Imagine if your voice was being heard

May 2022 Federal Election

VoNS Election campaign wrap-up

As the election campaign draws to a close, and we have made our decisions and head to the polling booth (or seal up our postal votes), we thought it would be ideal to summarise what we have learned through the last few months. It will be close, preferences will matter and ‘Tactical‘ voting may well decide the outcome. Read on for a full explanation.
Our aim

First, just to restate the aim of Voices of North Sydney; it is to ‘promote and facilitate participation in our democracy’.

We want our representative to represent us

North Sydney has been a very safe seat for the Liberal party for over 25 years, since independent Ted Mack was our representative in the mid 1990’s. Over the years, many people have felt frustrated that we were not being best represented, that our views were not reflected by how our representative voted in Federal parliament.

We are here to listen, collect and transmit your values and priorities and help understand how voting works.

We held Kitchen Table Conversations and Voices in the Pub events to talk to lots of people in the community, to find out the issues that mattered. We turned to our MP Trent Zimmerman, to explain the issues the community wanted to see, such as the Climate Act Bill debated in parliament, but only found roadblocks, excuses or no response at all.

So here we are on the cusp of an election, “the only poll that matters”, and the choice is ours’ North Sydney!

We are still not ‘endorsing a candidate’: we are sharing with you the results of our online quiz to let you know how the candidates policies have aligned with peoples’ priorities.

Represent Me!: your priorities; their policies

We built the online quiz ‘Represent Me’  to help you understand the policies of each candidate. From the 568 North Sydney voters who have done the quiz to date, here are some results.
The top 3 important issues from the quiz are:
  • climate change action (66%), integrity in government / federal ICAC (43%), the economy (25%) and health (24%).
The least important issues are:
  • religious freedom / discrimination laws (4%) and removing COVID-19 vaccine mandates (2%).
The candidates that most aligned with voters policy priorities were Kylea Tink (42%) and the Greens (37%), in part due to political integrity and climate change action being placed with high importance.
Of people who said they voted Liberal at the 2019 election, only 14% were most aligned with current Liberal policies, but 47% were aligned best with Kylea Tink’s policies. When asked how important it was that a representative consulted with the community to develop their policies, 71% said it was highly important and 26% somewhat important: so to spell it out: 97% say it was important that our representative should consult with the community regularly to get feedback and update their policies.
Understanding the polls

There have been a few polls published in the last few weeks about what is going to happen in North Sydney – but what does it mean for us and which ones are accurate?
All polls are a snapshot in time. Some can be more or less accurate, depending upon how they are conducted, and all polls are just an estimate.
There’s a few aspects that make a good poll – the number of respondents, how they are collected, the margin of error, the weighting applied, and how it is reported. Some polls are run by members of the Australian Polling Council, and these companies commit to transparency by publishing the full methodology of their polls (and so are scrutinised appropriately by the industry).

Some better quality polls that have been published for North Sydney are by large news organisations AFR, The Guardian, and polling agencies UComms, Redbridge and the Australia Institute. They typically have over 1000 respondents and apply complex weighting to best estimate a result that is representative.

Links to two examples here:

Some others, such as a poll conducted by Compass Polling (reported in North Sydney Sun) are less reliable as they do not report methodology, use insufficient weighting and have a significantly high margin of error of 5%.
The more reliable polls indicate first preference votes will be Liberals with 38-42%, and Labor and Kylea Tink with 20-25% each, so the winner will be decided by the preferences that voters write on their ballot papers.

We are not going to go into this complex and contested area, but having looked at a number of videos that try to explain how this works, this video gives the clearest explanation we have seen.

(If you are short for time, just watch from the 5 minute mark.)

Voices of North Sydney as a non-partisan community group has chosen not to endorse any particular candidate this election.

We wanted to include people from all political backgrounds and to focus on the issues that the community wants our MP to address.

From our quiz we can see the most important issues on most people’s minds are climate change action, political integrity including a strong Federal ICAC, and most recently, how to address cost of living issues.

We encourage all voters in North Sydney to vote for the candidate whose policies best align with these priorities.

Voices of North Sydney will still be here after the federal election, with the same goals of ensuring our politicians are best representing the community at all levels of government.

Our democracy is precious. Let’s participate in protecting it by making informed decisions.

Democratically yours.

The Voices of North Sydney Committee
Share the quiz with friends.

A short explainer video providing additional background on the VoNS Represent Me! Quiz is accessible here.

Play Video

Make Your Vote Count
Myths + Preferences Explained

A video debunking some of the principal myths concerning preference allocations and explaining how to best optimise your desired outcome from this election, is accessible here.

VoNS Meet The Candidates Session

On the 4th May VoNS hosted a Meet The Candidates session at the Willoughby Park Bowling Club. The candidates who attended were:

Heather ARMSTRONG (The Greens)
William BOURKE (Sustainable Australia party)
Victor KLINE (TNL – formerly The New Liberals)
Robert NALBANDIAN (United Australia Party)
Catherine RENSHAW (Labor)
Kylea TINK (Independent)

Helen DALLEY was the Moderator.

A full recording of the session is accessible here.

Play Video

'What is the Senate and why are we running?’
Jane Caro & Hannah Maher chat with Madeleine Hinch

On 14th of April VoNS hosted a discussion with the Reason Party candidates, Jane Caro and Hannah Maher who are standing for the Senate. Here is the full recording of the session. We aim to post an edited highlights versions in the next couple of weeks.

Play Video

Willoughby by-election Feb 2022 was closer than you think

The recent Willoughby by-election brought about by the resignation of Gladys Bereijiklian was a surprisingly close race between Tim James the successful Liberal candidate and local community independent Larissa Penn. The result could have been different if the NSW election had MANDATORY preferential voting as we do in Federal elections, instead of OPTIONAL preferential voting. This short 10minute video explains why and how the result may have been different.

Play Video


Come together to understand the most important issues for people in North Sydney and find a representative who will fight for them in Parliament.


We welcome and encourage participation by all people, irrespective of political allegiance, age, gender, through inclusion, deliberation and integrity.


From coming to a kitchen table meeting to door-knocking there is much to do. Acting together we can change the way the system established works.


Better democracy is the key to making and enacting good policy for the things that matter to us. To build this democratic engagement, we are organising social Kitchen Table Conversation events at PUBS and CLUBS near you

Declaration of Independents

Voices of North Sydney was initially focussed on federal issues, but though our conversations it became clear that integrity and the need for more accountability at the local government level is also needed. The voting processes appear to favour parties and it is more difficult for true independents to be elected.

It is important for true ‘community-minded independents’ to be identifiable and to promote their shared values: not being associated with a party, how they will engage with the electorate and strengthen participation in democracy, and personal behaviour.

Here is the ‘Declaration of Independents’ (pun intended!). Please share and promote and ask independent candidates to sign and send back to us.

Summary of feedback

Here is a summary of our ‘kitchen table conversations’ in 2020 and ‘Voices in the pub’ in 2021.

The 2021 sessions looked at both Federal and local issues.

Video explainer

The background and motivation for Voices of North Sydney (7:30 minutes)

Zoom Town Hall video

Our last Zoom town hall with John Hewson and Andy Marks.

Sign up to Voices of North Sydney NOW

The North Sydney Federal electorate is: Artarmon, Crows Nest, Cammeray, Castlecrag, Cremorne, Chatswood, Greenwich, Henley, Hunters Hill, Kirribilli, Lane Cove, Longueville, McMahons Point, Middle Cove, Naremburn, Northbridge, North Sydney, Riverview, St Leonards, Waverton, Willoughby, Woolwich