New South Wales election 2015

Holsworthy

Margin: Liberal 10.7%
Region: South-Western Sydney
Federal: Hughes (51%)/Werriwa (49%)

New electorate created in place of Menai

Candidates in ballot paper order

holsworthy-lib

holsworthy-alp

MELANIE GIBBONS
Liberal (top)

SIGNE WESTERBERG
Greens

ADRIAN ATELJ
No Land Tax

CHARISHMA KALIYANDA
Labor (bottom)

TONY MAKA
Christian Democratic Party

MICHAEL BYRNE
Independent

2011 BOOTH RESULTS MAP

PAST RESULTS
(MENAI/SUTHERLAND)

DEMOGRAPHICS

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

Holsworthy is the new name for the seat previously known as Menai, the change reflecting the transfer of the suburb of that name to Heathcote. The electorate continues to encompass two distinct parts of Sydney’s outer south separated by Holsworthy military reserve, but the redistribution has tipped the balance heavily towards the south-western suburban corridor at the northern end of the electorate, and away from Sutherland Shire. This it greatly to the disadvantage of Liberal member Melanie Gibbons, whose margin is slashed from 24.4% to 10.7%.

The redrawn electorate encompasses about 22,500 voters who carry over from Menai, in an area encompassing Chipping North in the north, Moorebank, Wattle Grove and Hammondville in the centre, and Holsworthy in the south. This area is now appended with an extension westwards beyond the Georges River into Lurnea and Prestons, which adds 25,000 voters who were formerly in Macquarie Fields. At the Sutherland Shire end, all that remains is around 2500 voters at Barden Ridge. The loss of Menai and neighbouring Bangor sends 13,700 voters to Heathcote, and they are joined by a further 10,000 voters at Alfords Point and Ilawong immediately to the north, who go to Miranda.

Menai was created with the cut in parliamentary numbers at the 1999 election, which abolished Moorebank in the west and Sutherland in the east, the former of which had largely corresponded with the new boundaries of Holsworthy. The two seats were respectively safe for Labor and Liberal, giving Menai a tight notional Liberal margin of 0.3% on its creation. Moorebank MP Craig Knowles and Sutherland MP Lorna Stone were respectively accommodated by Labor and Liberal in Macquarie Fields and Heathcote, unsuccessfully in Stone’s case, while Menai was gained for Labor by Alison Megarrity on the back of a 6.1% swing. Megarrity consolidated with a further 5.3% swing in 2003 before suffering a 6.3% reversal in 2007, and then joined the exodus of retiring Labor members at the 2011 election.

Menai is now held for the Liberals by former Sutherland Shire councillor Melanie Gibbons, who came to the seat on the back of a 27.1% swing, an extraordinary result even by the standards of the 2011 election. Having been done a very poor turn by the redistribution, she now has a fight on her hands in fending off Labor candidate Charishma Kaliyanda, a 26-year-old Indian-born occupational therapist.

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

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