Casey – Australia 2022

LIB 4.6%

Incumbent MP
Tony Smith, since 2001.

Geography
Eastern fringe of Melbourne. Casey covers the entire Yarra Ranges Shire along with a very small part of the Cardinia council area. Major centres include Lilydale, Montrose, Mooroolbark, Seville, Yarra Junction, Healesville and large areas in the Yarra Ranges with small populations.

Redistribution
Casey expanded slightly on its southern edge, taking in a small area near Emerald from La Trobe.

History
Casey was created for the 1969 election and has almost always been considered to be a marginal seat. Despite the slim margins, the Liberal Party has managed to hold onto the seat consistently since 1984, after an early period where the ALP managed to hold it during the Whitlam government and the Hawke government’s first term.

Casey was first won in 1969 by Peter Howson. Howson had been Member for Fawkner since 1955, and had served as Minister for Air from 1964 until John Gorton’s first cabinet reshuffle, when he was dropped. He returned to cabinet as Australia’s first Minister for the Environment in William McMahon’s cabinet in 1971, but lost his seat in 1972 to the ALP’s Race Mathews.

Mathews held Casey for both terms of the Whitlam government, losing the seat to Peter Falconer (LIB) in 1975. Mathews went on to hold the Victorian state seat of Oakleigh from 1979 until 1992, and served as a state minister from 1982 to 1988.

Peter Falconer was reelected in 1977 and 1980, but lost Casey to the ALP’s Peter Steedman in 1983. Steedman held the seat for one term, and lost to Liberal Bob Halverson in 1984.

The Liberal Party never lost Casey again, and Halverson went on to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the first term of the Howard government until his retirement in 1998.

Casey was won in 1998 by Dr Michael Wooldridge, the Howard government’s Health Minister. Wooldridge had previously held Chisholm since 1987, moving to Casey in 1998. He held it for one term before retiring from politics in 2001.

The seat was won in 2001 by Tony Smith. Smith has been re-elected six times, and was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in August 2015.

Candidates
Sitting Liberal MP Tony Smith is not running for re-election.

Assessment
Casey has remained in Liberal hands for decades, but has rarely been held by a safe margin. If Labor is doing well in Victoria they could have a chance here, particularly with the retirement of the long-term sitting MP.

2019 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Tony Smith Liberal 45,16845.2-2.345.2
Bill Brindle Labor 28,55128.6+0.428.6
Jenny Game-Lopata Greens 10,91910.9-1.911.0
Ryan Leslie ClarkDerryn Hinch’s Justice3,3093.3+2.63.3
Travis BarkerAnimal Justice3,1053.1-1.23.1
Wendy StarkeyUnited Australia Party2,6072.6+2.62.6
Peter CharletonIndependent2,3022.3-0.32.3
Ross McpheeDemocratic Labour Party2,2462.2+2.32.2
Antony CalabroRise Up Australia8200.8-1.60.8
Jayden O’ConnorGreat Australian Party8010.8+0.80.8
Informal6,8926.5+2.4

2019 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Tony Smith Liberal 54,55154.6+0.154.6
Bill Brindle Labor 45,27745.4-0.145.4

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Casey have been divided into five areas.

The Liberal Party won a majority in four out of five areas, ranging from 50.7% in the east to 57.1% in the centre. Labor won 62.5% in the south-west.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 8.9% in the west to 22% in the south-west.

Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
West8.954.520,02919.9
Central10.057.112,27212.2
South-West22.037.510,18510.1
East11.350.76,2216.2
North13.152.14,1314.1
Pre-poll9.058.730,56930.4
Other votes10.258.017,23117.1

Election results in Casey at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor and the Greens.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. With the retirement of Tony Smith & the unpopularity of the Liberal federal government Labor could pick up this seat if they play there cards right.

  2. Looking at the historical trend, it doesn’t seem like Tony Smith had that much of a personal factor one way or the other. Since the outer east firmed up for the Liberals in 1990, Casey seems to follow closely the state trend, always around 6-8% above the Liberal state average no matter who the MP was. So I’m not sure his retirement would affect the prospects of either side dramatically.

  3. Mark, a couple of things to mention. Casey in the 90’s didn’t cover the 90% of the Dandenong ranges in fact the seat is now basically old La trobe. There is change in the demographics of Lilydale, Coldstream & Chirnside Park that are getting a lot of new housing developments rather then being small little towns.

  4. Casey has a distinct north and south. North around Lilydale is more conservative and the south in the Dandenongs votes (in some cases) very heavily 2pp for the ALP. The north part is growing and the south is not so the demographic direction is toward the Libs. It is also worth noting that in 2018 the State Libs held the seats in the north (Evelyn, Croydon, Eildon) but which had all been lost in the 2002 landslide.
    Labor have endorsed the same candidate as 2019 – methinks they might find an excuse to dump him if they get a sniff they might win. It must be said that all the ALP candidates endorsed in the outer Eastern suburbs seem to be less than inspiring.

  5. @redistributed Can you assume that new residents of the Lilydale area will vote the same as established residents?

  6. Nicholas, not sure if you have ever been to Lilydale but from the look of the houses and the vehicles, my guess is that they would vote the same way if not more so.

  7. Nicholas

    Not sure of you have ever been to Lilydale or Yarra Glen. But from the look of the new houses, and the look of the vehicles, my guess is that they would vote the same way as present if not more so.

  8. Okay, I will take your word for it. I only ask because two common assumptions made about new residents are a) they will vote the same as established residents, and b) they will necessarily vote Liberal. Neither are universally true. (See my comment on the Greenway thread.)

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