Chisholm – Australia 2022

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  1. No contest, Labor gain, the voting poster scandal will hurt the incumbent even though the courts dismissed the findings because I’m sure there are many voters who still are raising questions about the conduct of the 2019 campaign. And if the 58-42 poll in Victoria is to be believed (which it will tighten but remember the Liberals can’t afford a swing against them here) then this seat is toast.

    It was a shocking upset that the Liberals held on here last time but perhaps that was due to Negative Gearing and Franking credits, those policies were dumped this time so this should revert back to the Anna Bourke margins in her years. Will remain marginal but is unlikely to fall Liberal again outside of landslide years.

    And while there is a large Asian demographic here it is silly to assume it will change much because people don’t vote for someone because of their race they vote base on merit and policy so if the Liberals do somehow hold (which if they do they will be heading for a landslide win) then it will be because they won it on the issues not the candidate of choice.

  2. Chisholm is different from most marginal seats in the country as it tends to stick with sitting MPs and has an incumbent Chinese Australian MP up against a parachuted white union official in a seat where 20% of the population has Chinese heritage so what should be an easy ALP gain will go down to the wire like the last election. Goes without saying that there are lots of other factors that won’t be in the Liberal’s favour like the hawkish handling of relations with China, Eric Abetz questioning Chinese Australian’s loyalty, the drastic increase in racism against Chinese Australians over the past few years, ALP abandoning negative gearing/franking credits and many non-Chinese constituents may not like an ethnically Chinese MP, particularly one so gaffe prone and with so much negative press.

  3. The boundaries of Chisholm were a controversial matter in the redistribution. I’m just grateful the committee didn’t buy into the absurdity posited by some of transferring Box Hill or Box Hill North in Deakin.

    I lodged a comment on objections with an alternative that would’ve addressed a lot of the concerns raised about the committee’s proposal. Ultimately, the committee was not convinced.

  4. Yes the boundaries here are just weird. Why on earth splitting Box Hill/Blackburn completely in half was seen as defensible just baffles me, considering there were other options available.

    I think possibly the seat is a little safer than it appears on paper. I think there’s room for a bit of a Liberal boost in the areas transferred from Hotham. A lot of this area is Liberal leaning or 50-50, but probably has a slightly inflated Labor position due to previously being in a safer Labor seat.

  5. The area transferred from Hotham above the Monash Freeway is rather Liberal leaning while the area under the Monash Freeway is very safe for the ALP (60+% margins). As a result, they essentially cancel each other out, not really changing the notional margin from the last election. One thing I note is that in the last election, the area in the north swung very heavily to the ALP while the newly transferred area around Glen Waverley didn’t swing as much. I wonder if that will repeat itself with the newly transferred areas in Wheelers Hill and south of the Monash Freeway not really swinging compared to the rest of the seat.

  6. I wouldn’t write Gladys Liu off too quickly, she is a ferocious campaigner and reputedly an effective fundraiser. As I have been redistributed back to Deakin, I have note that all correspondence from her has stopped and it is all probably going to Wheelers Hill. In person, Gladys is not very impressive, she spoke at a school function some time back and seemed to misread the audience leaving a fairly stony silence – that was to a fairly anglo crowd. However, the ALP may have done her a favour in selecting Carina Garland, the candidate passed over who was a Monash Councillor may have had more cred with the community.

  7. Agree with Mark and Nicholas, the boundaries in the north are ridiculous. There were quite a few objections to them and suggestions for improvement – all totally ignored by the Commissioners with their ‘take it or leave it’ attitude – unless of course you objected to the boundaries of Higgins and Macnamara!
    The Post Covid washout may be that Victoria goes back to 38 seats in the next term so the boundaries may not hold for very long.

  8. You do realise Labor gained the seats in this area in the 2018 state election right? Race won’t be a factor in this seat because people don’t vote for someone because they share the same ethnicity as them. And Morrison is unpopular in seats like these namely because of the slow rollout.

    Unless Daniel Andrews seriously screws up or Albanese runs an appalling campaign this will be a Labor gain. It is silly to assume this seat leans liberal (Then explain Anna Burke’s wins in 2001 and 2004, Not so friendly years for the ALP in Victoria)

  9. Based on the candidate selection, the ALP are either really cocky and optimistic about winning the seat or they are not too confident. If the candidate facing Gladys Liu is the passed over candidate or Jennifer Yang, the 2019 candidate, then I would say it is a certain ALP win. With Carina Garland, I am not too sure. She is mainly known for being a high ranking union official so won’t have too much appeal in the electorate. Of course, Gladys Liu will not be going down without a fight so I expect another very intense and controversial campaign like last time. I can already see the Liberals deciding to pursue a negative campaign portraying Carina Garland as some parachuted union hack.

  10. @Daniel

    While you’re correct in that isn’t a Liberal heartland anymore (demographic and boundary changes both responsible), this isn’t a Labor heartland either, especially since the seat moved north last decade. Burke was also a popular MP (hence why she held this in 2013 but Labor lost it on her retirement, I imagine they’d have held it had she stayed).

  11. 60-40 Labor statewide federally in Victoria. Unless the coalition reverse their fortunes in this state this seat is falling. It’s the most vulnerable seat in the country for any political party (Macquarie is more like to stay Labor than this to stay Liberal)

    Correct me if I’m wrong but 60-40 would be one of the most lopsided results federally in the state of Victoria ever. I believe only 1975 beats it (and that would be for the Liberals)

    This seat is extremely unlikely to buck the trend. The sitting member isn’t popular like Anna Burke was. And Julia Banks was certainly a better fit for this seat, she would have got a swing to her had the Liberals not backstabbed her.

  12. You’re not wrong except for omitting that the 60-40 poll is exactly that. The polling in August 2018 was pretty apocalyptic for the Libs back then too.

  13. Tbf to you Daniel I should have said ‘glossing over’ rather than ‘omitting’. But I think you get my point.

  14. I guess Daniel’s given up pretending to be a bullish Liberal and has reverted to being a pro-Labor poster again…..?

  15. I believe Daniel may be offering a fair commentary of the divergence within Australia – states like Queensland are now conservative leaning and Labor will not be able to win many seats there even in a landslide election whilst Victoria is now a Labor trending state and the Liberal Party are in trouble even in their ‘traditional’ seats like Higgins and Kooyong.

    This is perhaps similar to the US, many affluent suburban areas that were once Republican strongholds are trending Democratic just like inner suburban Melbourne and Sydney

  16. Likewise many rural (blue-collar) areas like the Hunter Valley and also in Central Queensland that were historically Labor leaning are now trending towards the Coalition.

  17. Yoh An and that’s exactly why Australian politics is kinda stuck in the middle between left and right because demographics supporting different parties has meant the result has kind of stayed the same. Will rural folk vote for Labor over the Coalition because the Coalition are trying to ruin their lives? We’ll soon find out.

  18. I would have traditionally put this seat as Liberal hold, however with Gladys Liu controversy, slim margin & the deep unpopularity of the federal government the Labor party have a shot. I still won’t write Gladys Liu off she is an excellent campaigner & could dull the anti-liberal swing.

  19. All being said, Gladys Liu is going to depend on the seat’s Chinese community to hold onto her seat. From my experience with her in person, although she doesn’t seem to really have much popularity with the anglo population (many of them don’t seem particularly thrilled or interested when talking to her), it’s a very different story with the Chinese community. If she loses any support from them, then there is no chance of her being re-elected. If she can gain more support from them, she may be able to offset the inevitable pro ALP swing among her non-Chinese constituents.

  20. It must not be forgotten that Chisholm has a very large South Asian community (Indian, Sri Lankan) particularly at the Glen Waverley end of the electorate. They always seem to get overlooked in the political discussion. The other issue is that there seems to be a view that the ‘Chinese’ community is one homogenous mass whereas people with Australian born Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong or South East Asian backgrounds will have a different world view from those looking at life through a PRC prism. Chinese background voters from non PRC backgrounds may find the ‘playing footsie’ with Front organisations (as both Gladys Liu and Jennifer Yang were doing last time) a real turn off particularly in light of the Hong Kong crackdown and threats to Taiwan that have happened since 2019. Also forgotten, especially in a seat like Chisholm that is close to two universities (Monash and Deakin) that there are large numbers of non citizens who can’t vote – they come up in the census but not on the electoral rolls – so a ‘20% Chinese’ ethnicity does not translate to 20% eligible to vote.

  21. I don’k know….. this would be first seat to fall in theory…. in practice it seems more complicated… there is an element of loyalty to the sitting mp……. I would be very surprised if Labor failed to win should there be a prolabor swing esp in Victoria

  22. @redistributed Very good points there. Also don’t forget that the time period in which first generation migrants came to Australia also plays a role – I wouldn’t expect those who migrated from China in the time right after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre to have the same views as those who migrated from China during the 2000s, or even the 2010s. Additionally, second generation Australians can have different views on issues to those of their parents, having lived predominantly in Australia, and growing up with different perspectives as a result.

  23. One issue I think that may become increasingly prominent in a seat like this would be the rise in racism and anti-Asian hate crimes since the pandemic. The increasing vocal activism among Asian diasporic communities regarding this in countries like the US and Canada (Stop Asian Hate Movement) may spill over into Australia, especially among second generation Asian Australians.

  24. Is that kind of amorphous concern really going to triumph over bread and butter issues though? Genuine question, I don’t know either way myself.

  25. Going to throw my 2c here because you’ve all outlined aspects I’ve seen first hand as a 2nd generation (East) Asian-Australian who grew up in the Eastern suburbs.

    WL hit the nail on the head – the thoughts of the diaspora vary depending on what period you came to Australia. I’ve had some…robust discussions at the family dinner table about the political differences between Aus and China. Eg – command and control to resolve climate change or coronavirus v a democracy to allow freedom of expression. Different issues entirely but how do you value the success of one or the other.

    What I’m hearing from people within the community is that while there is a rise in anti Asian sentiment, people understand that it’s a small subset and that bread and butter issues trumps that.

    Anecdotally within my parents circle, there has been a shift away from the Libs federally, and even someone with an ethnically similar background can’t paper over what they perceive is a failure of national leadership in vaccines. It also helps that neg gearing and franking credits is off the table thanks to the Labor Party clarifying their position.

    This is just my perspective as someone who is more engaged than the majority of the diaspora within those communities.

  26. This seat could be abolished as because of the constant COVID lockdowns & no immigration. If the the trend continues my best bet is this seat will be abolished in the next redistributions if Victorias population doesn’t bounce back.

  27. Bob

    Based on the ABS data, Victoria has now had a year (and probably more) of negative growth so it is fairly safe assumption that the 39th seat is gawn and not coming back in a hurry. Chisholm is probably unlikely to be abolished largely because it is named after a woman, so if a name was to go, Hotham would be more likely.

    Based on my calculation of seats west: east of the Yarra, it comes out at about 20.7 west to 18.3 east. This is based on current enrolments and this may change by 2023 but it does suggest that a seat will effectively need to straddle the Yarra in a similar way that Menzies did in the last cycle or the old Diamond Valley used to do. The question will be whether a western seat does the straddle and an eastern seat abolished, or an eastern seat such as Menzies crosses over and a western seat is abolished.

    To my mind, the latter would seem to make more sense and Jaga Jaga the seat to be abolished. Unless Melbourne was to cross the river and take in Southbank and parts of South Yarra (quite feasible in view of the Commissioners predeliction for LGA boundaries ), the knock on effects of having Menzies move would be substantial.

    Another unknown is whether the move to the regions is sustained or if it has occurred at all. This may see minimal changes in seats such as Monash, Indi, Corangamite, Wannon, Ballarat and Bendigo, and bigger changes in the Melbourne Metro area.

  28. Agree Bob, It will likely be Chisholm or Hotham that is abolished if current population trends hold. Hotham in my view is better seat to be abolished as it is a classic bits and pieces seat. Having East Bentleigh and Noble Park in the same seat makes so sense from a community of interest perspective. Chisholm can be focused on the City of Monash with the Whitehorse portion being transferred into Deakin. This will allow Bruce to be focused on the City of Greater Dandenong instead of Casey Council.

  29. At a rough glance, what I’d look at doing is pushing McEwen back into the Upper Yarra Valley. That would probably be the least-intrusive ‘straddle’ of north and south of the Yarra. Casey and Deakin then move inwards to facilitate the abolition of an eastern suburbs seat.

    Agree that Hotham is probably the best candidate, divided up between Goldstein, Chisholm, Bruce and maybe Isaacs largely as Nimalan suggests.

  30. If Hotham is abolished, Chisholm would essentially be a larger version of the pre-1996 Bruce. Goes to show how much stronger the ALP have become in the area.

  31. @Mark Mulcair

    Yep, missed your last comment where you addressed that. That’s what I thought too. I suppose my hesitation is that I’m not sure what Goldstein could shed to compensate, and that it may become quite an oddly shaped electorate.


    “…with the Whitehorse portion being transferred into Deakin.”

    I’m a former resident of Box Hill North, and I really hope the western end of Whitehorse does not get transferred to Deakin. My preference would be for Manningham to be split – the semirural eastern half in Deakin, and the western half in Menzies. Maroondah is fully united in Deakin, and the rest of the Box Hill / Blackburn area is transferred to Menzies.

  32. Nicholas, interestingly i grew up in Menzies and have lived there virtually all my life (Manningham portion). I do take your point that there is some community of interest between the Northern parts of Blackburn and Box Hill. A lot of kids who went to Kerrimuir primary in Box Hill north and Old Orchard primary went to my high school instead of Box Hill High school etc so i take that point. I do have a concern though with splitting Manningham council with the semi-rural half in Deakin. As a Manningham resident, i do feel the LGA has a strong identity (Like the Hills Shire or Sutherland Shire in Sydney) and would prefer to be united in the same seat so it can be a difficult choice. My preference for Whitehorse council to be united in Deakin is due to the fact i feel that the Lilydale/Belgrave rail line is a strong community of interest while the northern parts of Maroondah Council such as Ringwood North, Croydon Hills, Croydon North can go into Menzies. Manningham council is based on bus-based transport. If Menzies goes into Whitehorse council i would prefer if Canterbury Road is the Southern Boundary.

  33. Agreed absolutely about Canterbury Road.

    For me, Maroondah LGA always seemed a world apart from where we lived. For a long time I was hardly cognisant of its existence, as if there were nothing east of the M3. The furthest east we ever travelled was Nunawading. On the other hand, we frequently travelled Doncaster. I suppose maybe I’d just have to accept it’s bad luck for Box Hill (there are always losers in every redistribution) in that it is at the western periphery of where such a Deakin would need to extend.

  34. I live in Templestowe Lower and the least I can say is that I do not feel any form of connection with the green wedge areas west of Springvale Road. They honestly feel more like areas that allign with the Maroondah LGA or even the small rural towns in the Yarra Ranges than a suburb in the same LGA with Bulleen/Doncaster/Templestowe. In contrast, I feel a stronger sense of identity with the northern half of Whitehorse LGA which are quite demographically similar to the western half of Manningham, especially Box Hill. I guess that although it is possible to argue Blackburn’s connections with Maroondah LGA but it’s really too much of a stretch to say the same for Box Hill.


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