Almanac Politics and Footy: Who else was in government when your team won the flag…and a winner in 2021!


Eureka! I have the answer to whether politics will impact on the outcome of Saturday’s granny between the Dees and the Bulldogs.



I’m most grateful for feedback to my earlier article (HERE), especially Glen! My social media feed also suggested I should look at how many redheads have played for Geelong and whether that has influenced any grand final outcome. Dear readers: we’re in a pandemic and not the death throes!



I have therefore gone with the shade of Victorian premiers since Federation – keeping it consistent with my original article.



Concentrating on this year’s grand finalists first: all of Melbourne’s premierships have been won under conservative leadership at the Victorian state level while Footscray’s premierships have been won under progressive leadership at the state level.



Voilà: surely that’s the answer? Footscray will win under the steadying hand of Dan Andrews! Or it will be a draw (which we abolished back in the day) under Scott Morrison’s leadership. However, he will be out of the country and there is no precedent for either of these teams winning with an acting prime minister from the Country/National/Farmers’ parties! What could go wrong with Barnaby in charge, though?



As an interesting backdrop and following repeated requests in my social media feed, Jeff Kennett had nothing to do with Hawthorn’s run of premierships in the glory days of the 1970s and 1980s.  Indeed, John Cain Jr appears to have had the most influence on my team, having been premier for all the 1980s wins to Hawthorn.



Again, we could look at gender which won’t take too long (should I again mention the similarity federally and in the AFL more broadly?). Joan Kirner has been Victoria’s only female premier and happily for me she reigned during Hawthorn’s 53-point annihilation of West Coast in 1991. That game was the only grand final played at the then VFL park out at Waverley.



Just on grounds for a minute: yes, the MCG has been home to the grand final for most of the VFL/AFL competition.  Other than these current two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and the 1991 final when the ground was being renovated, the granny was not played there on eight other occasions. St Kilda Cricket Ground (Junction Oval) got the grand finals of 1898, 1899 and 1943. East Melbourne Cricket Ground had the 1900 Grand Final played between Melbourne and Fitzroy, while South Melbourne Cricket Ground hosted the 1901 Grand Final between Essendon and Collingwood. During World War II, Princes Park hosted the grand final three times: 1942, 1943 and 1945.



For consistency, I’ve included the table of teams and premiers of Victoria since 1901 – remembering that Fremantle, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney have not won any premierships.



Let’s hope my prediction is right!



Adelaide 2 0
Brisbane/Fitzroy 4 5
Carlton 10 6
Collingwood 7 8
Essendon 10 5
Footscray 0 2
Geelong 6 3
Hawthorn 6 7
Melbourne 11 0
North Melbourne 4 0
Port Adelaide 0 1
Richmond 10 3
South Melb/Sydney 4 1
St Kilda 1 0
West Coast 1 3
76 44





The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE



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About Anne Cahill Lambert

One of the first females to be admitted to membership of the G. Thank you Mr Cain. Nicknamed The Hyphen by Alamanac Editor, despite the fact I don't have one.


  1. Good stuff A C L .

    No shock with the Melbourne/Footscray premiership division re state governments/premiers. There’s a discernible pattern there which hopefully is an omen for 2021.

    This breakdown is not surprising when you look at the history of Victoria’s parliament. Prior to the victory of John Cain in 1982 Victoria was long regarded as the jewel in the Liberal ( LNP, UAP, Country Party, Tory, etc) crown. Labor governments were rare,unstable, short term, experiments.

    However since then the LNP’ s reign has been the exception; 1992-1999 under Kennett, then the one term Napthine/Bailleu Government. Hmmm, who did the best in this period?


  2. Very nice work, ACL. One thing that might be worth thinking about (as much as a series of pieces setup mainly for trivia and entertainment needs thinking about!) is the state of the winning team for non-Victorian flags.

    West Coast (ALP: 3, LIB: 1)
    Adelaide: (LIB: 2)
    Brisbane: (ALP: 3)
    Port Adelaide: (ALP: 1)
    Sydney: (ALP: 1, LIB: 1)

    The Eagles are probably the closest thing to an outlier on first glance with their wins spaced over 26 years, but as we’ve seen emphasised in recent times, WA Labor is a strong brand the seems to resonate frequently with the voters!

  3. Anne Cahill Lambert says

    Thanks guys for reading and the comments. I really need to get out of lockdown, don’t I?!

  4. G’day Jarrod_L, I’m trying to decipher some of your statistics.

    For example you have Brisbane (ALP:3). That means the three premierships Brisbane won were when Victoria had a ALP state government? Ditto for West Coast (ALP:3, LIB:1) That equates to West Coast 1992 (ALP), West Coast 1994 (LIB), West Coast 2006 (ALP), then West Coast 2018 (ALP).

    Have I interpreted that correctly?



  5. G’day Glen!

    Not quite…but funny how they match up to some extent!

    I meant that when each team won their flags, those were their home state govenments at the time.

    So Brisbane’s three were during the Beattie years, Adelaide under Olsen etc

    Hope that clears it up!

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