Prahran – Victoria 2018

GRN 0.4% vs LIB

Incumbent MP
Sam Hibbins, since 2014.

Inner southern Melbourne. Prahran covers the suburbs of Prahran, South Yarra and Windsor and parts of St Kilda and Toorak.

Prahran has been a state electorate since 1889. It has alternated between the ALP and conservative parties, but in recent decades was dominated by the Liberal Party, before falling to the Greens in 2014.

The ALP first won the seat in 1894, holding it until 1900. Liberal MP Donald Mackinnon held the seat from 1900 to 1920. The ALP and conservative parties alternated in control until the 1930s, with the Liberal Party holding the seat until 1945.

In 1945, the ALP’s William Quirk won the seat, holding it until his death in November 1948. The ensuing by-election in 1949 was won by Frank Crean, who had previously held the seat of Albert Park. He left the seat in 1951 when he moved to the federal seat of Melbourne Ports. He served as a federal MP until 1977, playing a senior role in the Whitlam Labor government.

The 1951 Prahran by-election was won by the ALP’s Robert Pettiona, who held the seat until his defeat in 1955.

Since 1955, Prahran has been won by the ALP only four times. In 1955, the seat was won by Sam Loxton, a Liberal candidate. Loxton was a former test cricketer who had been part of Don Bradman’s Invincibles team and played VFL football for St Kilda.

Loxton held the seat until 1979, when the ALP’s Bob Miller won the seat. He held the seat for two terms, and in 1985 unsuccessfully contested the Legislative Council province of Monash.

The Liberal Party’s Don Hayward won the seat in 1985. He had previously held the upper house seat of Monash from 1979 to 1985. He served as Member for Prahran until the 1996 election.

In 1996, the Liberal Party’s Leonie Burke won Prahran. Burke was defeated in 2002 by the ALP’s Tony Lupton. Lupton was re-elected in 2006.

In 2010, Lupton was defeated by Liberal candidate Clem Newton-Brown.

Prahran produced an unusual result in 2014, with the third-placed Greens candidate Sam Hibbins overtaking both Labor and Liberal candidates to win narrowly.


Prahran is sure to be a complex seat again in 2018, if not as complex as in 2014.

Sam Hibbins has two separate challenges: firstly, he needs to get ahead of Labor on primary votes and minor preferences. Serving as an incumbent MP for four years should help him with this. Then the Greens will need to achieve a majority of the vote with Labor preferences. If there is a swing to the left, this will likely help Hibbins win re-election.

2014 result

Clem Newton-Brown Liberal 16,58244.8-2.8
Neil Pharaoh Labor 9,58625.9-1.5
Sam Hibbins Greens 9,16024.8+5.0
Eleonora GulloneAnimal Justice8372.3+2.3
Alan WalkerFamily First2820.8+0.2
Jason Simon GoldsmithIndependent2470.7+0.7
Steve StefanopoulosIndependent2270.6+0.6
Alan Maxwell MenadueIndependent820.2+0.2

2014 two-candidate-preferred result

Sam Hibbins Greens 18,64050.4
Clem Newton-Brown Liberal 18,36349.6

2014 two-party-preferred result

Clem Newton-Brown Liberal 18,58050.0-4.7
Neil Pharaoh Labor 18,55550.0+4.7

Booth breakdown

Booths in Prahran have been divided into three parts: north, south and central.

Primary votes for the Liberal Party varied from 31.7% in the south to 52.6% in the north. The Liberal Party won substantially more votes in the centre than north than either of the other main parties, but trailed the Greens in the south.

The Labor vote ranged from 21.2% in the north to 30.9% in the south. The Greens vote ranged from 22.7% in the north to 32.7% in the south.

Voter groupLIB prim %ALP prim %GRN prim %Total votes% of votes
Other votes48.823.123.19,89126.7

Election results in Prahran at the 2014 Victorian state election
Toggle between primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor Party and Greens.

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  1. Full credit to the Greens here, I thought they would struggle to hold and may still fall short but they appear to be ahead of where they were at the close of counting on election night four years ago.

    One booth caught my attention – Toorak West with the Liberals winning the TPP by 50.5%, this sums the night up for the Liberals for this area take in the area north of Toorak village / Toorak rd across to Orrong Rd, seriously wealthy part of Melbourne.

    This is one of those booths that O’Dwyer would be banking on to hold Higgins.

  2. Preference distribution happening right now. Apparently it’s extremely close with DLP helping Labor while AJP and Reason help the Greens (despite what it said in the Reason HTV card).

    The crucial exclusion (Labor vs Green) is probably double digits again, which is remarkable given the extreme 3PP swing against the Liberals. A potential changing seat only in play because of Matthew Guy and Federal liberals current bad standing with the “inner city” wet liberal voter.

  3. Sam Hibbins holds!

    Turns out the 3PP split had the Greens more than 200 votes over Labor, must have had insanely great flows from Reason and AJP, and/or DLP wasn’t as good for Labor as one would assume?

  4. That’s a great result for The Greens in an otherwise disappointing election.

    Not only did they increase their PV by around 4% and increase their 2PP margin from 0.4% to 7.4%, but more significantly they managed to increase their 3PP margin over Labor from 31 votes to 264 in an election where all the momentum and a huge statewide swing was with Labor.

    They should be pretty happy with that. It will be very difficult for Labor to win this back now if they couldn’t do it in this year’s landslide, and 7.4% should be a difficult margin for the Liberals to wipe out (even though they will claw some back) in a seat with as much demographic change as this one.

    It’s really just what happens to this seat in a redistribution that will shape its future.


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