Chisholm – Australia 2022

LIB 0.5%

Incumbent MP
Gladys Liu, since 2019.

Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Chisholm covers a majority of the Monash council area along with south-western parts of the Whitehorse council area. Suburbs include Burwood, Burwood East, Blackburn South, Chadstone, Mount Waverley, Glen Waverley and Box Hill.

Chisholm shifted south, losing Blackburn North, Forest Hill and parts of Blackburn to Deakin, and losing the remainder of Surrey Hills to Kooyong. Chisholm then gained suburbs on its southern border from Hotham, including Chadstone, Notting Hill and Wheelers Hill. These changes reduced the Liberal margin from 0.6% to 0.5%.

Chisholm was created for the expansion of the House of Representatives at the 1949 election. For the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the seat was relatively safe for the Liberal Party. Boundary changes saw the seat become a marginal seat in the early 1980s. It became stronger for Labor in the 2000s but was lost to the Liberal Party in 2016.

The seat was first won in Kent Hughes for the Liberal Party. Hughes was a former Deputy Premier of Victoria who had enlisted in the military at the outbreak of the Second World War, and ended up captured as part of the fall of Singapore and spent four years as a prisoner of war before returning to state politics, and moving to Canberra in 1949.

Hughes was chairman of the organising committee for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, but after the Olympics was dropped from the ministry, and sat on the backbenches until his death in 1970.

Tony Staley won the 1970 by-election for the Liberal Party. He served as a junior minister in the Fraser government from 1976 until his retirement from politics in 1980. He went on to serve as Federal President of the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party’s Graham Harris held on to Chisholm in 1980, but with a much smaller margin then those won by Hughes or Staley. He was defeated in 1983 by the ALP’s Helen Mayer.

Mayer was re-elected in 1984, but lost the seat in 1987 to the Liberal Party’s Michael Wooldridge. Wooldridge quickly became a senior Liberal frontbencher, and served as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party from 1993 to 1994. Wooldridge was appointed Minister for Health upon the election of the Howard government in 1996. Wooldridge moved to the safer seat of Casey in 1998, and retired in 2001.

Chisholm was won in 1998 by the ALP’s Anna Burke, who held the seat for six terms. Anna Burke served as Speaker from 2012 to 2013. Burke retired in 2016, and Liberal candidate Julia Banks was the only Liberal in the country to gain a seat off Labor in winning Chisholm.

Julia Banks announced she would not run for re-election as a Liberal following the removal of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister in 2018, and a few months later resigned from the party to sit as an independent. Banks went on to run as an independent unsuccessfully for the Liberal seat of Flinders in outer Melbourne.

Chisholm was narrowly won in 2019 by Liberal candidate Gladys Liu.


Chisholm is a very marginal seat. The Liberal Party missed out on the benefit of incumbency in 2019 with the loss of Julia Banks, and that may well have made things even harder for the Liberal Party. Liu should benefit from her new incumbency, but if a swing is on that may not be enough.

2019 result

Gladys Liu Liberal 41,17243.4-3.744.0
Jennifer Yang Labor 32,56134.3-0.436.3
Luke Arthur Greens 11,23511.8+0.310.6
George ZorayaUnited Australia Party1,5171.6+1.62.2
Ian DobbyIndependent2,3192.4+2.41.7
Anne WicksDerryn Hinch’s Justice2,0632.2+2.21.4
Rosemary LavinAnimal Justice1,7801.9-0.21.3
Philip JenkinsDemocratic Labour Party1,7021.8+1.81.2
Angela Mary DorianRise Up Australia5710.6-0.60.7

2019 two-party-preferred result

Gladys Liu Liberal 48,00550.6-2.350.5
Jennifer Yang Labor 46,91549.4+2.349.5

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Chisholm have been divided into three areas: north, south-east and south-west. The north covers those booths in the Whitehorse council area.

The Liberal Party won 53.3% of the two-party-preferred vote in the south-east, while Labor won the south-west and the north. The Liberal Party overcame this deficit thanks to 53.0% of the pre-poll vote.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 7.7% in the south-east to 13.8% in the north.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes10.451.718,54219.1

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

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  1. The content of the Gladys Liu ad is truthful, but it does have the tenor of a dirty attack ad so it could be perceived as racist among voters in Chisholm even though it isn’t. If the ad is targeted at Chisholm I think Labor would have been better off not airing it.

  2. Might work in a white working class seat due to all the China png stuff but with a strong Chinese population might backfire

  3. Agree, Ben this may have worked in Dunkley, Lindsay, Longman or the suburban part of Casey but not in a middle class ethnic seat like Chisholm, Bennelong, Moreton etc

  4. This campaign is appearing to be the inverse of what happened similarly to Ed Husic in Greenway in 2004 against Louise Markus
    Many is Labor obviously don’t see the irony

  5. I can’t wait to give Carina Garland a flying kiss if she beats Gladys Liu on 2 candidate preferences.

  6. I’ve noticed that recently Carina Garland has been campaigning with Jennifer Yang, the former 2019 candidate. This tells me Labor is worried about the fact that Carina Garland isn’t of Chinese heritage and they may have picked up that the Gladys Liu ad is backfiring for them.

  7. @Dan M Agreed. Today, Labor was campaigning in Glen Waverley with Penny Wong and if I didn’t already know Carina Garland is the candidate, I would’ve thought that Jennifer Yang is the Labor candidate.

  8. Maybe if Carina Garland was a strong candidate they should have run her in Casey which is much less ethnically diverse seat. Chisholm, Leichardt, Parramatta and Fowler were missed opportunities to select a candidate from a culturally and linguistically diverse background or indigenous for Labor while for the Libs it was Bennelong and Lingiari

  9. The ABC has reported that Labor is now worried about Chisholm with Albanese rushing there today. It’s remarkable that just two months ago, basically everyone wrote this off as a Labor gain.

  10. I haven’t seen the controversial Gladys Liu ads for the past few days when the week before I would be spammed by them online so I think the ALP realised they backfired and took them down.

  11. Poll Bludger’s BludgerTrack has Victoria swinging 1.6% to Labor, which is the smallest swing out of all the other states (around 4% in NSW and SA, 8% in QLD and 9% in WA). Given that much of it seems to be concentrated in the safe Liberal seats of Kooyong and Goldstein with strong independents challenging which could translate into a large swing to Labor on the TPP, there’s a good chance for Gladys Liu to hold on. Labor seems to have really fumbled in their campaign since the election was called. They’ve made the same mistake as in 2019 in being overly confident. Now reality is starting to bite and Labor is realising it but the question is whether they can reverse the trajectory in time before election day.


    Given most 2PP predictions in polls are on 2019 election preference flows and the 2019 preference flows for independents were only just under 60-40 in the ALP`s favour and many of the independent votes showing up in the polls would come from the ALP or Greens (for reasons including the ALP doing a lot less campaigning in these seats compared to seats the ALP can actually win), the 2PP swings are unlikely to be particularly concentrated in the high profile independent contests.

  13. Dan M, Labor do really well & tbh it’s a big ask for them to pick anymore seats here, if i’m not mistaken they have done as well as they did in 2010 & maybe even 1984 in seat wise.

  14. Smart move by Albanese and Carina Garland to campaign with Dan Andrews. The SRL is popular in the seat and these are areas where Dan Andrews is rather popular. Suggests to me that ALP is very worried about not gaining Chisholm so are putting in as much effort as they can now and trying to turn state issues which favour them into federal issues.

  15. “Meet the Candidates Forum” in Mt Waverley tonight, featuring Liu, Carina Garland and independent Wayne Tseng.

    Reports I have heard:

    – Max Mok was in the audience and interrupted Gladys’ opening remarks by yelling that she takes money from the Chinese government, throwing a pile of Chinese banknotes on the floor.
    – Gladys has invited Chinese student bodybuilders to standover people in the crowd as security.
    – Carina pretty calm, Gladys shrieking and belligerent, Wayne looks like he doesn’t want to be there.

  16. Well all I can say Drew Pavlou and Max Mok aren’t doing Carina Garland any favours with their tactics.

  17. The audience didn’t seem to pleased with Gladys Liu’s explanation for her WeChat boycott or her responses to racism against Chinese Australians. It seems she did it to improve her standing in Dutton’s National Right faction even though there are electoral consequences.

  18. The behaviour of both Gladys Liu and Drew Pavlou are unacceptable. Liu’s pandering to chicom Regime is contrary to Australia’s long term interests. Drew has got to learn that using Chicom style tactics to shout down the Chairman is unacceptable in Australia.
    It is not racism to recognise that a totalitarian regime is unfit to inhabit earth. It is not racism to recognise that a Liberal who has links to CCP should never have been endorsed and should be disendorsed now.

  19. For Gladys, it seems her ambiguous reputation of China relations has not appeased any side of the Chinese community. She angered the pro-Beijing camp for following the federal government’s stance on China relations, her support for HK protest, and suspending her use of Wechat use and similarly the anti-Beijing camp she was criticized for her links with the United Front.

  20. All Gladys needs to say about WeChat is that she was supporting the Australian Prime Minister, who was banned from the platform.

  21. Labor has improved their standing in this seat compared to the disastrous middle weeks of the election campaign and Gladys Liu seems to have stalled recently, possibly since she has been under more scrutiny over the past week compared to the earlier weeks in the campaign. That being said, both sides think they can win this seat. The Liberals have completely written off Swan, Boothby and Reid but they still have some degree of hope here.

  22. A whole lot of FUD about this seat being close or swinging to Liberals against the trend. It’s not as if this is the only electorate with a high Chinese population in Melbourne.

  23. Now the cluster around Box Hill has ALP TPP safer than even many Melbourne Western Suburbs’ traditional ALP strongholds (e.g. St Albans). Proven that the Chinese vote mixing in with the Green and Teal (would be voted for Teal in areas like Kooyong) could make it hard for the Matthew Guy to win the state seat of Box Hill which is currently only now a marginal ALP seat from the 2018 results.

  24. I’d presume the state Libs would be very worried about retaining Glen Waverley, especially with Neil Angus being exposed as anti-vax, and will likely write off gaining Box Hill and Ashwood after the federal results. That being said, I think it’s interesting to note that although there’s a massive swing to Labor here, it’s a smaller swing than in other seats with large Chinese populations i.e. Tangney, Moreton, Bennelong and Reid. It might reflect Gladys Liu being able to blunt a swing against her with some degree of personal vote, but of course that was not nearly enough to save her.

  25. Add one more that Vic Libs is anti China perhaps as much as federal Libs, unusual as foreign policy is normally a federal issue.

  26. @Marh that’s certainly true. Compared to other state Lib branches like the NSW Libs, the Vic Libs are very hawkish on Beijing and often use similar rhetoric as the federal Libs, possibly due to Dan Andrews’ Belt and Road MOU.

  27. @Dan M The swing of 6.8% here is higher than that of Menzies (6.0%) and Deakin (4.4%). I expect Kooyong will also turn out to be a smaller 2PP swing (as it stands, swing of 9-10% against Liberal, with independent that probably shaved 5 points or so off compared to ALP/GRN). So among neighbouring Melbourne seats with high Chinese populations, this is the highest. Booth analysis from Ben’s post on Chinese voters also indicates high swings here irrespective of Gladys’ candidacy.

  28. @Nicholas yes indeed it is. The margins there are probably even more safer than in some of the traditional Labor heartlands. Glen Waverley is normally a strong Liberal area but now it’s entirely red. I suspect a lot of it is soft support for Labor and antipathy to towards the Coalition regarding China. It won’t take much for the area to swing back the other way but I doubt that will happen anytime soon since Dutton is probably the biggest reason why Box Hill and other similar areas swung so strongly to Labor and the direction he’s taking the Liberals isn’t going to be very well received here.

  29. I would say the ethnic Chinese community is quite Covid-conscious. Anecdotally, you’ll probably see more mask-wearers in this neck of the woods. The vote for UAP, PHON and LDP in Chisholm is probably amongst the lowest, if not the lowest, in the country. An anti-vax candidate (like Neil Angus) may not sit well with them!

    I wonder how Glen Waverley will fare at the VIC state election. The swings in Box Hill, Glen Waverley and Mount Waverley were insane! I’m talking up to 17% on 2PP.

    I heard that the Libs banked on an anti-Dan Andrews campaign in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne but it flopped. However, it did score swings in safe Labor seats in the west, north and south-east.

  30. @Votante, I would probably also add that mask wearing is very well part of not just Chinese culture but many East Asian cultures as well. Even before COVID, it’s common to wear masks in public whether one is sick or one is worried about being sick.
    I believe Dan Andrews, unlike Scott Morrison, and his prior COVID-zero stance is quite popular in areas like here so the state Libs would be in deep trouble here. The state Libs are also very hawkish on China and often try to smear Dan Andrews by linking him with Beijing so I would presume that we haven’t seen the last of the massive anti-Liberal swings in Chinese communities.

  31. The state election is 5 months away and things may change. Normally, I don’t assume voting patterns federally will be the same as at state elections. Based on federal results and the state seat margins in and around this area, the VIC Libs have reason to be worried.

    I would be stunned if Dan Andrews and VIC Labor get a swing to them. How often does a party get swings to them and gain seats three elections in a row? Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor in QLD have achieved that but their first two terms were 3 years each. Dan Andrews has been Premier for nearly 8 years.

  32. Votante, the Victorian state election might play differently compared to federal results.

    The 2010 federal election may be a good comparison, the Labor vote held up and the alp achieved a small net gain of seats in Victoria unlike in nsw and Queensland.

    However, Labor then lost a dozen or so seats and their majority at the subsequent state election held several months later so I can easily see the same sort of outcome occurring this time where state Labor probably won’t lose office but will see a substantial swing and seat loss (probably high single digits at least)

  33. You An, I think at the moment, the state election would end up similar to the rule of thumb in the federal probably only minus the Teals.

    Labor further swing in the Eastern and Bayside suburbs even gaining some seats of the Libs

    Swings against Labor in some of their heartland but not close to be in danger to lose

    While Labor may lose some seats that were traditionally LNP before 2018, they would be outside the Eastern Suburbs

    Many UAP and LDP votes in the federal election may go to LNP as the Vic Libs as they more sympathic to anti vax movement


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