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Division of Batman

Coordinates: 37°43′59″S 145°00′50″E / 37.733°S 145.014°E / -37.733; 145.014
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Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Batman (green) in Melbourne, Victoria
NamesakeJohn Batman
Electors108,935 (2016)
Area66 km2 (25.5 sq mi)
DemographicInner metropolitan
Coordinates37°43′59″S 145°00′50″E / 37.733°S 145.014°E / -37.733; 145.014

The Division of Batman was an Australian Electoral Division in the state of Victoria. It took its name from John Batman, one of the founders of the city of Melbourne. The division was created in 1906, replacing the Division of Northern Melbourne, and was abolished in 2019 and replaced by the Division of Cooper.[1]

The division was located in Melbourne's northern suburbs. It covered an area of approximately 66 square kilometres (25 sq mi) from Thomastown/Bundoora in the north to Clifton Hill in the south, with Merri Creek providing the vast majority of the western boundary and Darebin Creek, parts of Macleod and Plenty Road in Bundoora providing the eastern boundary. The suburbs of Alphington, Clifton Hill, Fairfield, Kingsbury, Northcote, Preston, Reservoir, and Thornbury; and parts of Bundoora, Coburg North, Macleod, and Thomastown were in this division.[1]

Held by Labor for all but 10 years of its history, Batman traditionally had been a safe Labor seat. However, the Greens made the seat a contest beginning with the 2010 election, where they reduced Labor from a 26.0% margin to a 7.9% margin. Though Labor increased their margin against the Greens to 10.6% in 2013, the Greens reduced Labor's margin to just 1.0% in 2016. At the 2018 Batman by-election however, Labor increased their margin to 4.4% against the Greens.[2]

In June 2018, the Australian Electoral Commission announced that, at the 2019 Australian federal election, the division would be re-named Cooper, after Aboriginal community leader and activist William Cooper.[3]


John Batman, the division's namesake

When it was created it covered the inner suburbs of Carlton and Fitzroy, but successive boundary changes moved it steadily northwards, ending with it including Northcote, Preston, Reservoir and Thornbury.

Located in Labor's traditional heartland of north Melbourne, Batman had been in Labor hands for all but two terms since 1910, and without interruption since 1969. It was held by Brian Howe from 1977 to 1996, a senior minister in the Hawke and Keating governments, and also Deputy Prime Minister 1991–95. Howe was succeeded at the 1996 election by Martin Ferguson, moving to Parliament after six years as President of the ACTU. Ferguson served as a senior Labor frontbencher, and a minister in the Rudd and Gillard governments, before resigning from the ministry in March 2013 after the failed challenge to Gillard's leadership. He was succeeded at the 2013 election by former Senator David Feeney, who had been a parliamentary secretary in the Rudd and Gillard governments.[4]

In 2018, as a result of the 2017–18 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis, Feeney resigned and decided not to seek pre-selection to run at the ensuing by-election. The 2018 Batman by-election held on 17 March saw the election of Labor's Ged Kearney.[2]


Image Member Party Term Notes
  Jabez Coon
Protectionist 12 December 1906
26 May 1909
Lost seat
  Liberal 26 May 1909 –
13 April 1910
  Henry Beard
Labor 13 April 1910
18 December 1910
Previously held the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Jika Jika. Died in office
  Frank Brennan
8 February 1911
19 December 1931
Served as minister under Scullin. Lost seat
  Samuel Dennis
United Australia 19 December 1931
15 September 1934
Lost seat
  Frank Brennan
Labor 15 September 1934
31 October 1949
  Alan Bird
10 December 1949
21 July 1962
Died in office
  Sam Benson
1 September 1962
August 1966
  Independent August 1966 –
29 September 1969
  Horrie Garrick
Labor 25 October 1969
10 November 1977
Lost preselection and retired
  Brian Howe
10 December 1977
2 March 1996
Served as minister and Deputy Prime Minister under Hawke and Keating. Retired
  Martin Ferguson
2 March 1996
5 August 2013
Served as minister under Rudd and Gillard. Retired
  David Feeney
7 September 2013
1 February 2018
Previously a member of the Senate. Election results declared void due to dual citizenship. Did not contest subsequent by-election
  Ged Kearney
17 March 2018
11 April 2019
Transferred to the Division of Cooper after Batman was abolished in 2019

Election results[edit]

2018 Batman by-election[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Ged Kearney 36,840 43.14 +7.87
Greens Alex Bhathal 33,725 39.49 +3.26
Conservatives Kevin Bailey 5,471 6.41 +6.41
Animal Justice Miranda Smith 2,528 2.96 +1.29
Rise Up Australia Yvonne Gentle 2,217 2.60 +2.60
Independent Teresa van Lieshout 1,245 1.46 +1.46
Liberty Alliance Debbie Robinson 1,186 1.39 +1.39
Sustainable Australia Mark McDonald 951 1.11 +1.11
Adrian Whitehead 745 0.87 +0.87
People's Party Tegan Burns 496 0.58 +0.58
Total formal votes 85,404 93.79 +1.57
Informal votes 5,650 6.21 −1.57
Turnout 91,054 81.40 −8.28
Two-candidate-preferred result
Labor Ged Kearney 46,446 54.38 +3.35
Greens Alex Bhathal 38,958 45.62 −3.35
Labor hold Swing +3.35


  1. ^ a b "Profile of the electoral division of Batman (Vic)". Current federal electoral divisions. Australian Electoral Commission. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Batman by-election: Labor's Ged Kearney wins seat as Bill Shorten declares: 'We are back'". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Names and boundaries of federal electoral divisions in Victoria decided". Australian Electoral Commission. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  4. ^ Green, Antony (11 October 2013). "Federal election 2013: Batman results". Australia Votes. Australia: ABC. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Batman By-election". AEC Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.

External links[edit]