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Division of McEwen

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Division of McEwen

Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of McEwen (green) in Victoria
Created 1984
MP Rob Mitchell
Party Labor
Namesake John McEwen
Electors 111,719 (2013)
Area 10,675 km2 (4,121.6 sq mi)
Demographic Rural

The Division of McEwen is an Australian Electoral Division in the state of Victoria. The electorate is located in the centre of the state, north of the capital city of Melbourne. It includes the outer northern suburbs of Craigieburn, Doreen, Mernda, Sunbury and Wollert, and extends along the Hume Highway north of the metropolitan area to include the towns of Broadford, Gisborne, Kilmore, Seymour, Wallan and Woodend as well as many other small towns.

The Division was proclaimed at the redistribution of 14 September 1984, and was first contested at the 1984 Federal election. It was named after Rt Hon Sir John McEwen, leader of the Country Party of Australia, who was appointed caretaker Prime Minister of Australia after the disappearance of Harold Holt in 1967.

The seat has always been very marginal due to its demographics. The Melbourne share is located in Labor's traditional heartland of north Melbourne. In contrast, the rural areas tilt more toward the Liberals.

The 2007 election resulted in McEwen becoming the most marginal seat in the country. Incumbent Liberal MP Fran Bailey led throughout most of the initial count, and was initially found to have lost to former Labor state MLC Rob Mitchell by six votes. Bailey subsequently requested and was granted a full recount, which overturned Mitchell's win and instead gave Bailey a twelve-vote victory. The result was challenged in the High Court of Australia in its capacity as the Court of Disputed Returns, and was referred to the Federal Court of Australia. Over seven months after the election and a review of 643 individual votes, the court altered the formal status of several dozen, eventually declaring Bailey the winner by 27 votes, later amended to 31 votes. Following the resolution of the long-running dispute, Bailey called for a total overhaul of the voting system.[1][2][3]

Bailey retired at the 2010 election. Mitchell again stood as the Labor candidate and won it on a large swing.

Ahead of the 2013 election, a redistribution pushed McEwen further into Melbourne, increasing Mitchell's notional majority to 9.2 percent and technically making it a safe Labor seat. However, McEwen barely retained the seat against former Liberal MLC Donna Petrovich, surviving on Green preferences. Petrovich ahead on the primary vote and led throughout most of the initial count, however postal votes favored Mitchell, and he ended up finishing 313 votes ahead of Petrovich. He now sits on a margin of 0.15%, making McEwen the second most marginal seat in Australia, after Fairfax.


  • Members 1
  • Election results 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Member Party Term
  Peter Cleeland Labor 1984–1990
  Fran Bailey Liberal 1990–1993
  Peter Cleeland Labor 1993–1996
  Fran Bailey Liberal 1996–2010
  Rob Mitchell Labor 2010–present

Election results

Australian federal election, 2013: McEwen[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Donna Petrovich 40,853 40.34 +4.11
Labor Rob Mitchell 38,091 37.62 −10.19
Greens Neil Barker 7,187 7.10 −3.59
Palmer United Trevor Dance 6,822 6.74 +6.74
Sex Party Victoria Nash 3,256 3.22 +3.22
Family First Barry Newton 2,906 2.87 −0.87
Katter's Australian Bruce Stevens 997 0.98 +0.98
Country Alliance Ian Cranson 686 0.68 +0.68
Rise Up Australia Ferdie Verdan 463 0.46 +0.46
Total formal votes 101,261 95.38 +0.21
Informal votes 4,910 4.62 −0.21
Turnout 106,171 94.83 −1.81
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Rob Mitchell 50,787 50.15 −9.04
Liberal Donna Petrovich 50,474 49.85 +9.04
Labor hold Swing −9.04


  1. ^ Doherty, Ben (3 July 2008). "Court confirms Bailey win".  
  2. ^ "Labor loses bid to win back McEwen".  
  3. ^ Mitchell v Bailey (No 2) 2008 FCA 692: Federal Court of Australia Decisions 2/7/2008
  4. ^ VIC DIVISION - MCEWEN, Virtual Tally Room, Australian Electoral Commission, Monday, 30 September 2013 02:38:51 PM. Retrieved 2013-11-10.

External links

  • Division of McEwen - Australian Electoral Commission

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