Macquarie – Australia 2022

ALP 0.2%

Incumbent MP
Susan Templeman, since 2016.

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

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.


  • Susan Templeman (Labor)
  • Assessment
    Macquarie is Labor’s most marginal seat and is far from safe.

    2019 result

    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

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    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
    Lower Mountains10.156.117,42118.0
    Upper Mountains17.070.213,96314.4
    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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    1. With the overall expectation or a swing to the liberals in NSW and I’m assuming the fact the liberals are running the same candidate of Sarah Richards should help push them over the line in this seat with swings in the outer suburban areas near and around Windsor providing the appropriate swing to win it.

    2. This would have to be the most polarised seat in Australia, ? Labor would surely have lost this seat without Templeman. The result was fascinating in 2019 Maquarie polarised even more !
      Anecdotally Templeman makes a superhuman effort in the mountains, & the results would testify to that. However the intensity of the swing in the Hawkebury end would almost point to the opposite effect there

      In the next redistribution my instinct is that this electorate will be carved up radically. Say like the upper mountains going into Calare

      . My feeling is that as there is no margin to defend, Templeman will be defeated this time. Lib gain

    3. Because of the size of the margin it would be safe to say it swings and also agreed the next redistribution set for the 2025 election will have the new growth parts of north west Sydney and beyond come into consideration with a lot of the aspects.

    4. The Seat is indeed extremely polarised. It seems the Blue Mountains is getting stronger for Labor both at a state level and Federal level. Templeman can survive if she gets a further swing in the mountains which can offset a negative swing in the Hawkesbury. During the Howard era, this was a safe Liberal seat on these boundaries and going into 2010 election, Labor had a only 0.3% notional margin, despite 2007 being a good year for Labor in NSW. The fact that Labor has a 0.2% today based on 2019 results shows the increasingly progressive lean of the Upper Mountains relative to the rest of the state.

    5. Winediamond, why do you think this seat will get chopped up?

      I don’t think they would change Macquarie unless there is a significant change in these two areas.

      Sydney is surrounded by physical boundaries that are hard to cross and the borders around the outside of Macquarie are one of those. Generally they only draw electorates crossing between Sydney and non-Sydney in the Macarthur area or on the Shire-Wollongong border. We saw in 2006 that they had to be radical when they changed Macquarie, then they changed it right back. The population growth in the north-west is mostly happening outside Macquarie and I think the knock-on effects will move in the other direction.

    6. none of the Blue Mountains should be in Calare…. it has either been Orange and other towns like Cowra or Bathurst, Lithgow and Orange and the areas between them. The most common boundaries have been the later. since 1977. Macquarie was once bathurst, Lithgow, the Blue mountaIns and Penrith……. when Chifley was the mp…… now with Penriths growth and Calare including Bathurst and lithgow … the more likely Boundaries are the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury River area.

    7. Ben Raue
      Firstly i don’t disagree with anything you have said.

      Maquarie needs 10000 voters for quota. With its anaemic growth probably ought to be 15000.

      The AEC will have to decide which seat to draw from. Instinctively i sense that they will take the easy option of leaving Lindsay largely intact. Calare & Mitchell will be moved heaps anyway. Really big adjustments. Huge numbers coming from & through Hunter into Calare.
      The Nats have suggested splitting the mountains a few times, & desire to enlarge their constituency.
      Lastly the seat is two very different areas essentially, so there really isn’t any integrity in the seat in the first place. As you point out in 2006 they made big changes. The difference now is that there are big increases in population in the adjoining seats. A push factor if you like.
      Ben you may easily be proven right by things going in an entirely different direction. However this time the AEC will have to address their multitude of ( F*#@) Stuff ups like NORTH Coast, Hunter region,Hume, illawarra, Macarthur etc.
      In conclusion id say i am so glad it’s not me having to sort out their messes, confusion, & incompetence ! They make politicians look good !! Thats so bad…..!
      cheers WD

    8. WD, if the numbers stay roughly how they are, I assume the redistribution will push all the Sydney seats ‘outwards’ through Macarthur. In that case, a simple gain of the northern Hawkesbury part of Greenway would probably be all that is needed for Macquarie. On paper, this would be good for the Liberals going forward, but will depend on what 2022 brings.

      They did basically what you suggested in 2006 and it made a mess of surrounding seats. I don’t think they’ll go that route again unless they absolutely have to.

    9. Mark Mulcair
      Yes i don’t disagree but “that won’t be the only game in town”. You have other movements from the north shore & Hunter Illawarra etc that are a mess. Im fascinated to see what they do with Parramatta for example.
      I just think it might be enticing to have another E-W type ” shock absorber” as it were. Might only last one cycle though.

      after all when we look at Hume how can we dismiss any possibility !??. Laugh that off !

      AS ALWAYS don’t know how you do what you do. St PETER must be waiting with a sainthood for you mate !
      cheers WD

    10. Mark Mulcair
      Another thing if “In that case, a simple gain of the northern Hawkesbury part of Greenway would probably be all that is needed for Macquarie.” Why wouldn’t that be Greenway, & or Mitchell? . Doesn’t that screw up Richmond Rd & & all the LGA boundaries. We are then left with 4-5 LGAs in one electorate. Even the AEC might be embarrassed or shamed by that ?

    11. Mick
      I think I’ve responded vicariously in other posts to your views. However unless Gwydir is reinstated, its likely that Maquarie, or Mcarthur will become largely rural.

    12. Take all of Greater Sydney excluding the Central Coast, but including Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains, and Wollondilly.

      Assuming NSW has 47 seats, data from the NSW redistribution shows that this region had around 26.93 quotas last year, and the projected data for 2023 shows virtually no overall change. (Still 26.93 to the nearest two decimal places!)

      So there’s almost exactly enough room for 27 seats. If the redistribution respects these boundaries, Hume will no longer extend into Wollondilly and Camden. Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains can remain united in Macquarie.

      But given this, it’s also possible that Blue Mountains could be transferred to Calare, with Wollondilly remaining in Hume.

      And I suppose there’s also some wriggle room if the Committee has an appetite for resurrecting a trans-Sutherland-Wollongong Cunningham.

      Greenway doesn’t contain any of the Hawkesbury, and I don’t understand why transferring part of Greenway to Macquarie is the first thought. The fix for Macquarie’s enrolment deficiency is for it to gain the Penrith suburbs west of the Nepean River.

    13. They will start off by winning Macquarie. That is the easy path for the Liberal party to win the next election.

    14. Surprised the Greens don’t do better in the Blue Mountains. Can anyone knowledgable weigh in on why?

      In terms of redistributions I think the lower mountains are both too inseparable from the upper mountains, and also too “Sydney” for a Calare configuration that takes in the mountains. Nicholas Weston’s Penrith solution seems ideal.

      On identity, being on the receiving end of the “Sydney” lockdowns will hurt Liberals in the mountains but Labor seems to already have that area cornered.

      I have this as a Liberal gain with growth in the Hawkesbury. Templeman will put up a fight but even a tiny swing sees her off.

    15. This is a must win now for the Liberals. If they don’t win this seat then they lose the election to Labor due to the inevitable losses in Victoria and WA and possibly with the loss of Boothby. They must gain seats in NSW and QLD to offset the losses and if this doesn’t change hands nor will Hunter,Paterson,Shortland or Eden Monaro.

    16. The Greens lost a bunch of voters last election (Animal Justice?) and the AJP vote was heavily concentrated in the mountains. Booths up the mountains were really strong for Templeman and defo saved her.

      Katoomba LIB 18.37 (-0.33) GRN 19.21 (-4.12) ALP 55.52 (+8.08)
      Leura LIB 24.47 (-0.83) GRN 17.45 (-5.96) ALP 50.42 (+10.82)
      Wentworth Falls LIB 28.97 (-0.76) GRN 15.33 (-4) ALP 49.83 (+9.27)

    17. AJP prefs went about 55% to Labor at the Stretton by-election last month (compared to >80% from the Greens). Clearly not all AJP voters are former Greens.

    18. If it’s GRN-LIB it’s about 75-25
      GRN-ALP about 70-30
      ALP-LIB about 65-35

      These flows are strange but a lot of Animal Justice voters could be Lib strayers who simply hate the ALP

    19. The more they campaign the more voters are likely to know how the party wants them to preference the one the party choose.

    20. I am surprised that no one if even considering the COVID impact, not just in this seat but all over. Not sure what it will be but I think it is bound to shift things about.

    21. I think this COVID outbreak will have a big impact on the results of the Commonwealth and NSW elections. A lot of NSW Commonwealth seats were in play for the Liberal party but I suspect not anymore, maybe the situation has turned and there are seats now for Labor to consider – Lindsay, Robertson (I know this is Central Coast but caught up in the situation). I would not want to be a Liberal and holding a seat in the Western Suburbs of Sydney at Commonwealth or State Level.

    22. Lots of people now been commenting about seats out of play like this one even with razor thin margins, we are still 8 or so months away from an election and a lot can change from then so to completely rule this seat out for the liberals cause of what’s happening now is a step too far considering even safer seats with higher margins like Lindsay which won’t fall.

    23. Pez, Lindsay is in play. It has the same boundaries as 2016. Do us a favour and analyse the 2016 result in Lindsay and come back here. McIntosh is another Fiona Scott. There is no evidence of demographic changes in western Sydney

      If the swing is on the swing is on. Admittedly I’m not fascinated by the recent polls but if they are anything to believe then then it could be a bloodbath in NSW. And Macquarie won’t fall if seats are falling to Labor.

      Penrith if anything is trending Labor because it voted to the left of the state in the NSW state election 2019

    24. (posting again as I got a typo in my email)

      Pez, Lindsay is in play. It has the same boundaries as 2016. Do us a favour and analyse the 2016 result in Lindsay and come back here. McIntosh is another Fiona Scott. There is no evidence of demographic changes in western Sydney

      If the swing is on the swing is on. Admittedly I’m not fascinated by the recent polls but if they are anything to believe then then it could be a bloodbath in NSW. And Macquarie won’t fall if seats are falling to Labor.

      Penrith if anything is trending Labor because it voted to the left of the state in the NSW state election 2019

    25. Maybe Lindsay will become another Bass, not a bellwether but just changes hands because they contain some of the most fiercely divided demographics in the country.

      Same with Swan (I use it as an example way too often) but the Libs have only had a good run in the seat since they’ve started doing better in the working class areas bc the wealthy areas are trending against them.

    26. The only reason Lindsay fell in 2016 was because Malcolm Turnbull didn’t put effort in and people in outer suburbia didn’t like him the situation now is very different with Morrison as PM.

    27. It was a poor campaign last time round. LIB should have won this seat but they did nothing with targetting what is the real battle-ground area, being the Lower Blue Mountains (Lapstone to Blaxland). If LIB get this area close to 50:50, they win the seat. But Sarah Richards didn’t campaign in the Lower Blue Mountains and only focused on running her numbers up around Richmond/Windsor.

      If she is pre-selected again, she need to do a helluva better job than that.

    28. The dangers for Labor would be a future redistribution due to the nature of the majority of the seats it surrounds. You have the Hawkesbury to the east. you have strong National territory to the west and to the south you have the South Sydney hinterland which is part of the seat of Hume.

      And if it ever goes north into Hunter it isn’t all plain sailing for Labor either. So this seat will never become safe for Labor and if anything could lean to the coalition in any future redistribution.

    29. Macquarie contains all of the Hawkesbury on its current boundaries.

      Macquarie moving into the Hunter is unthinkable. The boundary between the Hawkesbury and the Hunter is one of the most uncrossable boundaries there is.


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