Mulgrave by-election minus one day

Slightly mixed reports on how concerned Labor are about independent Ian Cook’s chances at tomorrow’s by-election for Mulgrave, the Victorian state seat being vacated by Daniel Andrews.

Tomorrow is the day of Victoria’s Mulgrave by-election arising from Daniel Andrews’ exit from politics. While it is generally expected that Greater Dandenong mayor Eden Foster will retain the seat for Labor, independent Ian Cook is expected to at least match his feat from the November state election of outpolling the Liberals to reach the final count. In the estimation of Shannon Deery of the Herald-Sun, Cook was “seen as a bloke seeking to exact revenge on Daniel Andrews” last year, but has now “convinced some that he is genuine about representing the local community and being a fiercely independent MP”. This is said to be backed by Labor internal polling, but as Deery tells it, “no-one is seriously suggesting Labor will lose the seat”. The Sunday Herald-Sun’s Backroom Baz column came close to suggesting otherwise, invoking what was presumably the same internal polling as a cause of “mounting concern” in the Labor camp. Here too though, Labor sources familiar with the polling said Eden Foster “should get there on preferences”.

As usual, this site will feature live results and commentary from 6pm tomorrow evening. My page for the former stands ready and waiting here – I have it geared to assume the Victorian Electoral Commission will be conducting a Labor-versus-Ian Cook indicative two-candidate preferred count (a detail that flummoxed many conspiracy theorists who developed an outsized interest in the contest last November), but have no hard information on this at present. A detail worth noting is that the number of election day polling booths has been considerably pared back, from twenty (some of which were split booths in neighbouring electorates) to ten. This is a marked departure from the Warrandyte by-election in August, which utilised the same eleven booths from last November.

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.

24 comments on “Mulgrave by-election minus one day”

  1. The libs will claim it as a win no matter how desperately they lose the seat.

    The fact that there is even speculation that Cook could out perform the second major party in the state is an indictment on the neo-cons who call themselves liberal.

    There is no public polling as far as I am aware.

    Thank you for this resource, Sir William.

    Biases to the fore, I hope the Greens win it!

  2. The herald sun, 3aw and sky news supported Ian Cook to the hilt in his endeavours against the health dept.

    He and his backers seriously believes he was targeted by the powers that be, including the council involved.
    On the other hand, reports suggest that the business was very shoddily run and not hygienic. What to believe.

  3. @Victoria

    A fellow says the health department planted a slug in his kitchen. They must have been carrying it around specifically for that purpose!

    There is no other possible explanation according to the Cookers in our midst.

    On election day in 2022 I stood at a booth listening to a hander outerer rant about Dan the whole day while wearing a necklace of garlic cloves to keep the badd juju away. I’m pretty sure I was the bad juju!

    55/45 to Labor on 2pp seems the likely outcome.

    The Greens will clean up the youth and renter (not a huge cohort in Mulgrave, the last bastion of private home ownership) vote and the cookers will splinter the LNP vote. But rest assured, as I have previously opined, the libs will claim the result, no matter how bad for them, as a win. Trumpism has arrived in Victoria and it sits in the LNP party room.

    (Meanwhile the US is rapidly descending into failed state territory….)

    SMRs do not exist in Mulgrave or anywhere else.

  4. MABWM

    Of course you were the bad juju. If you were supporting the demon Himself. Dan Andrews! Lol……

    I don’t know what they are going to do now with all their cooked conspiracies since Dan has gone off into the sunset.

  5. I still think Ian Cook will fizzle out.

    The Libs will get a primary vote swing to them mostly at the expense of Ian Cook. Labor might have a small swing to the Greens, and a tiny bit to the Libs, while a small percentage of Cook voters might actually return to Labor now that Dan isn’t premier.

    All in all, I expect the only big primary vote swing to be Cook to Liberal now that he’s irrelevant, but the 2PP will wind up much the same as in last year’s election with maybe 2-3% wiped off Labor’s result. I’m predicting maybe 58-42.

  6. Kos Samaras has his say

    My interview on Radio National this morning with @PatsKarvelas on the Mulgrave by-election in Melbourne’s South East.

    Dan Andrews’s personal vote would be a factor here. As well as the turnout and the overall decline in support for both major parties.

    The result may look like the many other seats Labor holds in the outer west. Slip in the primary vote to independents and other candidates, coupled with the Liberal Party struggling to take advantage of that dynamic.

  7. Trent
    All in all, I expect the only big primary vote swing to be Cook to Liberal now that he’s irrelevant, but the 2PP will wind up much the same as in last year’s election with maybe 2-3% wiped off Labor’s result. I’m predicting maybe 58-42.
    A third term government losing a popular local member and facing rising cost of living pressures would be very surprised to only suffer a 2-3% swing.

  8. @MABWM

    “(Meanwhile the US is rapidly descending into failed state territory….)”

    Gimme some of what you’re smoking, will yer?

  9. @Mexican Beemer

    “A third term government losing a popular local member”

    He had a significant personal vote, certainly. But is it clear whether the neg personal vote matched the pos personal vote or not?

    Given the loss of such a polarising figure, I assume turnout will be down all round with no particular net gain for anyone out of that.

  10. @Mawbm

    “The libs will claim it as a win no matter how desperately they lose the seat.”

    And so will all the other parties spin it as an astonishing triumph no matter how well/badly they fare. It’s called politics.

    What’s your point?

  11. Unless Ian Cook is a much more formidable candidate than I’ve got the impression he is, surely Libs are doing very poorly if they don’t improve their primary % from the GE last year.

  12. @btsays.

    My points stand. And I’m not sharing my weed with you.

    What’s your tip for 2pp?

    (. Have a look at Trump’s veteran’s day “truth” and you will see that one of the two men likely to be President come Jan 2025 has renounced democracy. The leader of the party that controls congress is a putative if not actual fascist. That, dear Sir is a failed state. When a society puts its kids through active shooter drills at school. SCHOOL! They are unable to solve a simple problem politically. That is a failed state.

    He has called for the engulagment of his political opponents and the suspension of the constitution. If he ‘wins’ the electoral college gerrymander there will not be another election in the US for a generation.

    We need to start calling it for what it is. The US is teetering on the edge of dictatorship.

    And we have Dutton trying to take us down MAGA road. He is a fool.

    Democracy itself is at risk)

    Now back to the by-election.

  13. MABWM

    I can’t stand Trump either but I don’t subscribe to that crazy stuff which, at best, is ripped out of context to fuel a) hatred by political opponents; and/or b) crazy conspiracy theories.

    Either way, there are probably Russians and Chinese behind it (as well as batshit crazy Americans, who exist both ends of the left-right spectrum) to fuel the USA’s great divide – their enemies don’t take sides, they know that the best way to weaken America is to divide them. Taking advantage of the 1st amendment etc. that exists there like nothing in their own countries.

    Thankfully USA is still the greatest democracy in the world – in spite of all the current division!

  14. 58-42 now that’s a laugh.
    The baseball bats are out, the question is will it be a home run. Labor are going to take a sizeable swing against, whether its double digits, can’t be sure, but Ian Cook may be going to a new job on Monday.

  15. The issue is not hosting, the issue is the amount of money wasted in botching the failed venture. Complete stuff up, Victoria should never ever tendered in the first place.

  16. Michael

    Circumstances changed. And I agree lots of money was wasted in compensating the games authority. Frankly I don’t see why.
    If no one wants to host them. It makes the games worthless.

  17. @btsays:

    The us have a wannabe dictator. He uses the language of dictators. He was impeached for attempting a coup. Es ist 1939 in Amerika. Schau im andere richtung went dDu willst……

    Du bist gewarrnt.

    As for the by election, we will know later this evening, but I’m not seeing a pro LNP sentiment in the Victorian community. The takeover of the Victorian Liberals by fundies and cookers is complete and the community at large know it.

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