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Division of Mackellar

Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Mackellar in New South Wales, as of the 2016 federal election
MPSophie Scamps
NamesakeSir Charles Mackellar
Dorothea Mackellar
Electors111,292 (2022)
Area233 km2 (90.0 sq mi)
DemographicOuter metropolitan

The Division of Mackellar is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales.


Sir Charles and Dorothea Mackellar, the division's namesakes

The division is named after Sir Charles Mackellar, a social reformer and surgeon who served in the Senate from October to November 1903, and his daughter Dorothea Mackellar, a 20th-century Australian poet. The division was proclaimed at the redistribution of 11 May 1949, and was first contested at the 1949 federal election. It was first held by Bill Wentworth, the first Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and the great-grandson of politician and explorer William Wentworth, one of the first three Europeans to cross the Blue Mountains.

Like most seats in northern Sydney, Mackellar was a safe seat for the Liberal Party of Australia for the majority of its history. Prior to 2022, for all but two months of its existence, the seat was held by Liberal MPs; Wentworth briefly sat as an independent for the last two months of his term. The territory covered by the electorate had been represented by the Liberals and their predecessors for most of its history since Federation; it was part of North Sydney before 1922, and then part of Warringah from 1922 to 1949.

In 1972, Wentworth only tallied 55.2 percent of the two party vote. This election was also the first time the Liberals had come up short of winning enough votes on the first count to win the seat outright. It would be half a century before the Liberals’ hold on the seat would be seriously threatened again.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop held the seat from 1994 until 2016, when she lost a preselection contest for the Liberal nomination following an expenses scandal. The Liberal Party preselected Jason Falinski to contest the seat, who won both the 2016 and 2019 Federal elections.[1][2]

Following the 2022 federal election, a Liberal candidate lost the election for the first time in the seat's history.[3] Falinski lost over 11 percent of his primary vote from 2019, and was unseated by teal independent Sophie Scamps as part of a wave of Liberal losses in wealthy metropolitan seats.


Since 1984, federal electoral division boundaries in Australia have been determined at redistributions by a redistribution committee appointed by the Australian Electoral Commission. Redistributions occur for the boundaries of divisions in a particular state, and they occur every seven years, or sooner if a state's representation entitlement changes or when divisions of a state are malapportioned.[4]

The division is located in the Northern Beaches region of Sydney, adjacent to the Tasman Sea, south of Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River. The division includes the suburbs of Akuna Bay, Avalon Beach, Bayview, Belrose, Bilgola Beach, Bilgola Plateau, Careel Bay, Church Point, Clareville, Coasters Retreat, Collaroy, Collaroy Plateau, Cottage Point, Cromer, Davidson, Duffys Forest, Elanora Heights, Elvina Bay, Great Mackerel Beach, Ingleside, Lovett Bay, McCarrs Creek, Mona Vale, Morning Bay, Narrabeen, Newport, North Narrabeen, Oxford Falls, Palm Beach, Scotland Island, Terrey Hills, Towlers Bay, Warriewood, Whale Beach, and Wheeler Heights; as well as parts of Beacon Hill, Dee Why, Forestville, Frenchs Forest, and Narraweena.


Image Member Party Term Notes
  Bill Wentworth
Liberal 10 December 1949
11 October 1977
Served as minister under Gorton and McMahon. Did not contest in 1977. Failed to win a Senate seat.
  Independent 11 October 1977 –
10 December 1977
  Jim Carlton
Liberal 10 December 1977
14 January 1994
Served as minister under Fraser. Resigned to retire from politics
  Bronwyn Bishop
26 March 1994
9 May 2016
Previously a member of the Senate. Served as minister under Howard. Served as Speaker during the Abbott Government. Lost preselection and retired
  Jason Falinski
2 July 2016
21 May 2022
Lost seat
  Sophie Scamps
Independent 21 May 2022

Election results

2022 Australian federal election: Mackellar[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Jason Falinski 40,993 41.41 −11.60
Independent Sophie Scamps 37,724 38.11 +38.11
Labor Paula Goodman 8,162 8.25 −8.69
Greens Ethan Hrnjak 6,032 6.09 −5.39
United Australia Christopher Ball 2,881 2.91 +0.55
One Nation Darren Dickson 2,624 2.65 +2.65
TNL Barry Steele 575 0.58 +0.58
Total formal votes 98,991 96.22 +0.93
Informal votes 3,884 3.78 −0.93
Turnout 102,875 92.54 −0.51
Notional two-party-preferred count
Liberal Jason Falinski 58,012 58.60 −4.62
Labor Paula Goodman 40,979 41.40 +4.62
Two-candidate-preferred result
Independent Sophie Scamps 51,973 52.50 +52.50
Liberal Jason Falinski 47,018 47.50 −15.73
Independent gain from Liberal  


  1. ^ Maiden, Samantha (16 April 2016). "Bronwyn Bishop's battle for preselection for seat of Mackellar". Sunday Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  2. ^ Dole, Nick (16 April 2016). "Bronwyn Bishop dumped as Liberal candidate for seat of Mackellar". ABC News. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Steggall, Scamps claim Northern Beaches seats in historic win". Manly Observer. 21 May 2022. Archived from the original on 21 May 2022. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  4. ^ Muller, Damon (14 November 2017). "The process of federal redistributions: a quick guide". Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 23 May 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  5. ^ Mackellar, NSW, 2022 Tally Room, Australian Electoral Commission.

33°40′08″S 151°15′11″E / 33.669°S 151.253°E / -33.669; 151.253

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Division of Mackellar
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