2012 Sydney state by-election

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A by-election for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Sydney was held on Saturday 27 October 2012. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of independent MP Clover Moore due to the Local Government Amendment (Members of Parliament) Act, 2012 (NSW) preventing dual membership of state parliament and local council.

Following the 2012 local government elections in which Moore was re-elected for a third term as Lord Mayor of Sydney, Moore resigned from NSW Parliament. Laws passed through NSW Parliament in 2012 ceased dual state parliament and local council representation.[1][2][3][4][5]

Alex Greenwich, an independent candidate backed by Moore easily won the seat.[6][7][8][9][10]


Date Event[11]
8 October 2012 Writ of election issued by the Governor, close of electoral roll
10 October 2012 Close of party nominations
11 October 2012 Close of independent nominations, ballot paper order draw conducted
15 October 2012 Early voting began
27 October 2012 Polling day, between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm


Moore was first elected to the marginal seat of Bligh at the 1988 state election. Her largest primary vote was 43.7 percent in 1991, while her largest two-candidate preferred vote was 64.7 percent in 2003. The seat became Sydney at the 2007 state election, where Moore retained the seat with a primary vote of 39.6 percent (+7.2) and a two-candidate preferred vote of 66.6 percent (+1.6) against Labor. At the 2011 state election, Moore retained the seat with a primary vote of 36.3 percent and a two-candidate vote of 53.1 percent against the Liberals with a primary vote of 36.2 percent (+14.6), the Greens on 12.8 percent (–2.8), and Labor on 11.3 percent (–8.7). In two-party preferred terms, the seat had a Liberal vote of 65.5 percent (+22.4) against Labor.[12][13]

There was a 16.3 percent two-party preferred swing away from the Coalition government at the 2011 Clarence by-election. The Coalition did not contest the 2012 Heffron by-election which Labor retained with an increased margin. Labor strategically chose not to contest the Sydney by-election.[14]


Election posters in Surry Hills for the three prominent candidates.

The five candidates in ballot paper order were as follows:

  Christian Democratic Party Robyn Peebles Pastor of West Ryde Church of the Good Shepherd, state and federal serial candidate.
  Independent Alex Greenwich LGBT rights campaigner, leader of Australian Marriage Equality. Endorsed by Clover Moore.[16][17]
  Greens Chris Harris Councillor for City of Sydney 2004–2012. Contested Sydney in 2007.
  Liberal Party Shayne Mallard Councillor for City of South Sydney 2000–2004 and City of Sydney 2004–2012. LGBT rights campaigner.[18] Contested Bligh in 2003.
  Independent Glenn Wall Long-term local activist, most recently involved with the Occupy Sydney movement.


  • On 26 September 2012, 422 voters (5% MoE) in the seat were robocall polled by ReachTel. Greenwich was on a primary vote of 31.4 percent, the Liberals were on 30.6 percent, the Greens were on 25.4 percent, with 'others' on 12.5 percent (respondents were told Labor was not fielding a candidate).[19] Although no two-candidate preferred vote was given, the ABC's election analyst Antony Green said Greenwich would have been favoured to win on preferences given that Labor decided not to run a candidate.[20]


Sydney state by-election, 27 October 2012[8][9][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Alex Greenwich 17,687 47.3 +47.3
Liberal Shayne Mallard 11,543 30.9 –5.3
Greens Chris Harris 6,616 17.7 +4.9
Independent Glenn Wall 825 2.2 +2.2
Christian Democrats Robyn Peebles 724 1.9 +0.8
Total formal votes 37,395 97.2 –0.6
Informal votes 1,062 2.8 +0.6
Turnout 38,457 62.6 –21.3
Two-candidate-preferred result
Independent Alex Greenwich 21,283 63.7 +63.7
Liberal Shayne Mallard 12,120 36.3 –10.6
Independent hold Swing N/A

Results are final.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Page, Don (3 April 2012). "Law passed to prohibit 'dual roles' in NSW" (PDF) (Press release). Government of New South Wales. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  2. ^ Raue, Ben (2012). "2012 Sydney by-election". Tally Room. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  3. ^ Green, Antony (2012). "Heffron By-election Background". Election Blog. Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Seven try to roll Clover Moore". Herald Sun. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Moore victory triggers NSW byelection". Australian Financial Review. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  6. ^ Aston, Heath (28 October 2012). "Moore's successor through in byelection". The Sun Herald. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  7. ^ Crawford, Barclay (28 October 2012). "Clover Moore's successor Alex Greenwich to take her seat". The Sunday Telegraph. Australia. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Post-election night check count: Two party preferred" (PDF). 2012 Sydney by-election. Electoral Commission of New South Wales.
  9. ^ a b "Post-election night check count" (PDF). 2012 Sydney by-election. Electoral Commission of New South Wales.
  10. ^ a b Green, Antony (30 October 2012). "Results". 2012 Sydney by-election. Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Kay dates". Election of Legislative Assembly Member for Sydney. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  12. ^ Green, Antony (4 April 2011). "Sydney 2011 election results". NSW Votes 2011. Australia: ABC News.
  13. ^ a b Green, Antony. "Sydney 2012 by-election background". ABC Elections. Australia: ABC News.
  14. ^ Salusinszky, Imre (20 September 2012). "Labor opts out of Clover's seat to give her candidate a chance over Lib". The Australian. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Candidates". 2012 Sydney by-election. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Moore backs marriage-equality advocate". Herald Sun. AAP. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  17. ^ AlexGreenwich.com website
  18. ^ Hall, Ashley (30 April 2008). "Gay marriage campaign to continue" (transcript). The World Today. Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  19. ^ "Sydney by-election neck and neck". ReachTEL. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  20. ^ Toovey, Josephine (2 October 2012). "Tied in the lead for Moore seat". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  21. ^ "2012 Sydney by-election preferential count" (PDF). Electoral Commission of New South Wales.

External links[edit]