In the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Burwood includes the suburbs of Ashburton, Ashwood, Box Hill South, Burwood, and parts of Camberwell, Chadstone, Glen Iris, and Surrey Hills.
A marginal seat in recent years, Burwood was held by Jeff Kennett from 1976, who was Premier from 1992 to 1999, when he resigned from Parliament following the government's defeat in that year's state election. In the ensuring by-election, Labor gained the seat and held it for the next 11 years, until the defeat of the Bracks/Brumby Government in 2010. The Liberal Party were able to retain the seat in 2014, despite being voted out of government.
The Liberal Party would be favoured to hold on in Burwood, however it will be one of those seats that Labor are hoping to gain in 2018 to offset any potential losses to the Greens in the inner city Melbourne electorates, ensuring they retain a majority. It will be a tough ask, though certainly by no means impossible, for an incumbent government to pull off.
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About the author:
Matt Hrkac is a writer and activist based in Geelong who regularly contributes to Green Left Weekly. He has particular interests in politics, elections and the trade union movement and has had extensive involvement in a number of local campaigns. He is a former member of the Greens.