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 51 of 52
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  1. Peter Reith has just claimed that the Government has nationlised telecommunications so its their fault.

    Okay and this bloke was writing workplace laws.

  2. [[Never could get the hang of 500. Seriously.]

    Two-handed 500 is a deadly game with only two players.

    Once you get good at it the aim is to win the whole 500 points in one hand by going Open Misere.

    Amazing how often this can be done.

  3. confessions, I sure hope they scratch Bernardi. There should be no place in mainstream politics for the views he represents.

  4. [ Wasting my taxpayers dollars advertising something QLD’ers will never get. ]

    You’re old enough to pay tax?

  5. Sean Tisme
    Posted Monday, June 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
    Wasting my taxpayers dollars advertising something QLD’ers will never get.

    Labor brilliance at it’s finest.
    =====================================================

    maybe a couple of people will phone the backbench and get him to backflip

  6. [It’s not actually toxic waste if it’s left in the ground]

    COALITION POLICY BRIEF:

    [“Our policy is to have then entire Australian nation hiding from asbestos in the ground.

    To this end we will stop all telecommunications development, halt the home renovation business, cease construction and beach all our navy ships.”]

  7. mexicanbeemer
    Posted Monday, June 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink
    Peter Reith has just claimed that the Government has nationlised telecommunications so its their fault.

    Okay and this bloke was writing workplace laws.
    ======================================================

    I was going to say do they come any dumber. Then I saw a comment from ST

  8. briefly:

    Agreed. If the Libs pull him it will be an indication of the level of fear they have going into the election.

    Bernardi is repugnant to the mainstream.

  9. [2501
    mexicanbeemer

    Peter Reith has just claimed that the Government has nationlised telecommunications so its their fault.]

    Telecoms policy in this country has been a foul-up ever since the misconceived privatisation by Howard, of whom it can safely be said that the public interest was never allowed to become an obstacle to political gain.

    Howard sold the network to private investors, including all the asbestos. As far as I can see, they still own it. Remediation is their responsibility, and they have Howard to thank for it.

  10. I kind of like the idea of a nation afraid to outside their front doors.

    * Too many nig-nogs coming here on boats and raping our women.

    * Too much asbestos buried in Telstra pits.

    * Too afraid to borrow money for national development.

    * Too cheap to insure against climate change.

    * Too weak to think for ourselves, so we let Rupert do it for us.

  11. mexicanbeemer
    Posted Monday, June 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink
    Peter Reith has just claimed that the Government has nationlised telecommunications so its their fault.

    Okay and this bloke was writing workplace laws.
    =====================================================

    Given that the Liberals were the last govt to hold Telstra while it was nationalised – the asbestos is Howards fault

  12. I think I’m beginning to work out Newman’s clever plan.
    First – close all the state schools. There will be no need for Gonski once that is accomplished. No state schools to fund and the private ones can always jack up the fees if they need more money for a fifth swimming pool.
    Second – flog off the land once occupied by all those schools to developers. That will provide plenty of money for special purposes.
    Third – flog off the electricity providers and the poles and wire, put the money in that ‘special purpose’ account. Then blame the inevitable price rises and power failures on private enterprise.
    Fourth – open bank accounts in fake names in the Bahamas and Switzerland and transfer all that ‘special purpose’ money.
    Fifth – leave the country.

  13. 2512
    Bushfire Bill

    The LNP…advocates of National Timidity…correct!

    They are such a witlessly trivial assortment.

  14. Victoria

    Interesting

    The Government needs to make a point of referring not just to that question but the answer.

  15. My Say. A few hours ago.

    Peter Martin was talking about the NBN in terms Cost Benefit analysis.

    It was very much that he was unable to see a proven return.

    Very sadly, I thought, he referred to inevitable deaths on large projects. Citing the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Deaths which he would be able to come to terms with.

    As if cost benefit ever refers to human loss of life. Or for that matter animal and environmental loss.

    Leaving that aside, in disgust, I really would like to know how anyone could predict the future of technology.

    Most out of character, Peter Martin.

  16. I hope they don’t pull him.

    People need to know Cory Bernardi is every inch today’s Liberal party. Their No. 1 Senate spot holder.

  17. Zoldlord

    I think the link Victoria just provided from Hansard is well worth a read.

    Regarding your question for the party of business they seem to know very little about OH#S and risk management.

  18. Bushfire Bill@2502

    [Never could get the hang of 500. Seriously.


    Two-handed 500 is a deadly game with only two players.

    Once you get good at it the aim is to win the whole 500 points in one hand by going Open Misere.

    Amazing how often this can be done.

    I used to play a lot of 500 when much younger and our group reckoned constant misere calls (successful and not) were wrecking the game because every second hand was misere. At one stage we devalued them – 130 for misere (between 6NT and 7S), 330 for open (between 8NT and 9S). Others simply ban them.

  19. There are only 12 or 13 weeks left for Q and A to put on their vaunted head to head policy contests.
    Where are they? Has Peta put a clamp on shadows appearing?

  20. So glad Linda Burney mentioned the cruel so-called medical experiments which were conducted upon indigenous Australians in the name of science.

    Shameful.

  21. have any of you here ever bothered to google the word
    the lnp use

    way back a few years ago,, like lier

    remember how that was used re the PM

    and other such words,

    think about the and put a list totether and google
    I was wondering is there word book is it tea party of what

  22. [guytaur
    Posted Monday, June 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm | PERMALINK
    ML

    There you go MediaWatch showing you media bias.]

    Missed it, what was it about?

    Watching QandA thought and absolutely love what Linda Burney said and the classy way she said it.

  23. mexicanbeemer
    Posted Monday, June 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink
    Zoldlord

    I think the link Victoria just provided from Hansard is well worth a read.

    Regarding your question for the party of business they seem to know very little about OH#S and risk management.
    ======================================================
    Too busy trying to justify having a Royal Commission into the Union Movement.

    They hate Unions with a venom.

    Look at what Unions have “cost” their supporters

    Minimum wage
    Penalty rates
    40 hour week/8 hour day
    Annual leave
    weekends for time off
    no more children in the mines
    OHS legislation
    Workers Compensation
    Public Holidays
    Paternity/maternity leave
    sick leave
    and more….

    Just think how more profitable Gina’s mines would be if she didn’t have those bothersome Unions around

  24. Congratulations to The Guardian for getting up Julie Bishop’s nose. For some reason I can’t create an account there, anybody know why?

  25. Confessions
    Burney mentioned the keeping of aboriginal anatomical specimens. I would not call that medical experimentation -are you referring to something else?

  26. Robert Oakeshott MP ‏@OakeyMP 1m

    Confidence in Health and Ageing budget to be tested tomorrow.Expecting both LNP and ALP to back it in,despite CPyne’s “no confidence” stuff

  27. Any chance of Linda Burney becoming leader of the ALP in NSW? She would be an amazing choice for our next premier….

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