Macnamara – Australia 2019

ALP 1.2%

Incumbent MP
Michael Danby, member for Melbourne Ports since 1998.

Inner south of Melbourne. Macnamara covers the port of Melbourne, St Kilda and Caulfield. Other suburbs include Elwood, Balaclava, Elsternwick, Ripponlea, Middle Park, Albert Park and South Melbourne.

Macnamara is a new name for Melbourne Ports. The seat gained Windsor from Higgins, which reduced the Labor margin from 1.4% to 1.2%. The gap between Labor and the Greens at the key exclusion point was also reduced from 1.1% to 0.3%.

Melbourne Ports was an original Federation electorate. After originally being won by the Protectionist party, it has been held by the ALP consistently since 1906, although it has rarely been held by large margins.

Melbourne Ports was first won in 1901 by Protectionist candidate Samuel Mauger, who had been a state MP for one year before moving into federal politics. Mauger was re-elected in 1903 but in 1906 moved to the new seat of Maribyrnong, which he held until his defeat in 1910.

Melbourne Ports was won in 1906 by Labor candidates James Mathews. Mathews held Melbourne Ports for a quarter of a century, retiring in 1931.

Mathews was succeeded in 1931 by Jack Holloway. Holloway had won a shock victory over Prime Minister Stanley Bruce in the seat of Flinders in 1929, before moving to the much-safer Melbourne Ports in 1931. Holloway had served as a junior minister in the Scullin government, and served in the Cabinet of John Curtin and Ben Chifley throughout the 1940s. He retired at the 1951 election and was succeeded by state MP Frank Crean.

Crean quickly rose through the Labor ranks and was effectively the Shadow Treasurer from the mid-1950s until the election of the Whitlam government in 1972. Crean served as Treasurer for the first two years of the Whitlam government, but was pushed aside in late 1974 in the midst of difficult economic times, and moved to the Trade portfolio. He served as Deputy Prime Minister for the last four months of the Whitlam government, and retired in 1977.

Crean was replaced by Clyde Holding, who had served as Leader of the Victorian Labor Party from 1967 until 1976. He won preselection against Simon Crean, son of Frank. Holding served in the Hawke ministry from 1983 until the 1990 election, and served as a backbencher until his retirement in 1998.

Holding was replaced by Michael Danby in 1998, and Danby has won re-election at every subsequent election, although never with huge margins, and a margin as small as 3% in 2004 and 1.4% in 2016.

Sitting Labor MP Michael Danby is not running for re-election.

Macnamara is a very complex seat with great variations in the vote across different booths. The Liberal Party has a significant lead on the primary vote, but Greens preferences were enough to push Labor ahead in 2016. The Greens are close to overtaking Labor, at which point Labor preferences would decide the result. Any of the three parties could conceivably win. It’s not clear what impact Michael Danby’s retirement will have on the seat – there’s evidence that his presence as an incumbent helped Labor in some parts of the seat and hurt them in others.

2016 result

Owen Guest Liberal 35,53341.9+0.941.9
Michael Danby Labor 22,89727.0-4.726.6
Steph Hodgins-May Greens 20,17923.8+3.624.2
Robert Millen SmythAnimal Justice1,6852.0+2.02.0
Henry Von DoussaMarriage Equality1,3491.6+1.61.6
Levi Mckenzie-KirkbrightDrug Law Reform1,3481.6+1.61.5
Peter HollandIndependent1,3931.6+1.61.6
John B MyersIndependent4250.5+0.50.5

2016 two-party-preferred result

Michael Danby Labor 43,57351.4-2.251.2
Owen Guest Liberal 41,23648.6+2.248.8

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three areas: Port Melbourne, St Kilda and Caulfield.

Labor won a large 61.7% majority of the two-party-preferred vote in St Kilda, and half of the vote in Caulfield. The Liberal Party polled 51.2% in Port Melbourne.

On a primary vote basis, the three areas look very different. The Greens topped the primary vote in St Kilda, with Labor a distant third. In Port Melbourne and Caulfield, the Liberal Party topped the primary vote, with Labor second and the Greens in third place.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP prim %LIB prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
St Kilda35.325.931.161.717,71220.0
Port Melbourne21.627.744.748.816,76418.9
Other votes19.326.545.847.022,89025.8

Election results in Macnamara at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes, Labor primary votes, Liberal primary votes and Greens primary votes, as well as a map showing which party topped the primary vote in each booth.

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  1. I am surprised that Adrian voted Green’s. [deleted]

    Is the race/ religion of the candidates in this seat so important that it rates a mention in about half of the comments.
    The Lack of religion by nearly all Green Candidates Australia wide and their hatred of the one democracy in Middle East is a far bigger issue to me than the “Jewishness Jewessness, or Bagel eating” of any of the candidates.

    Andrew Jackson

  2. Why was name of seat changed? I thought that the names of the original Divisions were locked in.
    On opening this post I had no idea where McNamara was.
    I had never heard of either the seat or the woman it was named after. The

  3. Daniel AEC website states “Named in honour of Dame Annie Jean McNamara DBE, 1899–1968. Macnamara was a medical researcher and doctor who discovered there was more than one type of the polio virus and worked extensively with children suffering from poliomyelitis, training doctors and physiotherapists in the management of the disease”

    Looks like you and I have not been spelling it probably, had no idea who the division was named after and I at least di not know where it was or who was MP unt6ill Ben’s post.

    I rest my case.

  4. I don’t understand the system where they just name electorates after infamous Australian’s i mean compare this to most other countries, They name it after town’s and regions the electorate’s are located like UK and NZ, And i don’t understand (I was born in the UK) Why Australia has only 150 electorates, with around 20 Million people, and UK has 650, which has 3x the population, 150×3 = 450. So Australia should have 200+ electorate’s It would encourage more people to run for politics and serve (since its hard to be Pre-selected) and i breach section 44 anyways (Not renounced my British citizenship)

  5. Consider this, Why the hell does NZ have around 120 seats when they have 5x less population than australia, does not add up at all we should expand to 250 seats+

  6. [deleted] As for the Melbourne Ports name change the boundaries no longer match the title for the most part, except Port Melbourne. The boundaries originally covered all the port including Williamstown. The new name is an excellent choice.

  7. I just saw a comment from Friday requesting a link for the Liberal candidate. If someone has one feel free to post it and I’ll add it to the spreadsheet, then next time I do an update of the candidate lists there will be a link. It’s not my job to seek them out.

    And yeah I’m going to delete the unnecessary reference to the candidate’s religion. Be careful if you don’t want to be blocked.

  8. Please try to stay on the topic of this electorate. The question of the size of the House of Reps is an interesting one but please try to get back on topic. I’ve also deleted a bunch of irrelevant discussions about a commenter’s background.

  9. State election swing to Labor in upmarket inner Melbourne, exemplified by Albert Park, suggests this will be easy hold for Labor this time against both Greens & Libs.

  10. Geoff – I will still put Greens 1st like I did last federal election. The Liberal and Labor candidates in recent decades take their orders from the Israel Lobby in Australia (Caulfield and South Melbourne) and spend a lot if they time acting as agents for a foreign power in West Asia next to the Mediterranean Sea. Comrade Danby did it for 20 years.

  11. Can see little to quibble with Geoff’s assessment for this seat at this time. Unless things unravel badly for LAB between now and elections day OR the LAB candidate makes a total horse’s rear end of himself, I think its a strong bet for LAB retain.

  12. Adrian
    It might be worth remembering that Israel is the only democracy in Middle East and Green’s support for BDS anti Israel puts them firmly in the support for anti democratic forces.

    Oh what fun we would have with a good Omani public flogging in Melbourne Ports. They could bring out their pink shirts to mop up the blood.
    A Saudi beheading might actually turn their pro Palestinian views to volunteering on a Kibbutz. A one eyed Brigadier Sarah Hanson Young might bring a new demographic to Greens support.

  13. Andrew – Israel is an apartheid country that hold elections periodically. Their political system is often corrupt and fragmented with MP’s in trouble including the current PM. Just read websites like J-Wire and the AJN online to see its problems. We supported the war in Viet Nam which murdered millions needlessly and now the USA is meeting with the DPRK in Hanoi.

    I live in Macnamara and have seen it change from an ordinary strong ALP electorate with good representatives in the late Clyde Holding and the late Frank Crean (Simon’s father) to an Israel centric representation by Danby in the ALP for 20 years with declining support. Also a number of unsuccessful Israel lackeys in the Liberal party who’s disappear after every election.

  14. A precondition for Middle East peace is a non far right Israeli government…………. In a pro labor election this seat will remain Alp held

  15. mick Quinlivan – I agree. ABC news last night said the Attorney General in Israel is about to indite their PM for corruption.

  16. Port Phillip Council website has advised that there will be a “Macnamara Candidates Forum” on Wednesday, 03 April 19 from 7 pm to 9 PM at Port Philip Town Hall (St Kilda), cnr Brighton Rd and Carlisle St (Melways: 58 C 11). Entry is free but you have to book a place. The forum is targeting the topics of Climate Change and Energy. The only candidate invited so far the known ones from the Liberal, Labor and Greens parties. The Nationals dont stand candidates in this inner suburban electorate. I am not an organiser of this event but I may attend as a audience member. The organisers and supporters listed appear mainly to be from a Red/Green political background.

  17. Th Australian on Friday 08 Mar 19 has an advertisement for all the United Australia Party candidates. The Macnamara candidate is Helen Paton on Moblie O438 319 567.

  18. Two Greens walkies came past my house on Saturday and gave me their leaflets and we had a nice chat. I pointed out to them that my local Greens Port Phillip councillor does not return calls while other councillors do.

    I rang the UAP candidate today too who returned my call and we has a discussion about Federal politics as well as some state and local issues. She lives in Cremorne which is nearby, is 26 and has a professional job. I will put her No 1 in the ballot paper followed by Green, Labor and Liberal.

  19. Nice that Candidate is returning calls.
    I was impressed with Palmer putting phone numbers of his candidates. It is amazing that candidates frequently indicate that they do not want AEC to release phone numbers and e-Mail to the public.

  20. Andrew – I agree and what is the point of having any representative if you cant ring them. 20 years ago local councillors home phone landline numbers were provided now its mobiles that often dont get answered or a call returned. Some electorate staff are excellent but others are arrogant and rude. I think many MP are uncomfortable with direst contact except for PR grins and hand shaking at a market or hotel at election time and where the “patrons” are mostly party members asked to attend. I know we did it when I was in the Liberal party (1994-2003). I think many MP’s are introverted with a very few who are extroverts like you and me are most likely. Some backbench MP’s are not heard of for 20 years and some ministers are nearly invisible too.

  21. I have changed my mind – After talking to some friends about preferencing for the election I has reversed my preference now with Liberal ahead of Labor further down the ballot paper. This changes my choice as stated on 10 Mar 19 at 2:05 PM above. The reason being Burns has an arts degree, big deal, and was a teachers AID and a storeman and now he is a political adviser, some rise in status for someone with few qualifications. Ashmor on the other hand has an extensive CV in the community, including as a lawyer and local councillor in the recent past, and professionally. We have heard of Ashmor, in the coast part of the electorate, for a few years to but who is Burns. Never heard of him.

  22. I an voting for the known women (1,2 & 3) on the ballot paper in Macnamara and sensible centre candidates in the Senate.

  23. Adrian, Are you confident of a Liberal win here? Or do you believe Labor will end up winning it? Danby certainly helps the ALP rather than hurt them, Danby didn’t do much for the electorate in his 20 years

  24. Daniel – Not sure who will win but having Danby as an MHR for 20 years, after the excellent late Clyde Holding and friendly late Frank Crean, was a disaster as he did nothing other that talking about Israel.

  25. Michael Danby was given “send off” in The Australian, The Nation, Page 18. when Parliament rose. What a non entity he was as my local MHR for 20 years.

  26. I attended the Macnamara Candidates Forum tonight in Port Phillip Town Hall (St Kilda). The three main candidates (Lib, Lab, Grn) were given a chain on the stage and made a 5 minute speech and then took question but it was mostly generic or about Queensland and coal – yawn, boring. An independent lady candidate asked a question from the floor too but I did not catch her name.

    The Town hall was full with every seat on the large floor area taken plus others standing at the back and side too. All spoke well but the Liberal and Greens candidates were the better speakers and had more policy substance.

  27. I was also there last night, the Liberal candidate was an woeful.

    I think Labor will make it into 2nd place, picking up people who voted Liberal last time but are turned off ScoMo and this bizarre campaign the Liberals are running – the candidate seems to just hand out pears with her name on it?

  28. Did Danby win or lose votes for Labor? not sure suspect he was a positive in some parts and a negative in others. Obvious gentrification which explains at least in part the high green vote. The state election vote was very good for Labor in Caulfield which makes up 20% of the seat. I would suspect alp retain alp and gr votes 50% of the primary vote. also labor will get 3% plus swing in Vic.

  29. last time 33% mainly left of centre preferences and the libs got slightly less than half…. this is surely a typical.. would expect 70% plus to go to manor in normal circumstances…. maybe Danby was disliked by such voters…

  30. If Albert Park, Caulfield & Prahran’s results are anything to go by in the state election, similar swings could possbily even drop the Liberals out of first place. Their primary vote plunged to the mid-30s across Albert Park and less than 20% in the Macnamara suburbs (Windsor & St Kilda) of Prahran.

    I had long predicted the Greens to win this seat this time around, but I think with the savage LIB to ALP swings excepted in the parts of the electorate that overlap Albert Park & Caulfield, we’ll probably see both the Libs & ALP poll somewhere in the mid-30s each which unfortunately (because I think Steph is the best candidate) will probably keep the Greens in third place again with only a modest swing up to the high 20s.

    Overall, ALP should win with a 2PP somewhere in the 58-60% range.

  31. Interested – The town hall meeting was largely a partisan crowd from the red/green factions. The Liberal stuck up for jobs and growth more so that mere ideology. There were a few hecklers at the rear were I was and at one point I said “shut up idiot” across the hall to him. Intolerance of others views at public meeting shows the weak mentality of these hecklers. They do it at any meeting attended by Liberals.

    In later feedback to the organisers I said that clapping should be confined to the end only as it wastes time clapping throughout the speeches. Reference to Aborigines “owners” of the land in the electorate should be stated once at the start and not by every candidate and other speakers over and over again. More questions could have been asked if this happened. Besides there are no “real” Aborigines in the electorate anyway.

    There were three other speakers who were not candidates, the being Fiona Armstrong (Climate & Health Alliance), Simon Homes a Court (Climate & Energy College University of Melbourne) and Eloisa Moses-McMahon, Year 11 (Albert Park College) and at the end two Elwood College girls spoke about the education student strikes too.

  32. The inclusion of Windsor in the electorate after the redistribution will help the Greens as apparently Windsor is more left wing.

  33. The Greens got a 47% primary vote in Windsor in 2016 so adding Windsor would probably close the small gap between ALP & Greens based on 2016’s result, but this election will be nothing like 2016.

    There’s no way the Liberals are getting over 40% (or probably anywhere even near it) this time, and there’s no way Labor will get under 30% this time. That’s going to be difficult for the addition of 5000 voters in Windsor to overcome.

    Personally I want Steph Hodkins-May to win, and I think in the long term Macnamara will inevitably become a Greens seat. The ALP tide across Victoria will just be too much to compete with this time around.

  34. UnChain Inc – Macnamara Candidates Forum (see below).

    Unchain Inc is the pressure group that got the huge proposed over development of the St Kilda Triangle site (next to The Palais Theatre and Luna Park) stopped over 10 years ago and three of their number were subsequently elected as Port Phillip councillors.

    At the last council election one decided not to recontest her ward while the other two were defeated after the ward structure was changed from 7 X single councillor wards to 3 X 3 councillor wards, a total of nine councillors which is a much more democratic mix with 3 Greens, 2 Liberals, 3 ALP/CAPP and 1 Independent. Interesting at some council meetings the Libs and ALP councillors vote together to defeat the Greens.

    THE FORUM – Anyhow this forum will be held on 30 Apr 19 at 7pm at Memo Hall (a music hall) at 88 Acland St, St Kilda. Memo Hall is behind the St Kilda RSL. I assume Memo Hall is short for Memorial Hall. Detail on Google I assume as it was promoted at another forum last night.

  35. Trent
    I have to say i find your prediction/ expectation of McNamara going Green long term, quite extraordinary.
    For starters the boundaries may be altered radically : EG St kilda , &, or Caulfield may be removed. Big parts of Higgins may be added. We just don’t know.
    Things are about to get extremely rough in Oz. So in 3 years time the Greens will be seen in a totally different light, & have very little electoral appeal. Most people will be far more concerned with their own self preservation that the idealogical indulgences, & distractions of the Greens.
    I’d be prepared to wager good money on the Libs getting this in 2022 without the intervention of a high profile candidate, even on these boundaries.

    Adrian what do you think ?

  36. If it does get chunks of Higgins, that would help the Greens, not the Libs. Obviously the parts of Higgins it would get are more likely to be Prahran (safe Greens) and South Yarra (50/50) which combined favours the Greens. It wouldn’t get any of Higgins’ Liberal voting suburbs. The Liberals could never win Macnamara if the boundaries swap Caulfield for Prahran and South Yarra, they’d have a better chance on current boundaries because Caulfield is the most Liberal suburb in the seat. But even so, Labor are likely to hold this by around 8-10% after this election and that would require a pretty dramatic swing for the Libs to snatch just 1 election later given their unpopularity in Victoria.

  37. I don’t think Shorten will pick up anywhere near as much of the swings against Liberals as Andrews, and there’s also the consideration of the Orthodox Jewish voters returning to the Liberal party now Danby’s gone.

    Still predicting a Green gain but ALP are much more competitive than they were this time last year.

  38. Trent
    Yep expected this response from you. However do you really expect that people will not hold Shorten responsible for the next 3 years ? The greens too ? . Who will be unpopular then ?. i doubt it will be the libs. I don’t think you are seeing how messed up things will get. The game will change. You may well be vindicated on the size of Labor margin post election, however more likely it will be less, a few%.

    John the Melbourne Jewish vote was never Liberal, so it won’t be “returning”. It may however continue to move.

  39. Many of us in Macnamara vote early or by postal vote as we all work and Saturdays are coffee time at the shops not standing in a que. Shorten budget speech was pretty ordinary. Leigh Sales interview with him on ABC TV 7:30 last night made him squirm a bit.

  40. The Liberal and Labor candidates are both Hebrews and both live in Caulfield but the Liberal Kate Ashmor is well known in Caulfield as she was a former Glen Eira councillor. Never heard of Labors Josh Burns until I read about him on Tally Room. The Hebrew vote will be split between them and perhaps the Greens too.

  41. Winediamond, Green incumbents that won a single member electorate seat in a general election have a perfect 8 out of 8 reelection record (that’s Adam Bandt and Jamie Parker twice, Ellen Sandell, Sam Hibbins, Jenny Leong, and Tamara Smith once each). I think the evidence is fairly robust that if Macnamara goes Green once it will stay Green.

    Perhaps you’re right that redistribution would be a threat, but Macnamara is trapped by Port Philip Bay and the Yarra, I don’t think wholesale change could occur.

    On the prospect of things getting “extremely rough” I’m dubious. You could argue that Abbott was elected in 2013 due to similar feelings to those you are predicting, but I remind you that Adam Bandt held his seat with a substantial swing that year (even while there were swings against the Greens everywhere else, incumbency is clearly a massive advantage).

  42. Trent

    I think if the AEC went with their purposed 2010 map that included the areas of Higgins west of Williams Rd as well a Dockland could be won by the Liberals but probably only in big wins. The Liberals biggest problem is more the Windsor/ St Kilda East areas where their vote falls substantially from elsewhere in the seat but such a boundary would also favor the Greens if the TPP came down to them and the ALP as the Greens pretty much match the ALP on the primary right across the seat.

    This time around I think it will be a ALP hold but the Greens should be more than competitive as shown by their result in Prahran.

  43. Bennee
    Yeah ok that is right (8 out of 8) but you are being a little cute. McNamara is atypical for an inner city seat, demographic , & otherwise. Importantly the lib vote will likely increase at least incrementally.
    I don’t know how many new dwellings are going in, but i’d have thought enough to make big boundary changes inevitable. Maybe someone knows the numbers ?

    Things are already getting rough.We are already entering a technical recession. other indicators are grim.
    To be entirely fair Labor will be blamed for some of which they are NOT responsible. However that is what being in govt is about. I do none the less have absolute confidence in their intention, & (lack of) ability to “Whitlamise” the economy during their term of office !!.
    Bandt’s swing in 2013 was a sophomore swing ? Or am i mistaken ? I’m also a little amused. Are you giving Abbott credit for being elected, rather than Labor being thrown out !!?? Where has this new found generosity emerged from ?

  44. On 07 Apr 19 another candidates forum featuring once again the three main candidates was held in Glen Eira Town Hall but the numbers in attendance were smaller that the forum in St Kilda Town Hall on 03 Apr 19. Source AJN online.

  45. Some friction over religious mumbo jumbo in the Glen Eira forum on 07 Apr 19. (Source: The Age, 11 Apr 19, page 13). It was all about a mezuzah (a Hebrew symbol) not being on the door of the ALP candidates campaign office. Haven’t the two major parties got better things to get excited about at this election?

    In most of the rest of electorate (90% of the voters) religion (Christianity) has little part in our lives and many churches have closed or amalgamated in the last 30 or so years. A former Roman Catholic secondary school in Albert Park was bought many decades ago and turned into a Hari Krishna temple and Melbourne HQ for the movement.

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