Macquarie – Australia 2016

LIB 4.5%

Incumbent MP
Louise Markus, since 2010. Previously Member for Greenway 2004-2010.

Geography
Macquarie covers the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury council areas, including the towns of Katoomba, Blaxland, Wentworth Falls, Lawson, Richmond, Windsor and Kurrajong.

Redistribution
No change.

History
Macquarie is a federation seat, and has always sat to the west of Sydney and covered the Blue Mountains, although its boundaries have shifted. It has tended to be a marginal seat, although in recent decades it has not always swung with the national trend.

The seat was first won by the Free Trade party in 1901, and they held it for two terms before Ernest Carr won it in 1906 for Labor. Carr held the seat until 1917, when he was defeated for reelection after leaving the ALP in late 1916 to join the Nationalist Party. The ALP held the seat again from 1917 until 1922, when the Nationalist Party won back the seat. Arthur Manning was reelected in 1925 against future Prime Minister Ben Chifley, who defeated Manning on a second attempt in 1928.

Chifley held the seat for two terms before losing to John Lawson of the United Australia Party in 1931. Lawson was reelected in 1934 and 1937 before Chifley defeated him in 1940. Chifley went on to serve as a senior Minister under John Curtin and became Prime Minister in 1945. He lost the Prime Ministership in 1949, then led his party in Opposition. He was reelected in Macquarie at the 1951 double dissolution before dying a few weeks later.

The seat was won in 1951 by Anthony Luchetti, a longstanding Labor activist in Macquarie. Luchetti had been Chifley’s campaign manager during his first stint in Macquarie in the 1920s, but stood as a Lang Labor candidate at the 1931 election. The split Labor vote saw the UAP win the seat in a slim margin. Luchetti held the seat from 1951 until his retirement in 1975.

The Liberal Party won the seat in 1975 in the person of Reg Gillard, who was defeated by the ALP’s Ross Free in 1980. The 1984 redistribution saw Free move to the new seat of Lindsay, and the Liberal Party’s Alasdair Webster won Macquarie.

Webster lost the seat in 1993 to Maggie Deahm of the ALP, who lost the seat herself in 1996 to Kerry Bartlett. Bartlett made the seat fairly safe over the next decade before the 2007 redistribution saw Bartlett defeated by the long-serving state MP and Minister Bob Debus. Debus went straight into Kevin Rudd’s ministry as Minister for Home Affairs. Debus resigned from the ministry in June 2009 in anticipation of his retirement from politics at the next election.

At the 2010 election the seat’s boundaries were shifted back to the boundaries in 2004. Louise Markus, who held Greenway in 2007 when it covered Hawkesbury council, chose to run for Macquarie instead, and won the seat with a 1.3% margin. Markus was re-elected in 2010.

Candidates

  • Jake Grizelj (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
  • Carl Halley (Liberty Alliance)
  • Susan Templeman (Labor)
  • Louise Markus (Liberal)
  • Liz Cooper (Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party)
  • Olya Shornikov (Liberal Democrats)
  • Hal Ginges (Animal Justice)
  • Catherine Lincoln (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Terry Morgan (Greens)

Assessment
Macquarie is a seat of two parts. While Markus can rely on strong support in the Hawkesbury, Labor has the capacity to significantly increase its support in the Blue Mountains, which could threaten the Liberal hold.

Polls

  • 50-50 – Reachtel commissioned by NSW Teachers Federation, 19 April 2016
  • 54% to Labor – Reachtel commissioned by NSW Teachers Federation, 20 June 2016

2013 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Louise Markus Liberal 42,59047.4+2.9
Susan Templeman Labor 27,87231.0-1.4
Danielle Wheeler Greens 9,98611.1-3.0
Philip Daniel MaxwellPalmer United Party3,7314.2+4.2
Tony PiperChristian Democratic Party2,7203.0+0.9
Mark LittlejohnSex Party1,7762.0+2.0
Matt HodgsonAustralia First7500.8+0.1
Teresa ElaroDemocratic Labour Party4990.6+0.6
Informal5,3626.0

2013 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Louise Markus Liberal 48,98754.5+3.2
Susan Templeman Labor 40,93745.5-3.2
Polling places in Macquarie at the 2013 federal election. Hawkesbury in green, Lower Mountains in blue, Upper Mountains in orange. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Macquarie at the 2013 federal election. Hawkesbury in green, Lower Mountains in blue, Upper Mountains in orange. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three parts. The Macquarie electorate is clearly divided between the Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains. There is also clear divisions between the upper and lower mountains.

The Liberal Party won a massive 68% majority in the Hawkesbury region, but lost both parts of the Blue Mountains, with Labor narrowly winning 51% in the lower mountains, and 65% in the upper mountains.

The Greens vote varies significantly, from 5% in the Hawkesbury to 21% in the upper mountains.

Voter groupGRN %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Hawkesbury5.167.628,27136.4
Lower Mountains12.148.919,73625.4
Upper Mountains21.235.415,29419.7
Other votes10.056.114,47118.6
Two-party-preferred votes in Macquarie at the 2013 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Macquarie at the 2013 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Macquarie at the 2013 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Macquarie at the 2013 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the lower Blue Mountains at the 2013 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the lower Blue Mountains at the 2013 federal election.
Greens primary votes in the lower Blue Mountains at the 2013 federal election.
Greens primary votes in the lower Blue Mountains at the 2013 federal election.

27 COMMENTS

  1. I’m surprised Macquarie is so marginal. It had the same geography in the Howard years and Kerry Bartlett was winning with 2PPs in the high 50s.

    I take it the Blue Mountains have drifted leftwards. The state seat has gone from a bellwether to a more Labor-leaning electorate.

  2. From Adam Carr’s site, the two major redrawings in 2007 and 2010 went 9.4% to Labor, and then 6.7% to Liberal. I know it’s not an exact science, but does suggest the current boundaries are 2-3% better for Labor than in the Howard era.

    IIRC, the seat used to push further into the Hawkesbury, into areas now covered by Berowra.

  3. DW, &MM
    Yeah. Labor were very fortunate that no voters were added in the re-distribution, as they would have been invariably lib ones. Quite wrong in my view, as this electorate will quickly become under quota.

  4. The pre-2006 boundaries were very similar to the current ones – slightly more of the lower mountains were in Lindsay. At the moment they do lean slightly Liberal but I don’t think that area would make that much of a difference.

  5. W of S
    The libs deserve to lose this seat. Louise Markus fails to even embody a political non-entity. A truly useless MP.
    I am happy to acknowledge my deep prejudice towards the Hillsong Church( ( & most religion in general ).
    If she had any guts, she would have been out there being the first to condemn what has happened. Not a peep !!!.
    A good illustration of another conflict of interest. We live in a secular state, not a religious one. MPs have at all times a responsibility to identify their own conflicts of interest, & use their position for remedy,assistance & solution.
    Markus is an abject , & obvious failure, on many levels, & in many ways.

  6. Yes Louise Markus is a terrible local member. I hope she loses her seat. She does not stuff about Blue Mountains.

  7. This seat will be won or lost in the Lower Blue Mountains. The distance of the two wings of this seat (Blue Mountains and Richmond/Windsor) means that you are dealing with two very difference demographics. The swing section is around Blaxland up to Warrimoo.

    It has been a minor miracle that Louise Markus has stayed in parliament for as long as she has but there has to be a real question about whether she can hang on this time. Her big support base is in Windsor/Richmond while Templeman is based in the Blue Mountains.

    I think that 50:50 poll is pretty close to the mark for this seat.

  8. In terms of boundaries, it does seem like a very sub-optimal division. Perhaps the next time a rural seat is abolished west of the divide, this seat can be redrawn around a Great Western Highway axis, extending west of Lithgow.

  9. Wow, the difference in Greens primary votes between the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury is nuts

  10. ReachTEL poll out a few minutes ago show’s a big swing to Labor. Result is Labor 54 Liberal 46. Game on for Bill methinks.

  11. This is basically the state seats of Hawkesbury (strongly Liberal) and Blue Mountains. Blue Mountains is changing demographically from marginal to safe Labor and this is reflected in the weakening of the Liberal margin in Macquarie over the last 20 years. I think Louise Marcus is also a weak member and her “achievements” gaffe can’t have helped her. If the Libs lose this though, they will have already lost another 6-8 seats first and it will already be game over.

  12. I expect one of the bigger swings in News South Wales here. Bigger than the swing next door in Lindsay. If there is an overall small swing to Liberals in Sydney I still see this seat swinging to Labor.

  13. I’d be shocked if the Liberals lose this. I suspect the Liberal vote is already suppressed here due to Marcus so there’s actually less potential for a big swing.

  14. I should clarify I do expect them to hold, I just think this seat swings more than the Sydney average.

  15. The Hawkesbury region – Richmond, Bligh Park and Windsor is very conservative, the Blue Mountains is more progressive. The Blue Mountains has a very high Labor and Greens vote. Since the Hawkesbury region is bigger and has a bigger population, they decide the election. Louise Markus is very unpopular in the Blue Mountains and the mood is changing in the Hawkesbury too. Susan Templeman looks like she could win

  16. This will be my last updating of Sportsbet numbers, and Macquarie has seen a final minor shift today:

    Coalition still 1.52, Labor now 2.30

  17. The electoral pendulum orders seats from the most marginal to safest based on results of the last election. Practice your swing for the coming election using the ABC’s 2016 House of Representatives Calculator.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here