Western Metropolitan – Victoria 2022

Incumbent MLCs

  • Catherine Cumming (Independent), since 20181
  • Bernie Finn (Democratic Labour), since 20062
  • Cesar Melhem (Labor), since 2013
  • Ingrid Stitt (Labor), since 2018
  • Kaushaliya Vaghela (New Democrats), since 20183

1Catherine Cumming was elected as a member of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party but resigned on 18 December 2018.
2Bernie Finn was expelled from the Liberal Party in May 2022 and joined the Democratic Labour Party in June 2022.
3Kaushaliya Vaghela resigned from the Labor Party in March 2022 to sit as an independent, and founded the New Democrats party in July 2022.

Geography

Electorate Margin Electorate Margin Electorate Margin
Footscray ALP 29.1% Point Cook ALP 12.3% Tarneit ALP 17.9%
Kororoit ALP 25.3% St Albans ALP 21.9% Werribee ALP 9.2%
Laverton ALP 23.4% Sunbury ALP 14.6% Williamstown ALP 18.7%
Niddrie ALP 12.7% Sydenham ALP 17.9%

The Western Metropolitan region covers the western suburbs from Sunbury in the north to Werribee in the south, and as far east as Williamstown and Footscray.

All eleven seats in the region are held by the ALP. None of these seats are particular marginal, with margins ranging from 9.2% in Werribee to 29.1% in Footscray.

Redistribution
The Western Metropolitan region shrunk slightly.

The Essendon electorate shifted to the Northern Metropolitan region, with the new electorate of Laverton created in the centre of the region.

History
Western Metropolitan region was created in 2006, when proportional representation was introduced.

At the first election, the ALP won three seats, and the Liberal Party and the Greens each won one seat.

In 2010, Labor lost their third seat to the Liberal Party.

That second Liberal seat fell in 2014 to DLP candidate Rachel Carling-Jenkins. Carling-Jenkins went on to switch to the Australian Conservatives in 2017.

Labor regained its third seat in 2018, with the Liberal Party retaining their one seat. The Greens lost their one seat, as did Carling-Jenkins. Catherine Cumming won a seat for Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, but quit the party shortly after the election to sit as an independent.

2018 result

2018 election Redistribution
Party Votes % Swing Quota % Quota
Labor 214,208 46.2 +2.3 2.774 46.8 2.811
Liberal 98,443 21.3 -2.3 1.275 20.8 1.249
Greens 40,343 8.7 -1.6 0.523 8.1 0.487
Derryn Hinch’s Justice 31,582 6.8 +6.8 0.409 7.0 0.420
Democratic Labour 16,326 3.5 +1.0 0.211 3.7 0.220
Animal Justice 12,007 2.6 +1.1 0.156 2.6 0.158
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers 8,904 1.9 +0.7 0.115 2.0 0.121
Liberal Democrats 7,924 1.7 -3.8 0.103 1.7 0.103
Reason 5,324 1.1 -1.6 0.069 1.0 0.063
Aussie Battler 4,397 0.9 +0.9 0.057 1.0 0.058
Health Australia 4,350 0.9 +0.9 0.056 1.0 0.058
Voluntary Euthanasia 3,757 0.8 +0.8 0.049 0.8 0.048
Sustainable Australia 3,507 0.8 +0.8 0.045 0.7 0.044
Liberty Alliance 3,287 0.7 +0.7 0.043 0.7 0.044
Transport Matters 3,054 0.7 +0.7 0.040 0.7 0.041
Socialists 2,759 0.6 +0.6 0.036 0.6 0.034
Others 3,086 0.7 0.040 0.7 0.041
Informal 23,606 4.8 5

Preference flows
On primary votes, Labor retained two seats and the Liberal Party retained one.

Let’s fast-forward until there were twelve candidates running for the last two seats.

  • Kaushaliya Vaghela (ALP) – 0.749 quotas
  • Huong Truong (GRN) – 0.553
  • Catherine Cumming (DHJ) – 0.419
  • Dinesh Gourisetty (LIB) – 0.270
  • Walter Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.239
  • Terri Beech (AJP) – 0.163
  • Wayne Rigg (SFF) – 0.154
  • Stuart O’Neill (ABP) – 0.140
  • Adam Karlovsky (LDP) – 0.106
  • Chris Botha (RP) – 0.075
  • Briony Jenkinson (HAP) – 0.061
  • John Beckwith (VEP) – 0.054

Most Voluntary Euthanasia preferences flowed to Reason:

  • Vaghela (ALP) – 0.749
  • Truong (GRN) – 0.555
  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.421
  • Gourisetty (LIB) – 0.270
  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.239
  • Beech (AJP) – 0.164
  • Rigg (SFF) – 0.155
  • O’Neill (ABP) – 0.141
  • Botha (RP) – 0.119
  • Karlovsky (LDP) – 0.106
  • Jenkinson (HAP) – 0.062

Health Australia preferences mostly flowed to the DLP:

  • Vaghela (ALP) – 0.750
  • Truong (GRN) – 0.556
  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.421
  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.292
  • Gourisetty (LIB) – 0.270
  • Beech (AJP) – 0.166
  • Rigg (SFF) – 0.155
  • O’Neill (ABP) – 0.141
  • Botha (RP) – 0.119
  • Karlovsky (LDP) – 0.106

Liberal Democrats preferences mostly flowed to the Shooters:

  • Vaghela (ALP) – 0.750
  • Truong (GRN) – 0.557
  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.422
  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.293
  • Gourisetty (LIB) – 0.271
  • Rigg (SFF) – 0.253
  • Beech (AJP) – 0.166
  • O’Neill (ABP) – 0.142
  • Botha (RP) – 0.121

About three quarters of Reason preferences flowed to Animal Justice:

  • Vaghela (ALP) – 0.756
  • Truong (GRN) – 0.571
  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.426
  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.293
  • Gourisetty (LIB) – 0.272
  • Rigg (SFF) – 0.256
  • Beech (AJP) – 0.253
  • O’Neill (ABP) – 0.142

Aussie Battler preferences flowed strongly to the Shooters:

  • Vaghela (ALP) – 0.756
  • Truong (GRN) – 0.571
  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.433
  • Rigg (SFF) – 0.383
  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.294
  • Gourisetty (LIB) – 0.273
  • Beech (AJP) – 0.255

Animal Justice preferences mostly flowed to Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party:

  • Vaghela (ALP) – 0.758
  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.658
  • Truong (GRN) – 0.580
  • Rigg (SFF) – 0.385
  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.295
  • Gourisetty (LIB) – 0.274

Liberal preferences flowed strongly to the DLP:

  • Vaghela (ALP) – 0.759
  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.661
  • Truong (GRN) – 0.581
  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.545
  • Rigg (SFF) – 0.386

Shooters preferences flowed strongly to the DLP:

  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.874
  • Vaghela (ALP) – 0.760
  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.704
  • Truong (GRN) – 0.582

Greens preferences elected the third Labor candidate:

  • Vaghela (ALP) – 1.204
  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.880
  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.742

Labor’s surplus then flowed to Cumming, electing her over the DLP:

  • Cumming (DHJ) – 0.938
  • Villagonzalo (DLP) – 0.880

Candidates

  • A – Darren Buller (Family First)
  • B – David Thirkettle-Watts (Reason)
  • C – Bert Jessup (Sustainable Australia)
  • D – Ken Vickers (Shooters, Fishers & Farmers)
  • E – Fred Ackerman (Independent)
  • Ungrouped
    1. Esther Demian (Independent)

Assessment
Labor is strong in this region. They will win at least two seats and have a good shot at retaining their three.

The Liberal Party will hold one seat, but could win two if they recover support.

The Greens would need to gain a big swing as they can’t rely on preferences from smaller parties.

Cumming will have a challenge to win, but there’s a good chance for one of the minor candidates to win a seat.

Regional breakdown
Labor polled very strongly in Western Metropolitan, winning the most primary votes in all eleven seats.

The Labor primary vote ranged from 43.2% in Niddrie and 43.6% in Sunbury up to 52.7% in St Albans and 52.8% in Kororoit.

The Liberal Party’s primary vote ranged from 15% in Footscray to 28% in Niddrie.

Results of the 2018 Victorian upper house election in the Western Metropolitan region

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43 COMMENTS

  1. Bernie Finn’s move from the Liberals to the DLP will likely make Catherine Cumming’s re-election harder, and at the same time reduce the prospect that the Liberals (whoever heads the ticket post-Bernie — Andrew Elsbury?) could bring in a second Liberal here. All without Bernie necessarily having much prospect of winning a seat himself.

  2. @Andrew from 3040, thanks for the update about that! In fact, this electorate is quite fascinating in that 3/5 of the members quit the parties they were elected with at the 2018 election. They’re a bunch of rebels out west!

    Current Members:
    Catherine Cumming IND (ex Justice), Kaushaliya Vaghela IND (ex Labor), Bernie Finn DLP (ex Liberal) and Ingrid Stitt (ALP) with Cesar Melhem (ALP).

    Looking at the history of this seat, it’s always been a 3-2 Left-Right Split (Except 2006 4-1), with a general result of 2 ALP, 1 GRN (Labor in 2018), 1 LIB , 1 Right Party (Lib in 2010). So looking at that, Bernie is in with a chance if he gets a good flow of preferences his way from other parties. Justice was lucky to get 3 seats at the last election, but West Metro was actually their best result! Looking at current polls, Labor is down a bit but it’s still a few months out from the election. I’d put this as 2 ALP, 1 GRN, 1 LIB, 1 possible DLP/UAP/surprise or if polling improves, the 3rd ALP could stay. One notable thing was the tight alliance of PHON/UAP/LDP etc right-wing parties at the Federal Election and I wouldn’t be surprised if this stays for Victoria 2022 election. This would see them control preferences tightly so that one of them would have a high chance of getting that final seat. All in all, Bernie has a chance! I’ll be watching this one closely.

    Jun 22 Prediction: 2 ALP, 1 GRN, 1 LIB, 1 DLP

  3. Befnie Finn has a very good chance of holding Western Victoria for DLP Peter Kavanagh won a seat in Western Victoria for DLP. The DLP is one of very few political parties that sit between the major parties ideologically. Therefore it can garner preferenves from both sifdesvof politics. Bernie has a prrsonal vote which will flow away from
    liberals to him. DLP is registered to stand in Victoria. Bernie is already campaigning.
    Politics Observed preficted result seems close to my prediction. This seat has some of the strongest DLP areas in the country,. John Madigan country.

  4. Any DLP win would be mostly on GTV preferences, so we won`t know their chances until the tickets are released by the VEC. Ballot paper order will also be an issue for the size of the DLP vote, because if they are to the left of the ALP on the ballot they will poll better as more voters will mistake them for the ALP.

    The DLP may well be in between the ALP and Liberals on economic issues but they are not on social issues where they are to the right of most of the Liberal Party, hence the conservative Finn defecting to the DLP over social issues.

  5. You are correct DLP economic are a big tent with ALP policy of Unions and Workers Right, Libs for Small Business and lower taxes and One Nation for Protectionism. Socially, they are very conservative even more so than One Nation. Looking at their policy, they seem want Australia to be like 1960’s postwar.

  6. One of the reasons that the DLP will not ever reach the success they once did in the post war period is that many socially-conservative Catholics have now experienced upward mobility and more willing to vote for the Libs. When Menzies was PM there was only one Catholic in the party room, John Cramer (Bennelong). I would say the DLP is actually to the left of ALP economically as they oppose much of the economic reforms of the Hawke/Keating era. They are to the right of the Libs. Compared to One Nation, they are not really anti-immigrant etc but more focused on religiously based issues such as SSM, Euthansia, Abortion etc. A legacy of their cold war genesis, is that they will be more Hawkish on China etc than other parties. There is still a niche of working class people who are socially conservative who would support this. However, more affluent socially conservative Catholics etc would now be willing to support the Libs.

  7. The Age had a great article on the suburb breakdowns of the 2021 Census results yesterday, which actually focused on Melbourne’s “bible belt” being in this very region, specifically the suburbs surrounding the airport – Keilor, Tullamarine, Westmeadows, Taylor’s Lakes, Niddrie, Airport West, etc with generally between 65-71% of the population identifying as Christian across this region. Well above both the national & state averages which were in the low-40s.

    Some of these suburbs are more middle class now as Nimalan says, but some are still very much “battler” suburbs where the DLP will have appeal. So the Census results definitely support these theories.

    Interestingly I always thought Melbourne’s “bible belt” was more the outer east area but most of those suburbs were only just above the national & state averages, around the mid-high 40s.

    I think the distinction is just that the outer east is more the home of the Hillsong/Pentecostal Christians, who are more staunchly devoted but are in smaller numbers.

  8. In terms of Bible belts, i would say Outer East is more Hillsong/Pentecostal and are Anglo-Celtic. Like Trent says these people maybe smaller in number but staunchly devoted and more vocal in Religion, it maybe similar to Sutherland Shire etc while North West Melbourne has more ethnic Christians such as Italian Catholics, Macedonians, Croatians, Assyrians, Copts etc. These people may not be as staunchly devoted but nevertheless retain religion as part of their cultural identity/heritage. There does seem to be the same rate of apostasy in ethnic communities among Anglo Australians. In Sydney, i would say much of the newer suburbs of Liverpool LGA like Middleton Grange/West Hoxton are similar as they have a high proportion of ethnic Christians and some of the lowest of people of no faith. The most ethnic suburbs in Australia tend to have lowest % of people of no faith.

  9. @Nimalan You bring up a very good point about the different type of religions, with those in the outer east been very devoted pentecostals (also lots of big churches in this area but that doesn’t mean the people that attend them live there) whilst the north and west would have a lot more ethnically religious people.

    @Trent I saw an article awhile ago, and i can’t remember where i saw it or the exact details of what it said, but it said something along the lines of Melbourne’s east having higher numbers of people claiming to be religious but more or similar amounts of people practicing in the west, or vice versa. I think it might make sense if it was more people identifying in the west as religious but the amount practicing was just as much or maybe more in the outer east as it makes sense with people been ethnically religious compared to devoted Pentecostals.

  10. Yep totally agree with the identify vs practise distinction. I think where Nimalan said “..nevertheless retain their religion as part of their cultural identity/heritage” sums it up well. If you’re Italian or Croatian then being Catholic is part of your identity, but does that necessarily mean you go to church? Statistically, probably not. Same goes with most of the European “Orthodox” religions too. If you’re Serbian or Greek, then being Serbian or Greek Orthodox is a part of your identity but it doesn’t mean you’re particularly religious or practise it.

    Whereas the areas that have the highest percentage of people identifying as religions such as Pentecostal, Presbyterian/Reformist and Baptist are more likely to be devout and practise their religion.

    I’m of the opinion that the Census should say “practise” instead of “identify” because that would be a more accurate reflection of to what extent religion is a part of the population’s life.

  11. I wonder how the UAP/ON/LDP/DLP and Vic Libs vote be affected as now Moira Deeming, a well known hard line conservative in the Vic Libs is running the top spot?

  12. @Marh, I would say that there will likely be little effect; a 3-2 split is guaranteed, especially considering this region will likely swing right. I would agree with the overriding mood here; 2 ALP, 1 LIB, 1 GRN & 1 DLP.

  13. Victorian Socialists are in with a shot for the final seat, which will be between them and the Greens and I think their chances are being underestimated by pundits.

    I was playing around with Antony Green’s election calculator and assuming the major parties (Labor, Liberal, Greens) vote remaining around the same – I got the Victorian Socialists winning the final spot on 4% of vote. This is assuming Labor’s vote dropping a bit and the Libs getting a dead cat bounce.

    If the Greens increase their vote by at least about 1.5%, however, then the Greens win the final spot. A vote percentage of 6% or more for the Victorian Socialists would guarantee them the final spot with the Greens missing out; no matter how much the Greens vote increases by (unless they were to poll a quota in their own right, in which case they’d take the 4th spot from Bernie Finn, with VS taking the final spot. This is an unlikely outcome).

    Ironically the Victorian Socialists benefit from being placed higher than the three major parties on the plethora of cooker parties group voting tickets.

    I fully expect that the Victorian Socialists will get within 4%-6% of the vote in Western Metro. They’ve ran a massive ground campaign.

  14. @ Matt, i am surprised that the Victorian Socialists are running in seats like Niddrie, Sunbury and Point Cook where the demographics (except Altona Meadows) dont work for them. I would think they may have a chance in parts of the South East Metro region around Dandenong and the SE Manufacturing belt and also around the industrial suburbs of Northern Geelong any theories on why they are not competing in those areas.

  15. @Matt is there any precedent for the Victorian Socialists ever polling that highly in previous elections? I didn’t think there was much to them outside the Steve Jolly base in the Richmond area.

  16. Playing with Antony Green’s calculator, if Vic Socialists pick up a seat it’ll realistically only be in Nth Metro (at the expense of Fiona Patten).

    But who knows… maybe they get enough 1s above the line to push Legalise Cannabis or an extra Green over the line or something.

  17. Looks like @Matt is actually Matt Hrkac, who seems to be affiliated to the Victorian Socialists, which would explain his posts all promoting their upper house chances.

  18. Have you worked out who anyone else here might be? 😉

    (I’m not a candidate, or anyone of interest to this election).

  19. I’m guessing this would happen, after playing with the ABC calculator.
    ALP wins 2
    LIB wins 1
    DLP wins 1
    Another minor party wins 1, most likely the Greens or even Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party.

    Vic Socialists have a better chance in Northern Metropolitan. They came 4th in primary votes in 2018. I agree that the GTV and preference-whispering doesn’t reflect ideology. It’s aimed to keep out larger parties that they are ideologically opposed to and hence why you may see many parties preferencing Greens/Labor behind VS.

  20. Have always wondered that too @Wilson, I would guess legacy of working-class Catholics with memories of the Cold War, or just working class Catholics with traditional social values.

  21. I think the New Democrats may just appeal to the South Asian communities that are concentrated in parts of the region but i dont know how well they are known.

    Regarding the DLP, i think it is more of the latter with working class Catholic with traditional social values rather than the Cold War since it was over 30 years ago. One issue that has hurt the DLP is that since Menzies started state aid to Catholic schools in the 1960s there has been significant upward mobility amongst Catholics so many socially conservative affluent Catholics are more open to voting for the Libs. The DLP are more left-wing economically than Labor and oppose much of the Hawke/Keating reforms.

  22. Yes it’s quite noticeable that they claim 2,000 members but when you look at the candidates they are almost universally South Asian – as though Vaghela has decided to tap the entire community to form a political movement.

  23. Personally, I think New Democrats won’t do too bad. I’ve been helping on Pre-poll every single day in Werribee Station place and have run into the Lower House candidate every single day too! I’ve noticed he speaks in his local language to voters and even buys them tea/chai and samosas. Personally I don’t think they’ll hold their seat or win anymore but May help the liberals in the lower house through their preferences. Personally I think the final seat will be between the VS and Greens where the VS has a slight upper hand due to the GVT preferences thou Greens I suspect will have a strong vote. However another thing I’ve noticed is that ALL of the VS’s volunteers are out of state volunteers, all three at that one booth is from Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney. So will be interesting to see considering most of their rally attendees and volunteers are not even from Victoria, thou able to influence how victorians vote!

  24. Victoria is the only place where the Socialist Alternative (not the Socialist Alliance which had a falling out with the Alternative and left the Victorian Socialists coalition) contests elections competitively.

    I’m not a local but I, too, think the New Democrats will do alright.

  25. Carrying on from what Matt said: Victorian Socialists are claiming to have knocked 180 000 doors across Melbourne this election. I don’t know how that figures electorate by electorate, but they do seem focused primarily here and in northern metro, and those sorts of raw numbers are getting close to what the Greens achieved in Brisbane at the federal election. Similarly, the media and the major parties, including the Vic Greens, frankly, seem to be sleeping on the prospect of a breakout performance. Western Metro is probably a better bet for them compared to Northern simply because the Greens aren’t nearly as interested in this part of the world, and the Vic Socialists appear to want to make more of an effort campaigning in the outer suburbs in particular, at least compared to the Greens. We’ll see.

  26. Vic Socialists usually get pretty bad ROI in terms of love at the ballot box relative to their campaigning efforts

  27. Oh in Geelong they man every booth and cover the streets with flyers and coreflutes and then get like 2% each time, been going on for like 10 years as far as I can tell

  28. Having corflutes and flyers, and even manning polling stations is a far cry from a fully fledged grassroots campaign though.

    I don’t think the party existed before 2018?

  29. They existed as different socialist parties before grouping up in 2018 (and subsequently losing Socialist Alliance between then and now).

    Not quite sure why the Socialists are being talked up on this page but I’m not seeing a credible case for them here. They don’t get a high primary vote here, and they might be ahead of the Greens on minor party preference tickets but there’s at least half a dozen minor parties that are ahead of them with better chances. North metro is the likelier possibility although even then they will have a hard time surpassing their 2018 figures with Stephen Jolly leading the ticket.

  30. @Adda there’s a few Victorian Socialists activists who have been posting on these threads to pump up their own tyres so to speak. I’d be surprised if their predictions materialise.

  31. I’m intrigued to know where Vic Socialists found enough volunteers to knock on 180,000 doors. I’ve known many a socialist activist over my years and, while they are very committed, they have always been part of groups that are very, very small. Even their presence at rallies tends to be small.

  32. They’ve published some more figures on their twitter feed; apparently 95 000 of those doorknocks happened in the Northern Metro area. So presumably that is indeed their number 1 target rather than W Metro

  33. Well Vic Socialists are doing way better than I expected. They managed to attract a lot of presumably left-wing votes and preferences spraying off Labor. And what I missed is that Labor preferences split 50/50 between them and Legalise Cannabis. Currently they are in a tight contest against them. In North Metro, however, as expected, Patten gains too much from Labor/Greens surplus for them to be ahead (and Patten herself may also lose to Somyurek).

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