Fred Nile decides not to stand for parliament, urges a vote for his wife Silvana

Silvana and Fred Nile

Veteran Christian MP Fred Nile has announced he won’t be standing for election again. The former leader of the Christian Democratic Party, wound up after internal disputes forced it into court, will leave after serving in the NSW parliament since 1981. (He had a short break while seeking a Senate seat.)

“Today, I announced that I will not be contesting the upcoming New South Wales State Election on the 23rd of march 2023,” Nile writes in a letter to supporters and a press release.

“I have instead endorsed my wife Mrs Silvana Nile to be the Revive Australia Party (Fred Nile Alliance) Restore Repair rebuild lead candidate for the state election on the 23rd of March 2023.

“I would like to thank you for your support over the past 42 years and implore you to rally behind Silvana.

“I have no doubt that her passion, empathy, Christian values and godliness will see Silvana continue my legacy in [the] New South Wales state parliament for many year to come.”

Whether Silvana Nero Nile would succeed or join her husband in parliament has been a critical factor in the factional disputes that led to the demise of the Christian Democratic Party. In the final months, there were essentially three factions:

• one concentrated around the two Niles and the erstwhile state Director Annie Wright,

• a second faction that was a collection mostly of party officials exiled by the Niles,

• and Lyle Shelton and people he had brought into or back into the party during a period that he had been endorsed by Fred Nile as his successor.

There was a long-standing suspicion in the party that Silvana Nile wished to succeed her husband.

A more recent breach has apparently occurred with a seniors party that Nile announced he was joining a few months ago.

This is the second time Fred Nile has put a wife forward in an election. In 1988 Elaine Nile was elected to the NSW upper house alongside her husband. She retired in 2002, and Gordon Moyes, the superintendent of Wesley Mission was appointed as her successor. Moyes fell out with Fred Nile and joined Family First.

There are several groups formed from members of the Christian Democratic Party that have been seeking ways of running candidates in the NSW state election. It is likely that Lyle Shelton, now the National Director of the Family First party and currently campaigning for them in the Victorian poll, will run.

All of these groups face a key problem. They have to overcome the long period required to register a party in that state. There is currently insufficient time to register a new party before the election. As of today, the Revive Australia Party (Fred Nile Alliance), the Seniors Party or Family First does not appear on the State Register of Political Parties. One Nation led by Mark Latham in NSW is making a pitch for voters who formerly backed Nile’s party, at least the most conservative of them.


The seismic political decline of Christianity in Australia mirrors the decline of Christianity in general as faith continues to fall out of favour, with the number of Australians who are not religious doubling over the past decade says Greg Bondar, the former Federal and NSW State Director of the Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) from 2016 – 2019.

“It may not be politically correct to say so, but conservative life in general, coupled with the absence of a moral and ethical crusader, will result in an unimaginable life without a western and Christian cultural foundation. The decline of Christianity is a loss for all Australians.”

Bondar who has formed a new group, Christian Voice Australia, notes that for the first time in 43 years, there will be no recognisable Christian political party on the ballot paper in the 2023 NSW state elections. In saying this The Other Cheek observes that Silvana Nile will have to stand as an independent.