Eltham – Victoria 2022

ALP 8.8%

Incumbent MP
Vicki Ward, since 2014.

Geography
Eastern Melbourne. Eltham covers the suburbs of Diamond Creek, Eltham, Eltham North, Kangaroo Ground Lower Plenty, Montmorency, Research and parts of Briars Hill, Greensborough, St Helena and Watsons Creek. Eltham covers parts of the City of Banyule and Nillumbik Shire.

Redistribution
Eltham expanded north, taking in Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen from Yan Yean, and losing part of Greensborough and Briars Hill to Bundoora. These changes slightly reduced the Labor margin from 9.1% to 8.8%.

History
Eltham was first created in 1992. It was first won by the Liberal Party’s Wayne Phillips. He was re-elected in 1996 and 1999, but was defeated in 2002 by the ALP’s Steve Herbert.

Steve Herbert was re-elected in Eltham in 2006 and 2010. In 2014 he moved to the Legislative Council as a member representing Northern Victoria, and resigned from parliament in 2017.

Labor’s Vicki Ward won Eltham in 2014, and was re-elected in 2018.

Candidates

Assessment
Eltham is a reasonably safe Labor seat now, but it was quite marginal when the Liberal Party was in a stronger position, and if the government was on track to lose power they could be in trouble here.

2018 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Vicki Ward Labor 19,83149.2+8.649.8
Nick McGowan Liberal 15,63938.8-5.137.0
Matthew Goodman Greens 4,20810.4-1.010.5
Peter O’BrienDemocratic Labour6141.5+1.51.7
Others1.0
Informal1,6103.8-0.5

2018 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Vicki Ward Labor 23,80259.1+6.458.8
Nick McGowan Liberal 16,49040.9-6.441.2

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas: north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 57.9% in the north-west to 68.8% in the north-east.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 7.7% in the north-west to 12.6% in the south-east.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South-East12.663.67,27516.8
South-West11.561.55,19212.0
North-East9.668.84,54110.5
North-West7.757.94,43710.2
Pre-poll9.954.116,38537.7
Other votes11.456.45,58412.9

Election results in Eltham at the 2018 Victorian state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Historically this north-east Melbourne may have been a seat in play, I think with Labor having recently put more attention on a middle class progressive bloc, this rules out the Libs winning areas like this for a long time. The overlapping federal Jagajaga gets safer every year.

  2. The area transferred from Yan Yean like Diamond Creek have an inflated Labor majority since the Liberal candidate was disendorsed last time. For this reason, it maybe the case that the Labor TPP is actually slightly lower than the state-wide figure. I dont see a path for the Libs to win a majority without winning Eltham, Carrum and maybe even Narre Warren North since there are fewer seats in the Eastern Melbourne heartland.

  3. This area is extremely socially progressive, similar to Belgrave/Mount Dandenong which is why despite being quite affluent, Labor does very well here. With the more socially conservative and right wing populist direction the Libs are going, they will do increasingly poorly in the affluent but socially progressive areas where previously they would have been doing increasingly well in.

  4. Eltham seems to have a socially progressive middle-class population, I wonder if that’s true? Other middle-class areas in Melbourne and other cities are friendlier to the Libs.

  5. Marh, Eltham is quite affluent not as much though as the inner ring of suburbs such as Boroondara, Stonnington, Bayside etc. It is median household is quite high and far above the metro and state average. Nillumbik Shire has the highest SEIFA score in the state. It has a very high Green vote for a suburban area. I would say a compaable area to Eltham would be Ashgrove- the Gap in QLD. Quite a few of Melbourne’s most liveable suburb are in the North East. https://7news.com.au/business/melbourne-property/melbournes-most-liveable-suburb-crowned-as-northcote-in-2021-study-c-4796275

  6. It seems one theory why Eltham is Labor leaning could be the high-paying University Anglo professionals whose incomes tend to be stable. I bet the other areas as you said the Eastern Suburbs tend to be small business owners/ Self-employed Tradies who would be traditional Liberal Voters. I wonder if many Eltham voters used to lived in the Inner City like Northcote when they were in their youth before moving to Eltham when they had children?

  7. This area has become increasingly safer for Labor over the past decade or so, I don’t see the Liberals winning this back considering how safe the federal seat of Jagajaga has become for Labor and the double-digit drop in Liberal primary in May.
    This seat was previously very marginal and a big focus of both major parties in 2014 and 2018. However likely Labor retain at this point.

  8. Small business owners and self-employed tradies are more prevalent in the outer eastern suburbs (Knox, Manningham and Maroondah) than Boroondara, Stonnington and Bayside which are affluent upper class areas, home of CEOs of large companies and the like.

  9. @ Dan M, you are absolutely correct about the Boroondara, Stonnington and Bayside home to the elite suburbs of Melbourne. The vast majority of elite suburbs can be found in those 3 LGAs. Other Elite/Old money suburbs outside those 3 LGAs include East Melbourne, Eaglemont-Ivanhoe East in Banyule, Albert Park/Middle Park in Port Phillip, Caulfield North in Glen Eira and Mont Albert/Surrey Hills in Whitehorse.

  10. If Liberal want to get into office in Victoria they will need to win a seat like this which in the current environment is extremely unlikely to happen.

  11. Eltham is generally pretty socially progressive. The stretch of Eltham-Research-Warrandyte is full of tree tories and tree changers, in fact this can be used to describe the whole of Nillumbik council area. The Eltham area does have some pricy real estate but does also have what would be considered cheaper housing and some units in Eltham, so the Labor vote isn’t just coming from middle class socially progressive professionals. The area is also retty white and this Labor margin i believe is pretty soft, a more pallatable Liberal government could do a lot better here.

    @Ham A large part, or maybe the whole of the seat of Bundoora falling within Jagajaga also probably helps the margin, as well as the Heidelberg West and Heights area been so strong for Labor (This is what until recently kept the seat of Ivanhoe in the Laobr column).

  12. To expand on this, a certain amount of the vote in the north-east and/or Nillumbik council may not necessarily be enthusiastic votes for Labor or voting in support of their economic policy but more of a ‘not going to vote Libs due to s0cial conservatism’.

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