Banks – Australia 2022

LIB 6.3%

Incumbent MP
David Coleman, since 2013.

Southern Sydney. Banks covers large parts of the St George area and neighbouring suburbs. It includes most of the Georges River council area and parts of the Canterbury-Bankstown council area. Key suburbs include East Hills, Panania, Padstow, Picnic Point, Revesby, Mortdale, Peakhurst, Penshurst, Allawah and Oatley.

Banks was created for the 1949 election, and was held by Labor continuously until 2013.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Labor candidate Dominic Costa. Costa held the seat for twenty years, always as a member of the opposition, retiring in 1969.

Vince Martin was elected in 1969, and held the seat until he was defeated for preselection in 1980 by John Mountford. Mountford held the seat until his retirement in 1990.

In 1990, Banks was won by Labor candidate Daryl Melham. Melham held the seat for over two decades, serving in the Opposition shadow ministry from 1996 to 1998 and again from 2001 to 2004. Successive swings against the ALP wore his margin down to 1.06% in 2004, although a favourable redistribution before the 2007 election, combined with a swing of almost 8%, made the seat much safer.

Daryl Melham narrowly held on in 2010 despite a 9% swing, and in 2013 he lost to Liberal candidate David Coleman with a further 3.3% swing. Coleman was re-elected in 2016 and 2019.


Banks has a long history as a Labor seat, but Coleman has built up a substantial margin. The Liberal Party would be optimistic of holding on to this seat but it isn’t particularly safe.

2019 result

David Coleman Liberal 46,70950.9+7.0
Chris Gambian Labor 33,34136.3-3.6
Gianluca Dragone Greens 5,3395.80.0
Ki Man HoChristian Democratic Party2,6242.9-2.5
Reginald WrightUnited Australia Party2,0292.2+2.2
Anjali ThakurAnimal Justice1,6881.8+0.1

2019 two-party-preferred result

David Coleman Liberal 51,60956.3+4.8
Chris Gambian Labor 40,12143.7-4.8

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three parts: north-east, south-east and west. The “west” covers all of those booths west of Salt Pan Creek, which also aligns with the former Bankstown council area. The remainder of the electorate is mostly contained in the Georges River council, along with a small part of the Canterbury part of the Canterbury-Bankstown council area. This remainder is divided into the suburbs nearer the river in the south-east and the others in the north-east.

The Liberal Party’s two-party-preferred vote ranged from 51.8% in the north-east to 60.2% in the south-east.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes57.910,87111.9

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

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  1. While the NSW Liberal Party was preparing its submission for the state redistribution, it was reported that Wendy Lindsay complained that “not enough was being done” to make her seat safer.

    (Incidentally, my own submission involved transferring Alfords Point and Illawong to East Hills – she would’ve loved that!)

  2. John, I think the point is that we don’t actually know what the current political climate. 55-45? 52-48? Perhaps somewhere closer to the latter if recent polling is to be believed. What I do know is that Morrison is not universally hated as some people have been claiming.

    I think people are falling into the same trap as 2019 and haven’t realsied that the situation is fluid. A month ago I would have said that Banks would likely stay Liberal but might be vulnerable. As of now, I don’t imagine it being interesting at all on election night.

  3. @Daniel, Once again, you are reading something that should simply be taken on face value. There is a massive gap between being quietly confident and being complacent and any insinuation towards the latter when you are given the former is not helpful.

    John T – There has been no suggestion from anyone (myself included) that the area is a safe seat. If anything, I think the consensus is that both Banks and East Hills are trending lean-Liberal long-term

    Furthermore, Daniel has had a track record of these comments and, IMO, has a long way to go in order to gain some credibility. There have been pile-ons with Daniel’s comments before and I think he does need to learn to think carefully about what he says before he says it. I hope he does take it on board because I’m sick of calling him out of it and I’m sure Ben is sick of me reacting, like I’m doing to you right now for simply doing nothing but inflame the situation.

  4. Sadly conservatives lack conviction – this was one of the seats against SSM and with the Warringah hullabaloo you’d hope they would punish Coleman for ignoring the 10% difference and his supporting SSM – against the majority – that has led to all this LNPGreens nonsense with transitioning preschoolers etc?

    Mind you the State Government doesn’t care and it sees Mark Latham as the defender of heteronormative society- even Nostradamus and Ladbrokes couldn’t foresee this happening!

  5. I’m in the electorate. Whilst David Coleman seems like a good guy, I would never vote for Liberal (despite being a Liberal voter) because Wendy Lindsay does not reply to emails at ALL. How can you call yourself a representative when you don’t even know what you’re representing??? She should be very worried at the election next year for her seat as a lot of people are FED UP with the tolls – we used to pay roughly a dollar due to the claimback but now it is $10 EACH WAY. Liberal economic management at its worst – not to mention that Dom can’t manage stakeholders at all. Wendy is on her way out – she has done NOTHING for East Hills.

  6. Oops… “”

    I don’t get how you can get away with that and it sneaks through the process. But all credit for trying. To summarise Malcolm Heffernan got nominated as a candidate for PHON in Banks (NSW) and for AFP in Brand (WA). I guess one was for his alter-ego? As someone in the comments pointed out, Malcolm Heffernan previously ran for FACON in Canning (WA) in the 2019 Fed Election. Make of that what you will.

  7. Hawkeye, I would argue that being in a sub 1% margin seat, you can’t even be quietly confident. If I were Ms. Lindsay, I would always see myself as an underdog until the results flow through on polling day. Especially the next NSW election potentially being troublesome for the Coalition who may have the ‘its time’ factor working against them even if Labor win federally.

    Banks is a different story as David Coleman has a large 6% buffer that should insulate him even if there is a big swing against Labor.

  8. Zhi Soon is unlikely to win here since the margin is very large. That being said, if he can harness anti-Morrison government sentiment and achieve a big swing, it will improve his standing in the ALP and voters in the area. He should contest East Hills at the next state election especially since he actually lives in the state electorate.

  9. This is an unknown 6% is a big ask..however I don’t think a 4% swing in 2019 was expected.. I think the liberal vote in Banks was close to as good as it could get and a disproportionate amt of the swing Was in the Revesby suburbs.

  10. @ John Smith that would be a smart play from Labor. I think Zhi would’ve gained good exposure from a Federal campaign plus learnt lessons.
    Labor could probably save a bit of cash on corflutes. East Hills will definitely be in striking distance for Labor, especially with an ailing Perrottet government.
    Not a bad move for a lot of failed candidates in NSW, especially those of relative talent to roll the dice again on a move to Macquarie Street which has become a home for 2nd chancers

  11. @Yoh An, We have seen that said 3 times in a row now and, not only that, but subsequent redistributions have continually cut away any buffer that the Liberal Party manage to build up in East Hills and they still keep winning it. There is a slow gentrification in the area and the State Movement had been hampered by Glenn Brooks being a complete dud, meaning that the State vs Federal Primary Vote in the equivalent booths has seen the Liberal Party under-perform. I think there is more potential with East Hills, plus the added benefit of a very strong Liberal Area in Milperra.

  12. @Hawkeye I think it’s important to remember that just because a seat is trending Liberal doesn’t mean that Labor can’t win it if the Liberal state-wide vote collapses (same applies to areas trending Labor or Greens too).

    @LJ Davidson Agreed although given the direction of that Labor has been going, they will probably parachute in a rich Anglo outsider from the North Shore or Northern Beaches with no local connections or ties.

  13. Given:
    • the abolition of Lakemba district (which is perhaps better considered to be the abolition of Bankstown and renaming of Lakemba to Bankstown),
    • Jihad Dib’s (Lakemba MP) strong connections (having been principal of Punchbowl Boys High School) to the new Bankstown district,
    • that Tania Mihailuk (Bankstown MP) lives in East Hills district,

    …it would make sense for Mihailuk to transfer to East Hills. But who knows, preselections are always full of surprises and bizarre decisions.

  14. Hmm…Banks looks like it should be a Liberal retain, but it could be like Bennelong, I don’t think the Government’s anti-China talk lately is going to help at all. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Labor won here.

  15. This does raise the question of how many ON candidates have been dropped in from God knows where. They did seem to have a last minute candidate ‘drop’ as they only had about 50 or 60 the week before.

  16. @nicholas – the preselection would be very interesting, especially as the Labor Branches in East Hills are Labor Left branches (just not sure if Ferguson Left or Albanese Left). Correct me if I am wrong but Mihaluk is Labor Right.

  17. Hawkeye, I presume the reason why East Hills district didn’t swing much to the Liberals despite neighboring Oatley (with the same type of demographics) swinging several percentage points is because of the candidate – i.e. Glen Brookes being quite weak. If that is the case, then Wendy Lindsay appears to be more suitable and may be able to achieve a swing in her favour like Mark Coure (especially if Labor pick/select a weak candidate)

  18. @Hawkeye East Hills is run by Ferguson Left. Cameron Murphy is a member of this faction including Julia Finn, Julie Owens, Anthony D’Adam and Lynda Voltz among others. Used to primarily get their numbers from CMFEU. Chris Gambian who was Labor’s candidate for Banks twice was also from this faction.
    Mihailuk is Centre Unity (Labor Right) along with Clare and Burke in that area.
    Zhi Soon I believe is also Centre Unity but maybe unaligned but factions matters less if candidates are parachuted in, as often high profile candidates are not factionally aligned.
    Zhi Soon, Sally Sitou and Jason Yat-Sen Li are not factionally aligned. Although Sitou benefited from the right backing in head office via Nanva/Ofner

  19. @Yoh An – bang on. I think the Liberal Party is underperformed on the state side for East Hills.

    @LJ Davidson – thanks for the Clarification 😀. I remember Alan Ashton was from the left but wasn’t sure which one so I assumed that Cameron Murphy would have been cut from the same cloth. I thought Milahuk was centre unity, given that Burke and Clare are both from the same faction and in the area so thanks for confirm that. It would make the preselction ultra interesting.

  20. Until the late 80s, Banks Labour was dominated by the right, albeit in a general state of co-existance with the left (as evidenced by the Left’s Pat Rogan holding East Hills since the 70s. This ended in the late 80s with Melham’s takeover of the branches. He then ruled the party apparatus in the area like a fuedal overlord as evidenced by inflicting the towering mediocrity Ashton on East Hills after Rogan’s retirement.

    Sadly for him, Melham got caught napping by the ongoing demographics and never quite caught up. Whilst a shrewd political operator in his way, he was a less than stellar retail politician.

  21. Bit off topic but I agree with you hawkeye that daniel does come across as quite arrogant in many of his posts. I understand he might be new and not have a good understanding of some areas, but that is no excuse to just come on and make comments based on assumptions.

    When I make comments about an unfamiliar area or topic I often say I assume xxx rather than just blatantly make a point, and then let others who are more experienced address any inaccuracies.

  22. OK Ben, I won’t post any more of those type comments. At least when responding to inaccurate posts by others I am civilised and don’t make further insults.

  23. @Yoh An – Much Appreciated :). I try to do the same thing, if I think I know the answer but not sure (example above).

    @Commonwombat – If I remember rightly, Darryl Melham was heavily involved with Revesby Workers, which he pretty much used as his Home Base. Everything in the are was done through Revesby Workers.

    I spend way too much time down this end of Sydney 😛

  24. @ Paul M, if that does happen. Banks might be lost permanently for Labor since 2013, like Hughes in 1996 and Cook in 1975.

  25. Think the Neves wedging will have locked this in for the LNP even if wasn’t quite safe enough before.

  26. Demographic changes in Banks = demolition of fibro workers cottage and construction of mcmansion with swimming pool = becoming a safe seat for the Liberals.

  27. I’m not one for making broad statements, but safe to say Labor is never winning this seat again.

  28. Al’s summation is fairly accurate with regards to description of demographics. It used to be the case that north of the railway line was “fibro” and largely Lab leaning (albeit culturally conservative) but more than 0.5km south of the railway/shops, it was much stronger of Libs.

    On current boundaries, its hard to see this seat slipping out of Lib hands outside of landslide conditions. Removal of the Liberal fortresses in the south east (west of the river crossing) would certainly bring it back into marginal territory, precisely what trade-offs would transpire are an open question

  29. Anton this is too broad a statement.. this last time 6% was the highest liberal vote ever. I think Daryl lost by 3% and Coleman only won by 2% in 2016. That defines it as marginal…..but the demographic changes are not helping Labor. The boundaries of Barton and cook with Banks are strange.Condell Park and Punchbowl are also near to Banks.

  30. Banks was traditionally Bankstown based and, indeed, Keating originally had it as his target when he set his sights on Federal Parliament. He only switched to Blaxland when redistribution sent Banks south and Bankstown into Blaxland.

    Given it has no real pivotal “centre” but rather various segments of the electorate gravitating to differing major centres outside the electorate’s boundaries; it does still remain rather a hodge-podge of a seat which could indeed see it’s demise in a future redistribution.

    Certainly tilts Liberal at this point but still someway from Anton’s pronouncement becoming solid fact.

  31. I recall at the last election David Coleman was door knocking in the neighbourhood. Smart move as it showed he was keen. Didn’t affect my vote, however. Haven’t seen or heard from him since.

    I have no doubt that the ALP will make substantial inroads into the Lib margin. A question of by how much…

  32. Yes apologies, I sounded like quite the prophet of doom in my last comment! I obviously can’t speak with a great deal of authority, however is there anywhere within the current boundaries where Labor is actually in a position to get a decent swing towards them? Genuinely quite curious.

  33. Traditionally this was a Labor seat, as mentioned above. Demographic changes and a growing middle class and quite a socially conservative migrant population may mean Banks will be Liberal (average of around 5% margin) for a long, long time. It’s a bit like Bennelong or some parts of Reid.

  34. This like Bennelong is potentially up for grabs. If 5% in nsw and a higher swing in the Revesby suburbs it is possible. I have heard rumours that Mr Coleman really wishes to retire and his heart is not in the Campaign. If so he is like Ken Wyatt standing to help the liberals

  35. Lived in Banks for years and was a life long Labor voter but no more and no swing from me to the stench of Libs/Nats and the Greens are a joke.I have already done my postal vote and put all of the above down the bottom of my card.

  36. Reports on polling of Chinese Australians published in the Aus today would surely make this up for grabs as MQ notes above. Different demographic to Bennelong sure, but some of the macro issues would be correlating in Banks no doubt. Even with all the caveats on this poll, 75% support for Labor out of a sample of around 6k is nothing to be sneezed at.

    For the betting folk, the Labor Candidate is still fetching $5

  37. The Swing here was rather mild and it seems that it has been lost permanently for Labor like Hughes/Calare in 1996, Cook in 1975 and Aston in 1990. i agree the waterfront suburbs are becoming affluent but the same can be said for Reid and its waterfront. Both seats have large Chinese Australian community. Does anyone have any theories on why Reid and Banks had very different fates this election.

  38. @Nimalan Looking at the booth-by-booth data, the affluent waterfront suburbs generally had comparatively modest swings towards Labor. It was the high-density parts of Reid that swung hard. Double-digit swings were recorded in Burwood, Newington, Rhodes, Strathfield, and Wentworth Point.

  39. The swings in Banks are quite patchy with the western end barely swinging or even swinging away to the Libs while the eastern end with a larger Chinese community swung more to Labor.

  40. I can’t say I’m greatly familiar with the area, but looking at a map it seems there’s no major commercial centre in Banks, on the scale of a Hurstville or Burwood. Commercial centres tend to have a less strong Liberal vote than their surrounding suburbs. Even in strongly Liberal seats like Berowra and Hughes, commercial centres like Hornsby and Sutherland have given pretty even 2PP votes (outsideof prepoll at least).

  41. Ben new post explains it perfect as Nicholas also pointed out with respect to Reid. Some of the Waterfront suburbs like Drummoyne and Wareemba are also mostly Italian and Catholic rather then Chinese. Also agree that commercial centres are less Liberal as they often have more apartments and renters. Compare Ringwood, Central Box Hill (Vic), Chatswood, Glenferriet and Camberwell Junction to surrounding booths. Also Miranda in the Shire is also less Liberal than surrounding areas.


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