Kooyong – Australia 2022

LIB 5.5% vs GRN

Incumbent MP
Josh Frydenberg, since 2010.

Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Kooyong covers most of the Boroondara council area and a strip of the Whitehorse council area, including the suburbs of Hawthorn, Kew, Camberwell, Canterbury, Mont Albert, Surrey Hills and Balwyn.

Kooyong expanded slightly to the south-east, taking in small areas from Chisholm and Higgins. These changes reduced the Liberal margin from 5.7% to 5.5%.


Kooyong is an original federation electorate, and has always been held by conservative parties, by the Free Trade Party for the first eight years and by the Liberal Party and its predecessors since 1909. It was held from 1922 to 1994 by only three men, all of whom led the major conservative force in federal politics.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Free Trader William Knox. He was re-elected in 1903 and 1906 and became a part of the unified Liberal Party in 1909. He won re-election in 1910 but retired later that year after suffering a stroke.

The 1910 by-election was won by Liberal candidate Robert Best. Best had previously served as a colonial minister and a Protectionist Senator from 1901 to the 1910 election, when he lost his seat in the ALP’s majority victory, and had served as a minister in Alfred Deakin’s second and third governments. Best returned to Parliament, but didn’t serve in Joseph Cook’s Liberal government or Billy Hughes’ Nationalist government.

At the 1922 election, Best was challenged by lawyer John Latham, who stood for the breakaway Liberal Union, a conservative party running to personally oppose Billy Hughes’ leadership of the Nationalist Party. Despite winning the most primary votes by a large margin, Best lost to Latham on Labor preferences.

John Latham was elected as one of five MPs for the breakaway Liberal Party (two of whom had previously been Nationalist MPs and retained their seats as Liberals in 1922). The Nationalists lost their majority due to gains for the Liberal Party and Country Party, and were forced to go into coalition, and the Country Party demanded Billy Hughes’ resignation as Prime Minister. With Stanley Bruce taking over as Prime Minister, the five Liberals, including Latham, effectively rejoined the Nationalist Party, and Latham won re-election in 1925 as a Nationalist.

Latham served as Attorney-General in the Bruce government from 1925 to 1929, when the Nationalists lost power, and Bruce himself lost his seat. Latham became Leader of the Opposition, but yielded the leadership to former Labor minister Joseph Lyons when they formed the new United Australia Party out of the Nationalists and Labor rebels. Latham served as the unofficial Deputy Prime Minister in the first term of the Lyons government (when they governed without the need for support from the Country Party), before retiring at the 1934 election. Latham went on to serve as Chief Justice of the High Court from 1935 to 1952.

Kooyong was won in 1934 by Robert Menzies. Menzies had been elected to the Victorian state parliament in 1928 and had served as Deputy Premier in the United Australia Party government from 1932 to 1934. He was immediately appointed Attorney-General in the Lyons government. He served in the Lyons government until 1939, when he resigned from the Cabinet in protest over what he saw as the government’s inaction. This was shortly before the death of Joseph Lyons in April 1939, which was followed by the UAP electing Robert Menzies as leader, making him Prime Minister.

Menzies’ first term was rocky, with the Second World War being declared in September 1939. He managed to retain power with the support of independents at the 1940 election, but after spending months in Europe on war strategy in 1941 he returned home to opposition within the government, and was forced to resign as Prime Minister and UAP leader. He was replaced as leader by Country Party leader Arthur Fadden, who was followed soon after by Labor leader John Curtin.

Menzies worked in opposition to reform the conservative forces, who suffered a massive defeat at the 1943 election. In 1944 and 1945 he put together the new Liberal Party, which took over from the moribund United Australia Party and a number of splinter groups. He led the party to the 1946 election and won power in 1949.

Menzies held power for the next sixteen years, retaining power at elections in 1951, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1961 and 1963, and retiring in January 1966.

The 1966 Kooyong by-election was won by Andrew Peacock, then President of the Victorian Liberal Party. Peacock rose to the ministry in 1969 and served in the ministry until the election of the Whitlam government in 1972. He served as a senior frontbencher during the Whitlam government and became Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Fraser government in 1975. He moved to the Industrial Relations portfolio in 1980, but resigned from Cabinet in 1981 due to supposed meddling in his portfolio by the Prime Minister. He launched a failed challenge to Fraser’s leadership and moved to the backbench, although he returned to Cabinet in late 1982, a few months before Malcolm Fraser lost power.

After the 1983 election, Peacock was elected leader, defeating John Howard, who had served as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party for the last few months of the Fraser government. Peacock led the party into the 1984 election, reducing the Hawke government’s majority. With rising speculation of a leadership challenge from Howard (still deputy leader) in 1985, he attempted to replace Howard as deputy leader, but the party room re-elected Howard. This caused Peacock to resign as leader and Howard was elected Leader of the Opposition. Howard led the Liberal Party to a bigger defeat in 1987. Howard was challenged by Peacock in 1989, and Peacock led the Liberal Party to the 1990 election. Despite winning a majority of the two-party preferred vote, Peacock didn’t win enough seats, and he resigned as leader immediately after the election.

Peacock remained on the frontbench under the leadership of John Hewson and Alexander Downer, and retired in 1994. Peacock was appointed Ambassador to the United States upon the election of the Howard government in 1996, and served in the role until 1999.

Kooyong was won at the 1994 by-election by Petro Georgiou, the State Director of the Victorian Liberal Party. Georgiou was a former advisor to Malcolm Fraser and a key proponent of multicultural government policies. Georgiou’s main opposition came from Greens candidate Peter Singer, due to the absence of a Labor candidate. Singer managed 28% of the primary vote, which remained a Greens record until the 2009 Higgins by-election, but it wasn’t enough to seriously challenge the Liberal hold on Kooyong.

Georgiou positioned himself strongly as a moderate within the Liberal Party and despite his impeccable credentials in the Liberal Party and as a policy advisor, he never held a frontbench role in the Howard government. He was openly critical of the Howard government’s refugee policies in the final term of the Howard government. He faced a strong preselection challenge in 2006, but managed to win more than two thirds of votes in the preselection. He managed to win re-election in 2007 with practically no swing against him, despite the Liberals suffering large swings across Australia.

In 2010, Georgiou retired, and he was succeeded by fellow Liberal Josh Frydenberg. Frydenberg has been re-elected three times, and in 2018 was elected deputy leader of the Liberal Party. Frydenberg has served in a number of ministerial portfolios, including as Treasurer since 2018.


Kooyong has been trending to the left over recent elections, but Frydenberg’s margin is still substantial.

It seems like Monique Ryan is the main challenger to Frydenberg, and may be able to peel off those extra voters who wouldn’t vote Labor or Greens, and has a good chance of winning.

2019 result

Josh Frydenberg Liberal 48,92849.4-8.249.2
Julian Burnside Greens 21,03521.2+2.721.1
Jana Stewart Labor 16,66616.8-3.717.5
Oliver YatesIndependent8,8909.0+9.08.5
Steven D’EliaUnited Australia Party1,1851.2+1.21.2
Davina HinkleyAnimal Justice1,1171.1+1.01.2
Bill ChandlerIndependent6690.7+0.70.6
Angelina ZubacIndependent5390.5-2.30.5

2019 two-candidate-preferred result

Josh Frydenberg Liberal 55,15955.7+55.755.5
Julian Burnside Greens 43,87044.3+44.344.5

2019 two-party-preferred result

Josh Frydenberg Liberal 56,12756.7-6.156.4
Jana Stewart Labor 42,90243.3+6.143.6

Booth breakdown

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

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote in three out of four areas, polling around 53.1% in the north-west and south-east, and 58.3% in the north-east. The Greens polled 53.8% in the south-west.

The Greens outpolled Labor in three out of four areas, but Labor outpolled the Greens in the north-east.

Voter groupGRN primALP primLIB 2CPTotal votes% of votes
Other votes18.817.759.919,49618.7

Election results in Kooyong at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (Liberal vs Greens or Labor), two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, the Greens, Labor and independent candidates.

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  1. Allegra Spender is running against Sharma in Wentworth. Do you mean Monique Ryan?

    My understanding is that Ryan has already agreed to a debate against Frydenburg as long as it’s held within the electorate, and one has already been booked in.

  2. Greg Sheridan is full of sh•t.

    Frydenberg refused to appear at the Kooyong candidates’ forum with Ryan, instead being represented by an empty chair.

    Then he tried to get her to debate him, but at the Ch9 studios in Docklands, in front of an audience of Ch9’s choosing which may or may not have had any connection to Kooyong whatsoever.

    Her counter offer was that she will debate him, but it must be held in Kooyong, with voters who actually live in the electorate. SkyNews agreed to host under these terms, and invited Ryan and Frydenberg to debate this on Thursday.

    Ryan has accepted, haven’t heard if Frydenberg has also.

    So in short, Sheridan is straight-up lying to you. Or deliberately misleading at best.

  3. A question is if Frydenburg lost his seat and Scott Morrison lost this election, who would be the new Liberal Leader not having these two politicians and possibly even adding Peter Dutton would likely make it harder to identify a viable opposition leader. One fear is that it could lead to populism in the LNP. The Canadian Equivalent is a textbook case for the potential of an non viable LNP leader given their likely next opposition leader would be a alt-right libertarian populist

  4. Marh, I honestly think that’s an attractive proposition for Labor and why they would love for Frydenburg to lose his seat. An opposition leader like Dutton, and a move further towards alt-right populism, would completely destroy the Liberal Party’s chances in the southern states and secure a second term for Labor.

  5. If Frydenberg loses Kooyong, and the coalition lose government, it would pretty much have to be Dutton as Opposition leader. They’ve not got any other obvious candidates (unless Morrison decided to remain leader in opposition, but surely that’s off the table).

    Dutton as LOTO could go one of two ways, either make the Coalition unelectable, as moderate Libs desert them in even greater numbers, or maybe actually make them competitive again by bringing back the UAP and ON voters…

  6. @Marh, to take this hypothetical further, if there are 3 or 4 teal IND gains and the next leader of the Liberal is a right wing populist (and the Nats head the same way), how then can the Coalition win back progressive inner city seats in future elections? It’s a pretty dire (albeit hypothetical) scenario.

  7. Next redistribution this seat should lose Hawthorn to Higgins, instead gaining Toorak and Kooyong.

  8. Ideally Higgins should contain Prahran, Richmond, Burnley, Hawthorn, Kew, East Melbourne and Collingwood, while Kooyong would contain Toorak, Kooyong, Malvern, Glen Iris, Balwyn, Surrey Hills and Malvern East.

  9. Abbott managed to win an election and I think Dutton is a smarter politician than him. Admittedly that was almost entirely a self-inflicted defeat by Labor but Dutton sounds like a natural extension of the Coalition clawing for the “battler” votes, which has been reasonably successful since the Howard years. Frydenburg might be more loved by the press but I see him and Dutton as a Turnbull-Morrison dynamic more than anything. And the traditional notions (probably reflective of journalist’s leanings) of Turnbull being more “electable” seem to have been incorrect in comparing the two.

  10. @Ben that would never happen and I don’t think those boundaries make a lot of sense.

    For one thing, the AEC looks at natural boundaries and transport links as consideration. It’s so hard to get from Prahran to Kew even by car let alone PT. The main reason is that big natural boundary – the Yarra – which has limited (and usually congested) crossings. Likewise, Balwyn and Malvern are not exactly accessible or share any amenities or services either. It would mix & match too many LGAs too.

    The boundaries are mostly pretty good as they are, especially Kooyong. That “leafy inner east” is a very particular community of interest – even the more progressive parts of Hawthorn. Not every suburb has to vote the same way but they share the same amenities, transport links, educational institutions, local government, and have many cultural similarities.

    Higgins is another story, it desperately needs a territory swap sending the Chapel precinct to Macnamara, but that’s been discussed to death in the Higgins & Macnamara threads. If the AEC won’t even cross Dandenong Rd to put Prahran with St Kilda or Malvern with Caulfield, they’re not going to cross the M1 to put Prahran with Kew and Malvern with Balwyn.

  11. Ben, that’s not a bad idea except a seat on those boundaries would be over quota however you could put Hawthorn and the City of Stonnngton into one seat, and tram 72 provides a direct link from Prahran to Hawthorn/Kew and tram 16 between Kew and St Kilda travels through Higgins.

  12. Ben, on your other idea, of putting Hawthorn into Higgins then removing Toorak and Higgins. That wouldn’t work due to large parts of Hawthorn aligning with Toorak and Kooyong and that is why there is a case for putting Hawthorn into Higgins, otherwise its better to remain in Kooyong and its not clear where you would send Toorak and Kooyong, and Toorak has a connection with Prahran and South Yarra.

  13. Next redistribution it may be possible to define Kooyong to be coterminous with Boroondara LGA, and if so, that opportunity should be taken.

  14. Might as well rename it to Boroondara too. The suburb of Kooyong isn’t even in the electorate.

  15. Debate between Frydenberg and Ryan is on right now.

    Must say – Dr Ryan is a very, very intelligent individual. Frydenberg isn’t a stupid man by any means, but she’s pushing him very hard here, and it’s interesting to see him sweat under the “born to rule” attitude he likes to uphold.

  16. Oh, and because he’s such a lovely guy, he namechecked Dr Ryan’s 89-year old mother in law again, even though he knows full well he’s responsible for her receiving threats and nuisance phone calls.

  17. Expat: There are a lot of parallels between how blue ribbon Libs are treating the Voices candidates and the way Labor treats the Greens in its own ‘safe’ seats. You really do see that ‘born to rule’ mentality revealed in all its ugliness, they quickly get incredibly personal and ruthless and OTT. Frydenberg’s doing that now, Tim Wilson’s been absolutely feral. Trent Zimmerman’s at least still managed to conduct himself with a modicum of integrity AFAIK but we’ll see how that develops.

  18. From what I’ve observed not only in the campaign but in government conduct, Trent Zimmerman is a far more decent and principled individual than either Wilson or Frydenburg.

    I also think he’s far less under threat than those two. He has a bigger margin, he is a better MP, he crossed the floor over the RDA, his electorate extends into some more socially conservative areas, and Morrison is less hated in Sydney than Melbourne.

    Zimmerman will hold with a reduced margin (around 5% I think). Kooyong could go either way and I think Wilson is gone in Goldstein.

  19. Absolutely, Zimmerman is a much nicer human being than either Wilson or Frydenberg.

    Following report on the debate (from PR Guy, so make of that what you will):


    Dr Monique Ryan has defeated Josh Frydenberg in a debate on Sky News this afternoon. Frydenberg said he was “insulted” when Dr Ryan held him to account for turning his back on Victoria during the pandemic and picked apart his long list of reckless spending failures.

    Dr Ryan also handed down a rebuke of the treasurer over the Morrison Government’s foreign policy and national security failures, leaving Frydenberg treading water. Observers say Ryan was authentic and honest, while Frydenberg was insincere, defensive and “untrustworthy.”

    Ryan’s message was a strong case for better representation and action on issues affecting Kooyong and the nation, while Frydenberg made the case that even if the community is unhappy with his performance, they should keep him, because losing his seat is “not what I want.”


    I mean, you can take it with a grain of salt being from PR Guy, but that last line really is what came out of Frydo’s mouth.

  20. Sorry Ben you have proven to being biased in every post you have made.While you are entitled to your own opinions, your judgement is clouded.My opinion is that Josh Frydenberg is becoming extremely worried to the point of launching personal attacks against Dr Ryan by way of dragging Dr Ryan’s mother- in- law into his comments.

  21. Paul
    What a perfectly horrible remark. Dr. Ryan has every right to stand for election, and wishing death upon someone who dares to try and better represent a community that “by rights” should be controlled by the Liberal party is the clear hallmark of a New Liberal, far removed from that vision of Sir Robert Menzies. Given Frydenberg has brought the Liberal margin to the lowest it has ever been, perhaps he no longer deserves this seat? He finds himself unable to attend a candidates’ forum, but has plenty of time to do a stand-up routine down the road, inciting harassment against Dr. Ryan’s mother-in-law. Quite uncivil behaviour, arising from a desparation as he realises how deep in trouble he is. This is an independent gain.

  22. Ben Raue, can we please have such morbid comments as Paul Mateo’s removed? Thanks in advance.

  23. Watched the debate as an outsider. Arrogance and entitlement of Ryan was unbelievable. Showed the the power and money behind a successful career. Not sure how ordinary people will accept her as a member. Anyway if elected, she will be a one term wonder.

  24. Interesting to note that in the debate, Monique Ryan condemned the harsh rhetoric against China by the Coalition, a first for a teal candidate. She must’ve realised that she must make in roads into possibly one of the most Pro-Beijing Chinese communities in Melbourne if not the entire country. The community particularly around Balwyn tend to be nouveau riche who’ve benefited from the Chinese economic boom, hence tend to be more supportive of the Chinese government. This demographic is also not particularly receptive to the usual teal stances on climate change.

  25. I thought most Pro Beijing Chinese Community in Melbourne would mostly likely be in Box Hill in neighbouring Chisholm, most Chinese I’ve seen there are newer immigrants from the Mainland and formed there own social bubble isolated from even other Asian groups. Glen Waverley also in Chisholm is more like Balwyn with lots of nouveau rich from China although at a lower income

  26. Not many Chinese in Melbourne are actually pro-Beijing if you drill down. Get to know them well and they’ll almost all tell you Xi’s a dictator and they’re happy to be away from the CCP.

    BUT a lot of Mainlanders tend to have a level of pride towards China and being Chinese, even if they know the CCP are full of crap. Couple this with a widespread feeling that most white Australians are a bit racist, and it’s very easy for them to perceive criticism of the CCP as being thinly-veiled criticism of Chinese people in general.

  27. Pro-Beijingers (PB) do not mean they agree with every CCP policymaking. I point out that the most people who are referred to PB, are not ones who are in your face or complete loyalist types and most of them are not the ones who support the cultural revolution, they are just more that they believe CCP is the only viable government for stability in China. I think this is possibly due to the Chinese Civil War that caused heavy turmoil due to factions just leading up to establishment of the PRC. I believe most of the PB would be more supportive of Deng Xiaoping due to his reforms and to some extent Xi Jinping especially the younger PRC immigrants since his view as a strongman.

  28. Ryan has shown that she’s woefully out of her depth on foreign policy, and that the Climate Karens are totally unsuited to tackling the big picture challenges confronting the country.

    Also, the overreaction to Frydenberg quoting Ryan’s mother-in-law is absurd. It’s an undisputed fact that Ryan’s mother-in-law said she would be voting for Frydenberg. The only person ‘inciting harassment’ of the mother-in-law would be Monique Ryan’s campaign, because the only people who would harass her would be the anti-Frydenberg groups. Just remember that the teal independents have form for poor campaign behaviour – look at the PwC Partner in Sydney who was a Zali Steggall campaigner who stabbed two Liberal volunteers during the 2019 election and got convicted by a magistrate for assault.

  29. Entrepreneur –

    “The Climate Karens are totally unsuited to tackling the big picture challenges confronting the country.”

    I can only imagine a lot of people would say the same thing about the current PM – and Deputy! That’s the thing; if you’re a teal-electorate voter, then when you vote for the incumbent Liberal MP you’re implicitly voting for Barnaby Joyce to stay Deputy PM and sabotaging meaningful climate action.

  30. If Frydenberg loses Kooyong as the latest poll has suggested then he would become the first sitting Treasurer to lose his seat since Ted Theodore in 1931.

    If nothing else a probable Frydenberg defeat could see Theodore getting a mention in today’s media.

  31. Should Frydenburg lose the Libs will be in a dark place. A goodly number of losing candidates / members will be moderates, women or both. They will look increasingly out of touch and the Nats will be a bigger share of the coalition – allowing Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan and the Qld Nats to send the coalition down some dark rabbit holes.

  32. Rumour in Canberra that Frydenburg is about to be outed for stacking the supposedly independent (and very important) Productivity Commission with no less than 7 Liberal staffers out of just 12 Commissioner positions, including having appointed Liberal staffers to both the chair and deputy chair. He has reportedly appointed his own former staffer and a liberal deputy chair for the next five years just before the election. If true, such blatant stacking will not serve him well locally in a campaign being fought on integrity and corruption.

  33. Entrepreneur –

    As a Kooyong voter, I would agree that the response to JF quoting MR’s mother-in-law was excessive.

    Your comment about ‘climate Karens’ and female candidates who are ‘out of their depth’ sounds misogynistic, whether you intend it that way or not. Any candidate standing for election for the first time is untested (although, we can certainly make an assessment of their skills and ability). We can make a more concrete assessment of existing legislators, and sadly there are many in the Australian parliament who are unsuited to tackling the big picture issues that we face as a country.

  34. The failure of the ‘teal’ in Kooyong to give clear instructions to electors on her how to vote card is a disaster for her and wealthy backer Mr Holmes a Court.

    A media report yesterday noted that ‘some’ voters had only placed a number ‘1’ on the HoR ballot paper against Ryan. If so, their vote will be invalid.

    The report speculated that there could be ‘hundreds’ who’d done this.

    Not much good spending millions on these so-called “independents” if the campaign director cannot get the basics correct.

    Frydenberg is apparently having heaps of voters come up to him at prepoll and compliment him. Quite a few are saying ‘we’re sick of seeing your (main) opponent’s face everywhere’.

    There’s a good chance he’ll win by at least 52:48, if not more. Though you’d never know it from ‘The Age’, some electors prefer substance over style.

  35. Yet to see any proof of the open ticket confusing anyone.

    Hasn’t caused noticeable issues when candidates have done it previously, and Kooyong voters are pretty switched-on.

  36. Polling booth workers remind every voter that they need to fill every box so if they forget between desk and booth they deserve to have an informal vote.

  37. The only possible way the Ryan campaign (or anyone else) could know that their HTVs were confusing voters into casting informal ballots is if voters told them they had done so, and I doubt more than a handful would have told someone in the first place. If nothing else, it would presumably need to occur to the voter that they had done something wrong in order to mention it. So we shall see once the ballots are actually counted, but my guess is the campaign is freaking out over a few scattered anecdotes and there’s nothing more to this.

    As for Frydenberg, any voter who is “sick of seeing [the] opponent’s face everywhere” was never going to vote for that opponent. I have heard this kind of comment in criticism of candidates who won convincingly and of candidates who floundered and of extremely close races. It’s completely non-predictive.

  38. I suspect the Ryan HTV issue is totally overblown, but a clever story to blow up for some free press. The Age will lap it up and if Frydenberg wins narrowly it provides a convenient excuse for the Ryan campaign.

    P.S. Not sure how you can claim the term Climate Karen is misogynistic.

  39. Bring back the electorate of Yarra, which covered Richmond, Hawthorn, Abbotsford, Collingwood, and Fitzroy. Jim Cairns was the MP.

  40. It is absolute rubbish to suggest that a HTV which says Vote 1 then choose your preferences would lead to a sizable number of informal votes .. electoral officials are told to clearly state to voters “Fill in all squares number 1 to 10 (or whatever)” when they give people the Reps ballot paper.

  41. Dan M: your comments are ridiculous. Equating the Chinese community with the CCP is offensive, and racist. The Liberal Party is racist and Sinophobic. The Chinese, and Indian communities in Kooyong are sick of the racism of the racism. One reason why Hawthorn went Labor in the state election, was because the Indian community could not relate to the racism of the Liberal Party.

  42. @Lachlan: They could, and should cross the Yarra. Hawthorn wasn’t added to the modern Kooyong electorate until the late 1970’s. There used to be an electorate called Yarra that covered Richmond, Hawthorn, Abbotsford, Collingwood, and Fitzroy. Jim Cairns was the MP.

    There was a time in the 1970’s when the state electorate of Hawthorn crossed the river, and included Richmond, east of Burnley Street. The federal electorate of Menzies originally crossed the river to include Heidelberg, and Ivanhoe. River crossings can, and should be done.

    When Menzies represented the electorate, it did not even include Hawthorn. It used to be an upside down L shaped electorate that covered Kew, Kew East, Balwyn, Balwyn North, Surrey Hills, Canterbury, and Camberwell. Hawthorn East was sometimes in Kooyong, and sometimes in Yarra. Interestingly Menzies never lived in Kooyong electorate. He lived in Elizabeth Street Malvern.

    When the electorate was first drawn up it stretched from Kew down to Oakleigh.

    It’s time to bring back Yarra electorate. Kooyong has not been properly redistributed since the late 1970’s. There have only been minor tweaks, like the time the actual suburb of Kooyong was added in the 1980’s.


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