Flinders – Australia 2019

LIB 7.0%

Incumbent MP
Greg Hunt, since 2001.

Geography
Flinders covers most of the Mornington Peninsula, including Sorrento, Rosebud, Dromana, Hastings, Somerville and Mornington.

Redistribution
Flinders previously covered the northern and eastern shores of Western Port, but lost these areas to Holt and Monash. Flinders gained the suburb of Mornington from Dunkley. These changes cut the Liberal margin from 7.8% to 7%.

History
Flinders is an original federation electorate, and has a long history of having been held by conservative parties, with Labor only winning the seat three times, and no Labor MP managing to win re-election in Flinders.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Free Trader Arthur Groom, a former member of the Victorian colonial Parliament. Groom was not an active member of the first Parliament, and retired in 1903.

Flinders was won in 1903 by another Free Trade candidate, James Gibb, who had served in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in the 1880s. He held the seat for one term. Gibb left Flinders in 1906 in an attempt to defeat William Lyne in the NSW seat of Hume. Lyne was a former Premier of NSW and a prominent Protectionist minister, and easily saw off Gibb.

Flinders was won in 1906 by former Victorian Premier William Irvine. Irvine joined the merged Liberal Party in 1909. He served as a senior minister in Joseph Cook’s government from 1913 to 1914. He left Parliament to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1918.

The 1918 Flinders by-election was won by Nationalist candidate Stanley Bruce. Bruce was appointed Treasurer in 1921. After the 1922 election the Nationalists had to rely on Country Party support to remain in government, and as a price for their support the Country Party demanded the replacement of Billy Hughes as Prime Minister, which saw Bruce appointed Prime Minister.

Bruce won re-election at the 1925 and 1928 elections, but his government came undone in 1929 when Billy Hughes led a group of Nationalist rebels across the floor in opposition to industrial relations legislation, and Bruce lost his majority.

Bruce’s Nationalists not only lost the federal election, but Bruce himself was defeated in Flinders by the ALP’s Jack Holloway. Holloway was secretary of the Melbourne Trades Hall Council, who had stood against Bruce in protest at the government’s arbitration policies.

Holloway was a leading left-winger in the Labor caucus during the Scullin government, and moved to the safer seat of Melbourne Ports in 1931. Holloway had served as an assistant minister for much of the Scullin government, and he went on to serve as a minister in the Curtin and Chifley governments, retiring in 1951.

Bruce won back Flinders in 1931 for the newly-formed United Australia Party. Bruce was appointed as a minister without portfolio in the Lyons government, and soon went to London to represent the Government. He resigned from Parliament in 1933 to serve as High Commissioner to London from the Australian government. Bruce served in the role until 1945, playing a key role in Australia’s participation in the Second World War. Bruce went on to serve in the House of Lords.

The 1933 Flinders by-election was won by James Fairbairn, who had served briefly as a UAP state MP before moving to federal Parliament. Fairbairn regularly flew aircraft and was appointed as Minister for Civil Aviation in the Menzies government in 1939. He served as the first Minister for the Air, with responsibility for the Royal Australian Air Force, and served as a key minister in the war effort until his death.

Fairbairn died in a plane crash in 1940. He was flying from Melbourne to Canberra along with four crew and five other passengers, including two other ministers and the Chief of the Defence Staff, and the plane crashed on approach to the airport in Canberra.

Fairbairn died only one month before the 1940 federal election, so no by-election was held. Flinders was won at the ensuing election by Rupert Ryan of the UAP. Ryan held the seat for the UAP and the successor Liberal Party until his death in 1952.

The 1952 Flinders by-election was won in a surprise result by the ALP’s Keith Ewert. He lost the seat at the 1954 federal election to Liberal candidate Robert Lindsay.

Lindsay held the seat until 1966, serving on the backbenches for twelve years.

In 1966, Flinders was won by Liberal candidate Phillip Lynch. Lynch quickly rose to ministerial rank, serving as a minister from 1968 until the defeat of the McMahon government in 1972.

Lynch became Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party under Billy Snedden after the 1972 election. He continued to serve in that role under Malcolm Fraser’s leadership.

Lynch served as Treasurer from 1975 to 1977, when he was forced to resign from the ministry due to allegations of tax minimisation. He was only out of office for a month before returning to Cabinet. Lynch retired from Parliament in 1982.

The 1982 Flinders by-election was won by the Liberal Party’s Peter Reith. The by-election took place in December 1982, but he never took his seat, as Fraser called a double dissolution in March 1983.

Reith had won Flinders at the 1982 by-election with a small margin, and lost the seat to the ALP’s Bob Chynoweth in 1983. He won the seat back in 1984. Chynoweth moved to the new seat of Dunkley, holding it until 1990, and again from 1993 to 1996.

Reith joined the Liberal frontbench in 1987, and served as Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer from 1990 to 1993. He served as Minister for Workplace Relations in the Howard government from 1996 to 2000, and then as Minister for Defence from 2000 until his retirement in 2001.

Flinders was won in 2001 by Greg Hunt, a former advisor to Alexander Downer in the 1990s. Hunt has been re-elected in Flinders five times, and has served as a cabinet minister since 2013.

Candidates

Assessment
Flinders would typically be considered a safe Liberal seat, but the intervention of Julia Banks could change the dynamics of the race. Public polling also suggests Labor could have a chance of winning off the back of a big swing in Victoria.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Greg Hunt Liberal 52,41251.6-3.750.5
Carolyn Gleixner Labor 27,45927.0+1.827.6
Willisa Hogarth Greens 10,86810.7+1.011.0
Ben WildAnimal Justice4,3474.3+4.33.8
Yvonne GentleRise Up Australia3,3813.3+2.82.6
Shane W LewisIndependent3,1073.1+3.12.5
Others1.9
Informal3,8633.7

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Greg Hunt Liberal 58,68357.8-4.057.0
Carolyn Gleixner Labor 42,89142.2+4.043.0

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Flinders have been divided into four parts: east, north, south and west.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 53% in the west to 58.4% in the north.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 9.9% in the east to 20.9% in the south.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
North10.858.415,92417.5
West12.653.013,32914.6
East9.953.311,07712.2
South20.954.64,8615.3
Other votes9.760.615,84017.4
Pre-poll9.957.830,05733.0

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

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92 COMMENTS

  1. Only chance for this to flip is if Greg Hunt retires, which won’t happen, His high profile will save this seat for the liberals, I predict a 55-45 TPP Against Labor here

  2. Daniel

    I think a lot will depend on how voters feel about Greg Hunt’s role in the change of leadership, on paper Flinders should be an easy hold for the Liberals however the ALP do well in places like Hastings, Rosebud and Tanty Park which is a small booth between Mt Eliza and Mornington. If we see a landslide Liberal defeat then I think Flinders could be as high up the pendulum for in endangered seats, in a landslide the safer seats sometimes move more than the marginals.

  3. This seat will narrowly go Coalition 54-46 maybe 53-47 at the most for the coalition based on the victoria election results, Especially when you look at how close Hastings came, and look at Nepean

  4. I’d say Greg would be lucky to hold on by less than a percent based on the Vic election results.

    Don’t forget Bass was also lost to Labor.

    If Hunt survives, it won’t be by much.

  5. RPR

    Agree Hunt looks to be in trouble, however the Bass side of Westernport bay is no longer in the federal seat of Flinders.

  6. the only times labor has won here… I think 1952 and 1983 was when Frankston was in the seat….; liberal hold the most likely result

  7. Greg Hunt supported the Howard/Downer Iraq invasion in 2003 something I and some others on the Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee of the Victoria Division of the Liberal Party opposed. Hunt was part of the recent reactionary pro wing right Dutton party room attempted coup which failed. He has been around for far to long and needs to get the boot at the next Commonwealth general election. I left the Liberal Party in June 2003.

  8. I don’t see Flinders being within reach. Despite their poor showing, the Libs would still triumph on state figures. This seat is Nepean (ALP 51%) plus the vast majority of Mornington (Lib 55%) and Hastings (Lib 51%). There’s no overlap with Bass on the new boundaries.

  9. David

    The headline figures would suggest your assessment is correct, however the Liberals strongest part of Mornington was Mt Eliza which is in Dunkley, and with Hastings, a large part of the vote is outside the Flinders electorate.

    Even though I think Greg Hunt is in some trouble, as this seat as a large retiree population then the ALP’s franking credits and negative gearing policies will be tested and while the polls are showing a strong swing towards the ALP, a 7% margin may well be close to the high watermark in Victoria with three strong Liberal seats around that margin.

  10. Can’t see this falling except in the event of a major meltdown – Flinders did go red in 1983, but I’m assuming it contained Frankston back then, as Dunkley didn’t exist until 1984.

  11. You can’t rule that out, Especially after the shock result in Nepean, I give Labour a 40% chance of winning here, I agree they are underdog’s But this is WINNABLE

  12. Flinders won by labor 3 times 1929…….. pm Bruce Defeated much more rural then……. 1952 by election lost 1954 general election…… 1983 when included Frankston and the Mornington peninsula. 1984 Dunkley created as a marginal seat and Flinders became a reliable liberal seat from that date……. at state level in 1982 and 2018 elections Labor won state seats on the Mornington Peninsula…… the fact that this seat in competitive suggests something…… agree with Daniel

  13. A new poll gives Labor a 51-49 lead. I remain sceptical, but… who knows? Perhaps the expected landslide combined with the changing nature of the Mornington Peninsula will tip Flinders over the edge. (Nepean was one of the more shocking gains at the state election.)

  14. David

    I’m not having a go at you but one of my pet hates is talk of areas changing when often they are not changing at all, townships like Red Hill are not changing at all yet the ALP won that booth in the state election.

    Sure there are times when an area does change such as when it goes from rural to residential or housing is replaced with apartments but often saying somewhere is changing seems to be used by politicians as an excuse for why lost an area that they have previously held easily instead of admitting that they did a poor job or had poor policies.

  15. Pencil,

    From memory Flinders was one of the most over quota seats on the old boundaries. On the new boundaries, it’s confined to the Mornington Peninsula for the first time ever. This is clearly the result of increasing suburbinisation.

  16. David

    I don’t remember if it was over quota or not but Part of the reason for the seat boundaries changing was due to Mornington being moved from Dunkley to Flinders. The Peninsula is largely off-limited to urban development although there are pockets where new housing is allowed.

  17. Liberal-turned-independent member for Chisholm Julia Banks has announced a rather quixotic tilt at Flinders. She’ll probably run third.

  18. Agree. This is a seat in the IND “sweet spot” of not being too safe nor too marginal (at least on last election results) but Banks would seem to be an IND candidate with the wrong policy hue and insufficient profile to make the numbers work in this seat. Even if she takes 10-15% LIB vote, she needs to get over ALP into second, and last time the combined left wing PV was 38%. McGowen easily did same thing in Indi in 2013 (though only just winning in the end) but that was coming from more middle ground and with the wind against the left side of politics. You can easily imagine that without a strong IND this election that the left vote if much higher (indeed sufficient to win it)

  19. Does anyone know if Banks has any connection to this seat? Seems like a more vindictive move than genuinely trying to represent a community, otherwise why wouldn’t you run in the seat you’ve been representing for the last 3 years? Wonder if voters will buy it

  20. Depending on who she preference’s will win, She will likely preference the Liberals, so hunt should hold on 54-46 (Just my estimate), HOWEVER if she somehow gets to 2nd place, and Hunt is under 50% primary, then Labor and the Greens could knock hunt off by Preferencing Banks, But this is a big ask. BUT doable

  21. Well obviously they will preference Banks over Hunt, it just depends o how many follow the card and where the preferences for the very minor parties go to, which can never be even partially controlled like GRN or ALP preferences. The question will be do the Greens preference her (right wing IND) over ALP in order to get her into 2nd – (thankfully) most GRN voters would ignore it even if they did.

  22. you miss the point she will mainly take votes off the libs…. if she polls 10% and 80% comes back to the libs then that is 2% swing add on to 5% the Vic average………….then that is 7%…..line ball

    Also there will be resources used………. which cannot be used elsewhere …….. and…………. the libs will look accident prone ………..issues of Turnbull and lack of lib women canditates will come to the fore front again

  23. Banks was an astro-turf “Liberal” and, now we know, also an astro-turf Chisholm MP – another opportunist who wouldn’t even move into the seat she represents after winning it. No wonder she has such an arrogant elitist mindset.

    Her Flinders campaign won’t get very far – no more than 7-8pc courtesy of all the free media she will get from the ABC and the usual types keen to pump the tires of anyone who disparages the right side of politics.

  24. Good luck to sensible progressive Independent Julie Banks.

    I was a Liberal Party member from 1994-2003 and was on the Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade committee of the Victoria Division of the Liberal Party. I was also St Kilda Branch President, Secretary of Albert Park Electorate Council, a State Council and a Policy Assembly delegate.

    At a DFAT committee meeting we discussed the proposed invasion of Iraq, which was never voted on in parliament incidentally, and I and about half the committee were opposed while the others supported the proposed invasion.

    Greg Hunt was a government MP who attended the meeting and was pro war. Hunt is a war monger, just like Howard and Downer were in 2002/03. Hunt deserves to be defeated at the next federal election and besides Hunt his been in parliament for long enough anyway.

  25. I see Flinders as being a Liberal v ALP contest, and considering the strength of the ALP performance in the state election leads me to think that only the ALP candidate can beat Hunt, however one unknown with Flinders will be the retiree vote, will they hold their noises and vote ALP or will they reject the ALP’s purposed tax policies and either say with Hunt or go to Banks.

    Last time Hunt achieved just over 51% and about 6% from preferences, this suggests to me that Hunt will have to poll mid-40s or better to hold.

    Adrian
    I get the impression with Hunt that he will say whatever he thinks the people above him want him to say, did you get that impression or was he truly a believer in the merits of invading Iraq. I was opposed.

  26. That wasn’t anyone’s point, but Yes, I agree, if she runs third (or 4th) and some of her votes are LIB voters that don’t return via preferences and instead leak to the ALP, that disadvantages Hunt in trying to hold on. The opposite could also happen though….

  27. Unlike other seats where Independents have made an impact – Indi, Lyne or New England (both in the past) – Flinders is a seat where the ALP could conceivably win. In the other seats, the ALP have run dead as they knew they could never win. This is where the Greens preferences will come in – and on the basis that the ALP could win, then it is hard to see them not going to the ALP.

    The trend to early voting has made the job of independents easier as they have a lot fewer booths to cover with HTV cards. On this basis it is conceivable that Julia Banks will do well, however, hard to see her getting or even close to second place. She would need a vote in the high 20’s and a flow of Green preferences or in the 30’s to be in with a show. Absentee and postals will also be a big problem.

    Should Greg Hunt be worried? Yes. Will he lose – probably not – but if he does – more likely to the ALP.

  28. The pencil that marks the ballot paper – I think Hunt went with the flow with former PM Howard and former Foreign Minister Downer. Once the weak get sucked into a view then they go along with it just as Howard was sucked in by Bush and even Blair in the UK. Hunt like other ministers is a flip flop parliamentarian to position himself for advancement which has worked so far.

  29. The ABC TV news reporter at Flinders today said to win Julie Banks will need ALP preferences. I think that is a given as I cant see ALP voters in Flinders preferencing the Libs.

  30. I agree with most of the comments It will be close but i don’t think Banks can win it
    It might come down to how good a campaign she runs She was the only liberal to win a seat off Labor in 2016 Hunt is on the nose for siding with Dutton and he was the environment minister and did sfa
    Labor party is yet to announce a candidate If they can come up with a good one I reckon they could get across the line The redistribution will help and I am pretty sure a lot of volunteers will come out of the woodwork if there is a whif of victory in the air Hunt is definitely worried

  31. It’s a given that if Banks came second she would get ALP preferences over the Libs, but Banks beating the ALP in an election where particularly in Victoria the ALP are likely to romp it in with massive swings, is very unlikely.

    The reality is that it’s her preferences that will be distributed, and it’ll be interesting to see where they go and even where she directs them. Even though she is clearly more LNP aligned than ALP, if she’s running just to spite Hunt & the Liberals, would she definitely direct preferences to him over Labor? Most likely but who knows.

  32. 2016 21% in non Labor which would have been distributed hunt got on 6%………… about 30%…… this time he will be below 50% ……… unless people vote tactically alp and green about 40%……. effectively 45% with a 5% swing……… now if Banks gets say 10 % she will take say 9% off Hunt…….. 1% off labor….. so hunt something like 46 to labor 44 pre banks //……. now if she polls 10% his 46 is say 35
    now to win he has big troubles

  33. Redistributed
    Early voting does not make it easier to man booths for minor parties. The number of poll day booths remains the same BUT the poll workers are buggerred by Election Day.

    Prepoll were open for two weeks. 14 days on one’s feet is exhausting if one is not used to it. When someone asked me to an election night party I say no way I just want to collapse in front of TV.

    ALP seem to have plenty of Union Officials available and Ashby Hanson and Libs seemed to have business owners. It is hard work managing booth manning. I can recall doing it for DLP Country Party and Katter at various times and all of the Facebook Warriors suddenly have excuse after excuse. Dog shows, doctors appointments, family commitments, work rosters. Promised helpers do not arrive or go home early. Libs and ALP on 2 hour shifts are surprised to find that minor party and independent workers are doing 10 hour shifts day after day.

  34. Wow – now that is a huge revelation The Phantom Bantam.

    As someone who works on the Mornington Peninsula and has his ear to the ground, this is particularly interesting. This will make Flinders the new Bennelong. Ground zero of the campaign.

  35. Greg Hunt must be feeling increasingly nervous…

    the latest Ucomms poll has his primary vote at a miserable 36.8%…..2PP….Labor 51%…Liberal 49%

    With Julia banks now standing Hunt’s primary vote will only head south

  36. ..Labor candidate update ..shes female and an ABC jurno…Tracee Hutchison
    high profile…has a good chance of taking the seat from the disloyal Hunt

    earlier my crystal ball had a bit of fog!!!!

  37. David Dinkins apparently is considering a tilt here (If elected he would be the first black person elected to federal parliament in Victoria)

  38. Yeah i expect Tracee Hutchison to be nominated, Great candidate, Next Maxine Mckew except not challenging a PM, Also Who on earth is David Dinkins charlie? Sounds like an American name, I think i have heard of it before, If anyone know who David Dinkins is tell me because otherwise it sounds like fake news lol.

  39. Tracee Hutchinson was born in Rosebud and lives on the Mornington Peninsula. She is a former ABC journalist and was involved with pop music shows whilst at the ABC. Interest in the usual environment and social justice agenda. She is 56 and married.

  40. David Dinkins said he might run as an Independent. Not the Labor party, I think he will finish ahead of Julia banks as he has a very high profile name.

  41. I really think there are too many factors running against Julia Banks to overtake Labor and finish in the final two party preferred vote.

    1) Labor are too competitive here to run dead. 2) This is not a by-election and even if Labor does not win will want to secure a good vote for its Senate vote 3) Labor vote will be higher here then usual heading to a likely election win will attract soft voters and dissuade them voting independent or minor parties. 4) Banks being a MP for another seat and juggling a campaign may not have enough time to gain traction in this seat particularly not being able to rely on branch members to volunteer for her campaign.

    Labor vs Liberal contest but will hold off making a prediction until it gets closer.

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