Monash – Australia 2019

LIB 7.5%

Incumbent MP
Russell Broadbent, member for McMillan since 2004. Previously member for Corinella 1990-1993, member for McMillan 1996-1998.

South-eastern Victoria. McMillan covers parts of Victoria stretching from the south-eastern fringe of Melbourne to the Latrobe Valley. The seat stretches from Western Port in the west to Moe in the east, and stretches down to the coast. McMillan covers the entirety of Bass Coast and South Gippsland council areas, most of Baw Baw council area and parts of Cardinia and Latrobe council areas. The seat covers the towns of Warragul, Moe, Wonthaggi, Leongatha and Foster.

Monash is a new name for the seat of McMillan. The seat expanded to take in the eastern shore of Western Port from Flinders, while Pakenham was transferred from McMillan to La Trobe. Monash also lost Yallourn North to Gippsland. These changes increased the Liberal margin from 6% to 7.5%.

McMillan was first created in 1949. The seat has mostly been held by conservative parties, although since the 1980s the ALP has won the seat on a number of occasions.

The seat was first won by Geoffrey Brown of the Liberal Party in 1949. Brown won a three-cornered contest on Country Party preferences. The Country Party occasionally would contest the seat throughout the 1950s and 1960s, but never managed to overtake the Liberal Party. Brown was reelected in 1951 and 1954 but died in 1955 before the election.

The seat was won at the 1955 election by Alexander Buchanan, also a Liberal. Buchanan held the seat for seventeen years without taking ministerial office before losing the Liberal Party’s endorsement in 1972.

Buchanan stood as an independent in 1972, and preferences from the DLP and Buchanan allowed Country Party candidate Arthur Hewson to leapfrog the official Liberal candidate and defeat the ALP candidate on Liberal preferences.

Hewson was reelected in a fierce contest in 1974, when the Liberals stood Ronald Dent against him despite a coalition agreement, and Hewson narrowly defeated Dent on primary votes before overtaking the ALP on preferences.

Hewson was defeated by Liberal candidate Barry Simon in 1975, and the Nationals never came close to winning McMillan again. Simon held the seat until 1980, when the ALP’s Barry Cunningham won it.

Cunningham held the seat throughout the 1980s, losing to John Riggall (LIB) in 1990. Riggall was defeated by Cunningham in 1993, and Cunningham was defeated by Russell Broadbent in 1996.

Broadbent had previously held the neighbouring seat of Corinella for one term from 1990 to 1993, and Corinella had been abolished at the 1996 election.

Broadbent was again defeated in 1998 by Christian Zahra, a 25-year-old ALP candidate. Zahra was made a shadow Parliamentary Secretary after the 2001 election, and was considered to have a promising career, before losing to Broadbent in 2004.

Broadbent managed to win re-election in 2007 after developing a reputation for rebelling against the Howard government’s immigration policies, and won again in 2010, 2013 and 2016.


Monash is a reasonably safe Liberal seat.

2016 result

Russell Broadbent Liberal 48,30447.9-2.549.9
Chris Buckingham Labor 29,53129.3+4.227.8
Donna Lancaster Greens 9,8109.7+2.110.1
Nathan HardingFamily First3,4183.4+1.42.7
Jennifer McadamAnimal Justice3,0223.0+3.03.0
Norman BakerRise Up Australia2,7862.8+2.12.8
Jim McdonaldLiberal Democrats2,2892.3+2.31.8
Kathleen IpsenAustralian Christians1,7611.7+1.71.4

2016 two-party-preferred result

Russell Broadbent Liberal 56,54356.0-5.857.5
Chris Buckingham Labor 44,37844.0+5.842.5

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five areas, which reflect local government boundaries.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in four out of five areas, ranging from 50.6% in Bass Coast to 66.2% in Cardinia. Labor polled 63.1% in Latrobe.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 5.3% in Cardinia to 14.3% in Bass Coast.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Baw Baw9.860.416,20917.9
South Gippsland12.563.513,85215.3
Bass Coast14.350.610,02611.1
Other votes9.258.613,15414.5

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

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  1. The main story here is the gradual decline of Labor’s vote in the Latrobe Valley. Even a decade ago, those Moe/Newborough booths were around 70% Labor. In 2016, Labor got a solid swing in all those booths, but they’re still 5-10% weaker than what they were before.

    Without Moe coming through for them, Labor don’t have much chance of overcoming the strongly conservative nature of the rest of the seat.

  2. There’s a huge swing waiting for Labor in that central corridor if they do any policy towards Leongatha rail – as with the state seat of Bass, which they might be targeting this election (to make up for Greens and potential losses elsewhere).

    But Mark Mulcair’s main demographic point is right.

  3. This seat has changed dramatically since it was last held by Labor, in fact its hard to see Labor winning this even on the high end of a swing.

    I’d also be interested to see if the Nats run whenever Broadbent retires, of which their is quite a bit of naturally National territory here

  4. Ben, 2 errors you spelt Russell Broadb*e*nt wrong, its bent not bant, and in the assessment you said its a reasonably safe Labor seat instead of Liberal

  5. Russell Broadbent, Sensible Moderate liberal, In 2007 this was a key seat, But there was a minimal swing here, (Thanks to Broadbent) If he had retired in 2007 this would have fell Labor, Will stay Liberal as long as a conservative isn’t the Liberal Nominee.

  6. not much of the Latrobe valley in this seat now……… Mr Broadbent clearly has a personal vote….. I suspect he will only stay one more at the most but with Parkenham out probably a regular non labour seat

  7. Pakenham has now been shifted into neighbouring La Trobe, so probable Liberal retain as Broadbent is a moderate liberal with high personal vote. This seat did not fall in 2007 or 2010 federal election either and the boundaries then were different.

  8. McMillan was a key seat in 2004 where it was thought Labor might overcome a hostile redistribution with the advantage of incumbency. That proved not to be.

    By 2007, McMillan was merely a second tier contest. Despite a comfortable win at the 2006 state election, Labor unexpectedly lost Narracan and Morwell. Indication that west Gippsland was now pretty difficult terrain. That, more than Broadbent’s personal vote, explained the negligible swing at the 2007 federal election.

  9. suspect Broadbent has a big personal vote maybe 5%…….. the boundaries probably make this a liberal seat even if he retired


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