Charting the rise of female NSW election candidates from 1901 to 2023

Colourful collage of NSW women politicians
by Nigel Gladstone and The Visual Stories Team, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 April 2023

This Sydney Morning Herald analysis charts a century of women in NSW state politics.

As of April 2023:

  • There have been 249 distinct NSW electorates since 1920 and 135 of them have never had a female MP elected to represent them.
  • Areas with the longest records for exclusively male MPs have existed either for more than a century: Bathurst (40 elections) or on and off for a century; Ryde (37), Clarence (34) and Upper Hunter (34).
  • Women have been elected most often in the seat of North Shore, 11 times from 32 opportunities, including at byelections. The other four seats to elect women more than six times are the inner-city seat of Heffron (seven wins from 16 elections), Balmain (seven from 44), Vaucluse (7 from 36), and Canterbury (7 from 33).
  • The two major parties’ approaches to female representation differ. Labor introduced quotas for female candidates in 1994 and the party nominated 41 women in the 93 seats they contested in 2023. Their quota for preselection to winnable seats will rise to 50 per cent in 2025.

See the timeline

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