Bentleigh – Victoria 2018

ALP 0.8%

Incumbent MP
Nick Staikos, since 2014.

Geography
Southern Melbourne. Bentleigh covers the suburbs of Bentleigh, Bentleigh East, Brighton East, McKibbin and Moorabbin. Most of the electorate is contained in southern parts of the City of Glen Eira, as well as small parts of the Bayside and Kingston council areas.

History
Bentleigh was first created prior to the 1967 election. In thirteen elections, Bentleigh has been won by the party that formed government eleven times.

Bentleigh was first won in 1967 by the Liberal Party’s Bob Suggett, who had previously held the seat of Moorabbin since 1955. He held the seat until his defeat in 1979 by the ALP’s Gordon Hockley.

Hockley was re-elected in 1982 and 1985, and retired in 1988, when he was succeeded by the ALP’s Ann Barker.

Barker held the seat for only one term, losing Bentleigh in 1992 to the Liberal Party’s Inga Peulich. Peulich held Bentleigh for three terms, losing her seat in 2002. She later won a Legislative Council seat in the South Eastern Metropolitan region in 2006.

Bentleigh was won in 2002 by the ALP’s Rob Hudson, who had previously been an advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe and Premier Steve Bracks.

Hudson was re-elected in 2006, and lost his seat in 2010 to Liberal candidate Elizabeth Miller. Miller served one term, losing in 2014 to Labor’s Nick Staikos.

Candidates

Assessment
Bentleigh is a very marginal Labor seat, and could be vulnerable to the Liberal Party if they are doing well in the polls.

2014 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Elizabeth Miller Liberal 16,66945.9-1.4
Nick Staikos Labor 14,02538.6+0.1
Sean Mulcahy Greens 3,84210.6-0.4
Ross James MccawleySex Party6881.9+1.9
David ClarkFamily First4511.2+0.2
Chandra OjhaIndependent2710.7+0.7
Sofia TelemzouguerPeople Power/No Smart Meters2600.7+0.7
Kelley MoldovanRise Up Australia1240.3+0.3
Informal2,0105.2

2014 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Nick Staikos Labor 18,44950.8+1.7
Elizabeth Miller Liberal 17,88149.2-1.7

Booth breakdown

Booths in Bentleigh have been divided into three parts: North, South-East and South-West.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 51.4% in the south-east to 52.4% in the north.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 9.7% in the south-east to 12% in the south-west.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
North10.352.410,52829.0
South-East9.751.46,55918.1
South-West12.052.36,22917.1
Other votes9.946.15,90916.3
Pre-poll11.249.97,10519.6

Election results in Bentleigh at the 2014 Victorian state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Bentleigh is one of two seats in Victoria (the other being Bendigo East) are solid lib voters at a federal election and lean ALP at a state election. The other thing to remember with a very large Jewish community the above figures overstate the ALP position but so show the ALP needs to win at least 51.5% of the booths to realistically hold the seat.

    From living living in the electorate; Very impressive liberal candidate will be close but suspect it may come down to whether the ALP or the Libs are higher on the ballot paper. So to early to call, that said I’d rather be in the Libs shoes that the ALP’s shoes. No sign of the ALP here at all.

  2. Across the hotly contested “sand belt” in 2014, the Liberals were able to keep the swing 2-3 points below the statewide average in Bentleigh, Carrum and Frankston. In the fourth, Mordialloc, the swing was bang on the state average.

    The incumbency factors are reversed in 2018, so there’s a good likelihood that Labor will overperform in the sand belt this time. With the poll position of the Andrews govt still healthy, that bodes well for the four incumbents.

    At federal level the margin in Bentleigh may be a bit flabby, being mostly contained inside safe Liberal Goldstein.

  3. Liberals seem to be pushing the law & order issue front and centre really hard here, which is strange for such a low crime electorate, one of the safest in the state.

    I drove down North Road today and there was a massive billboard up that said “Labor cut police in Bentleigh – Crime is up 58%” with an image of an old man with a bashed face. Neither of those claims are true, and using images like that to try to make a community feel scared, particularly a safe one that has no reason to, is just shamelessly dishonest and disgraceful. Surely it has to be illegal to blatantly lie on advertising material?

    It would probably be in Labor’s best interest to counter those billboards by advertising that police numbers are actually up and crime is actually down by 14% in Glen Eira, 4% in Bayside and 4.5% in Kingston – the 3 councils covered by the electorate – with the sources quoted (something conspicuously lacking on all the Lib candidate’s materials).

  4. Trent, I think you’ll find Labor has been talking about increased police numbers and lower crime rates ad nauseum, but the Libs locked in on the high crime scare campaign a good three years ago and they’re not going to let facts get in the way of that with less than two months to go.

    Staikos has had some good wins here with schools and level crossings. I’d expect this seat to go with whoever wins government.

  5. The Independent candidate – Oscar Lobo seems to have strong support. Driving through Bentleigh, he has large signs in many front yards in prominent locations.

    May out poll the Greens for 3rd.

  6. A poll conducted last week of 531 respondents in Bentleigh, commissioned by an environmental group and reported by The Guardian, had Labor with a primary vote of 43% (+5% swing) and the Liberals with a primary vote of only 33% (-12% swing).

    The same poll was also conducted in the marginal seats of Prahran & Richmond.

    I was a respondent in this poll (from Prahran) and can confirm that while the environmental questions were certainly framed as a push poll, the voting intention was not. The two voting intention questions (first PV and then 2PP) were the first two questions asked, without being contextualised by any of the environmental questions.

  7. Unfortunately it wasn’t in the report I read. The report was linked to from Poll Bludger and was basically a summary of “highlights” which included some primary votes and some further selected information such as 5% of voters being undecided, but then mostly reported on the responses to the questions about logging & national parks.

  8. Trent,
    The report in the Guardian doesn’t give figures for Bentleigh, so I’m interested to hear where you got them from. It also looks as if the 500 voters are polled across the seats of Richmond, Prahran and Bentleigh.

    Source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/02/the-victorian-election-roundup-how-logging-policy-could-fell-labor

    “Voters in the key Labor-Green marginal seats of Richmond and Prahran do not support logging of state forests and only one in four think the Andrews government is doing enough to protect forests, a poll has found.

    The ReachTell poll, produced for the Goongerah Environment Centre, canvassed about 500 voters per seat in Richmond, where Labor only has a 1.14% margin against the Greens; Prahran, held by the Greens on just 0.37%; and Bentleigh, held by Labor on an 0.78% margin against the Liberal party.

    It put the primary vote for the Greens at 32.1% in Richmond and 21.4% in Prahran, against an ALP primary vote of 40.6 and 34.2% respectively. The Liberal primary vote in Prahran, a three-corner contest, was 31.9%
    T
    he Greens have been campaigning heavily against native forest logging as one of its strongest points of difference with Labor.

    Only 4% of respondents in Prahran said they thought state forests should be a place for logging and wood chipping, compared to 7.3% in Richmond.”

  9. Hi Sandbelter, there was a link in the Poll Bludger article to the report:

    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/gecoforests/pages/2256/attachments/original/1541122773/Polling_notes_-_October_2018_Prahran_Bentleigh_Richmond.pdf

    It has about 1.5 pages for each of the 3 electorates but unfortunately doesn’t break provide the full results still. For Bentleigh it only says:

    “This poll shows Labor attracting 43% of the first preference vote, and the Liberals 33%; 5% of Bentleigh voters say they are undecided; 7% of voters aged 51-65 are undecided”

    For Prahran it doesn’t even give the primary votes, it only says:
    “Undecided vote is at 8.8%; 50% of undecided female voters are leaning towards the Liberals”

    But The Guardian article outlined the primary votes for Prahran & Richmond, so I assume The Guardian has seen the full results but only published some.

    Putting the two published sources (Guardian and that report) together it means we have the following:
    – Richmond: Just Greens & ALP primary votes
    – Prahran: Greens, ALP & Liberal primary votes + undecided vote
    – Bentleigh: ALP & Liberal primary votes + undecided vote

    No 2PPs unfortunately. The Poll Bludger post did say that he planned to chase up further information on the count from that poll, so hopefully that will be updated because the results are pretty interesting and the fact that Prahran’s results almost exactly mirror the previous poll means there may be some accuracy to them.

  10. Liberal candidate Asher Judah isn’t impressive at all. At the Bentleigh meet the candidates forum, Asher was just pushing the labor rorts agenda and making it up as he went. He doesn’t live in the electorate and he claims that he knows what Bentleigh people want. Running a false campaign where he says crime is up in Bentleigh and that labor cut police, more lies.

  11. No he’s a dud. A quick look at his facebook page shows him posting pretty much the same thing every day and the comments are 90% negative and 10% support. When people ask for sources or stats, he has actually replied with his same original point but in a meme instead of text. He’s clearly not winning anybody over, and focusing so hard on crime in one of the safest parts of the state is a huge misfire.

    Given how poor Asher Judah and his campaign have been, I wouldn’t be surprised if that huge swing in last week’s poll has some truth to it and Staikos could be returned with a significantly increased margin.

  12. This one shouldn’t even be close just based on how absolutely awful the Liberal candidate is, one of the worst running in the whole state. His incompetence is getting some wide coverage too, the ABC website’s Victorian Election section even had a story fact checking (and picking to pieces) his scare campaign. The funniest part was that he actually shared it on Facebook, trying to say that it confirmed his claims!! Putting a deceiving spin on crime stats is one thing but it’s pretty audacious to then try to put a deceiving spin on a Fact Check article debunking his dodgy crime stats!

    It seems to be pretty common knowledge that he’s not from the electorate either. He was unsuccessful in the Sandringham preselection to tried his luck in Bentleigh. And when people online have questioned quotes from his past with the Property Council of Australia which blatantly contradict his anti-development stance now, he actually responds with “That was my last job, all that matters is what I say now as a candidate”.

    I’d be very concerned about what’s in the water in Bentleigh if Asher Judah gets elected..!

  13. Asher Judah went to Mckinnon secondary college and has a strong backing in the Jewish community, which is numerically not far behind East St Kilda and Caulfield. The recent attack by an extremist on parole will go down badly with these voters
    Since the 1950’s Bentleigh has never voted an ALP member to parliament when the DLP has stood, East Bentleigh is one of the largest Catholic parish east of the Yarra, and it’s predominantly but not exclusively Irish catholic making it receptive to the DLP.
    The libs have the donkey vote this time, as per my post of 21/8/18
    38% ALP primary (and it fell in 2014) means it’s all about preferences and the Greens have had a bad election, the ALP could increase their primary and still lose the seat due to preference flows.
    Finally, over time I’ve noticed a direct correlation between property price growth influencing the “Am I better off” feeling which in turn translates into vote swing. The current downturn is structural, has only started is late enough to get the ALP home, but is early enough to stymie the landslide you would have expected. It will destroy the Federal & NSW governments election chances in 2019. the western suburbs are feeling it the hardest, the marginals in the south east less so, but development intense areas in Banyule and Glen Eira have been severely hit. It’s making people nervous.

    Why I think the ALP might just make it home is the Mc Kinnon secondary College second campus in Virginia Park which is vote winner, as is the ambulance station in Bentleigh East and with the ALP you know it will get done. which why I’m not calling for the libs. If the libs had re stood Elizabeth Miller, they would have won easily.

    By the way Trent (and i’m saying this as nice as possible), I’ll think about “dodgy crime stats” when I walk to the IGA where I’ll walk past a point reminding me this is the point where 9 months age a 14 year school girl fought off an attacker trying to drag her into a car on her way to school and was rescued by a passing tradie, When I get to the IGA I’ll stand in a queue for a cashier as half the automatic check outs were destroyed two weeks ago in a ram raid and emptied of their cash. I’ll walk home along East Boundary road as much for the exercise but that will take me past a house that Apex raided (who are the bikies youth outreach program btw) and bashed up the inhabitants at 3am looking for somebody who was on the run. When I’ll get to my street I’ll check my car and make sure it’s locked, why because not only is regular car break-in’s a new phenomenon is our area so is homeless people sleeping in them. Last one was two weeks ago with the police arresting the offender. So what dodgy crime stats are we talking about…..because I have never seen such crime in this area before in my life.

    I’m kind of reminded of my Chisholm posts at the last federal election where I didn’t share everyones conviction the ALP would win the seat. I think it will be close in Bentleigh which is the only seat in the sandbelt I think is still doubtful, but I’m not calling it for the libs yet…. as I think to biggest swing to the ALP will be in Frankston (as the Geoff Shaw effect unwinds) dissipating as you get closer to the city. I also remembering seeing posts in 2014 about Mulgrave being a double digit ALP hold post election which frankly was never going to happen. So this time I’m speaking my mind and I’m not being anti ALP in my view point

    I do think the ALP will win overall, I expect regional seats to swing to the libs with the one to watch being Bendigo East along with the seats that were notionally liberal in 2014 but had an ALP incumbent member, ALP (except yan yean). ALP to well against the Greens and may even pull Northcote back into the fold. Prahran is anyone’s guess. Best ALP chance of a win from the libs/NP are Morwell and/or Bass, my pick is Bass for a ALP gain. It wouldn’t surprise me if very few seats change but it become harder for the libs to win in 2022 as they’ll need 52-53% 2PP for a majority due to independents. I expect the ALP’s weakest performance to be Oakleigh, to hold Geelong, Pascoe Vale don’t know but gut feel is to probably hold. but Bentleigh, Prahran, Morwell and Pascoe Vale could go anyway.

  14. Interesting analysis overall.

    Regarding the dodgy crime stats, not disputing that those crimes aren’t terrible but specifically in relation to Asher Judah, the statistics he is quoting are making the following mistakes:
    – He is comparing 2018 to the *second last* year of Liberal stats, not the last year, which is very significant because the largest increase in the number of crimes in Bentleigh between the two years his stats are comparing actually happened during the Liberals’ last year, the increase under Labor has been much smaller when you compare the correct years. Some crimes he is highlighting have increase under Labor since the 2013-14 financial year have actually decreased since the 2014-15 financial year
    – He is using raw figures rather than crime rates
    – Some of the percentage increases for specific offences he has been quoting are crimes where the raw numbers are so low that an increase of <5 total crimes in a year equates to a 50% or even 100% increase, so there is an obvious element of cherry picking
    – He is only picking out the suburb of Bentleigh but passing it off as the electorate of Bentleigh (crime in Glen Eira overall is actually down)

    I have no problem with campaigning about legitimate crime concerns, but do it honestly and with integrity which he is not.

  15. First time in its history held by a double digit margin, I wonder how long it will take the Libs to whittle it away

  16. As you could tell from my above post, I wasn’t a fan of Asher Judah at all and thought he was among the worst of all the Liberal candidates this election. He campaigned with no integrity whatsoever, and was the very definition of what Daniel Andrews was referring to when he said voters rejected a campaign based on fear & division.

    Bentleigh had one of the biggest swings in the state, and was a seat where the pre-poll swing matched the swing on the day, showing that voters particularly rejected his dishonest campaign right from the start. He was deserving of his emphatically embarrassing loss, which I have to admit gave me a lot of satisfaction to watch unfold on the night.

  17. Yep definitely, all the sandbelt seats are now sitting on double digit margins with it being better than 2002. Mordialloc is the safest out of them with a nice 14.3% margin.

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