Victorian election guide

Introducing the Poll Bludger’s seat-by-seat guide to the November 29 Victorian state election.

The 25-day period of the Victorian election campaign officially begins with today’s issue of the writs by the state’s Governor, Alex Chernov. To mark the occasion, I hit the button today on my guide to the Victorian election, on which you can read a paywalled introductory spiel (mostly to do with the impact of the redistribution) in today’s Crikey, and which you can access any time through the link on the sidebar. The guide encompasses reviews of each of the 88 lower house seats (a guide to the upper house region will follow in due course), which feature a number of very exciting new bells and whistles:

• Booth result maps are featured for each electorate, and rather than the crappy static images you’re used to, they’re embedded in Google Maps so you can zoom in and out, move around and toggle between map and satellite view. The maps show the new electoral boundaries as thicker blue lines, and the old boundaries as thinner red ones. Big up here to Ben Raue of The Tally Room, whose boundary data I’m using, and who deserves your donations.

• Beneath the maps you will find a series of bar charts, also embedded so if you roll the cursor over the bars you can see what the underlying numbers are. The first of these compares the 2010 election two-party results with a determination of how they electorate voted at the 2013 federal election. The latter calculations are slightly crude in that I haven’t gone to the effort of dividing up booths located near electorate boundaries, but fairly considerable trouble has been taken to account for both polling booth and declaration votes.

• There follows a series of demographic indicators, compiled from ABS census collection district data since their state electorate division results are only available pre-redistribution. These include “school leavers” (those who finished high school as a percentage of the 18-plus population), percentage of households where a mortgage is being paid, percentage of all persons who speak a language other than English (“LOTE”) in the home, and medians of weekly family income and age (or to be precise, weighted means of the medians in the census collection districts that constitute the electorate).

• Finally, at the bottom of the entry page you will find image maps for the metropolitan area and the rest of the state, so the electorate guides can be accessed by clicking on the map. Like so:

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.

58 comments on “Victorian election guide”

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  1. William

    Nice work!

    A very detailed description of the new seat of Eildon which I appreciate, but bugger it, I’m back in a safe Lib seat again. 🙁

  2. This is a reply to commment 50 on the previous victorian thread (a reply to my comment on the Victorian tread about Prahran, to which has been responded in post 3 of this thread)

    The Country Alliance came fourth in Gippsland South (out of 4, they were out polled by both the ALP and the Greens). It was in Shepparton that they came second but because the National got more than 50% of the vote the VEC does not provide a 2CP on the page with the Shepparton results.

    As far as I know the VEC did not conduct a 2CP count between the Greens and any other candidate in Prahran and thus there was no chance the Greens getting a 2CP victory in any polling booth last time, however they would likely have won most of the booth 2CPs last time if they had overtaken the ALP because the ALP won most of the booths (the Libs won with the 3 biggest booths and early and postal votes) and the ALP voters seem to preference Greens at the same rate as the Greens preference the ALP (extrapolating from by-elections, including Higgins, where the ALP did not stand and the Greens did).

  3. William, Half of people say their state voting intentions are influenced by federal issues.

    Napthine bought trust into it, a pic of Abbott is the perfect response.

  4. Tom,

    I was more thinking Gippsland East and Mildura (Ingram and Milne). I wasn’t aware that 2CP wasn’t prepared if a candidate achieves over 50% of the PV, thanks for that 🙂

    Prahran will definitely be a seat to watch, no doubt. I’ll be scrutineering on election night but being a safe electorate I may finish earlier than most and I can go to my friends’ election night party/function thing to watch it unfold.

    (I did write a longer response but my internet went out just as I posted and I can’t remember half of it).

  5. Bug1,

    Vic Labor has plenty to run on without needing to really resort to that kind of thing, really. They have a lot of positive policies and I think some of the attacks they’re running would already have had an effect (the long running industrial disputes that just followed one after the other the entire term) so I don’t think voters need to be reminded that much.

  6. Raaraa@6

    Kevin Bonham from previous thread

    This is the link he tweeted:

    From that link whichever poll you goes to gives three Greens.

    If you just go straight to the calculator through ABC elections it is different.

    Nope, not working for me. I can only see
    Coalition and Labor seats.

    Apologies, I linked from the wrong tweet; try this one:

    There is something strange going on because if I go to that page and then pick a poll the 3 seats still shows. But if I then refresh one of the poll pages the 3 Greens seats disappear!

  7. For Prahran last time the primary result was Lib 48 ALP 28 Green 20. The Labor vote would be expected to go up by at least as much as the Green vote all else being equal, so on what basis is the seat considered winnable for the Greens? How can there be a realistic chance of putting either Labor or the Liberals third off that base? Seems quite different to the seats where we can pretty much know the Greens will run ahead of the Liberals.

  8. Kevin,

    It’s in the link “retiringmps=false” means it doesn’t account for retiring MPs, “overall=5.6”, “brun=grn”, “melb=grn” and “rich=grn” presumably all mean it’s set up for an overall swing of 5.6% (TPP 46:54) with Brunswick, Melbourne and Richmond going to the Greens. Looks like someone plugged in the Newspoll result and added the three most likely Green wins as having being won by them and tweeted the link to that.

  9. 12

    The Greens are hoping by putting the best grassroots campaign they can, having previously run a standard Green campaign, they will attract enough voters to the Greens to pass the ALP and win. It all depends on the campaigning.

    The Greens have no hope of passing the Liberals in Prahran, they are just to strong.

  10. Bugler@13


    It’s in the link “retiringmps=false” means it doesn’t account for retiring MPs, “overall=5.6″, “brun=grn”, “melb=grn” and “rich=grn” presumably all mean it’s set up for an overall swing of 5.6% (TPP 46:54) with Brunswick, Melbourne and Richmond going to the Greens. Looks like someone plugged in the Newspoll result and added the three most likely Green wins as having being won by them and tweeted the link to that.

    Yes the tweet in question was by Antony Green and said:

    A possible #vicvotes outcome based on the Australian’s Newspoll #springst

  11. Calling Kathleen Maltzahn in the Richmond writeup an “advocate for sex workers” is like calling Peter Reith an “advocate for workers”.

    Maltzahn is one of the most loathed people in Victoria among sex workers. She’s an anti-sex work activist and suggesting otherwise is crap.

  12. [The Labor vote would be expected to go up by at least as much as the Green vote all else being equal, so on what basis is the seat considered winnable for the Greens?]

    Not all else being equal, I guess. Greens grabbing 5% from the ALP – one in six of their voters – seems a tough ask, I agree. But it’s not off the reservation crazy.

  13. I try not to editorialise, Rebecca. The fact of how she describes herself needs to be acknowledged – as, in this case, does the fact that this sticks in a lot of craws. I think I struck a pretty reasonable balance between the two.

  14. 18

    Mentioning that she is in favour of the “Nordic model” of purchase criminalisation would probably be useful in describing her position and would not be editorialising. This issue is also likely to influence the outcome of the seat as Nevena Spirovska is extremely unlikely to be directing preferences to Maltzan considering her, otherwise quite Green friendly, party`s position on this issue.

  15. William, there’s a typo in the Prahran page, where, in the 2nd paragraph, you refer to Labor candidate Tony Lupton as Tony Lumpton, which seems a little unkind.

  16. Hi William.

    Minor correction to description of “Bentleigh” electorate. The electorate is bordered by “Warrigal Road” in the west, not the “Warringal Highway”.


  17. Why the huge anti-Labour ad under the map so that what you think is part of the article turns out to be LNP propaganda? A bit disappointing.

  18. 23

    Warrigal Rd, at least used to be, also know as the Warrigal Highway. So it is arguably only a single typo plus possibly out of date information.

  19. A bloke rang into 3aw this afternoon and said he had received election material from his local member (a Liberal with a 0.3% margin) and there was no mention of the Liberal party on it. Things must be really crook if they won’t even reveal the party they represent.

  20. Warragul is the name of a town in West Gippsland, and also of an album by John “True Blue” Williamson, who I nonetheless understood to be a “Mallee Boy”. Although it’s apparently also an Aboriginal word for dingo, so presumably that had something to do with it. Obviously none of this has much to do with Warrigal Road, which is indeed spelled thus.

  21. Paywalled. Relevant to this election.
    [Why unpopular leaders win elections while fan favourites flounder
    Myriam Robin | Nov 04, 2014 1:16PM

    Unpopular leaders have a history of winning elections. So why do we bother with the preferred leader poll at all?

    Daniel “Dan” Andrews has a problem. The Victorian Opposition Leader, who tried to get everyone to call him Dan in recent election advertising, isn’t very well liked. According to yesterday’s Newspoll current Premier Denis Napthine leads Andrews 47%-34% in the preferred premier stakes. Last week’s Fairfax Ipsos poll isn’t any better — 45% consider Napthine the preferred premier to Andrew’s 36%. Regardless, the unliked and relatively unknown Andrews is on track to be Victoria’s next premier, as he leads a party with a commanding two-party preferred vote of 54%-46% according to Newspoll, or 56%-44% according to Ipsos.

    If Andrews wins, it wouldn’t be the first time an unpopular leader has led a party to victory. The metric has a history of throwing up misleading and counter-intuitive election commentary, frequently being in opposition to, or failing to reflect, the depth of the direction of the two-party preferred vote. Kevin Rudd had a lead on Tony Abbott in the preferred prime minister stakes right up until the last few polls before the election, even though Abbott’s Liberal opposition was ahead on the two-party preferred vote the whole time. It was a similar case when Julia Gillard was in power — she was more personally popular despite floundering in two-party preferred polling. And in 2007, many commentators argued John Howard still had a chance because he was only marginally behind Kevin Rudd as preferred prime minister — needless to say the election result proved otherwise. Going back even further, Kim Beazley led Howard on preferred prime minister in the 1998 election campaign. Paul Keating was more popular than Howard — that didn’t stop him losing. In 1993, John Hewson was the preferred prime minister over Keating, but, again, that proved a poor indicator of the final result (though last-minute gaffes may have had something to do with that).


    Some systems, like the presidential system in the United States, see votes strongly influenced by the popularity of the leaders. But Australia’s party system is very strong, and remains the greatest determinant of how people will vote. “The fundamental reason people vote the way they do in this country is party allegiances or attitudes to parties,” Green said. “Two-thirds to three-quarters of people will vote that way. Beyond that, the next thing is party leadership, and beyond that, you have local issues and candidates. But overwhelmingly people vote on parties. So lots of people who say they like the prime minister will never, ever consider voting for them, even if they like the prime minister more than the opposition leader.”

    “So the preferred leader score is a useful bit of information,” Green concluded. “But it doesn’t tell you much about who’ll win the election.”]

  22. @ Kevin Bonham, 12

    Exactly. I like the Greens – I really do, but Prahran is just not winnable – they’re on the wrong side of the electoral cycle to have a shot. The best chances they’d have to win Prahran are at either:

    a) An election where an unpopular Labor state government is shown the door, but the Libs aren’t too popular either (so, basically, the opposite of what’s happening at this election), or
    b) An election where an unpopular Liberal government is to be returned against the backdrop of a VERY unpopular Labor federal government (what may well have happened if Rudd had won the 2013 federal election, or if this state election had been held two years ago).

    The seats the Greens have even a remote chance of winning are the ones where they outpoll the Liberals on primaries already, or come close to doing so – AND where Labor is also well short of 50% of the primary vote.

  23. Leroy – Peter Brent (Mumble) has written extensively on this issue in the past, basically demonstrating that the “unpopular” leader with a TPP lead is in a much better position than the “popular” leader in the same TPP lead.

    And he has shown the polls showing how, for instance, Mike Rann overnight became the “Preferred Premier” – after winning the election of course.

  24. Arrnea Stormbringer@30

    @ Kevin Bonham, 12

    Exactly. I like the Greens – I really do, but Prahran is just not winnable – they’re on the wrong side of the electoral cycle to have a shot.

    I’d tend to agree, I think the greens have a chance given their ground game but they need to close the gap on the ALP in an election when the there is likely to be a swing to the progressive side of politics. Low probability stuff.

    I think that one of the reasons why so much effort is going in Prahran is that the green rank and file would genuinely like to see themselves as taking the fight up to the conservatives.

    If the greens do pull off an unlikely victory they can claim a genuine step forward.

  25. @30:

    I’d say more an election where an ALP government for whom there is no affection having pissed-off many people but is nonetheless expected to be comfortably returned against a deeply unpopular conservative opposition (with unpopular tories federally).

  26. I don’t think it’s at all likely, but it’s probably not much different in probability to Northcote, which is always written up as a chance.

  27. 30

    Seats where the ALP gets over 40% of the primary vote are actually harder for the Greens than Prahran now that the Liberals preference the ALP ahead of the Greens because the ALP are almost certain to preference the Greens ahead of the Liberals.

  28. 34

    Northcote is not much of a chance with the Liberals preferencing the ALP because the ALP vote is so near 50%. It gets ALP-Green cometary mainly because the Greens come second. It will be interesting to see the reaction if/when the Greens come second in Footscray, which is likely at this election.

  29. Rocket Rocket@31

    Leroy – Peter Brent (Mumble) has written extensively on this issue in the past, basically demonstrating that the “unpopular” leader with a TPP lead is in a much better position than the “popular” leader in the same TPP lead.

    And he has shown the polls showing how, for instance, Mike Rann overnight became the “Preferred Premier” – after winning the election of course.

    New premiers become Preferred Premier because the indicator skews to the incumbent.

    I do think that while knocking the usefulness of preferred leader scores on the head rather nicely, that article does also push one of the myths associated with them: that preferred leader scores measure popularity. Popularity is measured through net satisfaction ratings. Leaders can be ahead as preferred leader but unpopular (example: Abbott now!) or behind as preferred leader but still quite popular. Usually the first class are incumbent leaders and the second class opposition leaders.

    Mumble was talking about the direct measures of popularity: netsats. His hypothesis is that for a given 2PP it is better to have a bad netsat than a stellar one. There might be something in this because a stellar netsat will usually tend to go down and a bad netsat will usually tend to go up, and changes in netsats tend to run ahead of (and apparently drive) changes in 2PP.

    Until last year the history was that very unpopular opposition leaders just plain lost whatever their netsat.

  30. @ Martin B, 33

    That’s also a possible scenario, but the Greens would have to work even harder than in the first two, because the Labor primary vote would still do reasonably well in the case that the Liberals are deeply unpopular.

    @ Tom, 35

    I wouldn’t say they’re harder than Prahran, but yes, it’s a hard ask. To win in such seats, the Greens would have to limit ALP primary vote gains and entice Liberal voters to leak preferences to them (as happened federally in Melbourne at the 2013 election).

    I still think that’s an easier task for the Greens than increasing their primary vote by 8% more than the ALP does in a year that the ALP is coming back into office from opposition against an unpopular government.

  31. Just going by the pendulum (yes, I know it’s simplistic), Labor are about as likely to lose Northcote as Bundoora. Same part of Melbourne, and the parties that come second and third don’t swap preferences. I don’t see too many Lib supporters round here talking up their chances of winning Bundoora.

    Catherine Cumming is apparently running again in Footscray. She did worse in 2010 than in 2006, but she’s been the mayor since then, so she’ll have a higher profile. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing for her, you’d have to ask someone from there. The Greens candidate last time was one of the first Green mayors anywhere, and is now a senator – her replacement can’t help but be less known than her. He could come second, but he could also come fourth. (The 2010 Lib candidate running as an independent makes things even messier.)

  32. 39

    Inner-North Liberals have shown greater disunity in their preferences, with a greater rate of preference recommendation rejection than the Greens. The Liberals must really be looking forward to Bundoora switching from Northern Metro to Eastern Metro, as it is likely to do next redistribution with Melbourne`s growth being mainly north and/or west of the Yarra, making Eastern Metro harder for them to win 3 seats in for a second redistribution running (Ivanhoe is switching at this redistribution).

    The Greens need every vote they can get in Western Metro to get Colleen Hartland re-elected and Footscray is fertile ground for them, and the chance at coming second also helps, so no slack campaign there. Catherine Cumming faces a wider field of non-major talent and thus that could drag her preferences down. The 2010 election candidate is not running as an independent but at the candidate for voices for the West (VftW). Cumming`s and VftW`s preferences will be crucial to second place. VftW will also be standing in Western Metro and several other lower house seats in the region and their preferences will be crucial in the Legislative Council as well.

  33. The world “sleepwalk” into a change of govt seems to be one that gets used more at a state level than a federal one. And the last two changes in govt in Victoria could be cases in point.

    This is a very general question, but it does related to the Vic elections. Is there any evidence/analysis to show that voter intentions are less volatile through a state campaign than a federal one?

  34. I guess the alternative argument is that state level voting intentions only appears less volatile because it is not been measure with the same fidelity as federal voting intentions.

  35. From the Government Gazette, the full story has some spine stiffening rhetoric for the Libs

    [UP to four critical “sandbelt’’ seats that defined the 2010 election are poised to fall to Labor in a blow to the Napthine government’s chances of holding on to power on November 29.

    In a significant campaign ­development, the Liberal Party is facing a domino effect in up to four marginals that run southeast of the city and were the electorates that enabled the Coalition to secure the last election.

    Hardheads from both major parties now believe that the Napthine government faces losing the seats of Mordialloc and Bentleigh, based on the latest internal polling.

    A third seat, Carrum, is also looking like a Labor gain, ­although there is a large undecided vote.

    The fourth seat — Frankston — was held by rebel independent Geoff Shaw and is expected to fall to Labor.]

  36. My nitpick for William. From the Rowville guide:

    Wells was first elected to parliament after unseating Labor’s Peter Lockwood in Wantirna as part of Jeff Kennett’s 1992 landslide, instantly turning a seat held by Labor on a margin of 0.2% into a safe Liberal seat through a swing of 14.3%. The 2002 election replaced Knoxville with the new seat of Scoresby, which Wells retained by a 3.3% margin in the face of an 11.6% swing.

    Not sure whether Knoxville was supposed to be Knoxfield or Knox, but I think what you are actually referring to is Wantirna.

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