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Seat of the week: Melbourne

After powering to an historic victory in the electorate of Melbourne at the 2010 election, Greens MP Adam Bandt is likely to find the going a lot tougher next time around.

The electorate of Melbourne produced a watershed result at the 2010 election, with Labor suffering defeat at the hands of the Greens in a seat it had held without interruption since 1904. It thus became the first federal lower house seat to be won by the Greens at a general election, and the second overall after a by-election victory in the New South Wales seat of Cunningham in 2002. Currently the electorate extends from the central business district westwards to the Maribyrnong River, northwards to Carlton North and eastwards to Richmond. The redistribution has transferred around 6000 voters in Clifton Hill and Alphington to Batman, and another 6000 at Fitzroy North to Wills.

Contributing to the Greens’ strength are the second youngest age profile of any electorate (the first being the strongly indigenous Northern Territory seat of Lingiari), substantial student populations associated with the University of Melbourne and RMIT University campuses, and the nation’s highest “no religion” response in the 2011 census. Other demographic features include substantial Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean populations. The Greens are strongest in the inner-city bohemia of Carlton, Fitzroy, Collingwood and Richmond, excluding some local-level concentrations of migrant populations which remain strong for Labor. They are weakest in and around the central business district itself and at Ascot Vale in the seat’s outer north-east, which are respectively strong for Liberal and Labor.

Melbourne was held for Labor from 1993 to 2010 by Lindsay Tanner, who in turn succeeded Hawke-Keating government Immigration Minister Gerry Hand. Their highest profile antecedent in the seat was Arthur Calwell, member from 1940 until 1972. A leading light of the Left faction, Tanner became Finance Minister when the Rudd government was elected, and emerged as part of a four-member “kitchen cabinet” which dominated the government’s decision-making. On the day that Kevin Rudd was deposed as Labor leader, Tanner dropped a second bombshell in parliament when he announced he would not contest the election, which he insisted was unrelated to events earlier in the day. He has since emerged as a public critic of the leadership change and the political process more broadly.

Tanner’s exit at the subsequent election brought into play a seat where the Greens had rapidly grown as a threat since the 2001 election, when their vote lifted 9.6% to 15.8% on the back of concern over asylum seeker policy. It rose again to 19.0% at the 2004 election, when the party harvested much of a collapsing Democrats vote. A further breakthrough was achieved in 2007 when their candidate, Adam Bandt, overtook the Liberal candidate to reach the final preference count. On that occasion the primary vote for Labor’s Lindsay Tanner was 49.5%, enough to ensure him a 4.7% margin after preferences. With Tanner’s retirement at the 2010 election, the Labor vote fell 11.4% while the Greens were up 13.4%, which panned out to a comfortable 6.0% win for the Greens after preferences.

Adam Bandt came to parliament with an instant national profile by virtue of his position on the cross-bench of a hung parliament, which events since have only enhanced. However, he has twice received portents from the sphere of state politics that he will face a tougher environment at the next election than the last. The first was in the state election campaign of November 2010, when the Greens’ high hopes for breakthroughs in the electorate’s corresponding state seats were dashed by a Liberal Party decision to put Labor ahead of the Greens on its how-to-vote cards. This decision was seen by some as a catalyst for the Coalition’s election victory, and there seems a high probability it will be repeated federally. The effect at the state election was to cut flows of Liberal preferences to the Greens from around three-quarters to around a third, which would have cut Bandt’s two-party vote by over 9%. The second was the Greens’ failure to win the by-election for the state seat of Melbourne, despite an expectation that they would profit from annoyance at the mid-term departure of the outgoing Labor member Bronwyn Pike.

Labor has again preselected its unsuccessful candidate from 2010, Cath Bowtell, a former ACTU industrial officer, current state party president and member of the Socialist Left. Bowtell won the preselection against what proved to be token opposition from Harvey Stern, the state president of Labor for Refugees.

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  • 1
    Danny Lewis
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning, fabulous Bludgers!

    The sun is up.

    The birds are singing.

    Labor is still in government.

    Julia Gillard is still Prime Minister.

    Albo is the World’s Greatest Infrastructure Minister.

    Wayne Swan will always be the World’s Greatest Treasurer.

    Those magnificent, majestic BISONs continue to barnstorm their way across this great nation.

    All is right with the world.

  • 2
    Joe6pack
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    5.20am up and ready to have a great day. The vibe on the road is that TA is in serious trouble. Some people readily admit it, others slowly, He still as a fair amount of support, but JA definatley has the upper hand now.

  • 3
    Space Kidette
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Good Morning Bludgers!

    Joe, I have, in my little adventures, been hearing much the same thing. Much admiration out there for JG but TA is viewed as a goose by most people I talk to.

  • 4
    Joe6pack
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Labor still has some hard work to do. It,s not all over as some on here seem to think.

    BTW SK> Titans stuffed it up with prince

  • 5
    Space Kidette
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Joe,

    Bronco’s are welcome to him. His first season or two were ok but Prince has been playing at a pretty ordinary level since then.

  • 6
    Joe6pack
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    off to walk the puppies. have a great day

  • 7
    Space Kidette
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Joe,

    Have a fantastic day!

  • 8
    DisplayName
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Labor still has some hard work to do

    Apparently that hard work includes suing the independents supporting them.

  • 9
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    DisplayName
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Apparently that hard work includes suing the independents supporting them.

    ———————–
    that is how desperate the pro coaliton media is, they need to make up rubbish

  • 10
    DisplayName
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Really? I hope you’re right.

  • 11
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Try again on the new thread!

    A demonstration of ‘out-of-touch’ by someone who claims to be an ‘insider’:

    This week this conversation turned upside down.

    Suddenly, it seemed possible that Abbott’s position might become vulnerable.

    http://afr.com/p/opinion/gillard_has_good_reason_to_go_early_cDUbMvva8sHxbccG1VyfcM

  • 12
    Danny Lewis
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Hasn’t the action been taken by Ferguson, not by “the government”?

    How do we even know this has government backing? Just because someone suggested it has?

    Gillard is a negotiator. She’s a problem-solver. There is no way on earth she would give a tick of approval for one of her ministers to sue another MP. No way. If she knew, her response would be to put them in a room and sort it out among themselves.

    Given that, at the end of the day, Ferguson appears to want a “private apology” rather than going the jugular in court, this seems to be even more at odds with Gillard’s way of going about things.

    I would suggest that Ferguson has got the hump and done this without consultation. I would imagine also that Gillard would be ropable.

    I will make no mention of the you know what thing that happened in February and which side of the divide Ferguson was on ;-)

  • 13
    The Finnigans
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Those magnificent, majestic BISONs continue to barnstorm their way across this great nation.

    Danny, them BISONs are getting fetter & will be fed and groomed real soon

    http://www.tazforum.com/wp-content/bisons.jpg

  • 14
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Apparently, 68% of registered Repugs think demonic possession is real.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/11/02/poll_most_republicans_believe_in_demonic_possession/

    Hmmm …

    In a sidenote, it seems my line spped has been “shaped” back to 10Kb/s — presumably due to our household using up the allowance … oh dear. :-(

    In an unrelated note, my laptop is emitting the kinds of noises you might imagine from a machine with asthma.

    Not a great weekend in technology shaping up around my neck of the woods.

  • 15
    The Finnigans
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Abbott’s anti Carbon campaign is kaput – http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/voter-enthusiasm-now-well-and-truly-curbed-20121102-28p8h.html – and here he’s at the 2 anti carbon rallies – http://twitpic.com/b1i2ja/full

  • 16
    The Finnigans
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    When it was doom & gloom & 55-45 & anti Carbon Tax was at its fever pitch, March 2011 – I started grooming them BISONs – #JustaReminder

  • 17
    The Finnigans
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Memo to the Canberra Press Gallery Hacks: Facts matter as readers select own truth – Comprehendo? – http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/facts-matter-as-readers-select-own-truth-20121102-28p1i.html … – You are passe

  • 18
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I also caught up with Hamster Wheel this week. One of the better ones IMO.

    The carbon “tax” scare campaign, tabloid TV, Hurricane Sandy nonsense, that obnoxious twit from Channel 10s morning “news” show — all good fodder for a wry smile.

  • 19
    The Finnigans
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Gillard has good reason to go early – http://afr.com/p/opinion/gillard_has_good_reason_to_go_early_cDUbMvva8sHxbccG1VyfcM … – Dear PM @JuliaGillard @CraigEmersonMP dont early. Do Abbott slowly #auspol

  • 20
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    When it was doom & gloom & 55-45 & anti Carbon Tax was at its fever pitch, March 2011 – I started grooming them BISONs – #JustaReminder

    Roy should have been pleased!

  • 21
    kevjohnno
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    J6P – agree there is lots more work to do. I hope Labor haven’t peaked too early. Signs of overconfidence seem to be appearing way too soon in Gov ranks. They might not need Abbott to stay LOTO but definitely do need to keep the independents on side. They need to listen to Windsors advice and not try to rush every bill through the HOR, and to give Marn a swift kicking. Jeez how precious, and stupid, can you get?

  • 22
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Quick plug for my darling Barb

    http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/570450/grassroots-barb-is-well-connected/?cs=11

    No mention of her stints as my campaign manager!

  • 23
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Finns

    that National Times article is a good example of journos starting to shift the narrative.

    Apparently, Labor has only just begun to focus on forward thinking, nation building ideas, in an effort to win over voters – and this is why the polls are improving.

    So the NBN, health reform, carbon pricing, mining tax- these weren’t forward thinking, nation building ideas, obviously, because Labor’s only just doing stuff like that now.

    It’s nonsense, of course – Labor keeps doing just what it has been doing, regardless of the polls – but it’s welcome as a sign that the media are finding excuses to switch their rhetoric.

  • 24
    DisplayName
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    So the NBN, health reform, carbon pricing, mining tax- these weren’t forward thinking, nation building ideas, obviously, because Labor’s only just doing stuff like that now.
    </blockquote
    What are you talking about, those are distractions! Tony Abbott said so.

  • 25
    my say
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    http://www.theglobalmail.org/blog/bringing-the-house-down/458/ nowjoying global mail and mike seccombe. and new format

  • 26
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Latika thinks this is odd. Other tweeters suggest it’s “putting feminism back”.
    According to the text, the PM invited Marie Claire to the Lodge to interview the female ministers about “gender equality” before they all had dinner together.

    Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
    PM Gillard and her female Ministers invite Marie Claire to The Lodge to talk handbags, dates & 50 Shades. #genderwars pic.twitter.com/s0HfWHa3

    Later tweet from Latika. “Bit odd?”
    It’s Latika who needs to get with the pace.

  • 27
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Later tweet from Latika. “Bit odd?”
    It’s Latika who needs to get with the pace.

    Only political journalists, after consulting with their colleagues and interviewing each other can provide the correct context to political discussion. You should have known that Lizzie. Shame on you.

    I look forward to the day when an alternative media champion like Tim Dunlop or Grog (or both) are given such interview time. I could think of a few more who could be included in an alternative “Press Gallery”, and it has nothing to do with Question Time.

  • 28
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Nareen Young ‏@nareenyoung
    Gillard and the misogynists They Had It Coming | Judith Brett | The Monthly: http://www.themonthly.com.au/gillard-and-misogynists-they-had-it-coming-judith-brett-6770#.UJRCdbAmgp5.twitter … via @themonthly

  • 29
    ajm
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    There’s been a bit of a heated spat going on on Twitter between Andrew Elder and Mark Colvin about Mark’s Andrew Olle lecture last night. Seems to revolve around Andrew’s contention that Mark failed to make the link between funding and value.

    Need to go back and look at the speech again but I follow Mark on Twitter and I’ve been struck by how he has NOT taken the Australian journosphere to task about their groupthink on Gillard, Abbott and the ALP’s prospects at the next election. Plenty of stuff on hacking in the UK but very light on when it comes to criticising his Australian colleagues and Australian media organisations.

    I think I am left with the alternatives that he is either an LNP partisan or yet another of the journalists more concerned about employment prospects in a Murdoch-dominated media landscape.

  • 30
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-alleged-peter-slipper-cover-up/
    This is the main point of the piece:

    I suspect that the only part of Sheehan’s article I agree with is the following:

    ‘The political mischief in this case has never been in doubt.’
    Much of that political mischief given in the article is in his quotes from George Brandis and Eric Abetz.
    Sheehan quotes George Brandis as saying:

    ‘These texts, on any view, contain dozens of instances of predatory sexual conduct. So the Attorney-General’s claim that this was merely a vexatious case was extraordinary. Any person who reads the texts would know instantly that Ashby had a case.’

    Sheehan quotes Eric Abetz as saying:
    ‘The government was willing to spent three quarters of a million dollars of taxpayers’ money to cover this up. I’ve never seen the first law officer of the land behave in such a partisan way. She has a lot to answer for and a lot to explain.’

    Let me summarise the facts, rather than the deceitful spin promulgated by Sheehan, Brandis, Abetz and others.

  • 31
    Fargo61
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The mining tax certainly shows what wacky Wayne is capable of – a tax that collects no tax while allowing miners to accrue credits to be applied against any future liability, should they ever have one. Genius.

    What could be better, other than perhaps threatening Rob Oakeshott with legal action for daring to criticize it. Sheer genius.

  • 32
    Kirky
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Sitting in the International Terminal in Melbourne getting ready to fly off to the States to visit some friends in Boston and looking forward to seeing what happens on the ground in their presidential election. They are Democrat voters.

    Word of caution, the last time I was in the States in 2009, the Liberal Party changed leaders and when was in the States also in 1994 they changed leaders (to Downer). Three times lucky?

  • 33
    Fargo61
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The NBN – another stuff up, that has thus far been rolled out to next to no one. Apparently they may start to dig trenches on the south side of Brisbane in about 3 years time. They had to move the area for the initial trial on the north side due to “technical difficulties”.

    If they had of followed existing competition policy guidelines, instead of looking after their mates, this could have been something half useful by now, instead of just another Gillard stuff up.

  • 34
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    ajm:

    I think I am left with the alternatives that he is either an LNP partisan or yet another of the journalists more concerned about employment prospects in a Murdoch-dominated media landscape.

    Neither IMO. I have him in the faux balance category — a recovering post-Alstonite.

  • 35
    ajm
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Gee that stfu is useful – just blanked out the latest troll Fargo61

  • 36
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Fargo

    crushed to learn that I am ‘next to noone’ – having connected to NBN satellite a few months ago and now increased my speed by a factor of six, plus being able to triple my capacity, whilst cutting costs by almost half.

  • 37
    Fargo61
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Has Gillard implemented all of Howard’s immigration policies yet, or are they still more gems to come?

  • 38
    ajm
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Fran Barlow

    Neither IMO. I have him in the faux balance category — a recovering post-Alstonite.

    For a while I thought that too, but he doesn’t even make a token effort to have a bit of a go at each side to establish “balance” credentials. he’s just silent on any issue that has any sort of Australian “bite” to it.

  • 39
    Tricot
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    “Another Gillard stuff up” is a dead give away of some troll dead wood washed up on the beach here.

    F61 – go away and find some Tea Party site where you will feel and home.

  • 40
    Fargo61
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    And one would be next to none, so how many of 22 million have access to the NBN?

    More importantly, how many can’t get either phone or Internet by landline in new estates at present due to this stuff up?

  • 41
    Fargo61
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your advice Tricot, I wish you well as well.

    Although I drink copious amounts of tea, The tea party is the antithesis of everything i believe in.

    Nice to see though that the goog old standbys of “tea party” and “troll” are immediately thrown out instead of argument by the Gillard propaganda crew.

  • 42
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    You can always tell when things are not going well for the Coalition by the arrival of some ‘occasional’ posters.

    It’s nice to have some confirmation.

  • 43
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    @latikambourke: Resources Minister suing one of the key Independents supporting the Minority Govt over mining tax criticisms: http://t.co/SRkWAtoR

    “@ShoebridgeMLC: @latikambourke He is not suing he has sent a cease and desist letter – not attractive but not yet litigation”

  • 44
    leone
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    The prize for Frackwit of the Year goes to Mar’n Ferguson. Mar’n has rewarded Rob Oakeshott’s support for the Gillard government by threatening him with legal action. Let’s add a gold star and bar with black ribbon for sueing Fairfax as well, just when Labor is finally getting a bit of support from the OM. Nice work Mar’n.
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/oakeshott-outraged-by-ministers-legal-threat-20121102-28pgz.html

    Oakeshott has endured two years of constant abuse, death threats and negativity beyond belief because he helped Labor form government. Those of you who do not live in Lyne have no idea how bad things have been for him. After all that Labor has rewarded him with legal action. I suppose we can’t actually repeat what Oakeshott – and the SMH – said, we don’t want Mar’n slapping a defamation case on William too.

  • 45
    my say
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    ONE of Australia’s wealthiest women, WA businesswoman Janet Holmes a Court, has championed Tasmania’s arts sector as a potential saviour of the local economy.

    Ms Holmes a Court, who is in the state to lend support to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, also has emerged as an unlikely ally against the fight by other WA heavyweights to strip Tasmania of part of its GST share.

    The respected corporate leader, known for both her business acumen and generosity, said MONA was a “classic example” of how the arts and tourism sector could lift the state out of the doldrums.

    “This is my fifth trip to Hobart to go to MONA and every time I come I meet people from Sydney, Melbourne or Perth or Queensland,” she said yesterday.

    “They stay a couple of days, put some money in the economy and they come back, and I think something as visionary as MONA is a perfect example of what can happen if someone with imagination puts their money into something ahttp://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/11/03/365251_tasmania-news.html

  • 46
    my say
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    ONE of Australia’s wealthiest women, WA businesswoman Janet Holmes a Court, has championed Tasmania’s arts sector as a potential saviour of the local economy.

    Ms Holmes a Court, who is in the state to lend support to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, also has emerged as an unlikely ally against the fight by other WA heavyweights to strip Tasmania of part of its GST share.

    The respected corporate leader, known for both her business acumen and generosity, said MONA was a “classic example” of how the arts and tourism sector could lift the state out of the doldrums.

    “This is my fifth trip to Hobart to go to MONA and every time I come I meet people from Sydney, Melbourne or Perth or Queensland,” she said yesterday.

    “They stay a couple of days, put some money in the economy and they come back, and I think something as visionary as MONA is a perfect example of what can happen if someone with imagination puts their money into something ahttp://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/11/03/365251_tasmania-news.html

  • 47
    my say
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    ONE of Australia’s wealthiest women, WA businesswoman Janet Holmes a Court, has championed Tasmania’s arts sector as a potential saviour of the local economy.

    Ms Holmes a Court, who is in the state to lend support to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, also has emerged as an unlikely ally against the fight by other WA heavyweights to strip Tasmania of part of its GST share.

    The respected corporate leader, known for both her business acumen and generosity, said MONA was a “classic example” of how the arts and tourism sector could lift the state out of the doldrums.

    “This is my fifth trip to Hobart to go to MONA and every time I come I meet people from Sydney, Melbourne or Perth or Queensland,” she said yesterday.

    “They stay a couple of days, put some money in the economy and they come back, and I think something as visionary as MONA is a perfect example of what can happen if someone with imagination puts their money into something ahttp://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/11/03/365251_tasmania-news.html

  • 48
    my say
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/11/03/365251_tasmania-news.html

    now u can read the link hopefully this one is green

  • 49
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    And one would be next to none, so how many of 22 million have access to the NBN?

    More importantly, how many can’t get either phone or Internet by landline in new estates at present due to this stuff up?

    You are so right Fargo. The sale of telstra was the most botched stupid public policy decision ever. And then to add insult to taxpayers injury Howard and Costello wasted all the money on pork barreling and damaging middle class welfare, rather than economy growing infrastructure.

    Don’t worry Labor is working hard to fix up the mess left by the previous incompetents, and the NBN is cleaning up a massive market failure. It will take time yes, but all great nation building projects do.

  • 50
    my say
    Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    leonie please write to marntin fergus with your

    thoughts/

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