Hawthorn – Victoria 2018

LIB 8.6%

Incumbent MP
John Pesutto, since 2014.

Geography
Eastern Melbourne. Hawthorn covers southern parts of Boroondara local government area, and specifically the suburbs of Hartwell and Hawthorn and parts of the suburbs of Burwood, Camberwell, Canterbury and Glen Iris.

History
Hawthorn has existed as an electoral district continuously since 1889. In that time, it has been dominated by conservative MPs, and has only been won by the ALP at one election in 1952.

The seat was won in 1902 by George Swinburne. He ended up serving as a member of the Commonwealth Liberal Party before his retirement in 1913.

He was succeeded by William Murray McPherson. McPherson served as Treasurer in the Nationalist state government from 1917 to 1923, and as Premier from 1928 to 1929. McPherson resigned from Parliament in 1930.

He was succeeded by Nationalist candidate John Gray at the 1930 by-election. Gray served as Member for Hawthorn until his death in 1939.

His seat was won at the 1939 by-election by the United Australia Party’s Leslie Tyack. He lost the seat at the 1940 state election to independent candidate Leslie Hollins, who had links to the Social Credit movement.

Hollins held Hawthorn for two terms, losing in 1945 to the Liberal Party’s Frederick Edmunds. He also held the seat for two terms, until in 1950 the Liberal Party replaced him with his predecessor Leslie Tyack.

Tyack was defeated in 1952 by the ALP’s Charles Murphy, the only ALP member to ever win Hawthorn. He left the ALP in the split of 1955, and lost his seat at that year’s election to the Liberal Party’s James Manson.

After one term, Manson moved to the new seat of Ringwood in 1958, and was replaced in Hawthorn by Peter Garrisson. He was re-elected in 1961, but in 1963 he resigned from the Liberal Party, and lost his seat as an independent in 1964.

Walter Jona was elected as Liberal Member for Hawthorn in 1964. He served as a minister in the Liberal government from 1976 to 1982, and retired in 1985.

Hawthorn was won in 1985 by the Liberal Party’s Phillip Gude, who had previously held the seat of Geelong East for one term from 1976 to his defeat in 1979. He served as a minister in the Kennett government from 1992 until his retirement in 1999.

Since 1999, Hawthorn has been held by Ted Baillieu. Baillieu won re-election in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Ted Baillieu was elected Liberal leader shortly before the 2006 election, and led the Coalition to defeat in 2006 and victory in 2010.

Baillieu served as Premier from 2010 until March 2013, when he resigned as Premier and Liberal leader under pressure from his party’s MPs. He retired at the 2014 election, and was succeeded by Liberal candidate John Pesutto.

Candidates

Assessment
Hawthorn is a safe Liberal seat.

2014 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
John Pesutto Liberal 20,55154.5-6.3
John Mcnally Labor 9,11724.2+3.1
Tim Hartnett Greens 8,04221.3+4.5
Informal1,4703.8

2014 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
John Pesutto Liberal 22,04158.6-8.0
John McNally Labor 15,57741.4+8.0

Booth breakdown

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

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 53.5% in the west to 61% in the east.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 17.4% in the east to 25.4% in the west.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Central21.058.511,15229.6
West25.453.55,81215.4
East17.461.05,54914.7
Other votes22.059.87,96521.1
Pre-poll20.859.77,23219.2

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

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Demographic changes are being held up as the reason for this result but I reject that as the booth results show strong swings to the Liberals in their safer booths that have seen little to no demographic change in the last our years. The fact is the Liberal brand is in serious trouble in areas like Hawthorn, the bigger surprise was after 2014 it was expected the Greens would be the ones to challenge the Liberal stranglehold.

  2. I am still confident John Pesutto will hold on! I am also confident he will become next liberal leader and possibly become the Next Premier of Victoria! (2022) He will hold onto this seat This and Next election.

  3. Daniel

    John Pesutto will probably hold and if he works harder next term at addressing the issues that actually matter to his voters and depending on how the Liberals respond to this result and what happens with the next redistribution then he should be able to hold into the future.

    Interesting historical fact: in 1907, Swinburne held onto Hawthorn by 7 votes. That remains the smallest winning margin in the seat’s history.

  4. It is now officially Labor gain, funny how in 2002 the seat was held on a 5.9% margin, maybe demographic changes occurring or Baillieu had some sort of personal vote?

  5. Labor came closer in 1982 I think, maybe story is of an elite suburban seat becoming more conservative with rise of 1% post 80s but then swinging partially on cultural politics but also passing of boomers? Pesutto said on election night that parts of seat now look like Richmond with spread of medium density housing.

  6. maybe parts of inner city Melbourne are changing very quickly….what is the liberal vote at a federal level here

  7. I would agree that the western part of this seat, particularly everywhere between Hawthorn Station & Glenferrie Station, is very medium density now and certainly doesn’t have the wealthy, conservative feeling of Hawthorn East and Camberwell. It feels younger and newer. I can definitely see the voting trends in that part of the electorate becoming more like a South Yarra or Cremorne, rather than the more Malvern/Armadale feeling around Hawthorn East & Camberwell.

  8. Well I be… a sad day for my side, seeing Hawthorn go red… the equivalent would be Nedlands here in Perth going Labor (the WA seatCottesloe is like Malvern, and Churchlands is like Kew)

    The new Labor MLA will most likely be a one termer (barring redistributions pushing this into Richmond)

  9. Hawthorn and demographics

    I don’t think its the demographics that are changing, the suburb has for a long time had pockets of less wealth, if you have never been to Hawthorn, go and do a little street walk around Swinburne or parts of Hawthorn East near the Auburn booth, in the map above that is the 50% blue booth. You will see a large number of unit blocks and smaller cottage houses. There are streets that look like they are in Richmond or Brunswick.

    The suburb has seven booths, only three of them could be considered safe Liberal booths although in this election they all swung towards the ALP. In one case, the 66% blue booth near Toorak Rd, it swung by over 13%, that is the kind of booth result that would have the Liberals feeling nervous because the four booths around the central part are known to swing whereas that 66% booth barely moves, adding to this nervousness, the ALP did very well in Camberwell and Canterbury.

    Is Hawthorn similar to Richmond?

    I would say they are similar, and this is why I have previously suggested Hawthorn and Richmond could be in one electorate because I think they have more in common with one another than Richmond does with Fitzroy which is currently in the seat of Richmond.

    When the ALP won Hawthorn in the 50s, the seat only covered the suburb of Hawthorn and parts of Richmond around Burnley and maybe parts of Cremore, and for many years Hawthorn and Richmond were in the federal seat of Yarra.

    Is it demographics or is it the Liberal Party?

    I don’t think this election result can be put down to demographics, inner Melbourne has always preferred its politicians to be liberal minded or progressive minded in the Deakin Liberal sense, however today’s Liberal Party is acting in a manner that is putting it at odds with these voters, just when it could be argued the demographics favor them if they were closer to their traditional self.

  10. Alex

    Ted was more of your typical Liberal MP, also he didn’t have the dysfunctional Liberals in Canberra hurting his vote.

    Pesutto might have impressed people on election night but he was mostly invisible and was mainly known for moaning about African crime gangs.

    Geoff

    The 1% is an American thing that is mostly meaningless in Australia and when Ben gets around to drawing up the swing map it will be clear that the largest swings were where the wealthier boomers mostly live, the AP won booths in Camberwell and I think they won one in Canterbury.

  11. Mick
    Its a term that came out of the occupy wall street protest movement after the GFC. It is often used to describe the super wealthy. The reason why I say it has little meaning in the Australian context and whilst we certainty do have a group of extremely wealthy people however due to our extensive welfare system, access to education, compulsory super and higher median wage than is the case in the U.S, we generally don’t have the barriers that exist in the U.S.

    Another way of putting it and this brings me to Hawthorn, it has long had a wealthy part and a less wealthy part living pretty much within the same street, whereas in the U.S, we are increasingly seeing a clear divide between richer and poorer areas, it might happen a little bit in Australia but for the most part it doesn’t and hopefully that doesn’t change because that is what I find interesting about seats like Hawthorn, Prahran and Albert Park.

  12. I have a couple of theories why Hawthorn had such a large swing in this election; 1) The decision to scrap the safe injection room in next door Richmond. Look at the hugh swing on election day, compared to the much smaller swing in early voting. Some Hawthorn residents would use the injecting room, or know somebody close to them who does. The very late decision of the Liberals to scrap the trial without any analysis upset some Hawthorn voters, which they showed on election day but too late for those that voted early. 2) Doctors and “doctor’s wives”. Hawthorn, Camberwell and Canterbury have a higher than average number of doctors and “their wives,” who care about health measures such as the safe injection room, infrastructure spend on hospitals and aged care facilities, climate change and ill children of refugees on Nauru/Manos. As a single issue none would swing a vote, but combined, they did for some people 3) Demographics. Areas like Hawthorn and Camberwell have traditionally been economically and socially conservative. Camberwell was one of the “wowser” strongholds after all. The area is still economically conservative but socially it is less conservative than it was. The centre has shifted to the left over the past generation but the Liberals have not followed. 4) It was a stroke of genius from the ALP to pick a candidate who’s name is John Kennedy for Hawthorn.

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