Margin: Liberal 15.7%
Region: Southern Metropolitan
Outgoing member: Andrew McIntosh (Liberal)
Candidates in ballot paper order
JAMES MATTHEW GAFFEY
2010 BOOTH RESULTS MAP
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.
The scene of a divisive Liberal preselection contest earlier in the year, Kew covers blue-ribbon territory in Melbournes inner east, and has been held by the Liberal Party and its predecessors without interruption since 1927. It extends eastwards from Kew to Balwyn North, the redistribution having added 6600 voters in the eastern part of the latter suburb from Box Hill, and has the Yarra River as its northern boundary. The changes have added 0.5% to the Liberal margin.
Kew has been held since 1999 by Andrew McIntosh, who served as minister for corrections, crime prevention and the establishment of an anti-corruption commission from the 2010 election victory until April 2013, and briefly also as Gaming Minister after Denis Napthine replaced Ted Baillieu in March 2013. He resigned a month later after admitting he had leaked confidential information to a journalist concerning the privileges committee’s inquiry into Frankston MP Geoff Shaw’s misuse of parliamentary entitlements, and announced in December that he would bow out at the election.
A claim on the seat was promptly staked by Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge, who had been left homeless in the redistribution by the abolition of her eastern suburbs electorate of Doncaster. However, when the local ballot was held in March, Wooldridge suffered a 151-105 defeat at the hands of former Stonnington mayor Tim Smith, who had been cultivating the local branches over a period of several years. The result was a serious embarrassment for Napthine, who had strongly backed Wooldridge and declared up to the day of the ballot that she would win.
Now 31, Smith was elected mayor of Stonnington at 26, and has variously worked for federal MPs Malcolm Turnbull and Bruce Billson, and Victorian Treasurer Michael OBrien. He once described himself as a social conservative, and his support for a review of abortion laws was said to have been a factor during the preselection contest. His supporters included federal Kooyong MP Josh Frydenberg, former Senators Richard Alston and Rod Kemp, and remnants of the old Michael Kroger faction. Wooldridge will now run for an upper house seat in Eastern Metropolitan region.