Deakin – Australia 2019

LIB 6.4%

Incumbent MP
Michael Sukkar, since 2013.

Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Main suburbs are Nunawading, Mitcham, Ringwood, Heathmont, Croydon, Croydon Hills, Kilsyth South and Vermont. Seat covers most of the Maroondah council area, and part of the Whitehorse council area.

Deakin shifted to the north-east, losing Blackburn to Chisholm and gaining Croydon Hills and Croydon North from Menzies, and also gaining Kilsyth South from Casey. These changes increased the Liberal margin from 5.7% to 6.4%.

Deakin was first created in 1937, and has been almost always held by the United Australia Party and Liberal Party.

The seat originally covered rural areas to the east and north-east of Melbourne, until the 1968 redistribution moved the seat into the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, in the same sort of area that the seat covers today.

The seat was first won by the UAP’s William Hutchinson in 1937. Hutchinson had previously held the neighbouring seat of Indi. Hutchinson joined the Liberal Party in 1944 and retired from Parliament at the 1949 election. Frank Davis then held it until 1966, when Alan Jarman won the seat. Jarman was defeated by John Saunderson (ALP) in 1983. Saunderson moved to the new seat of Aston in 1984, when Julian Beale won the seat for the Liberals.

Beale was succeded in 1990 by Ken Aldred. Aldred had previously been elected at the 1983 Bruce by-election and held Bruce until the 1990 redistribution. Aldred was disendorsed before the 1996 election after raising conspiracy theories in Parliament, based on documents supplied by the Citizens Electoral Council. Aldred was later selected by local branches to run in the marginal seat of Holt at the 2007 election before having his preselection vetoed by the state party.

The seat was won in 1996 by Phil Barresi, who held it until his defeat in 2007 by the ALP’s Mike Symon.

Symon held Deakin for two terms, but in 2013 he lost to Liberal candidate Michael Sukkar. Sukkar was re-elected in 2016.


Deakin has been a marginal seat at recent elections, but a shift into safer territory may help out the sitting MP.

2016 result

Michael Sukkar Liberal 45,16150.0+4.250.3
Tony Clark Labor 28,02131.0-1.730.1
Joshua Briers Greens 10,58711.7+0.911.3
Vanessa BrowneAnimal Justice2,3942.7+2.73.0
Karen DobbyAustralian Christians2,0962.3+0.41.8
Gary John CoombesFamily First2,0092.2+0.92.2

2016 two-party-preferred result

Michael Sukkar Liberal 50,26455.7+2.556.4
Tony Clark Labor 40,00444.3-2.543.6

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Deakin 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 53.7% in the centre to 55.5% in the east.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 11.2% in the east to 12.9% in the centre.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes10.459.619,26320.1

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

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  1. Sukkar is a very conservative MP in an area that doesn’t strike me as particularly socially conservative (eg 66% yes vote). I would be interested to hear why he got such a strong swing last time.

    I could see Sukkar being singled out by GetUp or other grassroots organisations but the margin looks a bit too wide for Labor to actively target, and the same goes for the state seats in the area (which would be hard for momentum).

    Still I don’t remember Mitcham, Ringwood and Croydon being “affluent” – far from it in fact.

  2. John, parts of this area are becoming more affluent and expensive as people are priced out of the traditionally desirable suburbs closer in.

    If you can no longer afford Surrey Hills or Mont Albert, and don’t want to live in Box Hill, then areas like Blackburn, Mitcham and even parts of Ringwood start looking like great alternatives.

  3. SL, on these boundaries Labor would not have won in 2007 or 2010. It’s not quite the same seat as the one that fell at Labor’s last high water mark.

  4. Last election it was almost impossible to turn a corner without seeing Sukkar’s face, will be interested to see what effect this had if there is no major campaign run here again.

  5. Agree with Mark Mulcair – Cox, La Trobe, Dunkley, Chisholm and even Casey will most likely be higher on Labor’s hit list.

  6. On these boundaries Deakin would have been line ball in 2010. Certainly it’s a much less winnable seat than it was then.

    Going into the 2007 election it was the most marginal Liberal seat in Victoria. There’s more low hanging fruit for Labor this time around.

    Likely Liberal retain.

  7. John
    Have you missed that Sukkar increased his majority in2016 AGAINST trend ?. By a lot. This would mean he’s already captured most of the swinging vote.

    I’M not convinced by your ‘conservative” theories. Deakin is middle class suburban OZ. The plebiscite vote is interesting but not evidence of an intolerance of conservatism. Sukkar is a very strong local member. Voters find that far more compelling than any political leanings.

    I do fervently hope, Getup waste their time here ! IMV it would be a self indulgent distraction.

  8. I don’t think the personal ideology of a sitting MP matters much in a suburban marginal. Unless they’re especially obnoxious about it. Sukkar might be a loud conservative voice inside the caucus but I don’t think he’s particularly outspoken publicly.

    I think the personal vote is more about non-ideological factors: personality, hard work, etc. Sukkar’s sophomore surge would have also been lifted because Deakin was not a focus for Labor in 2016.

    As for being against the trend, I can’t really discern much of a trend in Melbourne’s east in 2016. Neighbouring Chisholm flipped from Labor to Liberal. (Though again, partly explained by sitting member factors.)

  9. DW
    The trend i was referring to was the LIBs got thumped in 2016, & Sukkar doubled his margin, roughly speaking.

  10. As a voter moved from Deakin from Chisholm – credit must be given to Michael Sukkar for being a hard working local member – even if you don’t agree with his politics. He is very visible and has worked hard. It was noticeable before the 2013 election that Mike Symon’s profile just dropped off – and during that campaign, it was obvious that Deakin had been written off. It is an odd seat that it has never been safe for the Libs but until 2007 they always managed to hold on.

    To pick up on Mark Mulcair’s demographic points above. The suburbs in Deakin (or the old Deakin) are very mixed – parts of Blackburn are quite swish yet in the adjoining suburbs of Nunawading and Forest Hill, there are areas of public housing and some degree of deprivation. It also gets more conservative socially as you go east.

    The ALP have even less incentive to put money into the seat. Agree that on these boundaries, the Libs would have held on in 2007 and probably would have in 2010 as well.

  11. Redistributed
    Looking forward to your future comments on Chisholm. In particular how long it takes Julia Banks to engage you

  12. On these boundaries this seat is quite safe Lib, although on the previous boundaries Labor was in with a chance although those areas were all trending Lib.
    Whilst I don’t agree with Sukkar at all, he has future leadership potential.

  13. L96
    Yeah he looks good. However he must first have a senior ministry. Walking before running.

    I am curious as to what you find (particularly) objectionable ?. As a conservative Sukkar has been forced to follow Turnbull’s agenda, which some might describe as pretty left wing, & most as inept !!

  14. A reachtel seat poll came out today with Liberals actually losing 52-48 to Labor.

    Individual seat polls aren’t reliable, but even with huge margins for error, Sukkar is in some real trouble that the comments here didn’t really pick up.

  15. there were 3 local seat polls they are very inaccurate all found Morrison the. more popular leader contrary to the news poll… this suggests their sample is liberal biased…. Deakin seems to be beyond what I expected. would labor have won deakin in 1883 on this boundaries?

  16. Turnbull country. Suspect Lib margin a bit inflated, Sukkar would be hoping no backlash for his role but still hard ask for Labor.

  17. I think this seat isn’t as safe as everyone seems to think, and I think has a good chance of flipping if the State election is anything to go by.

    Conservative Morrison won’t go down well in Victoria, and I think a seat like this of mostly small-l Liberals will be vulnerable in light of Turnbull’s dumping, especially with a local member who was a prominent instigator.

  18. The Liberal party struggled here but it wasn’t a wipe out. Deakin covers the lion’s share of Ringwood (ALP 53%) and Croydon (Lib 52%) plus around half of Forest Hill (Lib 52%) and Bayswater (50-50).

    Weighting the former two seats twice as much as the latter two produces a crude combined 2PP of 50-50. So indeed, Deakin looks competitive. But I’m sceptical as to whether federal Labor can reach the heights achieved on Saturday. At best it’s at the high end of expectations.

    For mine, Sukkar’s still the favourite.

  19. No he isnt david, This seat has gone with Labor allot, and they preform very strongly here especially when they are favoured to take goverment, This margin is inflated, New boundaries dont always mean anything due to the fact its a new area with new issues. And it only takes getting out and talking to people. Labor gain but just for 1 term. The libs are facing a wipeout this election. Im putting my money on it, i predicted a good win for labor in the victoria election. No coalition seat is safe at this next federal election thats under 7% and i can assure you as i will prove you guys wrong again, i believe labor will pick up 85% of the seats under 7%

  20. David Walsh, those figures happened with minimal campaigning by Labor. If Labor threw the kitchen sink at it, it’s definitely doable.

  21. I don’t see Deakin holding, the ALP have quite a good candidate. The swings might not look big but when we consider the eastern suburbs don’t usually swing towards a state government, particularly a ALP government goes to show the Liberals have serious issues. The Ringwood and Croydon results are telling because they should have been easily held, whereas Bayswater is the more marginal of the three.

  22. The candidates definitely play a role, and Sukkar’s role in the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull combined with the existing swing may be enough to unseat him if last Saturday is any indication.

  23. Deakin is definitely winnable by Labor if:
    1: The swing is on
    2: The ALP throw resources at it.
    3: The ALP candidate is as good as she looks on paper.

    The new Deakin largely overlaps the old Deakin that Labor won in 2007 and 2010 – in both those elections, both parties threw incredible resources – people and money – into the campaign. In 2013, it was obvious that Mike Simon was outside the ‘sandbag’. After Saturday, it is not quite sure whether the Libs will have the human resources to throw at a winning campaign as Michael Sukkar may have pissed off a large part of the party faithful. He will be depending on big time sandbagging.

    Casey, despite the smaller margin, might be easier to save.


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