Jagajaga – Australia 2022

ALP 5.9%

Incumbent MP
Kate Thwaites, since 2019.

North-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Jagajaga covers the entire Banyule council area and southern parts of Nillumbik council area. Key suburbs include Ivanhoe, Heidelberg, Eaglemont, Rosanna, Viewbank, Yallambie, Montmorency, St Helena, Watsonia North and Eltham.

The north-eastern end of Jagajaga rotated away from the north and to the west, losing Wattle Glen, Diamond Creek and Plenty to McEwen and gaining Eltham from Menzies. These changes reduced the Labor margin from 6.6% to 5.9%.

Jagajaga was created for the expansion of the House of Representatives in 1984, and has always been held by the ALP.

Jagajaga was first won in 1984 by Peter Staples, who had previously won the seat of Diamond Valley at the 1983 election, before it was abolished in 1984.

Staples was appointed as a junior minister after the 1987 election, and served until a reshuffle in 1993, and served as  a backbencher until his retirement at the 1996 election.

Jagajaga was won in 1996 by Jenny Macklin, and she was re-elected seven times, retiring in 2019. Macklin served as a shadow minister for the entirety of the Howard government. She was Deputy Leader from the 2001 election until 2006, when she was defeated by Julia Gillard when Kevin Rudd defeated Kim Beazley for the party’s leadership.

Macklin served as a minister in the Labor government from 2007 to 2013.

Macklin was succeeded in 2019 by Labor candidate Kate Thwaites.


  • Kate Thwaites (Labor)
  • Brendan Palmarini (Federation)
  • Allison Zelinka (United Australia)
  • Zahra Mustaf (Independent)
  • Maya Tesa (Liberal Democrats)
  • Liz Chase (Greens)
  • John Booker (One Nation)
  • Sahil Tomar (Liberal)
  • Assessment
    Jagajaga is not a particularly safe seat but is unlikely to move at the upcoming election.

    2019 result

    Kate Thwaites Labor 41,08642.0+0.940.9
    Richard Welch Liberal 37,75538.6-1.539.2
    Paul Kennedy Greens 13,92914.2+0.814.4
    Maria Marcia RigoniUnited Australia Party3,6523.7+3.73.5
    Jeff TruscottRise Up Australia1,3451.4+1.41.1

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Kate Thwaites Labor 55,30456.6+1.055.9
    Richard Welch Liberal 42,46343.4-1.044.1

    Booth breakdown

    Polling places in Jagajaga have been divided into three areas: central, east and south. “East” covers all booths in the Nillumbik council area.

    Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 54.3% in the east to 63% in the south.

    The Greens vote ranged from 14% in the centre to 19.1% in the south.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Other votes13.752.714,15413.6

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

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    1. This seat has come close on a few occasions but the LNP just seem to miss out, future retributions will be interesting to see how it effects the ALP here.

    2. This seat is neighbouring to my seat of Menzies and i frequently visit this area. As mentioned in the Menzies thread the Yarra River is not a major social divide in this part of Melbourne. For the most part i dont notice a class divide when i cross here the Yarra from Menzies. In fact Jagajaga has a slightly higher median weekly household income then Menzies $1757 versus $1,701. However, this masks a very big social divide that occurs within the seat between the West Heidelberg Public Housing area and the rest of the seat. Upper Heidelberg Road dividing Eaglemont and West Heidelberg is perhaps the biggest social divide in Melbourne. With the former suburb having a SEIFA score of 100 versus 4 for West Heidelberg. Eaglemont and Ivanhoe East are among the wealthiest suburbs in Melbourne (similar to Kooyong or Higgins) and all other suburbs except for West Heidelberg has a higher SEIFA score than the Greater Melbourne average. Once noticeable difference compared to Menzies is that it tends to be much ethnically diverse (especially east of the Plenty River), this is one factor that makes it more socially progressive compared to Menzies for example Jagajaga voted 74% for SSM versus only 57% in Menzies There is also a strong green vote for a suburban seat.

    3. Jaga Jaga is a bit like Macnamara – the Libs get close – often winning the primary vote – but just can’t win. As Nimalan points out – big disparities in income too. What is different is that the eastern end of Jaga Jaga is very Anglo. But it does see it itself as a tad ‘alternative’ – the mud brick belt. It would be interesting to see how a ‘voices of …’ candidate would go as a lot of the demographics would work. For non Melbournians, a surprising aspect of the seat is that real estate prices in the outer leafy end of the seat are surprisingly low especially compared to not dissimilar areas south of the Yarra. Not sure why but public transport is relatively poor – a single track train line – and schools may be an issue.

    4. Unless the last redistribution was particularly unfavourable I don’t see any reason to believe this won’t be a very easy and predictable Labor hold for a long time yet. Voices rely on Labor voters being frightened of the Liberals to have a chance, which doesn’t seem likely for a seat Labor have held since the 80s (ntm that Voices obviously aren’t interested in contesting Labor seats, at least not yet). If anyone’s taking this seat from Labor it’ll be the Greens, and it would be on the back of a complete and total collapse in the ALP’s progressive constituency. I’d be amazed if that happened before the decade’s out.

    5. …although I suppose if Albo gets into office and turns out to be as catastrophically inept and ineffective as Biden and the current Democratic Congress has been, for example, that realignment might happen a lot sooner

    6. I don’t see the “Voices” movement taking off in any seat where Labor are competitive unless Albo gets elected and is a complete fizzer. Even then, the Liberals may be able to recapture the moderate vote in opposition as memory of the A/T/M governments fades. It would also give Greens authority to actually target the seat.

      Greens won two Banyule council seats in single member wards (i.e. they got a majority after preferences) so it might be possible in a decade or so, but they haven’t run a serious campaign yet.

      The seat has Green potential as a seat where you’d get plenty of either their core demographics (tree changers and “inner north”) and target demographics (lower income urban voters). However I think we’re way too far off Greens being able to win a mostly suburban seat. Greens can improve their fortunes in the middle ring suburban parts of Wills and Cooper but they need a base to be able to have any chance of winning. Greens do ok in Ivanhoe and Heidelberg but not well enough to anchor a winnable seat campaign – for comparison in 2016 they got in the high 30s in Alphington North and Thornbury East on the other side of Darebin Creek

      It would make sense for Greens to first target Ivanhoe (state seat) the election after they win Northcote back with a comfortable margin. They’d need a star candidate and a Labor government that’s on the nose.

    7. This is a seat I grew up in and until recently lived in. I agree with the above comments about the potential for the Greens to do well in this seat & potentially even win. Besides from Ivanhoe, there is quite a strong greens vote in the leafy suburbs of Eltham & Montmorency, with a particular passion from the locals here regarding the environment and protection of wildlife + protecting the “green-wedge” surrounds & reputation of the area. This was on display last year with the removal of trees at the Fitzsimons Lane roundabout in order to turn it into an intersection. There was strong opposition to the plan & vocal community engagement against the removal of the trees. If the Greens decided to really target this seat, or even the state seats of Eltham + Ivanhoe, I believe they would find a lot of support in this area. Will be interesting to see if the Greens vote rises if say Labor was elected federally and the community believed they were continuing to be lax on climate change etc.

    8. I’m the Greens candidate and our team is giving this election a red hot go. There is strong Greens support at both ends of the seat, and growing support in areas like Montmorency and Greensborough.

    9. God help us if the Greens and/or Labor win! We’ve suffered enough under the dictatorial style of leadership of Labor’s Daniel Andrews. I fear people have not gotten enough common sense from out suffering throughout these last 2 years. Andrews is playing psychological games with us by releasing the pressure valve enough to make us complacent again (even though extending his emergency powers behind the scenes).
      Andrews has blown the budget with his big spending and we are headed for a financial disaster. This ring road through our area should not be happening. A true ring road goes AROUND the major suburban traffic, NOT THROUGH IT!
      We need a change of government in Victoria to reveal the corruption and a Federal government who will hold them to account!

    10. Absolutley wondwerful to have Kate Thwaites as our Local Member and hopeful she can continue her fabulous work

    11. Anyone will half a brain will do as followed if they don’t want a repeat of what we suffered through in the past 2 weeks.

      Third Last – Liberal
      Second Last – Labor
      Third Last – Greens

    12. Menzies is more ethnically diverse than most of Jagajaga. Heidelberg, Ivanhoe, Rosanna, Montmorency, Lower Plenty, Watsonia, and Eltham are very white Anglo-Celtic. Doncaster, Bulleen, Templestowe, and Templestowe Lower are very multi-cultural.

    13. @ Kaniel Outis, I grew up in Menzies/Manningham and know Jagajaga very well and your commentary about ethnic diversity is spot on. If we exclude the West Heidelberg Public Housing area. Menzies/Jagajaga are similar is most other aspects including median household income, SEIFA and educational attainment. Jagajaja is in fact more affluent than other Liberal seats such as Casey, Deakin, Aston and Chisholm.

    14. Menzies would be the most affluent. With the exception of Ivanhoe and Eaglemont none of Jagajaga is not particularly affluent, it’s very middle class. Pretty much all of Menzies is wealthier, especially Templestowe.
      Parts of Deakin like Croydon Hills, Warranwood and Ringwood North are more affluent than the majority of Jagajaga, as is Wheelers Hill in Chisholm and Lysterfield/parts of Rowville and Wantirna South in Aston.

      Maybe the reason Jagajaga is relatively safe compared to the eastern suburbs is the Yarra River here is like a boundary between where the northern suburbs and eastern suburbs meet. It is almost a part of the northern suburbs psyche to vote Labor.

    15. @Adam, In fact Jagajaga has a slightly higher median weekly household income then Menzies $1757 versus $1,701 at the 2016 census as i pointed out in my earlier point in the thread. Also Ivanhoe East/Eaglemont are more elite/old money suburbs on par with suburbs such as Mont Albert/Balwyn etc and much wealthier than Templestowe which is more nouveau riche like the Hills District in Sydney rather than the old money North Shore such as Ku-ring-Gai LGA. I also feel Eltham and Lower Plenty can be seen to be affluent suburbs. Nilumbik Shire does high a very High SEIFA and some of the lowest crime rates etc.
      However, i do agree that Menzies does overall tend be wealthier and is homogenous socio-economically and that most of Jagajaga is very middle class and the suburbs you mentioned are more affluent than the majority of Jagajaga i could add Vermont and part of Blackburn close to lake as more affluent as well. Jagaajga does seem to have more variance within the electorate.

    16. I believe the strong Labor vote in Jagajaga could be because the population in Jagajaga isn’t nearly as aspirational or socially conservative as in the seats south of the Yarra like Menzies or Chisholm. Also, Labor’s vote in general in Melbourne is a lot stronger than in other cities like Perth, Brisbane or Sydney. If Chisholm was in Sydney, it would be a fairly safe Liberal seat of around 6 to 10% margin like Bennelong while Menzies would have a 20% margin like Bradfield or Mitchell and Jagajaga would be a marginal toss-up seat that generally leans Liberal.

    17. The community of interest in JagaJaga is pretty tenuous so there is not a lot to bind Eaglemont, Research and West Heidelberg into one seat. It is like isaacs and Macnamara – the demographics conspire to trap the Libs at 45% at election after election. It might be more winnable if it was more focussed in Nilumbik rather than being a rag bag following a very long train line. The other factor is that the Libs may not have really tried – laziness is in their DNA.

    18. Hmm not really a strict comparison ……Nillumbik is like the Blue Mountains, but the disparity in the old city of Kogarah reminds me of Banyule.

    19. Yeah I’d say Nillumbik would be like the lower Blue Mountains; relatively affluent and suburban but with a Green/Teal streak and surrounded by parks and green wedge areas that make it feel semi-rural. Not hardcore Green like the upper mountains, but enough to keep the area a fairly steady 50-60% Labor.

      Banyule would be like a Georges River Council or maybe the southern parts of Bankstown Council: quite ‘Anglo’ compared to surrounding multicultural areas, straddles a social divide between affluent riverside suburbs and older working class/public housing areas, and everything in between.

    20. I do agree that Jagajaga is much less socially conservative than Menzies maybe the affluent ethnic communities make it more socially conservative and aspirational compare the SSM vote in Menzies versus Jagajaga. Chisholm and Bennelong are an excellent comparison the only caveat would be Chisholm often goes south of the Monash freeway whereas Bennelong has never crossed the Parramatta River to take in Silverwater etc. Nicholas proposal of Chisholm sitting between Canterbury Road and the Monash freeway would be almost a perfect analogy to Bennelong and it would be interesting to calculate the notional liberal margin if those boundaries were to exist. i agree Mitchell is a good comparision to Menzies as a lot of it demographically similar but maybe not Bradfield which is more old money like Kooyong, Berowra is a better comparision to Menzies. I agree that Macnamara and Issacs are a good comparison to Jagajaga as it is really one or two solid Labor areas that give Labor the advantage even if all other suburbs are winnable for the Libs being St.Kilda-Elwood and Dandenong-Keysborough respectively. In terms of a Sydney comparision i cant think of a good one to Banyule-Nilumbik except maybe Hornsby Shire up to the Hawkesbury River excluding the Southern part like West Pennant Hills, Cherrybrook, Dural, Beecroft etc which are like Manningham. Other possible interstate comparisions include Ashgrove-the Gap (QLD) and parts of Boothby along the Belair train line like Eden Hills etc which are leafy middle class areas but often vote left wing.

    21. Agree with you Nimalan, the area around Eltham/Research is like Ashgrove in Brisbane – quite affluent but also open to backing Labor at times (Ashgrove voted Liberal/LNP in recent council elections but also backed Labor candidates in state elections, the exception being Campbell Newman’s 2012 win).

    22. @Nicholas: This electorate is unlikely to ever go blue. A) because areas like Macleod, Montmorency, Watsonia, Greensborough are actually white collar working class. Many unionized teachers, and nurses live in these suburbs. B) Heidelberg West is a low socioeconomic area. C) Eltham has many wealthy people who are socially progressive. They are not owners of factories, they are more likely to be wealthy artists, and designers, or doctors who are involved in the peace movement and refugee advocacy. When the fascist UPF came to Eltham trying to drum up anti refugee sentiments, the people of Eltham stood up to them, and said refugees are welcome. Moz, a refugee who was released from the Park Hotel/ prison resides in Eltham. D) There are working class pockets in Ivanhoe, Heidelberg, and Rosanna. Eaglemont is extreme wealthy, and Ivanhoe East is upper middle class. Overall the electorate is socially progressive.

    23. Nimalan, Kaniel Outis and Adam all bring up good points about Menzies and Jagajaga. Nimalan I’ll admit I don’t fully know the technicalities in terms of the median weekly household income but would the fact that Menzies has a lot of older and possibly retired individuals drag it down. I will say that I think there’s a bigger social divide within Jagajaga than there is in Menzies, from my knowledge all of Menzies is middle class to upper-middle class. Compare that to the difference between Eaglemont and West Heidelberg in Jagajaga. There is a big social divide between Menzies and Jagajaga but if you look at the demographics of Menzies the SSM was decent and probably shouldn’t be a surprise. Firstly at the time of the plebiscite it was probably on its most socially conservative boundaries, it didn’t include North Warrandyte (although its smaller population probably wouldn’t have made a difference) and didn’t cover Eltham, Research and Kangaroo Ground like it did for the 2019 election. Secondly 1/5 of Menzies is over the age of 65, has less than the national average for 20-39 year olds and keeps up with the average for 5-19 year olds (although only the 18-19 age can vote). Also I’m happy to be corrected but I believe I saw somewhere that the two highest participants in the SSM plebiscite were the 18-24 crowd and the older crowd, Menzies has one but not the other. Another factor is Menzies ethnic diversity, the percentage for Chinese ancestry is just over 3 times the Victorian percentage and just under 2 times the Victorian average for Italian ancestry. Having a mother or father born in Greece was also 2.6 times higher than Victoria overall. Overall Menzies been more socially conservative than Jagajaga can be explained by an older and ethnically diverse population (Chinese and southern Europeans who also seem to be heavily catholic (although from experience a lot of the southern Europeans are second or third generation, I don’t know if that’s also for the younger generations). Also anecdotally Menzies is probably a seat where people would have voted ‘no’ as a joke or joked about it.

    24. As for the seat of Jagajaga itself I would say that in the current environment the Liberals can’t win but it’s one that they could possibly win in the future. The thing that the Liberals need to do is make sure they don’t get a big swing against them in the seat (which will probably happen in seats like this) so the margin isn’t inflated in future elections. The seat does seem to be very socially progressive and would probably be more favourable to the Liberals if they were more socially progressive. I would say the seat also has a pretty big tree tory type population in the north and north east, I’m not sure about the southern part as I’m not as familiar with it. The thing that works against the liberals in this seat is definitely Heidelberg Heights and Heidelberg West although they could do better in the wealthier areas to make up. I believe Heidelberg Heights and Heidelberg West was also what kept the electoral division of Ivanhoe as marginal Labor up until the last election where the whole electorate had big swings to Labor.

    25. As for the Greens potentially winning this seat in the near future, i highly doubt that. Whilst the Green vote is strong and will likely improve this election for them to win this the Liberal and Labor vote would have to collapse. If the Labor vote collapse most of it would probably go to the Liberals.

    26. Also on a side note and probably irrelevant to the discussion. The talk about Nillumbik made me wonder why they never made state seat based around the Eltham, Warrandyte, Research and Kangaroo Ground area. Instead deciding Eltham and Warrandyte would go in different directions.

    27. Something i forgot to add in my first comment is that Menzies also has quite a few retirement villages from memory.

    28. The Rosanna booth in Jaga Jaga seems to be another booth where there has been a preference mix up. It is showing a 12% swing to the Libs in a seat that swung 6% to the ALP. Probably Greens preferences in wrong pile.
      Is there a mechanism for reporting this or do the AEC scan sites such as these where the terminally psephologically nerdy hang out or do they expect the parties to pick it up or do they audit?


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