Casey – Australia 2019

LIB 4.5%

Incumbent MP
Tony Smith, since 2001.

Geography
Eastern fringe of Melbourne. Casey the entire Yarra Ranges Shire. Major centres include Lilydale, Montrose, Mooroolbark, Seville, Yarra Junction, Healesville and large areas in the Yarra Ranges with small populations.

Redistribution
The south-western corner of Casey shifted to the east, losing Kilsyth South to Deakin and gaining Belgrave, Mount Dandenong and surrounding areas from La Trobe. These changes cut the Liberal margin from 6.1% to 4.5%.

History
Casey was created for the 1969 election and has almost always been considered to be a marginal seat. Despite the slim margins, the Liberal Party has managed to hold onto the seat consistently since 1984, after an early period where the ALP managed to hold it during the Whitlam government and the Hawke government’s first term.

Casey was first won in 1969 by Peter Howson. Howson had been Member for Fawkner since 1955, and had served as Minister for Air from 1964 until John Gorton’s first cabinet reshuffle, when he was dropped. He returned to cabinet as Australia’s first Minister for the Environment in William McMahon’s cabinet in 1971, but lost his seat in 1972 to the ALP’s Race Mathews.

Mathews held Casey for both terms of the Whitlam government, losing the seat to Peter Falconer (LIB) in 1975. Mathews went on to hold the Victorian state seat of Oakleigh from 1979 until 1992, and served as a state minister from 1982 to 1988.

Peter Falconer was reelected in 1977 and 1980, but lost Casey to the ALP’s Peter Steedman in 1983. Steedman held the seat for one term, and lost to Liberal Bob Halverson in 1984.

The Liberal Party never lost Casey again, and Halverson went on to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the first term of the Howard government until his retirement in 1998.

Casey was won in 1998 by Dr Michael Wooldridge, the Howard government’s Health Minister. Wooldridge had previously held Chisholm since 1987, moving to Casey in 1998. He held it for one term before retiring from politics in 2001.

The seat was won in 2001 by Tony Smith. Smith has been re-elected five times, and was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in August 2015.

Candidates

  • Bill Brindle (Labor)

Assessment
Casey is a marginal Liberal seat, but a bunch of other seats would be considered more likely to fall.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Tony Smith Liberal 45,68049.5+0.447.5
Hovig Melkonian Labor 26,16528.4+0.528.2
Elissa Sutherland Greens 10,78111.7+0.812.8
Kristin BaconAnimal Justice4,1764.5+4.54.3
Peter CharletonIndependent2,8783.1+3.12.6
Angela DorianRise Up Australia2,5512.8+2.32.5
Others2.0
Informal3,6203.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Tony Smith Liberal 51,70356.1-1.154.5
Hovig Melkonian Labor 40,52843.9+1.145.5

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Casey have been divided into five areas.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in three out of five areas, ranging from 52.6% in the north to 56.7% in the centre. Labor won 51.9% in the east and 57.3% in the south-west.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 10.7% in the west to 22.6% in the south-west.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
West10.755.023,99524.6
Central12.856.713,44213.8
South-West22.642.710,82111.1
East14.448.17,0157.2
North16.652.65,6835.8
Other votes10.659.117,21817.6
Pre-poll10.458.019,46219.9

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

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Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room.If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.