Lindsay – Australia 2022

LIB 5.0%

Incumbent MP
Melissa McIntosh, since 2019.

Geography
Western Sydney. Lindsay covers most of the City of Penrith, stretching from Londonderry in the north to Mulgoa in the south.

History

Lindsay was first created as part of the 1984 expansion of the House of Representatives, and had always been held by the party of government until 2016.

The seat was first won by the ALP’s Ross Free in 1984. Free had previously held the seat of Macquarie since 1980. Free served as a minister from 1991 until his defeat in 1996 by the Liberal Party’s Jackie Kelly.

Kelly won the seat with a swing of almost 12%, destroying Free’s margin of over 10% after the 1993 election. Kelly was disqualified from sitting in Parliament six months after winning her seat due to her RAAF employment and failure to renounce her New Zealand citizenship, and Lindsay went to a by-election seven months after the 1996 federal election, where Free suffered another swing of almost 5%.

Kelly served as a junior minister in the second Howard government and as John Howard’s Parliamentary Secretary during his third term. Kelly announced her retirement at the 2007 election, and the Liberal Party preselected Karen Chijoff, while the ALP preselected David Bradbury, a former Mayor of Penrith who had run against Kelly in 2001 and 2004.

Three days before the 2007 election, a ramshackle attempt by the Liberal Party to paint the ALP as sympathetic to terrorists was exposed in Lindsay, when ALP operatives caught Liberals red-handed distributing leaflets supposedly from an Islamic group praising the ALP for showing forgiveness to the Bali Bombers. The husbands of both the sitting member and the Liberal candidate were amongst those caught up in the scandal. The scandal dominated the final days of the campaign, and Bradbury defeated Chijoff comfortably, with a 9.7% swing.

Bradbury was re-elected in 2010, but lost in 2013 to Liberal candidate Fiona Scott.

Scott lost her seat in 2016 to Labor’s Emma Husar. Husar served one term, but fell out with her party after allegations about her behaviour in office. She ended up not running for re-election, and the Liberal Party’s Melissa McIntosh won the seat.

Candidates

  • Trevor Ross (Labor)
  • Pieter-Joris Morssink (Greens)
  • Max Jago (One Nation)
  • Joseph O’Connor (United Australia)
  • Melissa McIntosh (Liberal)
  • Gareth McClure (Liberal Democrats)
  • Rebekah Ray (Informed Medical Options)
  • Assessment
    Lindsay is a marginal seat that has a history of flipping back and forth. You’d normally expect McIntosh to benefit from a new personal vote after winning the seat off Labor in 2019.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Melissa McIntosh Liberal 45,24746.5+7.2
    Diane Beamer Labor 34,69035.6-5.5
    Nick Best Greens 4,7814.9+1.3
    Mark TyndallIndependent2,7852.9+2.9
    Christopher ButtelUnited Australia Party2,8312.9+2.9
    Brandon LeesConservative National Party2,3742.4+2.4
    Mark K.C. Moody-BasedowChristian Democratic Party1,9972.1-1.0
    Jim SaleamAustralia First1,3721.4+0.2
    Geoff BrownSustainable Australia1,3261.4+1.4
    Informal12,13511.1-0.7

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Melissa McIntosh Liberal 53,61455.0+6.2
    Diane Beamer Labor 43,78945.0-6.2

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into central, east, north and west. North covers the rural booths including Londonderry, while East covers St Marys. West covers the booths on the other side of the Nepean River plus Mulgoa and a few other booths in between.

    The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in three ares, barely winning in the centre and winning over 60% in the north and west. Labor polled 57.5% in the east.

    Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Central50.923,43724.1
    West60.118,05218.5
    North60.411,11311.4
    East42.59,3979.6
    Pre-poll57.425,19225.9
    Other votes55.410,21210.5

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

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    79 COMMENTS

    1. True, and in the US congress eventually confirmed Biden, despite the chaos outside. But as we saw in the US also the symbolism of someone refusing to concede does enormous damage to the system – there is a huge cohort of Americans who now have lost faith in their electoral system because Trump lied to them. This will take decades to rebuild, if it’s even still possible.

      The ultimate aim of the far right is now to undermine community trust and respect for parliamentary democracy, it can happen here too.

    2. Poll in Lindsay has Coalition winning here 57-43. If that’s true that’s a swing to the government, in a cost of living election in an area where that should have an effect but clearly isn’t. This is alarming for Labor if you ask me, there’s every chance they’re do similarly bad in seats like Longman. There’s a real shock coming Saturday night, even bigger than 2019, I feel it ion my gut and I say it sadly as a Labor person.

    3. Very on brand for FTB to cherry pick the one good Liberal result in a slew of bad poll results.

    4. The same set of polls had Labor ahead 58:42 in Robertson, which seems waaay to high, so I’d take that poll with a grain of salt (like any seat poll).

      I think the margin here is a bit inflated due to the Emma Husar controversy last time so I’d hazard a guess there’ll be a swing to Labor, but not sure if it’ll be enough for them to win.

    5. Looking at the big trends I think there’s a better chance Labor wins in North Sydney than here in Lindsay. As demographics in the West continue to evolve Lindsay will soon be seen as a Liberal heartland seat like Mitchell and safer than Warringah/Mackellar/North Sydney etc.

    6. @Entreprenuer, Lindsay is not similar to Mitchell. The Hills District is more affluent than Penrith. There are some affluent areas such as Leonay, Glenmore Park etc but the East of this electorate include very working class areas including St Marys which is a deprived area. That is not the case in Mitchell where there are no low income areas. I feel that Lindsay is like Dunkely which is a patchwork electorate. The threat to the Libs in the wealthiest electorates such as North Sydney, Higgins etc is due to climate change politics rather than demographic changes.

    7. Look at recent UK and US elections @Nimalan, working class areas are moving to the right and wealthy inner-city areas are moving leftwards.

    8. Entrepreneur, whilst I agree with you that vote trends do show working class voters trending away from Labor I don’t think a seat like Lindsay (which was a swing district until recently) will turn into a safe Liberal seat in one stroke. The change will probably be more gradual, with Lindsay bucking the trend this election (remaining Liberal held even if Labor win) and then slowly becoming more safe for the Coalition over time.

    9. I’d be really surprised if Labor does win Robertson 58-42 and lose Lindsay 57-43. One of those could happen, but not both. While I don’t want to overstate the demographic similarity, both are outer suburban, have similar rates of school completion, with incomes close to the median for the country as a whole. Unless there’s specific local factors, I’d think that both electorates will move in the same direction.

      The demographic of moderately well off tradies, sole traders and small business owners are well represented in Lindsay, and yes this demographic will likely be solid for the Coalition, and at home in a Morrison or Dutton-esque conservative Liberal party, unlike the professional class in North Sydney or Warringah. I can see a Liberal lean in the future, but I can’t see this as being a Liberal heartland seat. The area along the railway line and north of the Great Western Highway between Penrith and St Marys is not as well off, there’s still housing commission and it is very working class. Penrith, Kingswood and St Marys are also becoming more diverse, and there’s high rises going up in Penrith and St Marys, which will add some extra volatility in this seat in the future.

    10. @ Entrepreneur, excellent points raised. In the UK i agree that the Tories won a lot of working class seats in Northern England such as Blyth Valley, Sedgefield etc, a lot of that is due to the Brexit debate, there is really no comparison to Australian in an issue such as that. In the UK climate change does not seem to be a partisan divide. In the US, i agree that white working class areas in the US rust belt/Midwest have moved to the right such as Macomb County, Michigan etc. I would say that is due deindustrialisation of the of the Mid west something Trump was able to tap into with promises of protectionism etc. In Australia, we can see this in Central Qld etc mainly due to climate change policies but i cant really see areas like Dandenong, Bankstown or Northern Adelaide following that trend. Lindsay is a socially mixed rather than working class electorate and i dont believe the social housing resident in St Marys and the aspirational family in Glenmore Park who send their children to non-government schools etc have the same economic interests etc.

    11. @ David Walsh my brand can be glass half empty yes, I gotta work on that but I’ve not seen a poll where Labor is winning Lindsay either, nor has there been much suggestion they can nor much campaigning there. I think Labor should be worried in a cost of living, interest rate rise election if they can’t win Lindsay.

    12. Lindsay very bad vibes 2019 and labor lost by almost 6 % if Bennelong and Banks in play then this must be as well

    13. Have spoken to Trevor Ross’s team – the plan was for Albo to visit Lindsay early in the campaign, unfortunately that coincided with the week he got COVID. The fact that Labor didn’t try to get a quick visit in prior to election day possibly speaks volumes regarding how they feel their chances of taking Lindsay back are.

    14. So this is now a safe Liberal seat…Penrith and the suburbs around it just do not seem like a Liberal voting area, let alone safe Liberal…

    15. The fact that the area around St Marys is now close to 50-50 including the prepoll is astonishing, I’d have thought that St Marys would be 75-25 Labor…

    16. @Ben that’s because traditional views of what a conventional Liberal voter looks like are outdated. Labor and the Greens have become the party of wealthy professionals, and the Coalition has become the natural party of choice for downmarket voters in small business, trades, and occupations that tend to involve men getting their hands dirty e.g. construction, mining, police, etc.

      Hence my post above when I said that ambitious Liberals who want to lead the party need to move to and run in places like Lindsay instead of Mackellar/North Sydney/Wentworth/Warringah/Menzies/Higgins/Kooyong/Goldstein.

    17. @Ben, Penrith and its surrounds are the exact same profile of suburbs that bode well for the LNP in Queensland. Outer-metro suburban mortgage-belt, slightly more religious, dependent on the car, construction and trades dominating the employment composition and last but not least: Rugby League. This is the punter profile the coalition brand tailors itself towards today instead of the irreligious, educated moderates and liberals they formerly went after in inner-urban and affluent green-belt suburbs.

      I think this gamble worked out in sandbagging Lindsay and regional Queensland. But its obvious it didn’t play out in the divisions they were targeting on the edges of Sydney and Melbourne and completely backfired on them in their affluent heartlands.

      Looking over the swings across the country post-election, its clear that there was a swing in the outer-West and outer-North of Melbourne towards the Coalition attributable to their strategy of targeting low-income suburban divisions disaffected by lockdowns. However the margins in these parts of Victoria are insurmountable in a TPP race.

      Might have been foolish for them to think they might have had a crack in these divisions. I think the Coalition might have been gassed up by Boris Johnson’s red-wall strategy, adopting the playbook. However I believe that Australia is already much further progressed in this political-realignment between Old Labor blue-collar voters to the right. The realignment probably already reached a critical-mass prior to this election (and the pandemic). Queensland was the prototype of this realignment long before Trump and Brexit after all. Coalition strategists, mistakenly thinking this could be an untapped market on the fringes of Sydney and Melbourne, misread how limited the remaining market truly is.

    18. Interesting side-note, the Boris Johnson’s red-wall strategy was adopted after their strategists observed the 2019 Australian Election. So Coalition essentially ran the same playbook thinking it was going to work again. Kind of foolish after so much has changed in the last three years.

    19. The Liberal party got swings to them in areas where traditional, stereotypical Labor voters are dominant e.g. working class, blue-collar workers. I read in the AFR that welfare recipients and single-parent and one-income households had also swung to the Liberals. They mentioned as examples Tasmania and Western Sydney. This election has some of the hallmarks as Trump’s victory in 2016 and Boris Johnson’s in 2019 when they won over traditional blue collar workers.

      UAP/ONP were really popular in south-western Sydney and in Lindsay to a lesser extent. It might have to do with pandemic politics.

    20. @SEQ Observer but the reality is the Libs didn’t spend real resources contesting places like Werriwa, Barton, McMahon, Gorton, Holt, Isaacs, etc. It was a total disconnect between the broad theme of their strategy and actual resourcing and campaigning in practice. Imagine if you took some of the millions squandered in Kooyong or Goldstein and built up infrastructure etc in some of these outer suburban seats.

    21. I have to agree with you @Entrapreneur. Coalition were only attempting to appeal to them by talking out the side of their mouth with messages that appealed to these divisions you mentioned. They were seemingly relying upon UAP and to a lesser extent ONP and LDP to do all of the leg-work for them in those divisions, while instead focussing resources on their usual marginal contests.

      Ironic that actually funding critical infrastructure in genuinely under-funded Labor communities probably would have been electorally more successful for coalition than their attempted pork-barrelling towards the classic marginals.

      @Votante I agree with you that Coalition got swings in blue-collar traditional Labor voting divisions but it’s clear that it wasn’t enough. Even though entrapraneur has pointed out the under-resourcing of their campaign towards these divisions, I would still argue that the realignment in Australia is more matured than elsewhere and might yield diminishing rewards for the Coalition when pursued. Let’s see how their pivot plays out over the coming few years. I kind of think their brand might be irreparably tattered in the short to medium term amongst progressive liberal voters or “moderates”. So maybe they will find more immediate success abandoning inner-city liberals and chasing voters in the outer-suburbs. Or they can take the long road of repairing their base of affluent liberal moderates. I don’t think they can have their cake and eat it too because of the widening class-divide in Australia.

    22. I wasn’t very clear with my red-wall comment. What I was trying to say was Boris Johnson’s campaign team directly adopted the model (and hired some of the strategists) after observing it here in our 2019 Federal Election. They saw traditional Labor voting industrial towns throughout Queensland fall to the LNP and adopted the same pivot for the UK Conservatives.

      Lazily coalition in 2022 ran the same script and also pork-barreled resources towards the conventional 2PP marginal contests thinking that was all they needed to be delivered a second term.

    23. SEQ Observer, I think you may be wrong on both points.

      1) The red wall strategy was already in play prior to 2019, Theresa May had adopted that strategy and got movement towards the Tories in 2017 – continuing a trend (especially if you include UKIP as a bridge). Boris simply finished the process.

      2) The Greens, and to a lesser extent Teals, have accelerated the process in the inner suburbs, but I doubt the process has finished in the outer suburbs. With the Libs shorn of their inner city seats, they may well fully embrace the strategy for the next couple of elections, which could play dividends if the ALP are seen to be being dragged by the Greens.

    24. With Dutton as Liberal leader what’s more likely to happen is the Libs shift further to the right and focus more on social issues which could help them in the working class areas where they got a swing to them. It won’t be too dissimilar to the trajectory of the US Republican Party or the Victorian Libs after their 2018 wipeout.

    25. Labor actually went badly backwards in what traditionally tends to be the better area for them in Lindsay, i.e the area around St Marys. What was striking to me was that across the border into McMahon, Labor did better in St Clair and Erskine Park than in St Marys or Werrington.

    26. It’s consistent with observations about a general political realignment that is occurring nation-wide. St Marys is one of many working-class suburbs in which there have been swings towards the Liberal Party.

      Makes me wonder how Londonderry district will play out at the next NSW election. Prue Car’s biggest problem might actually be St Marys!

    27. Snicko, don’t forget Morrison’s cash payments to welfare recipients during covid and before the election. Some of that would have brushed off on voters in poorer areas.

    28. I just looked at the suburban polling booth results for the western parts of McMahon and Chifley (both are to the east of Lindsay). There were mostly swings to Labor and there were some negligible swings to the Libs. I’m guessing that Chris Bowen and Ed Husic are popular members whereas the Melissa McIntosh (MP for Lindsay) was popular enough to get a swing to her?

      There’s Covid cash payments. I also think that shutting the borders for two years meant there were more blue-collar and unskilled service industry jobs available after the international students and backpackers and temporary migrants went back home. As McIntosh was the incumbent, she sold the low unemployment rhetoric to them. Just some random thought.

    29. IIRC the western part of Chifley swung hard towards the Liberals in 2019. As for McMahon, Erskine Park / St Clair / Minchinbury cannot be compared with St Marys, the demographics are completely different.

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