Bruce – Australia 2013

ALP 7.7%

Incumbent MP
Alan Griffin, since 1996.

Map of Bruce's 2010 and 2013 boundaries. 2010 boundaries appear as red line, 2013 boundaries appear as white area. Click to enlarge.
Map of Bruce’s 2010 and 2013 boundaries. 2010 boundaries appear as red line, 2013 boundaries appear as white area. Click to enlarge.

Geography
South-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Bruce covers the northern suburbs of Greater Dandenong council and the eastern suburbs of Monash council. Suburbs include Dandenong, Noble Park, Mulgrave, Wheelers Hill, Glen Waverley and Notting Hill.

Redistribution
Bruce gained parts of Glen Waverley from Chisholm, while maintaining all of the territory contained in the seat in 2010. The redistribution reduced Labor’s margin from 8.1% to 7.7%.

History
The seat of Bruce has existed since the 1955 election. Prior to 1996 it was a relatively safe Liberal seat, but demographic and boundary changes have seen the seat become a marginal Labor seat.

The seat was first won in 1955 by Liberal candidate Billy Snedden. Snedden served as a Cabinet minister from 1964 to 1972, serving as Billy McMahon’s Treasurer from 1971 until the government’s defeat in 1972. Snedden was elected Leader of the Liberal Party, and served in the role for the first two years of the Whitlam government. He used the Coalition’s Senate majority to block the Whitlam government’s budget, triggering the 1974 election, which he lost.

Snedden lost the Liberal leadership in early 1975, and was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1976 after the election of the Fraser government. He served in the role for the entirety of the Fraser government, and after the defeat of the government in 1983 he retired from Parliament.

The 1983 Bruce by-election was won by the Liberal Party’s Ken Aldred. Aldred had previously held the seat of Henty from 1975 to 1980, when he was defeated. Aldred held Bruce until 1990, when he moved to the seat of Deakin, and held it until 1996.

Bruce was held by the Liberal Party’s Julian Beale from 1990 to 1996, when he lost to the ALP’s Alan Griffin.

Griffin served as a shadow minister from 1998 to the election of the Rudd government in 2007, when he was appointed Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. He left the ministry after the 2010 election.

Candidates

Assessment
Bruce is held by a 7.7% margin, which would normally be safe. The margin is likely to be enough to hold on in Victoria in 2013, but there could be an upset result.

2010 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Alan GriffinALP37,79449.24-2.61
Mike KabosLIB28,58037.24-0.33
Stefan ZibellGRN7,2229.41+4.32
Felicity HemmersbachFF3,1514.11+1.26

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Alan GriffinALP44,60358.12-0.20
Mike KabosLIB32,14441.88+0.20
Polling places in Bruce at the 2010 federal election. Dandenong in yellow, Glen Waverley in red, Mulgrave-Wheelers Hill in blue, Springvale-Noble Park in green. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Bruce at the 2010 federal election. Dandenong in yellow, Glen Waverley in red, Mulgrave-Wheelers Hill in blue, Springvale-Noble Park in green. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas. The northern half of the seat is contained in the City of Monash and the southern half of the seat is contained in the City of Greater Dandenong. Two areas are contained in each council area.

From north to south, these areas are Glen Waverley, Mulgrave-Wheelers Hill, Springvale-Noble Park and Dandenong.

The ALP won a slender 53.2% majority in Mulgrave-Wheelers Hill and large majorities in Dandenong and Springvale-Noble Park. The Liberal Party won a slim 50.2% majority in Glen Waverley.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Mulgrave-Wheelers Hill8.5053.2219,60130.83
Glen Waverley10.0649.8419,11230.06
Dandenong9.0866.7014,83023.32
Springvale-Noble Park8.6570.0610,03815.79
Other votes10.2756.5817,622
Two-party-preferred votes in Bruce at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Bruce at the 2010 federal election.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Will be one to watch, Labor’s Alan Griffin should be able to hold on here. Quite suprised he’s running again. He remains Labor’s best chance of retaining the seat.

  2. The Monash Freeway is traditionally regarded as a demographic divide in this part of the eastern suburbs….on the north you’ve got middle-class Waverley and Knox, on the south you have more industrial and working class Clayton, Springvale, and Dandenong. You can see this from the booth results very clearly.; every marginal or Liberal booth is north of the line of the freeway, every strong Labor booth south of it.

    The Liberals have probably under-achieved in the north in recent times, so there is room for a rebound there. But it’s hard to see Noble Park and Dandenong shifting enough to cost Labor the seat.

  3. Watch this seat could be a surprise! Watch for internal polling stories being leaked by Labor in the up coming weeks, its not a pretty picture.

  4. Internal polling shows a 5% deterioration in the ALP’s primary vote, however, they should still win the seat.

  5. Prediction: Labor retain, although returning to the marginal zone.

    I’ll say the benchmark for the Liberals here would be winning every booth north of the freeway.

  6. DB
    Looking at this seat, it seems far more vulnerable to the libs, than it appears, for a great number of reasons.
    1/ Griffin himself has started packing his office, when the election date was set !!! (alright that is just a rumour!!!)
    2/ As a former minister, & after 17 years in office, surely his career is in it’s twilight??
    3/ So just how interested could he be in campaigning ??
    4/ Is he one of the MPs that they begged not to retire, so as not to lose the personal votes (they hold) ??
    5/Griffin has no personal vote with the 8000 voters transferred from Chisholm. Therefore the change in the margin is probably double ie 8.1 – 7.3 %.
    6/ This was one of the most volatile areas in the most recent VIC state election.Even the southern part swung hard (Noble Park) etc. 8 -9 % from memory.
    7/ Demographic change will go hard against labor

    In the end it can also be questioned just how long Griffin will hang around, even if he gets re-elected. So there could be yet another costly unnecessary by-election.
    Would love to see parties, or individual MPs made personally liable for By elections, barring death, or TPD.

  7. Another bigger swing makes this very marginal. The Liberals did indeed meet their benchmark of winning every booth north of the Monash.

  8. Might be Alan Griffin’s last term, was a strong Rudd supporter and would be unlikely to be considered for a frontbench position in Opposition. Suffered a significant swing against him, and was outpolled by the Liberal candidate who was a very strong candidate. Could win it next time if he runs.

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