Seat of the week: Isaacs

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus sits on a healthy looking double-digit margin, but would have looked on nervously when much of his bayside Melbourne electorate turned blue at the state election.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Essential Research has Labor regaining the primary vote point they lost last week, now at 35%, with the Coalition and the Greens steady on 48% and 8% and two-party preferred steady at 55-45. Other findings suggest support for higher renewable energy targets (11% think the current 20% target by 2020 too high, 33% about right, and 40% not high enough), wind farms (76% support, 11% oppose), compulsory vaccination (87% support, 7% oppose), the right of childcare centres to refuse children who have not been vaccinated (78% support, 11% oppose), and a ban on advertising of sports betting (78% support, 12% oppose), and opposition to privatisation of the ABC and SBS (15% support, 57% oppose). Fifty-two per cent think it important that Australia have a car manufacturing industry against 35% not important; 61% favoured a proposition that “with government support, Australia can have a successful manufacturing industry” against 22% for “there is no future for manufacturing in Australia and government support would be a waste of money”.

UPDATE 2 (Morgan): Morgan has Labor down two points on the primary vote to 31.5%, with the Coalition and the Greens steady on 45.5% and 9.5%. The move against Labor is softened by preferences on the respondent-allocated two-party preferred measure, on which the Coalition lead shifts from 54.5-45.5 to 55-45. On previous election preferences, the change is from 54.5-45.5 to 55.5-44.5.

Isaacs covers south-eastern bayside Melbourne from Mordialloc south to Carrum, from which it extends inland as far as Western Port Highway to encompass Keysborough in the north and Carrum Downs in the south. The bayside suburbs are naturally marginal and shifted decisively to the Liberals at the state election in November 2010, whereas the centres further inland are strong for Labor. Population growth, aided by development in and around Keysborough, has caused the electorate to lose territory in the latest redistribution, which transfers around 7500 voters in Springvale South and another 3500 in Cheltenham to Hotham. Labor’s strength in the former area is such that their margin has been shaved from 11.0% to 10.4%.

Isaacs was effectively created in 1969, prior to which the name was attached to a seat which covered the unrelated Caulfield area. Redistributions have made a strong mark on the seat’s electoral history, the presence or absence of Beaumaris at the northern coastal end being the decisive factor in the Liberals’ competitiveness. With Beaumaris in the electorate from 1969 to 1977, Labor’s only win was in 1974, when it provided a crucial gain for a beleagured Whitlam government. David Charles gained the seat for Labor in 1980, and retained it until retirement in 1990 despite the return of Beaumaris in 1984. Isaacs then became one of nine Victorian gains for the Liberals with Rod Atkinson’s win at the 1990 election. Atkinson held the seat for two terms before redistribution saw the electorate trade Beaumaris for southern bayside Chelsea and semi-rural Cranbourne, allowing Greg Wilton to win the seat for Labor against the trend of the 1996 election.

Greg Wilton first survived an adverse 2.3% swing in 1996, having inherited a post-redistribution margin of 3.9%, and added a further 4.8% to his margin in 1998. His career ended in tragic circumstances in 2000 when he committed suicide amid widely publicised domestic troubles. This did much to embitter Wilton’s friend Mark Latham towards then Labor leader Kim Beazley, whom Latham accused of failing to support Wilton during his crisis. Ann Corcoran, who had won preselection as a factionally unaligned compromise candidate, was elected as the new Labor member without opposition from the Liberals at the subsequent by-election. Corcoran went on to suffer swings of 3.6% and 5.1% in 2001 and 2004, but was saved by a redistribution between the two elections which removed Cranbourne and added Noble Park, boosting her margin by 3.8%.

Corcoran’s factional non-alignment, together with her weak electoral performance, caused her to lose preselection at the 2007 election to Mark Dreyfus, a prominent barrister and Queen’s Counsel. Right faction backing gave Dreyfus a narrow preselection victory when the 50% of the vote determined by the party’s public office selection committee overwhelmed a majority for Corcoran in the local party ballot. Dreyfus picked up swings of 5.9% in 2007 and 3.3% in 2010, and won promotion firstly to parliamentary secretary after the 2010 election and then to cabinet as Attorney-General following the resignation of Nicola Roxon in February 2013.

The Liberal candidate at the coming election is Garry Spencer, who obtained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in a 20-year career with the Australian Defence Force before working as a management consultant and engineering lecturer. Spencer emerged as candidate in February after the party’s first choice, business consultant Jeff Shelley, withdrew citing personal reasons. However, The Age reported being told by Liberal state director Damien Mantach that Shelley was no longer the candidate minutes after Shelley had told the paper he was not aware he might be disendorsed. The report further noted “mounting concerns about Mr Shelley’s former employment with troubled Brighton-based solar panels installation company Cool World”, which had gone into administration.

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.

2,583 comments on “Seat of the week: Isaacs”

Comments Page 2 of 52
1 2 3 52
  1. my say
    Posted Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    we forget things don’t wee the above link will take you to a few u tubes to remember

    Got to give Abbott credit when it is due.

    He is consistent in his inconsistent with his inconsistencies

  2. Axing carbon tax a grey vote winner
    Patricia Karvelas
    June 01, 2013 12:00AM
    [DITCHING the carbon tax tops the list of vote-switching issues for older Australians, followed by having a world-class healthcare system and a strong economy.

    The National Broadband Network and education barely rated as issues for the September 14 election among the 1660 older Australians surveyed by National Seniors.]

  3. The trouble for News Limited. Even in Western Sydney in the lead up to the poll the focus is all Adam Goodes.

    So the public are left with the “you cannot trust even Abbott on his signature’ and “Turn back the Boats. Indonesia says No no no.” (Think tune I will not go back to rehab by the late Amy Winehouse)

    As such expect even Newspoll will have another slight rise in Labor support.

    There we go my go at punditry. Hopefully my prediction will have more substance than the MSM hacks 🙂

  4. What happened to the “Egyptian Terrorist”?….It seems the AFP. do an awful lot of liasing with the LNP…explaining “the situation”..perhaps they could do a little bit of “explaining” to the rest of the population!

  5. Lizzie:

    If you poll yesterday’s people you will get yesterday’s attitudes, it is that simple.

    Most oldies have no idea of the Carbon Tax/Pricing scheme and don’t want to know because it is outside their experience. MiL who is a pensioner is rabidly against JG because ‘everything is going up’. When I point out that her pension has too, she says ‘But power bills are lots higher than they were – that’s the Carbon Tax’.

    It is a waste of time talking to some people.

  6. victroia posted

    Thank you Victoria for that post, this bit below jumped out at me, as this is something I never heard uttered by my parents or any one who ever taught me at school news to
    me and I bet it would be with all catholics so thought I had better say so would not want any one to think that.never heard that ever been said
    this below I mean
    =========================================================== As Malcolm Fraser recalls in his recent memoirs, when he asked his parents what was wrong with Catholics he was told ‘Well, they are different. They are not Australians; they owe their loyalty to the Pope.’

    still shacking heard
    never ever hear that type of talk,

  7. I am not surprised by that seniors poll. Despite some seniors being forward thinking and getting on the net an awful lot still rely on Old Media.

    If you rely on Old Media then you would think that because you have been told that ad nauseum.

  8. gloryconsequence

    I am not surprised, i have had this conversation with several older people that say how bad Gillard is and i ask so what is good about Tone and the usual answer is he is going to get rid of the carbon tax, the climate change nonsense and all debt

  9. [DITCHING the carbon tax tops the list of vote-switching issues for older Australians, followed by having a world-class healthcare system and a strong economy.]

    Perhaps Labor should run a good scare campaign for those oldies who think the csrbon price is hurting them. Great Grandkids’ future too important to take the do nothing, expensive DAP route.

  10. muttley

    Well, I am well over 50 and I get very angry at the assumption that everyone between 50 and 99 has the same view. I agree there is ignorance about carbon “tax” but that applies to any age. Look at the LNP-leaning posters here!

    And gloryconsequence is right. Health services would be the prime consideration for most people in that age bracket.

  11. “@MisdaMagoo: Hey @chriskkenny try spinning it this way – #NBN ‘Another great benefit is it gets rid of dangerous asbestos from neighbourhoods’! #Auspol”

  12. lizzie that’s ony because they don’t understand it

    they think it

    my aunt told me it was just and other phone company you could go to like the

    Telstra , optus and so on,

    I then explained it was a new way of letting you see the int. got a bit of response but mostly
    it was o well I don’t care realy

    no I said but your grand children will.

    I mostly throw that publication in the bin

    ive have read a lot in there over time about, self funded retirees, seems to have lib leaning to me

  13. Morning all.

    [DITCHING the carbon tax tops the list of vote-switching issues for older Australians, followed by having a world-class healthcare system and a strong economy.]

    Yeah, right. Maybe among the 2GB crowd, but I’d say for pensioners the number 1 issue would be cost of living.

  14. [Details of a previously unknown deal raising WA Inc-style issues between Ray O’Connor’s Liberal government and businessman Alan Bond can be revealed for the first time.

    In 1982, the O’Connor government arranged a $2.5 million bailout to avert the imminent collapse of a Bond Corporation-backed property development company in a deal that preceded the WA Inc scandals by several years.]

  15. Fessy

    Yes and many of them link the carbon tax to cost of living.

    I have suggested to a few that what Tone will do is request an audit report that will tell him that in 2015 the tax (price) becomes an ETS and Tone will embrace this as those its a change and claim he has abolished it when in fact all he will do is pay for an audit report that will tell him to just let the current legislation run its course.

    The response is o well

  16. confessions

    But many people relate CTax to cost of living.
    I wonder how the survey was presented. Very easy to get the simple answers you want.

  17. lizzie

    Me too! I’m semi retired and use the ‘net a lot, as does HI who is a Web Designer.

    I’m hugely enthusiastic about the NBN and many of my age group look at me as though I am stupid when I express that enthusiasm, while they buy the bloody paper every day!

  18. yes guytur
    a friend found some asbestos in an old home about 4 years ago now
    and had it professionally removed, no trouble, the
    thoughts at the time,,, that’s good its been found
    and now we are rid of it,

    they have a wonderful new renovation on the back of the old home so all positive,

    ‘his wife said so glad we renovated other wise how would we of known.’

    and that’s what Australia is doing a renovation to new technology,

    nasty people can always find the negative, we always look for the positive.
    nasty people live in their own shallow world of defeat and jealously.

  19. I have a suggestion for a change regarding Tony Abbott for some here.

    Instead of Mr Tony “Monkey” Abbott

    How about Mr Tony “Backflip” Abbott?

  20. mexican

    That is because News knows that a traded commodity is not a tax. There limits reality imposes even on their mendacity

  21. lizzie
    Posted Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink
    Axing carbon tax a grey vote winner
    Patricia Karvelas
    June 01, 2013 12:00AM

    DITCHING the carbon tax tops the list of vote-switching issues for older Australians, followed by having a world-class healthcare system and a strong economy.

    The National Broadband Network and education barely rated as issues for the September 14 election among the 1660 older Australians surveyed by National Seniors.

    At a little bit over 60yr old and most of my mates/friends in that same age bracket I can say that all fully understand the need to reduce carbon emmissions and are very able to see that while some costs have increased that the tax cuts and compensation are there and assisting.

    The problem with the carbon price on electricity is that the corporations supported by state govts have used very good propaganda to convince a lot of people that all power rises are due to the carbon price. In WA power prices increased 60% before the carbon price but the propaganda of the media has muddied the issue with the outcome being that many people now blame the carbon price for every rise.

    On the NBN – it cant come soon enough. And in social discussions we talk a lot about the Liberal non-NBN and the cost it will impose on small business. The cost to replace the copper in 2020, the cost for a small business to connect to a node down the end of the street, most small businesses rent/lease property, if lease is cancelled or they move – will they be re-imbursed.

    Just coz we have grey hair dont think we have no grey matter

  22. muttley

    so much so I saw a comment on the guardian

    will you be having daily papers,.
    we are sick of the press here wtte

    o dear I thought don’t they know there will no such thing within I would say 12 months

    I met an retired employee of a newspaper, about two years ago and he told me then he gave it three years.
    but we know a few older people may 68/70 who don’t want a computer even now so they would of been about 60 when they first 50.
    one of oh staff refused to get retrained as he said it was fad.
    of course he was left behind and got advancement through the system.

    I feel sorry for them because the nbn will keep us in ourhomes they will end up in nursing homes’ id rather die
    than that happen

  23. “@James_L_Bennett: ACTU president Ged Kearney says she will not contest Melb seat of Batman “ACTU is commitment dear to my heart & I have more to do” #auspol”

  24. mb:

    I spend a lot of time in the community with seniors. The things they constantly mention are the cost of food, the cost of their electricity and the cost of petrol. Not the carbon price.

    In WA the carbon price component of the household power bill is itemised separately, and is minuscule, esp for single or couple pensioner households which have very low electricity bills anyway. I reckon itemising the carbon price must have helped neutralise it as a scare campaign. People can see exactly how much it’s adding to their bills.

  25. If the Libs are successful, apart from all of the obvious reasons why Tony is unfit for high office is the Barnyard factor.If Tony is unwell for whatever reason and Barnyard as deputy has to take over in a worst case scenario would be likened to Harpo Marx goes to Canberra…. 😀

  26. as I said ive always thought that mag is more

    for the self funded lot

  27. I would of thought that the piece vicy posted

    would alarm you all

    does me

    go back and re read it and think through to policies.

    tummy turns over

  28. Fessy I am pleased to hear that the ones you speak too are not linking the carbon price to cost of living, FYI my power bills fell.

    Guytaur & Victoria i agree that the media need to lift there game but the media do seem to like an easy story or one where they can call form someone to be sacked.

  29. 80


    what have u heard something on the grape vine then

    I still think the people that complain about the
    carbon price think they pay it themselves,

  30. ML claimed that if Gillard won in September 2013 the government would be ousted in a landlside in 2016 (based on the Keating precedent in 1993-1996).

    I disagree. The Keating win was a surprise based on a single tactical error by Hewson in a context where the media was arguably ambivalent about who should win. Following the birthday cake snafu, there was a fair bit of focus on Hewson as a bumbler. Truthfully, next to Abbott, Hewson was a mental giant. I’d score him as probably the least unworthy LotO the Libs have ever had.

    Gillard winning in 2013 would be an absolute boilover secured in the teeth of one of the most tightly coordinated campaigns of media-LNP subversion of all time.
    You really have to go back to 1975 to see the like.

    When Keating faced the electorate in 1996 he has seriously damaged by the budget-papers scandal late in the campaign which turned a competitive position into one that was only going one way. Then the “time for a change” factor kicked in, Howard ran as Keating-lite (presaging Rudd 2007) with colours reversed and there you have it.

    Gillard would have implemented far more than Keating by 2016 and presumable found a way to fight on several fronts at the same time against the strongest weapon any opposition has — systematic lying populism backed by the combined might of nearly the entire boss class and their yappy puppies sustained over more than 3 years. She’d have seen NBN and NDIS and Gonski and aged care through to fruition. The asylum seeker issue would have been played out one way or another and no longer of value. The carbon price would be irreversible and probably even more marginal in its net impost and the troll value in that would be gone anwyay because the regime would have been returned.

    If Gillard won then one may assume that Windsor and Oakeshott would have won too, which would be the final ignominy. Barnaby Joyce would have gone and R**d too.

    Calling a rout of this returned government more than 3 years out sounds reckless based on a fairly flimsy “precedent” that would have occurred 20 years earlier.

  31. saw the tweet that he must be obeyed will be in the country
    first page
    so don’t hold your breathe

  32. mb:

    Back in the day carbon ‘tax’ was all people could talk about. A year or so ago I presented at an Anglicare workshop for pensioners and it was like they were terrified of this Great Big New Tax and how would they be able to afford to heat their homes etc etc. Very different now.

    As for compensation, seniors who live in rural WA get a rebate on their petrol, yet they still complain about the price of fuel.

  33. Regarding the over 50s factor …

    It’s a sad thing but true that if you attend most branch meetings or social gatherings of the Greens there’s a very obvious age cluster of people over 50.

    While our party appeals strongly to people under 30, much of the legwork is done by those of us who waved goodbye to 50 some years back. I turn 55 in June.

Comments Page 2 of 52
1 2 3 52

Leave a Reply

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