Division of Macnamara

Coordinates: 37°51′36″S 144°58′48″E / 37.86000°S 144.98000°E / -37.86000; 144.98000
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Australian House of Representatives Division
Location of Macnamara (dark green) in Greater Melbourne, Victoria
MPJosh Burns
NamesakeDame Jean Macnamara
Electors108,089 (2022)
Area40 km2 (15.4 sq mi)
DemographicInner metropolitan
Coordinates37°51′36″S 144°58′48″E / 37.86000°S 144.98000°E / -37.86000; 144.98000

The Division of Macnamara is an Australian Electoral Division in the state of Victoria, which was contested for the first time at the 2019 federal election. The division is named in honour of Dame Jean Macnamara, a medical researcher and doctor who specialised in the polio virus and was involved in children's health initiatives.

The current member is Josh Burns of the Australian Labor Party, who has represented the division since the 2019 Australian federal election.


Since 1984, federal electoral division boundaries in Australia have been determined at redistributions by a redistribution committee appointed by the Australian Electoral Commission. Redistributions occur for the boundaries of divisions in a particular state, and they occur every seven years, or sooner if a state's representation entitlement changes or when divisions of a state are malapportioned.[1]


The Division of Macnamara was created in 2018 after the Australian Electoral Commission oversaw a mandatory redistribution of divisions in Victoria.[2] Macnamara is located in most of what was previously the Division of Melbourne Ports, which it replaced in the redistribution.[3] The division is located in Melbourne's south around the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay and takes in the suburbs of Port Melbourne, Albert Park, Balaclava, Caulfield, Elwood, Middle Park, Ripponlea, Southbank, South Melbourne and St Kilda, as well as parts of Glen Huntly and Elsternwick.[4] It also includes the suburb of Windsor, which had previously been located in the neighbouring division of Higgins.[3]

The seat was notionally held by the Labor Party on a 1.3% margin over the Liberal Party.[3] Its predecessor, Melbourne Ports, had been held by Labor without interruption since 1906, and for over 80 years had been one of Labor's safest seats. However, Labor's hold on the seat became increasingly tenuous after a 1990 redistribution added some wealthier territory around Caulfield. Further analysis identified that the margin between the Labor Party and the Greens had narrowed to less than 0.3% as a result of recent boundary adjustments.[5]

The last member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, opted not to contest the election for the new Macnamara.

The 2022 election in Macnamara was a very close race between Labor's new candidate Josh Burns and the Greens' candidate Steph Hodgins-May. After days of counting, Josh Burns narrowly won the seat, which also narrowly secured Labor a majority in the House of Representatives.

If just another 0.7% of voters had preferenced the Greens above Labor, Steph Hodgins-May would have won Macnamara. The two-party-preferred is not necessarily a useful metric in this instance, as it may give the false impression the seat is held by Labor on a very safe margin, and that the Liberal Party were Labor's primary opponents in the seat.


Macnamara is undergoing rapid inner-city gentrification and contains high-density housing developments. It is notable for its high Jewish population, which has given an edge to Labor in federal elections.[6] The incumbent MP, Josh Burns, is himself the grandson of Jewish migrants who left Europe and settled in Melbourne in search of a safe place to raise their families.[6]


Image Member Party Term Notes
  Josh Burns
Labor 18 May 2019

Election results[edit]

2022 Australian federal election: Macnamara[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Josh Burns 29,552 31.77 +0.93
Greens Steph Hodgins-May 27,587 29.65 +5.46
Liberal Colleen Harkin 26,976 29.00 −9.72
United Australia Jane Hickey 2,062 2.22 +1.01
Liberal Democrats Rob McCathie 1,946 2.09 +2.09
Independent John Myers 1,835 1.97 +1.97
Animal Justice Ben Schultz 1,724 1.85 −0.08
One Nation Debera Anne 1,349 1.45 +1.45
Total formal votes 93,031 96.57 +0.36
Informal votes 3,302 3.43 −0.36
Turnout 96,333 87.10 −2.84
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Josh Burns 57,911 62.25 +7.34
Liberal Colleen Harkin 35,120 37.75 −7.34
Labor hold Swing +7.34
Primary vote results in Melbourne Ports/Macnamara (Parties that did not get 5% of the vote are omitted)
  Australian Democrats
Two-candidate-preferred results in Melbourne Ports/Macnamara


  1. ^ Muller, Damon (14 November 2017). "The process of federal redistributions: a quick guide". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  2. ^ "Names and boundaries of federal electoral divisions in Victoria decided". Australian Electoral Commission. 20 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "2017–18 Federal Redistributions – Victoria". ABC Elections. 20 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Map: Division of Macnamara" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission.
  5. ^ "Victorian redistribution 2018 – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Macnamara (Key Seat) - Federal Electorate, Candidates, Results". abc.net.au. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  7. ^ Macnamara, VIC, 2022 Tally Room, Australian Electoral Commission.

External links[edit]