Burwood – Victoria 2018

LIB 3.2%

Incumbent MP
Graham Watt, since 2010.

Eastern Melbourne. Burwood covers the suburbs of Ashburton, Ashwood, Burwood and Box Hill South and parts of the suburbs of Camberwell, Chadstone, Glen Iris and Surrey Hills. Burwood covers parts of the cities of Boroondara, Monash and Whitehorse.

The first electoral district of Burwood was created in 1955. It was held by Liberal MP Jim MacDonald until it was abolished in 1967, when he moved to the recreated seat of Glen Iris, which he held until his retirement in 1976.

The seat of Burwood was restored in 1976, and was won by Jeff Kennett, also of the Liberal Party. Kennett was appointed a minister in 1981, and was elected leader of the Liberal Party after they lost the 1982 state election.

Kennett led the party into the 1985 and 1988 elections, but after losing two elections he was replaced in 1989 by Alan Brown. He returned to the leadership unopposed in 1991 after poor performance by Brown.

Kennett won the 1992 election, and served as Premier for two terms. He won re-election in 1996, but in a shock result in 1999, Kennett lost his majority in the Legislative Assembly, and lost government when independent MPs supported the ALP.

Jeff Kennett resigned as Member for Burwood shortly afterwards, and in the following by-election, ALP candidate Bob Stensholt won the seat with a 10.4% swing. Stensholt increased his margin at the 2002 election, and was re-elected again in 2006.

In 2010, Labor MP Bob Stensholt lost to Liberal candidate Graham Watt, who won with a 9.6% swing.


Burwood is a very marginal seat and would be a high-ranking target for Labor.

2014 result

Graham Watt Liberal 18,90250.1-0.1
Gavin Ryan Labor 12,99534.4+1.5
Beck Stuart Greens 4,90413.0+1.1
Peter CampbellIndependent9602.5+2.5

2014 two-party-preferred result

Graham Watt Liberal 20,07953.2-3.1
Gavin Ryan Labor 17,68846.8+3.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Burwood have been divided into three areas: North-East, North-West and South.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two areas, polling 52.2% in the south and 55.5% in the north-west. Labor polled 50.3% in the north-east.

The Greens primary vote was similar across the seat, ranging from 12.6% to 12.9%.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes14.453.47,88220.9

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

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  1. Unless Andrews and company are on track for a solid win, I think this will stay Liberal – Ringwood/Bayswater would go Labor before this one in my book.

  2. Burwood, like Caulfield and Bayswater, is one of those marginal seats that should swing but doesnt. However it looks as if the seat would be vulnerable to a redistribution; taking out the Glen Iris end could easily flip this into notional Labor.

  3. I think Labor are a real chance to actually pick this one up. The key is that most of the seat is in Chisholm where Liberals are likely to be on the nose, and Labor are likely to be heavy on the ground anyway. That’s their motive to run big here instead of just sandbagging their current seats.

  4. Despite its Liberal history, there are some traditional Labor areas in this seat. Alamein, Jordanville, and Box Hill South are old public housing areas, where you can see Labor still does quite well.

    Demographic change is probably favouring the Liberals though, as the old these areas become more affluent and desirable.

  5. Graham Watt has been slightly controversial (said a few dumb things / refused to clap Rosie Batty when she addressed parliament / had his preselection threatened but apparently kept it), but this is the seat of Kennett.

    I won’t rule out Labor, but if the Libs lose this they’ve had an extremely bad night.

  6. Geoff Robinson I know it’s a relatively old comment now, but where’s the list you’re looking at?

    This is the most marginal Liberal held seat in Melbourne and it overlaps with a seat that Labor would really be hoping to pick up in the federal election.

  7. My prediction: While Burwood is not the safe Liberal seat a lot of people assumed it was before Jeff Kennett’s retirement, this should stay Liberal unless Labor are gaining serious ground.

  8. A very difficult result to predict. So-called traditional Labor voters in Burwood have been annoyed by Andrews Govt delays and skyscraper plans for redevelopment of Housing Commission homes in the area. Greens have supported the Libs on this.
    Watt’s refusal to clap Batty might have annoyed many but it was also seen by many as a protest against virtue-signalling.

  9. I was wrong here. it did appear on Labor’s list where campaigners were being sent as campaign went along but it didn’t appear on early appeals for support. I did notice that Labor ministers were starting to make appearances later in the campaign so that was a sign that it was now on the radar.


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