Hawthorn – Victoria 2022

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  1. When we lived in Melbourne, our family attended a church along Glenferrie Road. I admit I am quite surprised to see how well the Greens perform there, even acknowledging that the Greens tend to perform well in affluent areas. The vicinity probably has one of the highest tennis courts per capita in all of Australia!

  2. Nicholas, the strength of the progressive vote (Greens/Labor) is close to Glenferrie Station due to presence of Swinburne University. Near to Camberwell Junctions there are more apartments/renters. The Glenferrie South booth close to Scotch College, St Kevins College and Kooyong is the strongest Liberal booth and that area is very affluent.

  3. Yes, perhaps I had underestimated how large that demographic is – apartments have a much higher density than mansions!

  4. The Liberal party should realistically have no trouble picking up this seat, however the demographics have being changing here & I remember John Pesutto stating that it looked more like Richmond so this seat could go either way.

  5. Hawthorn was the big shock of 2018 and if Labor had expected to win it, they would not have endorsed a 71 year old candidate. I am not sure if he will run again – he may and if loses bow out gracefully. The Victorian Libs desperately need John Pessutto.

  6. Demographic changes favour Labor & presumably their pre-poll campaign will be more organised. Type of seat where Covid policy grumbles will probably bite less than elsewhere. I think of East Hills in NSW safe Labor lost on huge swing in 2011 & held by Libs for last 3 elections. Still a big ask to hold again.

  7. This will be one of the most interesting seats to watch I think.

    With Pesutto running and a lot of Liberal voters desperate to have him back in their talent deprived party to take the leadership after another inevitable election loss, I think the Liberals would be favourites to regain this.

    But for all the reasons outlined above – Labor won without even trying in 2018, demographic changes favouring them, etc – it could go either way so it’ll be a good contest to watch.

    A federal Labor win in May though will most likely help the Liberals win back some of the eastern suburbs seats in November, because the anti-Liberal sentiment will have died down.

  8. This seat is probably the most consequential for the Coalition at this election. If the win it, then they are in a much better position to win in 2026 as they have probably more electable leader than if they loose Hawthorn this time.

  9. I think this will be a Liberal gain as the Liberals never really put effort into this seat at the last election with the local MP campaigning elsewhere. This time the Liberal candidate is campaigning more locally and putting much more effort into the seat. Given recent state Labor drama and Covid becoming less of an issue, polls should narrow and a 57-43 Labor win isn’t likely, so Labor may be more inclined to put more effort into other seats they are more likely to hold. Regarding Tom’s comment, leaders are better positioned if they come from safe seats so they can campaign nationally, so Hawthorn would be a hard seat.

  10. What do the people of Hawthorn have in common with the people of Camberwell? The suburb of Hawthorn should be split between Prahran and Richmond.

  11. @ Ben
    Hawthorn is in the same LGA, same train line, similar in SES and there is a natural boundary being Gardiners creek and Yarra River. which separate it from the seats you mentioned Also other Public transport links, Road links etc. When you are in Camberwell Junction the other side of Burke Road in Hawthorn East. The Rivoli cinema is in Hawthorn East. To get there by PT you will need to get off it Camberwell station. Camberwell primary school zone goes into Hawthorn East (https://www.findmyschool.vic.gov.au/), While Auburn Primary School zone includes parts of Camberwell. Strathcona Girls School has a campus in Canterbury and Hawthorn. Camberwell Junction has a lot of apartments similar to the Glenferrie area. It would be like have the densely populated Doncaster Hill being separated from the McMansions of Templestowe even though parts of Doncaster East such as the Millgate estate are low density and conservative.

  12. I don’t think this is clear cut for the Liberals, I could see them picking seats up in the outer east but labor could hold here.

  13. It’s bit early to discuss the Vic state election due to likely the impact the federal election will have.

    At the moment the ALP seems to be busy snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. So if the if the liberals do get back, I expect the swing to be muted. But IF the ALP win, the swing against the ALP in Vic will be amplified. Think 2003 versus 2007 NSW stage elections.

    That said Hawthorn is worth watching closely, if Pesutto does win I would expect him to lead the liberals into the 2026 election. He is also the sort of Liberal that can will over swinging voters. So I elect the ALP to fight tooth and nail to keep him out.

    In short, what happens in Hawthorn will give us a big insight into whether the ALP are in any threat of losing either the 2026 or 2030 state elections.

  14. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the ALP parachute a ‘celebrity’ candidate into Hawthorn some time between now and November. To be perfectly honest- is John Kennedy up to it? He is 74 and not been well. And the ALP might see it as a way of cutting off Pessutto at the pass. On the other hand, the ALP record on celebrity candidates is not very good.

  15. Sandbelter, I’d say that if the Liberals manage to win the federal election in May (which certainly won’t be due to doing well in Victoria) we won’t just be talking about a muted Liberal swing in November, we’ll be talking about another Labor swing in November and probably a bigger landslide than 2018.

    If Labor win in May, I expect a 3-4% Liberal swing in November, resulting in mostly just the loss of a handful of seats (mostly eastern suburbs including Hawthorn) and Labor returned with a reduced majority, maybe around 50 seats.

    In this scenario the Liberals become very competitive in 2026, especially if Pesutto is elected and becomes leader, but I honestly believe the Liberals’ ceiling in Victoria is 45-46 seats nowadays, and that’s with everything falling into place for them.

    If the Liberals win federally in May, I expect a further 2-3% Labor swing and the Liberals to lose seats like Caulfield, Sandringham and Brighton (all under 1%) giving Labor around 60 seats.

  16. Leaders in marginal seats, off the top of my head:
    • Chris Minns in Kogarah (most marginal Labor seat in the state post-redistribution)
    • Jodi McKay in Strathfield
    • Campbell Newman in Ashgrove (ought to be considered a safe opposition seat under usual circumstances!)
    • Daniel Andrews in Mulgrave (in a close election, Mulgrave is not a safe seat)
    • John Howard in Bennelong (was safe early in his career, but redistributions made it marginal)
    • Kevin Rudd in Griffith
    • Zak Kirkup in Dawesville
    • Steven Marshall in Dunstan (marginal insofar as he almost lost his seat!)
    • If Peter Dutton or Josh Frydenberg become leader after the election as many people are suggesting is plausible, that’ll be another to the list.

  17. To add to Nicholas’s list. I’d add Jeff Kennett who was premier of Victoria. Burwood was marginal outside of landslide years and when he resigned after losing the 99′ election Labor picked it up.

    I wouldn’t call Hawthorn marginal but it isn’t ”Safe” I’d say it leans liberal, possibly this is the Kensington London of Australia as didn’t a tower burn in this seat like Grenfell did in Kensington UK? and both seats are wealthy and regarded as blue-ribbon that were surprise Labor/Labour wins. Although Kensington went Labour while in opposition in the UK.

    Pesutto is definitely a decent liberal and someone to look up to in the future, although his fate may entirely depend on what happens next month federally.

  18. @ Nicholas, agreed 100% I could also add Jeff Kennett in Burwood and Peter Coleman in Fuller (now Ryde) in 1978. Also i would not class Hawthorn as a marginal seat in usual circumstances and the last Victorian Liberal to actually win an election represented the seat of Hawthorn. If we extended to Deputy Leaders then James Merlino in Monbulk (potentially next premier of Vic). In that case the first election when he was Deputy Leader the seat was notionally Liberal. Also Prue Carr in Londonderry.

  19. If John Pesutto ran in a safer seat he’d have a better chance of getting elected and could focus more on being leader if he wins a leadership election.

  20. Ben, I would say Hawthorn under normal or close elections is a safe Liberal seat. Labor couldn’t win here during the landslide 2002 election so 2018 was the first time in a long while that Labor managed to win this seat.

    However, it is best to wait for a few more elections to see if Hawthorn does return to its usual 10%+ safe Liberal margin. If it remains marginal even when Labor are held to a 50/50 2PP result then that would indicate that the voting trends have changed, like its overlapping federal seats.

  21. Mathew Guy is not doing the Liberal Party any favours by using destroyed roads from Ukraine claiming that they are in Victoria & being forced to admit that on air that he lied.

  22. Greens did very well in 2018 for a campaign that wasn’t great for them, in a non target seat, and they’ll have momentum from Kooyong (both from their own campaign and Monique Ryan’s). If Kennedy doesn’t recontest, Greens could pick it up.

    Pesutto would be a very credible leader if he gets reelected, but the Victorian Liberals have moved right and may not bother to fight hard for his reelection, and may not pick him even if he makes it.

    Let’s not forget that Campbell Newman was LNP leader outside parliament and went straight from not having a seat to being premier (to losing his seat). Victorian Liberals always have that option if Pesutto really is their man.

  23. I go through this seat all the time & it’s looking more like Richmond, I could see the Greens picking this up in the future.

  24. There’s a lot of talk about Pesutto leading the Vic Libs but i just don’t think it would be practical as the seat may become more marginal in future elections due to demographic changes and has shown it will swing largely.
    @Nicholas some leaders may come from marginals but traditionally most probably don’t. Mulgrave wasn’t marginal when Andrews first held the seat and despite a 7% swing against at the 2010 election he still held on a 58% TPP. A redistribution before the 2014 election made it 52% TPP. So normally Mulgrave would find itself at 55-60% TPP for Labor. Bennelong when John Howard had the seat was definitely made marginal due to redistributions (much like Andrews) but i belive he wasn’t very popular with the local Chinese community which cost him as well, it’s the same reason they lost the seat at the 2022 election.

    @Daniel Burwood (now Ashwood) would probably be safe Liberal if the Vic Libs were popular or competent but the reason it was held for so long by Labor after Jeff Kennett’s retirement is that they lost it a by-election and by 2002 when it would’ve been a good chance to win the seat they were a mess and probably suffered a big swing against them, one that was too much to overcome to take the seat in 2006.

  25. What were the federal results for Lib vs ALP here and is there a way to find out. Obviously this seat is the type of demographic that would be unhappy with the federal Libs so that has to be taken into consideration but also a lot of wealthy people who might like a lower taxes policy, so could be Lib at federal and Labor at state.

  26. @North East

    It has the propensity to be the opposite actually. The Andrews government is very high taxing. I agree with the others that if Pesutto wins again, he will likely be a future premier.

  27. @Mark Fair enough i’m not too familiar or knowledgeable about all taxes at state level or the current governments policies throughout both terms. Didn’t Andrews come up with a pretty unpopular housing policy that would result in higher taxes but was talked out of it after it received backlash.

  28. @Mark no doubt Pessuto is the only real viable candidate for state Lib leader given how inept Matthew Guy and Michael O’Brien have been. I don’t disagree that Andrews is the highest taxing premier and also the highest paid premier but the Libs aren’t campaigning on taxes or economic managment or really anything like that when they should be. Their campaign so far can literally be summed up as “no more masks, no more vaccines and no more lockdowns” which isn’t too appealing to the currently marginal seats.

  29. Dan, Covid is pretty much a non-existant issue now so that won’t have much of an influence, except in Asian majority seats like Glen Waverley, as the Federal result showed.

  30. Ashwood electorate seems to have polling booths where there is an unusually low Lib vote despite being in the inner East. One example is Ashburton which has the highest ALP vote in the Boroondara council I think (some could be attributed to public housing there but I think it is also a sizable middle-class population living alongside the large old money residents) and Ashwood/Chadstone (which is possibly due to a mix of social housing, traditionally more working-class and a large immigrant population in Chadstone)

  31. Ashburton, Ashwood and Chadstone have a lot of public housing, probably the most in Eastern Melbourne explaining the relatively strong Labor vote.

  32. @ Marh, you are absolutely correct about Ashwood. There is a mix of both social housing and privately owned housing. There is a public housing concentration around Alamein, Jordanville and Holmsglen stations. If you look at the demographics of Ashwood it does have an above average percentage of both high and low income residents with a lower concentration of middle income residents. The reason for this is median house prices for privately owned houses is quite high in Ashburton and Ashwood so the owner-occupied residents would be quite affluent. A similar example in Hampton East which has a similar income spread with a high median house values. This is the main reason why the old Burwood electorate was competitive for Labor in Good years even through on the whole it is quite an affluent electorate was some elite suburbs such as Glen Iris and Camberwell and no working class/industrial suburbs.

  33. @ North East yeah he was talked out of the housing tax and is being pressured to drop stamp duty as we speak (which is, you guessed it, the highest in the country). We also have the world’s first and only EV tax.

    The Libs are coming up with policies to counter this but they’re just not getting the coverage. Honestly, for this election, I’m “anyone but Dan”. But I wish there was someone to vote FOR, rather than just a protest vote. Hopefully it heats up closer to the election and the Libs get at least a little bit of an act together.

  34. The LNP really should not have any trouble picking this until up here, it just shows how damaged the brand is in the Eastern suburbs.

  35. @Yoh An, Covid no longer being a factor is what will favour Labor.

    The Victorian Liberals’ entire campaign so far seems to be centred on ending lockdowns and restrictions, which by the time the election comes around would have ended 14 months ago; and attacking the pandemic legislation which they claimed Dan would use to lock us down again but despite our worst Covid numbers since the pandemic, Dan has not locked us down for a single day or implemented a single restriction since the power was transferred from the CHO to him. In fact all he has done is lift restrictions.

    So their whole pitch about “opening up the state” is more than a year too late and comes across as desperate and redundant.

    Their other angle is the strain on the health system, but that also won’t work for two reasons:

    1. Everyone knows it’s a national crisis, not a Victorian one, and Dom Perrottet even teaming up with Dan in solidarity around facing the same issues (and media coverage of the same issues in every other state, often worse than here) will blunt the Liberals’ attack;

    2. Nobody would assume that the Liberals – with their track record of underfunding health care and closing hospitals – would actually have pumped more money and resources into the system than Labor had they been in government. There may be issues right now but health is seen as a Labor strength so the Liberals are simply not a party who are perceived as a strong alternative for healthcare.

    Basically with Covid no longer the dominating issue, the focus moves back to all the areas seen as Labor’s traditional strengths: infrastructure, education and social reforms.

    These are areas which aren’t just perceived as Labor strengths but the Andrews government has some huge achievements under its belt, many of which (particularly the extremely popular social reforms) the Liberals actually opposed.

    The Libs actually saw Covid as their main opportunity to have it overshadow everything else and gain an advantage, that’s why they’re trying to cling onto it, but the fact that it’s no longer a focus anymore actually helps Labor.

  36. Trent, actually the factors you mentioned could be blunted somewhat by the traditional bread and butter economic issues.

    Post covid now is becoming a combination of the 2010 recession period and late 00s with high inflation and interest rate rises. I feel that this may outweigh some of the state successes with infrastructure and the like.

    Granted Victoria is a more progressive state where cost of living issues don’t play heavily but I see Labor will still struggle to get any more support out of the eastern suburbs with only Glen Waverley being a likely gain, Caulfield a toss up and all others including Bayswater being heavily favoured to be retained by liberals. That is before likely losses in places like Hastings and Pakenham.

  37. Glen Waverley is the only eastern suburbs seat I predict Labor will gain too; but the inner south is the Liberals’ biggest worry.

    Cost of living issues will not be much of a factor in Caulfield, Brighton and Sandringham.

    Brighton & Sandringham swung so hard in 2018 that there’s probably not too much left for Labor to gain, but Labor also put no effort into them. They will be major targets this time and the margins are tiny, so they are very possible gains but I would consider them to be the toss ups.

    Caulfield actually resisted the “Danslide” in 2018 and barely swung, but showed in May that there are a lot more soft Liberal voters willing to swing to Labor and they only need 0.2% of that. Caulfield also contains some extremely progressive suburbs (Balaclava & St Kilda East) that has much higher Labor 2CPs in May than in 2018 and I’m not observing any indication that people around here who voted Labor in May would switch to Liberal for the state election.

    One thing about Morrison, he may have been unpopular but he knew how to campaign effectively. The Victorian Liberals are just as unpopular, but do not. And Andrews – despite the loud minority’s very vocal opposition to him – is actually more popular than Albanese, and a far better campaigner too.

    (I am local, I live in the inner south about 100m from the boundary of the Caulfield electorate so I know the area, the demographics and the mood well)

  38. I think the Jewish vote (the largest Jewish community in Australia) in Caulfield is important for a party to win the election. Both Southwick and Burns are Jewish themselves and both regularly mention the Jewish community issues on their social media.


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