Margin: Liberal 9.5%
Location: Inner Eastern Melbourne, Victoria
Outgoing member: Petro Georgiou (Liberal)
In a nutshell: Held successively by Bob Menzies and Andrew Peacock, Kooyong is perhaps the most prestigious electorate in the Liberal firmament. Renowned as a small-l liberal maverick, current member Petro Georgiou is bowing out at the election, to be succeeded as Liberal candidate by Josh Frydenberg.
Electorate analysis: A jewel in the Liberal crown, Kooyong has been held by the prevailing conservative forces of the day ever since its creation at federation. It currently extends from Kew and Hawthorn east through Canterbury to Balwyn North and Surrey Hills. The seat has had just three members since 1934: Bob Menzies (until 1966), Andrew Peacock (until 1994) and Petro Georgiou. It was generally assumed Georgiou had a career as a heavy-hitter ahead of him, but he instead emerged as a permanent back-bencher and a thorn in the side of the Howard government, particularly in relation to his liberal views on asylum seekers. Georgiou is retiring at the coming election.
The Liberal preselectino was won by Josh Frydenberg, a banker and former adviser to Alexander Downer and John Howard who had earlier challenged Petro Georgiou for preselection before the 2007 election, with little success. Frydenberg had the backing of the Michael Kroger camp, while rivals associated with state Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu initially backed Institute of Public Affairs director John Roskam. However, Roskam declined to run and instead threw his weight behind industrial relations lawyer John Pesutto. Frydenberg prevailed by 283 votes to 239 after the elimination of various also-rans in the first round.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.