Summary of Candidates and Parties Contesting the 2023 NSW Election

A total of 852 candidates have nominated for the NSW election, down from 914 in 2019. In the lower house, the Legislative Assembly, nominations are down from 568 in 2019 to 562 in 2023, while the Legislative Council is down from 346 candidates to just 290 in 2023.

The record number of lower house candidates was 732 candidates in 1999, and the record for the Legislative Council was 394 in 2015.

The number of columns on the Legislative Council ballot paper has risen from 21 to 22, both totals including one ‘Ungrouped’ column. Of the 21 groups on the 2023 ballot paper, six have nominated fewer than 15 candidates which means these six groups will not have an ‘above the line’ group voting square. It is effectively impossible for a group to elect a member without a group voting square.

At this stage I only have Assembly total numbers. Details of candidates will not be released until ballot paper proofing is complete.

Legislative Assembly

The chart below shows the average number of candidates per electorate for elections since 1976.

There were 11 electorates with only four candidates, Charlestown, Drummoyne, East Hills, Keira, Kogarah, Mount Druitt, Newtown, Rockdale, Terrigal, Winston Hills and Wollongong. There were two electorates with 10 candidates, Murray and Northern Tablelands.

The Labor Party and the Greens nominated candidates for all 93 districts. There are 95 Coalition candidates, 75 Liberals and 20 Nationals with two districts where both parties have nominated a candidates, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga.

Minor Party candidates are Animal Justice 33 (-15 on 2019), Sustainable Australia 82 (+27), Legalise Cannabis 23 (+23), Shooters Fishers and Farmers 20 (-5), One Nation 17 (+5), Liberal Democrats 17 (+7), Public Education Party 8 (+8), Socialist Alliance 2 (no change), Small Business Party 1 (-3), Independents 64 (+14). Unaffiliated candidates 4 (+3), Informed Medical Options 10 (+10).

Missing in 2023 are Keep Sydney Open (-42), Christian Democrats (-18), Australian Conservatives (-19), Others (-4)

Legislative Council

To explain the number of Council groups and candidates, I first need to highlight significant changes to the Council's electoral system.

  • 1978 - First popular election for the Legislative Council. Council had been indirectly elected 1933-78 and before that was appointed. First four elections were for 15 members elected from a state wide electorate. One-third of Council faced election every term of the lower house meaning a maximum term of nine (later 12) years. Quota for election 6.25%.
  • 1984 - First election where the Assembly term was extended to four years.
  • 1988 - 'Above the line' voting option with group voting tickets introduced.
  • 1991 - First election with party names on the ballot paper. Referendum held the same day reducing the Council from three to two terms of the lower house, a maximum of 8 years. Future elections to be for 21 members and size of the Council reduced from 45 to 42.
  • 1995 - First election for 21 members. New quotas was 4.55%.
  • 1999 - the 'tablecloth' ballot paper election. An explosion of registered parties saw 264 candidates in 81 columns triple decked across a ballot paper one metre wide.
  • 2000 - electoral system reformed. 'Above the line' voting retained but group voting tickets abolished. New option for voters to give preferences above the line introduced. To meet constitutional restrictions, groups forced to stand a minimum 15 candidates for access to a group voting square. Rules on registered parties significantly toughened.
  • 2003 - First election under new rules. Number of candidates increased but number of columns on ballot papers reduced to a manageable level.

The first chart below shows the explosion of groups nominating in 1999 followed by a reduction under the new rules since.

The abolition of GVTs and toughening of party rules reduced the number of groups, but the 15 candidate minimum for a group voting square has caused the number of candidates to increase, as shown below.

Legislative Council groups

The table below sets out the groups in ballot paper order. The groups with party names printed above the line are identified, those without names shown as "(none)". Groups who stood 15 or more candidates and have an above the line voting square are listed with "Yes" for ATL Box. The other six groups and the Un grouped column will have no above the line box.

Order Code ATL
Group Name Lead Candidate
1 A Yes (none) Lyle Shelton
2 B No (none) Craig Kelly
3 C Yes Animal Justice Alison Waters
4 D Yes Labor Courtney Houssos
5 E No (none) Milan Maksimovic
6 F Yes Socialist Alliance Stephen O'Brien
7 G No (none) Silvana Nile
8 H Yes Elizabeth Farrelly Independents Elizabeth Farrelly
9 I Yes Liberal / The Nationals Natasha MacLaren-Jones
10 J Yes Liberal Democrats John Ruddick
11 K No (none) Oscar Grenfell
12 L Yes Public Education Party Khalil Khay
13 M Yes Informed Medical Options Party Michael O'Neill
14 N Yes Shooters Fishers and Farmers Robert Borsak
15 O Yes Legalise Cannabis Jeremy Buckingham
16 P No (none) Danny Lim
17 Q Yes One Nation Mark Latham
18 R Yes The Greens Cate Faehrmann
19 S Yes Sustainable Australia William Bourke
20 T No (none) Milton Caine
21 U Yes (none) Riccardo Bosi
21 .. No Ungrouped ..

4 thoughts on “Summary of Candidates and Parties Contesting the 2023 NSW Election”

  1. if I oppose poker machines who do I vote for in the Senate

    COMMENT: A party that opposes poker machines. Ask a candidate or check their websites for information.

  2. Anthony just some information that might help with your computer set up re State seat of Shellharbour (for what it matters) on Saturday night. Pre-poll at three sites began yesterday with a complete absence of any Liberal party corflutes; no how to vote available at all; and obviously no party workers handing out HTV. Not even at Shell Cove pre-poll where with demographic changes it is likely they would out poll Labor this year. There are no Liberal house signs. No Liberal mail box yet. Libs are obviously “running” to finish well outside the top 2? best wishes on Saturday night.

    COMMENT: I am well aware that the Liberal Party are likely to finish third in Shellharbour behind Independent Chris Homer.

    1. Do you know if NSWEC will do their preference count on this basis?

      COMMENT: They will do preference counts based on the best estimate of who will finish first and second in each seat.

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