Victorian election 2014

Bentleigh

Margin: Liberal 0.9%
Region: Southern Metropolitan
Federal: Goldstein (52%)/Hotham (48%)

Candidates in ballot paper order

bentleigh-lib

bentleigh-alp

SEAN MULCAHY
Greens

SOFIA TELEMZOUGUER
People Power

DAVID CLARK
Family First

ROSS JAMES McCAWLEY
Sex Party

NICK STAIKOS
Labor (bottom)

CHANDRA OJHA
Independent

KELLEY MOLDOVAN
Rise Up Australia

ELIZABETH MILLER
Liberal (top)

2010 BOOTH RESULTS MAP

PAST RESULTS

DEMOGRAPHICS

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 south-eastern Melbourne electorate of Bentleigh has been a critical margin seat through a history going back to 1967, and proved so again in 2010 when election night ended with the fate of the government resting on the outcome. The late count miracle that Labor needed to tie up the Legislative Assembly numbers at 44-all failed to eventuate, Liberal candidate Elizabeth Miller ultimately prevailing by a margin of 441 votes.

Bentleigh extends roughly from the Nepean Highway at the western end to Warrigal Road in the east, its dominant suburbs of Bentleigh and Bentleigh East being supplemented by McKinnon and southern Ormond in the north, and by Hampton East and Moorabbin in the south. The redistribution sees it gain 3750 voters in Brighton East and Hampton East from Brighton in the south-west, while losing 3000 in Bentleigh East to Clarinda in the north-east. The changes make next to no difference to the Liberal margin, which increases from 0.8% to 0.9%.

Labor’s first win in Bentleigh came in 1979, one election before its 27-year stretch in opposition ended with the election of John Cain’s government. It remained with Labor through its three terms in government before falling in the landslide of 1992, when Inga Peulich secured a 9.7% swing and a winning margin of 8.2%. Like a number of normally decisive Melbourne marginals, Bentleigh stayed with the Liberals in 1999 while the election was being decided with the regions, then moved forcefully to Labor in 2002, when Peulich was unseated by a 6.8% swing to Labor’s Rob Hudson. Peulich returned to parliament at the 2006 election with an upper house berth in South Eastern Metropolitan.

The successful Liberal candidate in 2010 was Elizabeth Miller, a “product specialist” whose CV includes work as a clinical nurse consultant and account manager for medical businesses. Labor’s candidate is Nick Staikos, a former Glen Eira councillor associated with the National Union of Workers sub-faction of the Right.

cuTwo weeks out from polling day, a Galaxy poll published in the Sunday-Herald Sun gave the Liberals a morale boost by putting them ahead 52-48 lead on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 48% for Elizabeth Miller (compared with 47.2% in 2010), 35% for Nick Staikos (38.5% for Labor in 2010) and 11% for the Greens (unchanged). The poll also found Denis Napthine holding a 49-28 lead over Daniel Andrews in the electorate as preferred premier. Talk throughout the campaign has generally been of a tight race, but on the morning of election day the Herald-Sun reported that the Liberals considered themselves favourites.