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Seat of the week: Maribyrnong

Bill Shorten’s electoral home in Melbourne’s inner north-west extends from marginal Essendon and Moonee Ponds in the east to rock-solid Labor St Albans in the west.

Red and blue numbers respectively indicate size of two-party majority for Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Bill Shorten’s electorate of Maribyrnong has covered a shifting area around Essendon in Melbourne’s inner north-west since its creation in 1906. It presently extends westwards from Essendon through Niddrie and Avondale Heights to St Albans. Labor has held the seat without interruption since 1969, prior to which it was held for the Liberals for 14 years by Philip Stokes. Stokes had emerged a beneficiary of the Labor split ahead of the 1955 election, at which preferences from the ALP (Anti-Communist) candidate enabled him to unseat Labor’s Arthur Drakeford by 114 votes, in what was only Labor’s second defeat since 1910. The seat finally returned to the Labor fold at the 1969 election when it was won by Moss Cass, who secured enough of a buffer through successive swings in 1972 and 1974 to survive Labor’s electoral winter of 1975 and 1977. In 1983 he bequeathed a double-digit margin to his successor Alan Griffiths, who enjoyed a 7.4% boost when the 1990 redistribution added St Albans, which remains a particularly strong area for Labor. Griffiths was succeeded in 1996 by Bob Sercombe, who chose to bow out at the 2007 election rather than face preselection defeat at the hands of Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten.

Shorten came to parliament with a national reputation after positioning himself as the public face of the Beaconsfield mine disaster rescue effort in April-May 2006, and wielded great influence in the Victorian party factional system as a chieftain of the Right. However, Shorten was known to be hostile to Kevin Rudd, and rose no higher than parliamentary secretary for disabilities and children’s services during Rudd’s first term as Prime Minister. Shorten then emerged as one of the initiators of the June 2010 leadership coup, together with Victorian Right colleague David Feeney, and interstate factional allies Mark Arbib in New South Wales and Don Farrell in South Australia. After the 2010 election he was promoted to the outer ministry as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, and he then won promotion to an expanded cabinet by further taking on the employment and workplace relations portfolio in December 2011. Nonetheless, Shorten’s political stocks were generally thought to have been depleted by the political travails of Julia Gillard, whom he crucially abandoned in June 2013 to facilitate Kevin Rudd’s return. For this he was rewarded with a portfolio swap of financial services and superannuation for education.

After the 2013 election defeat, Shorten and Anthony Albanese of the Left emerged as the two candidates for the first leadership ballot held under the party’s new rules, in which the vote was divided evenly between the party membership and caucus. Albanese proved the clear favourite of the membership, in part reflecting the taint Shorten was perceived as carrying from his involvement in successive leadership coups against sitting prime ministers. However, Shorten’s 55-31 victory in the caucus vote was just sufficient to outweigh his 59.92%-40.08% deficit in the ballot of approximately 30,000 party members, the combined result being 52.02% for Shorten and 47.98% for Albanese.

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  • 101
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    zoomster@93

    bemused

    Sercomb had a safe seat and had done zip with it.

    There was deliberate action by the party to get rid of some of the cushion warmers and replace them with some genuine talent.

    Generally sitting members go unchallenged, so I doubt Sercomb had ever been under threat before.

    It’s not surprising that he cried ‘foul’.

    I will note that a genuinely popular local member – Simon Crean – who faced a similar challenge at the same time survived it with ease.

    Sercombe had been a reasonably competent junior minister.
    So what hadn’t he done in his seat? Easy accusation to make.

    Yes, Crean decided to fight and good on him. I supported him 200%. He had the public profile to do it.

    Crean took on the controllers of the ‘ethnic’ branches by appealing direct to their members and it worked.

  • 102
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    bemused

    how saying that there was a deliberate push on to get rid of certain local members is being delusional escapes me.

    guytaur

    noone, either last night or this morning, with the exception of yourself, was discussing anything to do with the Hawke government.

  • 103
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Combining elegance with strength was apparently absent the design specs for the LHDs.

  • 104
    Pegasus
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Zoomster,

    So, my reasonable request for evidence to back up your claims:

    Who exactly are these lying supporters (plural) who posted last night?

    iirc lefty e was having an exchange with ruawake when you chipped in.

    .. – that Labor had no intention of introducing the policy...

    Can you please link to any post where lefty e made this claim.]

    Elicits from you:

    ah, semantic games are OK when you play them, I take it?

    You’ve got nothing but untruths, disingenuous semantics and misrepresentations.

  • 105
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    bemused

    a safe seat should go to someone who is more than ‘reasonably competent’.

  • 106
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    peg

    OK, it wasn’t ‘plural’ it was just ‘one’. Sorry for the extra ‘s’.

    So glad we’re not playing semantic games.

  • 107
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    zoomster@102

    bemused

    how saying that there was a deliberate push on to get rid of certain local members is being delusional escapes me.

    guytaur

    noone, either last night or this morning, with the exception of yourself, was discussing anything to do with the Hawke government.

    Yes, Shorten wanted Sercombe’s seat and pushed to get it. or was it a putsch?

  • 108
    Boerwar
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Morrison of Manus will probably have it towed 4500km back to India, assuming that is where it came from.

  • 109
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    zoomster

    I have been pointing out the Hawke government to you as that history is needed to understand where the Greens are coming from. I have obviously made my point because you keep going on about it.

  • 110
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    @senatormilne: Local GP speaking against the co-payment and subsequent poor health outcomes for old, poor and indigenous http://t.co/YAUxussYR9

  • 111
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    zoomster@105

    bemused

    a safe seat should go to someone who is more than ‘reasonably competent’.

    I would remove crooks and incompetents first.
    But often they wield power.

  • 112
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    “@TimElliottSMH: Just spoke with Tamil man on refugee boat off Christmas Is. He says they a 3mth old baby & 2-yo child both very sick with vomiting & fever.”

  • 113
    Pegasus
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    zoomster,

    Backtracking at a great rate ;-) You deliberately made a general smear and when called out on it can not provide any evidence.

  • 114
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    guytaur

    I repeat: The Greens claim that no action on public dentistry would have been taken by the Gillard government if the Greens hadn’t forced the issue.

    This is clearly untrue, because Labor had gone to the 2007 election with a policy to introduce public dentistry and had legislation ready to go, legislation that Greens senators in the 2007-10 period acknowledged they were willing to support.

    So for Greens to claim that Labor had no intention of introducing a public dentistry policy prior to the 2010 parliament is clearly a lie.

    That’s the issue I’m discussing. I have no idea what you think you’re talking about.

  • 115
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    bemused,

    Good point.

    Perhaps we should start with Alan Griffen!

  • 116
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Palmer talking Climate Change.
    Abbott will hate that.

  • 117
    Pegasus
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    zoomster

    .. – that Labor had no intention of introducing the policy...

    Can you please link to any post where lefty e made this claim.

    Care to provide evidence to back up this claim?

  • 118
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    zoomster

    So now you are saying you are dumb and cannot understand arguments.

    I don’t believe it, but thats fine with me as a finishing point.

  • 119
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Peg

    This is a fairly constant claim made by Greens supporters, both here and elsewhere.

    Obviously I shouldn’t have taken that header at soccer last night (it was a great save, though).

    I have since outlined my argument – at some length – to guytaur today.

    I note you don’t have any problems with any of it, so I take it that you accept that the Greens (plural) are lying when they claim that it was only pressure from them that led to the introduction of a public dentistry policy by Labor.

  • 120
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    z,

    You are being savaged by a couple of sheep this morning.

    Looks to me like you’ve got mutton on the menu tonight.

  • 121
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Peg

    Zoomster is never wrong!

    She was a teacher don’t you know and she is still in “correction” mode.

    I have concerns about her though with her use of lower case letters when they should be capital letters at the beginning of a sentence.

  • 122
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@115

    bemused,

    Good point.

    Perhaps we should start with Alan Griffen!

    He was going to retire at the last election but was prevailed upon to remain. I doubt he will re-contest.

    But why did we install a mediocrity in Lalor, a very safe seat?

  • 123
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    GG

    make that three.

    Stew, I think.

  • 124
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Tim Watt won his seat in a competitive pre-selection, has been in Parliament for a few months and I have noticed his name in despatches. So he’s clearly making an impression.

    Perhaps the Party just needs to clear out old drongos like you who offer nothing but bitching.

  • 125
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    bemused

    Yes, Shorten wanted Sercombe’s seat and pushed to get it.

    Right, so why did you accuse me of denying this?

    What I denied was that there was any branch stacking involved to do it.

    As for your comment about Lalor, I was talking about a particular series of events several years ago, not more recent history.

    If members in safe seats don’t perform (after being given some decent chance to do so) I think they should be challenged as a matter of course.

  • 126
    Pegasus
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    So for Greens to claim that Labor had no intention of introducing a public dentistry policy prior to the 2010 parliament is clearly a lie.

    Which Greens are those who claimed this and precisely when did they claim this.

    Please provide evidence rather than your unsubstantiated claims.

  • 127
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    zoomster:

    Let it go. Everyone knows the Greens play politics and then claim to be as pure as all get out. We also know they like to revision history so their part in it is all rose petals and the like. This is why they change goalposts like introduce the Hawke govt when nobody talks about the Hawke govt, why they talk irrelevant crap about spelling, and why they play stupid, semantic, meaningless word games. It will always ever be thus. Arguing with these people won’t change that fact.

  • 128
    Centre
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Murdoch’s orders in 1975 have been leaked by US intelligence:

    “KILL WHITLAM”

    Oh yeah, the media can’t influence the way people vote, the media is not biased, the media do not make a difference – IDIOTS!

    They got rid of Rudd, they got rid of Gillard, and are now protecting his (Murdoch) Monkey.

    Like I have always said, fix Murdoch and you fix our democracy.

  • 129
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Z,

    or a Baabecue!

  • 130
    zoomster
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    fess

    sorry, it’s a wet day and I’ve nothing else to do….

    And it’s fun showing up how silly some of these people get when challenged.

    But I will wander off now and do a bit more work on my murals!

  • 131
    guytaur
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    centre

    I agree with yu on Murdoch.

    Hopefully Hackgate is about to bring him down

  • 132
    rossmcg
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Morrison called a press conference to tell us does not respond to hypotheticals.

    Did anybody ask why he called the press conference?

  • 133
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@124

    Tim Watt won his seat in a competitive pre-selection, has been in Parliament for a few months and I have noticed his name in despatches. So he’s clearly making an impression.

    Perhaps the Party just needs to clear out old drongos like you who offer nothing but bitching.

    Seems you are unaware that he won Gellibrand and I regard that as a very good outcome. He is already a good performer and a future star.

    Gillard’s revenge in Lalor was to support the installation of Joanne Ryan. Has anything further been heard of her?

    We have wasted a safe seat on a mediocrity who will achieve nothing.

  • 134
    Pegasus
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    mtbw

    I really must move on to other things rather than hanging around here :-)

  • 135
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Centre:

    That article quotes someone as saying that in those days Murdoch was more subtle, whereas nowadays he’s more overtly extreme right wing and blatant. If his tweets are any indication he sounds more unhinged than anything else.

  • 136
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    rossmcg

    How embarrassing for Morrison – we now have the first arrival of the next six months.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke!

  • 137
    Centre
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Peg

    The Greens want to take credit for every good Labor policy that the Labor Party has proposed or introduced.

    Oh accept their soon to be defunct carbon tax. Even the Greens are trying to run a million miles away from Christine’s baby :lol:

    Labor have even done more for the environment than the Greens. Being good at protest rallies in parks doesn’t cut it!

  • 138
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    peg

    Stay around and enjoy yourself!

  • 139
    Raaraa
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure how Labor could get a dental scheme passed up to 2008 when the Coalition had a clear majority. Between 2008 and 2011, Labor needed to convince X and Fielding. Between 2011 and 2013, Labor could have done it if they convinced the House cross-benches, but I think the Libs and Murdoch-media has somehow convinced Labor about the need the keep a surplus no matter the cost.

    Shame that we could have seen dental implemented as part of Medicare but I think the compromise was as close as we could get.

  • 140
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    zoomster@125

    bemused


    Yes, Shorten wanted Sercombe’s seat and pushed to get it.


    Right, so why did you accuse me of denying this?

    What I denied was that there was any branch stacking involved to do it.

    You are plainly and irrefutably wrong as I showed from press reports.


    As for your comment about Lalor, I was talking about a particular series of events several years ago, not more recent history.

    If members in safe seats don’t perform (after being given some decent chance to do so) I think they should be challenged as a matter of course.

    Goodness me, I was responding to GG who was raising the current situation.

    Do pay attention.

  • 141
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    bemused,

    Yes, a major oopsy by me. But, you confirm, once again that you are only interested in bitching and smears.

    I don’t know MS Ryan. But, I’m sure she’ll make her mark in time.

  • 142
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@141

    bemused,

    Yes, a major oopsy by me. But, you confirm, once again that you are only interested in bitching and smears.

    I don’t know MS Ryan. But, I’m sure she’ll make her mark in time.

    Check her out GG.

    I am sure she is good local member material. But we should be putting people with leadership potential in such seats, not plodders.

  • 143
    Yesiree Bob
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    ABC 24 is showing a Fiberal Love-in, I wanna vomit

  • 144
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Alston looks like a pale ghost of Ruddock. Talk about “old white men”! He’s ivory coloured. Surely not a man to inspire.

  • 145
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    bemused,

    You keep repeating these negative comments. Are you trying to convince yourself that your poisonous utterances actually mean something.

  • 146
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Outgoing president Alan Stockdale says the party needs to boost its membership and increase the number of women in senior roles.

    "The party needs to attract and retain more women as office bearers as candidates and as MPs. This should be seen as a key priority for the party as a whole," he said.

    Mr Stockdale, who is retiring from the presidency after six years, says the party also needs to find new ways to raise funds.

    And after the scandals in NSW, I’d suggest those new ways need to be legal ways!

  • 147
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@145

    bemused,

    You keep repeating these negative comments. Are you trying to convince yourself that your poisonous utterances actually mean something.

    Yes, I was stunningly negative about Tim Watts.

    I also think the young lady pre-selected for Hotham, Clare O’Neil, is most impressive and was a good choice.

    Do you think all our choices are good? I don’t and will say so.

  • 148
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    JulieB is trolling through all the “disasters” of Labor. Some half true, some not. She’s in government, there’s no need to keep on relying on bringing down Labor.

  • 149
    Centre
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    connie

    I saw the Packer v Murdoch Power Plays episodes on channel 9 last year I think. It was/is a must watch and every Bludger should/must see it if they have not done so.

    Murdoch wanted to take on Frank Packer who was actually scared of Rupe in a weak sense and saw him as a threat.

    To the point, Packer kept getting Menzies elected and Murdoch wanted to be bigger and better than Packer, including the power to get PM’s elected.

  • 150
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    confessions@146


    Outgoing president Alan Stockdale says the party needs to boost its membership and increase the number of women in senior roles.

    “The party needs to attract and retain more women as office bearers as candidates and as MPs. This should be seen as a key priority for the party as a whole,” he said.

    Mr Stockdale, who is retiring from the presidency after six years, says the party also needs to find new ways to raise funds.


    And after the scandals in NSW, I’d suggest those new ways need to be legal ways!

    Yes, they just can’t go running on the proceeds of crime. :evil:

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