Division of Higgins

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Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of HIGGINS 2016.png
Division of Higgins in Victoria, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1949
MP Kelly O'Dwyer
Party Liberal
Namesake H. B. Higgins
Electors 104,678 (2016)
Area 40 km2 (15.4 sq mi)
Demographic Inner Metropolitan

The Division of Higgins is an Australian Electoral Division in Victoria for the Australian House of Representatives. The division covers 40 km2 (15 sq mi) in Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs. The main suburbs include Armadale, Ashburton, Kooyong, Malvern, Malvern East, Prahran and Toorak along with parts of Carnegie, Glen Iris, Hughesdale, Murrumbeena, South Yarra and Windsor.

Since the 2009 Higgins by-election, Kelly O'Dwyer from the Liberal Party has been the member for the Division, following the retirement of Peter Costello.


The division was created in 1949.

Like other seats in inner-eastern Melbourne, Higgins has historically been a stronghold for the Liberal Party. It is considered a "leadership seat," in part because the seat's first two members, Harold Holt and Sir John Gorton, were Prime Ministers of Australia in 1966–67 and 1968–71 respectively. Higgins is the only Division to have been held by two Prime Ministers. This occurred when Holt went missing while Prime Minister, and then-Senator Gorton used the ensuing by-election to transfer to the House. It has only been out of Liberal hands for eight months in its existence, when Gorton became an independent to protest Malcolm Fraser becoming Liberal leader.

More recently, the seat was held by the longest serving Treasurer of Australia and former Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Peter Costello, who was a prominent member of the Howard Government. Costello resigned from the seat on 19 October 2009, and was succeeded in the ensuing by-election by current member Kelly O'Dwyer.

Holt and Costello were also Treasurers during their respective tenure in Higgins and the current member Kelly O'Dwyer is a Cabinet Minister.[1]


The division is named after Justice H. B. Higgins (1851–1929), who was a Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly (1894), president of the Carlton Football Club (1904), a founding Member of Australian House of Representatives (1901–1906) and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1906–1929).


Member Party Term
  Harold Holt Liberal 1949–1967
  John Gorton Liberal 1968–1975
  Independent 1975
  Roger Shipton Liberal 1975–1990
  Peter Costello Liberal 1990–2009
  Kelly O'Dwyer Liberal 2009–present

Election results

Australian federal election, 2016: Higgins[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer 46,953 52.00 −2.37
Greens Jason Ball 22,870 25.33 +8.53
Labor Carl Katter 13,495 14.95 −9.13
Xenophon Nancy Bassett 2,007 2.22 +2.22
Animal Justice Eleonora Gullone 1,344 1.49 +1.49
Marriage Equality Rebecca O'Brien 1,265 1.40 +1.40
Justice Jessica Tregear 1,264 1.40 +1.40
Liberal Democrats Robert Kennedy 1,093 1.21 +1.21
Total formal votes 90,291 96.22 −0.20
Informal votes 3,550 3.78 +0.20
Turnout 93,841 89.65 −2.36
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer 54,798 60.69 +0.76
Labor Carl Katter 35,493 39.31 –0.76
Two-candidate-preferred result
Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer 52,359 57.99 −1.94
Greens Jason Ball 37,932 42.01 +42.01
Liberal hold Swing N/A


  1. ^ "Ministry List" (PDF). www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/ministry-list-20-dec-2017.pdf.
  2. ^ Higgins, VIC, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.

External links

  • Division of Higgins – Australian Electoral Commission

Coordinates: 37°51′32″S 145°02′49″E / 37.859°S 145.047°E / -37.859; 145.047

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