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Seat #10: Dandenong

Dandenong1-2PPDandenong is a safe Labor seat in south-eastern Melbourne, including Dandenong, Dandenong South, Doveton and Eumemmerring and parts of Dandenong North, Endeavour Hills, Noble Park and Noble Park South.

The seat has a margin of 14% for the ALP, and has been held since 1992 by John Pandazopoulos. He’ll be retiring at the upcoming election.

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Seat #9: St Albans

StAlbans1-2PPSt Albans is a safe Labor seat covers Albion, Kealba, Keilor Downs, St Albans and Sunshine North in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

St Albans is a newly drawn seat, taking in major parts of Derrimut as well as smaller parts of Footscray, Keilor, Kororoit and Niddrie.

The sitting member for Derrimut, Telmo Languiller, is running for Tarneit. The Labor candidate, former Brimbank mayor Natalie Suleyman, should easily win the seat, which has a 14% Labor margin.

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Seat #8: Footscray

Footscray1-2PPFootscray is a safe Labor seat covering Braybrook, Footscray, Maidstone, Maribyrnong, Tottenham and West Footscray in western Melbourne.

Footscray has been held by the ALP’s Marsha Thomson since 2006. Thomson holds the seat by a 16% margin. The seat has been held by Labor continuously since 1927.

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Seat #7: Mill Park

MillPark1-2PPMill Park is a safe Labor seat covering suburbs in the outer north of Melbourne, including South Morang and parts of Epping, Mill Park and Wollert.

Labor MP Lily D’Ambrosio has held the seat since 2002, and currently holds the seat with a 16.9% margin.

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Seat #6: Yuroke

Yuroke1-2PPYuroke is a Labor seat on the north-western fringe of Melbourne, including the suburbs of Craigieburn, Greenvale, Kalkallo and Yuroke.

Labor MP has held the seat since its creation in 2002, and before that held Tullamarine since 1999. Beattie holds Yuroke by a 16% margin, but will not be running for re-election in 2014.

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Seat #5: Kororoit

Kororoit1-2PPKororoit is a safe Labor seat in the western suburbs of Melbourne, covering Burnside, Burnside Heights, Cairnlea, Caroline Springs, Deer Park, Derrimut, Kings Park and Ravenhall.

Labor MP Marlene Kairouz has held the seat since a 2008 by-election, and holds the seat by a 17.5% margin.

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Seat #4: Pascoe Vale

Pascoe Vale covers suburbs in the north of Melbourne, including Coburg North, Hadfield, Oak Park and Pascoe Vale.

Labor MP Christine Campbell has held Pascoe Vale since 1996, and will be retiring at this election. Labor candidate Lizzie Blandthorn is expected to easily retain the seat, which has a margin of 18.5% for Labor.

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NSW electoral funding changes

In recent weeks, the news has been dominated by stories about the desire of the NSW Liberal Party to reform the state electoral funding system in New South Wales – supposedly to reduce the influence of private donations. Today, Mike Baird announced new legislation to change the electoral funding system in the lead-up to March’s state election.

The media reporting has focused on tougher sanctions, and a supposed increase in the proportion of election spending that will be publicly-funded.

But it’s missed a major story – about how the public funding regime will substantially favour the major parties over smaller parties, giving major parties 55% more public funding per vote, and possibly locking out some smaller parties out of getting any public funding at all.

Under the proposed changes, funding will again be based on how many votes you receive (unlike in 2011), but this funding will be disproportionately weighted towards the major parties. Substantially more funding will be provided to a party that wins seats in the Legislative Assembly.

On my reading of the law, a major party that wins 32% of the vote in both houses would be entitled to spend $9.3 million, and receive back the same amount, effectively funding their entire campaign.

Smaller parties would be entitled to spend more than they would be entitled to receive in funding, but if they spend less than they are entitled to receive, they will receive less funding. This effectively provides certainty to the major parties while denying it to smaller parties. I may be wrong on that point – this law is quite a mess.

There is in particular a huge amount of uncertainty for the Greens, who could be entitled to approximately $3 million or $2 million based on the result in two inner-city seats.

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Seat #3: Broadmeadows

Broadmeadows1-2PPBroadmeadows is a safe Labor seat covering suburbs in northern Melbourne, including Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Fawkner and Somerton.

Broadmeadows was held by John Brumby from 1992 until 2010. Brumby served as Labor leader from 1992 to 1999 and again from 2007 to 2010. Brumby resigned from his seat shortly after the election defeat.

The 2011 Broadmeadows by-election was easily won by the ALP’s Frank McGuire.

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Seat #2: Preston

Preston1-2PPPreston is a very safe Labor seat covering parts of the northern suburbs of Melbourne, including most of the suburbs of Preston and Reservoir.

The seat has been held by Labor MP Robin Scott since 2006, and Scott’s margin now sits at 20.2%.

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