McEwen – Australia 2019

ALP 5.9%

Incumbent MP
Rob Mitchell, since 2010.

Geography
Northern Victoria. McEwen covers the northern fringe of Melbourne and rural areas further north, including Gisborne, Romsey, Macedon, Whittlesea, Strathewen, Sunbury, Kilmore and Wallan.

Redistribution
McEwen lost northern parts of Mitchell Shire to Nicholls, including Puckapunyal, Seymour, Tallarook and Broadford, and also lost Mickleham and Oaklands Junction to Calwell and South Morang to Scullin. McEwen gained Macedon from Bendigo and Yarrambat and Hurstbridge from Scullin. These changes reduced the Labor margin from 7.9% to 5.9%.

History
McEwen was created when the Parliament was expanded in 1984, and was first won by Peter Cleeland of the ALP. The seat has traditionally been considered a marginal seat, although the Liberal Party held it continuously from 1996 until 2010.

Cleeland held on in 1987 before losing to Fran Bailey in 1990. Cleeland returned in 1993 before Bailey defeated him again in 1996. Bailey held on at every election from 1996 to 2010, but never with a great margin. She held on with a 2.2% margin in 1996, 1.0% in 1998 and 1.2% in 2001. She gained a 6.4% margin in 2004, but that melted away in 2007, when her margin was wiped out and the seat became the most marginal seat in the country.

Bailey led for most of the count after the 2007 election but her Labor opponent, Rob Mitchell, was declared the winner by six votes. A full recount gave Bailey a margin of twelve votes. This result was challenged in court and after seven months Bailey was declared the victor with a margin of twenty-seven votes.

In 2010, Bailey retired and Mitchell was comfortably elected.

Mitchell was re-elected narrowly in 2013, and again more comfortably in 2016.

Candidates

Assessment
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2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Rob Mitchell Labor 50,58844.7+7.142.1
Chris Jermyn Liberal 38,15133.7-6.635.9
Neil Barker Greens 8,5837.6+0.58.6
Dorothy Lorraine LongFamily First3,7073.3+0.43.0
Cathy VainaAnimal Justice3,0052.7+2.72.8
Ross LeeIndependent3,0132.7+2.72.4
James Anderson Nationals 2,6722.4+2.42.0
Jeff TruscottRise Up Australia1,8671.6+1.21.6
Tracey AndrewAustralian Country Party1,6141.4+0.81.3
Others0.2
Informal7,1896.0

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Rob Mitchell Labor 65,48257.8+7.755.9
Chris Jermyn Liberal 47,71842.2-7.744.1

Booth breakdown

Polling places in McEwen have been divided into four areas. Polling places in the Macedon Ranges council area have been grouped as “West”, those in the Mitchell council area have been grouped as “North-East”, those in the Nillumbik and Whittlesea council areas have been grouped as “South-East”, and those in the Hume council area have been grouped as “Sunbury”.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from a virtual tie in the west to 59.1% in the north-east.

Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South-East56.216,42119.6
West50.012,21714.5
Sunbury59.011,15513.3
North-East59.19,28611.1
Other votes55.814,19616.9
Pre-poll56.220,71124.7

Two-party-preferred votes in McEwen at the 2016 federal election

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Liberals can’t afford to campaign here, so even though the redistribution has shrunk the margin this seat is safe as houses.

  2. One for the 2022 watchlist, when Liberals will actually try to take seats off Labor. Rob Mitchell got very lucky twice; 2013’s razor thin margin, and 2016’s scandalised Liberal candidate. It really depends on redistributions though.

  3. This is always a seat that attracts a lot of interest at redistributions. The geography of Victoria means that McEwen tends to bear the brunt of changes in other parts of the state, and even a small change in boundaries can cause a large change in the margin. For this reason, I don’t think it’s possible to make predictions beyond 2019, as any redistribution before 2022 will cause more potentially significant changes here.

    IIRC the Liberal candidate was a dud last time, hence the big swing, and a few of those Labor margins look a bit inflated. Labor should win even with a better Lib candidate, but it would have been a Liberal seat on these boundaries in 2013.

  4. MQ
    Sunbury swung 15 %+ in 2016

    Mark M
    2013 with Donna Petrovitch. McEwen seems to have lost a lot of solid ALP fringe Northern suburbs. Is it possible that this has produced more volatility too ? i agree with your comments. However i am certain this will go to the coalition in 2022

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