Victorian election 2014


Margin: Liberal 6.3%
Region: Southern Metropolitan
Federal: Chisholm (59%)/Higgins (26%)/Kooyong (15%)

Candidates in ballot paper



Labor (bottom)


Liberal (top)





RESULTS MAP: Two-party preferred booth results from 2010 state election showing Liberal majority in blue and Labor in red. New boundaries in thicker blue lines, old ones in thinner red lines. Boundary data courtesy of Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

PAST RESULTS: Break at 1999 represents effect of the subsequent redistribution.

DEMOGRAPHICS: Based on 2012 census. School Leavers is percentage of high school graduates divided by persons over 18. LOTE is number identified as speaking language other than English at home, divided by total population.

Jeff Kennett’s old electorate of Burwood covers strong territory for the Liberals in suburbs around 15 kilometres to the east of central Melbourne, and it was a measure of Labor’s dominance at the time that it was able to hold the seat from 1999 to 2010. Chadstone, Ashwood and Burwood in the south of the electorate are naturally marginal, but they are supplemented by wealthier Box Hill South and southern Surrey Hills at the northern end, along with Ashburton and part of Glen Iris in the west. However, the growth of the Chinese and Indian communities at the Chadstone end of the electorate has made the area stronger for Labor, also evident in the party’s increasingly secure hold on the federal seat of Chisholm. The redistribution has added 0.4% to the Liberal margin through a slight adjustment to the electorate’s north-western boundary, adding around 3000 voters in Surrey Hills from Box Hill and transferring slightly over 1000 at Camberwell to Hawthorn.

Burwood was created in 1955 and won by Labor for the first time in December 1999, when Jeff Kennett’s resignation in the wake of the September election defeat caused a by-election. Labor’s Bob Stensholt emerged with a 3.7% margin following a 10.5% swing against Liberal candidate Lara McLean, who had a surprise preselection win over future Senator Helen Kroger. Stensholt added a further 1.8% to his margin in the 2002 landslide and survived a below-par counter-swing of 1.4% in 2006, before a particularly forceful 9.6% swing to the Liberals in 2010 more than accounted for his margin of 5.9%. The seat has since been held for the Liberals by Graham Watt, formerly the owner of a local carpet cleaning business. Labor’s candidate is Gavin Ryan, a former staffer to Socialist Left identity Gavin Jennings in his then capacity as Aboriginal Affairs Minister, and more recently manager of the Deakin University Student Association.

cuEarly in the final week of the campaign, the Herald-Sun reported that Labor polling conducted earlier in the campaign showed them leading 52-48. As if to emphasise the point, Denis Napthine joined Graham Watt on the last Monday of the campaign to promise a $350,000 expansion of the car park at the Burwood train station. This fed into reporting that the wheels were falling off for the Liberals, although their poll recovery at the end of the campaign provided a corrective.

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