McMahon – Australia 2022

ALP 6.6%

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, Blacktown, Bankstown and Parramatta councils. The seat covers the suburb of Fairfield itself as well as the suburbs of Smithfield, Wetherill Park, Greystanes, Pemulwuy, Erskine Park, Guildford, Carramar and St Clair, and parts of Merrylands.

McMahon was created at the 2010 election, but was effectively a new name for 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 the former Mayor of Fairfield, Chris Bowen. Bowen has held the seat (renamed McMahon in 2010) ever since. Bowen served as a cabinet minister from 2009 until 2013, serving briefly as Treasurer in 2013.


  • Chris Bowen (Labor)
  • Marie Saliba (United Australia)
  • Scott Ford (One Nation)
  • Vivek Singha (Liberal)
  • Astrid O’Neill (Greens)
  • Cameron Shamsabad (Liberal Democrats)
  • Assessment
    McMahon is a safe Labor seat.

    2019 result

    Chris Bowen Labor 39,35146.1-7.4
    Vivek Singha Liberal 28,44133.3+3.3
    Damian CommaneOne Nation7,0468.3+8.3
    Astrid O’Neill Greens 4,2184.9-0.5
    Meg WrightsonUnited Australia Party3,3293.9+3.9
    Zeeshan FrancisChristian Democratic Party3,0083.5-3.7

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Chris Bowen Labor 48,36456.6-5.5
    Vivek Singha Liberal 37,02943.4+5.5

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three parts. Polling places at the eastern end of the electorate have been split between north-east (those in Cumberland council area) and south-east (those in Fairfield and Bankstown council areas).

    The reminder have been grouped as “west”. Most of these booths are in the Penrith area, along with solitary booths in the Blacktown council area, across the border in the Liverpool council area, and a sole booth in the western end of the Fairfield council area.

    Labor won a large majority of the two-party-preferred vote in the south-east (66.1%) and a narrower majority in the north-east (53%) while the Liberal Party won 51.2% in the west.

    Voter groupON prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Other votes8.954.210,36012.1

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

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    1. Chris Bowen
      What to say about this diabolically talentless clown that hasn’t already been said !? Well i guess i could continue on with my animal kingdom of politics comparisons !? I was thinking Wombat. But Wombats are likeable, strong, & endearing in a messy, uncensconcious casually destructive way. SO then i thought Rhinocerous as they are blind, stubborn, not very bright, & recklessly defiant !. However Rhino’s are noble, imposing, & powerful. Then it came to me “”PYGMY RHINOCEROS” !!!!. thats it !!!.

      Id’ particularly like to remind everyone of just one of Bowen’s numerous debacles as a 4 TIME FAILED minister, ^& shadow.>>>>>
      EXTRACT FROM 2019
      When laws are fair, MORE tax is collected ,the reverse is true also. It is known as “the virtuous circle” The Abbott govt “debt levy” that Bowen insanely proposes to re-introduce was a total, & spectacular failure, & wonderful example of this. The govt actually collected LESS tax from the highest & top rate, tax payers when it raised the rate from 47% to 49% !!.THAT is an historical fact.

    2. I agree WD, Chris Bowen is an absolute clown. If Labor did lose this seat (not going to happen given the SSM vote is a thing of the past now) it’d be a good excuse to get in an MP who was representative of the area (i.e. not some white Labor party hack).
      On the lighter side, he can speak fluent Indonesian.

    3. Ryan Spencer
      Nice to find agreement on something. Perhaps that could be Bowen’s singular positive achievement of consensus !.
      The interesting what if is around the original AEC PROPOSED McMahon boundaries which EXCLUDED Fairfield, & included the lib voting NW of Fowler. Labor objected but it might have been close. I’D have loved to see Bowen go down.
      Bowen was never , & is probably still not seen as a “HACK”. The reality is that he is the effect, not the cause.

      As for Indonesian. Well you have to walk before you can run. It would have been better if he had learned to think logically in ENGLISH, & common sense ,before attempting to comprehend another language.

    4. IIRC the originally estimated margin for the Fairfield-less McMahon was something like 2-3%. Although this was coming off the high water mark of 2013.

      I don’t know much about demographics in this part of Sydney, but it certainly seems to be some of the more affluent/middle-class parts of the western suburbs. It’s really only the rock-solid margins in Fairfield itself that keeps this reasonably safe for Labor.

    5. Indeed, much of McMahon west of the Cumberland Highway represents what you could call “middle Sydney”, in the sense that socioeconomic scores are roughly around the 50th percentile.

      What’s interesting in this regard is the northwestern corner of McMahon – initially it seems a little strange to be scraping off a few suburbs that are in different LGAs and not all that connected with the rest of the electorate. The justification (aside from numerical constraints) is that Minchinbury is much more affluent than the rest of the Mount Druitt area, and Erskine Park and St Clair are much more affluent than the rest of the St Marys area.

      The southwestern corner of this district may see significant population growth in the near future. However, I certainly wouldn’t expect new residents to be voting 70% Liberal as the current residents do. (People who live on acreages tend to be very inclined to vote Liberal!)

      Again I would caution against assuming population growth necessarily benefits the Liberals. McMahon has a prime example in the suburb of Pemulwuy, a new suburb ranking in the 97th percentile on the IRSAD, which voted 56.5% Labor in 2019, almost exactly how McMahon voted overall.

    6. Chris Bowen, for all his faults, has always had an association with McMahon (the former Prospect) and the wider Fairfield area his entire life. The issue with replacing Bowen is who do you get as a replacement, long-term? Frank Carbone, the logical candidate, is no longer part of the ALP. Ninos Khoshaba is a failed state MP who couldn’t hold on to Smithfield in the 2011 wipeout, partly due to a fracturing of the Assyrian vote in the seat. Hugh McDermott is doing a reasonable job as the State MP for Prospect, and Guy Zangari is doing better than I expected as the Fairfield MP. Do you put one of those two in, once Bowen goes? Or do you go the Carl Scully route for those with long memories, and import an outsider, if you’re Labor? There’s no one candidate out there from the Labor side who can be said to represent the seat on purely ethnic grounds which was a groundless criticism from a previous poster in relation to Bowen.

      Bowen’s big scare came in 2013. He should have lost the seat, but a superb ground campaign (I recall it being very dirty, though), and a Liberal candidate who had more links to Liverpool than the Fairfield area saved him. Obviously, 2019 saw a swing against him, mostly due to his policies as Treasurer. As I argued a number of elections ago (See comments re: 2013 Federal election for McMahon, and 2011 State Election for Smithfield), Bowen has never been overly popular in this seat, with the exception of east of the Cumberland Highway. This is due to a more discerning electorate to the west, and for those with long memories, the fact that he was part of Fairfield Council with some odious characters on the Labor, Liberal and Independent sides. Bowen’s actual record on council compared to the others was vastly superior, and reflected well on him in a moral sense as well.

      Bowen is still the best politician in the Fairfield area, although Carbone, Zangari and McDermott are getting closer on ability. He won’t lose this seat, and after the COVID debacle that has sent a proud area into lockdown, and some unfair targeting of Fairfield from a feral mainstream press, he can expect a better than average swing in 2022. If Labor lose this election, I expect this to be his last election as the member for McMahon.

    7. Vivek Singha – the Liberal candidate at the last election – was the Science Party candidate for Greenway in 2016. He’s a good bloke with a very impressive resume, including founding the Australian branch of the FOXG1 Foundation, a non-profit organisation funding research into and supporting those affected by brain disorders. He always seems to be out-and-about, attending fundraisers and other community events, and posting videos of himself onto social media – the sorts of things you’d expect from an MP!

      He definitely has much stronger links with Greenway than McMahon. The Liberal Party preselecting him for McMahon instead of Greenway was a missed opportunity.

      Most within the Science Party dislike the Liberal Party, so it was a surprise for some to see him make the switch. But even in his 2016 candidacy, it was apparent that he is more conservative than the typical Science Party supporter. Ultimately he felt that he could achieve more in a major party.

      I wouldn’t know what his intentions are for the next federal election.

    8. I some may think that Vivek Singha will achieve more by joining the Liberal Party, it won’t be at the next election.

    9. Really nasty stuff about Chris Bowen being likened to an animal being aired by a regular reviewer. A lot of unrequired venom, particularly as we should be focusing on the make up of the seat and voting patterns rather than on personalities. Chris Bowen is likely to hold but his majority may decrease.

    10. John T
      Not nearly as nasty as i’d like to be. Or as is justified.

      Bowen & Shorten politicised the dedicated funding of the NDIS, successfully . THEREBY harming the ALL the disabled & the 1.8 MILLION CARERS . This includes my high level disabled daughter, & my ex. There has never been an act of greater political evil that iv’e witnessed anyway.
      Hope that explains my very pure hatred
      cheers wd

    11. St Clair and Erskine Park being in McMahon is so anomalous. Neither suburb has much to do with the Fairfield and Smithfield areas. It would make far more sense for them to be Lindsay, like before the 2001 election, or even Chifley before they are in McMahon, though perhaps the numbers won’t allow that. As someone who lived in St Clair until not too long ago, I will say though, Chris Bowen wasn’t entirely absent. He was visible around here, and did seem to take representing this far flung corner of his electorate seriously.

      The seat as a whole doesn’t seem to be as safe for Labor as the old Prospect seat. The Liberals have improved here, as in Werriwa. It could be vulnerable the next time there’s a big swing against Labor in NSW, or Australia as a whole.

    12. First of all, I am insulted and disgusted that when the name changed we were designated McMahon who is widely considered the most incompetent and worst prime minister of all time.
      As a swing voter, originally from a swinging electorate, I am always frustrated that I know my view essentially says nothing and doesn’t count.
      Chris Bowen: generally not bad when in the local community with good accessibility. But his performance as a parliamentarian is definitely lacking. My greatest disappointment was his vote in the gay marriage bill. By far the voters in this electorate voted against it. One of the greatest votes against in Australia. A much bigger margin than Chris is ever elected with. Yet the man voted for the bill. In parliament that is unconscionable conduct when he is there as a representative of his constituency. No matter what I personally thought about the outcome of our electorate in the plebiscite or charges of government, I always respect the decision of the people and accept it; frustrated as I may be at times.
      I 100% agree with WD re the NDIS; I was part of the establishment of the NDIS from the point when the Productivity Commission first started asking for submissions. I was a managerial representative of a disability organisation. Shorten acted despicably with absolutely no respect for people with disabilities. In fact I was at an event about it when his language was full of expletives. He is more than largely responsible for the disaster that it is. I was appalled that factionally Chris Bowen is his greatest supporter.

    13. As a voting resident for 30 years (on and off), I have always noted there is a mentality of “I vote Labor because my parents did.” I was guilty as charged for 8 of these voting years.
      The change in habitual voting is being seen but the question always arises. “If I don’t vote for them, who do I vote for?”
      Chris Bowen, must vote with the Labor party. IE although his constituents said no in the SSM debate, He had no choice but to vote yes. The point here is that it does not matter whether a stuffed chook is running for Labor, the stuffed chook MUST vote with the party on ALL policy. So to vote for Labor, you have to make sacrifices on things. They may include but are not limited to financial programs that benefit you versus educational content for your children, the leaders of tomorrow.
      Chris may be a nice guy and personally want things for his constituents but in the end, you are getting a stuffed chook.
      I am a ‘traditional Labor’ voter and have not for the past 10 ys and will never will place the illusive 1 beside their candidate again.
      Where did I go? Yes like a blind sheep, went to the other side of the spectrum and it was hard to cross that line however, the “for the country” feeling was far greater than the previous path I was following. They got my vote for about 8 years until I realised I am voting for me and my family.
      This led me on a strange path of voting to elect the person who would agree with my wants and needs. Never to be found.
      I then looked at the values of life. What are they, what do we really want? In the. end we want to elect the member who will get out of my life and let me get on with plying my trade with the least interference possible.
      There is only one real option and that goes to the member who will repeal as many Acts as possible that interfere with me and make Acts that stop the states interfering with me.
      I am yet to find that person but I do know one thing.
      Labor and Liberal vote in parliament to give themselves election funds. Not only that, when you place that illusive 1 beside Labor or Liberal, they get around $2.70. So the Labor party made around $100,000 in Advertising funds from your vote alone. The Liberals, about $75,000. Remember this is your money. Sufficient to add, how much do they get from Big Pharma, China, and Aldi bags? The media paint that this is a two horse race but when you add prefered prime minister values of the two you get less than 70% and that leaves over 30% of the people who prefer someone else. 30%? They are odds worth taking.
      Some people believe we should have a first past the post voting system opposed to the preferential voting system.
      Personally, I believe we are blessed to have preferential voting but that the NSW method of “optional” preferential suits us all.
      I am pretty well fed up with the media and their two party race and the only way I can see that changing is to give an independent or minor party my $2.70. We all may end up with a whole different perspective on life.
      As for McMahon, I live in the area it has changed from Reid to Fowler to Prospect to McMahon. It does not really matter what it is called, it has been Labor for 100 years and they still do not listen to us.

    14. Interesting and good result for Labor here. They got swings to them in the Penrith LGA part (St Clair and Erksine Park) which is demographically similar to the majority of Lindsay which was a bad result for Labor in a good year. They also got swings to them around Fairfield and Guildford (working class parts) while the results in Fowler where bad due to KK. It may suggest result in Lindsay maybe due to local campaign rather than demographics. The Equivalent areas in Melbourne had a TPP swing to Libs due to lockdown backlash.

    15. Chris Bowen scored well in the Fairfield parts of the electorate. Fairfield was the most locked down area in 2021 and frontline workers had to queue for hours to get a PCR Covid test before they could leave the LGA. There was a huge vote for the UAP – 10% or more in some areas in McMahon e.g. Guildford, Fairfield. The Libs took a hit, maybe because they are in charge in NSW, unlike the Libs in Victoria.

      I suspect that in western and south-western Sydney, most UAP/PHON/LDP voters, including the ex-Lib voters, preferenced Labor ahead of the Libs and that’s why Labor got small 2PP swings to them whilst the Lib primary vote went down.


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