Political factors to determine Victorian seats in Federal elections

first_imgUnlike the 2018 Victorian state election which was a silent but deadly enormous swing against the Liberals that almost no one really saw coming, this time around they will prepare themselves for any sizeable backlash. Last week Dr Nick Economou gave a good perspective on the broader issues that will take prominence during this campaign and I will now attempt to look at the individual contests across the seats in Victoria that are in play and the main political factors that will lead to the results in each.The Greens are throwing everything at Kooyong and have recruited high profile lefty lawyer Julian Burnside as their candidate. Independent Oliver Yates is also prefrencing against incumbent Josh Frydenberg. The treasurer is aided not only by his increased profile in recent months and hard work since 2009, when he was finally preselected after unsuccessfully challenging Petro Georgiou in 2007, but also by having a close relationship with the Liberal Party’s state director Simon Frost, meaning every last resource will be used to protect Kooyong, at the expense of other seats if things turn dire closer to election day.Katie Allen is still fresh from last year’s state election but still inexperienced to the ways of real hand to hand political combat. Unfortunately this is the wrong time for a vacancy to arise in Higgins where Allen will have all the pressure in the world to hold on to this Liberal jewel. Some sort of public display of support from Peter Costello should be planned as soon as possible to keep the doctor’s wives from flirting with the Greens or even Labor’s highly regarded candidate Fiona Mcleod. The western half of the state seat of Oakleigh has also moved further into Higgins which will create longer lasting dilemmas for the Liberals.Social conservative Michael Sukkar has led a consistent and innovative campaign operation in Deakin since 2013, has an extremely committed group of volunteers at his disposal and has been a constant campaigner on the ground. He will win but will be pushed to the absolute limit, possibly keeping him in limbo for days after election day. Every long term marginal MP is usually pushed to the limit once in their career and if can survive this result it will make him stronger in the long term.In Chisholm, Labor have endorsed a weak candidate but has been supported by a disastrous outgoing member in Julia Banks (see below). The Liberals gave Labor a free kick this week with some poor handling of rehashed comments made by Liberal candidate Gladys Liu. It will be the most disappointing result for the Liberals to lose Chisholm after only one term. A sizeable portion of this seat is new after last year’s boundary changes and has now become centred around the Monash Council area.Tony Smith has been a good local member and has been markedly supported by the nonpartisan branding that comes with being speaker. Unlike many of the others on this list, he has faced swings and boundary changes before which will prepare him well this time around. I expect a small swing to him in Casey.In the hills of La Trobe, Jason Wood has lost before in the Rudd landslide before making his comeback in 2010. He has used his professional history as a policeman to comment in mainstream media on law and order issues in recent years which has helped him build his profile within his community. Labor candidate Simon Curtis has served as a Councillor at the City of Casey. The 3.2 per cent buffer Wood enjoys should be enough for him to hold on in a seat where anti Labor CFA resentment still runs high.Former television journalist Henderson did much better than expected in Corangamite in 2016 yet will be more than lucky to hold on this time due to boundary changes. Labor’s Libby Coker is standing for the second time and should win the seat next month. She’s also served on the local surf coast council.Unfortunately for first termer Chris Crewther in Dunkley his seat is now notionally Labor after the aforementioned redistribution yet Chris is young enough to stand again should he miss out this time around. In effect Crewther is vying to win a tenth Liberal term in Dunkley which is a big ask in what has been a marginal seat for over 35 years.As much as I’d enjoy watching Labor lose Macnmara (formerly Melbourne Ports), this campaign unfortunately doesn’t suit the Liberals. The Liberal primary vote just won’t be strong enough and Greens preferences will help Labor hold the seat this time.Liberal Minister Greg Hunt is one of Victoria’s most popular local MP’s who will easily win the seat of Flinders again, taking in Hastings and the Mornington Peninsula. Liberal defector and Hunt challenger Julia Banks won’t take the loss well though. This seat may have been a contest if Hunt wasn’t such a dedicated local campaigner.Labor’s Clare O’Neil is one of its best front benchers, has a promising future and has done very well to introduce herself to the new parts of Hotham, coming in from Chisholm and Bruce, including the suburb of Oakleigh. O’Neil will face a strong challenge probably in two or three cycles into the future, with fertile areas around Wheelers Hill providing a base for the Liberals to mount future assaults but like Hunt will be another easy winner next month.Theo Zographos is a former Liberal Party candidate and strategist who currently serves on the Monash City Council. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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