Hotham – Australia 2022

ALP 11.2%

Incumbent MP
Clare O’Neil, since 2013.

Geography
Southeastern Melbourne. Hotham covers the suburbs of Clarinda, Heatherton, Oakleigh, Huntingdale, Clayton, Mulgrave, Springvale and Noble Park. It covers parts of Kingston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong and Monash council areas.

Redistribution
Hotham stretched out further to the east and west, losing its northern fringe. Hotham lost Notting Hill, Wheelers Hill and the remainder of Chadstone to Chisholm, and a small area to Bruce. Hotham gained part of Hughesdale from Higgins, and also gained Springvale, Noble Park and part of Noble Park North from Bruce. These changes made Hotham a lot safer, increasing the Labor margin from 5.9% to 11.2%.

History
Hotham was originally created as a safe Liberal seat, but changes turned it into a safe Labor seat, and the ALP has held it continuously since 1980.

The seat was first won in 1969 by Liberal Party minister Don Chipp. Chipp had previously held the seat of Higinbotham since 1960, but the seat was abolished in 1969.

Chipp served as a minister in the Liberal government until the election of the Whitlam government in 1972. He was briefly included in Malcolm Fraser’s caretaker ministry after the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975, but was not included in the ministry after the election.

Chipp resigned from the Liberal Party in 1977, and later that year became the leader of the newly-formed Australian Democrats. He was elected as a Senator for Victoria at the 1977 election, and remained in the Senate until his retirement in 1986.

The seat of Hotham was retained by the Liberal Party in 1977, with the seat won by Roger Johnston.

Johnston lost in 1980 to Labor candidate Lewis Kent. Kent held Hotham for the next decade. At the 1990 election, Kent moved to the new seat of Corinella, where he lost to Liberal candidate Russell Broadbent.

Hotham was won by former ACTU president Simon Crean. Crean has held the seat ever since.

Crean immediately entered the ministry upon his election in 1990, and served in the ministry until the Howard government won the 1996 election.

Crean served as a senior Labor frontbencher, and became the party’s deputy leader after the 1998 election. Following Kim Beazley’s defeat at the 2001 election, Crean was elected Leader of the Opposition.

Crean’s leadership was fraught, and he resigned from the leadership in late 2003 without leading the party to an election. He continued to serve in a senior frontbench role, and was appointed Minister for Trade after the election of the Rudd government in 2007.

Crean took on Education Minister when Gillard became Prime Minister in June 2010, and after the 2010 election shifted to take on Arts, Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government.

Simon Crean was sacked as a minister in March 2013 after calling for a leadership spill and calling on Kevin Rudd to challenge Gillard’s leadership. This is the first time in 23 years in Parliament that Crean has not held a frontbench position.

Simon Crean retired in 2013, and was succeeded by Clare O’Neil. O’Neil has been re-elected twice.

Candidates

  • Edward Sok (Liberal Democrats)
  • Clare O’Neil (Labor)
  • Louisa Willoughby (Greens)
  • Bruce Ridgway (United Australia)
  • Roger Tull (One Nation)
  • Savitri Bevinakoppa (Liberal)
  • Assessment
    Hotham is a safe Labor seat.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Clare O’Neil Labor 43,31045.2+2.150.8
    George Hua Liberal 37,44739.1-1.333.3
    Jess Gonsalvez Greens 8,7229.1+0.08.9
    Jin LuanUnited Australia Party3,4833.6+3.63.7
    Dennis BilicSustainable Australia1,7721.8+1.91.2
    Peter DorianRise Up Australia1,1341.2-0.40.8
    Others1.2
    Informal3,7803.8-0.1

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Clare O’Neil Labor 53,59755.9+1.761.2
    George Hua Liberal 42,27144.1-1.738.8

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three areas: north-east, south-west and west.

    Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 60.3% in the west to 71.7% in the south-west.

    The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 6.9% in the south-east to 11.5% in the west.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    West11.560.325,33525.2
    South-East6.971.713,47513.4
    North-East7.164.48,2118.2
    Pre-poll8.060.036,15236.0
    Other votes9.555.517,17817.1

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

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    5 COMMENTS

    1. A much more sensible arrangement than the 2019 version of Hotham, with nearly all of Oakleigh, Clayton, Springvale and Noble Park now consolidated in one seat.

      If current growth patterns continue, it’s hard to see Hotham being anything other than a very safe Labor seat for the medium term.

    2. Due to covid this seat looks to be abolished in the next redistributions, what will be interesting to see is if Labor wins Chisholm is what will happen to the two Labor MPs & will it make any other seats notionally Labor.

    3. FYI Dr Savitri Bevinakoppa is the Liberal candidate. Professor of IT, PhD in Mathematics. Lives Heatherton. Wife of Liberal candidate in Clarinda in 2104 & 2018 State Elections. Has three adult children.

    4. Clare O’Neil will hold on very easily regardless of who the Liberal candidate is. These boundaries are very favourable to Labor compared to the last election.

    5. Agreed, this is the safest Labor seat now in SE Melbourne the only really middle class/affluent areas where the Libs have any kind of chance in East Bentleigh which IMHO should not be in a seat with Springvale or Noble Park rather it would fit better with Issacs or Goldstein.

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