Australian House of Representatives Division
|Namesake||Murray River (Aboriginal name)|
|Area||29,187 km2 (11,269.2 sq mi)|
The Division of Indi (pronounced // ) is an Australian electoral division in the state of Victoria. The division is located in the north-east of the state, adjoining the border with New South Wales. The largest settlements in the division are the regional cities of Wodonga, Wangaratta, and Benalla. Other towns in the electorate include Rutherglen, Mansfield, Beechworth, Myrtleford, Bright, Alexandra, Tallangatta, Corryong and a number of other small villages (notably including the ski resort of Falls Creek). While Indi is one of the largest electorates in Victoria, much of it is located within the largely uninhabited Australian Alps. While Wodonga serves as a regional hub for much of the more heavily populated northern part of the electorate, the southern part is closer to Melbourne than Wodonga.
The current member for Indi, since the 2019 federal election, is independent Helen Haines.
Indi has existed continuously since Federation. The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 65 divisions to be contested at the first federal election. The most nationally prominent person to represent Indi to date was the first, Sir Isaac Isaacs, who rose to become Attorney-General of Australia, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, and the first Australian-born Governor-General of Australia. Another member for Indi, John "Black Jack" McEwen, was a long-serving Minister and was briefly Prime Minister of Australia after the death of Harold Holt in 1967, but he was member for Murray by then. Indi has been held by a member of a conservative party (either the Liberal Party and its predecessors or the National Party) or a conservative independent for all but four terms since Federation, and without interruption since 1931. Labor last won the seat in 1928 when the Country incumbent forgot to renominate, and retained it in 1929.Since 2004, the Liberal primary vote has been in decline, falling from 63% in 2004, to 54% in 2007, 53% in 2010, 44% in 2013 and 27% in 2016.
At the 2013 election, independent Cathy McGowan unseated Liberal Party incumbent Sophie Mirabella, the only incumbent Liberal MP to lose his or her seat at the 2013 election. This was considered a major upset; Mirabella had gone into the election sitting on a margin of 59 percent, on the stronger side of fairly safe. Indeed, in a "traditional" two-party matchup, Mirabella would have retained the seat with a small swing in her favour against Labor.
McGowan retained Indi against Mirabella at the 2016 election with an increased 54.8% (+4.6) two-candidate-preferred vote. The Liberal "traditional" two-party-preferred vote was reduced to 54.4% (–4.7) against Labor's 45.6% (+4.7), a marginal two-party result not seen since the 1929 election.
McGowan retired in 2019 and was succeeded by fellow independent Haines, who suffered a swing of four percent against the Liberals from McGowan's 2016 vote and was elected on Labor preferences.
| Isaac Isaacs |
|Protectionist|| 29 March 1901 –|
12 October 1906
|Previously held the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Bogong. Served as minister under Deakin. Resigned in order to become a Justice of the High Court|
| Joseph Brown |
|Anti-Socialist|| 12 December 1906 –|
26 May 1909
|Previously held the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Shepparton and Euroa. Lost seat|
|Commonwealth Liberal||26 May 1909 –|
13 April 1910
| Parker Moloney |
|Labor|| 13 April 1910 –|
31 May 1913
| Cornelius Ahern |
|Commonwealth Liberal|| 31 May 1913 –|
5 September 1914
| Parker Moloney |
|Labor|| 5 September 1914 –|
5 May 1917
|Lost seat. Later elected to the division of Hume in 1919|
| John Leckie |
|Nationalist|| 5 May 1917 –|
13 December 1919
|Previously held the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Benambra. Lost seat. Later elected to the Senate in 1934|
| Robert Cook |
|Victorian Farmers' Union|| 13 December 1919 –|
22 January 1920
|Did not contest in 1928 after mistakenly failing to lodge renomination papers in time|
|Country||22 January 1920 –|
9 October 1928
| Paul Jones |
|Labor|| 17 November 1928 –|
19 December 1931
|Lost seat. Later elected to the Victorian Legislative Council in 1937|
| William Hutchinson |
|United Australia|| 19 December 1931 –|
23 October 1937
|Transferred to the Division of Deakin|
| John McEwen |
|Country|| 23 October 1937 –|
10 December 1949
|Previously held the Division of Echuca. Served as minister under Lyons, Page, Menzies and Fadden. Transferred to the Division of Murray|
| William Bostock |
|Liberal|| 10 December 1949 –|
22 November 1958
| Mac Holten |
|Country|| 22 November 1958 –|
2 May 1975
|Served as minister under Gorton and McMahon. Lost seat|
|National Country||2 May 1975 –|
10 December 1977
| Ewen Cameron |
|Liberal|| 10 December 1977 –|
8 February 1993
| Lou Lieberman |
|Liberal|| 13 March 1993 –|
8 October 2001
|Previously held the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Benambra. Retired|
| Sophie Mirabella |
|Liberal|| 10 November 2001 –|
7 September 2013
| Cathy McGowan |
|Independent|| 7 September 2013 –|
11 April 2019
| Helen Haines |
|Independent|| 18 May 2019 –|
|United Australia||Shane Wheatland||3,980||3.94||+3.94|
|Total formal votes||100,956||95.64||+2.21|
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Helen Mary Haines is an Australian politician who has served as the independent MP for the Victorian seat of Indi since the 2019 federal election.
Voices for Indi is a community organisation which seeks to promote and expand participatory democracy within the Division of Indi. Voices For Indi has endorsed two independent politicians since 2013, Cathy McGowan and Helen Haines, both of which have won their respective elections.