State election a federal replay in north-west


Elsie Lange

While they are relatively safe seats, electorates in the north-west should expect similar swings against the Labor Party in the November state election as were seen at the federal election, according to a former Victorian Labor strategist.

Strategy and campaigns director at political consultancy RedBridge Group, Kos Samaras, said while the swing against Labor wouldn’t be as “acute” in north-western electorates, it will still be present.

“I think most of the activity we’re going to see towards independents and minor parties will be the northwestern corridor – Greenvale, Broadmeadows, Kalkallo – those sorts of seats,” Ms Samaras said.

“None of it will bring Labor into any danger of losing the seats, but they will lose significant primary votes.”

Mr Samaras worked on Labor’s 2018 state election campaign and said while it may not happen at the next election, over time Labor’s stronghold in the north-west would begin to deteriorate as people moved towards minor or independent parties.

“What we’re seeing is every four years, [there are] four years of people jumping on the voters’ roll, four years of people moving into an area and four years of people dying,” he said.

“As the years roll on, younger people are generally less party loyal, as they continue to jump on that vote as well, that continues to expand the number of people who will not be opting for any particular major parties.

“They may at times vote for Liberal or Labor, but the chances of them opting for an alternative is much greater.”

Mr Samaras said the gentrification of the Macedon Ranges could produce a greater swing towards the Greens and Labor, because “the vast majority of people who live there now have more in common with those living in Brunswick than they do in Sunbury”.

“It’s going to become a greener, redder seat – more Labor, more green voters are moving into Macedon and towns like Woodend and Trentham and Kyneton.

“Greater numbers of tree changers, or progressive voters, are moving up there.”