Brighton – Victoria 2018

LIB 9.8%

Incumbent MP
Louise Asher, since 1999.

Southern Melbourne. Brighton covers the northern half of Bayside local government area, and a small part of the City of Port Phillip. The seat covers the suburbs of Brighton, Elwood and Hampton.

Brighton has existed as an electoral district ever since the creation of the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1856. The seat has never been held by a Labor MP, and has been almost always held by the Liberal Party for the last century.

Brighton was held by unaligned members of Parliament from 1856 to 1909. Sir Thomas Bent had held the seat for 32 of the previous 38 years, but died in 1909.

The 1909 by-election was won by Liberal candidate Oswald Snowball. He held the seat for the Liberal and Nationalist parties for almost two decades. In 1927 he was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and he retained that role until his death in 1928.

The 1928 by-election was won by Ian MacFarlan. He served as a member of the Nationalists and United Australia Party, although he served as an independent from 1937 to 1943. He served as deputy leader of the UAP and Liberal Party from 1943 to 1945, when he led a breakaway group of Liberals that brought down the state government of Albert Dunstan. He was briefly appointed as Premier, but lost his seat at the 1945 election.

MacFarlan was defeated in Brighton by Liberal candidate Raymond Tovell. He served as a Liberal Party member until 1953, when he was expelled from his party over his support for former Liberal Premier Thomas Hollway, who had created a breakaway ‘Electoral Reform League’ campaigning to end malapportionment of electoral boundaries. Tovell lost his seat in 1955.

Tovell was defeated by John Rossiter, who held the seat for the Liberal Party from 1955 to 1976, when he retired. He was succeeded by Jeannette Patrick, who held the seat until 1985.

Brighton was won in 1985 by barrister Alan Stockdale. When the Liberal Party came to power in 1992, Stockdale became Treasurer. He served in that role until his retirement at the 1999 election.

Louise Asher won Brighton in 1999. Asher had previously held the upper house seat of Monash since 1992. Asher served as a junior minister in the second term of the Kennett government. After the 1999 election she served as Liberal deputy leader and Shadow Treasurer until just before the 2002 election. She has continued as a frontbencher ever since, and returned to the deputy leadership in 2006. Asher stepped down from the deputy leadership after the 2014 election.

Sitting Liberal MP Louise Asher is not running for re-election.

Brighton is a safe Liberal seat.

2014 result

Louise Asher Liberal 21,14555.5-3.0
Louise Crawford Labor 8,97323.6+3.5
Margaret Beavis Greens 6,61917.4+0.1
Jane TouzeauIndependent1,3503.5+3.5

2014 two-party-preferred result

Louise Asher Liberal 22,77759.8-4.6
Louise Crawford Labor 15,33040.2+4.6

Booth breakdown

Booths in Brighton have been divided into three areas: central, north and south.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two out of three areas, polling 59.4% in the south and 67.6% in the centre. Labor won 51.5% in the north.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 13.1% in the centre to 23% in the north.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes19.160.77,54819.8

Election results in Brighton at the 2014 Victorian state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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  1. Lib Retain, But it will likely become a marginal seat considering the Incumbent isn’t running, 55-45 My prediction

  2. Mick

    The Liberal Party’s metro safe seats are usually around the 10%, unlike the ALP with their 20% margins, the Liberals don’t really win big on the TPP.

    General comment

    Thomas Bent first election was a surprise victory for he beat prominent local MP and future Supreme Court Judge George Higinbotham by 14 votes or something, then eventually lost the seat in 1894 before regaining it a few years later after unsuccessfully trying to win other seats.

    That 1871 result shows that the division between those who focus on the national interest verses those who focus on the local hip pocket has always been a feature of Australian politics.

  3. Declan is a great candidate, pity that labor don’t put anything into their advertising and campaigns for seats like this. Could swing a little in labors favour and become marginal with the incumbent not running

  4. My prediction: Easy Liberal hold.

    Benambra’s comments are also turn off, but that’s also an Easy Liberal hold.

  5. Hold on, This is still too close to call, 2 days ago it was 53-47, now its 51-49 If the trend continues with the votes coming in Labor could pull ahead narrowly, 82% counted so far


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