Macquarie – Australia 2022

ALP 0.2%

Incumbent MP
Susan Templeman, since 2016.

Geography
Macquarie covers the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury council areas, including the towns of Katoomba, Blaxland, Wentworth Falls, Lawson, Richmond, Windsor and Kurrajong.

History
Macquarie is a federation seat, and has always sat to the west of Sydney and covered the Blue Mountains, although its boundaries have shifted. It has tended to be a marginal seat, although in recent decades it has not always swung with the national trend.

The seat was first won by the Free Trade party in 1901, and they held it for two terms before Ernest Carr won it in 1906 for Labor. Carr held the seat until 1917, when he was defeated for reelection after leaving the ALP in late 1916 to join the Nationalist Party. The ALP held the seat again from 1917 until 1922, when the Nationalist Party won back the seat. Arthur Manning was reelected in 1925 against future Prime Minister Ben Chifley, who defeated Manning on a second attempt in 1928.

Chifley held the seat for two terms before losing to John Lawson of the United Australia Party in 1931. Lawson was reelected in 1934 and 1937 before Chifley defeated him in 1940. Chifley went on to serve as a senior Minister under John Curtin and became Prime Minister in 1945. He lost the Prime Ministership in 1949, then led his party in Opposition. He was reelected in Macquarie at the 1951 double dissolution before dying a few weeks later.

The seat was won in 1951 by Anthony Luchetti, a longstanding Labor activist in Macquarie. Luchetti had been Chifley’s campaign manager during his first stint in Macquarie in the 1920s, but stood as a Lang Labor candidate at the 1931 election. The split Labor vote saw the UAP win the seat in a slim margin. Luchetti held the seat from 1951 until his retirement in 1975.

The Liberal Party won the seat in 1975 in the person of Reg Gillard, who was defeated by the ALP’s Ross Free in 1980. The 1984 redistribution saw Free move to the new seat of Lindsay, and the Liberal Party’s Alasdair Webster won Macquarie.

Webster lost the seat in 1993 to Maggie Deahm of the ALP, who lost the seat herself in 1996 to Kerry Bartlett. Bartlett made the seat fairly safe over the next decade before the 2007 redistribution saw Bartlett defeated by the long-serving state MP and Minister Bob Debus. Debus went straight into Kevin Rudd’s ministry as Minister for Home Affairs. Debus resigned from the ministry in June 2009 in anticipation of his retirement from politics at the next election.

At the 2010 election the seat’s boundaries were shifted back to the boundaries in 2004. Louise Markus, who held Greenway in 2007 when it covered Hawkesbury council, chose to run for Macquarie instead, and won the seat with a 1.3% margin. Markus was re-elected in 2010 and 2013.

Markus lost in 2016 to Labor’s Susan Templeman. Templeman was re-elected in 2019.

Candidates

  • Tony Pettitt (One Nation)
  • Susan Templeman (Labor)
  • Nicole Evans (United Australia)
  • James Jackson (Liberal Democrats)
  • Greg Keightley (Animal Justice)
  • Tony Hickey (Greens)
  • Michelle Palmer (Informed Medical Options)
  • Sarah Richards (Liberal)
  • Assessment
    Macquarie is Labor’s most marginal seat and is far from safe.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Sarah Richards Liberal 43,48744.9+6.6
    Susan Templeman Labor 37,10638.3+2.8
    Kingsley Liu Greens 8,8709.1-2.1
    Tony Bryan PettittUnited Australia Party3,8774.0+4.0
    Greg KeightleyAnimal Justice3,6113.7+0.9
    Informal4,3384.3-2.3

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Susan Templeman Labor 48,66150.2-2.0
    Sarah Richards Liberal 48,29049.8+2.0

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three parts. The Macquarie electorate is clearly divided between the Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains. There is also clear divisions between the upper and lower mountains.

    There is a tremendous variance in the vote between the three areas. Labor’s two-party-preferred majority was just 56% in the lower Blue Mountains and over 70% in the upper Blue Mountains, while the Liberal Party almost reached 64% in the Hawkesbury.

    The Greens vote varied enormously, ranging from 4.6% in the Hawkesbury to 17% in the upper mountains.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Hawkesbury4.636.126,36227.2
    Lower Mountains10.156.117,42118.0
    Upper Mountains17.070.213,96314.4
    Pre-poll8.650.529,72530.7
    Other votes10.448.19,4809.8

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

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    73 COMMENTS

    1. Just to continue to underline the point – some others who were “rejected by the people” include those notoriously unpopular non-entities Robert Menzies (East Yarra 1928), John Curtin (several times), Edmund Barton (1876), Ben Chifley (several times), Gough Whitlam (Sutherland 1950), Malcolm Fraser (Wannon 1954), Bob Brown (several times), Harold Holt (Yarra 1934), Jim Scullin (several times), both Joe and Enid Lyons (Wilmot 1919 for him, Denison 1925 state for her), Dorothy Tangney (1940) and Neville Bonner (1970). Thank goodness their parties never returned to such proven losers! Not only that, but it’s well-recognised that repeat candidates (and especially defeated ex-MPs) can build on personal votes from previous elections.

      While looking into this I noticed that of Australia’s 30 Prime Ministers, it seems only 10 have not won an election after at least one electoral defeat (although Bruce and Forde’s comebacks were both post-PM). Out of interest, the 10 are Watson, Fisher, Cook, Hughes, Page, McMahon, Keating, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison.

    2. In the NSW council elections Labor got a massive swing to them in the Blue Mountains while the Liberals got a reasonable swing to them in the Hawkesbury. The boundaries of this seat just make for the most polarised electorate there is in Australia. Blue Mountains likely to swing Labor again but Hawkesbury likely to swing to the Liberals again.

    3. The council elections are interesting and they were conducted differently in BMCC and the Hawkesbury. In BMCC each of the 4 Wards elected 3 councillors. I’m in Ward 4, and I think the factors in play there were:
      i. Well-known and generally liked Mayor lives in the ward.
      ii. Not saying that the 3rd elected Lib isn’t well-liked, but he benefitted from top position on the ballot last time, while this time there was a “spoiler” candidate who would have drawn off some anti-Labor votes – more than Australia First did last time.
      iii. No Greens candidate in the Ward. But Labor added their votes plus some to their total.
      In other wards there were minor shenanigans involving the Libs (2 councillors resigned from the party and one was re-elected as an independent while the other gave it a red hot go). The Greens dis-endorsed a candidate for ward 1 but their vote held steady and even increased a bit in a reduced field. Definite pro-Labor swing however.
      Council elections are optional preferential, and personalities play a part.

    4. Sarah Richards has now been confirmed as the Liberal candidate for Macquarie in 2022. She didn’t have a large profile last time but took the seat to the most marginal in the country with only 190 odd votes needing to change this time around. A massive result. In this election she has a huge profile with the ShopSmall and Back2Bilpin Facebook pages and Morrison will need her to win to keep government. This will be the hottest contested seat in the country with Getup and the Unions already taking an active role. But the numbers will come down to the seat make-ups. The incumbent Templeman will get good swings towards her in the Blue Mountains. The recent council elections there continued to show a Labor Greens community and a big ALP swing. But the Mountains is only 40pc of the vote. The Hawkesbury is Richards home and where she is very popular. With her leading the council ticket, the Libs got a 5pc+ swing towards them. The combined conservative council vote was up around 70pc. They don’t like the left side of politics and Templeman is a Fabian Socialist which makes her about as left as you can get. Templeman and Labor know the Hawkesbury is where this fight will be won and the social media pages are in full swing accusing Richards of being responsible for everything bad in the local community’s lives. But the more they kick her on facebook, the more popular she becomes locally. The new developments in Pitt Town and North Richmond will be pro Liberal and pro Richards. If Morrison was more popular, Richards would take this seat by 5 to 10pc just because of the Hawkesbury. It will be a nasty campaign and it could just come down to the last woman standing in this Main Event contest. Get your popcorn ready as Templeman will do anything she has to in order to survive and Richards is a future cabinet Minister if she wins. An A Grade battle.

    5. Labor’s environmental appeal in 2019 helped them here bolstering Green preferences, 87% to Labor means that some ‘tree Tories’ gave preferences to Labor. Now Labor is declaring it doesn’t want these votes. If nothing else changed this would be a problem for Labor here, but probably overall swing to Labor will swamp this effect, however if Labor faded overall they could be trouble here.

    6. Labor are paying $1.45 to retain on Sportsbet, ahead of the Coalition on $2.50. Considering how slim the margin was from 2019, the markets are clearly pricing in a big swing to Labor in this area. For comparison, the neighbouring electorate of Lindsay is considered less likely to be retained by the Coalition ($1.50) than Labor retaining Macquarie, despite Lindsay having a margin of 5.0% in 2019 compared to Macquarie’s 0.2%

    7. @DocNutman, you got to be joking mate. You sound like the trolls all over Facebook. All real locals know that Susan has got it in the bag. She’s worked hard and the community want her to keep doing so, even in the Hawkesbury! Unfortunately, the Liberal candidate just appears to be another career politician. It’s a tough seat, but with a strong anti-developer focus and a hard-working sitting MP, I can’t see Templeman losing!

    8. @GlenbrookLocal is right on with this and the big shift that is occurring is people moving into the Lower Blue Mountains from the Inner West looking for a Tree-Change while still being close enough to Sydney. There have been strong swings to Labor in the Lower Blue Mountains where the Liberal Party have had competitive booths (Mount Riverview, Glenbook, Blaxland and Lapstone). Sarah Richards either needs to actually go and campaign there or she is going to have to run some seriously massive numbers up around Richmond/Windsor.

      IMO, this seat is won or loss in the Lower Blue Mountains.

    9. Templeman to hold by barely more than she holds it now. Yes the Blue Mountains is trending left with tree changers and the gentrification they bring (ie. more cafes) but demographics wouldn’t have really changed that much in only 3 years. The Hawkesbury area has its own character that is of low density urban and peri-urban residential, overwhelmingly of European ancestry and is very socially and economically conservative. People from the inner suburbs might ask “who on earth would choose to live in Pitt Town (or similar areas) on a block miles from the city, car dependent and on a hot lowland plain?” the answer is locals or conservative minded folk who don’t want to live in an ever changing, cosmopolitan urban environment. They want the “traditional” Aussie lifestyle that their grandparents had and are more likely to detest left/progressive politics. Labor should only concentrate resources on holding their vote in the Hawkesbury, not necessarily increasing it because hell will freeze over before Labor can make real inroads there, regardless of who the Labor leader is.

    10. There comes a point where trying to run up margins in your base leads to diminishing returns. Labor don’t have to win Hawkesbury. They just need to not lose it by hilariously massive margins.

    11. @DocNutman repeats @Roger’s message from the old Macquarie/Lindsay thread. The fact is, fair people on both sides would agree that Susan Templeman has grown support because she works extremely hard and tries to engage with the whole community. I also suspect that these days ‘Fabian Socialist’ is only seen as a hard left position from the right. Not even sure that it’s relevant.

      I am not across all the facts, but there has been some discourse about the quality of Labor candidates for Hawkesbury council feeding voter discontent with the Party. I note that Nathan Zamprogno (disendorsed Lib) was voted back as an Independent in position 1. Name recognition, or something else?

    12. Hawkesbury population needs more analysis. Hawkesbury population growth of just under 5% in 5 years, Blue Mountains about 0.6%, but BMCC is still larger. Hawkesbury skews younger, but approx the same % in each would be voting age (high 70’s, extrapolating a bit from ABS stats). But I know 2 families who moved to the Hawkesbury in the past couple of years (to Bowen Mountain and North Richmond respectively) and neither would vote Liberal. Small sample/anecdotal, but is the area, or parts of it, changing? Can’t just be the beneficiaries of Homebuilder grants moving in…

    13. The floods have come into play in this electorate with the Hawkesbury experiencing its second major flood in 2 years. The environment will now move front and centre with the Hawkesbury locals calling for a raising of Warragamba Dam Wall and the upper Mountains talking more about climate change. It is a split seat in so many ways.

      There are now 6 candidates – Templeman the incumbent Labor MP, Richards the Liberal who nearly won it last time, the token Greens who is there for Labor preferences plus an anti-vaxxer, a Palmer candidate, and an Animal Justice.

      Getup is already campaigning as a third party. The Mountains are full of third-party climate groups. Unions are putting money towards Templeman. So basically it will be Richards with a bit of Palmer versus the rest.

      There are risks for all here, especially the bookies favourite Templeman who has called the Dam Wall raising “reckless” and is against the Western Sydney Airport. She will need Hawkesbury votes to win and the majority are for those two big items.

      But Templeman has 3 friendly preferential candidates, incumbency, a big union budget, the Getup machine and a friendly media out to get Richards and Morrison for her. She should win in a landslide. However, an unknown Richards beat her by 6,000 FP votes last time and has campaigned non-stop since. She is now well known, has runs on the board and keeps showing up.

      It will be a nail-biter and could be the seat that decides the Government.

    14. This seat is fascinating to me. It has such a small margin, but I haven’t seen much discussion, people probably assume Labor will hold on, riding a national swing to them. This is probably true, but I wouldn’t write off the Libs just yet. Hawkesbury seems like exactly the kind of place where the Liberals could improve despite a swing against them more broadly, but on the other hand Labor should gain a lot in the Blue Mountains. Definitely a very polarized electorate with these two completely different communities being thrown in together, which is what makes this such an interesting electorate. One I’ll keep my eye on on Election Night, and I’ll leave it a tossup on my own prediction for now, though Labor is definitely favored.

    15. I’ve checked the current list of candidates for the House of Reps, and so far we have UAP, Greens, Lib Democrats, Animal Justice, Informed Medical Options, Liberal and Labor. Not sure how Musical Windsor Pete construes the Greens as there for Labor preferences (or indeed how he finds 3 “friendly” preferences for Labor out of that lot). Guess he’s commenting in the vein of Doc Nutman and Roger.
      We’ll be walking over to the school as usual but I think there will be a lot more postal and pre-poll votes. It will be a very close race. I gather many Liberal voters are wary of Richards’ mistakes and WT moments, such as listing herself until very recently as a solicitor, and claiming her partner’s business is not property development. Whether that will translate into votes for Templeman is hard to pick.

    16. The radio silence about Macquarie is quite interesting. The dislike for the PM in the mountains is palpable, as are the demographic changes around Glenbrook. I wouldn’t discount this seat however. Yes, Labor is in a winning position, but I’d be really interested to see if anyone has any insights about the general sentiment towards the Government in the Hawkesbury?

    17. I’d imagine after all the recent floods in the Hawkesbury, Morrison’s handling won’t be too popular.

    18. Greens having a last minute candidate change will hurt Labor here, though probably not much. Greens underperform here, and really should be getting higher than the teens in the areas dominated by tree changers and hippies.

    19. A fun reminder that the Liberal candidate for Macquarie (Sarah Richards)’s partner runs a property development company – BCM Property – to which Sarah is listed as an employee (under her maiden name) – she conveniently forgot to declare this to the AEC. She’s also on Hawkesbury council where she has pushed for changes to the boundary clearing code to allow for the destruction of 15,800 hectares of native vegetation including some threatened native species – the very same place that BCM Property intends to build a new housing estate backed by Chinese investors.

    20. There are two factors that arise from preferential voting mechanics that might affect the outcome.
      1. Susan Templeman is number 2 on the ballot after PHON, and Sarah Richards is at 8. A substantial donkey vote could assist Labor.
      2. There are 4 right wing or fringe parties with candidates: PHON, UAP, IMOP, and Liberal Democrats. All of the how to votes for these parties will, if followed by voters, lead to votes being transferred to the Liberal candidate. This is despite many party workers believing that they are not preferencing either of the the “big two” – they demonstrate some lack of knowledge about how 2PP works. While historically the count for each of these parties has been small, it is possible they will draw votes from the majors. A vote taken from the Liberal candidate will tend to transfer back under 2PP of course.

    21. John, I think that Tony Hickey is a strong candidate for the Greens and they won’t do any worse than usual – I do agree that they under perform. The previous Greens candidate (Kingsley Liu not Joel Mackay) is now running for the Australian Citizen’s Party. Possibly this indicates some of the issues.

    22. It seems there has been a huge swing to Labor in the Hawkesbury as well. Maybe the recent floods and the climate concerns have impacted here.

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