CANDIDATES from the major parties for the Dunkley by-election are expected to be announced soon.
Incumbent Dunkley MP Peta Murphy died from metastatic breast cancer in December. She won the seat for Labor in 2019, and retained it at the 2022 federal election. A by-election will be held to install a new federal MP.
Speaker Milton Dick has yet to announce a date for the by-election which is not expected to be held until February at the earliest.
Labor has yet to announce a candidate and the Liberals are expected to preselect a candidate for the seat in the next week – contenders named in the media include Frankston mayor Nathan Conroy, former Carrum MP Donna Hope, and former Carrum candidate Bec Buchanan.
Dunkley was held by the Liberals for more than 20 years before Murphy’s 2019 victory. Bruce Billson was Dunkley MP between 1996 and 2016 before handing the reins to Chris Crewther. Crewther was defeated after just one term.
Murphy narrowly won the seat in 2019, and expanded her margin in 2022. It is now held by Labor with a margin of 6.3 per cent.
The by-election will be a test for the Albanese Labor government after it won the Aston by-election last year in what was an historic result for a sitting government. Since then it has been damaged by the defeat of the Yes campaign at the Voice referendum, and continuing cost of living pressures.
The Dunkley electorate encompasses Frankston, Mount Eliza, Langwarrin, Skye, and Seaford.