Brunswick – Victoria 2018

ALP 2.2% vs GRN

Incumbent MP
Jane Garrett, since 2010.

Inner north of Melbourne. Brunswick covers the suburbs of Brunswick, Brunswick East, Brunswick West and parts of Coburg, Fitzroy North and Parkville. Brunswick covers southern parts of the City of Moreland, and small parts of the City of Melbourne.

There has been a state electorate of Brunswick at three different periods in Victorian history. The seat first existed from 1904 to 1955, when it was won at every election by the ALP, before sitting member Peter Randles was expelled from the ALP in 1955 as part of the DLP split.

The seat was re-created in 1976. It was won by the ALP’s Tom Roper, who had previously held the seat of Brunswick West since 1973. Roper served as a minister in the Labor government from 1982 to 1992. At the 1992 election, the Labor government was defeated, and Roper moved to the new seat of Coburg, with Brunswick being abolished. He resigned in 1994, and succeeded in Coburg by the ALP’s Carlo Carli.

In 2002, Coburg was again replaced by the seat of Brunswick, and Carli moved to the new seat. He was re-elected to the seat in 2006.

Carlo Carli retired in 2010. Brunswick was won by Labor’s Jane Garrett, who was re-elected in 2014.

Sitting Labor MP Jane Garrett is not running for re-election.

Brunswick is very marginal, and will be a key contest between Labor and the Greens. Recent by-election contests in the neighbouring state seat of Northcote and federal seat of Batman suggest that there is potential for a large swing to the Greens, but also that Labor has the capacity to hold its ground.

2014 result

Tim Read Greens 16,00139.6+9.5
Jane Garrett Labor 15,31838.0+1.9
Giuseppe Vellotti Liberal 6,55416.2-0.9
Ward YoungAnimal Justice7141.8+1.8
Stella KariofyllidisPeople Power/No Smart Meters6701.7+1.7
Dean O’CallaghanIndependent4911.2+1.2
Frank GiurleoFamily First3961.0+1.0
Babar PetersAustralian Christians2140.5+0.5

2014 two-candidate-preferred result

Jane Garrett Labor 21,07552.2-1.4
Tim Read Greens 19,28347.8+1.4

2014 two-party-preferred result

Jane Garrett Labor 32,04279.4+4.3
Giuseppe Vellotti Liberal 8,31520.6-4.3

Booth breakdown

Booths in Brunswick have been split into three areas: East, North and West.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two out of three areas, polling 51.2% in the west and 59.6% in the north. The Greens won a narrow majority of 50.3% in the east.

The Liberal primary vote ranged from 14.2% in the west to 20% in the north.

Voter groupLIB prim %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes18.248.66,51116.1

Election results in Brunswick at the 2014 Victorian state election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes and Liberal primary votes.

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  1. Greens should win this, especially with Jane Garrett’s political moves (whether she contests the seat or not), and the potential for Liberal preference issues.

    However this is the seat Ged Kearney was going to contest before the Batman byelection was announced. I suspect that someone similar will try to outflank the Greens on the left and may very well succeed.

  2. I am honestly a little surprised that Brunswick hasn’t fallen before now.

    Perhaps the fact that the last few elections were very close, and Labor supporters felt they couldn’t flirt with changing parties (even if the Greens would almost certainly support them in a minority situation)? If true, this might help Labor hold on in 2018 if the polls continue to suggest a fairly tight result.

  3. For some time there has been sense of inevitability about the Greens’ capture of Brunswick and neighbouring seats. But don’t forget the steady drift of Melbourne’s inner north from Labor to Greens was checked by the Liberal party’s switch in preference tactics in 2010. At that election you see primary vote drops for Labor, and increases for the Greens, but the 2PP swings going in the other direction.

    Garrett topped the primary vote in 2010 but she was slightly behind after the distribution of Sex party and Phil Cleary preferences. With the Greens taking pole position last time, 2014 was an even clearer cut case of Lib prefs deciding the issue. This time around it may not be enough.

  4. All indicators are that the Greens will win Brunswick, the loss of Garrett and then Kearney would seem to have dented the ALP’s chances of holding this seat and the Greens seem to have chosen a mature candidate which could be a positive in a seat that has pockets of middle class professionals and older voters.

  5. This will be most likely be a Green gain. Victorian Labor should probably spend their resources to win marginal seats off the Liberals to stay in government.

  6. Tim Read has name recognition. Received 39% primary vote in 2014 & is versing a first time candidate. I suspect this will be an easy gain for Greens. Both Jane Garrett & Ged Kearney have deserted the people of Brunswick & I don’t imagine many could forgive Labor for such bad treatment of the electorate. I’d imagine Labor would be focusing on fending off in the outer suburbs.

  7. Having done doorknocks for Cindy in Brunswick, I can say that she is a strong candidate that can connect with the people of the electorate & the responses that we’ve been getting have been by and large positive. It’ll be a tough contest for sure, but I wouldn’t rule out Cindy & Labor at all – particularly if Batman is any indication

  8. A78 there are 4 ultra safe Labor seats (Preston, Pascoe Vale, Footscray, Williamstown) that could turn into ALP vs Green marginals, if and only if Liberals preference Greens over Labor. However I’m not seeing any sign of that, even though it’s the Liberals best way of preventing an ALP majority and possibly winning more seats than Labor (forcing a formal coalition deal).

    I suspect Labor will have resources to spare to sandbag Brunswick and Richmond, and try to win back Northcote.

    Predicting a Green gain but not an easy one.

  9. I might biased but I’m predicting Brunwick to be a Green gain on 2pp vote of 53-47.

    @ John, Richmond will be tricky to predict, but Northcote will almost certainly be a Green hold. Greens easily won the 2pp preferred vote within Northcote boundaries during the Batman by election, even though Labor had an excellent candidate and dream run.

  10. Looking at the Wills 2016 map the Greens are starting at 55-45! Perhaps even better against a non-incumbent Labor candidate.

    Another test of new Green vote stickiness across different levels of government, previously it has been pretty strong.

  11. John, in Preston the Greens ended up just ahead of the Liberals by 3PP. In the other three seats, the Liberals finished ahead of them and made the 2PP cut. So their preferences wouldn’t matter anyway.

    There’s also a decent underlying Liberal vote in Williamstown, and to a lesser extent Pascoe Vale, which doesn’t make it easy for the Libs to run dead and finish 3rd even if they wanted to.

  12. Mark Mulcair, John is meaning that the Greens would slightly increase their vote in those seats to get into 2nd and then win if the Liberals preferenced them.

    The Liberals won’t ever give them direct preference again imo. At most they would run an open preference ticket (which the NSW Libs did in Newtown and Balmain I think), run no lower house candidate at all (usually only reserved for by-elections but I wouldn’t put it passed Kroger, he’s threatened it), or intentionally only post 1-2 lazy HTV holders at each booth in these electorates (I know that the QLD LNP did this in South Brisbane, the LNP to Labor preference flow was quite weak at 62%).

    The Greens shouldn’t need or want any of that help. If they want to take and hold these safe Labor type seats they have to get to 40% primary (AKA be elected by people voting FOR them not voting AGAINST Labor), or they would be at the mercy of the Liberals changing their strategy like they did post-Adam Bandt.

    That’s in contrast to seats like Prahran and Albert Park where I wouldn’t expect Labor to every preference Liberals above the Greens, so the Greens can run the “get into 2nd place and win” game.

  13. It will be interesting to see how Reason does in this contest with running such a high profile candidate. Within 24 hours the facebook page had over 500 likes. Alot for most political candidates. I would think reason could get over 10%. But much higher if the liberals don’t run a candidate.

  14. Have heard suggestion Greens campaign here not as high profile as previous years but they do have lots of corflutes. Labor inspired by Kearney example & Greens by Thorpe.

  15. If they Liberals do not run here, that will be of benefit to the Reason Party as it is likely to hover up the votes/preferences of those Liberal voters who want neither the ALP or Greens and thus significantly boost the Reason vote and likely give them a 3 candidate preferred vote as well (with the Liberals in, they would likely be distributed before the Liberals and thus have no 3 candidate preferred vote).

  16. My prediction: A retiring MP in a marginal ALP vs GRN electorate? Should be a Green gain, although not a certainty.

  17. Labor’s candidate ticks the lefty boxes unlike their one in Northcote, so this is probably best test of Labor’s ability to appeal to left voters.


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