Maribyrnong – Australia 2022

ALP 10.3%

Incumbent MP
Bill Shorten, since 2007.

Geography
Western Melbourne. Maribyrnong covers suburbs near the Maribyrnong River, including the entire Moonee Valley council area, southern parts of the City of Hume, and small parts of the City of Melbourne and the Brimbank and Moreland council areas. Suburbs include Essendon, Aberfeldie, Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, Gowanbrae, Essendon Fields, Ascot Vale, Kensington, Tullamarine, Keilor Park, Gladstone and Flemington.

Redistribution
Maribyrnong has been stretched further to the north-west and south-east, taking in Kensington from Melbourne and also taking in Tullamarine, Melbourne Airport, Keilor Park and Gladstone from Calwell. Maribyrnong lost Maidstone to Fraser. These changes cut the Labor margin from 11.2% to 10.3%.

History
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 four 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, and led Labor to the 2016 and 2019 elections. He stepped down from the leadership after the 2019 election, and returned to a shadow ministerial role.

Candidates

  • Mark Hobart (Great Australian Party)
  • Daniel Nair Dadich (Victorian Socialists)
  • Bill Shorten (Labor)
  • Jodie Tindal (One Nation)
  • Darren Besanko (United Australia)
  • Mira D’Silva (Liberal)
  • Rhonda Pryor (Greens)
  • Alexander Ansalone (Federation)
  • Cameron Smith (Liberal Democrats)
  • Assessment
    Maribyrnong is a safe Labor seat.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Bill Shorten Labor 47,48747.1+5.044.7
    Christine Stow Liberal 34,87734.6+0.834.8
    James Williams Greens 14,94314.8-2.415.7
    MD Sarwar HasanUnited Australia Party3,6173.6+3.63.4
    Others1.5
    Informal3,0142.9-1.1

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Bill Shorten Labor 61,76761.2+0.860.3
    Christine Stow Liberal 39,15738.8-0.839.7

    Booth breakdown

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

    The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 54.4% in the north-east to 74.7% in the south-east.

    The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 8.1% in the north-west to 31.2% in the south-east.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    North-West8.159.217,47117.9
    North-East13.554.414,06314.4
    South-East31.274.713,18413.5
    Pre-poll13.657.035,71636.7
    Other votes17.761.916,90017.4

    Election results in Maribyrnong at the 2019 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

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    19 COMMENTS

    1. Essendon and Strathmore are two of the most affluent parts of the north-western suburbs.

      In fact, most of the current Maribyrnong is relatively ‘Liberal’ compared to the surrounding seats. Hence its current margin is quite a bit softer for Labor than Calwell, Gorton, Fraser, etc.

    2. Is Ascot Vale that different to Essendon/Moonee Ponds? I know Flemington/Kensington has a lot of Public Housing and would have historically been inner city working class suburbs but not exact sure about Ascot Vale.

    3. Ascot Vale has a fair bit of public housing too.

      So it’s more like Flemington in that it was a traditionally less-desirable area that’s now becoming more trendy and affluent….but in a ‘Green’ way rather than a ‘Liberal’ way.

    4. Ben, following the 2017-18 redistribution, you helped out with some indications of the change in vote that might be needed for the Greens to overtake the Liberals for second place in Maribyrnong. How do the new “platypus” shape boundaries of the 2021-22 Maribyrnong affect that calculus (given that new territory includes the Greenish Kensington and the traditionally Labor Gladstone Park & Tullamarine)?

    5. I can’t remember exactly what I did, but I think the distribution of preferences means you can do an estimate of 3PP. Not a high priority but I assume it will be slightly easier for the Greens with the increased primary vote.

    6. I feel at the next redistribution, the Liberals will push for this seat to shed the areas around Kensington and Ascot Vale and into Keilor and Taylors Lakes. This might allow to them to potentially gain a seat in Melbourne’s west, first time since the 1970s.

    7. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/aus2022/maribyrnong2022/comment-page-1#comment-756584

      If indeed (as is highly likely) Victoria looses a seat in the next redistribution, Maribyrnong is more likely to be pushed northward rather than westward because the seat that goes is likely to be in the east and therefore the outer suburban seats will be shifting east and potentially draw the inner suburban seats northward, .

      The Liberals might have won Maribyrnong in 1990 on the 1984 boundaries but Victoria lost a seat (its 39th) in the 1988 determination and that drove the seat into St Albans and increased the ALP margin by about 0.2% more than the ALP`s winning margin in 1990.

      The current size of Parliament makes it hard to draw a seat the Liberal seat can win in north and or west of the Yarra in metro Melbourne.

    8. Unlikely, as Bill Shorten would have a personal vote so I would doubt him loosing his seat, however when he retires it could come into play.

    9. An upset is unlikely, @Julie . For that to happen, the Liberal would need to fall into third place, and Labor be down to near 40% or lower. Both fairly tall orders.

    10. The only way I realistically see the Greens taking the seat this year is if the Liberals end up running dead in the seat (because, say, they pick a candidate and then the candidate says something that completely destroys their chances), and Shorten gets a personal swing against him at the same time (or he decides to retire at the last minute). With the current polling numbers, it’s more likely that Shorten will win on primary votes, or be so close that mere leakage from any of the minor parties would be enough to get him over the line.

      Long-term, it’s definitely a seat the Greens should put effort into, but this year will not be their year in Maribyrnong.

    11. The issue here is that the a lot of this seat is middle class suburbia its really only a small part of the seat which is inner city. The Libs may have long term interest in this seat in case there is a future redistribution that removes Gladstone Park/Tullamarine and long with Flemington and moves it into Keilor/Taylors Lakes etc

    12. This seat always seems to attract a very visible campaign considering it’s fairly-safe status.

      Driving in from the airport, both Shorten and D’Silva have large prominent billboards scattered all along the freeway, and yesterday there was a small army of D’Silva supporters handing out material at Moonee Ponds Shopping Centre.

      I note that a lot of Shorten’s campaign material this time around is focussing on being MP for Maribyrnong (“I’m a local and I heart this community” stuff) instead of his shadow ministerial roles.

    13. @Nimalan: Ascot Vale is a traditional working class area. It has a large low rise public housing estate, which is unfortunately being demolished. The western fringe of the suburb, along the Maribyrnong River is quite wealthy these days. Some homes along the river even have their own private boat moorings. Some of the streets in the east of the suburb, around the Essendon Hockey Club, are quite affluent as well. There are some big homes along Ormond Road that have views looking north to Moonee Valley Racecourse.

    14. @ Kaniel, i always presumed Ascot Vale was similar to Moonee Ponds and Essendon and the suburbs was closely connected connected to those suburbs until Mark M clarified for me above. Essendon has always been affluent and home to quite a few private schools. Flemington/North Melbourne was historically working class with saleyards and the meat packing industry being once a major part of the area.

    15. @Nimalan: Essendon definitely has affluent pockets. Aberfeldie is upper middle class. It’s home to large federation homes, and mansions both old, and new. It costs a fortune to live along the Boulevard over looking the Maribyrnong. The polling station in Aberfeldie is Labor, whereas the Liberals do better north of Buckley Street in Essendon. Essendon does have working class pockets. There is a sizable Indian community in Essendon. Essendon has always been home to Italians, Poles, and Ukrainians.

      Park Street Moonee Ponds is very affluent. The western part of the street resembles parts of Hawthorn, with flashy mansions (for people with new money) overlooking a park. The eastern part of the street is more like Camberwell, Eaglemont, and Canterbury with old style federation homes. Much of Moonee Ponds is still working class, especially around Elizabeth Street, and Byron Street. The upper crust nature of Moonee Ponds is overrated. It is home to many white collar workers. It’s similar to Rosanna, parts of Heidelberg, and Ivanhoe west. There is a large Italian community in Moonee Ponds.

      I know these areas well as they are around the corner from my part of Brunswick.

    16. As at the last election, the areas redistributed from Melbourne saw big swings from the Greens to Labor.

      Another seat that was a bit of a microcosm of the election overall; the more Liberal and inner areas swung to Labor whereas the traditionally Labor-leaning outer areas went the other way.

      With the exception of the Kensington/Flemington/Ascot Vale area, the seat is now quite homogenous politically, as both sides have converged to be around 55-60% Labor.

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