Forest Hill – Victoria 2018

LIB 4.8%

Incumbent MP
Neil Angus, since 2010.

Geography
Eastern Melbourne. Forest Hill covers the suburbs of Blackburn South, Burwood East, Forest Hill, Vermont and Vermont South, and parts of Glen Waverley. Forest Hill mainly covers southeastern parts of the City of Whitehorse, as well as a small area in the northeastern corner of the City of Monash.

History
Forest Hill was first created in 1976. It was won at the 1976 election by Liberal candidate John Richardson. He held the seat until 2002, serving as a shadow minister in the 1980s.

Richardson retired in 2002. A large swing to the ALP saw Olympic skier Kirstie Marshall win the seat at the 2002 election with a 5.8% margin. This was cut to 0.8% at the 2006 election.

In 2010, Marshall was defeated by Liberal candidate Neil Angus. Angus was re-elected in 2014.

Candidates

Assessment
Forest Hill is a marginal Liberal seat, but a large swing would be required for the seat to change hands.

2014 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Neil Angus Liberal 18,34049.7+0.9
Pauline Richards Labor 12,98435.2-3.0
Brewis Atkinson Greens 3,2898.9+1.1
Kane RogersAnimal Justice9992.7+2.7
Lynne MaddisonAustralian Christians5611.5+1.5
Wendy RossFamily First5081.4-0.6
Melissa TrotterCountry Alliance2110.6+0.6
Informal1,6464.3

2014 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Neil Angus Liberal 20,28654.8+1.3
Pauline Richards Labor 16,71745.2-1.3

Booth breakdown

Booths in Forest Hill have been divided into three areas: east, south and west.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 51% in the west to 56.6% in the south.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
East54.29,03924.5
West51.09,04324.5
South56.64,60112.5
Other votes57.66,99419.0
Pre-poll57.47,21519.6

Two-party-preferred votes in Forest Hill at the 2014 Victorian state election

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not sure I find it such a surprise. I think because Melbourne generally leans more left overall than the other capital cities, electorates that would fit the profile of a middle-class marginal elsewhere are often safer for Labor here (eg. Oakleigh), while upper-middle class electorates which would probably be safe Lib in other states are often marginals (eg. Bentleigh).

    The conservative belt in the outer-east is an exception to the rule, I’m surprised how strong the Liberal vote is in areas like Croydon & Rowville. Those suburbs come across as a more working class Labor-friendly suburbia to me than Bentleigh, Mordialloc, Cheltenham & Mentone, but it’s the social conservatism that resonates better out there.

    I think it just shows that conservative social values are a turn-off for voters in Melbourne’s middle-ring suburbs that may otherwise lean more Liberal than they do, Forest Hill included.

  2. I wouldn’t call this area “upper middle class”. Parts of Vermont are quite affluent (where the Lib vote starts creeping up towards 60%), but most of Forest Hill is fairly standard middle class. I think there used to a bit of public housing around the western parts of the seat, which might explain why the numbers are a bit softer for the Liberals.

    Interesting to see the swing was actually to the Liberals in 2014

  3. I’m guessing a sophomore surge to Neil Angus – I don’t live in Melbourne let alone this seat, so maybe he’s just a good member?

  4. The swing to the Liberals in 2014 was almost certainly because of the East West Link issue, because that project was very popular in this area.
    The Northeast Link almost replaces this road though.

  5. Manoj Kumar has lately been out and about. It seems that the ALP don’t rate this as too winnable as he was the only candidate to put his hand up for preselection – strange if it was seen as winnable.

    The down side for any winner of this electorate is that it could be abolished in the next redistribution. Forest Hill is very much under quota and surrounded by seats that are also well under quota. One of them will need to go – leaving MP’s looking for a new home.

  6. I agree with Mark, in not calling this seat “upper middle class”. I would describe it as being a fairly comfortable middle class area home to many professionally employed families.

    Trent

    I think it depends on how one describes “working class” and “middle class”. As long as I have followed politics Croydon has been solid Liberal voting although the ALP did well across the outer eastern suburbs during the 1980s, however this area was badly hurt by the collapse of the state bank and early 1990s recession and has never really forgiven the ALP for it.

    Oakleigh has a long history of lending towards the ALP, it may even have been the ALP’s first seat in that part of Melbourne.

  7. Interestingly Manoj Kumar seems to have been campaigning extensively at train stations north of the electorate. Presumably train station campaigning is so effective that it’s worth it to catch the tiny amount of spillover.

    The guy seems to be very active and that can make the difference.

  8. Another eastern Melbourne seat, usually will be won by liberals unless they pull off a 2002 election which won’t happen

  9. My prediction: Labor were lucky to hold this in 2006, and this should stay in Liberal hands barring a sizeable swing.

  10. Labor were campaigning at the stations a few weeks back but have now stopped. Haven’t been seen for weeks.
    Interestingly also, the Labor corflutes seem to be in areas just outside the electorate rather than inside – quite curious.

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