Division of Higgins

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Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of HIGGINS 2016.png
Division of Higgins in Victoria, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1949
MP Kelly O'Dwyer
Party Liberal
Namesake H. B. Higgins
Electors 104,615 (2016)
Area 40 km2 (15.4 sq mi)
Demographic Inner Metropolitan

The Division of Higgins is an Australian Electoral Division in Victoria.

The division was created in 1949 and is named after Justice H. B. Higgins (1851–1929), who was a Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly (1894), president of the Carlton Football Club (1904), a founding Member of Australian House of Representatives (1901–1906) and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1906–1929).

Higgins covers 40 km2 (15 sq mi) in Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs. The main suburbs include Armadale, Ashburton, Kooyong, Malvern, Malvern East, Prahran and Toorak along with parts of Carnegie, Glen Iris, Hughesdale, Murrumbeena, South Yarra and Windsor.

Like other seats in inner-eastern Melbourne, Higgins has historically been a stronghold for the Liberal Party and its predecessors. It is considered a "leadership seat," in part because the seat's first two members, Harold Holt and Sir John Gorton, were Prime Ministers of Australia in 1966–67 and 1968–71 respectively. Higgins is the only Division to have been held by two Prime Ministers. This occurred when Holt went missing while Prime Minister, and then-Senator Gorton used the ensuing by-election to transfer to the House.

More recently, the seat was held by the longest serving Treasurer of Australia and former Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Peter Costello, who was a prominent member of the Howard Government. Costello resigned from the seat on 19 October 2009, and was succeeded in the ensuing by-election by current member Kelly O'Dwyer.

A Lonergan seat-level opinion poll conducted from a large sample of 1,100 voters in Higgins took place a month out from the 2016 election on 3−4 June which found the Liberal primary vote had collapsed by over ten percent to a Higgins Liberal record low of less than half of the primary vote at just 44 percent, transferring Higgins in to a hotly-watched contest in 2016, with the Liberals reduced to a marginal two-candidate vote of 53−47 against Greens candidate Jason Ball.[1] However, these results were proven to be inaccurate, as O'Dwyer achieved well above 50% of the primary vote, thus not requiring preferences to win. The large swing to the Greens in 2016 can be attributed to the large drop in the Australian Labor Party's primary vote.


Member Party Term
  Harold Holt Liberal 1949–1967
  John Gorton Liberal 1968–1975
  Independent 1975–1975
  Roger Shipton Liberal 1975–1990
  Peter Costello Liberal 1990–2009
  Kelly O'Dwyer Liberal 2009–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2016: Higgins
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer 46,714 52.01 -2.36
Greens Jason Ball 22,768 25.35 +8.55
Labor Carl Katter 13,415 14.94 −9.14
Xenophon Nancy Bassett 1,990 2.22 +2.2
Animal Justice Eleonora Gullone 1,336 1.49 +1.49
Justice Jessica Tregear 1,256 1.40 +1.40
Marriage Equality Rebecca O'Brien 1,252 1.39 +1.39
Liberal Democrats Robert Kennedy 1,090 1.21 +1.21
Total formal votes 89,821 96.24 −0.18
Informal votes 3,512 3.76 +0.18
Turnout 93,333 89.22 -2.75
Two-candidate-preferred result
Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer 52,075 57.98 -1.95
Greens Jason Ball 37,746 42.02 +42.02
Liberal hold Swing -1.95


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°51′32″S 145°02′49″E / 37.859°S 145.047°E / -37.859; 145.047