Victorian election 2014

Sydenham

Margin: Labor 11.5%
Region: Western Metropolitan
Federal: Gorton (60%)/Calwell (40%)

Candidates in ballot paper order

sydenham-alp

sydenham-lib

ALEX SCHLOTZER
Greens

JOHN VARANO
Liberal (bottom)

NATALIE HUTCHINS
Labor (top)

NADIA CHRISTOFIDIS
Australian Christians

SHAUN McKERRAL
Voice for the West

2010 BOOTH RESULTS MAP

PAST RESULTS (KEILOR)

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.

Sydenham is the successor to the abolished electorate of Keilor, which provides the entirety of its 42,000 voters in an area encompassing Keilor Lodge and Taylors Lakes in the east, Hillside and Caroline Springs in the east, Taylors Hill and Delahey in the south, and Sydenham itself in the centre. The name change reflects the transfer of Keilor to Niddrie and Keilor Downs to St Albans, respectively accounting for 4000 and 7700 voters in what had previously been the electorate’s south-eastern corner. The loss of substantial areas without corresponding gains is a result of the rapid growth of this part of Melbourne’s suburban fringe, which is reflected in the electorate’s preponderance of young mortgage-paying families, ranking it second highest of the state’s 88 electorates for the number of family households. Labor’s notion margin in the new seat is 11.5%, compared with 10.3% in Keilor at the 2010 election.

The electorate of Keilor had existed since 1976, and was safely held by Labor throughout its history. Croatian-born George Seitz became member at a June 1982 by-election held after the seat’s previous member, John Ginifer, resigned due to terminal ill health. Renowned as a warlord for various factions across his career, Seitz would finally bow out at the 2010 election, in the wake of branch-stacking allegations levelled by a former electorate officer and an Ombudsman’s finding he had exerted undue influence at the troubled Brimbank council.

The national executive duly intervened to endorse Natalie Hutchins, a former adviser to Premier Steve Bracks and chief-of-staff to Education Minister Mary Delahunty. Hutchins draws factional support from the Bill Shorten-Stephen Conroy camp of the Right, and is married to Steve Hutchins, a New South Wales Senator and former national president of the Transport Workers Union. She won promotion to shadow parliamentary secretary in February 2012, and then to shadow cabinet in the industrial relations, ports, freight and logistics portfolios in February 2013. The latter promotion followed a fiercely contested vote within the Labor Unity faction to fill a shadow cabinet vacancy created by the resignation of Tim Holding, in which she reportedly prevailed over Williamstown MP Wade Noonan after intervention from Shorten and Conroy.