Box Hill – Victoria 2018

LIB 5.7%

Incumbent MP
Robert Clark, since 1992.

Eastern Melbourne. The electorate covers the suburbs of Blackburn, Box Hill, Box Hill North, Mont Albert, Mont Albert North and parts of Balwyn, Canterbury, Nunawading and Surrey Hills. Box Hill covers parts of the cities of Boroondara and Whitehorse.

Box Hill was created in 1945, and has been dominated by the Liberal Party, although it has been won by the ALP at a few elections.

The seat was first won in 1945 by the ALP’s Robert Gray. Gray had held the seat of Nunawading since a 1943 by-election. He held Box Hill for one term, losing in 1947 to George Reid of the Liberal Party.

Reid held the seat until 1952, when he lost again to Gray. Reid finally defeated Gray in 1955, and held the seat until his retirement in 1973. He served as a minister in the Liberal state government continuously from 1955 to 1973.

Morris Williams, also from the Liberal Party, won Box Hill in 1973. In 1976 he moved to the new seat of Doncaster, holding it until his retirement in 1988.

The Liberal Party’s Donald Mackinnon won Box Hill in 1973. He held the seat until 1982, when he was defeated by Margaret Ray of the ALP. Ray was re-elected in 1985 and 1988.

In 1992, a redistribution abolished the neighbouring seat of Balwyn, the sitting Liberal member for Balwyn, Robert Clark, challenged Ray in Box Hill, with the Liberals prevailing. Clark has held Box Hill ever since.

Clark served as a Parliamentary Secretary in the second term of the Kennett government and joined the Liberal frontbench after the 1999 election. Clark served as Attorney-General in the last Liberal government.


Box Hill is a marginal Liberal seat, although Labor would likely only win Box Hill if they were polling very strongly.

2014 result

Robert Clark Liberal 19,94451.1-2.4
Stefanie Perri Labor 11,96430.7+1.8
Bill Pemberton Greens 5,64914.5+0.3
Frank RealeAustralian Christians9782.5+2.5
Geoffrey StokieIndependent4701.2+1.2

2014 two-party-preferred result

Robert Clark Liberal 21,74455.7-3.7
Stefanie Perri Labor 17,29844.3+3.7

Booth breakdown

Booths in Box Hill have been divided into three parts: central, east and west.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 51.7% in the centre to 61.6% in the west.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 13.3% in the centre to 16.2% in the east.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes13.958.17,49619.2

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

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  1. The western booths around Balwyn and Surrey Hills are what keep this in Liberal hands. Box Hill itself is mostly Labor leaning, and the rest of the seat is basically 50-50.

    Liberals will likely win, but the next redistribution might be interesting. Any further eastward movement would make this very marginal.

  2. Box Hill had been a perfect bellwether from its creation in 1945 right up until 1999. Though for all practical purposes it ceased to be such in 1992 when it took the place of the abolished Balwyn. Hence it stayed in Liberal hands even at the height of the Brackslide in 2002. There’s a really instructive graph and map on the 2014 ABC profile page for Box Hill.

  3. Labor has no chance here, They couldn’t even win this in 2002 (A landslide year) And this is a eastern Melbourne seat, Traditional heartland, Moving along

  4. The last redistribution knocked about 4.5 points off the Liberal margin. That still leaves Box Hill with a more Liberal leaning configuration than what it had in the 80s, but even on these boundaries Labor would have won the seat in 2002.

  5. Methinks that this could be the last term for Robert Clark. He has been there since 1988 and at the next redistribution, a seat in the Eastern Suburbs has to go – the seats largely covering Whitehorse and Monash are currently 80% under quota – almost a whole seat. Robert Clark may be keeping the seat warm to allow for a less painful shuffle should it be required before 2022.

  6. As a Box Hill resident and Labour leaning voter I’m frankly astounded at the lack of impact or profile from the Labour candidate. I had to consult Google to actually see who you are! Are you interested?

  7. While Victorian Labor looks set to win the next state election, they’re not in 2002 election territory – they have some problems of their own, which somewhat hold them back. Couple this with how few <4% marginal Liberal electorates there are not to mention having to defend some inner city seats against the Greens, and even with say a 53-47 or 54-46 victory, their lower house majority doesn't appear like it'll grow by much.

    In some ways, I'd perhaps categorise the Andrews government as similar to the Brumby government but on the positive end of the scale – also helps that the current Opposition seems to be floundering.

  8. Paul Hamer is a quality person and would make a fine MP. His professional background is transport / infrastructure planning and he could make substantive contributions in these areas.

  9. Box Hill is likely to be shifted eastward or southward, depending on which seat or seat are abolished in Eastern or Southern Metro and loose its most strongly Liberal areas and thus become more marginal.

  10. Is Paul Hamer any relation to Rupert? Seems unlikely given Rupert was a Lib, but it’s not too common a surname.

  11. Sir Rupert Hamer’s daughter, who used to live in Albert Park District (perhaps still does), was a lefty a decade or so ago.


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