Goldstein – Australia 2022

LIB 7.8%

Incumbent MP
Tim Wilson, since 2016.

Inner southern suburbs of Melbourne. Goldstein covers the entirety of Bayside council area and parts of Glen Eira. Key suburbs include Sandringham, Brighton, Hampton,  Beaumaris, Ormond and Bentleigh.

No change.

Goldstein was first created in 1984, but is considered a successor to the previous Division of Balaclava, which existed from the first federal election in 1901 until its abolition in 1984. The two seats have a perfect record of having never been won by the Labor Party, and they have been held continously by the Liberal Party and its predecessors since the two non-Labor parties merged in 1909.

Balaclava was first won in 1901 by Protectionist candidate George Turner. Turner had been Premier of Victoria from 1894 to 1899 and again from 1900 until early in 1901, and was the state MP for St Kilda. Turner was Treasurer in Edmund Barton’s first federal government. He won re-election as a Protectionist in 1903 but he accepted the role of Treasurer in George Reid’s Free Trade government in 1904, which effectively saw him switch parties. Turner retired in 1906.

Balaclava was won in 1906 by Independent Protectionist candidate Agar Wynne. Wynne was a former minister in Victorian colonial governments. He joined the newly created Commonwealth Liberal Party in 1909 and served in Joseph Cook’s government from 1913 to 1914. Wynne did not run for re-election in 1914, although he returned to Victorian state politics from 1917 to 1920 and briefly served as a state minister.

Balaclava was won in 1914 by Liberal candidate William Watt. Watt had been Premier of Victoria from 1912 to 1914, and became a federal minister in 1917 as part of the new Nationalist government led by former Labor prime minister Billy Hughes. Watt was appointed Treasurer in 1918 and served as Acting Prime Minister when Hughes traveled to the Versailles peace conference in 1919.

Watt, however, fell out with Hughes upon his return. He was appointed as a representative of the Australian government at a conference on reparations, but Hughes’ constant meddling led him to resign as Treasurer and return to Australia as a backbencher.

Watt was one of a small group of rebel Liberals who ran as the Liberal Union party in 1922, and won re-election. They rejoined the Nationalists after Hughes was replaced by Stanley Bruce, and Watt became Speaker, serving in the role until 1926. He retired from Balaclava in 1929.

Watt’s retirement triggered a by-election, which was won by Nationalist candidate Thomas White. White served as a minister in the Lyons government from 1933 to 1938, and served as a minister from the election of the Menzies government in 1949 until his resignation in 1951.

Balaclava was won at the 1951 by-election by Liberal candidate Percy Joske. He held the seat until his resignation in 1960, when he was appointed as a judge on the Commonwealth Industrial Court. The 1960 by-election was won by Ray Whittorn, also from the Liberal Party. He held the seat until his retirement at the 1974 election.

Balaclava was won in 1974 by Ian Macphee, who served as a minister in the Fraser government from 1976 to 1983. In 1984, the seat of Balaclava was abolished and replaced by the seat of Goldstein, and Macphee won the new seat.

Macphee was a Liberal moderate, and took Andrew Peacock’s side in his conflict with John Howard throughout the 1980s. Macphee served as a shadow minister under Peacock, but was sacked in 1987 by Howard. He was defeated for preselection before the 1990 election by right-wing candidate David Kemp.

Kemp won Goldstein in 1990, and immediately went onto the opposition frontbench. Kemp joined the ministry upon the election of the Howard government in 1996, and served as a minister until three months before his retirement in 2004.

Goldstein was won in 2004 by the Liberal Party’s Andrew Robb, who had been the party’s Federal Director at the 1996 election. Robb was re-elected four times before retiring in 2016.

Robb was succeeded in 2016 by Tim Wilson, a former Human Rights Commissioner. Wilson was re-elected in 2019.


Goldstein is traditionally a safe Liberal seat, but polling suggests a collapse in support for Wilson, with Zoe Daniel a serious threat to win.

2019 result

Tim Wilson Liberal 52,32052.7-3.7
Daniel Pollock Labor 28,11828.3+6.4
Sue Pennicuik Greens 13,95114.0-1.9
Wayne ConnollyUnited Australia Party1,9452.0+2.0
Brandon James HoultSustainable Australia1,6531.7+1.7
John Tiger CasleyIndependent1,3491.4+1.4

2019 two-party-preferred result

Tim Wilson Liberal 57,40857.8-4.9
Daniel Pollock Labor 41,92842.2+4.9

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas. Polling places in Bayside City have been split into three areas. From north to south, these are Brighton, Sandringham and Beaumaris. Booths in Glen Eira council area have been grouped together.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 50.5% in Glen Eira to 62.1% in Brighton.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 13.3% in Brighton to 17.7% in Sandringham.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Glen Eira15.250.517,90518.0
Other votes13.060.517,18017.3

Election results in Goldstein 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. I believe Frydenberg has more of a chance of losing his seat. The demographics of Kooyong are quite different to Goldstein. There is a Chinese community in Kooyong that are fed up with Sinophobic racism. There is also an Indian community in Hawthorn. The racism fostered by the LNP doesn’t appeal to these communities.

    Kew, and Hawthorn are far more Catholic than they are Protestant. Although they are affluent areas, unlike Brighton, Sandringham, and Beaumaris/ Black Rock, they are not areas that support sticking with the Monarchy. In the republic referendum Kooyong voted overwhelmingly for a republic, whereas Goldstein voted for a monarchy.

    The Liberal Party are really on the nose in Hawthorn, hence Labor picked this state seat up in the last state election. In the state election prior to the last, there was a huge swing to Labor in Hawthorn.

  2. I think Goldstein is probably more likely to fall for a few reasons:

    – Disgruntled moderate Liberal voters in Kooyong would probably be a little more hesitant to vote out the most likely next leader of the party. They would be torn between not wanting to support a Morrison government but also not wanting to hand the party over to Peter Dutton afterwards. I think there would be a cohort whose ideal outcome is that Morrison loses and Frydenburg becomes leader.

    – Frydenburg’s campaign seems to have been better, whereas Tim Wilson’s has been a trainwreck where he has mostly acted like a child.

    – While Dr Monique Ryan is an excellent candidate too, I think Zoe Daniel is even better. Her campaign has been excellent and she’s a more passionate, articulate speaker. She has also done better in articulating policy positions outside the big 3 issues of the teals, has distanced herself from Labor better, and on each issue seems to be pretty consistent with what Goldstein Liberal voters would generally support.

    – The Liberal Party themselves have put a lot of effort – with national media exposure assisting them to get their scary messages across – into trying to save Josh. Tim Wilson, while he’s no doubt had a lot of resources diverted to him (probably from Macnamara & Higgins), doesn’t seem to have had that same level of national backing to save him.

    I think Kooyong will be a legitimate 50/50 affair, no result on the night and could go either way. I think Zoe Daniel will win Goldstein with at least a 2% margin.

  3. @ Kaniel Outis Relying primarily on religious and racial demographics to simplify electoral predictions and/or results isn’t really commonplace in Australia as it can’t come close to telling the full picture and isn’t representative of voting blocs found here.

    Bear in mind as well that the Republic Referendum was nearly a quarter of a century ago and the result was in part influenced by the Republican inability to agree on the best system of government going forward, hence some simply didn’t vote and hoped for another referendum in the future with their preferred system offered instead. That aside anyway, the borders of Kooyong have changed since that time and the political dynamic has shifted significantly as well. It was once an ultra safe Liberal seat and even the idea that it could be in play would be ridiculed. But times change and so do the things that matter most to the electors.

    I personally think they will both fall to the independent challengers but I suppose we will see in three days.

  4. A friend in Goldstein who I spoke to not long ago sent me pictures of what might be termed ‘shit sheets’ being plastered over electricity poles all over the electorate. Without restating the contents on a family-friendly website like Tally Room, its a very simple poster referring to the parliamentary prayer room rumours. I don’t know who is behind it and I’m sure the Daniel campaign would disavow it, but it seems like there’s an effective whispering campaign going on in Goldstein that will only undermine the Wilson campaign.

    I expect Daniel to win Goldstein. But I think Katie Allen might surprise us all in Higgins, and with the amount of money Josh has raised I can see him squeaking by with the thinnest of margins like Downer in Mayo 1998.

  5. @Laine: I do agree that we don’t have ethnic, and religious voting blocs in Australia, unlike in the USA.

    I still think the demographics of Kooyong, and Goldstein are quite different though. They are both affluent areas where parents send their kids to private schools, but many of the white people in the western part of Kooyong have an Irish Catholic heritage that makes them anti monarchy. Brighton, on the other hand, has the highest percentage of Anglicans in Melbourne. The only Anglican Church west of Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn closed down due to non attendance. A visitor to Hawthorn once commented in the 1960’s that three things mark the suburb; Peter Hudson, and two towering Catholic Churches (Church of the Immaculate Conception, and St Anthony’s). When the Richmond Irish Catholics became more upwardly mobile they moved to Hawthorn. The boundaries of Kooyong have hardly changed since the republic referendum. The reason why there are pubs in Kew, and Hawthorn is because they were Catholic, whereas Camberwell, Canterbury, Balwyn, Balwyn North, Surrey Hills, and Glen Iris were Protestant dry areas.

    English is the number one non Australian born ethnicity in Brighton, Sandringham, Beaumaris, Black Rock, Hampton, and Brighton East. Indian is the number one non Australian born ethnicity in Hawthorn. Chinese is the number one non Australian born ethnicity in Kew, Kew East, Hawthorn East, Balwyn, and Balwyn North. Chinese is number two in Hawthorn. Dr Ryan knows the Chinese community is fed up with the Sinophobia of the Liberal Party. She has published literature in Chinese, because they are a significant part of the electorate.

    I think social class determines how one votes, yet there are sometimes other reasons, and sometimes it is because an ethnic group feels alienated by the government. Bennelong is a rich electorate but it has a large Chinese community, and it could go Labor.

    @Trent: You could be right. I can’t imagine socially progressive people in Kooyong wanting Dutton, so they could hold their nose, and vote Frydenberg. Apparently there have been invalid votes in Kooyong because some Dr Ryan voters did not know they had to number every box. This could be enough for Frydenberg to hang on.

  6. Wilson would have won with a 4.8% margin had it been a traditional contest, as per the AEC’s TPP calculation. Slightly larger swing to Labor here than in Kooyong though, at 3.0% as opposed to 2.21% against Frydenberg.


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