Victorian State Election 2010: Kew
Margin: Liberal 9.6%
Upper house region: Southern Metropolitan
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: Kew covers blue-ribbon territory in Melbourne’s inner east, from Kew east to Balwyn with the Yarra River as its northern boundary. The seat has been held by the Liberal Party and its predecessors since its creation in 1927. The retirements of Kennett government Attorney-General Jan Wade in Kew and Treasurer Alan Stockdale in Brighton at the 1999 election generated an interconnected preselection struggle between the Kennett and Costello-Kroger camps, who respectively wished for front-bencher Louise Asher (then member for the upper house province of Monash) and Costello adviser Mitch Fifield to succeed Stockdale in Brighton. The Costello camp wished for Asher to leave Brighton for Fifield by taking Kew instead, but the Kennett forces achieved a double victory by locking out Fifield (who eventually became a Senator in 2004) and securing Kew for Andrew McIntosh at the expense of two Costello-Kroger candidates: first Kevin Donnelly, who withdrew, and then Sally-Anne Venables, who lost the preselection vote.
After his election, McIntosh rose to parliamentary secretary in September 2001 and the shadow ministry in the following year, progressively serving in the industrial relations, Attorney-General and police and emergency services portfolios. In November 2009 he was demoted from the latter to crime prevention, freedom of information and integrity of government, despite him being noted as loyal to Ted Baillieu. Stephen McMahon of the Herald-Sun characterised as his responsibilities being “divided out to younger and more aggressive parliamentary performers” after he “failing to get much cut through”. There were reports in mid-2009 that McIntosh might face a preselection challenge from Kelly O’Dwyer, former adviser to Peter Costello and later successor to him his seat of Higgins. Andrew Landeryou at VexNews reported this and other potential challenges inspired Baillieu and his supporters on the party’s administration committee to truncate the preselection process.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.