McEwen – Election 2010

LIB 0.02%

Incumbent MP
Fran Bailey, since 1996, previously 1990-1993.

Geography
McEwen covers a large swathe of central Victoria. It stretches from the northern and eastern fringe of Melbourne, with some parts of the seat lying barely 20 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. These suburbs include Hurstbridge, Healesville, Warburton, Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction.

McEwen stretches out to Seymour in the north and Alexandra and Eildon to the northeast. The seat also includes Macedon and surrounding towns.

History
McEwen was created when the Parliament was expanded in 1984, and was first won by Peter Cleeland of the ALP. The seat has always been marginal, and has only ever been held by two people in a quarter of a century.

Cleeland held on in 1987 before losing to Fran Bailey in 1990. Cleeland returned in 1993 before Bailey defeated him again in 1996. Bailey has held on at every election since 1996, but never with a great margin. She held on with a 2.2% margin in 1996, 1.0% in 1998 and 1.2% in 2001. She gained a 6.4% margin in 2004, but that melted away in 2007, when her margin was wiped out and the seat became the most marginal seat in the country.

Bailey led for most of the count after the 2007 election but her Labor opponent, Rob Mitchell, was declared the winner by six votes. A full recount gave Bailey a margin of twelve votes. This result was challenged in court and after seven months Bailey was declared the victor with a margin of twenty-seven votes.

Candidates
Fran Bailey has announced her retirement. The ALP National Executive has preselected Rob Mitchell, who stood in McEwen in 2007. The Liberal Party attempted to recruit former cricketer Dean Jones, but he turned the offer down. The Greens have again preselected Steve Meacher, who stood for McEwen in 2007.

Poltical situation
In addition to being the most marginal seat in Victoria, McEwen was the location of most of the deadly Black Saturday fires of February 2009, including Kilmore, Kinglake and Marysville. It is unclear how that will affect the federal election campaign in the seat.

2007 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Fran BaileyLIB44,23145.77-5.97
Rob MitchellALP38,85640.20+5.65
Steve MeacherGRN8,3878.68+1.03
Ian CransonFF2,4042.49+0.77
David KaneDEM9510.98+0.16
Darren TruemanIND8500.88+0.88
Robert NewnhamLDP8060.83+0.83
Rod McLennanCEC1620.17-0.05
OTH00.00-3.31

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Fran BaileyLIB48,33950.02-6.40
Rob MitchellALP48,30849.98+6.40

Booth breakdown
I have broken up booths in McEwen between the six Local Government Areas that cover the seat.

  • Macedon Ranges – western end of the seat, including Macedon, Gisborne and Lancefield.
  • Mitchell – northwestern part of the seat, including Kilmore, Seymour and Broadford.
  • Murrindindi – far northeastern part of the seat, including Yea, Alexandra and Marysville.
  • Nillumbik – northeastern fringe of Melbourne, including Hurstbridge.
  • Whittlesea – northern fringe of Melbourne.
  • Yarra Ranges – suburbs on the eastern fringe of Melbourne, including Healesville, Warburton, Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction.
Polling booths in McEwen. Macedon Ranges in yellow, Mitchell in green, Murrindinidi in purple, Nillumbik in red, Whittlesea in blue and Yarra Ranges in orange.
Polling booths in McEwen. Macedon Ranges in yellow, Mitchell in green, Murrindinidi in purple, Nillumbik in red, Whittlesea in blue and Yarra Ranges in orange.
Voter groupGRN %LIB 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Macedon Ranges9.5247.8015,96916.52
Mitchell4.9349.6115,06715.59
Nillumbik10.3750.1915,02915.55
Yarra Ranges11.3450.1413,77914.26
Murrindindi8.9754.237,3177.57
Whittlesea4.8846.977,1567.40
Other votes8.9551.2822,33023.10
Polling booths in McEwen showing two-party-preferred result in 2007.
Polling booths in McEwen showing two-party-preferred result in 2007.
Polling booths in Macedon Ranges showing two-party-preferred result in 2007.
Polling booths in Macedon Ranges showing two-party-preferred result in 2007.
Polling booths in Yarra Ranges showing two-party-preferred result in 2007.
Polling booths in Yarra Ranges showing two-party-preferred result in 2007.
Polling booths in Nillumbik and Whittlesea showing two-party-preferred result in 2007.
Polling booths in Nillumbik and Whittlesea showing two-party-preferred result in 2007.

12 COMMENTS

  1. It is a little bit incorrect to say that the Yarra Ranges booths are subrubs of Melbourne. Most of the towns in this areas are actually self-contained communities, full of tree changers and agriculturists. Very few people from communte into Melbourne. I don’t know what this means in analysis – I just thought I’d point that out.

  2. I think it’s fair enough to describe them as being on the fringe, but yes, strictly speaking I guess they’re not suburbs, though Ben is far from the first person I’ve seen describe places like Yarra Glen as ‘suburbs’ of Melbourne. I suppose the NSW equivalent would be Wollondilly Shire.

  3. Interesting – the Liberals tried to recruit former cricketer Dean Jones to run here. He certainly had a reputation as someone not afraid to speak his mind, and was hugely popular in Victoria (if somewhat less elsewhere), so he may have been a quite formidable candidate.

  4. Deano’s perhaps a bit too outspoken, straight-shooting and controversial to be a party politician, particularly in a marginal seat.

  5. I tried to post this earlier but it didn’t go through for some reason.

    The Liberals have preselected Kinglake police officer and ‘bushfire hero’ Cameron Caine.

  6. The Greens candidate doesn’t get much of a mention in the discussions on this very marginal seat. With Fran Bailey retiring, an unpopular Labor candidate, and post-fires logging of sensitive areas a potential big vote winner for the Greens, is there any chance of a surprise upset in this seat, with the Greens candidate getting up on preferences? Big swing required though.

  7. @ JR – Who says Rob Mitchell is unpopular? Getting within 31 votes last time wasn’t a bad effort against an incumbent with a large personal vote. Would have to say the Greens have no chance in this seat at all.

    Great website by the way, enjoying the information and commentary enormously.

    Broadford voter.

Comments are closed.