Mulgrave by-election, 2023

Cause of by-election
Sitting Labor MP and outgoing premier Daniel Andrews is retiring.

MarginALP 10.8% vs IND

South-eastern Melbourne. Mulgrave includes Mulgrave, Noble Park North, Springvale and Wheelers Hill. Mulgrave covers the south-eastern corner of the City of Monash and northern parts of the City of Greater Dandenong.

Mulgrave previously existed as a Liberal seat from 1958 to 1967, and was re-established in 2002. The original seat was considered a marginal Labor seat, with a 4.4% margin, but it was won in 2002 by the ALP’s Daniel Andrews, who gained an 11.8% swing.

Andrews was re-elected in 2006, and was then promoted to the ministry. He served as Minister for Health in the Brumby government from 2007 to 2010. Andrews was elected to a third term in Mulgrave in 2010, and shortly after the election was elected as Leader of the Opposition.

Andrews led Labor to victory at the 2014 election, and won two more terms in 2018 and 2022. Andrews retired as premier and local member in September 2023.


It’s uncertain how much Labor’s support in this seat will suffer in the absence of a prominent sitting member of two decades’ service, but they would remain strong favourites.

2022 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Daniel Andrews Labor 19,365 51.0 -8.5
Ian Cook Independent 6,838 18.0 +18.0
Michael Piastrino Liberal 6,528 17.2 -11.0
Robert Lim Greens 1,930 5.1 -1.3
Aidan McLindon Freedom Party 824 2.2 +2.2
Jane Foreman Family First 749 2.0 +2.0
David Mould Animal Justice 419 1.1 +0.9
Maree Wood Democratic Labour 327 0.9 -1.3
Fotini Theodossopoulou Independent 305 0.8 +0.8
Andrew King Independent 173 0.4 +0.4
Joseph Toscano Independent 155 0.4 +0.4
Anne Moody Independent 146 0.4 +0.4
Howard Lee Independent 120 0.3 +0.3
Ezra JD Isma Independent 92 0.2 +0.2
Informal 3,650 8.7

2022 two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Daniel Andrews Labor 23,070 60.8
Ian Cook Independent 14,854 39.2

2022 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Daniel Andrews Labor 22,976 60.2 -5.6
Michael Piastrino Liberal 15,191 39.8 +5.6

Booth breakdown

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

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 54.8% in the north to 71.4% in the south-west.

Independent candidate Ian Cook came second, with a primary vote ranging from 14.7% in the south-west to 22.8% in the north.

Voter group Cook prim ALP 2PP Total votes % of votes
North 22.8 54.8 7,829 20.5
South-East 21.1 60.7 2,900 7.6
South-West 14.7 71.4 2,543 6.6
Pre-poll 17.9 60.3 18,294 47.8
Other votes 13.6 61.7 6,684 17.5

Election results in Mulgrave at the 2022 Victorian state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, independent candidate Ian Cook and the Liberal Party.

Become a Patron!


  1. Sorry guys for the long break but I’m back again.

    Yeah I saw the Liberal candidate as a suggested account to follow on Instagram the other day actually.

  2. Pesutto was campaigning in Springvale the other day, which is essentially Melbourne’s Cabramatta. This is one of those working class multicultural suburbs that both major parties essentially have never campaigned in before. Can the Libs achieve a big swing here or will it stick with it’s traditional Labor history.

  3. @ Dan M
    Springvale is demographically identical to St Albans and also similar ethnic mix. St Albans had a big anti Labor swing but Springvale actually had booths that had a swing to Labor including the Clarinda parts. South East Melbourne seems to holding very well for Labor including further out around Cranbourne and Narre Warren

  4. Is there a possibility that certain areas with strong South East Asian populations would be fairly supportive of lock downs. As a hangover from SARS?

  5. @ MLV
    Possibly but that does not explain the backlash in Brimbank LGA which has i mentioned has a similar ethnic mix and SES (Large Vietnamese, Cambodian, Bosnian/Albanian and even some Turks). Greater Dandenong is actually more disadvanataged than Brimbank which has some higher SES areas like Keilor & Taylors Lakes something Greater Dandenong does not have.

  6. i agree @ Peter Parker i feel a lot of low hanging fruit such as track duplications, new stations on existing lines such as Cambellfield, short tram extentions to East Malvern station etc have fallen off the rader.

  7. Mulgrave is not too different demographically and socio-economically to many of the northern and western Melbourne electorates. Similarly, the strong anti-lockdown and anti-Dan sentiment played out in 2022. It stood out amongst all the SE and E Melbourne electorates. Add to that, the strong media campaign behind Ian Cook in 2022. Pandemic politics and Ian Cook’s media hype have subsided.

    I sense that ‘election fatigue’ (Vic general, referendum, by-election) will surpress the voter turnout and counter the disappearance of the anti-Dan and anti-lockdown anger. Add to that, John Pesutto is trying to prove himself, even in safe Labor seats. He had a listening post and a budget press conference in Greenvale.

  8. Activity on the hustings with Liberals at Springvale this morning and others stuffing letterboxes today. While Ian Cook and Labor were first to hit the letterboxes, there are now also Liberal, Socialists and Libertarian leaflets as well a second Labor leaflet (the first was a letter from Dan Andrews introducing the new candidate, the second was a glossy one from Eden Foster herself). Socialists & Libertarians were seen letterboxing Noble Park north today. There are very very few corflutes – 2 or 3 for Ian Cook and 1 for Labor so far on my travels.

  9. Prepoll opened today, I recognised Ian Cook and Courtney Mann out the front. Certainly not the circus that we saw last November. Far fewer Cook corflutes out this time, as expected with a by election. The lack of exposure will probably hurt him. I would expect the Liberals to return to the 2CP. The notion that Mulgrave has been neglected probably only resonates with people outside of the electorate. Drive through Ross Reserve then try talking about neglect.

  10. My prediction here:

    * Small swing from Cook to ALP, made up of former Labor voters who got swept up in anti-Dan hysteria. With his name no longer on the ballot, some will return. 2-3%.

    * Small swing from ALP to Liberal, accounting for Dan’s personal vote among swinging voters who weren’t among the anti-Dan mob, and the general trend against governments in a byelection. 3-4% but that’s mostly cancelled out by the 2-3% Labor will gain from Cook.

    * Large swing from Cook to Liberal. Most of his base were already Liberal voters who falsely thought Cook was the best/only option to dethrone Dan. A combination of Dan not being a factor and 2022’s result proving that theory to be wrong anyway, means most will return to the Libs.

    * Small swing to minor parties from both of the majors + Cook.

    Overall, I can see the primary vote swings being around -4% for Labor, -12% for Cook, +12% for the Liberals and about +4% for minors (Greens, Socialists, Libertarians).

    On 2PP terms that will translate to almost no change. Labor will probably still wind up around 58-59%.

    Of course, the Liberals/Pesutto will claim a big pro-Liberal primary vote swing as a win, even though it will really just be due to Ian Cook becoming irrelevant.

  11. Yeah agree. A -4% primary vote swing which I’m predicting would reduce them from 51% to around 47% which is about where I think it will end up.

    But, they will lose a couple of % of that to the Greens and/or Socialists I think, so their 2PP might only reduce by 2-3%.

  12. Living next to the seat, there possibly would be less of a swing than in the west because of the money that has been spent in places like Noble Park and Springvale. The infrastructure improvements showed that they got their value from having Andrews as their member. Also good politics from Labor to have a younger POC woman as their candidate in a seat like Mulgrave. Should happen more often. Foster has also done some groundwork – she is my local councillor. Should win, but I am newish to the area, so I am still getting a fix on everything.

  13. Attended both pre-poll centres today. People there reported it being very quiet, especially the Springvale Rd one. Noble Park North was a little busier with the main candidates being there. People or signs seen at the latter included Libertarian, Sustainable Aust, Ian Cook, Family First, Liberal, Socialists, Greens & Labor. Of these Labor was the highest staffed with several multilingual helpers.

  14. It’s probably nothing, but…in conjunction with ads for Eden Foster, today I saw an ad from Victorian Labor attacking Ian Cook, pointing out (quite correctly) that his campaign was founded on revenge for his business being shut down. What I’m wondering is why? First of all, surely you would point to all the developments across the electorate rather than attacking opponents. Secondly, why Cook, a third-rate “independent”? Attacking him only feeds into his narrative of conflict with Andrews and the Labor-controlled Greater Dandenong Council. Are Labor picking up a sentiment that I’m not? Certainly, there will be a swing, but to Cook? Perhaps his recent “victory” in court is contributing? Confusing.

  15. My prediction: ALP 58% to 60% 2PP. Low voter turnout and voter fatigue (post-referendum) will drag down the Labor vote.

    The ALP may just scrape past 50% primary vote. The ALP candidate has a local profile in the Dandenong part i.e. Springvale, Noble Park North.

    Liberals will come second on primaries and in 2PP. I read that Pesutto has been at prepolls. He’s possibly scared his candidate will come third and it’ll undermine his leadership.

    Ian Cook’s primary will drop to low teens or single figures. Cook’s voters were mainly Liberal voters who voted tactically or got onto his anti-establishment, anti-corruption bandwagon. They’ll just return to Liberal. His voters also include Labor voters who voted for similar reasons or reasons relating to lockdowns or Covid.

  16. Interesting results from the Mulgrave by-election some points below
    1. I was surprised that Ian Cook vote held up i expected it to crash. In the last week of the campaign Labor ran attack ads against Ian Cook so maybe they started to get concerned.
    2. The biggest swings to the Libs both in 2CP and primary vote occurred in the middle class to affluent north of the seat rather than the economically deprived south of the seat. Very little to in any swing in 2CP in Springvale, Noble Park. Any primary increase for the Libs in the poorer parts was just at the expense of Ian Cook.
    3. A lot of the lost Labor primary vote actually went to the Victorian Socialists who did not run in this seat last year. There best results were in the poorer booths where they came close to outpolling the Greens (7.6% Springvale Central). Unsurpringly, the worst result for the Victorian Socialists was Wheelers Hill South which had the biggest swing to the Libs.
    4. This time the Libs had Labor ahead of the Greens on their HTV so did not run on a “put Labor last mantra” only Ian cook had Labor last. Last time, that maximised the TPP swing in Greenvale, St Albans etc but may suggest that the Libs dont want to run on such a mantra.
    5. This result suggests it would be better for the Libs to win over middle class/affluent areas rather than the economically deprived as disillusioned working class voters may choose Socialists over Labor.

  17. @Nimalan,
    I think your point 1 disproves point 5, at least to some extent. Also, Pesutto is definitely focusing on the middle class/affluent areas. What exactly has he done that would make him or the Libs appeal to working class as opposed to the professional class?

  18. @ MLV
    I think the Private School Payroll issue would help the Libs in Wheelers Hill which is an affluent areas and home to Caulfield Grammar just across the border. A lot of Caulfield grammar students would like in the northern part of the electorate. State Debt and cost blowouts would help the Libs in more affluent areas as opposed to poorer areas where they fear austerity. The biggest swings to the Libs occured in Wheelers Hill and the smallest around Springvale. I think where the State Libs are trying to appeal to intentionally is actually confusing. There is a faction of them that want to appeal to middle class/affluent areas and another faction that wants to appeal to working class/deprived areas. Pesutto has been spending a lot of time in Greenvale (maybe he does not actually want to campaign there but he is forced to by the right wing of the party). While parts of Greenvale are affluent and winnable it also includes some of the most deprived areas in Urban Australia (Meadow Heights, Roxburgh Park) which is actually an extension of Broad meadows.

  19. I wonder if some of the Wheelers Hill swing to Libs had to with Andrews no longer being a member as I feel the Wheelers Hill Labor vote is inflated due to “leader incumbent affect” which voters who otherwise would had voted for a party voted for another party due to be a leader. This can be evident with Wheelers Hill booth in the Glen Waverley electrote last year which actually had a small swing to Libs even though the rest of the seat swung to Labor heavily.

  20. Quite an incredible showing by Cook, not only managing to increase his primary but winding up in the 2CP again!!!!! Colour me surprised.

Comments are closed.