Brunswick – Victoria 2010

ALP vs GRN 3.6%

Incumbent MP
Carlo Carli, since 2002. Previously Member for Coburg 1994-2002.

Inner north of Melbourne. Brunswick covers the southern parts of Moreland council, and a small northwestern corner of Yarra council. Brunswick covers the suburbs of Brunswick, Coonans Hill, Moreland and parts of Coburg and Fitzroy North.

There has been a state electorate of Brunswick at three different periods in Victorian history. The seat first existed from 1904 to 1955, when it was won at every election by the ALP, before sitting member Peter Randles was expelled from the ALP in 1955 as part of the DLP split.

The seat was re-created in 1976. It was won by the ALP’s Tom Roper, who had previously held the seat of Brunswick West since 1973. Roper served as a minister in the Labor government from 1982 to 1992. At the 1992 election, the Labor government was defeated, and Roper moved to the new seat of Coburg, with Brunswick being abolished. He resigned in 1994, and succeeded in Coburg by the ALP’s Carlo Carli.

In 2002, Coburg was again replaced by the seat of Brunswick, and Carli moved to the new seat. He was re-elected to the seat in 2006.


Political situation
Brunswick is certainly vulnerable to the Greens at this year’s election. This vulnerability has certainly been lessened by the Liberal decision to preference the ALP over the Greens. Even still, Brunswick remains a possibility for the Greens.

When looking at the federal election figures in neighbouring Melbourne and Richmond you see a very close contest even without Liberal preferences. Brunswick was not part of a federal target seat for the Greens, but it has been targeted heavily during the state campaign.

When you consider Cleary’s independent candidacy and the retirement of the sitting member, you have to say that the Greens have a shot at winning Brunswick.

2006 result

Carlo CarliALP15,89147.74-4.38
Cyndi DawesGRN9,89029.71+5.37
Vince ArboreaLIB5,80017.42+1.01
Vannessa HearmanSA6451.94+1.94
James McDonaldFF5571.67+1.67
Christian AstourianPP5051.52+1.52

2006 two-candidate-preferred result

Carlo CarliALP17,85353.63
Cyndi DawesGRN15,43546.37

Booth breakdown
There are seventeen regular polling booths in Brunswick. The ALP won a large majority in the north of the seat, winning almost 59%. They won a smaller 53% majority in the western part of the seat, which makes the largest part of the electorate. The Greens won a majority of 50.4% in the southeastern corner of the seat.

Polling booths in Brunswick at the 2006 state election. North in yellow, West in red, East in blue.
Voter groupLIB %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes18.8551.136,89620.62

Note: total numbers of votes cast in primary vote figures and two-candidate-preferred figures do not always equal the same numbers. “Total votes” here is based on the two-candidate-preferred figure, but the primary vote figures are calculated from a slightly different total. Victorian Electoral Commission figures do not always match exactly.

Two-candidate-preferred votes in Brunswick at the 2006 state election.
Liberal primary votes in Brunswick at the 2006 state election.



    Former federal independent MP Phil Cleary will decided this week whether he will contest the seat of Brunswick as an independent against Labor candidate and Yarra mayor Jane Garrett.

    A benefactor has spent thousands of dollars to help Mr Cleary letterbox every home in the electorate calling for voters to break the stranglehold of the major parties.

    Phil Cleary’s another one to watch out for here. If he runs, then that could cause more pain for Labor – I imagine he’d do well in areas where the Greens don’t, so if he swaps preferences with the Greens it’s fairly likely one of them would win.

  2. Cleary would have been more use to the Greens in the picking up votes from the ALP in Wills in August because the Greens do well in the Brunswick District part of Wills but not so well in the Pascoe Vale District part of Wills.

    Cleary running however would provide some help if the Libs decide to preference the ALP or run a split ticket.

  3. In the Age on Saturday the 9th of October there was a table with the 2010 Commonwealth primaries for several inner city seats and the Commonwealth ALP or Green 2CP (depending on the winner) margins for the inner 4 that are ALP versus Green and for Melbourne it was 0.6% for the ALP.

  4. Anyone who sees “Melbourne” instead of Brunswick in my previous post needs their eyes checked.

  5. Cleary running! This should help the Greens because despite some speculation Cleary is likely to preference the Greens. Could mean they win even if the Libs run a split ticket.

  6. When Phil was Wills MP he did best in Pascoe Vale which some attributed to an Anglo vote against Labor’s 1993 candidate, Brunswick probably has less of these voters to appeal. Labor will rely on their ethnic vote in the north can Cleary peel off some of these? But Carlo probabaly had aTanneresque personal appeal to some lefties.

  7. If Cleary was not running then the swing to the Greens would probably be higher in Brunswick in the State Election than it was in the Commonwealth Election because there will be more focus on Brunswick than there was on Wills.

    The Greens should try and come second in Wills at the next Commonwealth election and this is achievable considering the Batman result this year.

  8. So is there any confirmation if Cleary is running yet? The last report I’ve seen is this one which says he was still looking for donors to fund his campaign.

  9. Hi Bill Cawte is running as an independent.
    He is focused on improving transport – walking cycling and public transport.

  10. Since he is preferencing the Greens I would agree that the ALP have a much reduced chance. I don`t think that Cleary will overtake the Liberals (and certainly not the Greens) because most of the people who voted for him in the 1990s have either moved out or switched to the Greens who are now big in the area. However if the Liberals decide to preference Cleary but not the Greens in Brunswick (he is pretty well certain to be higher up in the Liberals preferences than the Greens) and publicise this well then there might be a defeat the ALP switch from the Greens to Cleary.

  11. To be honest I think the Kororoit by-election set a far precedent of what a high-profile independent can do with a short campaign, and given Twentyman got just over 20% despite health problems, I think Cleary will be easily able to get the 15% needed to get over the Liberals. The bigger problem for him will be if the Liberal + Cleary vote will be enough to beat the Greens at the second exclusion and this will be the only spot where I forsee him running into problems. If the Green vote gets to 35% then he has no chance, but given he is known for being a left winger, a proper campaign should be able to limit the growth of the Greens and see him over that line.

    Of course once he achieves that the combined Green/Cleary/Liberal vote should easily beat the Labor vote by 5-10%

  12. That was a by-election (more media attention on individual candidates and no chane of changing the government (big protest vote)) in a quite different seat. That area is solid ALP at all three levels of government. It is largely in Brimbank while Brunswick is in Moreland where the Greens have 2 local councillors. The Greens have been the ALP`s main opponent in the last two elections and will be putting in a lot of effort.

  13. Candidates in ballot paper order are:

    Amy Mulcahy – Sex Party
    Cyndi Dawes – Greens
    Jane Garrett – Labor
    Kyle Dadleh – Liberal
    Bill Cawte –
    Trent Hawkins – Socialist Alliance
    Phil Cleary –

  14. Prediction: When I outlined the situation for Cleary to take the seat, I thought he was going to put in a higher profile campaign, and therefore I can see him getting the 20% needed to overtake the Tories, particaully with there late surge. However I do believe he will do well enough to take enough votes from the major parties to make this the only GRN GAIN.

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