Seat of the week: Chisholm

Chisholm covers a band of suburbs in Melbourne’s electorally sensitive east, from Box Hill and Mont Albert in the north through Burwood and Mount Waverley in the centre to Chadstone, Oakleigh and Clayton in the south. Labor is strongest in the far south, with most of the remainder being naturally marginal and the Mont Albert area leaning Liberal. Reflecting the area’s static population, the redistribution that will take effect at the next election has added around 18,000 voters at Blackburn South, Burwood East and Forest Hill in the east (previously in Deakin), balanced only by the transfer of about 8000 voters around Glen Waverley to Bruce and 1500 in Mont Albert North to Kooyong. Antony Green calculates the changes have shaved 0.3% from the Labor margin, which is now at 5.8%.

Chisholm was created with the enlargement of parliament in 1949, but was then based on Camberwell and Glen Iris further to the west. It no longer contains any of its original territory, which now bolsters the Liberals in Higgins and Kooyong. Its progressive drift to the east accordingly made a Labor-leaning seat of what had traditionally been a safe one for the Liberals, its members being Wilfrid Kent Hughes until 1970, Tony Staley until 1980 and Graham Harris until 1983. The Liberal grip was loosened by successive swings in 1977, 1980 and 1983, the Labor candidate on each occasion being Helen Mayer, who succeeded on the third attempt. Early Howard government Health Minister Michael Wooldridge recovered the seat for the Liberals in 1987, and held it precariously until he jumped ship to the more secure Casey in 1998. The current Labor member, Anna Burke, prevailed at the 1998 election with a 2.1% margin that was little changed in 2001 and 2004. She finally achieved a secure margin with a 4.7% swing in 2007, before the seat went slightly against the statewide trend with a 1.3% swing to the Liberals in 2010.

Anna Burke had been an industrial officer with the Finance Sector Union before entering parliament, and is aligned with the Right sub-faction associated with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association. She has had two spells as Deputy Speaker since Labor came to power in 2007, the interruption coming after the 2010 election when the government partially bolstered its fragile parliamentary position by having Liberal member Peter Slipper take her place. Burke returned to the role after the government appeared to go one better in having Slipper replace Harry Jenkins as Speaker in November 2011, and her national profile received a considerable boost when allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of taxi dockets compelled Slipper to stand aside in April 2012, leaving her the semi-permanent occupant of the chair.

The Liberals have again preselected their candidate from 2010, Vietnamese-born John Nguyen, a partner at Ernst & Young who was five years old when his family fled their native country in 1979. VexNews reports that Nguyen won the preselection ballot ahead of Nicholas Tragas, Telstra executive and Boroondara councillor, and that the two were respectively backed by “the sometimes united Kroger/Costello group” and its traditional rivals associated with Premier Ted Baillieu.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,181 comments on “Seat of the week: Chisholm”

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  1. [Mr Brough has been outside politics since losing his seat in the 2007 election.

    There has been speculation that he is planning to run for Mr Slipper’s Queensland seat at the next federal election.]


    Gee, no wonder #TheirABC is fuacked. They are so hopelessly hopeless:

    [Brough confirms he’ll nominate for LNP
    From: AAP June 14, 2012 2:47PM

    HOWARD-ERA minister Mal Brough will seek Liberal National Party (LNP) preselection to run against suspended Speaker Peter Slipper in the federal election.

    Mr Brough confirmed he would seek preselection in Mr Slipper’s Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher after the LNP opened nominations today.]

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers – late again!
    Some steady reporting of facts in the Slipper/Ashby case.
    This should provide a good selling pint for Foxtel. I would go spare trying to listen to this mob!
    Mike Carlton is back – with tongue firmly in cheek.
    Alan Moir rolls out “Our Hero” Popeye.
    David Pope on the ADF’s handling of sexual abuse claims.
    This speaks for itself.

  3. Good morning, bludgers.

    Through the windows, the sun is shining, green leaves are turning golden against sapphire-blue sky. It’s too late for birdsong, even those who stay around to face winter’s frosts, and the silence is unusually profound.

    To all of Danny’s lilt, add this gem from yesterday’s CM:

    Comeback kid Mal Brough divides Coalition as billionaire Clive Palmer causes outrage within LNP

    [MAL Brough’s planned political comeback in Peter Slipper’s Sunshine Coast electorate has caused ructions within the LNP, with Barnaby Joyce helping to campaign against the former minister.

    Senior figures within the LNP are also up in arms about billionaire Clive Palmer’s plans to stand for pre-selection in Treasurer Wayne Swan’s seat of Lilley.

    Nominations for LNP pre-selection opened yesterday in the two crucial seats.

    Mr Brough, who was pushing to win pre-selection before Mr Slipper became an Independent last year, yesterday confirmed he would stand for the seat.

    But his political return has upset some senior Coalition figures, who believe he will be a divisive force, seeing himself as a rival to Tony Abbott for the party leadership.]

    Out of the mouths of babes and LNP politicians!

    Currently, even a day is a long time in politics.

  4. i see that jane cadzow notes george pell has the ear of tony abbott and wonders why he generates such fear and loathing… look no further

  5. Good morning Bludgers brave and true!

    The sun is up.

    The birds are singing.

    Labor is still in government.

    Julia Gillard is still Prime Minister.

    Wayne Swan is the WGT.

    Tony Abbott is the WGD.

    Australia is overrun with rampaging BISONs.

    Today is the SA Bludger lunch – YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! 😀 😀 😀

  6. Bearing in mind tomorrow’s election in Greece, I wonder William Bowe, if you have a general view on whom poll suppression is most likely to favour in circumstances where the population’s long standing political allegiance is fluid and there are two major and sharply differering parties with credible winning chances.

  7. I wanted to talk about Labor leadership speculation to distract people from another bad week for the Libs but a motion was passed that I no longer be heard 🙁

    So I’m off to see the grandkids instead 🙂

    Catch up later.

  8. Good morning all.

    PvO names names of those coalition frontbenchers who should be sacked:

    [Liberal Party shadow ministers Kevin Andrews, Ian Macfarlane, David Johnston, Michael Ronaldson, Marise Payne, Bob Baldwin, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Stuart Robert and Sussan Ley – more than one-third of Liberal frontbenchers – are what you might call underperformers. If each and every one of them were demoted, the Coalition would hardly miss a beat.]

    No mention of the worst duds though: Dutton and the Member for Indi.

  9. Good Morning Early Bludgers!
    I have been lurking and trying to keep up with everyone’s informative posts. I would say that you all have earned a well-deserved rest but the fight goes on and it is good to see there are still plenty of us ‘volunteers’ up for it. 🙂

    Might I start the day on a lighter note? In reply to confessions@4836 from the previous blog:

    If I could be any woman in the world right now, I’d be Michelle Obama. 👿

    Just sayin’.

    I woke today finishing off a dream I had which revolved around President Obama having accepted my personal invitation to come to Australia and spend a couple of weeks touring around the place but meeting real people this time in their homes in order to reconnect with lives as they are lived by Ordinary Joes and press the flesh with his fans here(basically me+ the rest every day 🙂 ).

    Anyway, it came time for him to go back to America, which he was reluctant to do as he had had such a good time with his Homies in Oz(well, it was MY dream 😉 ). So we all got in line to say goodbye and when he got to me I came out with the traditional line of obsequious support, “You are on the same level as Abraham Lincoln as far as American Presidents go.”

    At the end of the goodbyes I asked him to sit down with me before he left because I had some good advice for him( as American Presidents do when I ask them to 😀 ). So I said to him, “Don’t worry about your re-election, if your intentions are good and your policies are good, the people will reward you with their vote.”

    Of course he thanked me warmly for stating the bleeding obvious, and then he was gone, and I woke up. 🙂

  10. @AlboMP is on the MOAR …… MOAR ….. MOAR …. on #Slynews Agenda …. calling it a Watergate type comspiracy. Bring it ON #auspol

  11. Well, well, well… those of us who saw a big day coming yesterday, because of Dirt File Thursday the day before should have put money on it.

    We now have, not just a bit of Googling to tsk-tsk about, but a fully fledged political scandal in the offing.

    * News Ltd. literally in the dock, in yet another country.

    * The LNP in it, right up to their fat necks.

    * Clear evidence of collusion between all the parties, with hard copy records.

    * Albo right now on Sky, with fire in his eyes. He looks pretty happy and confident.

    * Chris Kenny looking like a goose, trying to run an “innocent until proven guilty” line.


  12. And did I forget to mention Alexandra Kirk’s role in all this? She must now be counted, if not as a Liberal shill, then at least as a pathetic dupe.

  13. OMG, who would have thunk that. Chris Kenny tried to dug up #Leaderships in a very sly way on #Slynews. How patheticment

  14. [* Chris Kenny looking like a goose, trying to run an “innocent until proven guilty” line.]

    He’s truly woeful. Why Sky gave him his own show is beyond me.

  15. “I’m not suggesting there would be anything vaguely interesting about Warren Truss’s personal life”. A classic from Albo about dirt files.

  16. Get this people. Albo & The Govt say there’s evidence it has developed into a Watergate scale scandal. It’s the coverups not the breakin

  17. [* Chris Kenny looking like a goose, trying to run an “innocent until proven guilty” line.]

    Love it. The exact reverse of what he and the rest of them in the Noise Machine have been saying in regards to Slipper this past month or so.

    I bethe didn’t miss a beat either.

  18. #Duplicitous Hypocrites much in the Conservative parties and the conservative media?

    Craig Thomson is Guilty until proven Innocent.

    Ashby/News Ltd/the Coalition are Innocent until proven Guilty.

  19. Here is hoping the govt hasn’t overreached here and that all the evidence is there to support their media approach.

    I’m of to watch the cherubs play footy. I will check in online at half-time!

    Have a brilliant day!

  20. Does anyone know how long it is before Sky News put up their interviews on the web for people to watch? As in today’s Albo/Kenny bravura performance from the Minister.

  21. [Julian Burnside, QC, for the Commonwealth, told Justice Steven Rares that mobile phone records show Mr Ashby and Ms Doane, ”were working together to undermine Mr Slipper when they were still working for him”.

    Mr Burnside alleged in court the two advisers ”provided sensitive material” to Lewis and provided ”politically sensitive information” to Mr Brough.]

    [{Mr Chin} said there were ”interesting texts” sent between Mr Ashby, Ms Doane, Mr Lewis and Mr Brough.]

    Then futher down –

    [Mr Burnside said some text messages referred to paragraphs in the Commonwealth’s affidavits.]

    Read more:

    So it looks like the C’wlth has a string of SMS text messages that can then be associated with phone calls between ‘interesting’ persons.

    People using mobile phones and computers owned by their employers ‘Just don’t get it’ on leaving a track of activity that can be easily accessed by the owner of the phone/computer.

  22. Good Morning

    It sounds like Chris Kenny is trying to lose more viewers. No matter what your conclusions are one fact is true. People are sick to death of leadership speculation that amounts to sweet fa.

  23. BK – sounds as though Albo is doing well … his own words to me last december – so far so good –

    Julia will lead us to the next election in 2013, Abbott won’t lead the libs – who will win, I can’t say…

  24. guytaur:

    They are forced to beat up Ruddstoration because the coalition hasn’t had a good week for nearly a month now.

  25. Yet, oddly enough, Kenny didn’t bring up the Slipper case with his panel during the last half of his show. Nothing to see, move along folks.

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