Maribyrnong – Australia 2019

ALP 10.4%

Incumbent MP
Bill Shorten, since 2007.

Western Melbourne. Maribyrnong covers suburbs near the Maribyrnong River, including all Moonee Valley council area, parts of Maribyrnong council area and small parts of Brimbank, Melbourne and Moreland council areas. Suburbs include Essendon, Aberfeldie, Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, Gowanbrae, Essendon Fields, Ascot Vale, West Footscray and Flemington.

The old seat of Maribyrnong was effectively split in two, with the western parts of the seat (including St Albans, Sunshine North, Braybrook, Keilor and Kealba) moved into the new seat of Fraser. The eastern end of the seat kept the name ‘Maribyrnong’, while also taking in Gowanbrae, Essendon Fields and Strathmore Heights from Wills, West Footscray from Gellibrand, and Ascot Vale and Flemington from Melbourne. These changes cut the Labor margin from 12.3% to 10.4%.

Maribyrnong was created for the 1906 election. Apart from a few early wins by conservative parties, the seat has almost always been won by the ALP.

The seat was first won in 1906 by Samuel Mauger, a member of the Anti-Socialist party. Mauger had previously held Melbourne Ports since Federation. He joined the Commonwealth Liberal Party on its formation in 1909, but lost Maribyrnong in 1910 to Labor candidate James Fenton.

Fenton held the seat continuously for the next two decades, and became Minister for Trade in the Scullin government in 1929. He served as Acting Prime Minister in 1930 when Scullin was travelling, and during this period he breached with the majority of the Labor caucus, and in 1931 he followed Joseph Lyons out of the ALP and joined the new United Australia Party.

Fenton won re-election in 1931 as a UAP candidate, and served as a minister for the first year of the Lyons government, but fell out with the government and served out his term as a backbencher, losing the seat in 1934 to the ALP’s Arthur Drakeford.

Drakeford served as Minister for the Air and Minister for Civil Aviation for the entirety of the Labor government from 1941 to 1949, and held his seat until his defeat at the 1955 election, when preferences from anti-communist Labor rebels (who later formed the Democratic Labor Party) delivered the seat to Liberal candidate Philip Stokes.

Stokes managed to hold on to the seat for the next decade as Maribyrnong saw a high vote for the DLP. Stokes held the seat until his defeat in 1969.

Maribyrnong was won in 1969 by the ALP’s Moss Cass. Cass served as Minister for the Environment in the Whitlam government, and retired from Parliament in 1983.

The seat was won in 1983 by Alan Griffiths. Griffiths joined the ministry after the 1990 election, and served as a minister until he was forced to resign from the ministry in 1994 due to allegations that he used his electoral office resources to bail out a failed sandwich shop venture. He retired from Parliament in 1996.

Maribyrnong was won in 1996 by Bob Sercombe, a former Victorian state MP. Sercombe had served as Deputy Leader of the ALP before attempting a leadership coup against John Brumby, Leader of the Opposition. Sercombe briefly served as a junior shadow minister after the 2004 election. He was challenged for preselection in 2005 by AWU National Secretary Bill Shorten, and he withdrew.

Shorten won the seat in 2007, and has been re-elected three times.

Shorten was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary after the 2007 election. He was appointed as a minister in 2010 and joined cabinet in 2011. He was elected leader of the opposition following the 2013 election.


Maribyrnong is a safe Labor seat.

2016 result

Bill Shorten Labor 47,40250.5+2.642.1
Ted Hatzakortzian Liberal 30,28332.3-0.833.7
Olivia Ball Greens 9,1519.8-0.217.2
Catherine CummingIndependent3,1723.4+3.42.3
Fiona McrostieAnimal Justice2,1762.3+2.32.0
Anthony O’NeillAustralian Christians1,6501.8+0.81.1

2016 two-party-preferred result

Bill Shorten Labor 58,46562.3+0.960.4
Ted Hatzakortzian Liberal 35,36937.7-0.939.6

Booth breakdown

Polling places in Maribyrnong have been divided into four parts: north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 51.9% in the north-east to 69.4% in the south-west.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 7.2% in the north-west to 35% in the south-east (which includes areas previously included in the Greens seat of Melbourne).

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes18.262.517,43318.9

Election results in Maribyrnong at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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  1. What’s the estimated 3 Party Preferred?

    This seat could be a medium term Green prospect, and Liberals actually do quite well in Moonee Valley

  2. I actually calculated the 3PP for this seat the other day.

    Before the redistribution the Libs were on 35% and the Greens on 12.3%. They are now on 36.1% and 19.8% respectively. Labor dropped from 52.7% to 44.1%. So the gap between the Libs and Greens narrowed from 22.7% to 16.3%. Still a big gap but a lot less than it was.

  3. Footscray seems out of place in this electorate. It seems odd that Keilor has been split. Is there a case for expansion NW to take in Keilor ? Could that make things interesting ?

  4. WD, what you describe is basically what my submission contained. (I called it Fraser, for obvious reasons.)

    There’s some suggestion that such an electorate could be competitive. Though that never occurred to me. Even with such a configuration, I couldn’t see the Liberals winning it in anything short of a landslide.

  5. Agree with WD, Footscray looks out of place in this seat, however in saying that, I think this is nearly a perfect boundary for Maribyrnong, but I could see the possibility for the AEC to include Keilor or in a more extreme redistribution include the western half of Moreland (West of Sydney Rd) as there is a close relationship between places like Pascoe Vale and Essendon, also West Brunswick feels more akin to Moonee Ponds than East Brunswick.

    Can this seat be competitive? I can only see the Liberals winning it in a 1990 election style landslide, and their primary vote should be too strong for the Greens to come second so I see this remaining an ALP marginal.

  6. Yes Footscray is a bit oddly placed, but there’s really nowhere else for it to go at the moment.

    Perhaps if another new seat is created in the western suburbs, Maribyrnong can shift completely (or almost) east of the river.

  7. ALP 44.1 LIB 36.1 GRN 19.8 ?

    So if it gentrifies it’s a horrorshow for Labor in the future. A Liberal 3PP well north of 33.3% means the Greens would need far fewer votes to win it than they need in seats like Melbourne, Brunswick, and Cooper. Yes, even though Labor are currently at 44% the threat in this seat is Labor being excluded in 3rd.

    But in the present day (especially with the alternate Prime Minister as the Labor member) it is safe.

  8. Ben you have Shorten listed as the candidate; has it been confirmed that he’s contesting here and not Fraser?

    PM Shorten would be in serious danger from the Greens in a targeted campaign as prime ministers inevitably disappoint.

    If the number of seats is increased again, and as the seat of Melbourne dramatically grows in population (all those developments have to amount to something), I could see a sensible seat just being the area bounded by Citylink/Moonee Ponds Creek, Maribyrnong River and the Yarra River, heading as far north as necessary. That is, dropping Footscray and the eponymous suburb, and picking up Flemington and Kensington, as well as Tullamarine (and maybe Westmeadows, Attwood). This would put it in the same position as other river defined seats like Cooper and Wills.

    The point being, Greens would be smart to put resources into the seat for the longer term – turn areas like Moonee ponds into 3 corner contest areas, and get on the board in Labor dominated Avondale Heights and Keilor East.

  9. You can see the Greens potential here just by looking at the big change in vote either side of Maribyrnong road – that’s the difference between the Green being a well known incumbent and an also ran. A “serious” campaign would be able to get somewhere in the middle.

    On the other hand the areas formerly in Wills are surprisingly weak – and that’s with Greens actively targeting the seat, and doing ok in some of those northern booths (eg votes in the 20s in Glenroy).

  10. Bennee
    Clearly when you look at BS, you are not seeing what i see !. Could it be, that BS can put Maribrynong at risk for the ALP. Perhaps he will live to regret not taking Fraser

  11. This seat has always been fairly middle class particularly around Essendon, so I am not sure we can say it is gentrifying in the same way as say Melbourne, Wills or Cooper is, therefore I see it going to the Liberals before it goes to the Greens. That isn’t to say the Greens cannot be competitive because if the Liberals were to go any further away from their traditional professional middle class liberal base then they run the risk of losing votes to the Greens.

    General comment on the Greens – I am sure the upcoming election will be a good election for the Greens as I cannot think of an issue that could drive their vote higher, whereas if SSM had failed to pass then that might have resulted in a Green surge. I get the impression that the Greens generally do better at elections where there isn’t a pro-ALP swing as what we are expecting to see this time around.

  12. Winediamond, I’m not saying Bill Shorten is an attractive candidate (hey is not) but he is an extremely well known one. If Bill Shorten he was a backbencher it’d be far more dangerous for Labor here.

  13. Quick question, Who will swear in Bill shorten as next pm should he win the next election which is almost certain. David Hurley or Peter Cosgrove? Hurley takes office in June, But if the election is in May, Would Cosgrove still swear him in?

  14. Bennee comment that if Bill Shorten wasn’t leader it would be more dangerous for Labor in this seat doesn’t make alot of sense. It’s the reason that he is leader it was floated he be moved to Fraser because he would have less time to spend in his electorate when he has to fly around the country campaigning in marginals.

    Bill Shorten or any other Labor candidate as a backbencher has more time to work their electorate and attend all the local events and work the seat. I’m happy to acknowledge the higher profile for Shorten as leader helps, but being leader has disadvantages as well and it was thought a new Labor candidate would have more time to concentrate on solidifying the seat if Shorten moved to Fraser which has an unbeatable margin.

    Anyway I’m glad Shorten rejected the move to Fraser. If he can’t hold on to this seat on the current margin of 10.4% he doesn’t deserve to be PM.

    Greens or Libs are not a hope in hell in winning this seat on a likely Labor election win. But I would suggest on a Labor election loss they probably won’t either despite all the exaggerating on this board unless it was a annihilation.

  15. Daniel, The current GG’s term is being extended by a month to cover the transition:
    “General Hurley, currently the 38th Governor of NSW, will take up the position in Canberra next year to replace Sir Peter Cosgrove, whose term will be extended to ensure a smooth transition over the NSW and federal elections early next year. … The outcome, with the agreement of the Queen, is to extend Sir Peter’s term until June so that General Hurley takes up the new position then.” — David Crowe, SMH, 16 December 2018.

  16. When you employ someone. You always have to do your due diligence on the person. So when Australia need to decide whether a person is fit to be a PM. We need to speak to their ex-employer.

    What better ways to find out who bill shorten is by asking the cream of the ALP …. the ex-ALP parliamentary leader, the person the ALP wanted to be PM, someone just like bill shorten. We need to ask Mark Latham about Bill Shorten.

    Better still he will now be covered by parliamentary privilege and can say whatever he like about his pupil

  17. Today it was just too funny. Bill’s given us all his expert, highly qualified judgement on the budget – It is a “Con”. Well he’d know. He is one of the very best (con artists) iv’e ever seen !!. Seriously good.

  18. Bill Shorten’s opponent from the Liberal’s will be a woman named Christine Stow.

    I believe she is a former Councillor on Whittlesea.


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