New South Wales election 2015

Prospect

Margin: Liberal 1.1%
Region: Western Sydney
Federal: McMahon (64%)/Greenway (27%)/Chifley (6%)/Parramatta (3%)

New electorate created in place of Smithfield

Candidates in ballot paper order

prospect-lib

prospect-alp

SUJAN SELVENTHIRAN
Greens

ANDREW ROHAN
Liberal (top)

SAM GEORGIS
Christian Democratic Party

HUGH McDERMOTT
Labor (bottom)

ANGELO ESPOSITO
No Land Tax

2011 BOOTH RESULTS MAP

PAST RESULTS (SMITHFIELD)

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.

Prospect is a new seat in western Sydney created in place of abolished Smithfield, scene of a particularly bruising defeat for Labor in 2011 when a 15.5% margin was accounted for by a swing of 20.3%. Carrying over to the new seat from Smithfield are more than 33,000 voters from an area encompassing Smithfield itself, along with Bossley Park and western Graystanes. Prospect itself lies to the north of this area, having previously been divided between Blacktown in the west, which provides about 6000 new voters, and Toongabbie to the east. The transfer from Toongabbie also encompasses Girraween, parts of Pendle Hill and Wentworthville, and the southern part of Toongabbie itself, which brings 12,750 voters to the electorate and causes the seat of Toongabbie to be renamed Seven Hills.

The Smithfield electorate was created in 1988 and had three Labor members prior to 2011, of whom the first was Janice Crosio, previously the member for Fairfield since 1981. Crosio quit state politics to become the federal member of Prospect in 1990, and was succeeded in Smithfield by Carl Scully, who went on to become a senior minister in Bob Carr’s government and one of two front-runners to replace him as Premier in August 2005. Thwarted in this end by Morris Iemma, he went on to resign as Police Minister in October 2006 after twice misleading parliament over a report into the 2005 Cronulla riots.

With Scully’s retirement at the 2007 election, Smithfield passed on to Ninos Khoshaba, the Iraqi-born mayor of Fairfield. Khoshaba’s hold on the seemingly secure seat would last only a single term, with Fairfield councillor Andrew Rohan unseating him as Liberal candidate in 2011 on his second attempt. Khoshaba again sought preselection for the coming election, but suffered a surprisingly heavy 76-23 defeat in the October ballot at the hands of Hugh McDermott, a barrister and law lecturer at Charles Sturt University. According to the local Fairfield Advance newspaper, Khoshaba’s cause was harmed by a credential check of Smithfield branch members that caused 70 prospective voters to be ruled ineligible.

Another name in the Labor preselection mix had been David Saliba, an Australian Federal Police officer who had backing from Chris Bowen, federal Shadow Treasurer and member for the federal seat of Prospect. Saliba’s supposed family association with Joe Tripodi excited the interest of the Daily Telegraph, which in turn earned the paper a rebuke from the ABC’s Media Watch program. McDermott claimed that head office was planning to have the national executive intervene to install Saliba against the wishes of the local rank-and-file, but in the event Saliba withdrew shortly before the ballot was held. The Daily Telegraph had earlier reported that head office wanted to recruit David Bradbury, former federal Assistant Treasurer and member for Lindsay, but he instead chose to take up a position in Paris with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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

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