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Seat of the week: Calwell

A journey around another safe Labor seat in Melbourne that tends not to get too much attention on election night.

Red and blue numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for the Labor and Liberal. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Calwell covers suburbs around Melbourne Airport in the city’s north-west, including Keilor, Sydenham and Taylors Lakes to the west, Tullamarine to the south, and from Broadmeadows north along Sydney Road to the southern part of Craigieburn. The seat was created with the expansion of parliament in 1984 but at that time the electorate was oriented further to the west, with only the Keilor and Sydenham area west of the Maribyrnong River carrying over to the electorate in its current form. The redistribution which took effect at the 1990 election shifted it eastwards to include Broadmeadows, which it has retained ever since. Substantial changes at the 2004 redistribution saw the electorate lose the areas west of the river to the new seat of Gorton while gaining Sunbury and Craigieburn to the north from abolished Burke, but these were reversed at the 2013 election, when Sunbury and most of Craigieburn were transferred to McEwen and Keilor and Sydenham were returned from Gorton.

Calwell has been won by Labor at each election since its creation by margins ranging from 7.1% in 1990 to 19.7% in 2010, which were respectively the worst and best elections for Labor in Victoria during the period in question. The seat’s inaugural member was Andrew Theophanous, who had been member for Burke from 1980. Theophanous quit the ALP in April 2000 after claiming factional leaders had reneged on a deal in which he was to be succeeded by his brother Theo, who served in the Victorian state upper house from 1988 to 2010 and as a minister from 2002 to 2008. Andrew Theophanous was facing criminal charges at the time of his departure from the party for receiving bribes and sexual favours from Chinese nationals seeking immigration assistance, for which he would eventually be sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, which was halved after one of the major charges was quashed on appeal.

Labor’s new candidate at the 2001 election was Maria Vamvakinou, who shared Theophanous’s Greek heritage and background in the Socialist Left faction, having spent the eight years before her entry to parliament as an electorate officer to factional powerbroker Senator Kim Carr. Vamvakinou went entirely untroubled by Theophanous’s forlorn bid to retain his seat as an independent, which scored him 9.6% of the vote. Vamvakinou had her 17.7% margin at the 2001 election pared back 1.6% by redistribution and 6.9% by a swing to the Liberals at the 2004 election, before enjoying a thumping 11.1% swing in 2007 and a further 0.4% swing in 2010. The redistribution before the September election increased her margin another 0.4%, but she went on to suffer a 6.2% swing that was slightly above the statewide 5.1%, reducing her margin to its present 13.9%. Vamvakinou has remained on the back bench throughout her time in parliament.

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  • 101
    Centre
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    That Agenda program was worth watching this morning. Bowen was very impressive. I’ve never seen The Iotola Paul Kelly just sit there with a stunned look on his face and listen to every word.

    Yep, Chris Bowen, exact opposite to Abbott, is certainly PM material.

  • 102
    CTar1
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    guy

    no competitor has cone close

    It’s the ‘cones’ that have made it mad!

  • 103
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    @wikileaks: #Australia: How #Snowden’s rescue mission started in Australia http://t.co/zikpvR8Ckb

  • 104
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    So is next week Truss v. Plibersek or Bishop v. Plibersek?

  • 105
    Peter of Marino
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Interestingly Pinnochio lie yielded 1,540,000 results :D

  • 106
    muttleymcgee
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    but neither GM nor Toyota are keen to build the sort of cars here that most people want to buy.

    Toyta’s 2 1/2 litre Camry has been on the best seller list for ages, unlike the Commodore or Falcon.

    Look at taxis. A few years ago they were all Falcons with a few Holdens. Now Toyota dominates

  • 107
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    The Mandate…
    John Spooner Cartoon #auspol #Qantas #Debt #Indonesia #GMH #lnpfail pic.twitter.com/7zYGAODpwA

  • 108
    BK
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    muttley
    And the Toyotas are often hybrids.

  • 109
    Centre
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    The questions and answers given by Bowen on foreign investment this morning were very informative.

    There is no doubt that the rejection of the Graincorp acquisition was an extremely poor decision.

    Also the reasoning given for government support to the car manufacturing industry made a real lot of sense.

    Most interesting to note that car manufacturers receive plenty of assistance from governments in other major economies in the world. We really must do likewise in our best interests.

  • 110
    Centre
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Where do the Greens stand on government support to car manufacturers?

    You can always be certain. Whatever the Greens think, do the opposite, you can’t go wrong :neutral:

  • 111
    BK
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Centre
    Kelly and PvO were rendered toothless by Bowen this morning. He did not allow them to dominate one iota.

  • 112
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Psephos

    “Diogenes dickhead” gets 604,000.

    whereas “Diogenes genius” scores 6,050,000. :D

  • 113
    slothy
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    zoomster @ 104

    So is next week Truss v. Plibersek or Bishop v. Plibersek?

    Nelson Mandela’s funeral isn’t until next Sunday (15th) so Abbott and Shorten could leave on Friday morning and still get there in time.

    I assume next week is the last one for the year, but if not they probably won’t get back for Monday.

  • 114
    CTar1
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    cricket commentary: ‘Tubby’ truly is an idiot.

  • 115
    muttleymcgee
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    BK

    And the Toyotas are often hybrids.

    Also the two biggest sellers in their class in the US used to be Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Now it is the Camry and Hyundai ….

  • 116
    Centre
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    BK

    How can you compare Hockey with Bowen? How did Dopey Joe ever graduate from uni?

  • 117
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    CT

    Where is Bill Lawry?

  • 118
    BK
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Centre
    I wouldn’t try to!

  • 119
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Worst. Cricket commentary. Ever.

  • 120
    slothy
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Also, Truss is the deputy PM

  • 121
    BK
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Diog
    Taking elocution lessons

  • 122
    CTar1
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    dio – these days only pommie Mark Nicholas says anything informative in the commentary.

  • 123
    Centre
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I think MacFarlane might be really p!ssed off with Abbott right now.

    Credlin is making decisions straight past him with any consultation.

    Hell, Credlin is the Faceless Women running the country.

  • 124
    briefly
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    65
    victoria

    briefly

    Credlin was successful in getting Abbott the top job. Their primary focus is to keep him there, and everyone else be damned.

    victoria, I’m sure you’re right. This is Plan A. But they also have to govern – something that is obviously beyond them so far.

  • 125
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Centre:

    According to ABC reporting McFarlane is pissed off with Hockey.

  • 126
    Otiose
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    twofer :)

  • 127
    BK
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Carberry gorn!!
    Great catch from Lyon

  • 128
    Centre
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Just something on the betting that many readers may appreciate:

    The fact that the bookies are even considering a market, let alone framing one, on the Liberal leader at the next election – given a newly elected government and the consequences that occurred from removing Rudd – is absolutely astonishing to say the least.

  • 129
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    So, Clarke ended up declaring overnight? That surprised me. I thought he’d give Warner a chance to get a century first. The weather must be a concern enough for him to give Australia two whole days to get England out.

    And as I type this, Carberry just got out. Two down, eight to go!

  • 130
    fredex
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=mfraAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA98&lpg=PA98&dq=mitsubishi+workers+adelaide&source=bl&ots=Yk47e1c25T&sig=iwWklnLoczT3s2A-1xaOwJ9ryp4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9L-jUsupFeb9iAfTh4DIDA&ved=0CHAQ6AEwBzgo#v=onepage&q=mitsubishi%20workers%20adelaide&f=false

    This is a page or 2 from a report on what happened to retrenched Mitsubishi workers after they lost their jobs.
    It aint pretty.
    I can’t cut and paste so have a read if you want details.

    I presume this book is based on a Flinders Uni work that showed “Higher levels of mental health distress, and lower levels of sense of control and hope for the future, were evident in the retrenched workers when compared to a randomised sample of men in Adelaide. Social activity and connectedness also appeared to be reduced in at least half the respondents.”

  • 131
    Centre
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Connie

    McFarlane pissed off with Hockey, Hockey pissed off with Credlin, Credlin pissed off with Morrison, Morrison pissed off with Abbott…

    It’s a love-in in Liberal land :twisted:

  • 132
    BK
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Centre
    Innate nastiness and incompetence are not a good mixture.

  • 133
    CTar1
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Centre

    absolutely astonishing to say the least.

    And 2.8 years to go.

    It seems their judgement is that Tones will be flicked sometime around half way through.

  • 134
    Fulvio Sammut
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Where did Diogenes narcissist score?

  • 135
    zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    @Centre/@BK

    CommBank ‏@CommBank 31m

    Let’s see England dig their way out of this one! #Ashes #uniteAus pic.twitter.com/4t6NcafsQD

    Sounds perfect for the liberals.

  • 136
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Worst. Cricket commentary. Ever.

    It’s sad that we’re in full swing of a complete generation change in the commentary box. All the charm is gone, replaced by a bunch of bores and annoying dickheads.

  • 137
    BK
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    zoidloid
    Yes. They are struggling a bit.

  • 138
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Centre:

    Someone in Cabinet is leaking, and then there’s the whispering campaign against Credlin.

    Yep, a bunch of happy campers is the coalition!

  • 139
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Carey:

    Thank god Carberry got out. I was starting to tear my hair out at the pointless discussion about Piers Morgan.

  • 140
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Is the ABC Grandstand commentary better?

  • 141
    BK
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Carey
    If the ABC were half smart they’d buid in a variable 7 second delay to their radio commentary so it would synchronise with CH 9′s vision.

  • 142
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Socrates
    Too many “dry” economists think only of the micro economic impact of industry subsidies and ignore the macroeconomic. Governments do not have that luxury. The impacts that they MUST consider include the following:

    1. Trade balance. It is dereliction of duty to allow ANY industry to fail if there is no OBVIOUS and IMMEDIATE evidence that new or growing industries with take up the slack in terms of exports or import replacement. To just assume that the market will fix it is akin to a cargo cult rather than rational economic analysis. It is dangerous and remarkably stupid.
    2. Defence I know this is an old chestnut but it is still real enough. In a hot war where shipping lines are disrupted could we cope without the particular industry – be it food, manufacturing or services. How long would it take us to ramp up the industry or recreate it.
    3. Budget effects. This includes impact on Jobs, down stream sectors etc. Now this has direct budgetary impact in terms of unemployment benefit etc. Now while MOST workers will get new jobs the impact on the government budget is still considerable. For example,e if it is assumed that most workers will take three months to get redeployed you have the direct cost of three months of unemployment benefit. You have the LOSS of taxes for all workers for at least three months. For older workers where retraining is not realistic you have people going onto unemployment/disability/old age pension 2-3 years earlier than they might otherwise eg rather than working until 65-67 they will cease work at 62 say 3 to five years early. Even where people do secure other jobs, if they pay less well than the manufacturing industry (say a skilled worker on $65000 gets a job as a cleaner or yardsman $50,000 there is a loss to government of $5000 per year in taxation revenue. Finally there is the direct loss of company profit revenue from the industry. Now these are all direct impact on the budget and will offset any savings made by ceasing (or not starting) subsidies.

    Local impacts: these include local unemployment, loss of values in houses businesses etc in localities directly affected. there are costs to government and the community when there are major disruptions. These include relocation of services, underutilized schools roads etc. These are often costs born by state or local government not the federal government.

    Now these are all real economic impacts of government decsiosn to subsidize or not and must not be ignored because of economically dry (and narrow) microeconomic thinking.

  • 143
    Centre
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Ctar & BK

    It’s really the fact that the removal of Abbott, this early on his first term, is even being considered?

    Of course under normal circumstances, given what we learned with Rudd, there should be no betting on the outcome.

    Bookies prepared to bet $1.10 – is such a reflection of a failure on Abbott!

  • 144
    CTar1
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    ‘fess

    I’m hanging out to declare ‘Root rooted!’

  • 145
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I’d be happy to see the backs of Slater, Brayshaw and Warne as commentators.

  • 146
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Carey:

    Don’t forget Healy.

  • 147
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    CTar:

    You can’t beat the ‘Dud Root’ headline from the 1st Test!

  • 148
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Carey:

    Don’t forget Healy.

    Ugh yes.

  • 149
    MTBW
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Looking at the photo of Credlin in the SMH she has a face you could could crack oysters on.

    I have worked for and with many politicians of both genders and I would work with a man rather than a woman any day.

  • 150
    CTar1
    Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    fulvio

    Where did Diogenes narcissist score?

    Or Dio ‘chainsaw expert’ ?

    :evil:

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