 22 December 2010, intensifying the controversy over electricity asset sales, and sparking heated arguments about the validity of a Legislative Council committee inquiry into the matter.48 The inquiry went ahead in January 2011 and

40. A Bennett, ‘Parliamentary reform flagged by premier’, The Age, 7 September 2010, viewed 18 April 2011, 14z47.html

41. B Robins, ‘Keneally brings in billion-dollar election baby’, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 October 2010, viewed 11 April 2011, 42. K Keaneally, ‘“Agreed to in Principle” , Election Funding and Disclosures Amendment Bill 2010’, NSW Legislative Assembly, Debates, 28 October 2010, viewed 11 April 2011,$FILE/LA %209510.pdf 43. K Keneally (Premier), media release, 19 November 2010, viewed 4 March 2011, 44. K Keneally (Premier), media release, 9 November 2010, viewed 9 March 2011, 45. K Keneally (Premier), media release, 3 December 2010, viewed 9 March 2011, 46. Prime 7 News, ‘D’Amore stood down over expenses rort’, 7 December 2010, viewed 29 March 2011, 47. ‘Resignations a “minor hitch”: NSW Treasurer defends $5.3 billion electricity sell-off’, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 December 2010, viewed 11 April 2011,

defends-53-billion-electricity-selloff-20101215-18xa6.html 48. G Jones, ‘Kristina Keneally closes parliament three months before election’, The Daily Telegraph, 22 December 2010, viewed 8 April 2011,


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Keneally appeared before it on 17 January. On 27 January she said that the government was ‘unlikely to push through the second part of [the] electricity sell-off before the March election’.49

On 28 January 2011, the husband of Education Minister Verity Firth, Matthew Chesher, was charged with drug possession. Chesher was also chief of staff to Roads Minister David Borger.50

In an address to the National Press Club on 11 February 2011, Premier Keneally began with what she called ‘a blunt acknowledgement’ that the ‘Government and the ... Party ... indulged itself in an internal debate for far too long’ leading to ’the loss of trust between the community and the government’.51 Keneally detailed her reform efforts and successes, highlighting the state’s economic improvement and her government’s strong budget position, and outlining a range of new policies. Her theme was one of change in government as opposed to a change of government. She declared: ‘I am facing the political fight of my life. It might surprise you to know that I am relishing it. I am looking forward to this campaign. I am looking forward to it because it matters’.52

A February 2011 account of Keneally’s premiership published by AAP described it in the following terms:

Since she ousted former Premier Nathan Rees ... Ms Keneally's government has been beset by political scandal. Two MPs ... were found to have rorted staff expenses by the state’s corruption watchdog, the ICAC. Two ministers ... resigned over sex and porn allegations ... while minister of state Ian Macdonald quit parliament over claims he rorted travel expenses on a trip to the Middle East.

Adding to the premier's woes has been a steady stream of retirements, including senior Labor figures ... A total of 22 Labor MPs will retire at the March poll, many under Ms Keneally's push for a renewal of Labor's stock. ... Political scandal has been accompanied by outrage over some policy decisions, including ... when the Labor government scrapped the CBD Metro plan, and ... the troubled power privatisation.

Despite her government's poor polling figures, [Keneally] was one of the country's most popular leaders. But [her] decision before Christmas to prorogue parliament severely dented her personal standing. ... Ms Keneally admits she misjudged public sentiment about the inquiry into the $5.3 billion sell-off of state-owned power assets.


49. ABC Radio, The World Today, 27 January 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 50. ‘Keneally backs Firth after husband’s drug charge’, ABC News, 30 January 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 51. K Keneally, Press Club Address, 11 February 2011, viewed 9 March 2011, 52. Ibid.

53. ‘No regrets for Keneally despite hard year’, AAP, 24 February 2011, viewed 11 April 2011,

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NSW Opposition 2007-2010

Barry O’Farrell became the NSW Opposition Leader in April 2007, ousting Peter Debnam, whom many Liberals considered unelectable following his failure to wrest more seats from an unpopular Labor government at the 2007 election.54

From 2007, O’Farrell’s job was seen as one of ‘surfing the growing wave of anti-Labor discontent’.55 The Liberals remained well ahead in the polls from 2008, but they were not without their own factional troubles. O’Farrell had previously declared the party ‘a writhing snake pit’ of factionalism. 56 In May 2008, it was reported that substantial reforms had been achieved as a result of ‘frenzied behind-the-scenes activity engineered by ... Barry O'Farrell after the party's state council meeting’.57

May 2008 also saw the resignation from the shadow ministry of Peter Debnam, dismayed by O’Farrell’s then ‘conditional acceptance’ of Labor’s electricity privatisation plans.58 Later, in August 2008, O’Farrell refused to back Iemma’s proposed sale of the state’s electricity assets, citing former Prime Minister Robert Menzies’ views that economic efficiency was ‘not about ownership but competition’.59 O’Farrell told the ABC that he would ‘guarantee ... that before the next election, [the public will] have our detailed energy policy.’60

In October 2008, three by-elections for Labor-held seats saw significant swings to the Liberals, including a win in Ryde, formerly held by Iemma’s deputy, John Watkins. In December O’Farrell reshuffled his front bench.61

In a speech to the Sydney Institute in March 2009, O’Farrell argued for California-style ‘recall provisions’ to compel an allegedly incompetent government to an election, and proposed that an independent group of experts explore possible constitutional changes with a view to putting the matter to a referendum.62 That same month O'Farrell launched ‘Start the Change’, where he

outlined a ‘five point action plan’ involving the creation of 100 000 new jobs, establishing district

54. A Clennell and A Davies, ‘Whispers of now or never for O’Farrell’ , Sydney Morning Herald, 26 March 2007,viewed 8 April 2011, ofarrell/2007/03/25/1174761283912.html

55. B Evans, ‘The man who would be premier’, Inside Story, 16 February 2011, viewed 8 April 2011, 56. Ibid.

57. M Colless, ‘Bitter rivals learn lessons’, The Australian, 24 June 2008, viewed 8 April 2011, 58. A Mitchell, ‘Debnam resigns over electricity privatisation’, Crikey, 12 May 2008, viewed 8 April 2011, 59. Evans, op.cit. 60. ABC Stateline NSW, 29 August 2008, viewed 4 March 2011, 61. AAP, ‘State opposition front bench reshuffle’, The Australian, 28 December 2008, viewed 11 April 2011,

1111118421718 62. B O’Farrell, Restoring good governance, speech, 12 March 2009, viewed 4 March 2011,

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health boards, building north-west and south-west rail links, reforming campaign finance, Freedom of Information (FOI) and whistleblower legislation, and strengthening local decision-making, especially around planning issues. The action plan evolved into the centrepiece of the Coalition’s push for government.63

In August 2009, press reports emerged that O’Farrell was under internal pressure ‘to bring about generational change in his ageing team before the state election’. 64 Two of his close associates, Jillian Skinner and Brad Hazzard, were apparently targets.65 That month, O’Farrell published an article in the Sydney Morning Herald highlighting a Coalition push for campaign finance reform. He argued for caps on donations, bans on funds coming from ‘third party’ organisations, and regulations for lobbyists, including a ban on ‘success fees’.66 By October 2009, O’Farrell had declared that the Coalition had publicly released ‘more than 30 policies in areas ranging from economic growth, fiscal responsibility, public administration, health, transport, environment and others’.67

In March 2010, O’Farrell declared the start of a year-long campaign ‘to make NSW number one again’.68 In a special debate with Premier Keneally, O’Farrell said that he had ‘managed to extract a commitment ... for the ... auditor-general, rather than treasury officials, to cost the Government's and the Coalition's promises ahead of the election’.69 Earlier, however, the Liberals had been forced to publicly affirm O’Farrell’s leadership after a poll showed Keneally ‘enjoying a lead as preferred premier’.70 But by mid-2010 The Australian had declared O’Farrell ‘the most successful opposition leader in the history of opinion polling in NSW’.71 In June 2010, the Liberals won the Penrith by-election with a 25 per cent swing against Labor.

Having targeted graffiti vandalism with his hardline You spray, you pay initiative in May,72 O’Farrell announced in July that, under a NSW Coalition government, democratically elected councils would

63. See ‘Barry’s Five Point Action Plan’, viewed 4 March 2011, five-point-action-plan.html 64. A Clennell , ‘O’Farrell pushed to dump ageing team’ Brisbane Times, 12 August 2009, viewed 10 March 2011, 65. Ibid.

66. B O’Farrell, ‘Campaign-finance reform long overdue’, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 August 2009, viewed 10 March 2011, 67. B O’Farrell, ‘SMH journo full of cliché and stereotypes’ The Age, 22 October 2009, viewed 10 March 2011, 68. L Hall, ‘One year out O’Farrell picks election slogan’, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 March 2010, viewed 3 March 2011, 69. I Salusinzsky, ‘Kristina Keneally and Barry O’Farrell spar in first public debate’ The Australian, 26 March 2010, viewed 10 March 2011,

barry-ofarrell-spar-in-first-public-debate/story-e6frgczx-1225846041109 70. I Salusinzsky, ‘NSW Liberals united behind O’Farrell leadership’ The Australian, 30 January 2011, viewed 10 March 2011,

leadership/story-e6frg6nf-1225824866465 71. I Salusinzsky, ‘Barry O’Farrell now the clear pick’, The Australian, 30 June 2010, viewed 10 March 2011, 72. B O’Farrell, ‘You spray, you pay’, media release, 7 April 2010, viewed 9 February 2011, YOU-SPRAY-YOU-PAY.aspx

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return to Wollongong and Shellharbour.73 In an address to the Institute of Public Administration, Australia (IPAA) he promised that his creation of a new Public Service Commissioner would help kick-start a new era of ‘trust’ and ‘enthusiasm’.74

In September 2010, O’Farrell spoke in support of a bill to allow same-sex couples to adopt children, saying the current system was discriminatory.75 He announced the Liberals’ plans for a 21st Century Neighbourhood Watch Program and travelled New South Wales to promote his Clubs and Community Rescue Package.76 In November, O’Farrell pursued the theme of customer-oriented government services. He promised to ‘pilot 16 One-Stop-Shop walk-in centres across metropolitan and regional NSW’; to establish ‘a single, 24/7 ... phone number answered by NSW-based staff’ and a new customer-focussed Internet portal equipped to give real time information about government services. He proposed ‘NSW Government apps for mobile devices to enable users to obtain free real time information’ on traffic flows, public transport timetables, health information, and local community information.77

At the end of 2010, the press reported that O'Farrell was ‘staking his political career on an election pledge to get transport projects started in his first term of office’ and that ‘he's told voters they shouldn't return him to office in the 2015 election if he fails to live up to his promise of starting either the M4 East or M5 duplication projects’.78 When Keneally sought the prorogation of parliament, O’Farrell mounted a sustained attack on her and her reluctance to support a Legislative Council inquiry into the electricity privatisation matter. Keneally eventually gave evidence at the inquiry, but O’Farrell claimed that her information was ‘false’ and was ‘directly contradicted’ by the facts.79 The 2011 election campaign was about to begin in earnest.

73. M Jones, ‘O’Farrell says he’ll return councils to people by 2011’ , Illawarra Mercury, 2 July 2010, viewed 10 March 2011, to-people-by-2011/1874380.aspx

74. B O’Farrell, Speech, 22 July 2010, viewed 10 March 2011, %2022%20July%202010%20FINAL.pdf

75. ‘Barry O’Farrell backs same sex adoption bill’, AAP, 2 Sept 2010, viewed 10 March 2011, 1225913206966

76. B O’Farrell, Blog, 18 October 2010, viewed 10 March 2011, clubs-supporting-our-community.html 77. B O’Farrell, Blog, 23 November 2010, viewed 10 March 2011, customer-service-to-nsw.html 78. ‘O’Farrell stakes career on building roads’, Ninemsn, 27 December 2010, viewed 10 March 2011, 79. B O’Farrell, ‘Keneally needs to consider her fitness to lead’, media release, 23 February 2011, viewed 10 March 2011,

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The minor parties and independents 2007-2010

After the 2007 election, independent members occupied six seats in the Assembly. Prior to the 2007 election there had been some speculation that independents would win more Assembly seats and possibly hold the balance of power in a hung parliament. This did not eventuate. One independent lost his seat and Greg Piper was elected to Lake Macquarie. Other independents were Clover Moore (Sydney), Richard Torbay (Northern Tablelands), Peter Draper (Tamworth), Dawn Fardell (Dubbo) and Rob Oakeshott (Port Macquarie). Oakeshott resigned in August 2008, and another independent, Peter Besseling, replaced him in October 2008.80 The independent Richard Torbay became Assembly Speaker on 8 May 2007.

In the Legislative Council—for which 21 seats had been elected in 2007—the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) occupied two seats; the Greens increased from three to four seats with the election of Dr John Kaye; and the Shooters and Fishers Party increased from one to two seats with the election of Roy Smith. In September 2010, Cate Faehrmann replaced long-serving Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon, who won a Senate seat at the 2010 federal election.

Reverend Gordon Moyes was originally appointed to fill a Christian Democrat casual vacancy in 2002, but following an acrimonious internal dispute, Moyes was expelled from the CDP in April 2009. Moyes was especially critical of the party’s leader, Reverend Fred Nile, whom he accused of running the party as a personal ‘cult’.81 After a brief period as an independent, from November 2009 Moyes flew the Family First banner, notwithstanding that the party had yet to be registered with the NSW Electoral Commission.82 Moyes’s term expired at the 2011 election, whereas Nile’s term expires in 2015.

The Shooters Party had been formed in May 1992 and John Tingle became its first Legislative Council member in 1995. Re-elected in 2003, he retired in ill-health in 2006 to be replaced by Robert Brown. In 2007 Roy Smith was also elected. When Smith died in 2010, Robert Borsak assumed the seat. The party is affiliated with the national body of the Shooters and Fishers Party.

The numbers in the Legislative Council between 2007 and 2010 made for potentially interesting voting dynamics. The President of the Council does not have a vote, except where the votes are equal, when the President delivers a casting vote. For the Labor Government to have bills passed in the Council it needed either Greens support, or the combined support of the Shooters and Fishers, CDP and Family First, or some other combination of support that delivered it a majority of votes. The Coalition Opposition, with 15 seats, could defeat legislation or initiate and pass legislation in the Council only by garnering a sufficient level of support from the Greens, CDP, Shooters and Fishers, and Family First.

80. A Green, ‘2007 NSW Election Final Analysis’, Background Paper No. 1/08, op. cit. 81. See archived website , viewed 30 March 2011. 82. A Green, ‘The Christian Democrat Schism’, Blog, 11 November 2009, viewed 30 March 2011,

NSW 2011 Election


The election campaign: a brief overview

At the NSW state election scheduled for 26 March 2011 there were 93 Legislative Assembly seats to be decided, and 21 Legislative Councillors to be elected. Of the 93 Assembly seats, the ALP held 50, the Coalition held 37, and Independents held six. Of the 21 Council seats whose terms were expiring, 10 had been held by the ALP, seven by the Coalition, two by the Greens, one by the Shooters and Fishers, and one by Family First.

A total of 809 candidates nominated for the election. There were 498 candidates for the Assembly (down from 537 in 2007) and 311 candidates for the Council (down from 333 in 2007). There were 21 more independent candidates overall than in 2007, and the Christian Democratic Party fielded a record 86 candidates, 29 more than in 2007. Family First was contesting its first NSW election with 15 Assembly candidates. The Liberal/National Coalition drew the first column Group A on the Legislative Council ballot paper.83

As the election neared, polls strengthened their prediction of a landslide majority for the Coalition in the Assembly, and there had been speculation that the Coalition might also control the Upper House.84

In what was, in the early stages, a low-key affair, various media events paved the way to the parties’ official campaign launches. The two leaders held a debate in Penrith on 7 February 2011 at which O’Farrell promised, among other things, a judicial review of the power asset sell-off and ‘left open the possibility of abandoning the sale if the Coalition wins’.85 O’Farrell and Keneally each appeared at the National Press Club. Keneally’s speech included an apology for Labor’s shortcomings.86 The speech by O’Farrell included an admission that meeting voter expectations, especially around infrastructure project deadlines, might prove a challenge.87 Keneally began a month-long promotion of her Fairness for Families package; O’Farrell declared his intention to attract major sporting and other international events to the state.

In mid-February, a Herald/Nielsen poll saw the Coalition leading Labor 66 per cent to 34 per cent on a two-party preferred basis—described as ‘ the biggest [gulf]... in the 39 year history of the Nielsen Poll’.88 Mr O'Farrell also led Ms Keneally as preferred premier by 52 per cent to 38 per cent—the first

83. A Green, ‘Summary of nominations for the NSW election’, Blog, 10 March 2011, viewed 9 April 2011, 84. ABC Television, ‘Coalition may govern Upper House’, Stateline NSW, 4 March 2011, viewed 18 April 2011, 85. G Jones, ‘West the butt of Labor’s bad joke’, The Daily Telegraph, 8 February 2011, viewed 9 March 2011, 1226001762816 86. 9 News, ‘Keneally admits mood for change in NSW’, viewed 10 March 2011, 87. G Jones, ‘Barry O’Farrell’s greatest fear’, The Daily Telegraph, 10 February 2011, viewed 29 March 2011, 1226003268223 88. S Nicholls, ‘Keneally plunges to record low’, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 February 2011, viewed 8 April 2011,

2011 NSW Election


time since the March 1995 election that an Opposition leader had been preferred Premier.89 Meanwhile the NSW Greens decided not to direct preferences to either major party in the Legislative Council, nor in at least 30 seats in the Legislative Assembly.90 Urban planning and land use received considerable media coverage—an issue linked to controversial ministerial powers under ‘Part 3a’ planning laws.91

At the Liberals’ official campaign launch on 20 February, O’Farrell’s pledges included substantial funds for hospitals, police station upgrades, new express rail services and ‘honest, competent, stable government’.92 A second leaders’ debate was a ‘lacklustre’ affair, but with frequent press comment about Keneally’s effective communication style compared with O’Farrell’s more low-key approach. 93 The Nationals’ campaign launch focused on regional communities and prompted debate about speed limits on country roads. Meanwhile, the federal carbon price issue began to spark some debate at state level.94

With the government heading into caretaker mode on 4 March—dogged by some controversy around rejection of a mining proposal95 and the Barangaroo development96—the Coalition introduced a law-and-order theme into its campaign with a plan to strengthen police responses to anti-social behaviour and drunkenness.97 O’Farrell also announced more than 20 reviews that the Coalition would undertake across various infrastructure projects and planning laws.98

89. Ibid.

90. S Nicholls, ‘Greens back away from major party preferences’, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 1aqju.html

91. N Gooch and W Bacon, ‘What will the Libs do about Part 3A?’,, 18 March 2011, viewed 18 April 2011, 92. S Nicholls, ‘Libs launch campaign with pitch to Labor heartland’, Brisbane Times, 21 February 2011, viewed 11 April 2011,

labor-heartland-20110220-1b13m.html 93. D Marr, ’Perky prima donna more on song than tenor’ The Age, 25 February 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, and A Clennell, ‘Kristina Keneally won the debate, but so what?’, The Daily Telegraph, 25 February 2011, fn7q4q9f-1226011612542 94. ABC News, ‘Carbon tax hits NSW election race’, 25 February 2011, viewed 18 April 2011, 95. I Kirkwood, ‘Mine rejected at last minute’, Newcastle Herald, 5 March 2011, viewed 9 March 2011, 96. ‘NSW Parliament closure “allows Barangaroo change”’ , ABC News, 3 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 97. J Fife-Yeomans, ‘NSW Liberal party wants to stop anti-social behaviour by making public drunkenness illegal’, The

Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2011, viewed 10 March 2011, drunks-in-cells/story-e6frfkvr-1226013864173 98. A Clennell, ‘Politics NSW-style: 20 reviews, 23 inquiries’, The Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2011, viewed 17 March 2011,


NSW 2011 Election


As the election campaign ramped up, the press reported that there was little doubt about ‘the sheer scale of the electoral rout that is looming’ on March 26:99

Labor's primary vote of 23 per cent is the lowest recorded for any Labor administration since Newspoll began taking state polls in 1984. On that number, Labor will be lucky to retain half of the 50 seats it currently holds in the 93-seat state lower house. And this was no rogue poll: Labor's support has been stuck in the mid-20s for most of the past 15 months. Nobody can think of a similar case in the history of Australian politics. ..

"This swing will be the biggest in NSW since the Liberal Party came into existence," predicts veteran election analyst Malcolm Mackerras. He points out that, also for the first time in its history, the Liberal Party by itself is likely to hold a majority of lower-house seats. ...

The NSW Central Coast and outer southwest Sydney are already write-offs, along with Labor's few remaining rural and regional outposts. ... The Liberal Party is poised to win its first Newcastle seat -- Newcastle itself, or Charlestown, or both -- along with several seats in Sydney's south, including Kogarah, that have been Labor as long as they have existed. Former premier Nathan Rees is in trouble in his outer-western Sydney seat of Toongabbie, as are nine of NSW Premier Kristina Keneally's 19 ministers.


On 6 March ALP State Secretary, Sam Dastyari, declared that O’Farrell ‘is going to win this thing, and he is going to win it big’.101 The Age reported on 9 March 2011 that the polls suggested the party could be reduced to a rump of 13 seats in a 93-seat chamber. More generous predictions put it closer to 25.102

For much of the campaign period, press coverage of independents and minor party candidates was largely confined to local media—although the Daily Telegraph ran a piece in late January on Peter Madden, a vehemently anti-Green CDP candidate and self-declared ‘former sex addict’ who was challenging Clover Moore for the seat of Sydney.103 The emergence of the controversial former One Nation figure, Pauline Hanson, as a Legislative Council candidate drew considerable press comment. She nominated as one of a group of 16 candidates running as independents for the Upper House, with her name appearing first on the list of the un-named Group J. Thus Hanson was able to garner a

99. I Salusinzsky, ’O’Farrell takes care to keep all his options open’, The Australian, 5 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 1226015777751

100. Ibid.

101. L Silmalis, ‘ALP boss Sam Dastyari admits “it’s all over”’, Herald Sun, 6 March 2011, viewed 30 March 2011, 102. S Green, ‘On a hiding to nothing’, The Age, 11 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 103. G Jones, ‘Peter Madden- look who Fred Nile reckons can oust Clover Moore’, The Daily Telegraph, 26 January 2011,

viewed 11 April 2011, reckons-can-oust-clover-moore/story-e6freuzi-1225994500203

2011 NSW Election


significant number of primary votes from those who voted Group J ‘above the line’.104 It was Hanson’s second attempt to secure a seat in the NSW Legislative Council.105

Two weeks out from the election, press reports suggested that the Greens might take the seats of Balmain and Marrickville held by Labor frontbenchers.106 The Weekend Australian opined that Labor was ‘a lost cause’ and that O’Farrell ‘should therefore use the remaining fortnight of the campaign to establish a mandate for some specific initiatives’.107 The Greens officially launched their campaign on 13 March with a headline policy to build three new base-load solar thermal power plants at a cost of $2.1 billion, to be paid for by issuing $525 million in Green infrastructure bonds.108 The Greens warned of ‘conservative’ control of the Upper House, and alleged that the government was shredding documents to hide its failures.109 Interestingly, polls were showing both support for, and support draining from, the Greens.110 The Opposition referred the document shredding allegations to ICAC.111

Controversy swirled around remarks by Greens Marrickville candidate Fiona O’Byrne concerning a possible ban on contact with Israel.112 Long-serving Greens MP, Ian Cohen, was later to say the issue ‘undermined the party’s bid to capitalise on voter discontent with Labor’.113 A pre-election poll of 500 Marrickville voters—the results of which emerged after O’Byrne’s loss by a margin of less than

104. A Clennell, ‘Pauline Hanson nominates for NSW Upper House in new run for politics’, Herald Sun, 9 March 2011 105. A Green, ‘Pauline Hanson and the NSW Legislative Council election’, Blog, 9 March 2011, viewed 12 April 2011, 106. A Clennell, ‘How Green is the rally’, The Daily Telegraph, 12 March 2011, viewed 30 March 2011,;query%3DId%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F616392 %22 107. I Salusinzsky, ‘With ALP a lost cause, Libs must seek a mandate’, Weekend Australian, 12 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F617733%2 2

108. J Tovey, ‘NSW Greens launch campaign in Sydney’, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 March 2011, viewed 1 April 2011, 109. AAP, ‘Greens concerned at Labor shredding documents before NSW election’,, 13 March 2011, viewed 1 April 2011,

before-nsw-election/story-e6frfku0-1226020642333 110. D Warne-Smith, ‘No poll will spoil their confidence ... yet’, The Australian, 14 March 2011 , viewed 30 March 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F620993%2


111. NSW Liberal Party, ‘Labor’s document shredding referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption’, media release, viewed 11 April 2011, shredding-referred-to-the-independent-commission-against-corruption.html

112. I Salusinzsky, ‘Byrne’s Israel boycott slammed’, The Australian, 15 March 2011 , viewed 30 March 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F622819%2 2

113. M Knott, ‘NSW Greens MP: Israel boycott has undermined our campaign’, Crikey, 25 March 2011, viewed 30 March 2011,

NSW 2011 Election


one per cent—showed that ‘more than one in three voters ... were less likely to vote for the Greens candidate because of her support for the policy’.114

During a third leaders’ debate on 14 March 2011, Keneally warned voters against giving O’Farrell ‘a blank cheque’ at the March 26 election.115 O’Farrell announced the Coalition’s “Contract with NSW" which included investing $3 billion in hospitals, scrapping the part 3A planning laws, fast-tracking the north-west and south-west rail links and giving families with children electricity bill rebates.116

A week out from the election, the Daily Telegraph editorialised that Keneally was ‘already in post-poll mode’117 and the Sun-Herald declared ‘Victory is yours, Barry. Now earn our trust’.118 At the ALP’s official campaign launch, just six days before election day, Keneally pressed ‘ three main messages: the achievements of Labor's 16 years in power, the dangers of a coalition government, and a plea to the faithful to keep campaigning hard until Saturday's poll’.119

Meanwhile, the Greens announced they would ‘work with any side of politics’ to terminate the sale of the state's electricity assets.120 Greens MP David Shoebridge claimed that the party’s vote ‘would be better than its 2007 result’.121

Bickering between the parties about the costings of their various election promises helped to animate the last week of the campaign,122 while both O’Farrell and Keneally spent time touring electorates on campaign buses.

114. I Salusinzsky and L Shanahan, ‘Boycott call “cost Greens state seat” in Marrickville’, The Australian, 15 April 2011, viewed 15 April 2011, marrickville/story-fn59niix-1226039401886

115. ‘Labor warns of “blank cheque”’, The Advertiser, 15 March 2011, viewed 30 March 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F622430%2 2

116. A Clennell, ‘My contract to you’, The Daily Telegraph, 16 March 2011, viewed 30 March 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F625299%2 2

117. Editorial, ‘Kristina’s already in post-poll mode’, The Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2011, viewed 30 March 2011, 1226024235950

118. Editorial, ‘Victory is yours, Barry. Now earn out trust’, Sun-Herald 20 March 2011, viewed 30 March 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F633985%2 2

119. V Morello, ‘Keneally kicks off final push to election’, 7 News, 20 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 120. S Don, ’We’ll tear up the contracts’, The Australian, 22 March 2011, viewed 30 March 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F638629%2


121. AAP, ‘We can control upper house: Greens’, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 122. A Bennett and V Morello, ‘NSW leaders clash over election costings’, WA Today, 20 March 2011, viewed 8 April 2011,


2011 NSW Election


On the eve of the election, The Australian reported a Newspoll showing that the Coalition's primary support was 50 per cent, ‘producing a gap of 27 percentage points, the largest ever recorded between the major parties in NSW’.123 The Coalition was ‘ahead by 64 per cent to 36 per cent in two party-preferred terms, also the largest lead recorded’.124


A comprehensive account of the pre-election situation in 2011 for each NSW Assembly seat and for the Legislative Council was prepared by Antony Green for the NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service: A Green, 2011 NSW Election Preview—Analysis of Past Voting Patterns by Electorate, Background Paper No. 1/2011.125

On 25 March 2011 the Sydney Morning Herald published an election eve summary of the state of play in each of the NSW Assembly seats: It’s a swing, not as we’ve known it.126

123. I Salusinzsky, ‘O’Farrell cruising to victory as “gutsy” Keneally leads Labor to Newspoll nadir’, The Australian, 25 March 2011, viewed 30 March 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F647602%2 2

124. Ibid.

125. A Green, 2011 NSW Election Preview—Analysis of Past Voting Patterns by Electorate, Background Paper No. 1/2011, NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service, viewed 12 April 2011,$F ile/2011%20NSW%20Election%20Preview.pdf

126. ‘It’s a swing, not as we’ve known it’, Sydney Morning Herald,25 March 2011, viewed 12 April 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F648886%2 2

NSW 2011 Election


The election outcome

On 26 March 2011, the polls predicting a Coalition landslide victory were proven correct. (A detailed overview of the results appears at Appendix 1.)

Legislative Assembly: a snapshot

NSW voters elected 69 Coalition, 20 ALP, one Green and three independent members to four-year terms in the Legislative Assembly.

Table 1: Transition from 54th to 55th Legislative Assembly

Coalition (LIB / NAT) ALP Independents Greens

Seats in 54th Assembly # 37 (22+2 / 13) 52-2 (50) 6 0

Seats in 55th Assembly 69 (51/18) 20 3 1

Seats lost in 2011 0 30 3 n/a

Seats gained in 2011 32 (27/5) 0 0 1

# Count includes seats won by Liberals from Labor in two by-elections during 54 th Parliament

Source: Table assembled from NSW Electoral Commission figures

The ALP lost 30 Assembly seats at the 26 March 2011 election. In some instances, it was the first time in decades that the seat had slipped from Labor’s hands (for example, Campbelltown and Maitland) and in the case of Newcastle, only the second Labor loss in ninety years.127 Three independent members lost their seats—all to National Party candidates—including Peter Besseling in the seat of Port Macquarie. He had won the seat following independent Rob Oakeshott’s election to federal parliament. This prompted much debate about the link between the NSW independents’ losses and the relationship of federal independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott to the Gillard Labor government.128

Notwithstanding that the Greens claimed to have increased their 2007 vote by 2 per cent,129 several commentators regarded the election outcome as a disappointment for the Greens.130 In the event, the Greens secured their first ever seat in the Legislative Assembly, with Jamie Parker ousting the sitting Labor member and frontbencher Verity Firth in the seat of Balmain. Firth in fact came third in the ballot after the distribution of preferences.131 However, there were reports post-election of dissatisfaction among Greens MPs with the party’s electoral performance. Upper House MP Cate

127. Electorate Analysis, Crikey, viewed 18 April 2011, 128. N Woodley, ‘NSW election rout a warning for independents, ABC News, 28 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 129. See 130. For example, see ‘Green dream turns to ashes’, The Australian, 31 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 131. A Wood, ‘Historic win as Greens go down to wire’, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 April 2011, viewed 11 April 2011,


2011 NSW Election


Faehrmann criticised the campaign, saying that ‘the election result was underwhelming and that the party had anticipated a much higher primary vote’.132

Legislative Council: a snapshot

Voters elected 11 Coalition, five ALP, one Shooters and Fishers, one Christian Democrat and three Greens candidates to eight-year terms in the Legislative Council.133

Table 2: Transition from 54th to 55th Legislative Council

Coalition (LIB/NAT) ALP CDP GREENS S&F FamFirst Total

Terms expiring 7 (5/2) 10 n/a 2 1 1 21

Terms continuing 8 (5/3) 9 1 2 1 n/a 21

Council members elected in 2011 11 (7/4) 5 1 3 1 0 21

Composition of Council in 2011 19 (12/7) 14 2 5 2 0 42

Source: Table assembled from NSW Electoral Commission figures

Election analyst Antony Green had long predicted that the result of the Family First/Christian Democrat schism in 2009 would be ‘a split in the Christian vote at the 2011 election’.134 In the event, Fred Nile’s CDP received more than double the number of votes cast for Family First and gained an extra Council seat, bringing its total to two.135 The Shooters and Fishers Party had one member elected, thus preserving their two seat presence in the Council.

In April 2011 counting of Legislative Council votes saw the Shooters and Fishers (Robert Brown) and the CDP (Paul Green) poised to fill two of the final four vacancies (the 18th and 19th respectively). The fight for the final two seats in the Legislative Council proved a tussle between the Greens (Jeremy Buckingham), the National Party (Sarah Johnston), and the Independent, Pauline Hanson. 136 Hanson had been in a relatively strong position on the primary vote count. Just hours before the distribution of preferences on 12 April 2011, analyst Antony Green reported the situation in the following terms:

In a major change to the numbers, Pauline Hanson's vote continued to rise, widening the gap ahead of the Greens. More importantly, Ms Hanson has now passed the 11th Coalition candidate, putting the Coalition's 11th seat at risk, and greatly increasing Pauline Hanson's chances of victory. On first preferences Ms Hanson is now in 20th position, the Coalition in 21st and the Greens in 22nd.

132. S Nicholls ‘Green ructions over poor strategy in state election’, Sydney Morning Herald ,7 April 2011, viewed 7 April 2011, 1d4ky.html 133. Full results available at NSW Electoral Commission website: 134. A Green ,’The Christian Democrat Schism’, op. cit. 135. NSW Electoral Commission, viewed 4 April 2011, 136. A candidate for the Legislative Council requires a quota of 4.55 per cent of votes in order to be elected, and if all 21

vacant seats are not filled by a quota, candidates with the largest partial quota can take the remaining seats.

NSW 2011 Election


Ms Hanson leads the Coalition by 7,540 votes and the Greens by 15,470. Ms Hanson also has the advantage that almost all of her votes have been cast for her, not for any other member of her ticket. ... By being ahead of two candidates, and having increased her lead over the Greens, Ms Hanson now has a much greater chance of winning a seat in the Legislative Council. ... [The] NSW Electoral Commissioner will hit the button to distribute preferences at 11am this morning. [12 April] Until that distribution occurs, we will not know who will win the last two seats.


In the event, preferences (specifically those of Family First’s candidate Gordon Moyes) handed one seat to the National Party, and one to the Greens (bringing to five the number of seats held by the party in the Council).138 In his election blog, Antony Green described the closing stages of the

Legislative Council count as follows:

Desperately close race for the final position. The last candidate distributed was Gordon Moyes from Family First. This left Jeremy Buckingham (GRN) on 105 472, Sarah Johnston (NAT) 104,341 and Pauline Hanson 103,035. Johnston was 1,306 votes ahead. Hanson was then excluded, but with only four vacancies to be filled and only four candidates remaining, Buckingham, Johnston, Paul Green (Christian Democrat) and Robert Brown (Shooters and Fishers) were elected to the final seats with Hanson missing out. One very very close race. Hanson led until the very last count when Gordon Moyes (Family First) was excluded. His preferences went 569 to Hanson, 3 196 to Buckingham (GRN) and 3 158 to Johnston (NAT). Hanson had led both Buckingham and Johnston until the distribution of Moyes's preferences.


With the election of Sarah Johnston and 33-year-old Niall Blair, the Nationals have the two youngest members of the NSW Legislative Council.140

It was subsequently reported that defeated candidate Pauline Hanson had called for a recount, saying that ‘preferences were not distributed fairly’ and raising concerns ‘about the randomised preference system used by the NSW Electoral Commission to distribute surplus votes’.141

Apart from her concerns about the random distribution of preferences, she was upset by reports a scrutineer had discovered 15 votes for her in a bundle of blank votes. ''And that's just one bundle that we found,'' she said. ''I haven't got the resources that major political parties have for people to stand there watching it. I want to ensure I did get every vote I was entitled to.''

A NSW Electoral Commission spokesman said a recount would depend on a ruling by the Court of Disputed Returns. Any aggrieved party had 40 days to lodge an appeal after yesterday's return of the election writs. 142

137. A Green, ‘Shock change in final Legislative Council numbers’, Blog, 12 April 2011, viewed 12 April 2011, 138. ‘Hanson falls at final hurdle’, ABC News, viewed 12 April 2011, 139. A Green, ‘Shock change in final Legislative Council numbers’, op. cit. 140. C Ferguson (State Chair NSW Nationals’, ‘Legislative Council result caps remarkable Nationals success’, media

release, n.d., viewed 10 May 2011, 141. B Robins, ‘Hanson requests new vote count and a please explain’, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 April 2011, viewed 14 April 2011,


2011 NSW Election


The eventual outcome saw the Coalition with 19 of the Council's 42 seats (an increase of four); Labor with 14 seats (a decrease of five); the Greens with five (an increase of one); the Christian Democrats with two (an increase of one); and Shooters and Fishers party with two seats (no change). Family First is no longer represented in the Council. The Coalition government will need CDP and Shooters’ support in the Council if it is to pass legislation opposed by Labor and the Greens.

Women in the 55th Parliament

Notwithstanding the number of new faces who will be entering the 55th Parliament, female representation in the Assembly (now 21) is at its lowest since before the 2003 election, when the numbers went from 19 to 23.143 Females will occupy 22.6 per cent of Assembly seats.144

• Nineteen of the Coalition’s Assembly candidates were women, of whom eleven were successful. For the Liberal Party, four men retired, and in one case the replacement candidate was a woman; one woman retired but the replacement candidate for her was a man.

- Overall, of 51 Liberal Party seats, women hold nine—17.6 per cent of the Liberal’s seats (down

from 20.8 per cent). Of the 27 extra seats won by the Liberal Party, four were won by women. - Overall, of 18 National Party seats, women hold two—11.1 per cent. The National Party gained

an extra five seats at the election, of which one was won by a woman.

• Twenty-eight of the ALP’s Assembly candidates were women, of whom nine were successful. For the ALP, 12 men retired, but in only three of those cases was the replacement candidate a woman; six women retired, but only three were replaced by female candidates.

- Overall, of the 20 Labor Party seats, women hold nine—45 per cent of the Labor seats (up

from 32 per cent).

The total number of women in the Legislative Council has not changed since the 2003 election, but the 2011 election saw a reduction of two in the number of ALP women, and an increase of one each for the Nationals and the Greens. Females occupy 31 per cent of Council seats.145

142. Ibid.

143. See Appendix 5 for tabulated data of changes resulting from the 2011 election prepared by Janet Wilson, Politics and Public Administration Section, Parliamentary Library. 144. Drawn from ‘Party and Gender’ table prepared by Janet Wilson, Parliamentary Library 145. Ibid.

NSW 2011 Election


Labor’s defeat

Labor suffered a crushing defeat at the 2011 election. According to senior ALP identity Graham Richardson, it was the ‘worst defeat in more than a century’ and it was ‘thoroughly deserved’.146 The party fielded candidates in every Assembly seat, but lost 60 per cent of the seats it had previously held and gained none. In seven electorates the Labor first preference vote was in single figures, and in only one electorate, Liverpool, did Labor record a majority of first preference votes.147 Labor was outpolled by the Greens in 15 seats.148 It won only 50 per cent of the Legislative Council seats held by Labor members whose terms had expired.

The government was punished by voters in the so-called ‘Labor heartland’ electorates in the Illawarra and across western Sydney, including Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Granville, Londonderry, Menai, Mulgoa, Parramatta, Riverstone, Smithfield and Wollondilly. Labor failed to win back Penrith and ‘came close to defeat in Blacktown, Cabramatta and Toongabbie’.149 Among the Labor losses were eight ministers who were re-contesting their seats.

Table 3: ALP ministers who contested and lost their seats in 2011

Minister Portfolios Seat lost (to)

Verity Firth Education and Training Balmain (GRN)

Steve When Primary Industries, Emergency Services, Rural Affairs Monaro (NAT)

David Borger Roads Granville (LIB)

Jodi McKay Tourism, Science and Medical Research, Women Newcastle (LIB)

Phil Costa Water, Corrective Services Wollondilly (LIB)

Kevin Greene Gaming and Racing, Sports and Recreation, Major Events Oatley (LIB) Virginia Judge Fair Trading, Arts Strathfield (LIB)

Frank Terenzini Housing, Small Business Maitland (LIB)

For Labor, the outcome of the 2011 election was reminiscent of the 1988 election when Barrie Unsworth led the ALP to its worst election defeat since the 1930s.150 It is instructive to compare the ALP’s 1988 election outcomes with the 2011 result.

146. G Richardson, ‘NSW Labor has lost its base, and the plot’, The Australian, 30 March 2011, viewed 12 April 2011, e6frgd0x-1226030321335

147. A Green, ‘A few statistical notes on the NSW election’, blog, 14 June 2011, viewed 21 June 2011, 148. Ibid.

149. A West, ‘Tribune of ALP’s lost heartland vies for national secretary job’, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 April 2011, viewed 12 April 2011, 20110404-1cymu.html 150. A Green, ‘Two weeks out: Comparing the 2011 NSW Election to 1988’, Blog, 14 March 2011, viewed 12 April 2011, 1988.html#more

2011 NSW Election


• At the 1988 election, the ALP won 38.5 per cent of the primary vote, and 43 seats out of an Assembly of 109 seats—39 per cent of the seats. It lost 15 seats that it had previously held, including those of seven ministers.151 There was a swing of 10.3 per cent against Labor in primary votes and 8.4 per cent swing two-party preferred.152

• In 2011, the numbers were worse in all respects. The ALP won only 24.03 per cent of the total formal vote,153 and 20 seats out of an Assembly of 93 seats—21.5 per cent of the seats. The swing against Labor in primary vote terms was 11.12 per cent, and 16.5 per cent two-party preferred.154 It lost 30 seats it had previously held, including those of the eight ministers who were re-contesting their seats. As well, the high profile former minister Frank Sartor did not re-contest his seat of Rockdale, and it was lost to the Liberals.

The Coalition’s victory

The Liberal-National coalition achieved a historic election win in 2011, winning 64.2 per cent of the two-party preferred vote in a 16.5 per cent swing to the Coalition. The Liberal Party fielded 73 candidates for the Legislative Assembly and won 51 seats; the National Party fielded 20 candidates and won 18 seats. Every Assembly seat recorded a two-party preferred swing to the Coalition, and only 16 seats showed swings below 10 per cent.155 Election analyst Antony Green has suggested that both the vote and swing ‘are likely to be records for the post-war period’.156 The Coalition increased its overall Assembly numbers by 32 seats, and increased its overall Legislative Council numbers by four seats.

With 69 of the 93 seats in the Legislative Assembly, the O'Farrell government has the largest majority in NSW political history. The Coalition's victory eclipses the previous record of the Wran Labor government, which won 69 seats in a larger 99 seat Assembly in 1981. 157

Barry O’Farrell became only the third leader in the NSW Liberal Party's history to win a state election, the others being Robert Askin and Nick Greiner.158 The Coalition now holds 41 seats on margins above 20 per cent. For the NSW Labor Party to win the 2015 election it would need the

151. A Mitchell, ‘Labor’s long way back starts with its heartland’, Sun-Herald, 27 March 2011, viewed 12 April 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F652398%2 2

152. J Hagan and C Clothier, ‘1988’, in M Hogan and D Clune (eds), The People’s Choice: Electoral politics in 20 th Century

New South Wales, Vol.3, Parliament of NSW, 2001, p. 272 153. NSW Electoral Commission, viewed 10 May 2011, 154. NSW Electoral Commission, viewed 10 May 2011, 155. A Green, ‘A few statistical notes on the NSW election’, op.cit. 156. Ibid.

157. A Green, ‘New NSW Electoral Pendulum’, Blog, 1 April 2011, viewed 12 April 2011, 158. A Green, ‘O’Farrell set to become fourth longest serving Liberal leader’, Blog, 27 January 2011, viewed 14 April 2011,


NSW 2011 Election


equivalent of a state-wide 16.5 per cent swing.159 It has been widely suggested that it will be at least two terms before Labor becomes a likely contender for the government benches.160

The magnitude of the victory prompted the new Premier to declare: ‘We have a mandate to deliver the real change to make people's lives better; we have a mandate to get on and clean up the mess that was government in NSW and restore confidence in government in NSW’.161 The Sunday Telegraph reminded its readers that O’Farrell had inherited a favourable environment in which to pursue his goals, including a budget surplus, sound finances and a triple-A credit rating.162

Premier O’Farrell’s inaugural ministry appears at Appendix 4. The Premier declined to support the continuation of independent MP Richard Torbay as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, nominating instead Shelley Hancock, Liberal MP for South Coast. Hancock is the first female Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly.163

159. A Green, ‘New NSW Electoral Pendulum’, op. cit. 160. For example, B Kelly, ‘On the abysmal state of NSW’, Overland, 1 April 2011, viewed 18 April 2011, ; C Sutton, ‘The O’Farrell decade has begun’, Crikey, 24 March 2011, viewed 18 April 2011,

begun-the-people-and-power-behind-barry/ 161. ‘O’Farrell claims a mandate for change’, Sky News, 28 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011, 162. T Bramston, ‘Legacy worth remembering as nightmare finally ends’, The Sunday Telegraph, 27 March 2011, viewed

12 April 2011,;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F653948%2 2

163. V Morello, ‘NSW gets first woman Speaker of parliament’, Yahoo News, 30 March 2011, viewed 11 April 2011,

2011 NSW Election


Appendix 1: NSW Election results 2011

NSW Election 2011 Legislative Assembly outcomes by electorate

Division Party Previous Member Party 2011 Elected Member Comparative

Outcome by Party

Albury L Greg Aplin L Greg Aplin No Change

Auburn ALP Barbara Perry ALP Barbara Perry No Change

Ballina N Donald Page N Donald Page No Change

Balmain ALP Verity Firth GREENS Jamie Parker GREENS gain/ALP


Bankstown ALP Stewart ALP Tania Mihailuk No Change (new MP)

Barwon N Kevin Humphries N Kevin Humphries No Change

Bathurst ALP Gerard Martin N Paul Toole NAT gain/ALP loss

Baulkham Hills L Wayne Merton L David Elliot No Change (new MP)

Bega L Andrew Constance L Andrew Constance No Change

Blacktown ALP Paul Gibson ALP John Robertson No Change (new MP)

Blue Mount. ALP Phil Koperberg L Roza Sage LIB gain/ALP loss

Burrinjuck N Katrina Hodgkinson N Katrina Hodgkinson No Change

Cabramatta ALP Nick Lalich ALP Nick Lalich No Change

Camden ALP Geoff Corrigan L Chris Patterson LIB gain/ALP loss

Campbelltown ALP Graham West L Bryan Doyle LIB gain/ALP loss

Canterbury ALP Linda Burney ALP Linda Burney No Change

Castle Hill L Richardson L Dominic Perrottet No Change (new MP)

Cessnock ALP Kerry Hickey ALP Clayton Barr No Change (new MP)

Charlestown ALP Matthew Morris L Andrew Cornwell LIB gain/ALP loss

Clarence N Steve Cansdell N Steve Cansdell No Change

Coffs Harbour N Andrew Fraser N Andrew Fraser No Change

Coogee ALP Paul Pearce L Bruce Notley-Smith LIB gain/ALP loss

Cronulla L Malcolm Kerr L Mark Speakman No Change (new MP)

Davidson L Jonathan O’Dea L Jonathan O’Dea No Change

Drummoyne ALP Angela D’Amore L John Sidoti LIB gain/ALP loss

Dubbo Ind Dawn Fardelle N Troy Grant NAT gain/Ind loss

East Hills ALP Alan Ashton L Glenn Brookes LIB gain/ALP loss

Epping L Greg Smith L Greg Smith No Change

Fairfield ALP Joe Tripodi ALP Guy Zangari No Change (new MP)

Gosford ALP Marie Andrews L Chris Holstein LIB gain/ALP loss

Goulburn L Pru Goward L Pru Goward No Change

Granville ALP David Borger L Tony Issa LIB gain/ALP loss

Hawkesbury L Ray Williams L Ray Williams No Change

Heathcote A Paul McLeay L Lee Evans LIB gain/ALP loss

NSW 2011 Election


Division Party Previous Member Party 2011 Elected Member Comparative

Outcome by Party

Heffron ALP Kristina Keneally ALP Kristina Keneally No Change

Hornsby L Judy Hopwood L Matt Kean No Change (new MP)

Keira ALP David Campbell ALP Ryan Park No Change (new MP)

Kiama ALP Matt Brown L Gareth Ward LIB gain/ALP loss

Kogarah ALP Cherie Burton ALP Cherie Burton No Change

Ku-Ring-Gai L Barry O’Farrell L Barry O’Farrell No Change

Lake Macquarie

Ind Greg Piper Ind Greg Piper No Change

Lakemba ALP Robert Furolo ALP Robert Furolo No Change

Lane Cove L Anthony Roberts L Anthony Roberts No Change

Lismore N Thomas George N Thomas George No Change

Liverpool ALP Paul Lynch ALP Paul Lynch No Change

Londonderry ALP Allan Shearan L Bart Bassett LIB gain/ALP loss

Macquarie F ALP Andrew McDonald ALP Andrew McDonald No Change

Maitland ALP Frank Terenzini L Robyn Parker LIB gain/ALP loss

Manly L Mike Baird L Mike Baird No Change

Maroubra ALP Michael Daley ALP Michael Daley No Change

Marrickville ALP Carmel Tebbutt ALP Carmel Tebbutt No Change

Menai ALP Alison Megaritty L Melanie Gibbons LIB gain/ALP loss

Miranda ALP Barry Collier L Graham Annesley LIB gain/ALP loss

Monaro ALP Steve Whan N John Barilaro NAT gain/ALP loss

Mount Druitt ALP Richard Amery ALP Richard Amery No Change

Mulgoa ALP Diane Beamer L Tanya Davies LIB gain/ALP loss

Murray-Darling N John Williams N John Williams No Change

Murrumbidgee N Adrian Piccoli N Adrian Piccoli No Change

MyalL Lakes N John Turner N Stephen Bromhead No Change (new MP)

Newcastle ALP Jodi McKay L Tim Owen LIB gain/ALP loss

North Shore L Jillian Skinner L Jillian Skinner No Change

N Tablelands Ind Richard Torbay Ind Richard Torbay No Change

Oatley ALP Kevin Greene L Mark Coure LIB gain/ALP loss

Orange N Russell Turner N Andrew Gee No Change (new MP)

Oxley N Andrew Stoner N Andrew Stoner No Change

Parramatta ALP Tanya Gadiel L Geoff Lee LIB gain/ALP loss

Penrith L Stuart Ayres L Stuart Ayres No Change

Pittwater L Rob Stokes L Rob Stokes No Change

Port Macquarie Ind Peter Besseling N Leslie Williams NAT gain/Ind loss

Port Stephens L Craig Baumann L Craig Baumann No Change

Riverstone ALP John Aquilina L Kevin Connolly LIB gain/ALP loss

2011 NSW Election


Division Party Previous Member Party 2011 Elected Member Comparative

Outcome by Party

Rockdale ALP Frank Sartor L John Flowers LIB gain/ALP loss

Ryde L Victor Dominello L Victor Dominello No Change

Shellharbour ALP Lylea McMahon ALP Anna Watson No Change (new MP)

Smithfield ALP Ninos Khoshaba L Andrew Rohan LIB gain/ALP loss

South Coast L Shelley Hancock L Shelley Hancock No Change

Strathfield ALP Virginia Judge L Charles Casuscelli LIB gain/ALP loss

Swansea ALP Robert Coombs L Garry Edwards LIB gain/ALP loss

Sydney Ind Clover Moore Ind Clover Moore No Change

Tamworth Ind Peter Draper N Kevin Anderson NAT gain/Ind loss

Terrigal L Chris Hartcher L Chris Hartcher No Change

The Entrance ALP Grant McBride L Chris Spence LIB gain/ALP loss

Toongabbie ALP Nathan Rees ALP Nathan Rees No Change

Tweed N Geoff Provest N Geoff Provest No Change

Upper Hunter N George Souris N George Souris No Change

Vaucluse L Peter Debnam L Gabrielle Upton No Change (new MP)

Wagga Wagga L Daryl Maguire L Daryl Maguire No Change

Wakehurst L Brad Hazzard L Brad Hazzard No Change

Wallsend ALP Sonia Hornery ALP Sonia Hornery No Change

Willoughby L Gladys Berejiklian L Gladys Berejiklian No Change

Wollongong ALP Noreen Hay ALP Noreen Hay No Change

Wollondilly ALP Phillip Costa L Jai Rowell LIB gain/ALP loss

Wyong ALP David Harris L Darren Webber LIB gain/ALP loss

Adapted from a table prepared by Janet Wilson, Parliamentary Library, 2011

NSW Election 2011 Legislative Assembly outcomes by party

PARTY Lib Nat ALP Greens Indep. TOTAL

SEATS 51 18 20 1 3 93

Source: ‘State of the parties’, ABC News: NSW Votes 2011, 5 April 2011, viewed 6 May 2011

NSW 2011 Election


Appendix 2: NSW Election results 2007

Legislative Assembly 2007

Party Candidates

Won Seats Change Votes % Vote Swing

Labor Party 93 52 -3 1,535,860 38.98 -3.70

Liberal Party 73 22 +2 1,061,269 26.94 +2.22

The Nationals 20 13 +1 396,023 10.05 +0.42

Greens 93 .. .. 352,805 8.95 +0.70

Independent 70 6 .. 350,280 8.89 +0.71

Christian Democratic Party 57 .. .. 97,419 2.47 +0.74

Australians Against Further Immigration 56 .. .. 59,588 1.51 +0.60

Unity 30 .. .. 43,292 1.10 -0.20

Australian Democrats 26 .. .. 21,099 0.54 -0.39

Unaffiliated Candidates 8 .. .. 11,586 0.29 +0.28

Fishing Party 3 .. .. 6,509 0.17 +0.11

Outdoor Recreation Party 3 .. .. 1,567 0.04 +0.04

Save Our Suburbs 3 .. .. 1,420 0.04 -0.16

Socialist Alliance 2 .. .. 1,257 0.03 -0.06

Others .. .. .. .. .. -1.31

Formal 537 93 .. 3,939,974 97.23 -0.15

Informal 112,152 2.77 +0.15

Total Votes 4,052,126 92.64 +0.77

Seats Changing Party

Liberal gain from Labor (1) Port Stephens

Liberal gain from Independent (1) Manly (plus Pittwater, see note below)

National gain from Labor (1) Tweed (plus Murray-Darling, see note below)

Independent gain from Labor (1) Lake Macquarie

Note: The Liberal Party regained Pittwater, having lost the seat to an Independent at a 2005 by-election. The National Party defeated sitting Labor MP Peter Black in Murray-Darling, but the seat is not shown as a National gain as on new electoral boundaries, it would have been National held based on 2003 election results.

Source: A Green, 2007 New South Wales Election: Preliminary Analysis, Background Paper No.2/07, NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service, May 2007 naryAnalysis/$File/ProvisionalResultsBook.pdf

2011 NSW Election


Legislative Council 2007

Party (Group) Votes % Vote Swing Quotas

Seats Won

Change from 99

Labor Party (O) 1,491,719 39.14 -4.40 8.61 9 +1

Liberal / National (E) 1,304,166 34.22 +0.92 7.53 8 +2

Greens (I) 347,548 9.12 +0.52 2.01 2 +1

Christian Democratic Party (K) 168,545 4.42 +1.39 0.97 1 ..

Shooters Party (N) 106,513 2.79 +0.74 0.61 1 +1

Australian Democrats (G) 67,994 1.78 +0.21 0.39 .. -1

Aust. Against Further Immigration(C)

62,386 1.64 +0.74 0.36 .. ..

Fishing Party (B) 58,340 1.53 +1.53 0.34 .. ..

Unity(J) 46,053 1.21 -0.21 0.27 .. -1

Restore Worker’s Rights 35,218 0.92 +0.92 0.20 .. ..

Group A 25,942 0.68 +0.68 0.15 .. ..

Horse Riders / Outdoor Recreation (P)

21,569 0.57 +0.57 0.12 .. -1

Group F 18,999 0.50 +0.50 0.11 .. ..

Human Rights Party (S) 16,772 0.44 +0.44 0.10 .. -1

Socialist Alliance (Q) 15,142 0.40 +0.25 0.09 .. ..

Save Our Suburbs(R) 11,951 0.31 -0.17 0.07 .. ..

Ungrouped 5,325 0.14 +0.07 0.03 .. ..

Group M 3,464 0.09 +0.09 0.02 .. ..

Group H 3,143 0.08 +0.08 0.02 .. ..

Group D 456 0.01 +0.01 0.00 .. ..

Others .. .. -4.90 .. .. -1

Formal 3,811,245 93.89

Informal 247,921 6.11 +0.77

Total Votes/ Turnout 4,059,166 92.80 +0.78

Roll 4,374,029

Quota 173,239

Party Composition of Legislative Council following 2007 Election


Retiring 8 4/2 1 1 .. 1 4 21

Newly elected 9 5/3 1 2 1 .. .. 21

Continuing 10 5/2 1 2 1 .. .. 21

Old Council 18 9/4 2 3 1 1 4 42

New Council 19 10/5 2 4 2 .. .. 42

Source: A Green, NSW Legislative Council Elections 2007, Background Paper No. 1/09, NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service, April 2009 C/$File/LegislativeCouncilResults2007.pdf

NSW 2011 Election


Appendix 3: Labor government inaugural ministries 2007-2010

Iemma government

Inaugural Ministry March 2007

Morris Iemma (Premier) John Watkins (Deputy Premier)

Brown, Matthew Burney, Linda Campbell, David Costa, Michael

Della Bosca, John Gibson, Paul Greene, Kevin Hatzistergos, John

Kelly, Tony Keneally, Kristina Koperberg, Phil Lynch, Paul

Macdonald, Ian Meagher, Reba Rees, Nathan Roozendaal, Eric

Sartor, Frank Tripodi, Joe West, Graham

Rees government

Inaugural Ministry September 2008

Nathan Rees (Premier) Carmel Tebbutt (Deputy Premier)

Eric Roozendaal John Della Bosca Verity Firth David Campbell

Michael Daley Joe Tripodi Tony Kelly Linda Burney

Matt Brown John Hatzistergos Kristina Keneally Barbara Perry.

Ian Macdonald Paul Lynch Kevin Greene Graham West

Tony Stewart Phil Costa Virginia Judge Jodi McKay

David Borger

Keneally government

Inaugural Ministry December 2009

Kristina Keneally (Premier) Carmel Tebbutt (Deputy Premier)

John Hatzistergos Eric Roozendaal David Campbell Verity Firth

Tony Kelly Frank Sartor Linda Burney Michael Daley

John Robertson Ian Macdonald Paul Lynch Steven When

Jodi McKay David Borger Barbara Perry Phillip Costa

Kevin Greene Virginia Judge Graham West Paul McLeay

Peter Primrose

2011 NSW Election


Appendix 4: Coalition government inaugural ministry 2011

O'FARRELL, Barry • Premier, Minister for Western Sydney

STONER, Andrew • Deputy Premier, Minister for Trade and Investment, Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services

SKINNER, Jillian • Minister for Health, Minister for Medical Research

PICCOLI, Adrian • Minister for Education, The Nationals member

GALLACHER, Michael • Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Hunter, Vice- President of the Executive Council

GAY, Duncan • Minister for Roads and Ports

HAZZARD, Brad • Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Minister Assisting the Premier on Infrastructure NSW

HARTCHER, Chris • Minister for Resources and Energy, Special Minister of State, Minister for the Central Coast

BEREJIKLIAN, Gladys • Minister for Transport

SOURIS, George • Minister for Tourism Major Events Hospitality and Racing, Minister for the Arts

BAIRD, Mike • Treasurer

PEARCE, Gregory • Minister for Finance and Services, Minister for the Illawarra

HODGKINSON, Katrina • Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Small Business

CONSTANCE, Andrew • Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services

SMITH, Greg • Attorney General, Minister for Justice

PAGE, Donald • Minister for Local Government, Minister for the North Coast

GOWARD, Pru • Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister for Women

ROBERTS, Anthony • Minister for Fair Trading

HUMPHRIES, Kevin • Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Healthy Lifestyles, Minister for Western New South Wales

PARKER, Robyn • Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage

DOMINELLO, Victor • Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

ANNESLEY, Graham • Minister for Sports and Recreation

NSW 2011 Election


Appendix 5: Changes to female representation in NSW Parliament

Changes resulting from NSW Election on 26 March 2011

Legislative Assembly

Name Party Division Ministry Outcome

Firth, Verity ALP Balmain Yes Defeated by Green male

Judge, Virginia ALP Strathfield Yes Defeated by Liberal male

McKay, Jodi ALP Newcastle Yes Defeated by Liberal male

Fardell, Dawn Ind Dubbo Defeated by National male

Andrews, Marie ALP Gosford Retired; ALP candidate was female, but lost

Beamer, Diane ALP Mulgoa Retired; ALP candidate was female, but lost

D’Amore, Angela ALP Drummoyne Retired; ALP candidate was male, but lost

Gadiel, Tanya ALP Parramatta Retired; ALP candidate was male, but lost

McMahon, Lylea ALP Shellharbour Retired; ALP candidate was female, and won

Megaritty, Alison ALP Menai Retired; ALP candidate was male, but lost

Hopwood, Judy Lib Hornsby Retired; Lib candidate was male, and won

Davies, Tanya Lib Mulgoa Elected, replacing Diane Beamer (above)

Gibbons, Melanie Lib Menai Elected, replacing Alison Megaritty (above)

Mihailuk, Tania ALP Bankstown Elected, replacing Paul Gibson, ALP, retired

Parker, Robyn Lib Maitland Elected, defeating Frank Terenzini, ALP

Sage, Roza Lib Blue Mts Elected, replacing Phil Koperberg, ALP, ret.

Upton, Gabrielle Lib Vaucluse Elected, replacing Peter Debnam, Lib, retired

Watson, Anna ALP Shellharbour Elected, replacing Lylea McMahon (above)

Williams, Leslie Nat Pt Macquarie Elected, defeating Peter Besseling, Ind

These eight women join the other 13 women who held their seats (7 ALP, 4 Lib, 1 Nat, 1 Ind)

Legislative Council Griffin, Kayee ALP LC Retired

Robertson, Christine ALP LC Retired

Parker, Robyn Lib LC Resigned - and elected to LA

Sharpe, Penny ALP LC Returned

Cusack, Catherine Lib LC Returned

Barham, Jan Grn LC Elected

Johnston, Sarah Nat LC Elected

Maclaren-Jones, Nat. Lib LC Elected

These five women join the other eight women (4 ALP, 1 Lib, 2 Nats and 1 Green) whose terms will finish at the expiry of the 55 th Parliament

• The last time there were fewer women in the NSW Legislative Assembly was before the 2003 election, when the number went from 19 to 23; and in the Legislative Council at that election the number of women there increased from 10 to 13.

• Had no seats changed hands at this election there would still have been no increase in the number of women in the Assembly. For the ALP, 12 men retired, but in only three of those cases was the replacement candidate a woman; six women retired, but only three were replaced by female candidates. For the Liberal Party four men retired, and in one case the replacement candidate was a woman; one woman retired but the replacement candidate for her was a man.

2011 NSW Election


• 28 of the ALP’s Assembly candidates were women (30.1%), of whom nine were successful. • 19 of the Coalition’s Assembly candidates were women (20.4%) of whom eleven were successful. • The Liberal Party won 27 extra seats, of which four were won by women. • The National Party gained five seats, of which one was won by a woman. • Women now comprise 45% of the ALP’s Assembly seats (up from 32%); women comprise 17.6%

of the Liberal Party’s Assembly seats (down from 20.8%); women comprise 11% of the Nationals’ seats (up from 7.7%) • The total number of women in the Legislative Council hasn’t changed since the 2003 election, but this election saw a reduction of two in the number of ALP women, and an increase of one each

for the Nationals and the Greens. • The total number of women in Australian parliaments has now dropped from 249 to 246 (29.9%).

Janet Wilson (Parliamentary Library) 13 April 2011

NSW 2011 Election


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