Menzies – Australia 2022

LIB 7.0%

Incumbent MP
Kevin Andrews, since 1991.

Geography
Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Menzies covers the entirety of Manningham council area as well as parts of Whitehorse council area and southern parts of the Nillumbik council area. Suburbs include Blackburn North, Bulleen, Doncaster, Donvale, Park Orchards, Templestowe and Warrandyte.

Redistribution
Menzies shifted south, losing most of its territory north of the Yarra, including Eltham, to Jagajaga, also losing Warranwood to Deakin, and gaining part of Mitcham from Deakin and Blackburn North and part of Nunawading from Chisholm. These changes reduced the Liberal margin from 7.5% to 7.0%.

History
Menzies was created as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives at the 1984 election. It has always been held by the Liberal Party for its short history.

The seat was first won in 1984 by Liberal candidate Neil Brown. Brown had previously held the marginal seat of Diamond Valley on two occasions, holding it from 1969 to 1972 and 1975 to 1983. He had served as a minister in the Fraser government from 1981 to 1983. Brown was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party from 1985 to 1987, and retired in 1991.

The Menzies by-election in 1991 was easily won by Liberal candidate Kevin Andrews, with no Labor candidate standing. Andrews was a strongly conservative backbencher, and pushed through a private members’ bill in 1996 overturning the Northern Territory’s euthanasia laws. Andrews has been re-elected ten times.

Andrews was appointed as a junior minister in 2001 and was promoted to Cabinet in 2003. He was originally responsible for implementing the Workchoices policy after the 2004 election, and then served as Minister for Immigration.

Andrews moved to the backbench after the 2007 election, but returned to the frontbench after Tony Abbott was elected leader in late 2009. He served as a minister in the Abbott government, but was sacked after Malcolm Turnbull replaced Abbott as Prime Minister in 2015.

Candidates
Sitting Liberal MP Kevin Andrews is not running for re-election.

  • Naomi Oakley (Labor)
  • Sanjeev Sabhlok (Federation)
  • Greg Cheesman (Liberal Democrats)
  • John Hayes (One Nation)
  • Keith Wolahan (Liberal)
  • Bill Pheasant (Greens)
  • Nathan Scaglione (United Australia)
  • Assessment
    Menzies is a safe Liberal seat.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Kevin Andrews Liberal 50,86351.7+1.950.9
    Stella Yee Labor 29,53930.0+3.130.5
    Robert Humphreys Greens 10,26410.4+0.110.1
    Teresa Mary KelleherDemocratic Labour Party3,0263.1+3.12.8
    Brett Stephen FullerUnited Australia Party2,6052.6+2.72.4
    Rachel PayneReason2,0292.1+2.11.5
    Others1.7
    Informal3,3763.3-1.2

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Kevin Andrews Liberal 56,56857.5-0.357.0
    Stella Yee Labor 41,75842.5+0.343.0

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three areas: central, east and west

    The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 53.8% in the east to 54.2% in the west.

    The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 9.4% to 13.7%.

    Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Central10.354.024,52724.2
    West9.454.214,19614.0
    East13.753.89,9749.8
    Pre-poll8.960.333,96733.5
    Other votes10.858.818,78618.5

    Election results in Menzies 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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    76 COMMENTS

    1. ABC has called this for the Liberals, shouldn’t have toppled Andrews in preselection as the lack of Andrews’ personal vote has been an issue.

    2. I don’t get the sense Kevin Andrews actually had a personal vote especially after 30 years and with his far right stances well known. If he remained, the swing would’ve been even more and this seat would have already flipped by now. The most likely explanation for the large swing is anger among the Chinese community in the seat against the Liberals since the areas the swung the most in the seat are the areas with the largest Chinese Australian populations given that this is also happening in other seats with large Chinese communities and this phenomena has happened in other countries before too.

    3. Can’t imagine Andrews having any positive personal vote given the issues that are leading seats like this to swing. I expect toppling him saved them here.

    4. Agree with Adda and John Smith, as long term resident i would concur with the above statements and dont believe KA had a personal vote.

    5. As a Manningham resident I would say that although I am a Liberal supporter, I voted for Labor this time round in the House of Reps (not the Senate where I voted Liberal) and I hope that Menzies falls to Labor since that means the Liberals would actually have to put effort in to win it back and Labor would be incentivised to put effort here to retain it. Menzies has been taken for granted for far too long. There are pressing local issues relating to infrastructure and other matters that need to be addressed not the least of which is the lack of rail public transport.

    6. Agree, the lack of Rail in Mannnigham is a deep concern it is the only LGA in Metro Melbourne without a rail line. The Doncaster Rail line was proposed over 100 years ago and is still not built even though Manningham desperately needs it. This has been a major frustration i have had with KA in a survey that he mailed i raised that and asked to advocate for it but he ignored me. Contrast this with Mary Wooldridge who represented much of the area in state Parliament and who fought hard for it. Also Alan Tudge despite his controversies actually advocates for the Rowville Rail line and Knox Tram extention. He secured $400 million for the Monash Rail project (First part of Rowville rail). Christian Porter advocated for money set aside for the Perth Freight link to be reassigned to the Ellenbrook and Yanchep rail extentions. Redcliffe Rail line in QLD has a similar history and was proposed over a 100 years ago. As Petrie was a marginal seat in 2010 both parties committed to it and it was built. The Hills District did not have rail until recently and is even more rock solid than Manningham despite this local representatives stood up and it was delivered.

    7. I have a feeling that for the inevitable redistribution before 2025, the Libs and Labor will swap each other’s proposals for the interface between Menzies, Chisholm and Deakin. Last time, the Libs advocated for the southern boundary to be at Whitehorse Road with the goal of making the then very safe Menzies less safe while making the marginal Deakin less marginal, resulting in 2 fairly safe Liberal seats. Labor advocated for Menzies to expand into Maroondah and Deakin into Whitehorse to make the then very safe Menzies more safe while making the marginal Deakin more marginal, resulting in 1 very safe Liberal seat and 1 marginal seat. Labor also came up with ridiculous boundaries for Chisholm that are obviously designed to shore up the Labor vote in the then marginal seat so it becomes fairly safe for Labor. Now with Chisholm solidly Labor and Deakin and Menzies incredibly marginal, the interests of both parties will be different.

    8. @Nicholas Many are angry that it’s not included in Stage 1 and fear it’s going to be an empty promise just like every single Doncaster Rail proposal that came before it. Might be another incentive to not vote for the Libs in the state election since they seem really keen to tear the SRL up, which will be even easier for Stage 2 since it hasn’t started construction or planning yet, like how Dan Andrews tore up the East West Link.

    9. To be fair Labor also hasn’t bothered with extending the SRL to Doncaster in Stage 1 since Manningham was rock solid Liberal anyways. This might change with how marginal Menzies is now.

    10. @Nimalan agree with you on the lack of Doncaster rail but isn’t that really the fault of state government?

    11. If Labor highlights the fact that the Liberals all but oppose the SRL they could possibly win Bulleen off the Libs at the state election, particularly if they extend stage 1 through to Doncaster.

    12. @ Entrepreneur, both parties are guilty of the lack of progress on the much needed Doncaster Rail including the successive state governments. It was state Labor in the 1980s sold the reservation beyond the Freeway. However, we have vertical fiscal imbalance in the country and if the Federal governments provides funding to schools, hospitals and major road projects, traditionally viewed as the Domain of state governments the question arises why not Public Transport. Until recently, the federal governments provided little funding to public transport. While i acknowledge the immense contribution of the Howard government to Australia one criticism i would make is that there was little investment in infrastructure over that decade and no investment in urban public transport. The Rudd/Gillard Government did by the end up their time in office invest more in urban public transport than the predecessors from Federation combined. When Abbott initially came to office he suspended funding to Urban Public Transport including Melbourne Metro and Cross River Rail. When Turnbull came to office he reversed this silly decision and Morrison continued to fund urban PT which i give him credit for. During the Howard Government there was a lot of budget surpluses and much of that could have been invested for example partnering with the NSW state government to deliver the full Parramatta to Epping Rail Link, NWRL and SWRL. The achilles heel of the previous NSW State Labor Goverment was it is inability to deliver PT projects, something that could have been easier with Federal funding. As i mentioned earlier the Redcliffe Rail link became a reality due to Federal funding, there is Light Rail on the Gold Coast due to the federal funding. I wish Kevin Andrews shared a passion for this like Mary Wooldridge did. Then again i supposed he lived in Eaglemont, much more affluent and coincidentally has Railway station so he never had to worry about it himself.

    13. Wolahan lives in Warranwood which was redistributed from Menzies into Deakin in the latest redistribution so he isn’t exactly a local either.

    14. Agree KW lives outside the electorate but he planes to move into the area. However, the issue is not where someone lives but what they deliver for the community. I met KW at Templestowe Village when he was doing a meet and greet and he was a good listener and approachable. KA had 3 decades to deliver 91% of my life he was my local member, sometimes people overstay their welcome.

    15. I guess the fear is that Keith Wolahan turns out to be a carbon copy of Kevin Andrews and not only not deliver nothing for the electorate like Kevin Andrews but has the same ultraconservative beliefs and values. It’s already known that his views on Indigenous Land ownership are shockingly out of touch. Though to his credit, he says he voted for same-sex marriage in the plebiscite which puts him one step ahead of Andrews. The fact that he nearly lost the seat will hopefully mean he will actually put in effort and at least try to deliver much-needed infrastructure and other projects.

    16. Keith Wolahan appeared on the Age criticising the harsh rhetoric on China by the Morrison government and said he complained about it to senior cabinet ministers. Might put him at odds with his fellow right faction MPs like Dutton and Hastie who will likely take the senior shadow cabinet roles but signals that at least he is pragmatic and listens to his constituents.

    17. @Bob The results in Deakin will determine what the parties will propose in their redistribution. If the ALP wins Deakin, they will support pushing it towards Whitehorse and let Manningham push further into Maroondah, making Deakin more Labor friendly and Menzies more Liberal friendly. If the ALP doesn’t pick up Deakin, they may either try what I’ve said earlier or they would advocate pushing Menzies further into Whitehorse and flip Menzies red. In terms of the Liberals, the result in Deakin will also determine since they would want to save Michael Sukkar. If he loses, then the Liberals would have no problem moving Deakin into Whitehorse so it can make Menzies, which they only narrowly hold, safer. If he holds on, then it will be an awkward situation as they would have to sacrifice either Deakin or Menzies to be notionally Labor unless they try to blatantly gerrymander like what the ALP did in their proposal with Chisholm in the last redistribution.

    18. As a former Box Hill North resident, I would want to see Menzies’ southern boundary moved to Canterbury Road.

    19. The word is the hard right faction is angry at Keith Wolahan over his comments about the Coalition’s rhetoric on China and accusing him of being aligned with the Sinn Fein Party in Ireland and being a communist. Well it goes to show just how fractured the Victorian Liberals are and how far to the right they’ve lurched especially considering Keith Wolahan is already pretty right wing and not aligned with the moderate faction.

    20. @Ben whilst technically Wolohan isn’t a local i don’t think him living in Warranwood would be seen too negatively by most as he was a local up until the most recent redistribution and i believe had tried to win preselection previously whilst Warranwood was part of Menzies. At least he also borders the electorate and Warranwood shares the same interest and concerns as the north-east of the seat, better than some MPs such as Dreyfus.

    21. @John Smith – Wolahan may not be an ideological wet, but factionally he is vaguely aligned because he needed their votes to topple Andrews. So it’s not as though the conservatives particularly like him.

    22. Interesting to note that in some booths much of the anti-Lib swing has flown to the Greens rather than Labor particularly in the rural wedge where the Greens had the most first preferences in some of the booths. It’s possible that because there’s no teal independent contesting, the Greens basically acted like one so it’s a situation similar to that in inner Brisbane. The suburban part particularly Doncaster and Doncaster East is what swung to Labor. That suggests to me this seat was a missed opportunity for a teal independent, especially since Labor put zero effort in this seat yet nearly won it and there will be some voters particularly in the affluent McMansion areas in Templestowe and the rural wedge who would never vote Labor but be happy to support a Teal. That being said, Labor will likely be putting in a lot more effort in 2025 here since they need to gain seats to retain their majority to offset any possible losses and this is the second most marginal Lib seat after Deakin so a Teal independent contesting then would find it much more difficult to win like Jo Dyer in Boothby.

    23. Just thought to point out that the 2021 census shows this seat has the third largest Chinese Australian population in the country with more than 1 in 4 people (26.7%) having Chinese ancestry. Even though it may count some non-citizens who can’t vote, Menzies doesn’t have the large non-citizen international student populations like in other seats due to the absence of any major universities in Menzies unlike seats like Chisholm or Bennelong meaning taking that into account might mean Menzies may have the highest proportion of Chinese Australian voters in the country.
      This is something Peter Dutton and the Liberals need to take note if they doesn’t want to lose this seat in 2025.

    24. @John Smith, to be fair many Mainland Chinese born in Australia only have permanent residents, especially those migrating after 2010 possibly due to the PRC prohibiting dual citizenship and the requirement of a visa to enter the PRC. Menzies still does have a lot of PRC citizens in Box Hill and the area around Westfield Doncaster. Only Doncaster East and Templestowe tend to have the Chinese population being more settled and in many cases migrated to Australia in the 1980s and 1990s and give birth to children in Australia since many are immigrants from HK, Malaysia, and Guangdong (in the PRC). I have even noticed many Doncaster East Chinese, especially the youth having more westernized and relaxed attitudes. Even Eastwood and Epping have a sizable of Chinese Australians with Australian citizenship similar to those in Doncaster East

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