Seat of the week: Deakin

Update (3/9/12): Essential Research. The weekly Essential Research report has fallen into line with other pollsters in giving Labor its best result since March – up two on the primary vote to 34% and one on two-party preferred to 55-45. The Coalition is down a point to 48%, a result it last recorded in April. The poll has 52% thinking female politicians receive more criticism than men against only 4% less and 40% the same, and very similar results (51%, 6% and 38%) when the subject is narrowed to Julia Gillard specifically. A question on which groups would be better off under Labor or Liberal governments find traditional attitudes to the parties are as strong as ever, with wide gaps according to whether the group could be perceived as disadvantaged (pensioners, unemployed, disabled) or advantaged (high incomes, large corporations, families of private school children). Respondents continue to think it likely that a Coalition government would bring back laws similar to WorkChoices (51% likely against 25% unlikely).

Deakin is centred on the eastern Melbourne suburbs of Blackburn and Nunawading, extending eastwards along the Maroondah Highway to Ringwood and Croydon. At the time of its creation in 1937, it extended far beyond the city limits to Seymour and Mansfield, before gaining its wholly urban orientation in 1969 and assuming roughly its current dimensions when it lost Box Hill in 1977. A trend of increasing Liberal support as the electorate extends eastwards is better explained by diminishing ethnic diversity than by income: in its totality, the electorate is demographically unexceptional on all measures. The redistribution has cut the Labor margin from 2.4% to 0.6% by transferring 18,000 voters in the electorate’s south-western corner, at Blackburn South, Burwood East and Forest Hill, to Chisholm; adding 8000 voters immediately to the east of the aforementioned area, around Vermont South, from Aston; and adding another 10,000 voters around Croydon in the north-east, mostly from Casey but partly from Menzies.

For a seat that has been marginal for most of its history, Deakin has brought Labor remarkably little joy: prior to 2007 their only win was when the Hawke government came to power in 1983, and it was lost again when Hawke went to the polls early in December 1984. The seat presented a picture of electoral stability from 1984 to 2001, when Liberal margins ranged only from 0.7% to 2.5% (although the 1990 redistribution muffled the impact of a 4.3% Liberal swing). Julian Beale held the seat from 1984 until the 1990 election, when he successfully challenged controversial Bruce MP Ken Aldred for preselection after redistribution turned the 1.5% margin into a notional 1.9% margin for Labor. Aldred accepted the consolation prize of Deakin and was able to retain the seat on the back of a sweeping statewide swing to the Liberals. He was in turn unseated for preselection in 1996 by Phillip Barresi, who held the seat throughout the Howard years.

Barresi emerged from the 2004 election with a margin of 5.0%, the biggest the Liberals had known in the seat since 1977. The substantial swing required of Labor at the 2007 election was duly achieved with 1.4% to spare by Mike Symon, whose background as an official with the Left faction Electrical Trades Union had made him a target of Coalition barbs amid controversies surrounding union colleagues Dean Mighell and Kevin Harkins. Symon’s preselection had been achieved through a three-vote win over local general practitioner Peter Lynch, the candidate from 2004, who reportedly won the 50% local vote component before being rebuffed by the state party’s tightly factionalised Public Office Selection Committee. Andrew Crook of Crikey reported that Symon had backing from the Bill Shorten-Stephen Conroy Right as a quid pro quo for Left support for Peter McMullin’s unsuccessful bid for preselection in Corangamite. Symon was re-elected in 2010 with a 1.0% swing in the face of an attempt by Phillip Barresi to recover his old seat, which was perfectly in line with the statewide result. He was rated by one source as undecided as Kevin Rudd’s challenge to Julia Gillard’s leadership unfolded in February 2012, but soon fell in behind Gillard.

The Liberal candidate at the next election will be Michael Sukkar, a 30-year-old tax specialist with Ashurt, the law firm previously known as Blake Dawson. Sukkar emerged a surprise preselection winner over John Pesutto, a lawyer and Victorian government adviser said to be closely associated with Ted Baillieu. VexNews reported that also-ran candidates Phillip Fusco, Terry Barnes and Andrew Munroe were eliminated in that order, at which point Pesutto was in first place, state government staffer Michelle Frazer was second, and Sukkar and former Melbourne candidate Simon Olsen were tied for third. After winning a run-off against Olsen, Sukkar crucially managed to sneak ahead of Frazer, who unlike Sukkar would not have prevailed against Pesutto in the final round due to a view among Sukkar’s backers that she “wasn’t up to it”.

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.

1,969 comments on “Seat of the week: Deakin”

Comments Page 1 of 40
1 2 40
  1. [There are signs that Foxtel is buckling; new subscriptions have stalled, as has penetration of households, which remains stubbornly static at 29 per cent.
    Foxtel denies it is struggling.]

    Read more:

    I am sure if high speed broadband from the roll out of the NBN would help Foxtel by opening up to a larger market of subscribers that could access IPTV “News Ltd chief and ex-Foxtel chief” Kim Williams would be pushing for positive articles and opinion pieces in his newspapers and broadcast media like sky news and The Bolt Report.

    Once the sports codes start selling subscription to footy and other sports as mentioned in the article why would you subscribe to Foxtel, all of the TV channels offer a limited viewing of TV shows now.

    Maybe Tony Abbott can save Foxtel, Stop the NBN!

    Online TV channels






    The AGE

    I don’t mind watching the advertisements on the commercial Television websites, I do wish that ABC iView would have an option to increase the quality of the video, the poor quality I guess is a result of having to stream to the slowest broadband in Australia at 1.5Mbit/s, but the option should be there like the other websites.

  2. Virginia Trioli gives Peter Reith one hell of a serve.

    Great cartoon also nails reith.


  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    This is a very interesting article by Geoff Kitney in the AFR. It’s all about character, he says.
    Looks like Ted has a tiger by the tail.×6.html
    Alan Moir is on a roll with Popeye. Quite cruel really. But I like it!

    David Pope heralds to arrival of Spring.

    Ron Tandberg visits the AFL.

    Well that’s stiff!×7.html

  4. Listening to the Repug Convention, It seems only the 300m Americans are mattered, the rest of 6.7B humanity are simply shits & worthless and no country for an empty chair #eastwooding

  5. Alan Jones diatribe against women:

    Watch Twitter explode today with calls for 2GB sponsors/advertisers to dump the station. I guarantee we will have a mealy-mouthed apology from Jones within days.

    What a pathetic little man.

  6. Rejoice! That we live in a time and in a society of great leadership, boldly laying down a vision for future generations. A brave new world that has such leaders in it.

    [The plan, to be released imminently almost 18 months after the election of the O’Farrell government, has been touted as its centrepiece policy document…

    One of the more striking initiatives in the plan, which runs to more than 300 pages, is the revival of the M6 or F6 motorway corridor. The corridor was set aside for a motorway in the 1951 County of Cumberland planning scheme]

    Read more:

    Implementing something from 1951 (1948??) is an “initiative”? Really?

  7. Not being or ever likely to be a Foxtell subscriber I am unsure as to how it works exactly but my impressions are that in NSW at least, you only get the Rugby League package at an extra cost after paying for the basic pack. I seem to remember when Monday night football came along there were complaints that it was an additional cost to people already paying for Rugby League.
    I recently heard one of the Foxtell hierachy on radio discussing the new League deal of about 1Bill. for 5 years of which 500mil is from Foxtell pay TV.When asked how many extra subscribers that they anticipated gaining there was no answer. I think it obvious that it was all about proping up their existing stats. I have noticed the last few years that when you refuse their offers of subscribtion there appears to be a slightly nasty response to refusal. More desperation perhaps. I find it difficult to care.

  8. Here’s a link to 2GB sponsors:

    These are the lifeblood of 2GB. If just a few of them walk Jones is cactus. Twitter is already buzzing with this link.

    Who’d have thought Twitter could bring down Alan Jones, but it just might. I call on all PBrs to do the right thing and fire off an email to a 2GB sponsor with your views on their support for a company that is denigrating women.

  9. Gooooooodddd MOARnninngggg Bludgers!

    Spent last night smacking Alan Jones on Twitter for his women destroying the joint crack. I have changed my house phone voicemail message to “Sorry I can’t be with you right now, I am out with my sisters destroying the joint.”

  10. Finns @ 8

    What that article lacked entirely was the elephant in the room: the China/US currency issue.

    China is the main trading partner of the US and has artificially devalued its currency for decades, thus gaining a decisive trade advantage. A significant way for the US to address this issue, in the absence of fair dealing by the Chinese, is to devalue its currency by printing dollars.

    Both are playing beggar thy neighbour which, inter alia, is us.

  11. SK

    I am thinking of ‘Sorry I can’t be with you right now, I am out with my brothers fixing the joint after our sisters wrecked it.’

  12. Puff

    yes, we still have wooden power poles in Victoria (lots of them).

    But sorry, it was very late and I was tired – I really couldn’t be bothered finding words to describe the events properly.

    In this case, a tree fell on the line, pulling the conductor off the pole.

  13. Rossmore

    I was surprised that Mr Reith agreed to join the show.

    At one level he is right – one boatload of people is insignificant in policy terms. The policy issue is about population, sustainability and asylum seekers in terms of hundreds of thousands and millions of people.

    But at another level he entirely misses the point: he was central to bastardising the debate at a political level and he was never going to escape being challenged on that.

    The obverse of Mr Reith’s unwillingness to address this reality was the unwillingness of Mses Bailey and Deveney to address the policy realities.

    None of the participants was able to combine their emotional and rational intelligences to particularly good effect, IMHO.

  14. Good Morning.

    zoomster re power lines. My suggestion of underground was NOT for high tension, high voltage. I suggested looking at pipes. These would not need to be underground.

    The underground is for residential solutions. I hope that helps clear confusion up.
    The pipes suggestion is just that a suggestion. I just think with our ingenuity we can come up with a solution that avoids the risk of fire and damage due to storms.

  15. Five minutes with an Austar/Foxtel subscriber would make it fairly clear to them that they need to re examine their business plan.

    It’s simple: provide content the public wants to see, not what’s convenient and cheap for you.

    We have Austar because we don’t have any other real options – the alternative is a very expensive aerial which will deliver us 1960s type transmission. We only have the basic package plus a few sports channels, but there’s absolutely no temptation for us to upgrade.

    There ARE some good programs on Austar. The children’s channels aren’t too bad, sport’s good and we get ABC and SBS. But otherwise it’s nearly 20 channels of nothing much, with ads, and almost endless repeats.

    Some of their programming decisions are just headscratching. They have access to a huge bank of classic old films. You’d think there’d be at least one real, genuine gem playing each day – they’re there, they’re available, they can’t cost any more to screen than the run of 1930’s Norma Shearer films we’ve just had – but no.

    When someone who buys your product is still doing most of their watching on channels they could get (in normal circumstances) on free to air, then your programming sucks big time.

  16. Oh, and we don’t read the glossy magazine they send us out monthly, either. It’s easier to look up programs on line, if we need to.

  17. Kitney in the AFR makes a mistake:

    [While Tony Abbott scrambled to distance himself from the spectre of Howardism, Julia Gillard was trying to wrap herself in it.

    Gillard’s response to the shocking news of the deaths of five Australian soldiers on a single day in Afghanistan was as hardline and uncompromising on the issue of national security as Howard ever was.

    Gillard wants to be seen in the Howard mould as the slouch-hat wearing commander-in-chief, committed to staying the course even in the toughest and saddest of circumstances. ]

    The difference between Gillard and Howard is that Howard went out of his way to make sure that our troops were in the safest, most benign environment in the two theatres of war.

    It got so ridiculous that when a soldier, Jake Kovco, finally did die, near to Anzac Day, but by his own hand, Howard manufactured a national tragedy out of it. And then lost the body.

    Gillard has had no such opportunity. Her grief is real.

    In wars people get killed. They’re not Reality TV.

  18. guytaur

    in that case, you disagree with the recommendations of the Commission and are thus not putting safety first, as you insisted you were doing last night.

    But OK.

  19. zoomster

    Have you looked to find out if you can use an IPTV service such as Fetch TV?
    It only requires broadband speed of ADSL2+.

    Totally agree regarding Foxtel.

  20. IMHO it looks as if the trend line in the NSIDC Arctic sea-ice graph is flattening very quickly – so a record has been set but one of the predictions mooted upstring was over-pessimistic. I anticipate that Arctic sea ice volume and Greenland Ice Sheet melt volume will also be consistently be very low.

    I have yet to see any reports on tundra melt, clathrate and deep geological methane release for this Arctic summer but it would be surprising, in light of the early onset of sea ice melt, if methane releases were not very high. I hope that some scientists were on location to look at the impact of the big storm to see whether the consequent vertical mixing had an effect on clathrate releases.

    But, but, but, and as usual, it is not a single year that counts. Even the last six very low years do not count. The trend over the last thirty years is, however, statistically significant.

  21. BB
    Now you are on I can say thanks for one of your best ever pieces posted at 0845 yesterday morning. It said so much about things.
    And about you.

  22. zoomster

    Now I understand the confusion. My idea of safety first is to be practical. Not all solutions are practical and economic. So my safety first does differ from the commission.
    As long as a solution is used that prevents trees and storms breaking the integrity of the wires.

  23. guytaur

    I’m on satellite. We get 20GBs, which is twice as much as we used to, but we also now have wireless and thus more computers chewing up the bandwidth. We don’t seem to have much to play with (not quite half way through the month and we’ve used up over half of our allocation).

    So I’m not sure we have enough capacity to stream TV programs.

  24. BB

    [While Tony Abbott scrambled to distance himself from the spectre of Howardism,…]

    Mr Abbott was Mr Howard’s love child and he constantly beat the drum of the Howard government golden years.

    But Mr Howard has said that he does not like Mr Abbott’s approach to IR and foreign investment and (I imagine) the PPL.

    After years of keeping himself out of politics, Mr Howard has inserted himself. Mr Howard is a wily customer and the only reasonable conclusion is that he is stalking Mr Abbott. Mr Howard can only be a stalking horse, the question becomes: ‘On whose behalf is Mr Howard destabilising Mr Abbott?’

  25. [A significant way for the US to address this issue, in the absence of fair dealing by the Chinese, is to devalue its currency by printing dollars.]

    BW, USA cant have it both ways.

    1. They want to preserve it as the de facto world currency so the world can keep funding its deficit and they can carry-on living in Disneyland

    2. If they devalue the USD and the world lost its confidence as the de facto world currency, they will stop buying US Bonds and they are fuacked.

    Methinks, they prefer the Empty Chair delusion aptly demonstrated by Clint Baby

  26. Finns

    In terms of currency valuation, neither China nor the US can have it both ways. As the GFC demonstrated, no nation in the world can every have its cake and eat it too.

  27. zoomster

    Iinet, and internode and I am confident exempt Fetch TV from the metered content.
    Its the speed not the data that is the stumbling block. Worth finding out. Fetch Tv has a plan of $20 per month over two years with similar content offerings to Foxtel.

  28. [A significant way for the US to address this issue, in the absence of fair dealing by the Chinese, is to devalue its currency by printing dollars. ]

    Loss of purchasing power of the USD since 1900 is almost 97% – thats not bad and the real fun hasn’t even started –

    Don’t forget the US has a long history of getting other countries to allow their currencies to strengthen so that the trading position of the US improved, eg the 1985 Plaza Accord where the Japanese yen and German Deutsche Mark strengthen because intervention in currency markets.

    One argument put to the Japanese was that it was part of the *cost* of them having US Military *protection*.

    The Mafia would be proud.

Comments Page 1 of 40
1 2 40

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *