Isaacs – Australia 2019

ALP 3.0%

Incumbent MP
Mark Dreyfus, since 2007.

Outer south-eastern Melbourne. Isaacs covers suburbs along the coast of Port Phillip Bay on the south-eastern fringe of Melbourne. It covers southern parts of Kingston and Greater Dandenong council areas.

Isaacs shifted north, gaining Cheltenham, Moorabbin and Heatherton from Hotham, and losing Carrum Downs, Sandhurst and Skye to Dunkley. These changes cut the Labor margin from 5.7% to 3%.

Isaacs was created at a redistribution before the 1969 federal election. The seat was long a marginal seat, but has become safer for the ALP over the last decade.

The seat was first won in 1969 by the Liberal Party’s David Hamer. Hamer held the seat until 1974, when he lost to the ALP’s Gareth Clayton, but Hamer won back the seat in 1975.

Hamer retired in 1977, and was succeeded by Liberal candidate William Burns. Burns failed to win re-election in 1980, when Isaacs was won by the ALP’s David Charles.

Charles held the seat for a decade, retiring in 1990. The Liberal Party’s Rod Atkinson won back the seat in 1990.

Atkinson was re-elected in 1993, but a redistribution before the 1996 election changed Isaacs’ margin from a 3% Liberal margin to a 3.9% Labor margin, and Atkinson lost to the ALP’s Greg Wilton.

Wilton was re-elected in 1998. His marriage broke down in 2000, and he faced strong media attack in 2000 after being found by police in a situation that some interpreted as an attempted murder-suicide. This ended with Wilton committing suicide in June 2000. He remains the only member of federal Parliament to ever die by suicide.

The ALP’s Ann Corcoran easily won re-election at the ensuing by-election, with the Liberal Party not standing a candidate. Corcoran’s margin was cut to around 1-2% at the 2001 and 2004 elections, and retired in 2007.

The seat was won in 2007 by the ALP’s candidate, prominent lawyer Mark Dreyfus. Dreyfus was re-elected in 2010, 2013 and 2016.


Isaacs is a marginal seat and has become more so in the redistribution, but it would be unlikely to fall unless Labor was to drop in the national polls.

2016 result

Mark Dreyfus Labor 41,14444.5+3.240.9
Garry Spencer Liberal 37,31240.4+0.142.7
Alex Breskin Greens 9,42910.2+3.110.7
Elizabeth JohnstonAnimal Justice4,5855.0+5.04.3

2016 two-party-preferred result

Mark Dreyfus Labor 51,53855.7+1.953.0
Garry Spencer Liberal 40,93244.3-1.947.0

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Isaacs have been divided into three areas, ranging from east, north-west and the south.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 51.1% in the north-west to 58% in the east.

The Greens came third, with a vote ranging from 7.5% in the east to 12.9% in the north-west.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes10.156.415,52417.0

Election results in Isaacs 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.