Margin: Liberal 6.0%
Location: Eastern Melbourne, Victoria
In a nutshell: As befits its name, the Melbourne eastern suburbs seat of Menzies has been safely held by the Liberals since its creation in 1984. Incumbent Kevin Andrews succeeded inaugural member Neil Brown in 1991.
Electorate analysis: Menzies has covered Bulleen, Doncaster and Templestowe in Melbourne’s north-west since its creation in 1984, most of which had previously been in abolished Diamond Valley. It was won for the Liberals upon its creation by Neil Brown, who had held Diamond Valley from 1969 to 1972 and again from 1975 to 1983. Menzies provided the one-time deputy Liberal leader with a safer home until he retired in 1991, when he was succeeded by Kevin Andrews. Noted for his religious convictions and social conservatism, Andrews came to prominence when he spearheaded a successful push to overturn Northern Territory euthanasia laws in federal parliament. After the 2001 election he entered the outer ministry as Ageing Minister, winning promotion to cabinet in the workplace relations portfolio in October 2003. After shepherding the WorkChoices legislation through parliament in 2005, he was reassigned to immigration and citizenship, it being felt that the sale of WorkChoices required Joe Hockey’s avuncular touch. Andrews was dropped from the Coalition front bench after the November 2007 election defeat, but returned as Shadow Families, Housing and Human Services Minister when Tony Abbott became leader.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.