Dunkley – Australia 2022

ALP 2.7%

Incumbent MP
Peta Murphy, since 2019.

South-Eastern Melbourne. Dunkley covers all of the City of Frankston and part of the Shire of Mornington Peninsula. Main suburbs include Frankston, Sandhurst, Skye, Carrum Downs, Langwarrin and Seaford.

No change.


Dunkley was created in 1984 as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives. It has almost always been a marginal electorate, and swung back and forth regularly in the 1980s. The Liberal Party held the seat continuously from 1996 to 2019, if only by slim margins at time.

The seat was first won in 1984 by Labor’s Bob Chynoweth. Chynoweth had won Flinders at the 1983 election, defeating new MP Peter Reith, who had won a by-election for the seat four months earlier. Chynoweth moved to Dunkley following the redistribution.

He held the seat in 1987 before losing to Liberal candidate Frank Ford in 1990. Chynoweth won the seat back in 1993.

A redistribution before the 1996 election saw Dunkley become a notional Liberal seat, and Chynoweth was defeated by Liberal candidate Bruce Billson. Billson held Dunkley for twenty years until his retirement in 2016, and was succeeded by Liberal candidate Chris Crewther.

The electoral boundaries were redrawn prior to the 2019 election, and the seat became a notional Labor seat. Crewther lost his bid for re-election to Labor candidate Peta Murphy.


Dunkley is a marginal seat.

2019 result

Chris Crewther Liberal 38,61639.9-1.2
Peta Murphy Labor 37,30138.5+2.0
Emily Green Greens 8,1258.4-1.1
Lachlan Andrew O’ConnellDerryn Hinch’s Justice5,0275.2+0.2
Elizabeth JohnstonAnimal Justice2,9613.1+0.2
Ron JeanUnited Australia Party2,5132.6+2.6
Christopher Ronald JamesConservative National Party1,3371.4+1.4
Yvonne GentleRise Up Australia9481.0+0.3

2019 two-party-preferred result

Peta Murphy Labor 51,06652.7+1.7
Chris Crewther Liberal 45,76247.3-1.7

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Dunkley have been divided into three parts: central, north and south.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two out of three areas, with 56% in the centre and 61.3% in the north. The Liberal Party polled 59.7% in the south.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes8.550.716,74117.3

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

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  1. “Minor parties preferences…”

    Just checking – you know that no party can actually decide preferences, yeah?

    They just print a “how to vote” card and hope their voters follow it.

    It’s up to the voters to decide who to preference. Only a small minority actually follow the card.

  2. Ryoma, I suspect that Expat is right about the preferences of the right wingers staying with the Liberal candidate, but it raises an interesting question for the independent candidates about whether they are prepared to keep protecting the Liberal candidate from answering any questions.

  3. Expat, yes, I understand that. But even just announcing a change of preferences can shift the conversation, change perceptions of who will win, and take valuable time away from whatever a major party candidate would rather be campaigning on topic-wise.

  4. Regards minor right wing candidates and who they preference – for an example at the last election UAP voters preferenced Coalition over Labor about 65-35 or so.

    The right-wing minors and conspiracy theorists will again largely preference the Libs.

    BUT this has nothing to do with the “preference” decisions of the parties.

    It’s entirely up to the voters.

  5. Good that you understand that – it’s astounding how many voters don’t. Even a lot of well-educated people…

  6. The preferences of the right wing parties will be less friendly to the liberals. And I suspect because they are candidates in some cases just filling the numbers have no connection to the seat they stand in

  7. I live in the electorate, we are lucky to have two great female leading candidates from the major parties. Both Peta or Sharne would do a great job representing the people of Dunkley at a Federal level. I look forward to the result on May 21st.

  8. Richmondgrass, I am glad to hear you feel that. It’s not a sentiment expressed in many of these seat comments!

  9. I’d argue that Peta already does do a great representing us 😉 Although obviously I’m pretty partisan.

    Having said that – it is pretty good to see two strong female candidates in what is a competitive seat for both sides.

    Peta was at Carrum Downs prepoll today, I think Sharn was too.

    Anecdotal evidence looked like more people were taking Labor HTVs than Libs, but was a mix.

  10. Voted today at Frankston pre-poll. Neither candidate was there (probably both at CarrumDowns). Most the interesting discussion going into voting was that the Liberal candidate does not actually live locally despite having said she moved here a year ago. The Liberals also confirmed that to be the case. Feels like this issue growing into a problem for the Liberal candidate.

  11. The voting patterns of this electorate follow class lines. The working class north votes Labor, while the upper middle class south votes Liberal. The Liberals poll as high in Mount Eliza as they do in Toorak.

    Dunkley is a real WASP electorate. There used to be a right wing magazine oriented to the English community, called This England (or something of the sort) that espoused Loyalist propaganda. It was full of anti Irish trash. The editor lived in Mount Eliza. I had the misfortune of coming across him once.

    This electorate gave the football world Dermott Brereton, as it was part of the old Hawthorn recruiting zone. Leigh Matthews came from Chelsea, but that is part of Isaacs.

  12. This electorate produced quite a number of AFL players, but not sure what that has to do with the election.

    As for it being WASPy, as a local I would dispute that, other than maybe in Mt Eliza. The rest of the electorate is pretty mixed socially, albeit pretty white. The most influential religious vote here isn’t rich Anglicans, it’s conservative Pentecostals like Geoff Shaw etc.

    Also, I don’t think there’s actually many people left who really have a distinction between Anglo or Irish types, or would even know who is which without asking. The local member is called Murphy for pete’s sake.

  13. Pentecostals are Protestants.

    The electorate still has an above average number of Anglicans.

  14. Just got a recorded robocall from John Howard here in Dunkley tonight! What else do you do when your candidate lives in Richmond and refuses to turn up to the community debates? It does not feel like this is the close contest that some expected. People have really turned off Morrison and I can’t see how the big Liberal spending on advertising will match the credibility of a very hard working and popular sitting member.

  15. Some of my work colleagues where called by the ALP as well…..so it’s an actively fought for seat.

  16. In 3 elections, Murphy has achieved 3 big swings on to turn this seat from a 5.6% Liberal seat under Bruce Bilson (a local) to a 6.7% Labor seat under Peta Murphy (also a local) – one of the country’s biggest flips. Given the folly of fly-by-night candidates seen elsewhere during this election, will the Liberals finally learn that drop in candidates with little connection to the community (like Crewther and Coombs) are going to get smashed by strong, well known locals? Will they learn the lesson?

  17. Barry to be fair the swing over 3 elections was amplified slightly by the 2018 redistribution which added about 2-3% to the Labor margin without Peta Murphy contesting. Also some other factors may be in play, namely 2016 being an open seat contest costing the Liberal Party some votes and then Peta Murphy also having some sophomore surge in her favour when recontesting in 2022.

  18. Yoh An, fair point – the redistribution was 2.4% of the 12% shift and Murphy got a swing beyond this that would have won 2019 regardless. But you’re actually making my main point here – that the two big swings were when the Liberals preselected candidates (Crewther in 2016 and Coombs in 2022) that had no local connections. They paid a big price at the ballot box for doing so, despite their huge and expensive advertising campaigns in both cases.

  19. Yeah agree with you Barry, if the Libs had chosen some better candidates the swing to Labor could have been minimised at both elections despite unfavorable conditions.

  20. The Libs struggled to generate enthusiasim for their candidate here, ex-ALP member Sharn Coombes. A very odd choice.

  21. Pretty sure Billson was regarded as a very strong and popular Liberal MP, so perhaps the trend to Labor after he departed is as much a reflection of him being ‘good’ rather than everyone else being ‘bad’.

  22. Mark, Bruce Bilson was a very popular local member. That is my point – he was credible locally. The Libs have not had that since, irrespective of the quality of their candidates (which I accept is debatable). They need to find a local to run.


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