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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44 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Ben,

    Would Albert Park go the same way as Maiwar in Queensland if the results from 2016 Federal election were to be repeated within Alber Park boundaries?

  2. The Liberal party’s decision not to contest the 2007 by-election probably made sense at the time; it has been a Labor seat since 1950. Yet at the subsequent election in 2010, they were two percentage points away from defeating Foley.

    It looks like a proper marginal seat these days.

  3. Yeah I think this should be a massive target for the Greens.

    3PP vote in 2014 was LIB 43.7, ALP 35.8, GRN 20.5

    They could conceivably win with a swing of +7.7%. Comparing the Green primary map above with Macnamara’s map from 2016 federal numbers implies they are more than halfway there already (if those voters vote the same at state and federal level).

  4. I agree Bennee.

    A couple of things that have happened since 2014 which related directly to the chances of the Greens candidate:

    1. Both Ogy Simic and Andrew Bond were candidates in the 2016 Port Phillip Council elections. Both were successful, however Ogy Simic came 1st in Gateway Ward and Andrew Bond came a distant second to the Greens candidate in Lake Ward (26% to 17%). It’s also worth noting that the Greens came first in all 3 Wards (although only those 2 wards make up the Albert Park electorate anyway). At the time of the 2014 state election I don’t believe they won a single ward or had any councillors elected in the previous council elections..

    2. Ogy Simic is often seen working alongside Macnarama candidate Steph Hodgkins-May (he may even be her partner?), and since the 2016 federal election campaign she has built a very, very solid base in the area and is extremely visible in the community. This should increase his profile too, and most likely bring a lot of her Macnamara support across to him.

    The Greens did about 8% better in Macnamara 2016 than they did in Albert Park 2014, and while Albert Park may not include all of St Kilda, it also doesn’t include Macnamara’s weakest area for the Greens (Caulfield) so that 7-8% swing looks very attainable.

    On the topic of the seat being winnable for the Liberals, I agree depending on the potential Liberal premier they would definitely have a chance at this seat because it contains most of the Liberal leaning areas from Macnamara and excludes a chunk of the area (around St Kilda & Balaclava) where they do the worst.

    But I think Matthew Guy would be too on the nose in a progressive leaning electorate like this, and remember this seat contains Fishermans Bend which gives any opponent more than enough to tar him with!

  5. This time around I think the ALP will hold Albert Park, but assuming the Andrews Government is returned then this seat could be a Liberal gain in 2022 as the government starts to age.

    I don’t see the Greens winning this seat on these boundaries, mainly because the Greens vote is split between Albert Park and Prahran.

    The next redistribution will be interesting as I image the seat will continue to lose areas most likely at its southern end which will probably make it more marginal.

  6. Labor should hold mostly due to Foley, he’s quite progressive and a well performing minister.
    As for this electorate, in 10 or so years will be Green v Lib marginal.

  7. Pencil, yes I expect that if Albert Park keeps growing, it will keep losing areas in St Kilda. Combined with continued demographic change that might be the final tipping point from a Labor-leaning to a Liberal-leaning seat.

    In the two Labor landslide defeats of 1992 and 1996, their margin here was still bigger than in 2014, a sign of how much this seat has changed.

  8. Trent – Both Simic and Bond live in St Kilda. Bond lives in his Lake Ward but Simic does not live in his Gateway Ward. Yes I understand the two Greens you referred to are an item but so what?

    With residential development mostly in the north of the electorate commentators here are right that at the next redistribution or two will see some of southern St Kilda go to Brighton or Caulfield electorates or perhaps a new electorate created.

  9. I agree that this electorate will lose more (or all) of St Kilda at some stage and then lean more Liberal.

    Re: The two Greens candidates, I was more just commenting on the fact that there seems to have been a lot of ground gained by the Greens in the area since the 16% they got in 2014, and I expect some of Hodgkins-May’s momentum will carry over to Simic (who has momentum of his own from the Greens’ performance at the council elections).

  10. Trent

    Fair point, it is not unusual for political party’s to get potential candidates for one level to be actively involved with a campaign at another level partly to build campaign experience but also to build their profile.

  11. Adrian

    I think it might be easier for the VEC to shift St Kilda South into Brighton than Caulfield, although we may find Prahran continues to move west either into South Bank or further into St Kilda, or alternatively Albert Park and Prahran are turned on their sides to allow the creation of a St Kilda based seat that would possible take parts of current Prahran, while the Albert Park end picks up parts of South Yarra.

  12. St Kilda District was once a state electorate but disappeared decades ago. Liberal Brian Dixon was the MP I understand but as I live in Albert Park District I had little interest in St Kilda until after council amalgamation in about 1994 when Port Phillip Council was created.

  13. I went booht and booth and did the numbers for Albert Park based on Macnamara results from Fed 16. Obviously this is a State Election and there isn’t a Danby factor.

    These were the primary votes in Macnamara within the Albert Park state boundaries. And the numbers look very similar to Prahran numbers from 2014 State Election.

    Libs: 40%
    Labor: 27%
    Greens: 25%

    The rest went to smaller parties like AJP & Marriage Equality which you would assume will flow stronger to the Greens.

  14. The Marriage Equality party may be irrelevant now that Gay marriage is a reality in federal legislation.

  15. Yeah that party won’t exist anymore, they were a single issue party that would have had no bearing on the result. They really just took a few primary votes from the same parties those voters’ preferences ended up with anyway. From memory they didn’t even have HTV cards to influence where the preferences ended up.

    Animal Justice always do well in the area (for a micro party) and were actually the deciding factor in Prahran 2014. At the 4PP count The Greens were still 3rd behind Labor. It was the distribution of AJP preferences that moved them into 2nd place at the 3PP count to ultimately go on to win the seat.

    The Liberals need a much higher primary vote than 40-41% to win this seat and the same applies to Macnamara and Prahran, because their boost from preferences generally maxes out at around 6%. They lost Prahran with a primary vote of almost 45%. So if Zia’s numbers above from the Macnamara booths are repeated in Albert Park this year, I’d say the Liberals should fall about 3-4% short again and it will be *very* close between Greens & Labor.

  16. Zia

    I did something similar post 2010 federal and state elections as they were close to together as I wanted to see whether the ALP would hold Melbourne Ports without Danby and based on the numbers, the ALP would have held Melbourne Ports but with a far lower margin.

    Side note

    The Liberals generally perform better at state level than federal level and for some reason there was a large difference between the number of votes cast between the two elections.

  17. With less than 3 months to the state election on 24 Nov 18 but were are the other minor party candidates including the Greens?

  18. According to the VEC website, nominations to register for candidacy don’t open until October 31 and close on November 9. The major parties announce who they will be standing early so they can start campaigning, so while they can’t actually officially nominate them until October 31 it’s easy to see who they are standing because at the very least you know the parties will be represented.

    With minors you don’t really know which parties will be standing a candidate at all to be able to check who it will be, and with independents there’s really no way to know until they nominate unless they start sending materials out.

    Animal Justice Party have announced a candidate though so the list so far looks like:
    ALP – Martin Foley
    Liberal – Andrew Bond
    Greens – Ogy Simic
    Animal Justice – Tamasin Ramsay

    Beyond that I assume we won’t know else is on the ticket until it’s finalised in November. The ‘Reason Party’ (formerly the Sex Party) will most likely stand somebody and then there will probably be a couple of independents, but typically in this area most right-leaning micro parties don’t bother running anybody.

  19. The Age newspaper (17 Sep 18) reported today that Albert Park District is the 6th highest electorate in Victoria for homeless people. Albert Park is mostly an affluent area but the homeless issue is mostly in St Kilda were government and charitable services are located. The drawback of this is that it attracts homeless from all over the place including country Victoria, even interstate. As far as I know Kew District has no homeless serves and therefore no homeless people. The government should set up a boot camp regime for the homeless at a former ADF barracks like OCS Portsea at Point Nepean state park. The barracks there could accommodated hundreds of them. Over a decade ago OCS barracks was used to accommodate Kosovo refugees until it was safe for them to return home to Europe.

  20. I think it’s good that St Kilda retains all those services. I would hate for it to be like Kew.

    Just because a surrounding area becomes affluent doesn’t mean the disadvantaged who have accessed services in the area for a long time should be moved on so the new residents don’t have to look at them, or so that their house prices can increase at the rate they expected with the promise of gentrification.

    I’ve lived almost my entire adult life in St Kilda (and my childhood nearby), and in addition to caring about the welfare of locals in need of help, I also think it’s a huge part of what St Kilda is and has always been about and without that, it would be a different suburb. People are attracted to St Kilda because of the eclectic array of characters, the stark contrasts, and the overwhelming acceptance of all walks of life in the area.

    Personally I’m already furious about the closure of multiple boarding houses in recent years (and the disrespect shown by ‘The Block’ who arrogantly think they are doing everybody a favour), but if any of the community & charity services operating around Grey, Inkerman, Greeves, Chapel etc were to be closed or relocated, it would turn St Kilda into just another Port Melbourne or Albert Park. Nice places but we already have a Port Melbourne & Albert Park and plenty of other suburbs like them – there’s only one St Kilda and it’s unique and special. Attracting affluence and increasing property values doesn’t always make a place better.

    In 2016, the Liberal candidate for Ports actually boasted in St Kilda News that he would put an end to the “St Kilda discount” keeping owners’ property values down. That just astonished me. How on earth “I pledge to make housing more expensive” could possibly be a positive election promise in a suburb like St Kilda populated mostly by young renters was and still is totally beyond comprehension!

    I’d like to see the local and state governments invest more into St Kilda’s crisis housing, social services and public housing, and be far stricter with their planning approvals – not letting shows like The Block replace 80 low income rooms with 8 luxury apartments, forcing developers to meet targets of having a % of their units designated as affordable housing, not approving apartment developments where they replace live music venues, etc.

  21. That long response about housing & homelessness was seemingly irrelevant to the upcoming election, but where it becomes relevant is that the sitting MP Martin Foley is the minister for housing so if anybody could do anything about it, it’s our very own local MP.

    There will surely be some voters well aware of this whose votes may be influenced either way – no doubt some will applaud his support for the closures of the Gatwick & Regal, while for others the increased displacement of vulnerable locals under his watch will be a black mark against him – but I expect for most voters it will be off their radar and make no difference whatsoever.

    I know if I was still voting in Albert Park (I’ve moved back into the Prahran district recently), Foley’s performance as housing minister would definitely influence my decision on election day.

  22. Reason is running Jarryd Bartle. Seems very enthusiastic. Given the Sex Party got 3.5% last time around, i reckon they could get over 4%.

  23. Andrew Bond and Ogy Simic are currently Port Phillip City Councillors. Cr Simic was first elected last council election however Cr Bond as re-elected for a second term last council election.

  24. Trent

    In defense of the block, once the state government passed up the opportunity to buy the Gatwick then it was always going to be redeveloped into new apartments. The locals wanted it gone as it was attracting too many criminal elements to the area, whether that is fair or not I cannot say but that is how many locals felt about it.

    Many of the Gatwick’s residents should have been in some kind of supported accommodation however governments have moved away from housing people in institutions.

    The problem with the Gatwick wasn’t that it provided low cost accommodation but the associated undesirables that show little to no respect to anyone let alone to fellow residents, its one of the problems faced by social services and makes breaking the disadvantaged circle harder than it otherwise should be.

    The former residents are better off no longer being there and hopefully their new accommodation is a vast improvement.

  25. I live 1km north from the former Gatwick Hotel, but Middle Park and St Kilda are like chalk and cheese as a contrast. Glad to see the Gatwick gone and while I dont watch reality TV like “The Block” I am please Ch 9 has renovated it. It look great from the outside now but will it help save Fitzroy St as a shopping strip I am not certain; to many cheap takeaways.

    Interesting article in today’s newspaper about Heroin addicts in a Wilson car park in the CBD close to Parliament and other high end institutions like the Melbourne Club. What a bunch of pathetic looser druggies are. I detest them as living in peaceful Australia is not difficult.

  26. The state government passing on buying the Gatwick is the part I’m disappointed in Foley about. The sisters would definitely have been willing to sell it for a lower price to the government knowing it would remain as housing for the needy, than they held out for in the end when they very reluctantly sold it to Nine. That was a missed opportunity when more affordable, public and crisis housing is desperately needed, and the conditions would no doubt have improved with more qualified staff to deal with the issues of the residents.

    In regards to saving Fitzroy St, “saving” implies preserving and Fitzroy St has always (well for decades, anyway) been an edgy street lined with cheap takeaway so I don’t think they have anything to do with whether or not it’s saved. When a lot of people talk about “saving” Fitzroy St they aren’t talking about bringing back the eclectic, eccentric, weird & wild street it was when it was vibrant, they are talking about gentrifying it into something more upscale like Bay St, Port Melbourne. But that isn’t saving it, that’s changing it (and essentially killing what was unique about it). Middle Park & St Kilda should be chalk & cheese, it would be boring if everywhere was the same.

  27. Trent

    From memory the sisters were seeking something like $11m which I would have thought was a fair asking price, however the state government claimed it would cost too much to buy then renovate it.

  28. I agree. Knowing it was in the right hands they would have probably gone a bit below that too, but when it was only going to go to a private developer they raised the asking price to $15m and even then knocked back a couple of offers and delayed negotiations because they didn’t really want to sell.

    After it sold they plastered up some posters explaining how they were bullied into selling and I spoke to one of the sisters while I was reading it one day. It sounds like they were given almost no choice but to very reluctantly accept the offer from Nine or continue being pressured & targeted by traders, police etc.

    In any case, it’s been closed for over a year now and the sale and months of Channel 9 cameras being on location hasn’t changed the street at all, except that a number of former residents now sleep outside the 7-Eleven opposite.

    In any case, I think Foley will be re-elected but he will be given a run for his money by Simic who I think will get a 4-5% swing. Reason/Sex Party preferences usually flow better to Labor though, from memory. There could be a small swing to the Libs as well but not enough to win the seat.

  29. Ideologically the ALP and Greens are stuck with supporting social housing despite there being little land to build them on in the inner suburbs and any available land is so expensive. There is no such thing as so called “affordable housing” in inner greater Melbourne anymore.

    The housing commission towers from the 1960’s, like Park Towers in South Melbourne and a smaller block on the cnr of Beaconsfield Pde and Victoria Ave Albert Park, were build by Sir Henry Bolte’s Liberal government. Sir Henry Bolte was a great Premier and did so much for Victoria and did it without GST funding.

  30. Most of the tacky buildings in Fitzroy St, St Kilda, particularly on the Southern side, should be, over the next 10 years, redeveloped with modern shops at ground level with apartments (not to high say 4 or 5 stories) in top like in parts of Acland St, St Kilda, and elsewhere in the electorate. “Ya cant stop progress” like in Porpoises Spit, Qld.

  31. The northern end of Fitzroy St is already like that (between Grey & St Kilda Junction) but it’s so bland there. It’s cleaner & nicer but arguably even more dead and lifeless than the sketchier southern end between Grey & The Esplanade.

    I do think a huge part of the life being sucked out of Fitzroy St was the Espy closing. That’s when it became really noticable and I have lots of friends who don’t live in St Kilda who have said “I don’t think I’ve been to St Kilda since the Espy closed, I used to be there every couple of weeks”. When you have 30-35 bands per week playing in an iconic venue (mostly with free entry), that’s a lot of people coming to the area not just to visit The Espy, but they also have dinner beforehand, go somewhere afterwards, etc.

    When The Espy reopens in November, I think Fitzroy St will pick up again without needing to be redeveloped and regardless of whether or not there’s a sketchy element that the traders like to blame everything on. All it really needs is for people to have a reason to visit again. Landlords charging less for rent would help the small businesses survive too…

  32. Trent – The Palais attracts many people when there is one of their frequent concerts or events too. Check out the Port Phillip Council meeting report on-line on the Palais Theatre from last nights (03 Oct 18) council meeting. These people also eat dinner but is it at nearby Maccas or Acland St or further away in Fitzroy St?

  33. Some candidates promote noisy and drug fueled events within Albert Park District (Port Phillip Council). Recently the Listen Out music event in Catani Gardens, St Kilda, saw police resourced waste controlling the drug fueled crowd with arrests made. The noise from the event disturbed residents, including me 1km away, all daylong too. Some other events creat noise on Sundays until 10 pm. Music event in the open are outdated and many have been abandoned recently too. In 2018 bands promote their music on the internet now via sites like You Tube now that Count Down was ceased on ABC TV decades ago.

  34. By uniform swing, This seat would be the tipping point for the liberals to win majority, Assuming they don’t lose any of their seats to independents

  35. I got an anti Government card in the letter box today talking about crime in the ALP and there was a quote from the “Victorian Police Commissioner” actually his correct title is Victoria Police Chief Commissioner.

  36. The Sunday Herald Sun, 14 Oct 18, Page 21 said the Liberals, if elected, would turn the St Kilda Triangle site into a park with underground car parking to replace the surface parking. Well surprise surprise as I and others have suggest this option (well the park at least) for over 10 years. However the Liberal Party has to be elected first. Currently Andrew Bond is a no nonsense and sensible Port Phillip councillors so lets see what eventuated on 24 Nov 18.

  37. For about five or more years the major parties have been chattering about developing Fishermans Bend but the tram and train instrastructure is yet to be built, so get on with it parliament. Build the tracks and the homes and people will follow.

  38. I very much doubt the Liberals would want to be campaigning about anything to do with Fishermans Bend. Matthew Guy’s history with the project is botched at best, and blatantly corrupt at worst. I think Andrew Bond would probably prefer the electorate forgot about it altogether in November!

    The Fishermans Bend issue is a huge advantage for Labor who, while they have moved slowly and I don’t think the new restrictions they’ve imposed are enough yet, have done pretty well so far at delaying and scaling back the colossal mess they inherited.

  39. I had a wonderful afternoon yesterday (Thursday) in Albert Park (suburb) and nearby so called South Melbourne (in Albert Park actually) beach watching part of the brief 5 hour Royal tour of inner Melbourne.

    The love shown to the children (they shook every child’s hand in Albert Park Primary, I understand) and we adults by Prince Harry and Megan Duchess of Sussex was reciprocated by the thousands of affectionate members of the public present. The body chemistry between the Royal couple was very evident too.

    Support for our Constitutional Monarchy is stronger in Australia than it was 20 years ago during the referendum when the republicans were defeated.

  40. I just had Liberal candidate Andrew Bond door knock my house today (Sunday). I said I will will put him before the sitting ALP member on the ballot paper as he (Bond) is a sensible Port Phillip Councillor currently.

    I asked how door knocking was going and he said he has done much of the electorate but the problem is that many residents are not home or not answering the door.

    He gave me a card leaflet about turning the St Kilda Triangle site into a park, if the Liberals win government, something I have proposed to council for about 10 years.

    I have not been door knocked by any other candidate so far.

  41. What proportion of voters are under 38 years old Adrian?

    Also hopefully next time the next referendum will just ask “should Australia be a republic” rather than being framed to increase the chances of a “no” vote.

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