McMahon – Australia 2013

ALP 7.8%

Incumbent MP
Chris Bowen, since 2010. Previously Member for Prospect 2004-2010.

Western Sydney. McMahon covers a central part of Western Sydney, covering parts of a number of local government areas. It covers parts of Holroyd, Fairfield, Penrith and Blacktown councils, with a majority of voters living in Fairfield. The seat covers the suburb of Fairfield itself as well as the suburbs of Smithfield, Bossley Park, Wetherill Park, Greystanes, Pemulwuy, Erskine Park and St Clair.

McMahon was created at the 2010 election, but was effectively the renaming of the seat of Prospect, and covered most of the same territory.

The original seat of Prospect was first created for the 1969 election, and has always been held by the ALP.

The seat was first won in 1969 by the ALP’s Dick Klugman. Klugman held the seat for 21 years, retiring in 1990.

He was succeeded by Janice Crosio, who had held a local state seat for the ALP since 1981, and had served as a minister for the last four years of the NSW state Labor government, from 1984 to 1988.

Crosio’s move to federal politics saw her serve as a Parliamentary Secretary from 1992 until the defeat of the Keating government in 1996. Crosio held the seat until the 2004 election.

At the 2004 election, the seat was won by former Mayor of Fairfield, Chris Bowen. Bowen quickly rose to the Labor frontbench and was appointed Assistant Treasurer in the first Rudd ministry after the 2007 election. He was promoted to Cabinet in 2009.

Bowen was quickly promoted through the ranks, serving in the portfolios of Immigration and Higher Education. He resigned from the ministry in March 2013 after his participation in a campaign to encourage Kevin Rudd to challenge for the Labor leadership.


McMahon would normally be considered safe, but Labor is currently in a lot of trouble in Western Sydney. Labor lost the overlapping seat of Smithfield and a number of other safe seats at the 2011 state election, and lost control of a number of local councils close to McMahon in the 2012 local government election. Bowen is a strong candidate, but if there is a strong swing it could overwhelm Labor’s campaign.

2010 result

Chris BowenALP40,93351.26-7.41
Jamal ElisheLIB28,95036.25+5.29
Astrid O’NeillGRN6,4288.05+3.37
Manny PoularasCDP3,5494.44+1.72

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Chris BowenALP46,17057.81-5.96
Jamal ElisheLIB33,69042.19+5.96
Polling places in McMahon at the 2010 federal election. Bossley Park in green, Fairfield-Smithfield in yellow, Greystanes in blue, Penrith in orange. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in McMahon at the 2010 federal election. Bossley Park in green, Fairfield-Smithfield in yellow, Greystanes in blue, Penrith in orange. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas. All of those booths in Holroyd council area have been grouped as ‘Greystanes’, while all the booths in Penrith City Council area have also been grouped together. Polling places in Fairfield have been split between Bossley Park in the west and Fairfield-Smithfield in the east.

The ALP won a majority in all four areas, varying from 52.8% in Greystanes to 66.2% in Fairfield-Smithfield.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Bossley Park7.7556.2116,93521.21
Other votes9.4356.1615,71019.67
Two-party-preferred votes in McMahon at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in McMahon at the 2010 federal election.


  1. And, quote me, if I’m wrong here, I remember reading that Poularas was a member of the ALP previously as well, although he never stood as a candidate for them, obviously. Thank you for confirming that, Geoffrey.

  2. Thanks for your response and great analysis DLH. So are you suggesting that the Green vote will drop a little from the 8% in 2010, say 1-2%? If so, that would seem to make sense. More than that 3-4% would really say something about how they are seen in this part of Sydney.

    Agreed, doubt that PUP will do that well here but 3-4% seems realistic for the disaffected voters. It will be most interesting to see how it unfolds on election night.

  3. Thank you, Yappo, for the kind words. That’s pretty much my suggestion, which would make things between the Greens, CDP and the PUP extremely interesting. That’s where the seat is going to come down to, in my view, who will come third.

  4. Who are the greens giving their preference to in McMahon? I cannot get a straight answer out of the greens anymore

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