Victorian election 2014

Malvern

Margin: Liberal 20.5%
Region: Southern Metropolitan
Federal: Higgins

Candidates in ballot paper order

malvern-lib

malvern-alp

MICHAEL O’BRIEN
Liberal (top)

JAMES BENNETT
Greens

LES TARCZON
Labor (bottom)

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.

Held for the Liberals by Treasurer Michael O’Brien, the blue-ribbon seat of Malvern is located in Melbourne’s inner south-eastern suburbs, extending from Toorak east to Malvern East with Gardiners Creek as the northern boundary. The state’s second wealthiest electorate after Hawthorn, it has been changed only slightly by the redistribution, which extends its western boundary from Orrong Road to Canterbury Road in Toorak, for a gain of 1400 voters from Prahran.

Malvern has been held by the Liberals at all time since its creation in 1945, the previous member being former party leader and current Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. Doyle became member at the 1992 election after a preselection win over sitting member Geoff Leigh, who found refuge in the marginal seat of Mordialloc, where he was eventually defeated in 2002. When Doyle announced he would not be contesting the election in early 2006, his colleagues in the Peter Costello-Michael Kroger camp threw their weight behind Michael O’Brien. Elements in the Kennett/Baillieu camp sought to counter this by backing local banker Jane Hume, but O’Brien won with 44 votes out of 54 amid familiar complaints about the process.

Prior to entering parliament, O’Brien had been a barrister and an adviser to Peter Costello, and was often described as the latter’s protégé. He won immediate promotion to shadow cabinet following his election in the gaming portfolio, further gaining consumer affairs in August 2007 and infrastructure, energy and trade in November 2009. The latter portfolio was amended to energy and resources upon the election of the Baillieu government in November 2010, but otherwise his portfolio load remain unchanged.

O’Brien’s long standing factional opposition to Baillieu saw him mentioned in relation to the leadership ambitions of his main rival, Planning Minister Matthew Guy. But when Baillieu resigned in March 2013, Guy was stuck in the upper house, O’Brien failed to find support, and Baillieu succeeded in smoothing the path for Denis Napthine, with whom O’Brien was also close. O’Brien subsequently won promotion to Treasurer in place of Scoresby MP Kim Wells, who was widely thought to have under-performed in the role.