Division of Parkes

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This article is about the current federal electorate. For the previous electorate, see Division of Parkes (1901–69).
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of PARKES 2016.png
Division of Parkes in New South Wales, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1984
MP Mark Coulton
Party The Nationals
Namesake Sir Henry Parkes
Electors 107,445 (2016)
Area 393,413 km2 (151,897.6 sq mi)
Demographic Rural

The Division of Parkes is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The largest electorate in the state, it is located in the far north west of the state, adjoining the border with Queensland in the north and with South Australia in the west. The division is named after Sir Henry Parkes, seventh Premier of New South Wales and sometimes known as the 'Father of Federation'. The division was proclaimed at the redistribution of 11 October 1984, and was first contested at the 1984 federal election.

Its largest population centre is Dubbo. It also includes the towns of Mudgee, Ilford, Dunedoo, Gulgong, Coonabarabran, Coonamble, Walgett, Narrabri, Moree, Warren, Nyngan, Cobar and Bourke. The division does not include the namesake town of Parkes.

The current Member for Parkes, since the 2007 federal election, is Mark Coulton, a member of the National Party of Australia.[1] It is currently the safest seat in Australia for any party, with a 22-point swing needed for Labor to win it.


The former Division of Parkes (1901-69) was located in suburban Sydney, and was not related to this division, except in name.

The seat is currently a safe Nationals seat. It was substantially changed by the 2006 redistribution and is now considered by many observers as the successor to the abolished Division of Gwydir. As a result, the then member for Parkes, John Cobb, instead contested the Division of Calare.

According to the 2011 census, approximately 78 per cent of the population within the division identify as Christian,[2] more than any other electorate in Australia at that time.[3]


Member Party Term
  Michael Cobb National 1984–1998
  Tony Lawler National 1998–2001
  John Cobb National 2001–2007
  Mark Coulton National 2007–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2013: Parkes[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Mark Coulton 58,020 64.01 +4.78
Labor Brendan Byron 18,850 20.80 −0.46
Palmer United Neil Gorman 6,724 7.42 +7.42
Greens Matt Parmeter 4,691 5.18 −0.42
Christian Democrats Michelle Ryan 2,354 2.60 +2.60
Total formal votes 90,639 94.26 −0.72
Informal votes 5,519 5.74 +0.72
Turnout 96,158 94.36 +0.04
Two-party-preferred result
National Mark Coulton 65,575 72.35 +3.49
Labor Brendan Byron 25,064 27.65 −3.49
National hold Swing +3.49


  1. ^ Murray, Robyn (1 February 2013). "Candidates welcome September election". Mudgee Guardian (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Parkes, NSW (Commonwealth Electoral Division)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Percentage religion Christian". Mumble census gallery. Peter Brent. 16 June 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "NSW Division - Parkes, NSW". Virtual Tally Room, Election 2013. Australian Electoral Commission. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°53′13″S 147°22′23″E / 30.887°S 147.373°E / -30.887; 147.373