Division of Bennelong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bennelong
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Bennelong 2010.png
Division of Bennelong (green) in New South Wales
Created 1949
MP John Alexander
Party Liberal
Namesake Bennelong
Electors 102,542 (2013)[1]
Area 58 km2 (22.4 sq mi)
Demographic Inner Metropolitan

The Division of Bennelong is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The division was created in 1949 and is named for Bennelong, an Aboriginal man befriended by the first Governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip.

Bennelong is based in Sydney's Northern Suburbs, including the suburbs of Eastwood, Carlingford, Epping and Ryde.

It was represented from 1974 to 2007 by John Howard who served as the 25th Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007 when his government was defeated. Howard also became the second sitting Australian Prime minister to lose his own seat. Maxine McKew of the Australian Labor Party won the seat making her the first Labor MP for Bennelong. However, McKew lost the seat back to the Liberals at the 2010 election.

The current Member for Bennelong, since the 2010 federal election, is John Alexander, a member of the Liberal Party of Australia who is a former professional tennis player.

Electoral history[edit]

When the Division of Bennelong was created in 1949, it covered mainly the suburbs of Ryde, Hunters Hill and Lane Cove, all of which were (and still are) relatively affluent areas, and as such it has historically been a "safe" Liberal seat.

Over the years Bennelong has evolved into a marginal seat, and this has been attributed to two factors. Firstly, the electoral boundary of Bennelong has been redrawn ("redistributed") numerous times, pushing it further westward into Labor-friendly territory. Successive redistributions eliminated wealthy Lane Cove and Hunters Hill in the East and incorporated Eastwood, Epping, Carlingford and working class Ermington in the North and West. Secondly, the demographic has changed as well: since the early 1990s, Eastwood and surrounding suburbs have seen an influx of migrants from China, Hong Kong, South Korea and India, who are relatively affluent and conservative, but are sensitive towards political policies on immigration and multiculturalism.[2]

2004 election[edit]

The two-party preferred vote for the Liberals declined 3.4% in the 2004 election, contrary to a strong national trend to the Coalition (and a particularly strong one to the Coalition in outer-suburban metropolitan seats), making Bennelong a marginal seat at that time, with a margin of just 4.3%. The 2006 redistribution pushed this margin slightly further into Labor territory, due to the inclusion of the predominantly working class and public housing suburb of Ermington in Bennelong's boundaries.[3] The Greens increased their vote at this election by 12.34% to 16.37% at this election due to the preselection of the high-profile Andrew Wilkie.

2007 election[edit]

Balloons demonstrating the extent of the electioneering that occurred in Bennelong at the 2007 federal election.
An Epping polling booth within Bennelong.

In the 2007 election, the incumbent Member for Bennelong, then-Prime Minister John Howard, lost the seat to Labor candidate Maxine McKew, after holding it for 33 years. This was only the second time in Australian history that an incumbent Prime Minister had been defeated in his own electorate, the first being Stanley Bruce in 1929. The election marked the first time a Labor candidate won, and also the first time a woman won the seat.

In his national address conceding the election, Howard had admitted that it was "very likely" that he had lost the seat.[4] Following initial reluctance to officially call the outcome (despite confidence of success),[5][6] McKew declared victory officially on 1 December.[7][8] At that time, the Australian Electoral Commission showed McKew ahead on a two candidate preferred basis, 43,272 votes to 41,159;[9] however, pre-poll, postal and absent votes were still being counted and could possibly have affected the outcome.

Howard formally conceded defeat in Bennelong on 12 December.[10] The Electoral Commission has declared the seat, with 44,685 votes for McKew to 42,251 for Howard; voter turnout in Bennelong was 95%.[11]

Polls[edit]

Bennelong – Two-party-preferred
Date Poller Coalition Labor
3 October 1998 1998 election[12] 56.03% 43.97%
4–5 April 2001 Roy Morgan[13] 57% 43%
10 November 2001 2001 election[14] 57.70% 42.30%
9 October 2004 2004 election[15] 54.33% 45.67%
14–15 February 2007 Roy Morgan[16] 45% 55%
9–10 May 2007 Galaxy[citation needed] 48% 52%
8–9 August 2007 Galaxy[citation needed] 47% 53%

2010 election[edit]

For the 2010 Federal election, the Liberal Party pre-selected former tennis professional and tennis commentator John Alexander to contest the marginal seat. McKew recontested the seat for Labor.[17] After a long and high profile campaign, Alexander won the seat back from Labor and increased both the Liberals' two party preferred and primary vote for the first time since 2001 and the largest swing towards the Liberals since 1996. Alexander defeated McKew with a two party preferred swing of 4.52%, contributing to the Gillard Government's loss of its parliamentary majority.[18]

McKew said Labor had failed to repeat the professional and targeted campaign of 2007. She also conceded that the removal of Kevin Rudd had been a factor in the party's poor showing, along with the Government's dumping of the emissions trading scheme and a lacklustre national campaign.[19]

Members[edit]

Member Party Term
  John Cramer Liberal 1949–1974
  John Howard Liberal 1974–2007
  Maxine McKew Labor 2007–2010
  John Alexander Liberal 2010–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2013: Bennelong[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Alexander 46,907 52.99 +4.46
Labor Jason Yat-Sen Li 28,726 32.45 −4.67
Greens Lindsay Peters 7,454 8.42 +0.47
Christian Democrats Julie Worsley 2,135 2.41 +0.28
Palmer United Rob Marks 1,589 1.80 +1.80
Democratic Labour Lachlan McCaffrey 617 0.70 +0.70
Secular John August 602 0.68 +0.68
Australia First Victor Waterson 492 0.56 +0.56
Total formal votes 88,522 92.48 −0.15
Informal votes 7,200 7.52 +0.15
Turnout 95,722 93.35 −0.17
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal John Alexander 51,139 57.77 +4.65
Labor Jason Yat-Sen Li 37,383 42.23 −4.65
Liberal hold Swing +4.65

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bennelong, NSW". Election 2013. Australian Electoral Commission. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Saville, Margot (2007). The Battle for Bennelong: The adventures of Maxine McKew, aged 50something. Melbourne University Press. 
  3. ^ "Archive for the 'Federal Redistributions' Category". The Poll Bludger. 13 September 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  4. ^ "Defeated Howard thanks Australia". ABC News. Australia. 25 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  5. ^ "McKew refuses to call Bennelong". News.com.au. 25 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  6. ^ "McKew confident but can wait to declare". The Australian. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  7. ^ "McKew declares victory in Bennelong". ABC News. Australia. 1 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  8. ^ "Maxine McKew claims victory in Bennelong". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  9. ^ "House of Representatives Division First Preferences". Australian Electoral Commission. 30 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  10. ^ "Finally, Howard admits McKew has it". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  11. ^ "House of Representatives Division First Preferences". Australian Electoral Commission. 11 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  12. ^ "House of Representatives – Two Party Preferred Statistics by Division (1998)". Australian Electoral Commission. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  13. ^ ""Safe" Liberal Seats Not So Safe According To Latest Bulletin-Morgan Poll.". Roy Morgan Research. 17 April 2001. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  14. ^ "House of Representatives: Divisional Results". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  15. ^ "Bennelong – Divisional Profiles". Australian Electoral Commission. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  16. ^ "Special Crikey Morgan Poll: Howard Would Lose Bennelong". Roy Morgan Research. 19 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  17. ^ "Four Liberals vying for Bennelong seat". ABC News. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  18. ^ "Bennelong, NSW". Election 2010. Australian Electoral Commission. 2010. 
  19. ^ "Labor bloodbath begins and Maxine McKew throws the first punch". news.com.au. 22 August 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°47′35″S 151°05′56″E / 33.793°S 151.099°E / -33.793; 151.099