Indi – Australia 2013

LIB 9.0%

Incumbent MP
Sophia Mirabella, since 2001.

Map of Indi's 2010 and 2013 boundaries. 2010 boundaries marked as red lines, 2013 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.
Map of Indi’s 2010 and 2013 boundaries. 2010 boundaries marked as red lines, 2013 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.

North-eastern Victoria.  Indi runs along the Murray River and stretches inland to cover Wodonga, Wangaratta, Towong, Mansfield, Murrindindi, Indigo, Benalla and Alpine council areas, and a part of Moira council area. The major cities in the seat are Wodonga and Wangaratta.

Changes were made to Indi’s western, boundary, losing Strathbogie council area to Murray, and gaining Murrindindi council area from McEwen. This reduced the Liberal margin from 9.9% to 9.0%.

Indi is an original federation electorate. Apart from four elections when the ALP won the seat, Indi has almost always been won by the Coalition parties and their predecessors.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Protectionist candidate Isaac Isaacs. Isaacs was a radical member of the Protectionist party and did not get along with most of his party. He was appointed Attorney-General in Alfred Deakin’s government in 1905, but in 1906 he was appointed to the High Court. Isaacs served on the High Court for 24 years. In 1930 he was appointed Chief Justice by Labor Prime Minister James Scullin. Shortly after, Scullin decided to break with tradition by appointing an Australian-born Governor-General, and chose Isaacs. Isaacs served as Governor-General until 1936.

Indi was won in 1906 by Anti-Socialist candidate Joseph Brown, a former Victorian state MP. Brown joined the merged Liberal Party in 1909, although he was a fierce critic of Alfred Deakin. He lost Indi in 1910 to the ALP’s Parker Moloney.

Moloney held Indi until the 1913 election, when he lost to the Liberal Party’s Cornelius Ahern, but Moloney won it back in 1914. Moloney lost Indi again in 1917. He went on to move across the border to the neighbouring NSW seat of Hume, which at the time covered Albury. He held Hume from 1919 to 1931, and served as a minister in the Scullin government.

The Nationalist Party’s John Leckie, a Victorian state MP, won Indi in 1917. He lost the seat in 1919 to Robert Cook of the Victorian Farmers’ Union, which became the Country Party.

Cook retained Indi at the 1922 and 1925 elections, but lost the seat in bizarre circumstances in 1928, when he failed to lodge his nomination papers. The seat instead was won by the ALP’s Paul Jones.

Jones was re-elected in 1929, when Cook attempted to retain his seat, before he lost Indi to the United Australia Party’s William Hutchinson in 1931. Jones went on to serve in the Victorian Legislative Council from 1938 and 1958, and left the ALP as part of the split in 1955, ending up in the Democratic Labor Party.

Hutchinson held Indi for two terms. In 1937 he moved to the new seat of Deakin, which he held until his retirement in 1949.

Indi was won in 1937 by the Country Party’s John McEwen, who had previously won the seat of Echuca in 1934. He served as a minister in the Liberal/Country governments from 1937 to 1941.

McEwen left Indi to take the new seat of Murray in 1949, and he joined Robert Menzies’ cabinet in the new government. He was elected Country Party leader in 1958, and when Robert Menzies retired in 1966 he became the most senior figure in the government, with tremendous influence over the Country Party’s larger ally, the Liberal Party. When Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared in late 1967, McEwen briefly served as Acting Prime Minister, and he vetoed the choice of the Treasurer, William McMahon, leading to Senator John Gorton moving to the House of Representatives and becoming Prime Minister. McEwen retired in 1971.

Indi was won in 1949 by Liberal candidate William Bostock. Bostock held the seat until the 1958 election, when he lost to the Country Party’s Mac Holten. Holten was a former footballer, and he served as Minister for Repatriation from 1969 to 1972.

In 1977, Holten was challenged by the Liberal Party’s Ewen Cameron. Despite topping the poll on primary votes, Holten lost when Cameron overtook him on Labor preferences.

Cameron held Indi until his retirement in 1993. He was succeeded in 1993 by the Liberal Party’s Lou Lieberman, a former Victorian state MP and minister. Lieberman served on the Liberal backbench until his retirement at the 2001 election.

In 2001, Indi was won by Sophie Panopoulos (now Mirabella). Mirabella served on the backbench for the entirety of the Howard government, serving as a prominent member of the hard-right faction of the Liberal Party. She was promoted to serve as a Parliamentary Secretary in the Opposition after the 2007 election, and became a Shadow Minister in 2008.


  • Robert Dudley (Rise Up Australia)
  • Cathy McGowan (Independent)
  • Rick Leeworthy (Family First)
  • Sophia Mirabella (Liberal)
  • Helma Aschenbrenner (Sex Party)
  • William Hayes (Bullet Train For Australia)
  • Robyn Walsh (Labor)
  • Jenny O’Connor (Greens)
  • Phil Rourke (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Robert Murphy (Palmer United Party)
  • Jennifer Podesta (Independent)

Indi is a safe Liberal seat on paper. Reports suggest that independent Cathy McGowan has the potential to buck the trend and win the seat off Mirabella, possibly with the assistance of Labor and Greens preferences.

2010 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Sophie Mirabella LIB 44,555 52.62 -1.76
Zuvele Leschen ALP 23,034 27.20 -4.92
Jenny O’Connor GRN 8,000 9.45 +1.87
Alan Lappin IND 4,945 5.84 +5.84
Robert Cavedon FF 3,190 3.77 -0.05
Mark Carey DEM 947 1.12 -0.57

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Sophie Mirabella LIB 50,755 59.94 +0.75
Zuvele Leschen ALP 33,916 40.06 -0.75
Polling places in Indi at the 2010 federal election. East in orange, Indigo in pink, South in red, West in green, Wodonga in blue. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Indi at the 2010 federal election. East in orange, Indigo in pink, South in red, West in green, Wodonga in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into five areas. Polling places in Wodonga and Indigo council areas have been grouped along council boundaries. The remainder were split into East, South and West.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the vote in all five areas, varying from 54.5% in Indigo to 62.8% in the east.

Voter group GRN % LIB 2PP % Total votes % of ordinary votes
West 8.67 60.04 15,949 28.56
Wodonga 8.56 56.44 13,050 23.37
South 10.79 56.33 10,236 18.33
East 9.91 62.75 8,810 15.77
Indigo 12.53 54.53 7,807 13.98
Other votes 9.33 61.61 30,471
Two-party-preferred votes in Indi at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Indi at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Wodonga at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Wodonga at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Wangaratta at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Wangaratta at the 2010 federal election.


  1. No one calling this as yet and Sophie was doing a Diaz and hiding it seems. McGowan got the late surge and is definitely within range. Was up to 33.5% at one stage earlier in the evening but now is just over 32%. 2% less for Sophie and it would look easier for McGowan. Green did state in the ABC Call of the House that he thought Sophie might just get back. Sophie might be sweating for a few days while pre poll and postals come in.

  2. I can just imagine many Labor people copying the antics of some Brits after Thatcher passed away this year if Mirabella loses.

  3. Gotta be happy that the greens were down 7000+ votes in Indi

    shows that the greens narrow line on policy is on the nose!!!

    only begs to question why the upwardly mobile folk in “Melb” increased Adams numbers????

    Maybe the coffee culture is so alive and well in Melbourne that they can sit and sip latte’s, mocca’s and short blacks as the drug of choice and really don’t care about Farmers and issues that are affecting so many more Australians that are doing it really hard.

    [ Yes as a footnote I would have to admit that I DO resent “IT” and “Finance” workers that get 6 figures+ when the actual “hands on” workers get less than $20 per hour……………..Hard to Imagine why someone should get obcene money when the ones who actually produce something get way less ….and then the sack!! When the Higher earners need to maintain their income level.

  4. Latest word from Melbourne HQ is that Sophie was really upset on the trip back home to Melbourne that their were too many out of town ring-ins working for the Independent!!

    (PS. I’m joking Sophie!!)

  5. Marc Bazin: “Gotta be happy that the greens were down 7000+ votes in Indi shows that the greens narrow line on policy is on the nose!!!”
    What a stupid series of comments you have posted, most of which clearly don’t require a response as the answers are obvious.

    In Indi most of the Green vote obviously went to McGowan as did most of the ALP vote. Hence the reason why she is in the running to take the seat.

    Nationally, the Green vote went down by around 3.3% from the record high of 2010 to approx. 8.5%. At this stage they kept their one HoR seat and may have increased their Senate rep by 1 seat when both majors are losing reps. They seem pretty happy with those results.

    If that is on the nose then you do live in a parallel universe of your own diatribe, my friend. Obviously, the Greens vote fell as expected and yes more than they would have liked. Yet they still have nearly 1m Australians voting for them and still nearly doubled the Nationals vote (4.57%) when the Nats got the best result in decades.

    The future is a mosaic which we all have to learn to accept. Even some guy from a Motoring party who believes GW was involved in Sept11 and enjoy roo turds fights gets a potential shot!

  6. Yappo, the numbers don’t sum because the 2PP count has less booths. I suspect they haven’t counted the Prepolls in the 2PP which was the biggest booth.

  7. The Guardians Nick Evershed thinks the extra 1K ‘missing’ votes could now clinch it for McGowan.
    “Back of the envelope calculations suggest the missing 1,003 votes for Cathy McGowan reported in The Australian may be enough to decide the vote in her favour.

    So far 1,940 formal postal votes have been counted and the split has been 57.42% to Mirabella, and 42.58% to McGowan. With a remaining 7,144 postal votes to be counted, if the same ratio was maintained the result would be a Mirabella win with 41,255 of the two-candidate preferred vote to McGowan’s 40,966. However adding the extra 1,003 votes would put McGowan ahead with 41,969.

    There are however still three polling places listed as having not yet been counted, which may also affect the outcome if there’s a significant swing towards one candidate. “

  8. If the lead is 1500 to McGowan and there are around 8000 postal votes outstanding, a figure that has been thrown around, then Mirabella would need 5,500 of the postal votes to win. Poll Bludger thinks these votes might be just about enough to get McGowan home

  9. I don’t see the 1003 votes included in the latest update from the AEC as at 439pm:

    I saw that there were no less than 40 scrutineers ‘helping’ the AEC with the count. I’m sure that is helping things move along nicely:)

    Obviously the scrutineers don’t share your views DB about the defeat of Mirabella being good for the Liberals. I agree with you though – I think it sends a message not just to Liberals but to all MPs.

  10. Check the news stories – the extra votes haven’t yet made it onto the AEC website – heard an interview with an AEC official suggesting that the lead to McGowan would be 1500 votes when this happened. Next lot of votes in will be overseas ballots

  11. A McGowan partisan might observe in the alternative that “gee, it’s strange that somehow 1000 votes got accidentally left out”. In reality of course it was just SNAFU.

  12. Not strange – double check against the number of Senate votes revealed a discrepancy – oddly reassuring in a way that crosschecking by the AEC ensures that errors are picked up

  13. This story is a great reminder to all MPs in safe seats that they cannot ignore their constituency just because their constituents won’t vote for the other major party. Thanks goodness for strong independents keeping everyone honest.

  14. No chance of McGowan joining the National Party – given the nature of the campaign she ran.

    Why would she do that anyway when she can look forward to being returned with an increased majority next time if she does a decent job – witness Windsor in New England.

  15. Further thoughts -McGowan having to caucus with Barnaby Joyce if she joined the nationals – don’t quite see that working.

  16. Have to agree that McGowan is a very impressive candidate and it is good to see her win Indi. I doubt she would move to a major conservative party, although, she is a conservative.

  17. My impression from a distance was that there was an undercurrent of “Nats sticking it to the Libs” in the campaign in this seat. This was once Black Jack’s seat…

  18. I understand that was part of it, though there was also the ‘local’ factor. I’ve hear Indi residents refer to Sophie as ‘that Liberal from Melbourne’, though she must have lived there for more than a decade by now.

  19. Have you actually read the McGowan policy platform? She is not a conservative. Also kme – Black Jack was member for Murray, not Indi.

  20. She’s a former Liberal staffer elected with the support of the Nats and the good people of Indi, who, I can tell you, are not radical lefties.

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