Caulfield – Victoria 2018

LIB 4.9%

Incumbent MP
David Southwick, since 2010.

Southeastern Melbourne. Caulfield covers the suburbs of Balaclava, Caulfield, Elsternwick, Gardenvale, Glenhuntly and Ripponlea and parts of the suburbs of Ormond, St Kilda and St Kilda East. Caulfield covers northwestern parts of the City of Glen Eira and small parts of the City of Port Phillip to the east of St Kilda.

Caulfield was first created in 1927. In that time it has never been won by the ALP, and has always been won by conservative candidates, except one election when the seat was won by an independent socialist, in 1943.

The seat was first won in 1927 by the Liberal Party’s Frederick Forrest. He was re-elected in 1929, but died in office in October 1930.

The ensuing by-election was won by Harold Luxton. He held the seat for two terms, retiring in 1935. He was replaced in 1935 by Harold Cohen. He had been an MLC representing Melbourne South since 1929, and held Caulfield until 1943.

In 1943, Cohen was defeated by Andrew Hughes, an independent socialist candidate. Hughes  only held the seat for one term, losing to the Liberal Party’s Alexander Dennett.

Dennett ran as a candidate for the Electoral Reform party in 1955, and lost his seat to the Liberal Party’s Joseph Rafferty. Rafferty moved to the seat of Caulfield in 1958, which he held until 1967, when he moved again to Glenhuntly, which he held until his retirement in 1979.

In 1958, Caulfield was won by Alexander Fraser. He had previously held the seat of Grant from 1950 until his defeat in 1952, and then Caulfield East from 1955 to 1958. Fraser held the seat until his death in 1965.

The 1965 by-election was won by Ian McLaren. He had previously held the seat of Glen Iris for one term from 1945 to 1947. After one term in Caulfield, he moved to Bennettswood in 1967 and held it until his retirement in 1979.

In 1967, Caulfield was won by Edgar Tanner, who had previously been the Liberal Member for Ripponlea since 1955. He held Caulfield until his retirement in 1976.

Charles Francis won Caulfield in 1976. The next year he was expelled from the Liberal Party after abstaining on a no-confidence motion against the Liberal government, and he lost his seat in 1979 to Ted Turner, son of the former member.

The younger Turner served as a shadow minister in the 1980s and as Government Whip in the first term of the Kennett government, retiring at the 1996 election.

Caulfield was won in 1996 by the Liberal Party’s Helen Shardey. Helen Shardey was re-elected in 1999, 2002 and 2006, and served on the frontbench when the Liberal Party was in opposition.

Shardey retired in 2010, and Caulfield was won by Liberal candidate David Southwick. Southwick was re-elected in 2014.


Caulfield is a marginal Liberal seat.

2014 result

David Southwick Liberal 18,86051.7-4.0
Josh Burns Labor 10,84929.7+5.0
Tim Baxter Greens 5,94016.3-0.4
John Barry MyersIndependent4881.3+1.3
Teresa HorvathRise Up Australia3450.9+0.9

2014 two-party-preferred result

David Southwick Liberal 20,03454.9-4.9
Josh Burns Labor 16,47145.1+4.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in Caulfield have been divided into three parts: central, north and east.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two areas: 50.5% in the north-west and 52.6% in the east. Labor won 50.3% in the south-west.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 13.8% in the east to 18.9% in the north-west.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes15.861.39,25125.4

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

Become a Patron!


  1. Not sure if this means much, as this is a state election and different issues are in play, but I went booth by booth and calculated the numbers form the 2016 Fed Election within the boundaries of the Caulfield state electorate.

    These were the primary votes

    Liberals: 37.93
    Labor: 29.31
    Greens: 26.08

  2. Interesting! Given the ‘other’ 7% were pretty much all left wing parties too, those numbers if replicated at state level look like a resounding Labor win.

    Of course there is Liberal incumbency at state level, and no Danby factor (negative everywhere else but probably a boost in Caulfield), but that still has to be concerning for the Liberals especially with their current federal issues no doubt putting a dark cloud over the state campaign.

  3. Just did a quick count myself actually because they looked a bit too good to be true for that section of Ports & Goldstein, not sure if I missed any booths but I got different results:

    Liberal – 43.83
    Labor – 27.37
    Greens – 22.60

    The Melbourne Ports booths within Caulfield were much closer to the 38/29/26 (I got 39/29/25 for them) but the Goldstein booths within Caulfield came to 51/25/18.

    Still, a 43.83% primary vote is far lower than the 51% they got in 2014, but I note that postal & pre-poll votes made up nearly half the count and the Libs dominated them so it’s likely that would push the overall Lib primary to the high-40s.

    I think the Libs will retain but with a decreased margin of maybe 2-3%.

  4. The pre-poll/postal vote is extremely strong for the Liberals in this area because of the (mostly conservative) Orthodox Jewish community.

    Despite its Liberal history, this seat is quite vulnerable to redistributions. I think the Liberals will win it this time, but any further movement towards St Kilda would make this fairly marginal.

  5. Greens are yet to preselect a candidate. I doubt this seat is even on the radar.

    A shame as they would be desperate for Liberal held seats to target.

  6. The Greens should campaign hard here, and do so with Steph Hodkins-May very visible on the ground alongside whoever the candidate turns out to be.

    Most of this electorate covers the section of Macnamara where they poll the worst, so while I believe Caulfield itself is totally unwinnable for the Greens, it’s worth using the state election to campaign early for the upcoming federal election where even the smallest gain in this area could be decisive in winning Macnamara where every vote will count.

    Not to mention that I think it’s important for them to be seeing targeting Liberal seats as well as Labor ones. Two birds, one stone.

  7. Greens candidate Dinesh Mathew is a likeable bloke even when we used to be rivals handing out HTV card in Melbourne Ports or Albert Park District for different parties over 15 years ago so good luck to him. Dimesh would be a good MP as the MLA for Caulfield and more supportive of the oppressed Palestinians I think and wish too.

  8. Caulfield District resident Avi Yenini has been in the news recently in Yan Yean District when an interview he conducted backfiring on the naive Liberal candidate there.

    As many of us know Avi is a fight business owner and far right winger supporting Israel, who even mainstream Caulfield Jewish organisations have disowned. Avi recently tried to disrupt a peaceful demonstration by Palestinians on the steps of the State Library, Melbourne. He was told to move on by Victoria Police who were taking no verbal cheek from this boofhead – See You Tube clip.

  9. Ben – Avi lives in and runs a business in Caulfield I understand. Anton it may be a ALP win according to ABC TV tonight. I wonder how the Lib candidate for Macnamara, who is from the Caulfield lobby, is feeling tonight too.

  10. Yep the last update from scrutineers was that Labor had a 289 vote lead with only a handful of votes to count.

    Incredible that in 4 years time when we’re looking these seat profiles again, the margins will look something like the following:

    Caulfield – Labor 0.2%
    Hawthorn – Labor 0.2%
    Sandringham – Liberal 0.6%
    Brighton – Liberal 0.9%

    Really shows the enormity of the swing against the Liberals when none of these would have ever been considered possible Labor gains.

    Meanwhile the seats we usually talk about the Liberals targeting will look like this:

    Bentleigh – Labor 12%
    Albert Park – Labor 13%
    Mordialloc – Labor 13%


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here