Goldstein – Australia 2019

LIB 12.7%

Incumbent MP
Tim Wilson, since 2016.

Inner southern suburbs of Melbourne. Goldstein covers the entirety of Bayside council area and parts of Glen Eira. Key suburbs include Sandringham, Brighton, Hampton,  Beaumaris, Ormond and Bentleigh.

No change.

Goldstein was first created in 1984, but is considered a successor to the previous Division of Balaclava, which existed from the first federal election in 1901 until its abolition in 1984. The two seats have a perfect record of having never been won by the Labor Party, and they have been held continously by the Liberal Party and its predecessors since the two non-Labor parties merged in 1909.

Balaclava was first won in 1901 by Protectionist candidate George Turner. Turner had been Premier of Victoria from 1894 to 1899 and again from 1900 until early in 1901, and was the state MP for St Kilda. Turner was Treasurer in Edmund Barton’s first federal government. He won re-election as a Protectionist in 1903 but he accepted the role of Treasurer in George Reid’s Free Trade government in 1904, which effectively saw him switch parties. Turner retired in 1906.

Balaclava was won in 1906 by Independent Protectionist candidate Agar Wynne. Wynne was a former minister in Victorian colonial governments. He joined the newly created Commonwealth Liberal Party in 1909 and served in Joseph Cook’s government from 1913 to 1914. Wynne did not run for re-election in 1914, although he returned to Victorian state politics from 1917 to 1920 and briefly served as a state minister.

Balaclava was won in 1914 by Liberal candidate William Watt. Watt had been Premier of Victoria from 1912 to 1914, and became a federal minister in 1917 as part of the new Nationalist government led by former Labor prime minister Billy Hughes. Watt was appointed Treasurer in 1918 and served as Acting Prime Minister when Hughes traveled to the Versailles peace conference in 1919.

Watt, however, fell out with Hughes upon his return. He was appointed as a representative of the Australian government at a conference on reparations, but Hughes’ constant meddling led him to resign as Treasurer and return to Australia as a backbencher.

Watt was one of a small group of rebel Liberals who ran as the Liberal Union party in 1922, and won re-election. They rejoined the Nationalists after Hughes was replaced by Stanley Bruce, and Watt became Speaker, serving in the role until 1926. He retired from Balaclava in 1929.

Watt’s retirement triggered a by-election, which was won by Nationalist candidate Thomas White. White served as a minister in the Lyons government from 1933 to 1938, and served as a minister from the election of the Menzies government in 1949 until his resignation in 1951.

Balaclava was won at the 1951 by-election by Liberal candidate Percy Joske. He held the seat until his resignation in 1960, when he was appointed as a judge on the Commonwealth Industrial Court. The 1960 by-election was won by Ray Whittorn, also from the Liberal Party. He held the seat until his retirement at the 1974 election.

Balaclava was won in 1974 by Ian Macphee, who served as a minister in the Fraser government from 1976 to 1983. In 1984, the seat of Balaclava was abolished and replaced by the seat of Goldstein, and Macphee won the new seat.

Macphee was a Liberal moderate, and took Andrew Peacock’s side in his conflict with John Howard throughout the 1980s. Macphee served as a shadow minister under Peacock, but was sacked in 1987 by Howard. He was defeated for preselection before the 1990 election by right-wing candidate David Kemp.

Kemp won Goldstein in 1990, and immediately went onto the opposition frontbench. Kemp joined the ministry upon the election of the Howard government in 1996, and served as a minister until three months before his retirement in 2004.

Goldstein was won in 2004 by the Liberal Party’s Andrew Robb, who had been the party’s Federal Director at the 1996 election. Robb was re-elected four times before retiring in 2016.

Robb was succeeded in 2016 by Tim Wilson, a former Human Rights Commissioner.


Goldstein is a reasonably safe Liberal seat.

2016 result

Tim Wilson Liberal 52,69456.3-0.2
Matthew Ross Coote Labor 20,46621.9-2.0
Cheryl Hercus Greens 14,87115.90.0
Naren ChellappahAnimal Justice2,2222.4+2.4
Lee KavanaghDrug Law Reform1,7381.9+1.9
Trevor BishopFamily First1,5491.7+0.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

Tim Wilson Liberal 58,62862.7+1.7
Matthew Ross Coote Labor 34,91237.3-1.7

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas. Polling places in Bayside City have been split into three areas. From north to south, these are Brighton, Sandringham and Beaumaris. Booths in Glen Eira council area have been grouped together.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 55% in Glen Eira to 67.9% in Brighton.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 14.8% in Beaumaris to 19.5% in Sandringham.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Glen Eira16.755.018,58319.9
Other votes14.066.018,82620.1

Election results in Goldstein at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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  1. Greens could take 2nd with some effort, but it wouldn’t really amount to much. They couldn’t get up on Bayside council in 2016.

    There are disgruntled Liberal voters that would be happy to vote Green but not Labor; the question is how many.

  2. Wilson’s countertrend increased vote illustrates what a brake Robb was on the LIB vote !. That man was in serious need of a personality implant.

  3. Predicting a lot more interest in this one, as I presume Labor might have polled a majority at the state level here. Still can’t see Libs being in serious danger but big swing is likely.

  4. I don’t think state Labor would have scored a majority in Goldstein. Brighton, Sandringham and Caulfield all looked promising for Labor on election night, but all have ended up in the Liberal column. Additionally, the strongest (by far) Labor part of Brighton – Elwood – falls outside Goldstein.

    Labor ran up the score in Bentleigh. But only half of it falls within Goldstein. Almost certainly not enough to outweigh the rest.

  5. Didn’t the Howard era conclusively prove that the whole “overlap state results onto federal seats” thing is bollocks?

    Western Sydney, east/south-east Melbourne, Gold Coast and Brisbane, and regional NSW/Qld were happy to elect Labor state governments in landslides, while simultaneously voting for Howard time and time again.

  6. Tim has gained some extra publicity now which does not sit well……… conflict of interest?
    Also Daniel think the Vic result was something like 52% liberal measuring the state electorates of Brighton and Sandringham

  7. Tim Wilson has a hide setting up a website to whinge about the billions of dollars being gifted to the already wealthy
    if one Liberal MP should be turfed out it should be Wilson

  8. Watson Watch
    Thanks for the link. It has been a long time since i have read an article where i could only find ONE THING to agree with !!. Amazingly the Whole article is full of obvious lies, mistruths, , & complete fantasies. I haven’t read something so totally false, misleading, & fraudulent since (i read) the Statutory Declaration of the scumbag i sued !!. How completely stupid. Elizabeth Farrelly is a delusional fool. Anyone that believes much of what she has written, has a lot to learn.

  9. The Phantom Bantam
    Clearly you don’t understand Labor’s stupid plans to expropriate millions of dollars (it won’t be billions) from the vulnerable. Read my post in the McMahon thread. Think about this: I DON’T want these excremental fools to DROP this policy. When people see , experience, & comprehend the devastation this madness will do, they will go bananas. I have said this before. It is just DUMB POLICY.

  10. Unions claim they have polling that says Labor are ahead 52-48 in this seat. I can’t stand Tim Wilson but you would have to think this seat would be a long shot for Labor.

    However there is photo doing the rounds with a Tim Wilson corflute which labels him as a ‘modern Liberal’ which is unsual. It seems Wilson is trying to distance himself from the Liberal brand. Reports suggest Liberals preferncing One Nation is toxic with moderate voters in Victoria. LNP are digging their heels in Queensland suggesting they will be prepared to do a deal which is worrying for Victorian Liberals.

    This seat is one to keep an eye on.

  11. THE Worse thing for ALP is when Mick Quinlivan comes on and tips your side. I think he was batting 0/24 out of the recent NSW election. Get on the opposite to what he’s on, and you’ll make some good cash!!

  12. Labor have preselected a young candidate – Daniel Pollock.

    I actually think this seat is 50/50 and could go either way.

  13. Mick Quinlan
    IPA have been around a lot longer than Gina Rhinehart. Any one who wants to see the extremities of market worshipping should look at IPA site

  14. Political Nightwatchman – neither ON nor any other minor party or independent will see any preferences from either Liberal or Labor as these two parties will be the last candidates standing in Goldstein and 99% of all electorates. The thing is the major parties want all minor parties, regardless of their platform, to preference one major party ahead of the other. The media preference deal talk is just a lot of hot air about nothing.

  15. on Vic state figures this would be close. but don’t think this will see Mr Wilson defeated as the area is too wealthy to do otherwise….. although Tim with his bogus franking credits is trying hard to trash the liberal brand . links to ipa are like a green candidate with links to the Socialist workers’ party…. unhelpful to say the least

  16. Whilst I don’t see this seat falling; I do think that it could end up being a closer contest than Kooyong despite the margin. Part may come down to sitting member factors although this is far less a factor in suburban Federal seats vs their state counterparts or regional seats as Frydenberg is distinctly more personable than Wilson.

    Whilst its dangerous to assume that state swings will automatically carry over to their Federal equivalents; the reality is that ALL of the state seats in Goldstein swung savagely at the last state election whereas in Kooyong, we had significant variance from savage in parts to muted in others. This hints that as long as the current boundaries don’t shift, Kooyong will retain a “welded on” Lib core that will remain immovable thus rendering it virtually unlosable and even then most likely to a conservative aligned candidate.

    Again, I DON’T think this seat will fall but it may be worth watching if the Govt remains “on the nose” by election time.

  17. His inquiry was bogus it was a misuse of tax payers funds.he did not advise of his links to Wilson funds management his relative and he sollicted submissions in a underhanded way tilted in one direction only ……

  18. As a long time liberal voter I’m disgusted at where the Liberal Party has gone over the last few years with the strong and revolting personalities/policies of Dutton/Abbott et al. The carry on over disposing Malcom Turnbull was a joke. I don’t agree with the Labor policies but the current Liberals are too much like they are following the American playbook (who would want to follow that train wreck down the s bend? ) The Greens have no economic policy and can not be taken as a contender (even though the environment is important) In the state election I voted independent but this will not be likely for the Federal. Might have to be Labor knowing they won’t get in in this safe seat.

  19. Greens have preselected former 3 Term MLC Sue Pennicuik. An extremely well qualified candidate with the potential to be high profile, but she’s more or less running dead.

    A big mistake to neglect this campaign, especially with that candidate.

    There are no high profile independents and this is the sort of area where small-l Liberals might be reconsidering their lifelong voting patterns, and Wilson had a major scandal.

    Liberal retain but it didn’t have to be

  20. Unless it’s particularly bad (as in Bronwyn Bishop bad), the effect of scandal is massively overstated. I was personally convinced that a the nearby MP for Miranda was going to suffer a mammoth swing due to multiple scandals, poor electorate work and near-zero visibility. In the end, she had a 2% swing towards her. I think Wilson’s so-called scandal was a total beat-up and will be viewed as such in the electorate.

    Point is, Labor nor the Greens never had any chance here. It was simply media hype to make previously safe seats competitive IMO. There’s a reason *why* seats are safe, have lived through the different factional alignment of MPs and party leaders with no trouble.

  21. John – the nice Sue Pennicuik ran dead as a MLC for most of her 3 terms. We hardly heard from her in Southern Metropolitan state region in all those years.

  22. This will definitely be a Liberal retain but the margin will be cut to about 5-6% with a significant swing due to the anti-Liberal mood across inner south-east Melbourne in particular at this moment in time.

  23. The wacky Christian Liberal candidate for Wills has been dis-endorsed for stupid comments about Tim Wilson. Tim is one Liberal most likely to retain his seat on 18 Apr 19 unlike others.


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