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Your guide to the 2018 Seat of Batman By-election

Note: the following guide details a past election. If you like this, check out my guide to the 2018 Victorian State Election.

Your guide to the Seat of Batman By-election, 2018
Marginal. Labor 1.0% (vs Greens)

Historical Vote Trend | 2016 Results | Candidates | Assessment


The seat of Batman is an electorate that sits within Melbourne's inner northern suburbs. Covering an area of around 66 square kilometres, the electorate runs from Thomastown/Bundoora in the north to Clifton Hill in the south, with Merri Creek providing the vast majority of the western boundary and Darebin Creek, parts of Macleod and Plenty Road in Bundoora providing the eastern boundary. The suburbs of Alphington, Clifton Hill, Fairfield, Kingsbury, Northcote, Preston, Reservoir, and Thornbury; and parts of Bundoora, Coburg North, Macleod, and Thomastown are in this division

The seat, created in 1906, has been a safe Labor seat for most of its history and has not been held by a conservative party since 1934, when the United Australia Party's (predecessor to the Liberal Party) Samuel Denis lost the seat after holding it for a single term from 1931. Sam Benson, who won the seat at the 1962 By-election as the Labor candidate, was expelled from the Labor Party over his support for Australia's continued participation in the Vietnam War, and successfully held the seat at the 1966 Federal Election as an independent before retiring at the1969 Election, where the seat returned into Labor hands.

More recently, the Labor Party has seen its share of the vote decline to a steadily rising Greens vote as rapid gentrification begins to take hold, particularly in the southern portion of the electorate; with Bell Street roughly representing the divide between the emerging middle class in the south and the working class in the north.

Incumbent MP:

David Feeney has held the seat since 2013. He is resigning due to his status as a possible duel citizen making him ineligible to sit in Parliament. He is not re-contesting the seat.

Historical Vote Trend

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2016 Federal Election Results

Party Candidate Vote Percentage Swing
  Greens Alex Bhathal 32,645 36.23% +9.83%
  Labor David Feeney 31,780 35.27% −6.02%
  Liberal George Souris 17,924 19.89% −2.57%
  Sex Party Joel Murray 2,317 2.57% −0.01%
  Independent Philip Sutton 1,509 1.67% +0.86%
  Animal Justice Caitlin Evans 1,503 1.67% +0.27%
  Marriage Equality Elizabeth Syber 682 0.76% +0.76%
  Renewable Energy Maurice Oldis 593 0.66% +0.66%
  Independent Franco Guardiani 480 0.53% +0.53%
  Cyclists Geoffrey Cicuto 386 0.43% +0.43%
  Progressives Russell Hayward 282 0.31% +0.31%
Two Party Preferred Result
  Labor David Feeney 45,977 51.03% −9.58%
  Greens Alex Bhathal 44,124 48.97% +9.58%

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Quick Navigation:

Yvonne Gentle | Ged Kearney | Alex BhathalKevin Bailey | Tegan Burns | Debbie Robinson | Teresa Van Lieshout | Adrian Whitehead | Mark McDonald | Miranda Smith

Yvonne GentleYvonne Gentle
Website (party) | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Rise Up Australia Party

Yvonne is the national secretary of the Rise Up Australia Party and was the candidate for the federal seat of Flinders at the 2016 Federal Election. She is a business woman, having run a family company and business for over 25 years. She also worked in manufacturing as a Company Rep for over 20 years.

Key issues:


Ged KearneyLabor How-to-vote card, 2018 Batman by-electionGed Kearney
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Labor.

Born in Richmond, Ged Kearney has, for the last seven years, been the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and prior to this, she was the Assistant Federal Secretary and then Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) from 2002-2010. Ged began her working life as a nurse, finishing up as a Deputy Director of Nursing at the Austin Hospital in charge of graduate and nurse education. She describes herself as "a progressive with a strong belief in a society that provides access to core services for everyone" and also describes herself as "on the side of people and communities, not big corporations."

Key issues:


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Alex BhathalGreens How-to-vote card, 2018 Batman by-electionAlex Bhathal
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Greens.

Alex Bhathal is a social worker and lives in Preston. She has been the Greens candidate for the seat of Batman for the last five elections.

Key issues: action on climate change, better health and education funding, refugees, justice for Indigenous Australians, fair industrial relations laws.






Kevin BaileyAustralian Conservatives How-to-vote card, 2018 Batman by-electionKevin Bailey
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Australian Conservatives.

Kevin Bailey is the Victorian State Director of the Australian Conservatives. He is also a businessman and former SAS soldier.

Key issues:


Tegan BurnsAustralian People's Party How-to-vote card, 2018 Batman by-electionTegan Burns
Website (party) | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Australian People's Party.

Tegan is a 24 year old mother of one and holds a Certificate IV in Criminal Justice. She loves politics and says that she stand up for what she believes in.

Key issues: free education (primary, secondary and tertiary) and healthcare, legalise cannabis, reform to the family court, no road tolls, return assets to public hands, reducing homelessness, revive manufacturing in Australia, personal income tax cuts (fixed 10% of gross income).



Debbie RobinsonDebbie Robinson
Website (party) | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Australian Liberty Alliance

Debbie is a founding member and president of the Australian Liberty Alliance. She was also the ALA's lead senate candidate in Western Australia for the 2016 Federal Election.

Key issues:


Teresa Van LieshoutTeresa Van Lieshout
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Independent (Voter Rights Party)

Teresa has contested numerous elections and by-elections at the state and federal level, mostly in Western Australia. In the past, she has stood as a candidate representing One Nation, the Australian Protectionist Party and as an independent. She works as a teacher.

Key issues:


Adrian WhiteheadAdrian Whitehead How-to-vote card, 2018 Batman by-electionAdrian Whitehead
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Independent (Save The Planet)

Adrian Whitehead is an environmental campaigner, setting up Beyond Zero Emissions and establishing the Vote Climate campaign. He previously ran for the seat of Corangamite under the "Save The Planet" banner in 2013 as well as for Darebin City Council in 2016. He is a former member of the Greens, having served as the Victorian Greens State Convener and has ran as a candidate for the Greens on numerous occasions. Before that, we was a member of the Young Liberals.

Key issues:


Mark McDonaldMark McDonald
Website (party) | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Sustainable Australia

Mark is an IT engineer who lives in Preston. Having traveled extensively, he enjoys experiencing different cultures and is also passionate about affordable housing, a sustainable environment, sustainable population, energy security and sensible public asset ownership.

Key issues:


Miranda SmithAnimal Justice Party How-to-vote card, 2018 Batman by-electionMiranda Smith
Website (party) | Facebook | Twitter

Political Party: Animal Justice Party.

Miranda has a background as a healthcare worker, with over eight years experience in senior management in the healthcare sector. She currently volunteers as Marketing Manager for the Animal Justice Party in Victoria and has been a Working Group Member with the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses since mid 2014. She has previously volunteered with Viva in the UK and as an Accredited Phone Counsellor with Lifeline. Miranda was the Animal Justice Party candidate for the Federal seat of Melbourne in 2016 and stood for the Victorian state seat of Richmond in 2014.

Key issues: ban live exports, protection of native wildlife, ending abuse in factory farming, ban battery cages.


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Assessment and prediction:

Tossup, trending Greens

Batman is a very marginal electorate and the Greens will be targeting the seat intently with the hope of gaining their second seat in the Federal Parliament. Alex Bhathal would have a good chance of winning the seat without a Liberal candidate running, on the basis of the profile she's been able to develop due to her previous runs at the seat.

With that being said, while the Greens vote is strong in the south of the seat, Labor's vote continues to hold firm in the more suburban north of the seat. The Greens will need to overcome some rather big Labor leads in the north if they are to have any chance of winning the seat. Labor's selection of Ged Kearney as their candidate to replace David Feeney, who was very much a liability for the Labor Party, may also impact on the Greens chances of winning the seat. 

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