Seat of the week: Casey

Held since 2001 by Tony Smith, the outer eastern Melbourne seat of Casey flowed with the electoral tide from its creation in 1969 until 1984, but has strengthened for the Liberals.

Blue and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for the Liberal and Labor parties. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Held by the Liberals without interruption since 1984, Casey covers Melbourne’s eastern suburban fringe at Lilydale, Kilsyth and Monbulk, together with the Yarra Valley townships of Yarra Glen, Healesville and Warburton and unpopulated Yarra Ranges areas further afield. The suburban areas are Liberal-leaning, middle-income and culturally homogenous, with an above-average number of mortgage payers. Outcrops of Labor support further afield coincide with lower incomes at Healesville, a “tree-changer” tendency around Monbulk, and a combination of the two at Warburton (the Greens outpolled Labor at the 2013 election at the Warburton booth and The Patch just south of Monbulk). Healesville and Warburton were added with the redistribution before the 2013 election, which further cut the Liberal margin through the transfer of Croydon and Ringwood to Menzies and Deakin.

Casey was oriented further westwards when it was created in 1969, extending northwards from Ringwood to Kinglake. The bulk of the modern electorate remained in La Trobe, the area having previously been divided between it and Deakin. Casey assumed approximately its current dimensions when the expansion of parliament in 1984 pushed it further east into the Yarra Valley, and the 1990 redistribution added some of its present outer suburbs territory. The seat has been in Liberal hands outside of two interruptions, from 1972 to 1975 and 1983 to 1984. The inaugural member was Peter Howson, who had previously held the abolished inner urban electorate of Fawkner since 1951. Race Mathews won the seat for Labor with the election of the Whitlam government, and after being unseated in 1975 entered state politics as member for Oakleigh in 1979. Peter Falcolner held the seat for the Liberals through the Fraser years, before being unseated by Labor’s Peter Steedman when the Hawke government came to power in 1983.

Steedman was in turn unseated after a single term by Robert Halverson in 1984, with some assistance from redistribution, and the seat has been in Liberal hands ever since. Halverson’s retirement in 1998 made the seat available as a safe haven for Howard government Health Minister Michael Wooldridge, whose position in Chisholm had been weakened by redistribution in 1996. However, Wooldridge only served a single term before quitting politics at the 2001 election, at which time he was succeeded by Tony Smith. During Smith’s tenure the Liberal margin broke double digits for only the second time at the 2004 election, but he went into the 2013 election with a margin of only 1.9% following successive swings and an unfavourable redistribution. He nonetheless retained the seat easily on the back of a statewide Liberal swing that pushed his margin out to 7.2%.

Smith’s entry to politics came via a staff position with Peter Costello, with whom he remained closely associated. After the 2007 election defeat he won promotion to the shadow cabinet in the education portfolio, but Malcolm Turnbull demoted him to Assistant Treasurer when he became leader in September 2008. Smith formed part of the front-bench exodus in the final days of Turnbull’s leadership, together with Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin, in protest against Turnbull’s support for an emissions trading scheme. He duly emerged a strong backer of Abbott in the ensuing leadership contest, and returned to shadow cabinet in broadband and communications. However, Smith was widely thought to have struggled during the 2010 campaign and was demoted after the election for a second time, this time down to parliamentary secretary level. With the election of the Abbott government he was dropped altogether, making way for the promotion of fellow Victorians Josh Frydenberg and Alan Tudge.

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.

723 comments on “Seat of the week: Casey”

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  1. [“About 1 in 4″ is different to “Exactly 1 in 4″.]
    Saying that the RBA has an inflation target band of 2 – 3% is different to saying that the RBA has an inflation target of exactly 2.5%.

  2. OOps, stuffed up quotes

    Mod

    … with counting them “against”.

    That’s exactly what your subjective conclusion is doing. Perhaps you could explain precisely to us how you get to “glowing endorsement” or otherwise.

    60%

    You’re now mixing metrics. For Albanese, you’re taking it out of only those who voted, for Shorten, you take it out out of the total membership. Do try to keep it straight.

  3. [GG Quentin Bryce offered to retire early because of election of son-in-law @billshortenmp as ALP leader but @TonyAbbottMHR said no.]

    Good on both of them.

  4. [psyclaw
    Posted Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm | PERMALINK
    #509 is a classic.

    Where on earth does 45k come from when only 30 k voted.

    Oh I see ……. 100% of the 15 k who didn’t vote were going to vote for Shorten.

    I’d love to know her “research” area. Must be critical to mankind.

    Apparently you can succeed in it with poor arithmetic, no logic, imprecise language and just the ability to write utter crap and spot unicorns. LOL]

    This is actually the classic post!

    All full of bluster and insult and yet you continue to avoid the question of whether you knew that Wedding catering was eligible under Meal Entertainment.

    Gee, I wonder why that is the case????

    Continuing to insult me because you have been found out just continues to reflect badly on you and your inability to apologise for writing the now infamous “utter crap” post!

    [Jackol
    Posted Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm | PERMALINK
    ……
    Mod Lib “wins” because his initial statement is, as he/she says, literally correct.]

    Thank you for that admission. Many here are still struggling with the concept! :devil:

  5. Re: Albo.

    I kind of got the impression that Albo was putting his hand up as much to be of service to the party in the immediate-post-election period when other future leaders were sitting on their hands waiting for a more opportune time.

    ie doing what Costello couldn’t bring himself to do in 2007/2008.

    Plus, the new rules needed a contest of some sort, so Albo had to stick in there and be a genuine alternative.

    I guess we’ll see, but I never assumed that Albo had a burning desire to be leader.

    Just to be and do whatever the party needed of him.

    That may be uninformed and naive of me – it’s just my impression.

  6. [ShowsOn
    Posted Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm | PERMALINK
    “About 1 in 4″ is different to “Exactly 1 in 4″.

    Saying that the RBA has an inflation target band of 2 – 3% is different to saying that the RBA has an inflation target of exactly 2.5%.]

    Great. Show me where I used the words “exactly 2.5%” then are you are on a winner.

    Otherwise……egg meets face again! :devil:

  7. [Oh I see ……. 100% of the 15 k who didn’t vote were going to vote for Shorten.]

    11K didn’t vote. Not 15K.

    Mod Lib’s maths is out.

  8. Mad Lib@538

    bemused
    …..Mad Lib wants to revolutionise our electoral system so that all informal votes or votes not cast get counted against whichever candidate she likes to choose.


    You are confusing not counting them with counting them “against”.

    Easy mistake, I guess, but still leaves egg on your face for patronising me!

    Mad Lib, you are just trying to muddy the water.

    You are looking at the votes that one candidate got and measuring it against the total voter roll.

    The equivalent in a Federal election would be to look at the votes a candidate got and express it as a percentage of the total number on the roll, even those who voted informal or did not vote.

    Now, if I have not got that through your thick skull, perhaps someone else, with more patience, can explain it to you.

  9. @guytaur 550

    [“@PhillipMHudson: GG Quentin Bryce offered to retire early because of election of son-in-law @billshortenmp as ALP leader but @TonyAbbottMHR said no.”]

    Sean won’t be happy.

  10. bemused, worse than that, Mod then looked at the votes the other candidate got and explicitly measureed it only against those who participated!

  11. bemused:

    It is you who are confused.

    Shorten will stand in the HOR claiming to be the first leader with the endorsement of the “Labour movement” I reckon. Lets see.

    The comeback from Abbott, quite correctly, will be that Shorten stands there with only about 1 in every 4 current ALP members having voted for him.

    Wait and see if I am right or wrong about this, not long to go before Parliament resumes!

  12. poroti,

    [It explains why so many “worker” Super funds are top of the heap. Not so many eleventy seven calculator Liberals involved]

    Joe Hockey has been stuck on the same sudoku puzzle for a number of weeks now.

    He can’t find a 10 anywhere.

  13. Yes, good on Quentin Bryce and Tony Abbott.

    Although I assume that because of Quentin Bryce’s term expiring in only a few months that he is planning to announce her successor shortly, and there’s no real point in trying to rush things or paper over a “GG gap” that can be avoided … so leaving Bryce in place is probably the most convenient thing for Abbott at the moment.

  14. [DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:37 pm | PERMALINK
    bemused, worse than that, Mod then looked at the votes the other candidate got and explicitly measureed it only against those who participated!]

    I talked about actual votes cast in the first phrase and talked about proportion of votes cast in the other.

    As long as you make it clear which denominator you are using, what is the problem?

  15. Hands up anyone who thinks it is hilariousment max that PB Libtard’s are so concerned about the voting differences between party members and caucus ? Now remind me. How many votes did members get when :monkey: was elected ? Or for that matter the next leader ?

  16. psyclaw@544

    #509 is a classic.

    Where on earth does 45k come from when only 30 k voted.

    Oh I see ……. 100% of the 15 k who didn’t vote were going to vote for Shorten.

    I’d love to know her “research” area. Must be critical to mankind.

    Apparently you can succeed in it with poor arithmetic, no logic, imprecise language and just the ability to write utter crap and spot unicorns. LOL

    I revealed earlier today that Mad Lib is carrying out research in an endeavour to win an IG-Nobel prize.

  17. psyclaw@544

    #509 is a classic.

    Where on earth does 45k come from when only 30 k voted.

    Oh I see ……. 100% of the 15 k who didn’t vote were going to vote for Shorten.

    I’d love to know her “research” area. Must be critical to mankind.

    Apparently you can succeed in it with poor arithmetic, no logic, imprecise language and just the ability to write utter crap and spot unicorns. LOL

    I revealed earlier today that Mad Lib is carrying out research in an endeavour to win an IG-Nobel prize.

  18. Mod

    Shorten will stand in the HOR claiming to be the first leader with the endorsement of the “Labour movement” I reckon. Lets see.

    He may be humbler than you expect :P.

  19. [Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm | PERMALINK
    Any tips for the Shadow Ministry’]

    Treasurer? Bowen
    Education? Albanese
    Finance? Wong
    IR?
    Health? Plibersek
    Communications?

    + Albanese LOTH

  20. [Shorten will stand in the HOR claiming to be the first leader with the endorsement of the “Labour movement” I reckon. Lets see.]
    No Liberal Party leader will ever be able to say they have the support of the labour movement.

  21. this is great, the unions under rudd I feel where neglected
    I don’t think they related to rudd, or may be not even Julia

    some people don’t like to think about our base but the worker is our base and should be told so day in day out we are there for them I think this will see a lot of people rejoining unions again
    we need to with what is coming

  22. [ShowsOn
    Posted Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm | PERMALINK
    I revealed earlier today that Mad Lib is carrying out research in an endeavour to win an IG-Nobel prize.

    She will fail.]

    Thanks ShowsOn, I appreciate that comment.

  23. Mad Lib@569

    bemused:

    It is you who are confused.

    Shorten will stand in the HOR claiming to be the first leader with the endorsement of the “Labour movement” I reckon. Lets see.

    The comeback from Abbott, quite correctly, will be that Shorten stands there with only about 1 in every 4 current ALP members having voted for him.

    Wait and see if I am right or wrong about this, not long to go before Parliament resumes!

    Yes, no doubt Abbott is equally as deranged as you and will exhibit the same disordered thought processes to come up with some such crap.

    We expect that.

  24. If I were an ALP supporter I’d be concerned about the bunfight that will arise if you ever decide you need to change leader. A month-long voting process each time? Opposition can see a lot of leadership changes. Seems as though this would get old rather quickly and might lock-in opposition leaders you’d be better of rid of.

  25. MTBW said

    [They have probably punched your husband’s name into a database at that time.]

    and bemused responded

    [While Fran punched her husband … on suspicion of ideological impurity.]

    Doubtless you intended this as lighthearted banter. It’s not always easy to know where good taste begins and ends.

    Personally, I regard it as offensive on a number of grounds. Hubby and I have a loving and respectful relationship. No disagreement in the last 30 years has so much as winked in that direction.

    Now that I’ve pointed this out, I ask that you withdraw your remark and apologise.

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