Rising Labor star set for a fight

May 23, 2016 Stephanie Conroy
Bruce is an electorate with shifting demographics (Photo: Wikipedia)
Sitting Member:
Griffin, A (ALP)
Size of electorate:
73 sq. Km

Key Comments

Griffin's margin was reduced in the 2013 electorate, this should be a safe Labor seat.

Electorate Profile

For a full list of candidates please see 'election at a glance' and use the electorate search tool or click Bruce.

The seat of Bruce has been earmarked as one of three outer south-eastern seats to watch as Labor and Liberals square off following the resignation of long-serving incumbent Labor MP, Alan Griffin, who is stepping down after 20 years and seven consecutive terms at the helm.

The Liberals will doggedly pursue the seat it had previously dominated from its creation in 1955 before redistribution saw it fall to the Labor Party in1996.

Gaining parts of Glen Waverley in 2010 reduced Labor’s margin from 8.1 per cent to 7.7 per cent. Optimism among the Liberal ranks remains high with the recent margin sitting at only 1.8 per cent.

But Labor does not plan to go down without a fight with Griffin’s successor Julian Hill remains cautiously optimistic that the Labor party has generated sufficient goodwill amongst the community to secure re-election. No stranger to politics, at only 25 Hill became the Port City Phillip Council’s youngest mayor. Serving at a senior level in many community development and local government roles, Hill appears to have the requisite background for politics – the question remains if he can attract the necessary backing.

Hill is up against Helen Kroger who secured Liberal pre-selection over previous candidate local school principal Emanuele Cicchiello who had attracted more first preference votes during the 2013 election. Kroger, however, is a seasoned fighter following time served as Senate chief whip and surviving repeated attempts by her own party to oust her.

Further bolstering the Liberals are the positive ties Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has forged with the Asian community - a huge demographic in the electorate – amid hopes that recently finalised free trade agreements will resonate as key party achievements.

Physically divided by Monash Freeway, the electorate is similarly divided in terms of demographics, wealth, and election priorities.

When Labor clinched the seat in 1996, Griffin won in every booth except one located south of the freeway, but lost in every booth northside of the major arterial. The same divergence creating distinctive pockets of the community will prove challenging for any member competing for the seat.

Increasing gentrification within the area and shifting demographics has created a lot of opportunities on the one hand but conceals innumerable social welfare issues dominating the electorate.

2013 Election Results

Candidate Party Votes % Swing(%)
FILLIPONI, Rebecca Family First Party 2186 2.65 -1.39
TUYAU, Paul Robert Jose Palmer United Party 2173 2.63 +2.63
GRIFFIN, AlanElected Australian Labor Party 34626 41.9 -6.81
CICCHIELLO, Emanuele Liberal 35501 42.96 +5.24
GONSALVEZ, Geraldine Marie Antoinette DLP Democratic Labour 1334 1.61 +1.61
WHITE, Robert George Rise Up Australia Party 652 0.79 +0.79
KELEHER, Lynette The Greens 5491 6.64 -2.83
UTH, Kiry Independent 682 0.83 +0.83
...... Secular Party of Australia 0 0 -0.06


Stephanie Conroy

Bruce is brought to you by Deakin University

Candidates for Bruce

News for Bruce