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. Well, we could pass legislation to allow SSM and instead of calling it a Certificate of Marriage, we could call it a Certificate of Wedding.

    There, fixed.

  2. [Well, we could pass legislation to allow SSM and instead of calling it a Certificate of Marriage, we could call it a Certificate of Wedding.

    There, fixed.]
    That wouldn’t be marriage.

  3. CTar I….2055
    ___________
    Glad you liked the pic of my ancestoral seat in Switzerland
    If you’ve even in the neighbourhood drop in to Deblonay Castle

    Ring the Butler first however and he will lower the Drawbridge for you

  4. Trivia question answer:

    1914, 1917*, 1925*, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1937, 1949, 1951, 1955*, 1961, 1963*, 1966*, 1969, 1975, 1977, 1983, 1984, 1998 were the election years in which transfer of seats between the parties on each side occurred in one direction only. (Seats won/lost by indies and minor parties that were not coalition partners excluded).

    In other years (once a two-party system more or less developed) there have been seats won by the Government from the Opposition, and seats won by the Opposition from the Government, whatever the swing involved. Quite often there was only one seat bucking the trend.

    In cases marked * the one-way seat traffic was the Opposition losing seats to the Government.

    (corrections/quibbles welcome)

  5. smithe, re: Uhlmann and Lewis’ rubbish book:
    [Next stop the $2 discount table along with Battlelines, I would have thought, judging from the blurb.

    What a pile of garbage.]
    Annabel Crabbe and Latika will be lined up for an autographed copy. They will tweet on how hilarious it is. This will be followed with ‘+1’s from Katherine Murphy and Stephanie Peatling.

    I’m still struggling to work out if I, as a Labor member, could marry someone like Chris Uhlmann who has good friends like Steve Lewis. Trying to imagine my reply to my husband if he said he was bringing Steve Lewis round for dinner on Saturday night…

    Politics must be a no go zone in that household.

  6. Excuse me while I just prevent myself from choking with laughter. I will post my comments on Bolt’s piece as soon as gurgle gurgle gurgle.

  7. evening bludgers

    Interesting movements in the betting markets (Sportsbet) re “Will Peter Slipper return as Speaker before the next election?”
    As late as 3pm on Friday after the Federal court adjourned, Yes was paying $4.25. By late Friday night it dropped to $3.75 and now it is at $2.30!

  8. A marriage is where you get married. A wedding is where you get married. You are married when you wed, you are wed when you are married. You become a wedded couple and you become a married couple.

    So lets legislate Same Sex Wedding.

  9. I believe it is real, victoria. They both seem to think it’s terribly witty and funny. A pun on the awfulness and absurdity of modern day politics. Pity they never seem to see their role in the awfulness.

  10. [ @Colvinius Andrew Bolt says the Leveson Inquiry is a “sinister witch-hunt against Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers” ]

    Bolt is one sick dude.

  11. You know, the whole “With This Ring, Bowl of Salt, Sip of Brew, Fish-Slap in the Face or Whatever, I Thee Wed” thing.

  12. [A marriage is where you get married. A wedding is where you get married. You are married when you wed, you are wed when you are married. You become a wedded couple and you become a married couple.]
    This is a stupid idea for the simple reason that to end the discriination you need to let people get married under the marriage act irrespective of their sexuality.

    I grant you this. An alternative approach would be to repeal the marriage act and to make all marriages civil ceremonies. But this could involve everyone who currently is married have to go and get another civil ceremony certificate.

    In France it Marriage means a civil ceremony.

  13. Fiz
    [trying to imagine my reply to my husband if he said he was bringing Steve Lewis round for dinner on Saturday night…]
    “Is he bringing his food taster?”

    👿

  14. Kevin Bonham Trivia Question.

    OK, so what was the event that happened in 1984 that made this unlikely to happen again? (increasing the number of seats from 125 to 148?)

  15. well you would hope the ABC would have the good sense to keep uhlmann away from any report on the ashby matter… then again…

  16. We legislate for same-sex Weddings, separate to the Marriage Act, saying that the all the legislative references applying legal Marriage applies to legal Weddings, with exception to the gender provisions, in which Marriage would be for male-female and Wedding for same-sex.

    In fact heteros may get so upset that they would no long be able to have wedding ceremonies anymore but have to have marriage ceremonies, all opposition to SSM may suddenly disappear.

    Think outside the square, people.

  17. Messers Baillieu, O’Farrell and Newman, pro-mass extinction men, ALWAYS make the decision against the environment where there is a choice between the environment and anything else.

    The lastest is that Mr Newman does not want to know the condition of the GRB water quality.

  18. [ Not a country football player I guess – or have things changed? ]

    CTar1,

    Dunno. Don’t know anything about secret footballing practices.

    +++

    She’s honest. There seems to be a disconnect among young people regarding where their food originates. They really loved the fruit.

    When I said do you want some more oranges, they said yes. I took them to the tree. They picked oranges.

    It might work. Wedding photography is to be avoided like the plague but, in this case, it would be a pleasure.

    However, he could turn out to be a turd.

  19. Showson, what are you after? Do you want to allow ssc to get married/wedded/civil unioned, or do you want to end discrimination?

  20. [It’s not just that.]

    Then what specifically is it?

    [I meant successful when running for PM.]
    Prior to 2010 when was the last time Australia saw a woman candidate for the office of PM?

  21. middle man
    [well you would hope the ABC would have the good sense to keep uhlmann away from any report on the ashby matter… then again…]
    Uhlmann’s little twitter tirade in defence of Steve Lewis, was, quite frankly, a bit weird. And again, think about the home situation. The AG makes it clear that there could be some elements of collusion between Lewis, Ashby and others. Collusion whose intention was to bring the current govt to an abrupt end. The same govt that Uhlmann’s wife is a part of. And Lewis has previous form with Grech. And Uhlmann still goes in to bat for Lewis.

    Just… weird. Love is a strange, strange thing.

  22. Boerwar
    [The lastest is that Mr Newman does not want to know the condition of the GRB water quality.]
    I still reckon Newman would love to introduce legislation like that currently before the legislature in North Carolina which is basically outlawing the use of scientific modelling in predicting sea level rises. Instead they can only use historical data going back to the end of the 19th century. No science for you! Only farmer’s almanacs and pieces of string. The goons up in Qld would wet themselves to make it law to ignore science.

  23. [were the election years in which transfer of seats between the parties on each side occurred in one direction only. (Seats won/lost by indies and minor parties that were not coalition partners excluded]

    Thanks Kevin.

    I wasn’t far off. Kinda, sorta.

  24. [Kevin Bonham
    Posted Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink
    Trivia question answer:]

    Fanastic question KB, thanks. Wish I had been around this afternoon to have a go myself!

  25. To me the gay marriage thing always comes down to this; my gay next door neighbour has the same responsibilities as a citizen as I do, therefore he should have the same rights as I do…including the right to get married…

    What makes me so special that I can get married to the person of my choice, but he can’t?

    It doesn’t seem logical or fair to me.

  26. kevjohnno,

    [ Scorpio if you check http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/fair-and-safe-work/industrial-relations/public-holidays/dates you’ll find we do from this year. ]

    Blimey, I’m sure we already had the Queens Birthday holiday on the 11th June so I wonder how many will try and double up in October? 😉

    Actually, we had the show holiday on Friday 8th and QB on Monday the 11th! There will be some very cross employers if their workers stay home in October too.

  27. [Blimey, I’m sure we already had the Queens Birthday holiday on the 11th June so I wonder how many will try and double up in October? ]
    No, we had the Queens Diamond Jubliee day on June 11. I’ll certainly be taking the day off on new Queen’s Birthday holiday on the first Mon of Oct. 1 Oct this year

  28. [We legislate for same-sex Weddings, separate to the Marriage Act, saying that the all the legislative references applying legal Marriage applies to legal Weddings, with exception to the gender provisions, in which Marriage would be for male-female and Wedding for same-sex.

    In fact heteros may get so upset that they would no long be able to have wedding ceremonies anymore but have to have marriage ceremonies, all opposition to SSM may suddenly disappear.

    Think outside the square, people.]
    This is a load of rubbish.

  29. TLBD – I have to do a ‘home office’ work visit. Should have gone last week. So a George Harcourt lunch or arvo late this week is out for me.

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