Albert Park – Victoria 2018

ALP 3.0%

Incumbent MP
Martin Foley, since 2007.

Geography
Southern Melbourne. Albert Park covers those parts of the City of Melbourne south of the Yarra River, and a majority of the City of Port Phillip. Albert Park covers the suburbs of Albert Park, Middle Park, Port Melbourne and South Melbourne and parts of St Kilda.

History
The electoral district of Albert Park has existed since the 1889 election. The seat has been dominated by the ALP for most of the 20th century, who have held the seat continuously since 1950.

The ALP first won the seat in 1902. George Elmslie held the seat until 1918, serving as the first Labor Premier in Victoria for thirteen days in December 1913. The ALP continued to hold the seat except for the 1927-9 period and the period from 1932 to 1945.

In 1945, Albert Park was won by the ALP’s Frank Crean, who lost the seat in 1947 to the Liberal Party’s Roy Schilling. Crean returned to the Victorian parliament at the 1949 Prahran by-election, but moved to federal politics in 1951 and went on to serve as a senior minister in the Whitlam government.

Schilling held the seat for one term, losing to the ALP’s Keith Sutton in 1950. Sutton held the seat until his retirement in 1970.

In 1970, Albert Park was won by the ALP’s Val Doube. He had previously held the seat of Oakleigh from 1950 to 1961, when he was defeated. He held Albert Park from 1970 to 1979.

In 1979, Albert Park was won by the ALP’s Bunna Walsh. He held the seat until the 1992 election, when he attempted to win the overlapping Monash province for the Legislative Council. He had also served as a member for the Legislative Council seat of Melbourne West for two months in 1970 before the election was declared void.

In 1992, John Thwaites, Mayor of South Melbourne, was elected to Albert Park for the ALP. Thwaites became Deputy Leader of the Victorian ALP in 1996. He became Deputy Premier in 1999 following the election of the Bracks government. Thwaites resigned in 2007 following the retirement of Steve Bracks, and by-elections were held in Albert Park and Bracks’ electorate of Williamstown in September 2007.

The 2007 by-election was won by the ALP’s Martin Foley, and was re-elected in 2010 and 2014.

Candidates

Assessment
Albert Park is a marginal Labor seat. Labor will likely win, but that is far from guaranteed.

2014 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Shannon Eeles Liberal 15,17741.5+1.7
Martin Foley Labor 11,82632.3+1.3
David Collis Greens 6,13416.8-0.1
Tex PerkinsIndependent1,6144.4+4.4
James HurleySex Party1,2633.5-0.1
Steven ArmstrongIndependent2890.8+0.8
Deborah GeyerFamily First2730.70.0
Informal1,5754.1

2014 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Martin Foley Labor 19,37053.0+2.1
Shannon Eeles Liberal 17,20647.0-2.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Albert Park have been split into three areas: Central, South and West.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 51.9% in the centre to 67.8% in the south.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 10.3% in the west to 25.4% in the south.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Central16.851.911,79632.3
West10.353.05,52015.1
South25.467.84,01511.0
Other votes16.249.77,72421.1
Pre-poll17.450.77,52120.6

Election results in Albert Park at the 2014 Victorian state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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113 COMMENTS

  1. Trent is right about that Middle Park booth and the Southbank booth have just turned agro on the Liberals but as we have be discussing the Liberals have chosen to go off chasing a mythical demographic which probably has never existed in Victoria.

  2. On the topic of the next retribution, the Liberals will fight like crazy to keep St Kilda out of Brighton, can see a flood of objections to any recommendations to move Brighton north.

  3. Last time, the Greens recommended St Kilda go into Prahran, given the similar demographics between Chapel Street and St Kilda.

    That seems to be the most logical arrangement to me, providing the numbers work.

  4. I would think the Liberal party should positively welcome St Kilda going into Brighton. It makes Albert Park winnable and keeps Prahran winnable.

  5. David Walsh- Yes I agree for Albert Park but what about Brighton based on Saturdays results for the Liberals? However at the recent redistribution everything south of St Kilda Botanical Garden went to Brighton anyway.

  6. In the lead up to the election I got one leaflet from Labor (enforce non local truck ban on Beaconsfield Pde) and one from Greens (introduction leaflets only).

    The Liberal robot phoned me about 5 times sometimes with the same road congestion message plus texts on my mobile twice including election morning which was all over the top. I voted on 12 Nov 18 too.

    There were three Liberal attack leaflets on Andrews and Labor (lost control, population, cost of living) and positive Liberal cards on a park in the St Kilda Triangle site, upgrade Albert Park College, CCTV cameras in St Kilda, end traffic chaos and other transport issues plus a letter about a population commission, infrastructure, expand the metro rail system and replace 55 major intersections. Andrew Bond was a good candidate as was Liberal Shannon Eeles in 2014 but they were hampered by clown in the Liberal leadership.

    AJP HTV was all directed to ALP in all bar one electorates while Joseph Toscano standing in Albert Park for the first time was on about public housing in his HTV. No land for that in inner Melbourne and he did the worst in the primary vote out of all candidate here. Middle class residents dont want social housing near them as it may increased crime and lowers property valuation. Socially they are not like us having little in common too.

  7. Adrian – The southern boundary of the St Kilda Botanical Gardens (Dickens St) is the St Kilda/Elwood border, so none of St Kilda is currently in the Brighton electorate, that’s all Elwood. While Elwood is a progressive leaning suburb also, it’s a lot more affluent and has a considerably higher Liberal vote than St Kilda.

    Typically the Liberals manage around a 40-45% 2PP in Elwood (excluding yesterday’s wipeout obviously) which isn’t enough to damage Brighton, but they only manage around 30% in St Kilda which also has a more dense population.

    I agree with David though that when the Liberal margin in Brighton is at its usual level, not the <5% it will be after this election, even the inclusion of St Kilda wouldn't be enough for them to lose the seat so St Kilda probably does the least damage there. And if it was removed from both Albert Park and Prahran, it makes both of those seats winnable.

    I think Prahran is increasingly less winnable for the Liberals (due to demographic change) on current boundaries anyway, but if St Kilda was removed the Liberals would be back in the race.

    However, I don't believe St Kilda belongs in Brighton at all. They are chalk & cheese. From a communities of interest perspective, St Kilda belongs in the Prahran electorate where all of Chapel St would be united. The numbers could even out by moving Prahran's section of St Kilda East into Caulfield (uniting St Kilda East & Balaclava there), and moving Prahran's section of Toorak into Malvern (uniting the suburb there).

    I doubt the Liberals would object to losing the small chance they had left in Prahran (where they have only won 1 of the last 5 elections anyway) if it it means they become favourites to win Albert Park at a much higher rate.

  8. Trent=- next redistribution you can make a submission to the VEC. As I have said before with population increase in the northern part of Albert Park District things will change in St Kilda anyway.

  9. Trent, yes that arrangement of Albert Park/Prahran/Caulfield/Malvern would be roughly how I see it too. (Provided the numbers work).

  10. Yeah I definitely plan to.

    This year I made a submission regarding Macnamara, Higgins & Goldstein which I think made a lot of sense and went into a lot of detail around quota projections, demographics and communities of interest but it was probably too late as it was only submitted in the final objections stage where the AEC’s minds were probably already made up. I think if I submitted it from the first stage it may have made more of a difference.

  11. I can’t agree with the idea that the Liberal party would give up on Prahran. Whilst it has trended towards the Greens, that’s mostly been at Labor’s expense. Has it trended away from the Liberals? The seat profile on the ABC election site demonstrates that Prahran has consistently been a point or three more Liberal leaning the state as a whole.

    The 1 in 5 strike rate is of course identical to their overall strike rate. If the coalition gave up on every seat they’d lost at four of the last five elections, they’d be giving up on winning government.

  12. I don’t think they’d give up on it. I just don’t think they’d object to a redistribution that gives them something better and more stable to work with.

    As long as St Kilda is in Albert Park it will remain difficult for them to get over the line. Prahran as you point out is a seat they are only likely to win in election victories these days, and even then it will only get increasingly difficult because of demographic change in South Yarra which is the suburb they rely on to win.

    So I just think if the VEC proposed a redistribution that turned Albert Park into a seat they could win in most elections, they would be stupid to object to it for the sake of salvaging lesser chances in Prahran.

    If you look at both seats by suburb on current boundaries, 5 of the 6 suburbs in Albert Park (Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Southbank, Albert Park & Middle Park) have the potential to be marginal Liberal turf in most elections, and the general trend had been in their favour (including the same booths in 2016 federal election) until Saturday obviously. Labor only hold the seat because of a persistently dominant Labor & Greens result in St Kilda.

    By contrast, the Liberals can only ever achieve a suburb-wide 2PP win in 2 of the 6 suburbs in Prahran. One happens to be the biggest one (South Yarra) but it’s trending away from them with development & demographic change, while their strongest turf (Toorak) is only small, but they have 0% chance of a favourable 2PP result in any of the other 4 suburbs which makes them rely on a thumping South Yarra result to win the seat, in the same way Labor rely on a landslide St Kilda result to hold Albert Park.

    The difference is, the Liberals are no longer getting that thumping result in South Yarra to carry them, unlike St Kilda which shows no signs of swinging away from a dominant ALP/Greens heartland. I’m not saying they can’t in a good election, but they certainly can’t rely on it. In 2014 they got a 55% 2PP in South Yarra and still narrowly lost the seat. That decreased to 49% in the equivalent Higgins turf 2 years ago, and only just over 40% on Saturday (recognising that Saturday was an abnormal landslide so doesn’t really count).

    While Albert Park has been Labor since 1950 and Prahran has a Liberal history including a recent term, if the decision to object to a proposed VEC redistribution was effective a choice between the two, surely the better tactical option would be the seat where every suburb (after St Kilda’s removal) is potential Liberal territory, compared to a seat where the majority of suburbs are safe Greens/ALP territory which they need at least 55% in South Yarra to overcome and even be competitive.

    Just my two cents! Not indicating for a second that the Liberals would give up on Prahran at all.

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