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.

  19. Voting for Shorten is disastrous. He’ll spend your money like crazy. Just the way he talks and acts is enough for me. He comes on TV and can’t wait to flip the channel. His wife is to good for him.
    He will send the country broke. I live in a safe Liberal seat.

  20. I actually think Bill Shorten is underrated as an opposition leader. He’s far from perfect but it’s refreshing to have an opposition actually offering an alternative policy platform and not just the usual small target opposition. Elections should be based on policies rather than generic “who do you trust?’ platitudes and personality politics.

  21. Some guy
    When you see BS, clearly you don’t see what i see. Whilst you may be dismissive of personality. Politics, or whatever. I’d say the reasons that BS, or anyone else want the job are pretty relevant. Their actual capabilities, skills, & aptitudes , or lack thereof, even more so.
    I’m happy for you, that you are so enthusiastic about the policy platform, to drastically raise taxes, & spending. Ignoring all historical precedents of this policy direction (& there have been many), i hope you are just as content with the inevitable results.

    Wishing you a delightful Easter
    cheers WD

    ps i bashed Morrison pretty hard on the COOK thread. However i’ve withheld my comments on BS because i was sure Ben would put me back into moderation.

  22. Last part of article by Jack the Insider. In the OZ YESTERDAY. Thought this was an interesting insight.

    The Coalition’s ace remains Bill Shorten. In 2016, Shorten campaigned well and appeared at ease among voters and the media. Perhaps now, with the expectation of victory sitting squarely on his shoulders, he has become nervous and agitated.

    At the last election, Sam Dastyari was Shorten’s constant companion on the bus. Say what you like about Sam, but he was a hell of a good campaigner. Now Shorten has Wayne Swan alongside him. The dithering and missteps are right out of the Wayne Swan textbook. Equivocation, uncertainty and lashing out at imaginary enemies.

    If I was driving that bus I’d pull over on the shoulder and tell Swan to grab his bags and start hitchhiking.

    The markets show this should be a comfortable win, possibly even a landslide victory for Labor. Equally, it is Bill Shorten’s election to lose.

  23. Bill Shorten is flying back from Darwin to go to the MCG AFL game. The last time a parliamentarian presented the winning cup in the grand finals, which this game isn’t, was PM Bob Hawke and he was booed of the field.

    I wonder what Shortens flight cost taxpayers as well as the PM flying to visit a shop, pub and kick a ball? We voters have made up our voting intentions and the campaigning is a waste if time and money.

  24. I’m actually quite surprised it’s a 4 candidate seat (the minimum in an election with 4 parties standing candidates everywhere). Usually party leaders seats are a magnet for frivolous candidates.

    I don’t think it’s too late for the Greens to have a serious crack at the seat. Shorten will win but this electorate has quite a bit of Greens territory in it, and Shorten has had a very bad week in terms of the things progressive Labor/Greens voters care about. Greens could crack 20% in this electorate easily.

  25. Bill Shorten wants to spend billions, including my taxes, on dodgy child care payments. This is similar to the billions spent on the former ATSIC for 20 years with nothing to show for it.

    When my sister wanted some baby sitting done I did it for her and now the baby is 34 I have volunteered to baby sit he and his wife’s daughter when they are at work next year when the toddler can walk and talk at aged 2 years plus.

    If poor parents cant manage don’t have children. Government payments will most likely be spent of the pokies, smokes or spirits, the drink of choice of some unemployable “poor” parents. Grand parents in my areas often look after their grandchildren when the parents are at work as nature intended.

  26. I fundamentally agree with you Adrian.

    This election will be a test as to whether the public will accept or reject mass public spending. On the one hand, it may help capture key constituencies (I call it buying votes, but anyway). Spend too much and the public may view you as irresponsible and not fit to govern the economy.

    I tend to view Shorten’s latest announcements as a sign of desperation but maybe it’ll stabilise the ship, idk.

  27. Adrian, your anecdote about childcare and assumptions about parents who need assistance paying for childcare demonstrate a surface level (at best) understanding of the policy and workforce participation more generally. As a parent who accesses the childcare rebate, which mind you was increased by a Coalition Government recognising the benefits of the policy, I find your characterisation of me pretty offensive. “As nature intended” I will let through to the keeper – you’ve obviously got some rusted-on views of the world.

    If you’re hung up about spending priorities, some people might also ask ‘why are “my taxes” being spent subsidising the lifestyle of wealthy retirees?’ There’s an economic argument for helping retired folk live comfortably and independently, but there’s also a strong economic argument for helping working mothers (sorry, “poor parents”) get back into the workforce. Depends on your perspective.

    And to make you think a bit before you respond, some context about me: I (bludger of wasteful welfare payment for “poor parents”) work in a well-paid white collar job, live in a very affluent area of Sydney and minimise my tax through negative gearing.

  28. John – 4 candidates is not surprising here as most minor party and independent candidates in other electorates are merely preference gatherers for the ALP or Greens. They not needed in this electorate.

  29. LT Smash
    Clearly you didn’t read my post in the Gilmore thread about Superannuation. As a dual property owner how did the depreciation changes in 2017 affect you ?. More impactful than negative gearing changes i’ll wager.

  30. @LT Smash your characterisation of women who devote their time to being mothers of their children as not “working” is wrong and offensive. The nation is not suddenly wealthier because someone like Richard di Natale pays an au pair below minimum wage to do childcare in the home instead of himself or his wife doing it.

  31. i hope they spend more money on pokies, drinks and smokes. Great creating more jobs in hospitality.

    I’m sick of governments giving handouts to middle class grifters as tax rebates. Bludgers wouldn’t know what work was. Only the poor work hard in this country. The wealthy get theirs from ripping off others, especially their kids future.

    With the global economy contracting we need a government that’s got the cohones to spend up big and put everyone to work. I know the Abbot/Turnbull/Morrison governments have quadrupled our national debt, but with China slowing more will need to be done. And someone who can get the corporate sector to finally pay some tax would be helpful! The biggest dole bludgers in Australia today are the ASX200!

    Can’t see this coming from Rupert Murdo…sorry, Scott Morrison.

  32. @Adrian, you’re completely wrong about the minor parties – there’s a lot more of them on the right than on the left. They’re not “preference gatherers” for Labor or the Greens, whatever that means.

  33. Ben
    My Labor party insider mate has told me multiple times, that it is standard practice to run 1.2. or even 3 “independents” to harvest preferences.

  34. Bill Shorten will make thousands of school solar panel schools and pay for them out of our taxes. This well mean the power companies will get free electricity back into the grid with nothing or little paid to the school for it just like for residential homes. However as a shareholder in Origin and AGL this will contribute to my share dividends though.

  35. It worries me that divorced MP’s want to be ministers in parliament. If they cant manage their first married how to they expect to manage the country.

  36. Ben you’re correct, in my seat (Swan) there are 10 candidates with your usual Liberal, Labor and Greens and the rest are from what could be broadly termed the populist right ranging from the WA Party to Australia First.

    I don’t think situations like this help Labor, but it’s also unlikely to have much influence on the final vote once preferences are accounted for.

  37. @Sheriff after re-reading my post I am 100% certain that I made no characterisation about stay at home parents – I am married to one and she is working a lot harder than me right now. Sorry if you’ve read it that way, but it was a comment on the rationale for taxpayer support for childcare. It is sound policy, that’s all I was saying.

    @winediamond no, I’m afraid I don’t follow all your forum activity. Rest assured I’m pretty much on top of my finances. By sharing some info about my own circumstances, I was hoping to highlight that people accessing government payments are diverse in terms of SES and that there are a lot of people like me out there who are happy for “my taxes” to be be spent a little less on tax loopholes and a little more on other things.

    @Adrian, really looking forward to more of your insights.

  38. Good to read that Bill Shorten has dumped Roman Catholicism, as he disagrees with some of their teachings, and has converted to the Church of England which is his 2nd wife’s religion. All he has to do now is abandon that silly republican head of state position if he wants to be PM.

  39. That’s bullshit Adrian, “real men” are also humans. Humans have emotions and show it sometimes, including by crying.

  40. Bennee
    Fundamentally i agree. Though Adrian did qualify “publicly”. OTH Hawkey won votes every time he bawled in public, God knows how many votes each tear was worth !!. Maybe Bill has been trying all this time, but talking about Mum finally got him over the line ?. Nevertheless this show of genuine, & authentic emotion was a disaster for the Coalition. I believe it will have long term consequences, with popularity, & preferred PM polling.

  41. Anyone who decides to vote for Shorten because he cried on TV is a manipulated fool. The concept that fitness and ability to govern is determined by crying (as opposed to intellect and policy) is just absurd.

  42. The Telegraph will now become the scapegoat for a Coalition loss, and the Dutton backers who hit the self-destruct button last year will come away scot-free. Ditto for the climate/energy luddites who are dragging them backwards. Except the ones who will lose their seats, of course.

    You can now get $5.25 on a Coalition win. Say what you will about betting markets as a predictor, but a week out, and with a pretty tight pendulum, this is quite remarkable.

    A huge gift/own goal depending on your perspective.


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