Monash – Australia 2022

LIB 6.9%

Incumbent MP
Russell Broadbent, since 2019. Previously member for Corinella 1990-1993, member for McMillan 1996-1998, 2004-2019.

Geography
South-eastern Victoria. Monash covers parts of Victoria stretching from the south-eastern fringe of Melbourne to the Latrobe Valley. The seat stretches from Western Port in the west to Moe in the east, and stretches down to the coast. McMillan covers the entirety of Bass Coast and South Gippsland council areas, most of Baw Baw council area and parts of the Latrobe council area. The seat covers the towns of Warragul, Moe, Wonthaggi, Leongatha and Foster.

Redistribution
Monash contracted on its western edge, losing Bunyip and Koo Wee Rup to La Trobe. This reduced the Liberal margin from 7.4% to 6.9%.

History

The electorate name “Monash” was introduced in 2019 as a new name for the seat of McMillan, which had been first created in 1949. The seat has mostly been held by conservative parties, although since the 1980s the ALP has won the seat on a number of occasions.

The seat was first won by Geoffrey Brown of the Liberal Party in 1949. Brown won a three-cornered contest on Country Party preferences. The Country Party occasionally would contest the seat throughout the 1950s and 1960s, but never managed to overtake the Liberal Party. Brown was reelected in 1951 and 1954 but died in 1955 before the election.

The seat was won at the 1955 election by Alexander Buchanan, also a Liberal. Buchanan held the seat for seventeen years without taking ministerial office before losing the Liberal Party’s endorsement in 1972.

Buchanan stood as an independent in 1972, and preferences from the DLP and Buchanan allowed Country Party candidate Arthur Hewson to leapfrog the official Liberal candidate and defeat the ALP candidate on Liberal preferences.

Hewson was reelected in a fierce contest in 1974, when the Liberals stood Ronald Dent against him despite a coalition agreement, and Hewson narrowly defeated Dent on primary votes before overtaking the ALP on preferences.

Hewson was defeated by Liberal candidate Barry Simon in 1975, and the Nationals never came close to winning McMillan again. Simon held the seat until 1980, when the ALP’s Barry Cunningham won it.

Cunningham held the seat throughout the 1980s, losing to John Riggall (LIB) in 1990. Riggall was defeated by Cunningham in 1993, and Cunningham was defeated by Russell Broadbent in 1996.

Broadbent had previously held the neighbouring seat of Corinella for one term from 1990 to 1993, and Corinella had been abolished at the 1996 election.

Broadbent was again defeated in 1998 by Christian Zahra, a 25-year-old ALP candidate. Zahra was made a shadow Parliamentary Secretary after the 2001 election, and was considered to have a promising career, before losing to Broadbent in 2004.

Broadbent managed to win re-election in 2007 after developing a reputation for rebelling against the Howard government’s immigration policies, and has been re-elected four more times since.

Candidates

  • Mat Morgan (Greens)
  • Russell Broadbent (Liberal)
  • Deb Leonard (Independent)
  • Allan Hicken (One Nation)
  • David Welsh (Federation)
  • Jessica O’Donnell (Labor)
  • Meg Edwards (Liberal Democrats)
  • Christine McShane (United Australia)
  • Assessment
    Monash is a reasonably safe Liberal seat.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Russell Broadbent Liberal 46,50146.3-3.646.0
    Jessica O’Donnell Labor 29,65629.5+1.829.9
    Jeff WaddellOne Nation7,6567.6+7.67.3
    William Hornstra Greens 7,0477.0-3.17.2
    Matthew SherryUnited Australia Party4,0284.0+4.04.0
    Michael Stewart FozardIndependent2,8702.9+2.92.9
    John VerhoevenIndependent2,7232.7+2.72.7
    Informal4,6364.4-0.9

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Russell Broadbent Liberal 57,63157.4-0.256.9
    Jessica O’Donnell Labor 42,85042.6+0.243.1

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into four areas, which reflect local government boundaries.

    The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two areas, with 59.8% in Baw Baw and 61.7% in South Gippsland. Labor polled 52.3% in Bass Coast and 56.5% in Latrobe.

    Voter groupGRN primON primLIB 2PPTotal votes% of votes
    Baw Baw6.19.359.815,81117.4
    South Gippsland8.26.361.713,77315.2
    Bass Coast11.65.947.78,8389.7
    Latrobe5.09.643.54,4974.9
    Pre-poll6.36.557.037,35641.1
    Other votes7.98.759.010,58811.7

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

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    36 COMMENTS

    1. Liberal hold, however due to Melbourne’s growing urban sprawl this seat will be in play in future elections.

    2. Interesting, how the urban sprawl will play out in the years to come. Baw Baw Shire may become like the Macedon Ranges and become part of Melbourne’s commuter belt. This could be possible if more people continue to WFH post-covid. Faster rail services to Melbourne can also make this possible. However, Moe/Newborough i expect the Labor vote to continue to decline with the coal industry continuing to shrink. Bass Coast will likely see a sea change demographic like the communities on the Great Ocean Road which will assist Labor. So two trends going in opposite directions.

    3. I honestly, don’t see Labor winning state seat of Morwell, the population continues to decline in Latrrobe valley. I agree that Baw Baw shire could become like the Macedon Ranges and be part of Melbourne’s commuter belt

    4. This seat is basically liberal now…… but demographic change could effect it…. also Broadbent I think is over 70 now and may well retire in the near future…. expect the the liberal vote will decline 3 to 5% if Broadbent were to retire

    5. A Voices for Monash group is looking for a candidate – closing date 22 January. One of the driving forces seems to be the local Extinction Rebellion activist. Not quite sure why this person is not throwing herself in with the Greens.

    6. Maybe because the Greens don’t have diddly squat of a chance of winning. Given the real contest in these sorts of seats is who gets the Senate votes, the Greens might run dead (as they may well do elsewhere) as not to stifle the chances of cashed up climate change independents.

    7. @Ryan Spencer

      Greens definitely aren’t going to run dead here. The local candidate seems to be a highly motivated young climate activist.

      Greens are less likely to run dead anywhere given the changes to electoral funding rules (reimbursement vs lump sum payment). It motivates a more widespread campaign.

    8. Greens won’t run dead here but, they won’t spend money here as this seat is out of reach & have better chances else where. Its more likely an independent will try here, although I would say that LNP are the favourites here still.

    9. Deb Leonard, a solicitor from Phillip Island, has been endorsed as the Voices for Monash candidate. She defeated Tony Wolfe, a former Baw Baw Shire councillor.

    10. Should really stay in Coalition hands (even doing so in 2007 with more friendly Labor territory included). However, it will be interesting to see how Broadbent’s unvaccinated status will affect local media coverage. Like everywhere else in Victoria, this area is highly vaccinated. I wonder if Broadbent’s embrace of unproven treatments and public anti-vaccine stance will take a toll.

    11. Broadbent has probably over stayed his welcome…but the boundaries here make it a liberal hold. Don’t know how a voices of candidate will go.Broadbent is not like Kelly

    12. At 71, it really is time for Russell Broadbent to retire. There is a danger that he will do a Stewart McArthur – hang around too long and lose the seat. Was in Monash on the weekend – no sign of any election related activity.

    13. I wonder if Labor could come close in Monash despite what seems a fairly large margin. In 2019, there was a very small swing to the ALP but that actually hid differential swings across the electorate. Most of Monash showed swings to Labor in the 2 – 4% range except for Warragul that swung to the Libs and Moe Newborough that swung very heavily to the Libs on 2pp (Hunter Valley style) but on primaries was a swing from the ALP to One Nation. One Nation also did quite well in the areas that touch Outer Melbourne in the west.The Voices Candidate Deb Leonard is giving it a crack but she might not be able to get much of a vote in a very diverse seat. The local papers do mention Broadbent’s lack of vax quite often. If ON lose some of those votes back to the ALP – he could be in real danger as the Voices candidate will take some votes away. Last time the Libs only managed 46.28% so they did well off a low base.

    14. I… wouldn’t describe getting 46.3% of the primary vote an “only” situation. It’s a strong primary vote, nearly enough to get there without preferences in a seat that had two notable right-wing minor parties running against them.

      It’s certainly hypothetically possible for Labor to come close, or even take the seat… but I’d say it would require some serious focus, as the seat was one of the few that didn’t see a substantial swing in 2007. I’d say that Labor would be better off focusing their efforts elsewhere in this election – if factors such as Broadbent being antivax, etc, matter, they’ll take him out without the extra focus. Otherwise, there’s no real point in doing anything but wait until he’s retiring, and take the seat then.

    15. This is outside labors range unless more demographic change occurs or more of the la trobe Valley included. Think all of Latrobe Valley will end in Gippsland.

    16. Thanks Iain, you were right. I recently refreshed all the graphics and hadn’t updated the URLs for some of the ones on this page.

      Please let me know if you see any other errors!

    17. Drove down the South Gippsland Highway through Monash today. Except for one lonely Deb Leonard sign by the roadside, not a hint that an election was even on.

    18. At this stage I still put Monash in the category as having surprise potential despite a Lib majority of 6.9% – see my post above of 25 March for some reasons. Also, parts of the seat – Drouin, Warrigul and Phillip Island are growing fast. The latter had a sea change lockdown move thing going. Interesting to see how the votes pan out in the fast growing parts.

      One aspect that affects this seat is how fast property values rose during lockdown – and to almost ridiculous levels. I have heard that some sellers will only sell to locals. NIn some South Gippsland towns there are no houses to rent. I am surprised that the issue of regional housing affordibilty and availibility has not arisen as a general or election issue.

    19. Its true the northwestern edge of this electorate is affacted by urban sprawl, but I won’t expect it to change the electorate politically because the AEC will continually excise that edge from Monash in response, as it did this time. What is changing it is the popularity of its southern edge as a retirement destination, for short term tourism (which is radically changing its economy – the visitors may not vote in Monash but those who serve them do) and increased telecommuting. It’s increasingly “small-l Liberal” country rather than farming Nats or working class ALP country. The current member very much fits that description so I expect he’ll get back this time.

    20. Having noted Broadbent is a small-l Liberal and that such a positioning is right for this electorate, I see he also bought into the antivax lunacy. That will cost him – not only is covid still running rampant in this electorate (everyone knows someone with it) but it will reinforce local mutterings about “done well, but past his use by date”. Though he is fairly fortunate in his choice of opposing candidates.

    21. Russell Broadbent is a very peculiar Liberal. Is part of the moderate faction but opposed same sex marriage and is antivax.

    22. This is the safest Liberal territory in Victoria. Things have changed from the days when this seat was marginal and when the state seat of Narracan was held by the ALP. The only major Labor fortress is Moe, and the last election was notable for Broadbent finally making in-roads there, just as conservative parties are doing with other declining industrial areas.

    23. One Nation did surprisingly well here in 2019 getting 7.6% of the vote. The ON HTV card has Labor above Russell Broadbent. The ON preference flow was 62% to Broadbent last time. This might hurt if the result gets close.

    24. I agree this area will most probably be retained by libs post Broadbent it may.be closer.This also an area of population growth which may change its nature. The La Trobe Valley will probably all.end up in. Gippsland
      T

    25. Mick
      The population dynamics of the regions are quite complex. Currently Gippsland includes Traralgon and Morwell whilst Moe and Newborough are in Monasg. To unite the Valley, South Gippsland Shire and possibly parts of Bass Coast would need to be in Gippsland. Hard work for an MP to cover Mallacoota, Nyora and possibly Wonthaggi. Has been done in the past though.

    26. This seat is interesting as it had a significant swing to Labor in contrast to neighbouring Gippsland and La Trobe. McMillan used to be a classic swinging seat maybe it will be once more but i am not sure what actually happened here.

    27. Nimaland
      Unlike both La Trobe and Gippsland, there was a Teal indie in Monash who seems to have eaten away at Labor as much as the Libs. Deb Leonard is based on Phillip Island and the booths at that end had no swing away from the Libs or at most very little. A lot of Deb Leonard votes seem to have gone back to the Libs. There was also little swing in Moe but there was quite a high One Nation vote – most of the electorate swung as average. The biggest swing against the Libs was around Warragul which is growing very fast. Russell Broadbent didn’t seem to put much effort in so it may also have been an its time factor. Surely it will have been his last election… or he should be pushed.

    28. Thanks Redistributed, Also interested to you know if you think there maybe a sea change trend in Bass Coast Shire especially post covid similar to Corangamite? There was significant swings to Labor around Cape Paterson and Inverloch. In Cape Paterson the Greens got 23% of the PV and nearly outpolled the Libs here. I am watching this area to see what may happen in November in the state seat of Bass.

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