Malvern – Victoria 2022

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  1. This area has undergone significant change since the Liberals were winning this seat on 20%+ margins. More renters, more young people, and more people living in apartments, particularly in the southern parts of this electorate – this further explains how Higgins was won by Labor.
    I’m not expecting this seat to be lost, but it’s foolish to expect it to bounce back to a double-digit ultra-safe margin. Over the next couple of elections, this seat will likely become more and more in play.

  2. Ham, I still think it will be a single-digit margin given the indication from the seat of Higgins last election. Plus Matthew Guy is not well liked by the “Small Liberals” due to his past controversy. Although Guy seems to have policies with a mix of both conservative and moderate factions (Right in Covid Mandates and left in Climate change etc), his rhetoric is more populist making him more like Pierre Poilivre in Canada or Liz Truss in the UK

  3. Personally I think as long as O’Brien is the candidate they should be fine here but tend to agree it will stay on the single digits. If he pulls out last minute and retires and especially if the Libs pick someone from the right-faction then this could become very interesting.

    Bulleen will fall before this, This is the last eastern Melbourne seat that would fall from the Liberal house of cards. (unless you count places like Mornington,Narracan etc as part of Eastern Melbourne.

    There is clearly demographic trends towards Labor here while on the other hand in seats like Narracan and Mornington which were won by Labor in 2002 have shown demographic trends to the Liberals.

    Andrews is no Mark McGowan but Matthew Guy makes Zak Kirkup look like a saint. I personally think it was a mistake to dump O’Brien, I suspect he will become leader should Pesutto fail to retake his former seat of Hawthorn after the election. If O’Brien doesn’t run then it is anyones guess.

  4. @ Daniel. In fact Mornington was not won by the Libs in 2002 while for Narracan it now does not include any of the La Trobe valley from 2022 election onwards. It is the La Trobe valley that has seen a decline in the Labor vote as the Coal industry has declined similar to around Lithgow in NSW. I think Rowville maybe one of the last seats to fall (not small L liberal territory although has a growing Chinese community).

  5. I don’t think Malvern will swing much at all compared to its redistributed margin. Two opposing forces will probably cancel each other out and result in a roughly neutral swing.

    On one hand, Labor being in government federally, having a federal Labor MP, Dan and state Labor being less popular than in 2018 and the Liberals going a bit less hardline in their campaign this year will all favour the Liberals.

    But on the other hand, Peter Dutton as federal Lib leader, Guy replacing O’Brien as state leader, the total lack of talent within the state party, the constantly hypocritical Covid commentary, and importantly what appears to now be a confirmation of a permanent change in direction for the Liberal Party, will all favour Labor. So, I think it’ll stay similar overall.

    On that last point I made, I’ll be really interested to see the impact of the Liberals now very publicly discussing (and some embracing) the idea of abandoning these constituents to replace Labor as the party of the “working class”.

    Most voters are not that politically engaged and form their views based on discussions in their social circles, and whatever party they feel they identify more with culturally.

    For example, I can imagine BBQs in Pakenham having conversations like “Bloody Dan this”, “Bloody Dan that”, “Bloody Dan made that earthquake happen”, whatever it may be. As a result, people who aren’t that engaged will go into the polling booth, not really know any of the candidates, but vote for “Anybody but bloody Labor, Dan’s gotta go”. That’s why I think the swings will be large in outer areas where UAP did well.

    In Malvern, where people are probably more engaged with the Liberal Party in particular, the conversations are more likely to be “I can’t believe they went back to Guy as their leader”, “Well Dutton’s their federal leader now, the whole party has changed”, “Yeah did you hear that director of the party on TV saying they want to forget about wealthy seats like ours and focus on the working class areas?”, “If they’re just gonna try to replace Labor, we may as well just vote Labor because at least they know it’s the 21st century”.

    Remember these are the kinds of areas where people will buy a new luxury car just because their neighbour has one. I have a cousin-in-law who lived in Toorak and did that. They care about their social identity, and the Liberal Party was a big part of that identity. So I’m curious about what impact all the very public commentary around the Liberal Party moving away from an affluent base, coupled with a lot of commentary that Labor have abandoned their working class base for inner city “elites” (usually intended as criticism), will have on voters who identify as inner city “elites” in the long term?

    I think this trend has been evident for a while, and with it there has been a gradual leftward shift in these areas, but in the fallout of the May election was when it seemed to be confirmed, as many in the party itself were talking about and even embracing the idea of forgetting about the inner city seats. So that Liberal Party bond to many of these voters’ cultural & social identity may be severing.

  6. @Trent, Vic Libs is still quite hardline in their campaign plus if Moira Deeming (a hardline conservative who is preselected number 1 in the Western Metropolitan) is used to wedge the Vic Libs, this would worsen the chance for them to win back the small liberals not to even mention their anti-vax stance

  7. Trent, That comment about elites and working class is spot on, the way the Liberals talk down to these people has made it more acceptable to vote for the ALP, Greens or now the Teals. There’s always talk about young people in apartments, however, the Liberals attitude has been anti these people for a long time that it includes people up to Gen X and the late boomers that swung to Whitlam.

  8. Totally agree Pencil.

    It’s one thing to no longer feel represented by the party you traditionally identified with – and this has happened on both sides with working class Labor voters and affluent urban Liberal voters. But it’s another level altogether to actually have senior members of the party you once voted for, explicitly saying in the media that you are no longer their base, and that the party should “forget about” you and focus elsewhere.

    That just has to have an impact, especially when it reinforces the feeling you already had of not being represented. And especially when the language is not only an abandonment, but often refers to your demographic in hostile terms – “inner city elites”, “latte sippers”, “doctors wives”, “woke elites”, etc – to the point where they are directly insulting you as if your values don’t matter.

    It doesn’t surprise me that an increasing portion of the traditional Liberal “base” now find themselves in the unthinkable situation of coming to the conclusion that Labor represent them more than the Liberal Party.

    On a larger scale, it seems we’re simply catching up with the more global realignment of the wealthy to the left and the working class to the right.

  9. The Libs could pre-select Bob Brown and they would still lose. There are bigger demographic trends at play around the world and they can’t resist demography, nor can anyone else.

  10. If a seat like this is trending away form the LNP they will struggle to get into office anytime in the near future.

  11. Labor could do reasonably well in the far eastern areas near Holmesglen and the Chadstone Shopping Centre since it has some public housing but the bulk of the seat is the extremely affluent core in Toorak, Armadale and Malvern which although seems trending to the left is still very strong for them.

  12. This is the perfect seat for a teal to run in.

    It’s the right demographic, and the margin being over 6% means it’s extremely unlikely for Labor to have a chance in it so Labor & Greens voters have an incentive to vote strategically to remove a Liberal (which is not the case in the seats where Labor are within 1%).

    And if a teals are challenging the Libs in seats like Malvern and Kew while Labor are threatening Sandringham, Brighton and Caulfield, then if you’re a moderate Liberal that’s a good thing because it will force the Libs to have to focus on not losing moderate seats, rather than lurch further right.


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