Penrith – NSW 2019

LIB 6.2%

Incumbent MP
Stuart Ayres, since 2010.

Western Sydney. The seat of Penrith covers central suburbs of the City of Penrith and parts of the lower Blue Mountains. Suburbs include Penrith, Cambridge Gardens, Jamisontown, Kingswood, Cranebrook, Emu Plains, Leonay, Lapstone and Glenbrook.

The seat of Penrith has existed since 1973. While it is currently Liberal-held, it has been won by the ALP at every general election except for 1988 and 2011.

Penrith was first won in 1973 by Ron Mulock, who had won the marginal seat of Nepean in 1971. Mulock moved to the new seat of St Marys in 1981, holding it until its abolition in 1988. Mulock served as a minister through the entire Labor government from 1976 to 1988, serving as Deputy Premier from 1984.

Penrith was won in 1981 by Peter Anderson. He had won Nepean back from the Liberal Party in 1978 before moving to the safer seat of Penrith in 1981. Anderson had served as a minister from 1982, and in 1986 he challenged Barrie Unsworth for the Labor leadership upon the retirement of Neville Wran.

Anderson lost Penrith in a shock result at the 1988 election. He returned to Parliament at a by-election for Liverpool in 1989, holding the seat until 1995.

Guy Matheson won Penrith for the Liberal Party in 1988. He lost the seat in 1991.

Matheson lost in 1991 to Penrith mayor Faye Lo Po’, running for the ALP. She served as a minister from 1995 to 2003, when she retired from Penrith.

Penrith was won in 2003 by Penrith councillor Karyn Paluzzano. She was appointed a parliamentary secretary in 2008.

In 2010, she faced an inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption over accusations that she had falsified pay forms. Following an adverse finding, she resigned from Parliament in May 2010.

The subsequent by-election was won by Liberal candidate Stuart Ayres. He won the seat with an unprecedented 25.7% swing, turning a 9% ALP margin into a 16% Liberal margin. Ayres was re-elected in 2011 and 2015.


  • Karen McKeown (Labor)
  • Mark Tyndall (Independent)
  • Kaj McBeth (Animal Justice)
  • Stuart Ayres (Liberal)
  • Carl Halley (One Nation)
  • David Burton (Christian Democrats)
  • Marcus Cornish (Independent)
  • Rod Franich (Shooters, Fishers & Farmers)
  • Geoff Brown (Sustainable Australia)
  • Nick Best (Greens)

Penrith is a marginal seat and could well go back to Labor if there is a big swing, but it won’t fall easily.

2015 result

Stuart Ayres Liberal 21,71245.6-8.7
Emma Husar Labor 15,63232.9+7.0
Jackie KellyIndependent4,2729.0+9.0
Mark O’Sullivan Greens 2,6335.5-3.7
May SpencerChristian Democrats1,8563.9-1.7
Angelo PezzanoNo Land Tax9492.0+2.0
Victor WatersonIndependent3220.7+0.7
Carolyn KennettIndependent2020.4+0.4

2015 two-party-preferred result

Stuart Ayres Liberal 23,21256.2-9.9
Emma Husar Labor 18,06143.8+9.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in Penrith have been split into three parts: central, north and west. The “west” covers those polling places west of the Nepean River, including those in the lower Blue Mountains.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 54% in the centre and north to 61% in the west.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes57.38,32617.5

Two-party-preferred votes in Penrith at the 2015 NSW state election

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  1. Anton Kreitzer, what do you think will happen if the Liberals win exactly 45 seats (which could include holding on in Penrith)?

    The Greens and Alex Greenwich (Sydney) certainly wouldn’t back the Liberals back into government. Who of the Shooters party, Greg Piper (Lake Macquarie) or Joe McGirr (Wagga Wagga) would back them?

  2. From most likely to least likely (in my opinion), and not factoring in any specific promises/pledges from either the Government or crossbenchers:

    1. Shooters
    2. McGirr
    3. Piper (who’d be more likely to back a minority ALP government)

  3. Lib Hold, This seat is in Parts of Lindsay where Scandaled Emma Hussar is, She will be still the MP while this election is on, I do expect a swing to Labor here just not big enough

  4. I’d say a probably Liberal Hold. The missing piece of the puzzle is the vote for Jackie Kelly. I imagine about 50-60% will return to Ayres, which means he pretty much gets over the line but only just.

  5. Carl Halley is apparently the Mark Latham-endorsed One Nation candidate and will pick up some of Kelly’s votes from more conservative voters. Assume most of these will flow back to Liberal unless they extinguish. He was previously the Australian liberty Alliance candidate for Macquarie. Runs a Krav Maga academy and teaches “tactical security” in a lot of places.

  6. 56% not high……… given Ayres is the sports minister with a further swing to labour expected from 1995….. I would say Labor was favoured

  7. i say this is more of a cointoss, if Labour gets a 2007 victory then they have a decent shot at this, I don’t understand why people keep saying Ayres is high profile/popular, That doesn’t matter, it didn’t stop other minister’s and even prime ministers/premier’s from losing their seats in Australia/UK/Canada/NZ and other places, **No Seat is Safe** Even they admit it!

  8. The Emma Hussar yarn may have titillated the political class, but I doubt the ordinary voter took much notice.

    If the state election is to be competitive then Penrith really ought to be a Labor gain. I think toss up is about right.

  9. The problem with Ayres is he’s a useful (competent) and moderate local member who has either been Peter Principled by his party or deliberately spoiled by too many moves between ministerial portfolios. Police was okay, as was Trade, Tourism & Major Events, but Sports… Labor will make hay of the stadium debacle. It will be close, but I’m inclined to favor Labor unless there are some interesting preference deals.

  10. The Federal Labor implosion on immigration policy will probably save Ayres from having to rely on Marise Payne’s ministerial salary for sustenance. It will be interesting to see how other WS seats react.

  11. has swung roughly with the state 2pp……. now the 2pp is up about 6% according to polls…. but Ayres is the minister for Stadiums………..

  12. Geez the stadium thing is hurting Ayres. Watched him get roundly abused about it last week at Kingswood station.

    Independent Jim Aitken is Lib royalty! He is a real estate agent whom many people in the lower mountains and Penrith have stories about. He was very close to Jacquie Kelly, and bankrolled her campaigns over the years. Has form on Penrith Council as a knock-em-down-and-sell-em-off-man. I can’t possible say for certain, but he may mortgage your kidney. He has also endorsed fellow independent Mark Tyndall!

    Tyndall is old Penrith, well connected into the Panthers ‘machine’ (Roger Cowan’s buddies that have carved up Penrith for years) and the local Catholic networks that have been strong in Penrith going back to the days of Ron Mulock and Dr. Mullens. He is a no nonsense former Prison Guard. Mark Geyer has endorsed him. This is a name recognition run for his major campaign for Lindsay. He will do well.

    Penrith has always been a conservative town, now a suburb. The Liberal Party have always been strong in local government here. It’s a mistake to think this is some lost mythical ALP heartland. The ALP had representation here because they ran very conservative candidates like Mulock, Ross Free and the former copper “Big” Jim Anderson. These candidates, many backed by the Catholic NCC, attracted a lot of normally Liberal voters. When that local ALP was taken over by the Aquilina machine those voters naturally receded.

    Now the area is undergoing major transformation and will emerge as something else again.

  13. Just watched the sky debate held in Penrith. If to be believed and extrapolated across the electorate, despite concerns in relation to the stadium and in particular the tolls, the burghers of Penrith will back the government. Happy to know what the feel is on the ground.

  14. 4 years of another liberal government is almost certain to cause the markets to crash. Its time for change, and i feel that a seat that has become bellwether, is going to back Labor, Remember Robert Askin was the last premier to win 3rd Liberal term, You do realise that was 40-50 years ago correct? So long.

  15. Daniel, I don’t know what brand of Kool-Aid you are drinking but where can I get it?

    Making comparisons with NSW Election Results from 40 years ago to now can make you look rather foolish when you don’t consider the demographical changes that have occurred in the time. 40 years ago, yes, NSW was a true Labor State. This has changed now. The State is much more competitive these days.

    The big question in this seat will be what happens to the preferences in this seat. From the last election, it could be a reasonable assumption that the CDP votes flowed through to Ayres and the Greens Preferences flowed to Labor (then then now-disgraced Emma Husar). This means that 5,600 votes exhausted.

    The general trend is that the bigger the field for NSW Elections, the more likely voter exhaustion takes place. It makes the vote more likely to become a FPP-style vote and Labor needs to overturn a 6000 vote deficit, of which most of it would need to come from them gaining votes or Stuart Ayres losing votes. With that many candidates, I think Ayres will lose more votes than Labor will gain votes but will those votes flow back around after?

  16. Cheers for that High Street,

    Had a look at Penrith and it is very slightly under-quota, about 0.2% Under Quota.

    However, Camden is now 24% over-quota.

  17. Well spotted Hawkeye,

    I posted that on the Camden thread several weeks back. Camden should therefore be treated as a seat with a 12-14% margin, not 18%. And now no seating member, swingy seat, and ALP candidate has been on the ground for 15 months. Senator Kenneally was out there yesterday – LIB’s remain favourite but could be a a much bigger swing than other “Sydney” seats


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