McEwen – Australia 2013

ALP 9.2%

Incumbent MP
Rob Mitchell, since 2010.

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

Geography
Northern Victoria. McEwen covers the northern fringe of Melbourne and rural areas as far north as Seymour and Puckapunyal. The seat also covers Kilmore, Gisborne and Sunbury.

Redistribution
McEwen was changed dramatically in the recent redistribution. The entirety of Murrindindi was transferred to Indi. McEwen previously covered part of Yarra Ranges, and this entire area was transferred to Casey. A small part of the Macedon Ranges was transferred to Bendigo, and parts of the Melbourne fringes were transferred to Jagajaga and Scullin.

In exchange, McEwen gained Sunbury and other northern parts of Hume council area from Calwell. This increased the ALP margin from 5.3% to 9.1%.

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 has held on at every election since 1996, 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.

Candidates

  • Barry Newton (Family First)
  • Trevor Dance (Palmer United Party)
  • Ferdie Verdan (Rise Up Australia)
  • Ian Cranson (Country Alliance)
  • Bruce Stevens (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Vicki Nash (Sex Party)
  • Donna Petrovich (Liberal)
  • Rob Mitchell (Labor)
  • Neil Barker (Greens)

Assessment
McEwen has traditionally been a marginal seat, and was the closest seat in 2007. On the one hand, Mitchell should benefit from a sophmore surge, and a friendly redistribution. 9.1% is a very large margin for the Liberal Party to beat in 2013. On the other hand, Petrovich as a sitting state MLC is a strong candidate with a profile that could enhance her chances in an election year that will favour the Liberal Party.

2010 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Rob MitchellALP45,37443.17+2.97
Cameron CaineLIB42,05440.01-5.76
Steve MeacherGRN12,44011.84+3.16
Belinda ClarksonFF3,3583.19+0.70
Mark BiniLDP1,3321.27+0.44
Robert GordonSEC5490.52+0.52

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Rob MitchellALP58,14455.32+5.34
Cameron CaineLIB46,96344.68-5.34
Polling places in McEwen at the 2010 federal election. Hume in green, Macedon Ranges in yellow, Mitchell in blue, South-East in orange. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in McEwen at the 2010 federal election. Hume in green, Macedon Ranges in yellow, Mitchell in blue, South-East in orange. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas. Polling places in Hume, Mitchell and Macedon Ranges council areas have been grouped along those lines. Booths in the two south-eastern council areas of Nillumbik and Whittlesea have been grouped together.

The ALP’s majority varied from 54.4% in Macedon Ranges to 64.9% in Hume. The Greens vote varied from 7.9% in Mitchell to 11.5% in Hume.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Hume11.5364.8720,60133.83
Mitchell7.8656.7015,19524.95
South-East9.3357.6113,81522.68
Macedon Ranges11.2854.3511,28918.54
Other votes12.3053.3526,652
Two-party-preferred votes in McEwen at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in McEwen at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in McEwen at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in McEwen at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in parts of McEwen near Sunbury at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in parts of McEwen near Sunbury at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in parts of McEwen near Sunbury at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in parts of McEwen near Sunbury at the 2010 federal election.

20 COMMENTS

  1. This seat will be a lot more interesting with Donna Petrovich running for the Liberal Party than it would have been with their previous candidate. I think a 9% margin is just a bit too high for the conservatives to overcome. Labor’s Rob Mitchell will likely hold on.

  2. I agree with electionlova, but rumours of bigger swings in some seats than others in Victoria, could put this seat back in play.

    Also stories in the News Limited papers this week, that internal Labor polling has stopped in Victoria as it is worse than expected for Labor.

    But I hear the swing is patchy some seats not as large as others.

    Rob Mitchell will probably hold this but it will be tighter than people think, Donna depending on her popularity in the seat will be the key.

  3. Puckapunyal; I had a two postings there when I was in the Regular Army. There are about 800 married quarters on base plus thousands of barrack room for singles and those on courses there.

  4. In 2004, the Craigieburn and Sunbury booths (which were then in Calwell) all recorded 50-50 type results, a far cry from the 60-70% Labor got in 2010.

    Demographic change and so on might affect things a bit, but if the Liberals can get even close to that sort of result in 2013, they’ll be well on their way to winning McEwen.

  5. Having been a Labor voter up until the Howard years when I started voting Liberal, I became totally disillusioned with Liberal when they brought in work-choices. Because of Keating, their was no way I was going to vote Labor again and for the last two elections I have paid the fine and not voted. However, the other day I met the Katters Australian Party candidate for McEwen and I must say, I am most impressed with both him and the party he is standing for. I have had a look on their website and their policies leave everyone else for dead! This election I intend to vote for them. No one else seems to care about small business or our disappearing manufacturing sector.

  6. I reckon Labor will hold this, regardless of all the hoopla. Sure, it will be close, but I can’t get over the margin and the sophomore surge to the incumbent. Will be close.

  7. I agree with DB but i’d recon this will be a big swinging seat possibly held by labor after the election with a margin of 0.7

  8. I’m curious why Donna Petrovich left her State parliament job to run for this seat.

    Sure, the margin is inflated because the parts previously in Calwell were not properly contested by the Libs last time, but it still seems like a long shot.

    With bookies giving her a $4 return, I wonder what the motivation was?

  9. Will return to the marginal zone with an above-average swing, but I predict Labor will hold on around 3-4%.

  10. Poll bludger reported yesterday a JWS automated telephone poll which has the Lib winning 54/46 in this seat, a 14% swing.

    JWS accurately predicted McEwen’s switch to the ALP in 2010.

  11. The margin is inflated no question. I think it will be close but it is hard to see the Liberals winning here.

    I’d be curious to see if DB had any info on these kinds of seats: McEwen, Bruce, Ballarat, Bendigo?? I would assume if they were seriously in play there’d be more talk about them.

  12. P6 of today’s Australian is reporting that private polling for the Liberals to pointing to the ALP losing another three seats in Victoria taking their total potential wins to six.

    McEwen, Bendigo, and Bruce are viewed as the most probable wins but they regard Chisholm as the hardest of the winnable seats to crack. Apparently the ALP has done little campaigning until recently in Bendigo and McEwen making both particularly vulnerable.

    Gut feel is the ALP will hold Chisholm, but the other three and Melbourne Ports are up for grabs. The consistent theme is the ALP is so focused on its four most vulnerable seats, it’s in relatively safer seats which the ALP’s campaign appears to have neglected a new front appears to be opening.

  13. As I say, the margin in a lot of these seats has blown out in recent times, so I certainly expect a major correction in McEwen, Bendigo, Ballarat, Holt, Isaacs, Bruce, etc.

    Just hard to see the Liberals winning them unless the Rudd bounce has completely gone and we’re back to the dying days of Gillard.

Comments are closed.