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Seats of the week: Kooyong and Higgins

A double dose of the Liberal Party’s inner eastern Melbourne heartland, encompassing the seats held by Josh Frydenberg and Kelly O’Dwyer.

Kooyong

Blue and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Presently covering Melbourne’s affluent inner east from Kew and Hawthorn eastwards to Balwyn North and Camberwell, Kooyong has been held by the prevailing conservative forces of the day without interruption since its creation at federation, including by Robert Menzies throughout his 31-year career in federal parliament. The seat has had only seven members in its long history, of whom the first two were William Knox and Robert Best, the latter succeeding the former in 1910. Best was defeated as Nationalist candidate at the 1922 election by conservative independent John Latham, who ran in opposition to the prime ministership of Billy Hughes. With that end accomplished by an election that left the anti-Hughes Country Party holding the balance of power, Latham in time joined the Nationalists and served as Attorney-General in Stanley Bruce’s government from 1925 until its defeat in 1929. Bruce’s loss of his seat of Flinders at that election saw Latham emerge as Opposition Leader, but the defeat of the Labor government two years later was effected when Joseph Lyons led Labor defectors into a merger with conservative forces as the United Australia Party, with Latham agreeing to serve as Lyons’s deputy. Latham served as Attorney-General and External Affairs Minister in the Lyons government from 1931 until his retirement at the 1934 election, and a year later was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court.

Latham’s successor as both member for Kooyong and Attorney-General was Robert Menzies, who had been a state parliamentarian since 1928 and Deputy Premier since 1932. Menzies ascended to the prime minister after Joseph Lyons’ death in April 1939, serving for two years as the nation’s wartime leader before resigning in August 1941 after losing the support of his cabinet colleagues. Following Labor’s landslide win at the 1943 election, Menzies returned to the leadership of the United Australia Party which had been held in the interim by Billy Hughes, and brought fragmented conservative forces together a year later under the new banner of the Liberal Party. Two elections later he led the party to a resounding victory, commencing an epic 16-year tenure as prime minister from December 1949 until his retirement in January 1966.

Menzies was succeeded in Kooyong at an April 1966 by-election by Andrew Peacock, who went on to serve as a senior minister in Malcolm Fraser’s government from 1975 until April 1981, when he unsuccessfully challenged Fraser for the leadership. He briefly returned to the ministry from November 1982 until the election defeat the following March, after which he defeated John Howard in the ballot for the party leadership. Despite leading the party to an honourable defeat at the December 1984 election, he was obliged to surrender the leadership the following September after a bungled attempt to force Howard out as deputy. A party room coup returned him to the leadership in May 1989, but he failed to win the March 1990 election despite securing for the Coalition a narrow majority of the two-party preferred vote. He then relinquished the leadership to John Hewson, and served in the shadow ministry until his retirement from politics in November 1994.

The seat’s next member for Petro Georgiou, who as member for so prestigious a seat was generally assumed to have a career as a heavy-hitter ahead of him. However, he instead emerged as a permanent back-bencher and a thorn in the side of the Howard government, particularly in relation to his liberal views on asylum seekers. Georgiou retired at the 2010 election and was succeeded by Josh Frydenberg, a banker and former adviser to Alexander Downer and John Howard who had earlier challenged Georgiou for preselection in 2007. Frydenberg won the 2010 preselection with the backing of the Michael Kroger faction, while rivals associated with the then state Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu initially backed John Roskam, the director of the Institute of Public Affairs. However, Roskam declined to run and instead threw his weight behind industrial relations lawyer John Pesutto, whom Frydenberg defeated in the final round by 283 votes to 239. Frydenberg was promoted to parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister after the September 2013 election victory.

Higgins

Blue and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Held by the Liberals since its creation in 1949, Higgins owes its blue-ribbon status to the affluence of Toorak and suburbs further to the east, including Glen Iris and Malvern. Prahran in the electorate’s west provides a strong basis of support for Labor and the Greens, while Carnegie and Ashburton in the south-east are naturally marginal. At the time of the electorate’s creation the Toorak end was accommodated by Fawkner, which prior to 1949 had boundaries resembling those of Higgins today. Higgins assumed its present character when Fawkner was abolished at the 1969 election. The seat’s inaugural member was Harold Holt, who had previously been member for Fawkner since 1935. Holt remained in the seat until his disappearance in December 1967, at which point it was used to parachute Senator John Gorton into the the lower house to enable him to assume the prime ministership. Gorton stayed on for two elections after being deposed as Prime Minister in March 1971, before indulging in a quixotic bid to win one of the Australian Capital Territory’s newly acquired Senate seats as an independent in 1975. Roger Shipton subsequently held the seat until 1990, achieving prominence only in 1988 when he stood firm against maverick businessman John Elliott’s designs on his seat. Shipton stared down Elliott only to lose preselection to Peter Costello, who was at no stage troubled in Higgins through his 11 frustrating years as Treasurer and Liberal deputy.

On the morning after the November 2007 election defeat, Costello made the surprise announcement that he would not assume the leadership. Speculation that he might later do so lingered until October 2009, when he announced his resignation from parliament. The Liberals had at this time just completed their preselection for the following election, which was won by Kelly O’Dwyer, a National Australia Bank executive who had earlier spent four years as an adviser to Costello. O’Dwyer was chosen ahead of Toorak businessman Andrew Abercrombie by 222 votes to 112, with candidates earlier falling by the wayside including Tim Wilson, then a policy director at the Institute of Public Affairs and now a Human Rights Commissioner, and the IPA’s executive director John Roskam, whose bid reportedly suffered from an article he wrote for The Punch which had put Costello’s nose out of joint. Tony Abbott said in April 2011 that O’Dwyer was “knocking hard on the door of that Shadow Cabinet”, but she is nonetheless yet to have won promotion.

1620
  • 101
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:41 am | PERMALINK
    E

    Not commenting to your change of subject

    Note your refusal to answer than question.

    Its OK, there hasn’t been a single other poster condemn it except for me, so why should you be any different from the crowd? After all, that is how those making those posts get away with it, the tacit (and, this morning, overt) support.

  • 102
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    E

    Good try

  • 103
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks

  • 104
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    E

    So you doe or against a Petrol Tax?

  • 105
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    “@ABCNews24: Opposition Leader @billshortenmp to speak on #Budget2014 shortly. #ABCNews24 will bring you his comments live #auspol”

  • 106
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Oh crap. All those times I’ve ignored Mod’s posts are being taken as support of Mod’s position(s)?

  • 107
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I dont support the use of comments about a politician’s appearance as part of a political attack.

    Too late, ESJ.

  • 108
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:43 am | PERMALINK
    Yes, ModLib – it says I looked at the comments about Bishop and thought they were fair enough

    zoomster thinks comments about politician’s appearances are fair enough.

    Noted!

  • 109
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    DN,

    What’s a mod?

  • 110
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:46 am | PERMALINK
    E

    So you doe or against a Petrol Tax?

    For it.

  • 111
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    GG, apparently something that I’ve supported many times in the past by my lack of response!

  • 112
    lefty e
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Great facebook meme about:

    Austerity: What happens when the crony capitalist stablishment runs our of other people's money to bail out their insolvent and fraud-riddled banks.

    So true, in the US and EU anyway.

    Here’s its because we our leaders are a bunch of idiots who cut revenue streams too much, and refuse the touch up their mates in mining and finance. Lest the donations stop coming in.

  • 113
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    DN,

    You and all those dead people throughout the ages.

  • 114
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Little reality check:

    1. Tricot makes a sexist (IMO) comment about a politician’s appearance
    2. I say it is sexist
    3. zoomster and guitar come out to criticise me

    Its not that there was silence. It is that the only comments made were against me, none were against another poster saying something about appearance.

    Get it?

  • 115
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I apologise to my fellow PB collective blobules and wish it to be known that my silence with respect to many of Mod’s comments betokens loathing, hate and rejection, not support.

    On the other hand, my silence with respect to all of your brilliant insights signifies by deep admiration.

  • 116
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    E

    I am for it too. However I am against Abbott lying before the election with his no new taxes.

    Such porkies they make Gillard look like a novice. The polls seem to show voters think the same.

  • 117
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    by = my

  • 118
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    ModLib

    I think you’re getting politeness confused with sexism – your use of the word ‘lady’ being a bit of a giveaway.

  • 119
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    The extra cost of petrol is going down like a lead balloon amongst those i have spoken to

  • 120
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:52 am | PERMALINK
    E

    I am for it too. However I am against Abbott lying before the election with his no new taxes.

    See? We agree, Abbott was a complete fool to make all those promises before the election, but I am more than happy for him to wear the opprobrium, and cop it for a few years, and then in 2016 we can see whether there might be some else else (ahem) better to take the LNP to the next election…….with the budget mess cleaned up by someone else and for which he (i.e. Turnbull) can take the credit but not the blame.

    BRING IT ON!

  • 121
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Mod, now that I’ve gone back and read how all this started.

    Putting forth counter arguments is not criticising you.

  • 122
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    ModLib

    little reality check –

    1. Tricot makes a comment about a politician’s appearance
    2. ModLib says you shouldn’t insult a lady, it’s rude.
    3. zoomster and guitar say politicans of both sexes have comments made about their appearance
    4. ModLib claims she’s being picked on.

  • 123
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:54 am | PERMALINK
    ModLib

    I think you’re getting politeness confused with sexism – your use of the word ‘lady’ being a bit of a giveaway.

    YIKES!

    Now I am being criticise for using “lady”

    Do you guys ever reflect on what you are saying?

    Insight much?

  • 124
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    If Abbott is replaced. It wont be Talculm.

  • 125
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Dear Aunti Mod Lib,

    It looks to me that you are a complete whacko.

    Do I tell this truth or join your crusade on not commenting on people’s appearance?

    Yours in red herring distraction,
    GG

  • 126
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    E

    Today is a great day for equality as news from the US and Europe show.

    Senator Bernadi must hate it

  • 127
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I get it. If Mod expresses something, it’s a reasonable proposition. If anyone responds to it, it’s an unjustified attack.

    Mod, you need to learn to handle disagreement better.

  • 128
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    complete whacko is fine, as this is a blog (or I thought it was) about politics (i.e. ideas) rather than appearances (i.e. “New Idea”)…..notwithstanding guytaur and zoomster who support comments about politician’s appearances (although I suspect this might be affected by the political persuasion of said politicians…..lets see, shall we?)

  • 129
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    guytaur,

    You might be over egging the Eurovision result, comrade.

  • 130
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    By the way, now that I’ve read them, should I go say what I think about the types of comments that triggered this little episode? Will leaving my only comments being those directed to Mod signify something? Oh dear. My head is spinning.

  • 131
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Adding 10c a litre to the fuel excise is the cost of living equivalent to having a $40 a tonne Carbon Prie.

  • 132
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Do you guys ever reflect on what you are saying?

    As a woman – not a guy or a lady – yes, I do.

    There is a long history of feminists rejecting the word ‘lady’, which I found your use of the word slightly off putting.

  • 133
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:59 am | PERMALINK
    I get it. If Mod expresses something, it’s a reasonable proposition. If anyone responds to it, it’s an unjustified attack.

    Mod, you need to learn to handle disagreement better.

    Did I say unjustified attack?

    I am just making the point that an hour after one poster makes a comment about a politician’s appearance, there have been dozens of responses, all of which are in response to my criticism of such posts, and not one is critical of making comments about appearances.

    Of course you all have a right to support comments about appearances. Go ahead.

    I will just point out the hypocrisy of this, given the last 6 years of posts here!

  • 134
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    The fuel excise increase will effect the low paid and pensioners etc for more than the wealthy.

    It will increase the cost of every item that could be listed.

    There goes the inflation rate..up..up and away

  • 135
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    ModLib

    As I said, I don’t recall you ever galloping in to object to any comments about Gillard’s appearance – and they were common – so I suggest you remove the plank from your own eye.

  • 136
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    GG

    No. People voted and any politics involved was a vote for tolerance. Outweighed Russian votes for intolerance. In the Semifinals Russia was booed as well over Ukraine.

  • 137
    lefty e
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Cue comments on Abbott’s appearance: He looks like a poor economic manager.

  • 138
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    If I say that President Obama’s hair has greyed through his time in office, showing the stress felt by all leaders who work hard and care about the outcomes of their work, is that a political comment, or an appearance comment.

    And if I say nothing in response to an annoying poster, does that mean I agree or disagree?

  • 139
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    E

    Spin spin spin. Comments have been about your allegation of sexism, not appearance

  • 140
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Anyone else notice that Mod Lib has successfully moves the discussion away from political failures to herself? As usual.

  • 141
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Mod, I ignore all comments about appearance. What I don’t ignore are discussions about the meaning of things such as silence. The former does not interest me. The latter does. You yourself are subjected to various claims with respect to that.

    Does that mean people “get away” with the former? Well sure. There are tons of things that a lot of different people “get away” with because I don’t comment on them. That includes you.

  • 142
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I don’t recall you ever galloping in to object to any comments about Gillard’s appearance

    Mod Lib’s response was to point out that it was okay because of what people used to say about Howard’s appearance.

    Of course when the boot is on the other foot, Mod Lib takes an entirely different view.

  • 143
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I am certain the moment I tell you all my opinion on various matters you will all immediately fall into line ;) .

  • 144
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    ModLib

    Of course you all have a right to support comments about appearances. Go ahead

    Now you’re moving goalposts.

    Your original response implied that the comment was sexist.

    It’s not.

    Whether or not it’s legitimate to comment on a politician’s appearance is a different issue entirely.

    As a general rule, I don’t. But – as we don’t live in a nanny state, we have a right to free speech, etc etc – I don’t object to other commentators here talking about subjects that I myself don’t consider relevant.

    To deny, on the other hand, that a politician’s appearance has nothing to do with polling (on a pseph site) is simply ignorant.

    The only time I wear suits, style my hair and put on make up is when I’m campaigning. And there are very good reasons for that.

  • 145
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    He looks like a poor economic manager.

    I cannot believe how woefully the govt is framing its first budget. Plus being underpinned by images of senior ministers smoking cigars and complaining about the standards in Qantas business class while telling the rest of us to suck it up and cop some pain. It’s just remarkable how bad they are.

  • 146
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Which, of course, would be boring. So I don’t.

    :P

  • 147
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    confessions

    Yeah. I agree with you about the footage being worse than the photo.

  • 148
    dave
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The Ukraine mess continues to bubble along -

    Ukraine Scrambles Fighter Jets, Intercepts Airplane Carrying Russian Deputy Premier

    A few short hours ago, a Russian delegation which contained the deputy premier of Russia Dmitry Rogozin was flying back from Moldova's capital Chisinau following his visit to Tiraspol as part of May 9 celebrations, when Ukraine scrambled fighter jets to intercept the Yak-42 carrying the Russian vice premier and forced it to promptly land back in Moldova.

    The reason why this is surprising is that Rogozin was well aware in advance of taking off that Ukraine had closed its airspace to the Russian delegation.

    But the punchline is that while Rogozin managed to fly into Moldova over Romanian airspace, on his return the EU and NATO member country served him with a surprise - it followed in Ukraine's footsteps and blocked off its airspace to the Russian Deputy PM as well.

    ...So suddenly Rogozin found himself unable to access the airspace of either Ukraine or Romania. Which is a problem, because as the map below shows, Moldova has a contiguous border with just these two countries, and in effect if both neighbors block their airspace to Russians in the country, there is no way to depart.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-10/ukraine-scrambles-figher-jets-intercepts-airplane-carrying-russian-deputy-premier

  • 149
    briefly
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    93
    Everything

    I dont support the use of comments about a politician’s appearance as part of a political attack.

    Abbott looks like a liar, clucks like a liar, umms like a liar, grunts like a liar, tells lies like a liar…Everything about says liar.

  • 150
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    E

    Abbott will not win. Attacking people in wheelchairs may be a thing with him but voters don’t like it.

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