Australian Electoral Commission - About Wentworth

Sydney Eastern Suburbs

Very Safe Liberal 18.9% 


Wentworth is in Sydney's eastern suburbs and is the country's second smallest and densely populated electorates. It covers 38 square kilometres, including some of the country's most exclusive and expensive real estate. It covers the South Head peninsula and nearby suburbs to the south and west. Main centres include Darling Point, Double Bay, Rose Bay, Vaucluse, Paddington, Centennial Park, Bondi Beach and Bondi Junction. (Map)


Wentworth loses some of its more bohemian districts with Woolloomooloo, Potts Point, Kings Cross and most of Darlinghurst transferred to Sydney. As a result the Liberal two-party preferred margin rises from 17.7% to an estimated 18.9%.


Wentworth has existed as a safe non-Labor electorate since Federation. It is named after one of the early champions of colonial conservatism, William Charles Wentworth. Wentworth did more than most to achieve self-government for New South Wales, though the robust liberal democracy that quickly developed was not the ordered society that he would have preferred. Earlier in life Wentworth travelled with Blaxland and Lawson to become the first Europeans to cross the Blue Mountains in 1813.

Unlike conservative North Shore electorates, Wentworth has been represented by a string of high profile senior Liberal MPs. These have included Eric Harrison (1931-56), Les Bury (1956-74), Bob Ellicott (1974-81), Peter Coleman (1981-87) and Dr John Hewson (1987-95).

Hewson was succeeded by Andrew Thomson, the son of five-time British Golf Open winner Peter Thomson. Thomson, briefly served as Tourism minister in the first term of the Howard government. He was defeated in a pre-selection ballot for the 2001 election by Peter King, who was in turn was rolled by Malcolm Turnbull ahead of the 2004 election.

Turnbull's coup against King was spectacular in its execution, as hundreds, indeed thousands of new members signed up to local Liberal Party branches. Urged on by Liberal Monarchists, for whom Malcolm Turnbull was the devil incarnate, King contested the 2004 election as an Independent, but only finished third with 18% of the vote.

King's candidacy had cut the Liberal margin in Wentworth, and new boundaries before the 2007 election cut Turnbull's margin to just 2.5%, but Wentworth proved to be one of the very few seats in Australia to swing to the Liberal Party at the 2007 election. Wentworth recorded a further 11% swing to Turnbull at the 2010 election, one of the largest swings in the country, another 2.9% added to the Liberal margin in 2013.