Parkes – Australia 2019

NAT 15.1%

Incumbent MP
Mark Coulton, since 2007.

Parkes covers large parts of western NSW, stretching from Dubbo in the southeastern corner of the seat to Moree in the northeast and Broken Hill in the west. It covers most of the Gwydir council area and all of 17 other local government areas, namely Broken Hill, Central Darling, Dubbo, Lachlan, Narromine, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Gunnedah, Walgett, Warren and Warrumbungle.

The seat of Parkes was created as part of the expansion of the federal Parliament in 1984 as a seat in the west of NSW. It has always been held by the National Party. It shares its name with an earlier seat of Parkes, which was located in suburban Sydney from Federation until its abolition in 1969. The seat of Parkes is named after early NSW premier Henry Parkes, rather than the town of Parkes, which is not contained within the seat.

Parkes was first won in 1984 by National Party candidate Michael Cobb. Cobb held the seat for 14 years, retiring in 1998 after being convicted of offenses related to rorting his travel expenses. He was replaced by Tony Lawler, who held the seat for one term, retiring in 2001.

The seat was won in 2001 by John Cobb. Cobb served as a junior minister in the Howard government from 2005 to 2007. The redistribution before the 2006 election shifted the boundaries of Parkes towards the abolished seat of Gwydir, with much of the northwest transferred into Calare, and Cobb was elected as the Member for Calare. He was succeeded in Parkes by former Mayor of Gwydir Shire, Mark Coulton. Coulton has been re-elected three times: in 2010, 2013 and 2016.


  • Natasha Bearman (Greens)
  • Assessment
    Parkes is a safe Nationals seat.

    2016 result

    Mark Coulton Nationals 54,86958.7+2.9
    Kate Stewart Labor 26,72828.6+6.1
    Matt Parmeter Greens 5,8516.3+1.5
    Glen RyanChristian Democratic Party3,9504.2+1.9
    Philip John AytonOnline Direct Democracy2,1492.3+2.3

    2016 two-party-preferred result

    Mark Coulton Nationals 60,90165.1-4.9
    Kate Stewart Labor 32,64634.9+4.9

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into five parts. Polling places in the Dubbo and Broken Hill urban areas have been grouped together, and the remaining booths have been split into central, east and west.

    The Nationals won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in four out of five areas, ranging from 61.8% in the west to 70% in the east. Labor won 68.5% in Broken Hill.

    Voter groupNAT 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Broken Hill31.56,0896.5
    Other votes70.810,01710.7

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

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    1. Interesting that it’s only been 10 years since they abolished Gwydir, and now this current seat covers most of the area of the old Gwydir and Parkes combined.

      It shows how strong the relative decline is in this part of the state.

    2. Mark Mulcair
      Yes. Gwydir was a federation seat too. It ought never to have been abolished. Why not New England ?.
      How do you see a relative decline ? .

      Parkes is way too big in area. I remain very unconvinced that moving Broken Hill out of Farrer, into Parkes, was a good idea.

      Surely it would have been a better idea to give Susan Ley a parliamentary Aeroplane, & send her flying (she is a pilot) !.

      Surely this would be more cost effective than Coulton chartering flights over half of NSW ?


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