Banks – Australia 2019

LIB 1.4%

Incumbent MP
David Coleman, since 2013.

Southern Sydney. Banks covers large parts of the St George area and neighbouring suburbs. It includes most of the Georges River council area and parts of the Canterbury-Bankstown council area. Key suburbs include East Hills, Panania, Padstow, Picnic Point, Revesby, Mortdale, Peakhurst, Penshurst, Allawah and Oatley.

Banks was created for the 1949 election, and was held by Labor continuously until 2013.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Labor candidate Dominic Costa. Costa held the seat for twenty years, always as a member of the opposition, retiring in 1969.

Vince Martin was elected in 1969, and held the seat until he was defeated for preselection in 1980 by John Mountford. Mountford held the seat until his retirement in 1990.

In 1990, Banks was won by Labor candidate Daryl Melham. Melham held the seat for over two decades, serving in the Opposition shadow ministry from 1996 to 1998 and again from 2001 to 2004. Successive swings against the ALP wore his margin down to 1.06% in 2004, although a favourable redistribution before the 2007 election, combined with a swing of almost 8%, made the seat much safer.

Daryl Melham narrowly held on in 2010 despite a 9% swing, and in 2013 he lost to Liberal candidate David Coleman with a further 3.3% swing. Coleman was re-elected in 2016.


Banks is a very marginal seat and could go either way. There has been a trend of the Liberal Party getting stronger in this area, relative to other parts of New South Wales, but this doesn’t rule out a Labor win if they are strengthening their position.

2016 result

David Coleman Liberal 39,42343.9-3.8
Chris Gambian Labor 35,89040.0+0.1
Philippa Clark Greens 5,2255.8+0.8
Greg BondarChristian Democratic Party4,7775.3+2.9
Sharon WuFamily First1,6211.8+1.8
Roy Owen BarnesAnimal Justice1,5551.7+1.7
Bob SpanswickIndependent1,3411.5+1.5

2016 two-party-preferred result

David Coleman Liberal 46,21051.4-1.4
Chris Gambian Labor 43,62248.6+1.4

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three parts: east, central and west.

The Liberal party won a 51.9% majority of the two-party-preferred vote in the centre and east. Labor won 50.6% in the west.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes52.611,50612.8

Two-party-preferred votes in Banks at the 2016 federal election

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  1. One of the few marginal seats I can see the Liberal Party retaining next year.

    David is impressive and seems to work his Electorate hard.

  2. I’ve worked with David Coleman before. While we disagree on many things, I have to confess he does work very hard. In particular, he’s done a lot of work trying to woo Asian voters along the river. Still a marginal at heart, but I also think could be a Liberal retain.

  3. Mick Q
    Do you have an idea why Chris didn’t get any traction against Coleman ?

    What might you have disagreed about ?

  4. Winediamond

    When I used to be a member of the Liberal Party, he was big in the moderate faction. Their ideology is specifically *not* to be bound by ideology. Some of the tactics they use inside the party are deplorable.

    However, on a personal level, he was quite a nice fellow and a lot of constituents showed him great respect. He was hardly in the office at all and was always out and about too.

  5. He got a small swing about 1% which was roughly what the previous redistribution added to the liberal vote.Chris was the only one to put up his hand for Alp preselection last time so maybe people just thought he could not win…now Chris is better known and there is a swing to Labor…extra Nsw seats will I think come out of Robertson Gilmore and Banks and Reid……also after the state election he may have one or 2 colleagues representing overlapping state seats

  6. Wreathy
    All that under the table stuff sounds interesting. Would you be prepared to give a favourite example ?

    Mick Q
    The rapid demographic change in this seat is going to insulate Coleman again i think. The change in numbers in the western half over the last few years, has been extraordinary.
    However there will be a redistribution in 2022, & i expect that Banks will be decimated, so if Gambian can hang in till then, he will have a seat. I’ll respond on Gilmore, & Robertson on their threads

  7. What demographic change has been happening here? This is long-established suburbia without many new developments that I’m aware of. The population is probably getting a bit older, and maybe a bit wealthier in parts of the electorate (subject to fluctuations in housing prices). It’s the sort of inner-middle suburban seat where Labor didn’t do particularly well at the last election (See also Reid, Chisholm, Bonner, Swan) but if there’s any sort of national swing I’d expect this to be a fairly straightforward Labor gain.

  8. Chris

    My father lived in Connells Point (that big blue 64!) for many years so I know this neck of the woods quite well. There is considerable development in the eastern parts of this seat, particularly duplexes in the suburbs and larger development along the rail line. Furthermore, there has been an influx of wealthier, Asian voters along the riverside suburbs for a long time now. These people are aspirationonal types and are not likely Labor voters.

    That doesn’t rule out a Labor gain, but makes this seat a lot less vulnerable than the margin suggests. Definitely one to watch.


    Well the way that the moderates used to collaborate amongst themselves and use internal party instruments to shut out those from an even slightly different viewpoint is a key example. One of my friends was put into ‘deep-freeze’ and was not allowed to join a branch because of this. Not because he was a bad person, or even because he necessarily held different views, but because his father was in the wrong faction. Dirty, shameful stuff really.

  9. the Labor Stronghold is Riverwood and They get a good vote in Revesby and parts of Padstow…… Oatley, Lugarno and Blakehurst are Liberal strong holds…. the rest of the Revesby and Hurstville suburbs are marginal….. condell park is in Blaxland and the areas of :Punchbowl / Roselands closest to Riverwood are in Watson
    the boundary changes worsened the labor vote as did the changes in the Revesby suburbs from 1949 to about 1993 Labor had a vote of greater than 60% in the Revesby suburbs now this is no more……. there has been the change of a generation eg in 1979 I was in my early 20s now I am 62. People of my parents generation are now in 80s and 90s if they haven’t passed.. The people moving in would be much younger than me.

  10. my post got lost…… the Revesby suburbs from 1949 to 1993 used to average 60% plus now they tend to vote Labor in parts of Revesby but overall is mainly marginal.
    Riverwood is a labor strong hold…… the suburbs of Lugarno, Oatley and Connels point are liberal party strong holds….. what remains in the Hurstville area is marginal. look at the map here you will see. The boundary changes adding strong liberal suburbs and taking away Labor voting Punchbowl have changed the seats margin 3 to 4% over time.
    This change in the Revesby suburbs is the basic demographic change

  11. Wreathy, thanks for that information. I’d be surprised if the changes are enough to outweigh the nationwide swing though.

    Mick, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. More riverside suburbs equals a lower Labor vote. I recall the State seats of George’s River and Hurstville electing Liberal members in the 70s and 80s, although I don’t think East Hills ever had until the last 2 elections (and it took some dirty tricks for the Libs to hold it last time). I suspect Lugano and maybe Connell’s Point have never voted Labor.

  12. wreathy…… there was a book written…. confessions of a young liberal…..even though I will never vote liberal it was quite interesting…….talks of faction fighting in the liberal left..I think

  13. Does this area associate itself with the Shire at all culturally?

    Morrison being PM will shore up his own (very safe) seat and Hughes as well despite Craig Kelly’s failings. This seat is the closest marginal and Cook does jump the river.

    That’s the only way I can see the Liberals surviving here.

  14. There’s no affinity with Sutherland shire. Sutherland shire is a world of its own.

    Coleman stood a good chance of re-election under Turnbull. Arguably, he was the favourite. He’s in seriously jeopardy now.

  15. There is some affinity along the riverside suburbs, particularly Connells Point and Oatley. However, that quickly dissipates the further inland you go. Turnbull probably would have been a better fit, but I still wouldn’t rule Morrison out here, especially among Asian voters (with the caveat that the government actually recovers from this mess to a reasonably competitive position).

  16. Is there anything about Morrison that will make the Liberals more likely to pick up any seat off Labor anywhere?

    I am at a loss as to what Morrison will even say to the media when the election comes around when asked what their path to victory looks like. Labor did a very poor job of this in 2013, with many prominent MPs openly saying they were stuffed, but at least they ran big in LNP held Forde (with “star candidate” Peter Beattie) and Dawson to create a narrative.

  17. As the hard right warriors of the parliamentary Liberal party have made perfectly clear, they’re not the least bit interested in the party’s electoral viability. It’s the cranky conservatives at party branch meetings that trouble them, not the swinging voters who decide elections.

  18. It is interesting that David Coleman was made a Minister. How much attention will he be able to give his own seat with a 1.4% margin. This is the sort of seat that needs sandbagging and I think it will fall as the member will not be able to spend much time in the seat campaigning. Labor win.

  19. Chris Gambian is a good candidate who is working well with his colleagues who are standing in East Hills and Oatley which overlap this seat

  20. This seat is completely different to the Shire. In particular there is a large Cantonese speaking Chinese community in the Hurstville-Mortdale area of this seat that historically was working class and voted Labor sine the 1980s. There are also some migrants from the middle east living in the northern areas of the seat and some Vietnamese voters in the west. These voters would not have responded well to Prime Minister Dutton, and Coleman knew it, which is why he voted for Turnbull.

    There’s been huge development around Hurstville in the last five years with apartment towers going up. Coleman has worked community connections very effectively, and this will certainly reduce any swing, but he will still face a challenge to hold the seat if there’s a landslide. Now that same-sex marriage is out of the way it also removes one barrier some socially conservative voters felt coming back to Labor.

  21. The NSW state election suggests Labor will have trouble picking up this seat, with a swing TOWARDS the liberals in Oatley, and East Hills still in doubt.

    However, commentators are suggesting that it was due to Daley’s remarks about Asian immigrants, and that won’t be a factor in the federal election (or it might even be a factor towards Labor).

    I’m still putting this as an ALP Gain in my books but not an easy one.


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