Aston – Australia 2013

LIB 0.7%

Incumbent MP
Alan Tudge, since 2010.

Geography
Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Aston lies entirely within Knox local government areas, covering all of Knox council with the exception of some parts in the north east. Suburbs include Bayswater, Boronia, Knoxfield, Scoresby, Wantirna and Rowville.

Map of Aston’s 2010 and 2013 boundaries. 2010 boundaries appear as red line, 2013 boundaries appear as white area. Local government areas are marked as green lines. Click to enlarge.

Redistribution
Aston moved to the east in the redistribution, losing those parts in Whitehorse local government area (Vermont and Vermont South) to Deakin. Aston gained areas around Boronia from La Trobe. The redistribution cut the Liberal Party’s margin from 1.8% to 0.7%.

History
Aston was first created as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives in 1984, and has always been a marginal seat, although the seat has been consistently held by the Liberal Party for the last two decade and the Liberals pushed the seat out of ‘marginal seat’ territory at the 2004 election.

Aston was first won in 1984 by ALP candidate John Saunderson, who had previously been elected to Deakin at the 1983 election. Saunderson held on with a smaller margin in 1987 before losing with a 7% swing at the 1990 election.

The seat was won in 1990 by Peter Nugent (LIB). Nugent was known as a moderate Liberal who supported human rights issues. He was reelected with a slim margin in 1993 and pushed his margin out to almost 6% in 1996, and was re-elected again in 1998. Nugent died in April 2001 of a heart attack, triggering the Aston by-election.

The Howard government was not performing strongly in the first half of 2001, having seen disastrous results in state elections in Queensland and Western Australia and the loss of the blue-ribbon Brisbane seat of Ryan in another federal by-election.

The Liberal Party’s candidate, Chris Pearce, managed to hold on with 50.6% of the vote, limiting the anti-Liberal swing to 3.7%, which was seen as a strong result for the government, and the beginning of the turnaround which saw the Howard government returned at the 2001 election.

Pearce was reelected with just over 56% in 2001, and pushed his margin to over 63% in 2004, the largest victory margin in Aston’s history. Pearce was again re-elected in 2007, although his margin was cut to 5%.

In 2010, Pearce retired and the Liberal Party’s Alan Tudge won the seat with a reduced margin. The ALP gained a 3.3% swing, reducing the margin to 1.8%.

Candidates

  • Rupert Evans (Labor)
  • Jennifer Speer (Rise Up Australia)
  • Steve Raymond (Greens)
  • Alan Tudge (Liberal)
  • Brad Watt (Palmer United Party)
  • Tony Foster (Family First)
  • Charity Jenkins (Sex Party)

Assessment
If the ALP is to win a majority in the House of Representatives, they will need to gain a net four seats. Aston is the third-most marginal Coalition seat in the country. Considering that Victoria has been better for Labor in recent years than the rest of the country, this seat could be vulnerable.

Alternatively, Tudge can be expected to benefit from a new personal vote as a sitting member running for re-election for the first time.

2010 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Alan TudgeLIB39,73346.85-3.86
Rupert EvansALP32,72538.58-0.26
Salore CraigGRN8,2069.67+4.44
Rachel HannaFF4,1534.90+1.43

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Alan TudgeLIB43,90151.76-3.29
Rupert EvansALP40,91648.24+3.29
Polling booths in Aston at the 2010 federal election. South in yellow, Central in blue, North East in green, North West in red.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas: Central, South, North East and North West. Those parts transferred from La Trobe are included in North East.

The Liberal Party won a majority in the south and the north west. The ALP won a majority of 51.7%  in the centre of the seat and a larger 4.5% margin in the north east. The ALP’s vote peaks in the area previously included in La Trobe.

Voter groupGRN %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
South8.0052.7320,23130.23
North East10.9145.4919,52729.18
Central9.7648.2815,87923.73
North West9.1952.8811,28616.86
Other votes10.7954.5318,878
Two-party-preferred votes in Aston at the 2010 federal election.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Even without a Labor candidate in the field yet, I suspect the Liberals will have a tough time holding Aston. Alan Tudge is a rising star in the Liberal Party, and they’ll badly want to hold onto him and this seat.

  2. Labor has again endorsed Rupert Evans for Aston. Will be an interesting contest, but in an election predicting a landslide for the Coalition, you’d expect Alan Tudge to win.

  3. This seat should be interesting to watch, now that the switch to Rudd has occurred. It’s theoretically got a less than 1% margin after redistribution, and thus may be a seat targeted by Labor as they shift their focus more towards winning seats rather than merely defending seats.

    I’m putting this here now to see if punters agree (let’s see how the numbers shift over the next few weeks)… Current odds: Centrebet has ALP at $3.60 and Libs at $1.25. Sportsbet has ALP at $3.50 and Libs at $1.25.

  4. I’d say those odds are about right. If things continue to swing toward Labor, then Aston could be at risk, but I tend to think that 2010 will be Labor’s high watermark. Worth noting that the MP here should improve his vote now that he’s a sitting member.

    There’s real hope about holding Deakin, La Trobe and Corangamite now. Of potential pick ups, I see Dunkley as more likely than Aston (no sophomore surge, stench of the State Member for Frankston, strong Labor candidate), though in general I expect Labor pick ups to be in QLD and WA more than the southern states.

  5. Evans polled relatively well last election as a first-timer. With an ALP landslide predicted to clean out the rubble (or should that be Ruddle) in the predicted landslide I’d say Evans should abandon the Party presidential campaign policy and start shouting from the rooftops about stuff that matters. He’s far too quiet so close to an election. Australia is looking for a new ALP and there are precedents set for leaders to be knocked off their perches.Evans should be seen and heard as an individual. Who knows he may be the only ALP MHR…that makes him a parliamentary Party Leader, a new face, a new voice, a new hope…and doesn’t this country need all of the above. Come out Rupert! Umm, you know what I mean.

  6. JWS indicating a substantial swing here which reaffirms Coalition beliefs that there is a large swing on in Victoria. On 2PP it is 63/37 with a Lib primary of 59% and Labor 29%. One would think this would bring a number of other safer seats into contention such as Bruce and the current Speaker’s seat. This is one of the devastating of polls for Labor.

    I had been saying for a while by replacing Gillard, the ALP would likely do worse in VIC given the loss of the VIC PM.

  7. DB have a look at corangamite result, no substantial swing here. This seat has a sophomore surge, and it’s been held by similar margins

  8. Alan Tudge along with Jason Wood are now seen as stable and accessible by the electorate they are doing what they have been doing for the past 4yrs and it now has become a credence to both Politicians they are liked trusted and KNOWN by their continuous presence in the Aston electorate.
    Rupert Evans is a long standing Public Government Employee and is an Leader and administrator of government employees , and that is a not so good image in this Aston Electorate as Union Bosses are now realized as not so good in the real world where most people strive and economically exist
    The other problem with Rupert is his none existence to most, especially those who are not in his union government employees collective or many who are new comers to the area ,–or the most others that tend to notice the busy politician over the course of the last 4yrs and Mr Evans only seems to pop up 4-6wks prior to election times shouting promises and fortunes with his other amalgamators who it is better not to mention.
    D H Lloyd

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