Bruce – Australia 2019

ALP 14.0%

Incumbent MP
Julian Hill, since 2016.

South-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Bruce covers northern parts of the Greater Dandenong and Casey council areas. Suburbs include Dandenong, Noble Park, Keysborough, Endeavour Hills and Hallam.

Bruce shifted quite a long way to the south-west, taking in Doveton, Eumemmerring, Hallam, Endeavour Hills, Lysterfield South and part of Narre Warren from Holt, and also took in part of Springvale South from Hotham and Noble Park from Isaacs. Bruce then lost Wheelers Hill and Mulgrave to Hotham, and Glen Waverley to Chisholm. These changes significantly increased the Labor margin from 4.1% to 14%.

The seat of Bruce has existed since the 1955 election. Prior to 1996 it was a relatively safe Liberal seat, but demographic and boundary changes have seen the seat become a marginal Labor seat.

The seat was first won in 1955 by Liberal candidate Billy Snedden. Snedden served as a Cabinet minister from 1964 to 1972, serving as Billy McMahon’s Treasurer from 1971 until the government’s defeat in 1972. Snedden was elected Leader of the Liberal Party, and served in the role for the first two years of the Whitlam government. He used the Coalition’s Senate majority to block the Whitlam government’s budget, triggering the 1974 election, which he lost.

Snedden lost the Liberal leadership in early 1975, and was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1976 after the election of the Fraser government. He served in the role for the entirety of the Fraser government, and after the defeat of the government in 1983 he retired from Parliament.

The 1983 Bruce by-election was won by the Liberal Party’s Ken Aldred. Aldred had previously held the seat of Henty from 1975 to 1980, when he was defeated. Aldred held Bruce until 1990, when he moved to the seat of Deakin, and held it until 1996.

Bruce was held by the Liberal Party’s Julian Beale from 1990 to 1996, when he lost to the ALP’s Alan Griffin. Griffin held Bruce for the next twenty years.

Griffin served as a shadow minister from 1998 to the election of the Rudd government in 2007, when he was appointed Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. He left the ministry after the 2010 election. Griffin retired in 2016.

Labor’s Julian Hill won Bruce in 2016.


Bruce has become a much safer seat in the redistribution. While the Liberal Party probably has room to grow in the areas moved in from Holt, it won’t be enough to seriously threaten Labor’s hold on the seat.

2016 result

Julian Hill Labor 36,80444.3+2.454.2
Helen Kroger Liberal 33,24840.1-2.930.3
Stefanie Bauer Greens 5,8907.1+0.56.5
Nathan FoggieFamily First2,8703.5+0.83.9
Douglas Ronald LeithAnimal Justice1,9442.3+2.31.9
Alan RoncanDrug Law Reform1,4401.7+1.70.8
Jill Jarvis-WillsRenewable Energy Party8161.0+1.00.4

2016 two-party-preferred result

Julian Hill Labor 44,89454.1+2.364.0
Helen Kroger Liberal 38,11845.9-2.336.0

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Bruce have been divided into three parts: central, east and west.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 64.5% in the east to 72.8% in the west.

Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes57.617,83219.4

Two-party-preferred votes in Bruce at the 2016 federal election

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  1. The changes are significant, but also very sensible. Most of the Greater Dandenong area is now united in a single seat, instead of being split 3-4 different ways. It has also improved the community of interest in seats like Chisholm and Isaacs.

    Endeavour Hills and parts of Dandenong North are a bit more middle class, but the rest of this seat is rock solid Labor. Nothing but a very safe ALP win on these boundaries.

  2. Looks like the pre-2004 Division of Holt minus Narre Warren South and Hampton Park and the addition of Lysterfield South

  3. I’m thinking that the Liberals must have thought there’d be nothing wrong with running people with section 44 issues in unwinnable seats, until they received advice that actually there was in fact a problem. So many late changes, all in unwinnable seats.


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