Indi – Australia 2019

IND 4.9% vs LIB

Incumbent MP
Cathy McGowan, since 2013.

Geography
North-eastern Victoria.  Indi runs along the Murray River and stretches inland to cover Wodonga, Wangaratta, Towong, Mansfield, Murrindindi, Indigo, Benalla and Alpine council areas, and part of Strathbogie council area. The major cities in the seat are Wodonga and Wangaratta.

Redistribution
Some small changes were made to the western boundary of Indi. Indi lost Tungamah and Pelluebla to Nicholls and gained Euroa and Violet Town from Murray.

History
Indi is an original federation electorate. Apart from four elections when the ALP won the seat, Indi has almost always been won by the Coalition parties and their predecessors.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Protectionist candidate Isaac Isaacs. Isaacs was a radical member of the Protectionist party and did not get along with most of his party. He was appointed Attorney-General in Alfred Deakin’s government in 1905, but in 1906 he was appointed to the High Court. Isaacs served on the High Court for 24 years. In 1930 he was appointed Chief Justice by Labor Prime Minister James Scullin. Shortly after, Scullin decided to break with tradition by appointing an Australian-born Governor-General, and chose Isaacs. Isaacs served as Governor-General until 1936.

Indi was won in 1906 by Anti-Socialist candidate Joseph Brown, a former Victorian state MP. Brown joined the merged Liberal Party in 1909, although he was a fierce critic of Alfred Deakin. He lost Indi in 1910 to the ALP’s Parker Moloney.

Moloney held Indi until the 1913 election, when he lost to the Liberal Party’s Cornelius Ahern, but Moloney won it back in 1914. Moloney lost Indi again in 1917. He went on to move across the border to the neighbouring NSW seat of Hume, which at the time covered Albury. He held Hume from 1919 to 1931, and served as a minister in the Scullin government.

The Nationalist Party’s John Leckie, a Victorian state MP, won Indi in 1917. He lost the seat in 1919 to Robert Cook of the Victorian Farmers’ Union, which became the Country Party.

Cook retained Indi at the 1922 and 1925 elections, but lost the seat in bizarre circumstances in 1928, when he failed to lodge his nomination papers. The seat instead was won by the ALP’s Paul Jones.

Jones was re-elected in 1929, when Cook attempted to retain his seat, before he lost Indi to the United Australia Party’s William Hutchinson in 1931. Jones went on to serve in the Victorian Legislative Council from 1938 and 1958, and left the ALP as part of the split in 1955, ending up in the Democratic Labor Party.

Hutchinson held Indi for two terms. In 1937 he moved to the new seat of Deakin, which he held until his retirement in 1949.

Indi was won in 1937 by the Country Party’s John McEwen, who had previously won the seat of Echuca in 1934. He served as a minister in the Liberal/Country governments from 1937 to 1941.

McEwen left Indi to take the new seat of Murray in 1949, and he joined Robert Menzies’ cabinet in the new government. He was elected Country Party leader in 1958, and when Robert Menzies retired in 1966 he became the most senior figure in the government, with tremendous influence over the Country Party’s larger ally, the Liberal Party. When Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared in late 1967, McEwen briefly served as Acting Prime Minister, and he vetoed the choice of the Treasurer, William McMahon, leading to Senator John Gorton moving to the House of Representatives and becoming Prime Minister. McEwen retired in 1971.

Indi was won in 1949 by Liberal candidate William Bostock. Bostock held the seat until the 1958 election, when he lost to the Country Party’s Mac Holten. Holten was a former footballer, and he served as Minister for Repatriation from 1969 to 1972.

In 1977, Holten was challenged by the Liberal Party’s Ewen Cameron. Despite topping the poll on primary votes, Holten lost when Cameron overtook him on Labor preferences.

Cameron held Indi until his retirement in 1993. He was succeeded in 1993 by the Liberal Party’s Lou Lieberman, a former Victorian state MP and minister. Lieberman served on the Liberal backbench until his retirement at the 2001 election.

In 2001, Indi was won by Sophie Panopoulos (now Mirabella). Mirabella served on the backbench for the entirety of the Howard government, becoming a parliamentary secretary in 2007 and a shadow minister in 2008.

At the 2013 election, Mirabella was defeated by independent candidate Cathy McGowan, who won a very tight contest by 439 votes. McGowan was re-elected with an enlarged margin in 2016.

Candidates
Sitting independent MP Cathy McGowan is not running for re-election.

Assessment
While Cathy McGowan’s margin is still relatively small, she is likely to strengthen her hold on the seat.

2016 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Cathy Mcgowan Independent 31,336 34.8 +3.6 33.4
Sophie Mirabella Liberal 24,887 27.6 -17.1 27.8
Marty Corboy Nationals 15,525 17.2 +17.2 17.8
Eric Kerr Labor 8,826 9.8 -1.9 10.1
Jenny O’Connor Greens 3,445 3.8 +0.4 4.0
Julian Fidge Australian Country Party 1,863 2.1 +2.1 2.1
Alan James Lappin Independent 1,757 1.9 +2.0 1.9
Vincent Ferrando Rise Up Australia 1,150 1.3 +0.2 1.3
Tim Quilty Liberal Democrats 886 1.0 +1.0 0.9
Ray Dyer Independent 462 0.5 +0.5 0.5
Others 0.3
Informal 6,299 6.5

2016 two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Cathy Mcgowan Independent 49,421 54.8 +4.6 54.9
Sophie Mirabella Liberal 40,716 45.2 -4.6 45.1

2016 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Sophie Mirabella Liberal 49,038 54.4 -4.7 55.0
Eric Kerr Labor 41,099 45.6 +4.7 45.0

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five areas. Polling places in Wodonga and Indigo council areas have been grouped along council boundaries. The remainder were split into East, South-West and West.

Independent MP Cathy McGowan won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote (vs the Liberal Party) in all five areas, ranging from 51.1% in the south-west to 62.2% in Indigo.

The Nationals came third, with a vote ranging from 7.3% in the west to 12.6% in the east.

Voter group NAT prim % IND 2CP % Total votes % of votes
West 7.3 51.3 11,494 12.3
Wodonga 8.7 57.9 9,649 10.4
South-West 10.5 51.1 7,989 8.6
Indigo 12.0 62.2 6,981 7.5
East 12.6 54.6 6,658 7.1
Other votes 6.9 52.2 12,196 13.1
Pre-poll 2.2 53.4 38,184 41.0

Election results in Indi at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (Independent vs Liberal) and Nationals primary votes.


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60 COMMENTS

  1. Mark Byatt’s website is a real porker. Images of him in Wangaratta with a great big pig. Reminds me of Keating’s Pig Farm.

    After reading Krtz’s Comments above about tree changers driving habits
    I wonder if Indi has a higher percentage of Road Hogs than rest of country. Bike riders are Kangaroo’s on wheels with one difference they seem to multiply the closer one gets to a pub.
    Belen Haines only HTV listing parties of candidates on it. Seems like most candidates do not want voters to know who they are voting for.

    HTV from Haines and Coalition candidates printed locally. ALP HTV printed in Melbourne. Money of course is a factor and Gifts in kind
    But support for local industry goes a long way in electorates like this. ALP and Liberals HTV talk about jobs but not local jobs. Haines talks about local jobs AND her HTV printing reflects this. Snap Printing Wodonga printed 3 non Labor HTV I have seen.

    Disadvantage of centralised printing is that you need skilled buyers not to stuff it up. Brisbane ALP HTV with South Brisbane reverse would not happen with decentralised printing and purchasing.

    Big problem with centralised control is that is captured by marketing guru’s who are frequently in experienced, totally ignorant of local issues and more worried about the PMS colour and stock (paper) than the message.
    Andrew Jackson

  2. Andrew
    Having driven all over Australia, Victorian drivers are COMPREHENSIVELY the WORST !!. This is in every respect, & by any measurement !!. The only thing i could say in their defence is that they are not helped by the most obscene, & invasive traffic laws in the western world, governed by what is effectively zero tolerance.

    A wonderful example in the recent introduction of a fine/ penalty for drivers of heavy vehicles caught in the right lane of 4 lane freeways !!. What kind of brain dead moron would think that was ok in the first place !!??.
    It will come as little surprise to anyone that has followed my posts on Victoria, & Victorians that i have great depth of feeling on this, & many similar subjects !!

  3. At 1.15PM spotted a Derryn Hinch illuminated sign truck in Shell service station in Bright. This was a design I have never seen before more like a mobile neon sign.Unfortunately most of it shielded by trees so could not read message without an interaction with WD’s Victorian Drivers. Victorian drivers have nothing on Vic Cyclists who behave like they have Panzer protection. Only ones that behaved appropriately had a decided German accent.

  4. Wine Diamond
    As for Victorian Drivers I got booted at four times in 5 minutes once I got into Tullamarine.Error on my port in one case in other 3 sheer impatience on other drivers part.
    On Snow Rd from Myrtleford to Bruce Highway and on Bruce Highway in Indi and McEwen only signs I saw were National Corflutes and you would not know an election was taking place in Melbourne.
    Back in Longman plenty of Corflutes for LNP and ALP. Susan Lamb had illuminated indoor signs inside Northlakes shopping centre. Expensive but probably very noticaby
    Andrew Jackson

  5. Pollster
    My summary of 2 weeks in Bright . Fight is between Nats and Haines. ALP not a chance Libs not fighting like they think they can win.

  6. Most commentators seem to be assuming that this will be a Lib gain but I really wonder if the seat wide community network that elected McGowan is not as enthused about Haines who had good exposure on Q&A.

  7. Helen Haines was on ABC TV Q&A last Monday and acquitted herself will. My sister lives in Indi and is voting for Haines but I think the a major party will win and it might be the Nationals. Many country people dont like Labor and the Liberals may still be on the nose.

  8. Any guesses on who the AEC includes in the election night 2PP count? Will they include Haines as non-incumbent independent? If they do include her, it will likely be against the Libs, which won’t be much help if @Adrian Jackson is right about who is really in the fight. I wouldn’t be completely surprised if they count Lib vs Nat.

  9. @Dean

    Count on the election night will almost certainly be Haines vs Lib.

    Final count will be either Haines vs Lib or Haines vs Nat. Don’t know which – they may well change in the following days, but only if the Lib PV is well down.

    I have an old friend who is working with Haines campaign, previously worked with McGowan. She’s less confident than last time, but they’re working hard…

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