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HomeLatest NewsElectionNorthern Beaches Election Results: Manly, Wakehurst, Pittwater, Davidson

Northern Beaches Election Results: Manly, Wakehurst, Pittwater, Davidson

Manly MP James Griffin looks set to hold onto his seat despite a massive swing against his party which has ended Liberal political dominance in the area and returned Labor to government after 12 years.

The results in Manly, Wakehurst and Pittwater saw the end of Northern Beaches as a safe and long-time Liberal stronghold with Independent Mayor Michael Regan taking Wakehurst. Manly and Pittwater look set to remain in Liberal hands (Griffin in Manly and Rory Amon in Pittwater) but the seats/ blue ribbons have faded – almost – to Teal. At the time of publishing Rory Amon was merely 27 votes ahead of Teal Jacqui Scruby in Rob Stokes’ old seat.

Two candidate preferred results at a glance:

Davidson was a much cleaner victory for the Liberals, with Matt Cross winning the seat easily against Labor’s Karyn Edelstein.

Hackman V Griffin a very close contest

Griffin withstood his strongest challenge from Climate 200-backed Teal Independent Joeline Hackman, with the pair currently sitting on 54-46 on a two-candidate preferred basis, a 10.7% swing from the 2019 election for the incumbent.

Despite their strong showing in the federal and state elections, Griffin dismissed the relevance of Teals given the “progress already underway” on integrity and the environment. The former environment minister said negative campaigns run by teals in other seats also damaged their brand of politics done differently. 

Manly MP James Griffin interviewed by Channel Nine during the NSW State Election vote count. Photo: Alec Smart

Speaking to Manly Observer at her election night event, Hackman said she wished to see the end to optional preferential voting in NSW, with over 12 percent of votes in Manly ‘exhausting’ and not expressing a final preference on the remaining two candidates. 

“People were sick of jobs for mates, and [former deputy-Premier John] Barilaro’s dealings, and I think people are just looking for a return to honest government,” she said.

We asked, “Your campaign focused primarily on the deficiencies of the Liberal government. Now that they’re out of power…what issues do you want to see part of the conversation?”

Hackman said integrity and gambling reform were most on voters minds.

Independent Joeline Hackman with supporters at her election night party in Brookvale (photo supplied by campaign).

Gambling reform also rated a mention at James Griffin’s campaign event at poker machine-free Seaforth Bowling Club.

“There was an opportunity for a moment in time to have some profound reform to the gambling industry that would’ve made the people in the state better off,” he lamented.

Griffin had committed to implementing all 12 recommendations of the Crime Commission’s report into Money Laundering, most notably the introduction of a cashless gaming card, which requires users to verify their ID and allows users’ to set spending limits. 

The Labor government has instead committed to a 12-month trial of the program on 500 machines, citing a lack of evidence they work. There are 86,000 machines in operation in the state.

Rory Amon declared next Pittwater MP after contest came down to the wire

Councillor Rory Amon will be the next member to represent the electorate of Pittwater, after the seat was finally called for the Liberal party after a close challenge by Independent Jacqui Scruby.

In a victory post to his supporters, Amon reaffirmed a commitment to advocate for the natural environment and thanked outgoing MP Rob Stokes, who has held the seat since 2007 and most recently served as the Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Transport in the Perrottet government.

Rory Amon, the next MP for Pittwater, alongside Brad Hazzard, Dominic Perrottet and Rob Strokes, Pittwater’s outgoing member (photo supplied by campaign).

“I will fight to complete the widening of Mona Vale Road, flood proof the Wakehurst Parkway, upgrade Newport Surf Club and upgrade Narrabeen Sports High and Narrabeen North Public School. And I will do everything I can to preserve our unique natural beauty and stop overdevelopment.”

The Liberal’s retained the seat of Pittwater despite a statewide swing against the Coalition that saw them lose 13 seats. The Northern Beaches was home to some of the largest against the Liberals, with Independents Jacqui Scruby and Michael Regan commanding 21.4% and 26.6% swings against the government in Pittwater and Wakehurst.

Independent candidate Jacqui Scruby on the campaign trail with Mackellar MP Sophie Scamps (photo supplied by campaign).

“We made one of the safest seats in the state one of NSW’s most marginal seats.
For the first time in a long time, the Liberal Party cannot take our community for granted – all because of you,” said Scruby in her concession post.

Pittwater was one of the last seats to be called across the state, with a result taking nearly a week. Amon was able to eclipse Scruby, as early and out of area ballots erased her slim voting day margin of 706 votes to finally award him the seat 51-49.

Labor to return to power as the Liberals start a process of reflection

Labor will govern a minority government and will rely on crossbench support to pass legislation, having fallen two seats short of a majority in the lower house. Three independents have committed to Labor confidence and supply, allowing Labor leader Chris Minns to be sworn in as Premier while the seat of Ryde remains to be called.

Locally, changes can be anticipated with the privatisation of transport services and a move away from the Northern Beaches Tunnel, which had already stalled.

Labor leader and Premier-elect Chris Minns has pledged to appoint a rental commissioner to further oversee and regulate a rental market and promised to establish Koala corridors, which connect large areas of habitat, in Sydney’s South-West and the state’s Mid-North Coast.

Having been the last remaining Liberals in power on the Australian mainland, the Perrottet government served as a more moderate foil to the federal opposition led by Peter Dutton.

From left to right: James Griffin, Brad Hazzard, Rob Stokes, Cafe owner Michael Malouf, and then treasurer Dominic Perrottet announce the Dine & Discover pilot for the Beaches in February 2021. Credit: Sel Soker

Griffin remained firm on the idea that the NSW Liberals represented a future direction of the party but stopped short on whether he would run for opposition leader following the resignation of Premier Dominic Perrottet, telling Manly Observer.

I just want to get through tonight.”

“I think the great results you’ve seen with [Felicity} Lewis in the North Shore and myself here in Manly – we’re both progressive, forward-focusing Liberals, and we’re retaining our seats – I think there’s a great example here of what the Lib looks like.”

“It is a strange feeling to look back to when I started my political career. There’s a photo in my office of me standing there amongst Jonathan O’Dea, Rob Stokes, Brad Hazzard and Gladys Berejiklian. They’ve all left for various reasons, and somehow a baby-faced Lib has now become one of the last standing on the Northern Beaches”.

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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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