Melbourne – Election 2010

ALP vs GRN 4.7%

Incumbent MP
Lindsay Tanner, since 1993.

Inner Melbourne. Melbourne covers the CBD of Melbourne and inner suburbs. It includes the entirety of the City of Yarra, including the key suburbs of Richmond, Fitzroy and Collingwood. The seat also covers all of the City of Melbourne north of the Yarra River, including the suburbs of North Melbourne and Carlton. The seat also covers the suburbs of Ascot Vale, Kensington and Flemington in the northwestern corner of the seat.

Melbourne is an original Federation seat, and has been held by the ALP for over one hundred years.

The seat was first won by Malcolm McEacharn, the former Mayor of Melbourne, who joined the Protectionist Party. Although McEacharn had defeated his Labor opponent William Maloney with over 60% of the vote in 1901, the 1903 election saw McEacharn only defeat Maloney by 77 votes, and the result was declared void after allegations that the result was tainted.

Maloney defeated McEacharn at the following by-election in 1904, and the ALP have held Melbourne ever since. Maloney polled over 60% at the 1906 election, and never polled less than 60% as he held the seat right through to 1940. Indeed, Maloney was elected unopposed at two elections. Maloney retired in 1940 but died before the 1940 election. He never held a frontbench role, and holds the record for the longest term of service without serving as a frontbencher.

The seat was won in 1940 by Arthur Calwell. Calwell held the seat for thirty-two years. He served as Minister for Immigration in Ben Chifley’s government from 1945 to 1949. He served as HV Evatt’s Deputy Leader from 1951 until 1960, when he became Leader of the Opposition.

Calwell led the ALP into three federal elections. The ALP was defeated by a slim margin at the 1961 election, but suffered a larger defeat in 1963 and a solid Liberal landslide in 1966. Calwell was replaced as Leader by Gough Whitlam in 1967 and Calwell retired in 1972. At no time did the seat of Melbourne come under any serious danger of being lost.

The seat was won in 1972 by Ted Innes, who held the seat until 1983.

He was succeeded by Gerry Hand, who served as a federal minister from 1987 until his retirement at the 1993 election.

The seat was won in 1993 by Lindsay Tanner. Tanner became a frontbencher following the defeat of the Labor government in 1996, and served on the Labor frontbench right until the election of the Rudd government, and he has served as Finance Minister ever since.

The seat of Melbourne had been considered a safe Labor seat for over a century, but at the 2007 election the Greens overtook the Liberals on preferences and came second, and the two-candidate-preferred vote saw the ALP’s margin cut to 4.7%, which is the smallest margin for the seat since the 1904 by-election.


  • Georgia Pearson (Family First)
  • Adam Bandt (Greens)
  • Joel Murray (Sex Party)
  • David Collyer (Democrats)
  • Penelope Green (Secular Party)
  • Cath Bowtell (Labor)
  • Simon Olsen (Liberal)

Political situation
Melbourne is the best chance for the Greens in 2010, and this will be reflected by the focus on the seat by the Greens and various progressive groups looking to pressure the ALP from its left. Bandt is a strong candidate, having stood before and raised his profile again by standing for Lord Mayor of Melbourne in 2008.

Tanner was a very serious roadblock to the Greens winning Melbourne. Without him contesting, Bandt becomes a much stronger contender. The result may depend on who the ALP can find to run.

2007 result

Lindsay TannerALP43,36349.51-2.27
Andrea Del CiottoLIB20,57723.49-1.60
Adam BandtGRN19,96722.80+3.82
Tim WrightDEM1,2551.43-0.20
Georgia PearsonFF8781.00+0.12
Andrew ReedCEC5860.67+0.49
Kylie McGregorIND5390.62+0.62
Will MarshallSEP4180.48+0.48

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

Lindsay TannerALP47,91654.71
Adam BandtGRN39,66745.29

Booth breakdown
Booths in Melbourne have been divided into four areas:

  • Richmond – Suburbs in the southern parts of the City of Yarra, as well as East Melbourne.
  • Fitzroy-Collingwood – Suburbs in the northern parts of the City of Yarra, as well as those parts of Carlton included in the City of Melbourne. Main suburbs are Carlton, Fitzroy and Collingwood. Also covers the small part of Moreland LGA that lies within Melbourne.
  • North Melbourne – North Melbourne and the Melbourne CBD.
  • Ascot Vale – Northwest of the seat, including Ascot Vale, Flemington and Kensington.

The Greens polled 27% of the primary vote in Fitzroy-Collingwood and 22% in North Melbourne, with less in Richmond and Ascot Vale. Fitzroy-Collingwood was particularly bad for the Liberals, meaning that the Greens actually performed better in North Melbourne on a two-candidate-preferred basis, as the ALP primary vote was lower in North Melbourne than Fitzroy-Collingwood.

Polling booths in Melbourne. North Melbourne in yellow, Richmond in blue, Fitzroy-Collingwood in red, Ascot Vale in green.
Voter groupLIB %GRN %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Ascot Vale24.1317.4959.2912,44314.21
North Melbourne25.7722.9252.749,59810.96
Other votes25.5822.9053.6324,24927.69
Polling booths in Melbourne, showing results of the 2007 election.


  1. Also Labor will have the clear majority of the left vote as the Green victory will depend on Liberal preferences…but if circumstances were reversed Labor wouldn’t complain.

  2. Just moved into area not any info on where to vote in Kensington (Melbourne) Not going site seeing to find a booth isn’t this of great importance if one wishes to have my vote, might be the one to make the number’s and carry them over the line
    And why should I vote when the factions run the country anyway very disappointed in the whole sorry disaster

  3. Tanner was a good MP but the ACTU hack that is the ALP candidate is not a patch on Tanner; so I recommend putting Bowtell last. She is the one that looks like a cast member from “Prisoner”.

    Former ACTU types like Jennie George were present at Parliament in 1996 when a mob smashed there way into Queen hall and today we here Bill Kelty was a trustee for Graham Samuel who appears to have lost most of his fortune invested in DFO (located in Melbourne) which is going into receivership. The ACTU is full of careerists, grubs, wankers and incompetents

  4. My prediction: Inner city seats don’t tend to swing much, so 4.7% is a big ask, but I think it will just happen. Greens gain, 5-6% swing.

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