Aston – Australia 2022

LIB 10.1%

Incumbent MP
Alan Tudge, since 2010.

Geography
Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Aston’s boundaries align with the Knox local government area. Suburbs include Bayswater, Boronia, Knoxfield, Scoresby, Wantirna and Rowville.

Redistribution
No change.

History
Aston was first created as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives in 1984, and has tended to be a marginal seat, although the seat has been consistently held by the Liberal Party for the last two decades.

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. Tudge has been re-elected three times.

Candidates

Assessment
Aston is a safe Liberal seat.

2019 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Alan Tudge Liberal 54,74454.7+5.2
Kadira Pethiyagoda Labor 29,83929.8-1.2
Asher Cookson Greens 8,8678.9-0.1
Matthew Sirianni-DuffyUnited Australia Party3,6113.6+3.6
Anna KennedyDemocratic Labour Party3,0293.0+3.0
Informal3,8293.7-0.5

2019 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Alan Tudge Liberal 60,18060.1+2.7
Kadira Pethiyagoda Labor 39,91039.9-2.7

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Aston have been divided into four parts: central, north-east, north-west and south.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 51.2% in the north-east to 63.1% in the south.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South7.063.112,81612.8
North-West9.257.012,43912.4
Central9.456.812,17012.2
North-East13.251.29,7519.7
Pre-poll7.762.939,64439.6
Other votes10.361.513,27013.3

Election results in Aston at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party and Labor.

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108 COMMENTS

  1. @Nimalan I think the Rowville, Wantirna South area also has a large south Asian population. You’re right about the decent sized Chinese population been a worry for the Libs after the last election. It’s interesting also that Boronia, which believe is probably the whitest part, or one of the whitest parts of Aston is where Labor performs best.

  2. Boronia/Bayswater are the most working class and poorest areas in the seat which is why Labor does relatively well there. These areas are very Christian as well as socially conservative meaning Alan Tudge’s adultery won’t be too popular in such areas which explains the larger than expected swing here. I’d expect the Libs to improve in Boronia and Bayswater in 2025 especially since Dutton would be relatively appealing there at the expense of Wantirna and Wantirna South which have significant growth in the Chinese Australian population.

  3. @ North East, correct there is a large South Asian community in Wantirna South and Rowville especially Sri Lankan (Knox is the LGA with the 4th largest Sri Lankan community). I have many relatives and family friends in those two suburbs. An Indian community centre was also recently opened in Rowville, although the suburbs along Belgrave line does not have a significant South Asian community.

  4. I would say that Wantirna South, Scoresby, and even Rowville to a lesser extent are very demographically similar to Glen Waverley but on a smaller scale. I guess the large Chinese and Sri Lankan, as well as significant Malaysian and Indian communities started in Glen Waverley and have spread out here. This is similar to how the Afghan, Sudanese communities etc have spread from Dandenong through to Hallam, Narre Warren, Cranbourne.

    Ferntree Gully, Boronia, The Basin and Upper Ferntree Gully are very much in the foothills of the Dandenongs, which for whatever reason doesn’t seem to appeal to migrant communities as much.

  5. Perhaps the traditional suburbs with the large Chinese communities in suburbs like Box Hill, Doncaster and Glen Waverley are becoming increasingly too expensive and out of reach for many Chinese Australians so they instead flock to nearby suburbs like Wantirna South.

  6. @Adam, I notice that for Chinese/ Malaysian (most of them are ethnic Chinese and speak Chinese) and even some South Asian immigrants that move to areas that are whiter and have cheaper property values (areas like you said Wantirna South) than heavy Chinese areas (areas like Glen Waverley) they tend to be those on lower-income (but their income and education are still higher than the national average in most cases due to white-collar) as I said due to High Property Values in GW.
    For South Asian/ African/ Afghan immigrants, it is quite opposite as once they become richer (such as having a stable job), they move out of the working-class areas (like Dandenong and Doveton) and into areas that have a better reputation, bigger homes (either buy or rent), and tends to be whiter (areas like Narre Warren and Cranbourne).

    I believe that Melbournes Eastern Middle Ring (Northern Boroondara, All of Whitehorse, Most of Monash, Western Half of Knox, and Urban parts of Manningham) has become Melbourne Chinese Ethnoburbia or East Asian Belt similar to North West Sydney, San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles, and North Eastern Toronto

  7. I grew up in Wantirna South. I think the key difference maybe is that the Wantirna area is much more “suburban” than Glen Waverley.

    GW has a train line, which has encouraged higher density development around the station and shopping centre, so perhaps attracts a more socially mixed demographic. Wantirna doesn’t have as much high-rise development (apart from a few developments around Knox City), so perhaps the demographic and outlook is more in common with Latrobe or Casey further out, even if it is more ethnically diverse.

  8. @Mark, the reputation of public schools is a factor of settlement. GW secondary has one of the highest average of academic performance for Victorian Public Schools and the nearby high schools also in GW (Brentwood and Highvale) is also significantly above the state average. GW also has a cluster of high performing Primary Schools explaining the popularity of GW especially among Asian immigrants.
    The schools in Knox and the rest of the outer east on the other hand tends to have below average performing schools (with a few exceptions like Templeton PS) so even many middle class white families there avoid going to their schools and go to private school instead

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