Parramatta – Australia 2022

ALP 3.5%

Incumbent MP
Julie Owens, since 2004.

Geography
Western Sydney. The seat of Parramatta covers the centre of Parramatta and surrounding suburbs, including Granville, Holroyd, Wentworthville, Westmead, Carlingford, Dundas and Rydalmere, and parts of Merrylands, South Granville and Toongabbie.

History
Parramatta is an original Federation electorate. The seat has long been a marginal seat, focused on the Parramatta CBD. The seat has shrunk substantially from its original boundaries, when it covered most of what is now northwestern Sydney and stretched as far as Lithgow.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Joseph Cook, a former minister in George Reid’s Free Trade colonial government. Cook held the seat for the first twenty years of Federation, successively for the Free Trade Party, Anti-Socialist Party, Commonwealth Liberal Party and the Nationalists.

Cook served as Leader of the Anti-Socialist Party following George Reid’s retirement in 1908, and agreed to merge with Alfred Deakin’s Protectionists in 1909 to form the Commonwealth Liberal Party. He served as Defence Minister in Deakin’s final government and became Liberal leader after Deakin’s defeat at the 1910 election.

Cook won the 1913 election, becoming Prime Minister, but with a Labor majority in the Senate his government was stifled, and he called a Double Dissolution in 1914, which he lost.

In 1916, Labor Prime Minister Billy Hughes left the ALP over the issue of conscription, and Cook agreed to merge his Liberals with the Labor rebels to form the Nationalist Party, with Cook as Hughes’ deputy. He retired in 1921 to serve as High Commissioner in London.

The ensuing by-election was won by Herbert Pratten. Pratten moved to the new seat of Martin in 1922, and was replaced in Parramatta by fellow Nationalist Eric Bowden. Pratten held Martin until his death in 1928, while Bowden held Parramatta until 1929, when he lost the seat.

Labor candidate Albert Rowe won in 1929, but only held it for one term, losing it to United Australia Party candidate Frederick Stewart in 1931. Stewart went on to serve in a variety of ministerial roles in the Lyons and Menzies governments, and retired in 1946.

Parramatta was won in 1946 by Liberal candidate Howard Beale. Beale served as a minister in the Menzies government from its election in 1949 until his retirement in 1958, when he became Ambassador to the United States.

The seat was won in 1958 by prominent barrister Garfield Barwick, who held the seat for the Liberals until 1964, when he was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

The 1964 by-election was held by Liberal candidate Nigel Bowen. Bowen joined Harold Holt’s cabinet following the 1966 election and remained there until the election of the Whitlam government. He left Parliament in 1973 to serve on the NSW Supreme Court.

The 1973 by-election was a key contest during the Whitlam government. Bowen had held on by a slim margin in 1972, but Liberal candidate Philip Ruddock managed a 7% swing and won the seat.

Ruddock was re-elected in 1974 and 1975, but moved to the new seat of Dundas in 1977. He held Dundas until its abolition in 1993, when he moved to Berowra, which he still holds today. He served as Minister for Immigration then Attorney-General in the Howard government.

Parramatta was won in 1977 by the ALP’s John Brown. Brown served as a junior minister for the first two terms of the Hawke government, and was promoted to Cabinet in 1987, but was forced to resign as a minister in 1988 after misleading the House, and retired in 1990.

Brown was succeeded by former Mayor of Parramatta Paul Elliott, also an ALP member. Elliott served as a Parliamentary Secretary in the final term of the Labor government, and lost Parramatta to Liberal candidate Ross Cameron in 1996.

Cameron was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary after the 2001 election, and continued in similar roles until the 2004 election, where he was one of the few Liberal MPs to lose their seat, with Labor candidate Julie Owens winning the seat.

The 2007 redistribution pushed Parramatta north and made it notionally Liberal, but a big swing saw Owens retain the seat. Owens has since been re-elected four more times.

Candidates
Sitting Labor MP Julie Owens is not running for re-election.

  • Rohan Laxmanalal (Animal Justice)
  • Maria Kovacic (Liberal)
  • Heather Freeman (One Nation)
  • Liza Tazewell (Liberal Democrats)
  • Julian Fayad (United Australia)
  • Phil Bradley (Greens)
  • Andrew Charlton (Labor)
  • Steve Christou (Independent)
  • Assessment
    Parramatta is a marginal seat. The retirement of Julie Owens could create an opportunity for the Liberal Party.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Julie Owens Labor 38,17145.1-1.4
    Charles Camenzuli Liberal 34,95441.3+6.9
    Phil Bradley Greens 6,1317.2+0.4
    Asma PayaraChristian Democratic Party2,5263.0-2.3
    Ganesh Sahadev LokeUnited Australia Party2,1862.6+2.6
    Oscar GrenfellSocialist Equality Party7020.8+0.8
    Informal7,7398.4-0.9

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Julie Owens Labor 45,30253.5-4.2
    Charles Camenzuli Liberal 39,36846.5+4.2

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three parts: north-east, north-west and south. The north-east covers all booths on the north-eastern side of the Parramatta river, while the south covers booths in the CBD and further south and the north-west covers booths to the west of the CBD.

    Labor dominated in the south (58.5% of the two-party-preferred vote) and north-west (57.2%) while the Liberal Party polled 51.7% in the north-east.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    North-East8.348.322,74926.9
    South6.358.515,31118.1
    North-West6.057.214,71617.4
    Pre-poll7.054.020,31024.0
    Other votes8.551.611,58413.7

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

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    99 COMMENTS

    1. WD…. that was my comment. Some how it picked up David Hyde page s name by mistake…auto spell …… yes his was a good book which now banned from publication. IF does turn up sells for in excess of $120

    2. Latest update, connect with the formal submission by Phillip Ruddick:
      Maria Kovacic expected to be endorsed as the Liberal Candidate for Parramatta

    3. I am standing for the Federal Seat of Parramatta at the 2022 election. I will be standing as an independent, (a poor one) with next to no budget, no corporate, party or lobby group support. I am doing this both as a necessity and because large funding comes with the price of commitment to those who fund you, and my goal is to be 100% independent, and 100% community democracy.
      Consultative Representation is my platform. The electorate will be consulted on every piece of legislation, and I will vote in the house the way the majority of the electorate tell me to vote. THEY will be my party, and I will work entirely for my electorate.
      I will be a conduit between the Parramatta Electorate and the federal Parliament, genuinely representing those within the electorate.
      I am looking for donations from the electorate, I am looking for volunteers and followers who can assist me to read the message, and make Parramatta more of what it should be, and less of what it is.
      My strong belief is that if you vote for a party politician, regardless of how big OR small the party is, you are giving your vote away. They want you to tick their box once every three years, then sit back while they tell you what to think, what to do.
      I want you to tell ME what to do.
      Of course I will have opinions on a variety of issues relating to the parliament, to the electorate, however I believe it is arogent of me to think that I know better than you, what you need. This is why I am running on a platform of consultation and representation

      Give me a yell, rob@robsinclair.com.au or you can find me at robsinclair.com.au All my social media links are there as well.

      Thank you, I would love to hear your thoughts on my chances, and on my method of representation. In short, how many would vote for me, how many would not?

      Thanks for your time
      #DoSameGetSame

    4. Labor solection to the seat has now gotten nasty.

      Local favourites included Abha Devasia and former candidate Darga Owen.

      However, the word is that Albo has come over the top and is actively pushing Andrew Charlton, a former economics adviser to Kevin Rudd and Accenture MD.

      What has gotten everyone’s noses out of joint is two things:
      1. Charlton currently lives in Bellevue Hill…..
      2. Parramatta is a Ferguson Left Seat, so this is going to trigger a massive factional battle.

      https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/parramatta-locals-cry-structural-racism-as-albanese-parachutes-in-andrew-charlton-of-bellevue-hill-20220322-p5a6sk.html

    5. Possible Lib gain if they nominate a good enough candidate, and if the Labor preselection is in disarray.
      Don’t know what is happening in Bennelong but Craig Chung could get this as a consolation prize. Good connections to UWS and would perform well in Dundas/Valley, Rydalmere, Oatlands and Carlingford

    6. I got to have a good laugh when some of the pundits were prepared to predict the election outcome as early as last year; my how some things have changed since! That said, with two months out from the election, it’s safe to say that Morrison is heading towards a potentially significant defeat and I don’t see any way around that. Even if NSW is relatively strong for him, I can’t see the Libs picking up Parramatta (or very many seats for that matter).

    7. I will preface this comment by saying that parachuted candidates are always a bad look, and Labor’s failure to preselect culturally diverse (and women) candidates into key seats is a terrible look and may well backfire on them here.

      But Charlton grew up in the electorate, and has strong family roots there and in western SYdney. He may live in a palace in Bellevue Hill, but he is self made – a fact that will probably get overlooked in the lazy, salacious reporting on the house he lives in. It’s hard to tell if the articles about this preselection are in the news or real estate sections of the newspaper, whatever gets the clicks I guess…

      He’ll need to knock on a lot of doors to overcome the inevitable bad press, and of course to build a connection with the community. It’s one thing to be a potential future Treasurer, but another completely to first be a trusted local MP.

    8. Agree with you Wreathy and Morrison now doesn’t have much of a chance of holding onto government. Parramatta might remain marginal and not see much of a strong ALP swing if Matthew Charlton is the candidate, mainly because the current boundaries include quite a lot of ethnic minority communities and as Hawkeye/LJ Davidson point out it is more important to have a local MP who is reflective of the community they represent.

    9. Without giving too much away, Albo already approached 2 other, better candidates for this seat who both turned it down because of how marginal it is.
      We shouldn’t also discount the impact of the state seat (partially) being held by the Liberals and comfortably too.
      And back to a question I continue to ask, what value is there for members of the Labor party if they keep parachuting members in? Why would you being spending hundreds of dollars in membership fees just to have the privilege of handing out for some toff who thinks so little of the area he lives on the other side of Sydney.
      Let me guess he’ll put on an Eels jersey to “prove” his bona fides.
      He may be lucky because the swing is on but this seat will require long term grunt work, which for someone as ambitious as Charlton is, I can’t see achieving.

    10. If Labor were as anxious about social conservatives as they claim to be you would think they would be looking for a better fit for a No on SSM seat? Also this could easily become more marginal with boundary changes & needs a candidate who will do the work.

    11. tbh I don’t think having a ‘Yes’ in Western Sydney is as damaging as having a ‘No’ in a seat like Warringah. The fact that he’s yet another rich white guy parachuted over the heads of local candidates from minority backgrounds is much worse. And I don’t understand why Albo keeps doing it. What was so terrible about the local candidates? What’s so great about Andrew Charlton? Who rocks up on election day thinking yes god, i can’t wait to vote for this multimillionaire banker? If Albo desperately wants his economic advice there are a million other places to put him, whether in the bureaucracy or on his political staff.

    12. Wait until 2025 and post redistribution and Wentworth might be looking good for the ALP on new boundaries. Then Charlton’s electorate office won’t be far from home.

    13. @Furtive presumably so he can be a Minister or have some sort of job. Albo could also just give him a high ranking APS or Staffer job but presumably he wants the prestige of being in parliament.

      What makes less sense is Keneally moving to the lower house. The only job that requires a lower house seat is Prime Minister (and even then that’s only convention). She is a strong Senate Estimates performer (though this won’t matter if Labor forms government).

      Time serving faction ghouls tend to be in safe seats, as do ministerial contenders, while candidates who can build a personal vote are deployed in marginal seats.

      This saga has reminded me that a Labor government will still be dominated by very similar people to the Liberal government. Marles and Chalmers are very similar to LNP politicians.

    14. I’d suggest that the ‘prestige’ of having this guy in cabinet isn’t the kind that anyone without a newspaper column or a job at a think tank would ever appreciate, assuming it’s not an active drag. So either this ministerial contender is a faction ghoul himself, or Albo really has had his brain churned to dirt by Canberra worms. Whatever happens in May the election in Parramatta is going to be tight; if Labor loses it, Albo (and/or the faceless men pulling his strings) will deserve the blame.

      Agreed 100% on the last paragraph, but then I would.

    15. NSW state Transport Minister David Elliott has ruled out running for the Liberals in this seat. After it was rumoured he was considering contesting Parramatta.

    16. @Ben Raue

      This is such a nit pick from me, but your maps show Constance Street as the segment of the boundary joining Woodville Road to Excelsior Street. Isn’t it actually Osgood Street? I believe this may have been a change made in the final determination.

    17. @Ben Raue

      Oops, sorry! I could’ve sworn it was Osgood… I think I’ve found what might have confused me – it was used a boundary at the state level (between Granville and Auburn, before the last redistribution).

    18. A seat poll from redbridge has it at 55-45 to the ALP with all the usual caveats re seat polls. The primary votes look strange, Labor on 32%, the libs on 26% (!) and it has both the UAP and liberal democrats on ~7%. The majors seem too low and the minors, especially liberal democrats, too high to my eye but maybe it’s just picking up a swing away from the majors which isn’t implausible

    19. Redbridge consistently has implausibly high results for UAP and minor parties. Probably at least partially due to them getting read out.

    20. I think this seat could be fascinating. How much does Christou split the Labor vote? How much leakage happens from his How to vote?

    21. Christou makes it harder but his time as mayor showed he was anti Labor. Say have you seen his htv? Presume he preferences libs ahead of labor

    22. I have no local knowledge but am asking the question as Fowler seems to get all the attention but Parramatta is similar. High profile independent local Councillor.

    23. LNP Insider, a key difference between the impact of Steve Christou impact in Parramatta vs Dai Le’s candidacy in Fowler is that Christou represented Cumberland council which only forms a small portion of Parramatta district (and is also not the principal focus area with Merrylands/Granville being considered a minor centre compared to Parramatta and its northern suburbs stretching to Telopea/Dundas which forms the core of the district). In contrast Dai Le represents Fairfield council and the Cabramatta area, which is at the heart of Fowler district.

    24. The difference between Steve Christou and Frank Carbone is that Carbone has won a directly elected mayoralty twice as an independent, the last time winning in a landslide. Christou became mayor in a back room deal and has never demonstrated popular support outside his ward where he managed to poll 32.35%. Le doesn’t have as strong a case as Carbone but she is a senior member of his team and managed to win multiple seats on council under her own party name.

    25. Could very well be. Scott Morrison was here 6 times, the most out of any seat and the Katherine Deves stuff seems to be targeted here even if it means the Liberals lose many more seats elsewhere.

    26. No way Parramatta will change sides is a Labor inclined marginal where there is a swing in metropolitan Sydney good enough to put Bennelong in doubt. Also where did the libs get the information as not listed on the aec website. Ie not publicly available.

    27. AEC would say publicly if they were referring it to the AFP. That’s three now (Beaton, Lobo and Charlton). I get the impression the AFP aren’t going to do anything about them.

    28. I’m a local in Parramatta and I think Charlton will be fine. The Liberals barely have any presence in the letterbox, I don’t think Morrison’s visits matches a realistic assessment of their chances.

      As for his nomination address, I don’t see the benefit of him misleading (unlike someone pretending to live in the seat) – he’s been transparent about moving from Bellevue Hill to North Parramatta. If his nomination form has an old address as he’s just moved it’s probably a misunderstanding about when a change of address takes affect.

    29. Ben my question is if the nomination forms is not publicly available how would any one besides Mr Charlton know the addresses he put on it

    30. I hadn’t thought of that – but if the AFP *do* decide to actually take action on any of them, it might just be Lobo.

      Beaton and Charlton are registered at old addresses and just haven’t updated it, whereas Lobo actually put an address where he’s never lived (yet).

      This may also explain why the noise about Lobo has simmered along, whereas with Beaton it fizzled out pretty quick. Or maybe that’s just because Isaacs isn’t realistically really in the Libs’ sights.

    31. Yeah I think Morrison being here is more about showing his team he has a path to victory rather than a realistic chance of winning. It seems a lot of seats in Urban sydney are swinging to Labor so it would be strange for this labor leaning marginal to buck the trend.

    32. AEC have confirmed that Charlton didn’t make a misleading declaration, he just failed to update his details in time. Fine is $222 but rarely enforced.

      I’d assume Welch is in the same boat, possibly also Beaton.

      As opposed to Lobo, who made a false declaration and is looking at up to $12,000 fine or up to 12 months’ prison.

    33. I accept that Charlton’s actions were less egregious than Lobo’s. But this draws more unwanted attention to Charlton’s campaign, at a time when he’s struggling to convince locals to vote for an outsider. Parramatta residents s
      identify more as “westies” and not Sydneysiders. Having an outsider parachuted into a marginal seat by Labor HQ is borderline baffoonery. This seat is in my view a genuine toss-up.

    34. If Labor fall short of a majority and the Liberals do indeed win this then Owens will certainly have regretted her retirement. This is the wrong election for Labor to risk losing a sitting members personal vote.

    35. If an election which Labor was, and is, widely expected to win is considered the wrong time to retire, then there is no right time to retire. The only reason the Liberals have a sniff is thanks to the candidate selection.

    36. Owens has served Parramatta with distinction for almost two decades. Not good enough for you?

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