Macnamara – Australia 2022

ALP 6.1%

Incumbent MP
Josh Burns, since 2019.

Inner south of Melbourne. Macnamara covers the port of Melbourne, St Kilda and Caulfield. Other suburbs include Elwood, Balaclava, Elsternwick, Ripponlea, Middle Park, Albert Park and South Melbourne.

Macnamara lost Windsor to Higgins. This change slightly reduced the Labor margin from 6.2% to 6.1%.

Melbourne Ports was an original Federation electorate. After originally being won by the Protectionist party, it has been held by the ALP consistently since 1906, although it has rarely been held by large margins.

Melbourne Ports was first won in 1901 by Protectionist candidate Samuel Mauger, who had been a state MP for one year before moving into federal politics. Mauger was re-elected in 1903 but in 1906 moved to the new seat of Maribyrnong, which he held until his defeat in 1910.

Melbourne Ports was won in 1906 by Labor candidates James Mathews. Mathews held Melbourne Ports for a quarter of a century, retiring in 1931.

Mathews was succeeded in 1931 by Jack Holloway. Holloway had won a shock victory over Prime Minister Stanley Bruce in the seat of Flinders in 1929, before moving to the much-safer Melbourne Ports in 1931. Holloway had served as a junior minister in the Scullin government, and served in the Cabinet of John Curtin and Ben Chifley throughout the 1940s. He retired at the 1951 election and was succeeded by state MP Frank Crean.

Crean quickly rose through the Labor ranks and was effectively the Shadow Treasurer from the mid-1950s until the election of the Whitlam government in 1972. Crean served as Treasurer for the first two years of the Whitlam government, but was pushed aside in late 1974 in the midst of difficult economic times, and moved to the Trade portfolio. He served as Deputy Prime Minister for the last four months of the Whitlam government, and retired in 1977.

Crean was replaced by Clyde Holding, who had served as Leader of the Victorian Labor Party from 1967 until 1976. He won preselection against Simon Crean, son of Frank. Holding served in the Hawke ministry from 1983 until the 1990 election, and served as a backbencher until his retirement in 1998.

Holding was replaced by Michael Danby in 1998, and Danby held the seat for the next two decades, retiring in 2019. Labor candidate Josh Burns won Macnamara in 2019.


Macnamara has been under threat from the Liberal Party in the past, but it’s unlikely the Liberal Party could win in the current environment. The Greens are also targetting this seat with the goal of overtaking Labor and winning. That is a real possibility if they do well.

2019 result

Kate Ashmor Liberal 36,28337.4-4.637.5
Josh Burns Labor 30,85531.8+5.231.8
Steph Hodgins-May Greens 23,53424.2+0.124.0
Craig McphersonAnimal Justice1,9192.00.02.0
Helen Lucy PatonUnited Australia Party1,1361.2+1.21.2
Ruby O’RourkeIndependent1,1081.1+1.11.1
Steven ArmstrongSustainable Australia9741.0+1.01.0
Chris WallisIndependent9180.9+1.01.0
Christine KayRise Up Australia3650.4+0.40.4

2019 two-party-preferred result

Josh Burns Labor 54,61356.2+5.056.1
Kate Ashmor Liberal 42,47943.8-5.043.9

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three areas: Port Melbourne, St Kilda and Caulfield.

Labor won a large 70.2% majority of the two-party-preferred vote in St Kilda, 55% in Caulfield and 57.5% in Port Melbourne.

On a primary vote basis, the three areas look very different. The Greens topped the primary vote in St Kilda, with the Liberal Party a distant third. In Caulfield, the Liberal Party was far out ahead, while the Liberal Party narrowly outpolled Labor in Port Melbourne.

Voter groupGRN primALP primLIB primALP 2PPTotal votes% of votes
St Kilda35.634.423.670.217,18618.5
Port Melbourne22.435.236.157.516,14717.4
Other votes19.327.944.947.821,19922.8

Election results in Macnamara at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor and the Greens.

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  1. “I think the true boundary here is Hotham street which separates Port Phillip from Glen Eira.”

    100% agree. Crossing Hotham Street is where you notice an immediate difference.

    West of Hotham, St Kilda East and Balaclava retain the same urban feeling that the eastern triangle of St Kilda (between the highway and Chapel) and Windsor have: Almost entirely a mix of 3-storey walkup blocks of flats and single fronted terraces, no nature strips, etc. Lots of renters and young people.

    East of Hotham, the Glen Eira part of St Kilda East is totally different and more similar to Caulfield North. Tree lined, nature strips, large houses, large schools, etc.

    It’s a perfect boundary I think.

    One more boundary that should change though id the southern one with Goldstein: Glenhuntly Road. Should move up to Glen Eira Road regardless of whether that border will be with Macnamara as it currently is, or Higgins.

    A major activity centre like Glenhuntly Road shouldn’t be a boundary because the traders on both sides of the road are a single community of interest. Thoroughfares like Hotham and Glen Eira make better boundaries.

  2. Another phenomenal result for the Greens. Steph Hodgins-May did so much better than I expected. The only things saving Josh Burns here today are the cratering Liberal vote and, most importantly of all, the perfect little gerrymander with Higgins.

    Question now is what becomes of the boundaries at the next election. A redistribution will see Josh ousted in 2025, but if they fight too hard to preserve the current borders then they might just end up losing both Macnamara *and* Higgins.

  3. Amazing result from Steph Hodgins-May and even if she doesn’t win, hopefully it will energize her to try a 4th time.

    As you say FL, the main thing working against Steph HM here is actually just the complete obliteration of the Liberals most likely making this a Labor v Greens count. Her best hope now is that the Liberals smash Labor in the postal votes but that’s unlikely.

    Either way this might be the last seat to be called because it won’t even be mnown who the two-party count is between until a full distribution of preferences, and all 3 combinations are possible.

    But I’m tipping Burns to hold in a Labor v Greens count.

    The LIB/ALP 2PP here will be Labor’s best since before Caulfield was in the seat and the Lib PV may be the lowest in 5-6 decades….

  4. The Victorian redistribution in general will be fascinating.

    Labor will be desperate to hang on to its own newly-acquired seats, and presumably also very keen to protect and help the Independents as well. The ‘logical’ approach to me at face value would be to consolidate the 4 Labor seats of Chisholm, Hotham, Isaacs and Bruce into 3, but I’m sure they won’t want to do that. So it will be interesting to see what constructions they try to come up with.

  5. Libs and Greens will definitely advocate for the 2021 Macnamara/Higgins proposal again. Libs to get Higgins back and Greens to make Macnamara notionally Green. Labor will emphatically opposite it.

    On the Macnamara count, Kevin Bonham’s blog of its post-election count says his model projects PVs of:
    Labor 30.3
    Greens 30.2
    Liberal 29.7

    Incredibly close, basically meaning minor preference flows could eliminate any one of the 3, especially since 4 of the minors are right wing and Labor are likely to get the least minor preferences. But that so far the postals have been better for Labor than the model projects so they are most likely to retain.

    This will be the last seat to be called I think.

  6. What a fascinating race this has turned into.

    William Bowe’s update on PB tonight sums it up well and he states that based on what’s left and how the numbers are falling, things are now trending the Greens way.

    To put it simply, the AEC 3CP preference throw, which is now complete for all ballots counted so far, currently has Labor 50 votes behind the Liberals and 495 ahead of the Greens in the 3PP race.

    There’s an estimated 6500 ballots left to count, and if they continue to break the same way they currently are, and Covid votes also favour the Greens, they will be on track to erase that deficit, while the strong preference flow to the Libs also keeps them ahead of Labor, dropping Labor to third place.

    This was looking like a near-certain Labor retain but every batch of votes that has come in has been breaking exactly the way it needs to for the Greens to win, so basically they just need that to continue through the last 6000+ votes to win the seat, while Labor need the final 6000+ to be sufficiently weaker for *either* the Greens or Liberals for them to retain it.

    It’s a nailbiter and is shaping up for all 3 to be over 33% in the 3PP count (would that be the closest 3PP count ever?), meaning any 2CP combination is still possible.

  7. No way Labor comes 3rd. I can see the Greens overtaking Labor. But Labor will win majority government, Labor will hold this. It is absolutely ridiculous that the ABC and Pollbludger is being conservative on their calls.

    Deakin is also Liberal, the trends are helping Sukkar there on postals.

    The only seat that is in-doubt in my mind is Gilmore which is likely to go Liberal.

    All the seats on the ABC website that are “in-doubt” will remain with the parties that currently lead them on the current counts.

  8. Greens overtaking Labor means Labor will finish 3rd. I think there are enough Right Wing Micro Party Party votes to push Libs ahead into first.

    I was thinking Mcnamara was a certain Labor retain at least on Election night but at this stage I think Greens would be favourites to win Mcnamara.

    There are 4,658 envelopes waiting to processed, only 200 of them are postals, they are late arriving postals which I guess will favour Greens or break even.

    The remaining are all absentee, provisional and Declaration pre polls. The votes in these categories already counted are favouring Greens by a good enough margin to close the gap between Labor and Greens on primary which makes it likely for Greens to overtake Labor on minor Party preferences at the 3pp stage.

  9. I thought this was Labour’s until I read ABC’s Anthony Green’s column in which he said he was going to call it for Labour, until the Labour candidate for Macnamara phoned him and said the Greens could still win it. Yesterday ABC only called Brisbane for Greens after the Labour candidate made a concession call to the Green candidate. My last 3CP calculation had the Greens 422 preferences ahead of Labour at the final 3CP count in Macnamara.

  10. Daniel, the biggest problem for Labor at the moment is that their margin vs Liberals on how the current votes are breaking is smaller than the advantage the Liberals are getting over Labor on minor preferences.

    Therefore, just say Libs are averaging 26% and Labor 29% on new batches, after minor preferences (“others” are currently averaging around 12%) they are basically getting around 30.5% each on 3PP terms, which means the Liberals’ lead isn’t going away.

    Labor need the remaining votes to actually break stronger for them compared to the Libs than they have, to get in front of them.

    Patreon’s analysis is on the money and there could actually be up to 6500 votes left if more postals are received (the last batch actually did break 26 LIB, 29 ALP, 33 GRN, 12 OTH which is enough to keep the Liberals ahead of Labor).

  11. Just to clarify Daniel, Liberals currently lead Labor by 50 votes on the 3CP, but the rstes at which new votes are breaking, after the Libs outpace Labor 3:1 on minor preferences, is actually adding to that lead, not reducing it.

    Therefore the Greens are rapidly catching up but are not doing so at the expense of the Liberals.

  12. I don’t agree, Pollbludger called this for Labor actually I just checked,

    The Liberals are still 3rd on the primary vote, so unless they can improve on absentees,postals,provisionals then they will remain 3rd.

    Conservatives doing better on postals isn’t always the case in progressive seats.

    It sounds as if Josh Burns doesn’t want to win. Because Antony Green knows way more (if it is true that he was going to call it)

    Conceding and declaring victory is only a formality.

  13. The only way that I can’t see Labor winning here is if all the cards fall the right way for the Greens – and that doesn’t often happen. It might be close but hard to see.

    Can somebody explain why if the AEC are doing a 3 way count here, why they are not doing one in Richmond which seems (to me) a seat where the Greens could still get up or at least be second.

  14. Should the Greens get up here, I can see all Labor arguments for keeping the Caulfield ‘tail’ mysteriously evaporate before the 2024 redistribution.

  15. Daniel, Poll Bludger hasn’t called the seat. William Bowe explains in his latest blog (from after yesterday’s counting finished) that his results system is incorrectly calling it due to its inability to think in three-party terms.

    William Bowe actually says he thinks it’s trending Greens. From his post 24 hours ago:

    “All of this amounts to bad news for Labor in its quest for 76 seats, with Brisbane now out of the picture and the odds most likely leaning against them in Macnamara, which I for one thought they had in the bag earlier in the week, and which my results system is continuing to call as Labor retain due to its inability to think in three-party terms.”

    As for the current results as they stand, the AEC has been conducting and publishing a 3CP count and the Liberals are in fact first:

    I’m not saying that the Greens will win (I do think it’s close to 50/50 though), but you’re wrong about two things:

    1. That the Liberals can’t get into first place, because they are actually already on first place in the current 3CP count, AND on top of that, the current rates of absents, prepolls and the last batch of postals all have the Liberals outperforming Labor after minor preferences;

    2. Poll Bludger has not called it for Labor, they have actually said the “odds are most likely leaning against them” now.

    Basically all that has to happen for the Greens to currently win, is that the votes need to keep breaking exactly as they are, and there needs to be at least 800 more postal votes received. If that happens, they win.

    But, because the margins are so slim, what favours Labor is that it won’t take much of a change to how votes are breaking (either Libs or Greens start doing worse) for them to stay in the top two and win.

    However, it’s ridiculous to say that the Libs will come third if they don’t improve, when they are currently first on the 3CP and all the current batches of votes are tracking to improve their lead…

  16. Here’s a summary of the current state of play.

    Current 3CP count:
    1. LIB 29,202
    2. ALP 29,152
    3. GRN 28,657

    Current preference flow: LIB 47%, GRN 35.4%, ALP 17.6%.

    So let’s look at Absent votes first. 1422 are remaining and they are breaking 24.8% LIB, 27.9% ALP, 34.2% GRN, 13.2% Other.

    At first glance that looks like Labor would outperform the Liberals right? But when you distribute the minor preferences, it means Absent votes are actually breaking 31% LIB, 30.2% ALP and 38.8% GRN in 3CP terms.

    Dec Prepolls are a similar situation. 3483 remaining and they are breaking 25.8% LIB, 27.9% ALP, 30.8% GRN and 15.6% Other. In 3CP terms, it means Dec Prepolls are breaking 33.1% LIB, 30.6% ALP, 36.3% GRN.

    This is all bad news for Labor because it means the Greens are rapidly catching them, while the Liberals are pulling away from them.

    If we assume that 90% of remaining absents & dec prepolls are formal, and they break exactly the way they have been so far, that will add the following votes to each party:

    1434 to the Libs
    1347 to Labor
    1634 to the Greens

    Which brings the totals to:
    1. LIB 30,636
    2. ALP 30,499
    3. GRN 30,291

    Now we have the Libs ahead of Labor by 137 votes, and the Greens only 208 votes behind, with still the following remaining:

    – Provisionals (always favour Greens)
    – Reports of 1000 Covid votes (both parties expect to favour Greens)
    – Still a total 4648 postals issued but not counted

    The last batch of postal votes broke 26.7% LIB, 28.5% ALP, 33.2% GRN, 11.6% Other. In 3CP terms after minor preferences, that’s 32.2% LIB, 30.5% ALP, 37.3% GRN if postals continue flowing like the last batch too (and every single batch has been moving in that same direction).

    Long post I know, but in short – the Liberals are already ahead of Labor on 3CP terms, and if vote continue to break exactly as they have been, they grow their lead while the Greens continue to catch up.

  17. Don’t get me wrong. The Greens have a ridiculously small margin of error for it to not work out for them.

    Eg. If all the remaining votes, using Kevin Bonham’s expectation of 1750 postal votes, break exactly as they currently are, I only have the Greens beating Labor by about 50 votes which would be an automatic recount.

    And all it will take is slightly weaker flows for them, particularly from the postal votes, or just less postal votes being returned, for Labor to stay ahead of them.

    Considering that, I still think Labor are the best position to win and probably will. But damn I’d be nervous if I was them with the way each batch of votes has been breaking.

  18. ReD
    Being second to Labour merely guarantees a Labour win.
    Labour need only finish in final two run-off.
    Currently [83.41% point] ALP lead Liberals by 4 420 and Greens by 3 873.
    Assume no leap in turnout leaves 8 792 votes remaining to be counted, less 6.44% informal rate (566 votes) = 8 226 votes;- are not sufficient from which Green & Liberals can find 8 295 primary votes. This is a mathematical certainty that labour will be in top two primary count.
    Preferences from fourth & further candidates total 21.8%, but 14% is with ‘right wing’ groups which favoured Liberals over Labour over Greens strongly in 2019.
    Sure, the 2CP run-off will be revealed upon the throw of all preferences. And silver medals can be distr… oh wait.

  19. Phil, the AEC have already done a 3CP count for all the ballots currently counted, and published it.

    The current 3CP order after about 87,000 votes is 1 Libs, 2 Labor, 3 Greens.

    So the Liberals have no catching up to do to stay in the top two, because they’re already first by 50 votes.

    The Greens are only 495 votes behind Labor in the 3CP count.

    In most remaining vote types, the Liberals are currently outpacing Labor by between 1-3% in 3CP terms (despite Labor getting a higher primary vote), and the Greens are currently outpacing Labor by between 5-8%. This even includes the most recent batches of postal votes where the Greens outperformed Labor by 7% (after minor preferences).

    In other words, current vote trends are extending the Liberals’ 50 vote lead, and closing the Greens’ 495 vote deficit to push Labor into third.

    The key questions now are just:

    – Will the current flows (which put the Greens on track to pass Labor) continue? And;

    – Will there be enough votes left for the Greens to close the gap on current rates?

    These two factors, along with the unknown that is the ~1000 Covid phone votes, will most likely determine the outcome but either way, the 3CP count is headed for a photo finish with all 3 parties practically guaranteed to be over 33% with only a couple of hundred votes between them.

  20. “…I only have the Greens beating Labor by about 50 votes which would be an automatic recount.”

    Do automatic recounts apply to 3CP counts?

  21. Not sure actually!

    My prediction here is that the Greens will probably fall *just* short of knocking Labor out of second place, because just too much has to go right for them with such a small margin of error for it to happen. But its certainly possible.

    And no matter what the result, considering the Greens are currently third on 32.93% and all the remaining votes should favour them, I think its safe to say all 3 candidates will finish between a minimum of 33.1% and a maximum of 33.6% when the 3CP count is complete.

    (My prediction is around 33.5% LIB, 33.3% ALP, 33.2% GRN)

    That’s extraordinary, quite possibly the closest 3 way 3CP count ever, and I think a full 3CP recount if it’s that close is a very likely possibility.

  22. I find it interesting that the Party and Independents who had stronger positions on tackling climate change gained more seats than Labour, not sure about Dai Le in Fowler, but that was another howler from Labour. If Labour end up not winning Macnamara, it will be a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But I agree with comments on this blog that both Bowes and Green have not called it for Labour, which does not mean that they believe Greens have it, just that it is too close to call. Green was also very careful about Brisbane, which shows just how close some of these races have been. Globally the pollsters, in 2022, have been consistently overestimating social democratic support and underestimating Green support. Every pollster, except Resolve Strategic, overestimated Labour support and Essential correctly called L/NP support. Essential, Roy Morgan and Resolve Strategic were all well within MoE, while Newspoll-You Gov and Ipsos were right on the edge of an acceptable MoE, some would say over for Labour. Newspoll-You Gov actually picked up a bounce for the Greens over the last six days before E-Day, and that helps explain why late arriving postals in Macnamara appear to be breaking more to Green than Labour. Ultimately it will come down to the mix of late and early pre-E-Day voting.

  23. Labor appeared to have picked up primary votes in both Brisbane and Macnamara – just the greens picked up more, so not all negative for them
    Interestingly the preferences for non-green/lib/labor voters in those seats (mainly right-wing UAP,ON, LDP and smaller left-wing AJP) were split around 50% lib, 35% green and 15% alp – so assume more UAP/ON/LDP voters preferenced greens over labor. That is what is putting the greens in contention in both seats

  24. ABC has given Labor Macnamara and hence get a majority of 76 seats. I think this is more important then people think. Not just passing legislation in the House if representatives but also the symbolism of legitimacy that Anthony Albanese won a majority in his own right.

  25. The Greens could very easily gain this seat if Albanese turns out to be a disappointment and if the looming redistribution removes Caulfield and adds South Yarra and Prahran.

  26. Antony Green just called the seat for Labor. ALP got 31.8% of the primary vote but 62.3% of the 2PP. This must be a record for having the biggest difference between the primary vote and 2PP vote.

    Josh Burns came first on primaries and he can thank the collapse in the Liberal vote. I’d be interested in seeing the final preference flows.

  27. I agree, PN. Since Labor already needs the support of the Greens to pass anything through the Senate, it doesn’t make a huge difference in practical terms whether they also need Greens (or Independent) support in the House or have a majority in their own right. But the symbolism is incredibly important, with all the talk both before and after the election about the prospect of minority government and the low major party combined primary vote. It will make a massive difference in how the Albanese government is seen.

  28. Votante, re: Labor possibly having a record difference between their primary vote and 2PP vote, I think that ties into another likely record that this race will set, and that’s the smallest margin between all 3 parties in a 3CP count.

    I project the following based on what’s left to count:
    LIB – 33.5%
    ALP – Just over 33.3%
    GRN – Just under 33.2%

    Basically around 0.4% (less than 400 votes) between first and third. Incredible stuff!

    Dan M, this is a fantastic result for the Greens and after a 1 term Labor government they will be in a great position to flip it next time.

    However, the problem they might face in that redistribution scenario is that removing the Liberals’ best area (Caulfield) would almost certainly drop the Libs to third place and make it an ALP v Greens count where they’d probably have a 5% margin to make up rather than a ~200 vote margin to get into a LIB v GRN count.

    Of couse, the Liberals could drop to third (especially with Dutton as leader and Libs’ choosing to abandon inner city seats) even on the current boundaries anyway. At least the boundary change – adding more Greens territory – would significantly decrease the ALP v GRN margin.

  29. Full distribution of preferences was just released in a zip file according to Poll Bludger, I downloaded it and had a look then.

    Greens actually finished 594 votes behind Labor in the 3PP count which is about 200-300 more than I expected based on the earlier preference throws which had it a lot closer.

    The second last exclusion (UAP) is what leapfrogged the Liberals from 3rd to 1st and eliminated the Greens. The 4PP results were:

    1. Labor – 32.94%
    2. Greens – 31.50%
    3. Liberal – 30.69%
    4. UAP – 4.88%

    The exclusion of UAP made it:

    1. Liberal – 33.67% (31,327)
    2. Labor – 33.48% (31,149)
    3. Greens – 32.84% (30,555)


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