Melbourne Ports – Election 2010

ALP 7.2%

Incumbent MP
Michael Danby, since 1998.

Inner south of Melbourne. Melbourne Ports covers the port of Melbourne, St Kilda and Caulfield. Other suburbs include Elwood, Balaclava, Elsternwick, Ripponlea, Middle Park, Albert Park and South Melbourne.

Melbourne Ports is an original Federation electorate. After originally being won by the Protectionist party, it has been held by the ALP consistently since 1906, although it has rarely been held by large margins.

Melbourne Ports was first won in 1901 by Protectionist candidate Samuel Mauger, who had been a state MP for one year before moving into federal politics. Mauger was re-elected in 1903 but in 1906 moved to the new seat of Maribyrnong, which he held until his defeat in 1910.

Melbourne Ports was won in 1906 by Labor candidates James Mathews. Mathews held Melbourne Ports for a quarter of a century, retiring in 1931.

Mathews was succeeded in 1931 by Jack Holloway. Holloway had won a shock victory over Prime Minister Stanley Bruce in the seat of Flinders in 1929, before moving to the much-safer Melbourne Ports in 1931. Holloway had served as a junior minister in the Scullin government, and served in the Cabinet of John Curtin and Ben Chifley throughout the 1940s. He retired at the 1951 election and was succeeded by state MP Frank Crean.

Crean quickly rose through the Labor ranks and was effectively the Shadow Treasurer from the mid-1950s until the election of the Whitlam government in 1972. Crean served as Treasurer for the first two years of the Whitlam government, but was pushed aside in late 1974 in the midst of difficult economic times, and moved to the Trade portfolio. He served as Deputy Prime Minister for the last four months of the Whitlam government, and retired in 1977.

Crean was replaced by Clyde Holding, who had served as Leader of the Victorian Labor Party from 1967 until 1976. He won preselection against Simon Crean, son of Frank. Holding served in the Hawke ministry from 1983 until the 1990 election, and served as a backbencher until his retirement in 1998.

Holding was replaced by Michael Danby in 1998, and Danby has won re-election at every subsequent election, although never with huge margins, and a margin as small as 3% in 2004.


Political situation
This seat is not held by a huge margin, but in the past has shown relatively small swings. While there is certainly potential for the Liberals to perform well in Caulfield, the Labor and Greens vote in St Kilda makes the seat hard for the Liberals. The seat could fall if the Liberals perform well, but it seems unlikely.

2007 result

Michael DanbyALP36,55642.47+3.22
Adam HeldLIB34,15439.68-3.26
Phillip WalkerGRN12,94115.03+0.93
John MathiesonDEM1,5271.77+0.42
Rebecca GebbingFF7310.85+0.31
Aaron IsherwoodCEC1720.20+0.02

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

Michael DanbyALP49,19157.15+3.41
Adam HeldLIB36,89042.85-3.41

Booth breakdown
Melbourne Ports covers all of Port Phillip council area, western parts of Glen Eira council and those parts of the City of Melbourne south of the Yarra river. Booths in Glen Eira have been grouped as Caulfield. The remainder of the seat has been divided between Port Melbourne in the north and St Kilda in the centre.

In Caulfield, the Liberal Party does best, with the ALP only managing 51% of the two-party preferred vote, with the Greens on 11%. The Greens and Labor both do a bit better in Port Melbourne, with a 55% Labor two-party vote and a 12% Greens vote. St Kilda stands out, with a 22% Greens vote and a 68% two-party vote for the ALP.


Polling booths in Melbourne Ports. Port Melbourne in red, St Kilda in blue, Caulfield in green.


Voter groupGRN %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Port Melbourne12.5655.9422,00225.56
St Kilda22.0368.0219,68722.87
Other votes14.3053.8627,22431.63
Two-party preferred results of the 2007 federal election in Melbourne Ports.
Greens primary vote at the 2007 federal election in Melbourne Ports.


  1. The Senate votes for the Greens were interesting here. 17% in both the Port Melbourne and Caulfield areas, and 29% in the St Kilda area.

  2. Port Melbourne used to be Labor heartland, run by the wharfies and the bowling club as Lynn Alison once complained, but now it has become a high income yuppie enclave. Has been argued that Danby’s zealous Zionism helps him in Caulfield and looks as though he polls well above the state Labor vote. Danby’s political reputation as a right-wing warrior and his reliance on stacked votes cost him support initially, in the preselection ballot he was outpolled by Tim Pallas, but he has probably won support by his pro-refugee position.

  3. Indeed. Ports has long been considered to be trending Liberal but the margin now is little different to that in 1993 or ’96.

    Danby has a pretty solid local following, so I’m prepared to say that it won’t be a Lib target while he’s in, but I can’t say much with any confidence beyond that.

  4. To describe Danby as a “zealous Zionist ” is to use a rather mild description of his real position
    By an judgement Danby is a hard-liner on Middle East issue,and a supporter of any action that Likud and Netayahu take….not for nothing is he know in the electorate as “the MP for Tel Aviv !..and the very large Green vote reflects the loathing many feel for him and his strident views….this is a seat to watch!

  5. I think you mean the Greens are running Sue Plowright. You gave me a few minutes of confusion there, trying to find a report of Michael Danby’s retirement!

  6. Candidates can send me all the leaflets they like but Labours Michael Danby (The Member for Israel) should be put last on the ballot paper and the Liberal Kevin Ekendahl (seems a nice bloke) should be put second last with the rest above them. Danby will win unfortunately but the more marginal we can make this seat, and all other electorates, the better. Put the incumbent last in all seats in Australia unless they are really good local MP’s.

  7. Shalom, don’t talk such crap. Danby is a Labour Zionist (look it up), not a Likudnik. He supports a two-state solution to the Palestine issue, for which he gets plenty of stick from the right in the Jewish community. At the last two elections the Libs ran Jewish candidates against him, and attacked him for not being pro-Israel enough!

    Adrian Jackson by the way was expelled from the Liberal Party for being an anti-Semite, so his comments should be viewed with caution.

  8. Psephos (26 Jul 10) why don’t you put you name up here so I can sue you for defamation. Opposing terrorism in Iraq by the American invasion force (100,000 Iraq civilian killed) or in Palestine by Israeli political Zionism is not anti semitism and I was not “expelled” from the Liberal Party eithor.

    The Israel lobby and the US neo-con lobby are a creepy dangerous lying group of fundimentalist fanatics that should be opposed and outed. Michael Danby is in bed with both groups. Now be a real man (or woman) Psephos and identify yourself you lying coward.

  9. I just Googled Melbourne Ports looking for other candidiates and The Australian Sex Party is fielding Christian Vega and Family First is fielding Daniel Emmerson

  10. Psephos, being critical of Israel’s foreign policy does not make one an anti semite. Don’t confuse country and religion. Furthermore, you should be voting on issues here, I don’t think voting for Danby will affect outcomes in the middle east one bit.

  11. Is it THIS Adrian Jackson?

    “Also hoping to run was Adrian Jackson, who was suspended by the Liberal Party in 2003 for his interesting decision to ban Americans and Israelis from his Middle Park bed-and-breakfast”

    If this was true, then banning all Israeli people from your business would seem to be going much further than merely criticising Israeli government policy. Muttering darkly about the “Israeli lobby controlling US policy” doesn’t help much either.

  12. MDMConnell (29 Jul 10) Yeap, that quote from poll blogger is correct (suspended for 12 months) for the reasons discussed above. My action on TV, radio and in the press was just like when we had sanctions on apartheid South Africa. Since Obama was elected and he said he would withdraw US troops from Iraq I have lifted the ban on Yanks but the ban on Israeli is still in force. I could have continued my Liberal “membershit” from Jun 2004 but why would I want to associate with a party of war criminals

    That said I have never in 15 years running the B&B has an Israeli stay here (perhaps to far from the Synagogue or the fact few Israelis live in Middle Park) and American’s who have stayed I can count on one hand. I did have a Yank of Jewish origin stay last year who used to live in Elsternwick and we had a chat about US politics and 15 months ago a young California couple stayed and the first thing they said (unprompted) was to apologise for George Bush. A nice couple

  13. Yes, well if you’re going to single out ordinary people from one country (Israel) for a blanket ban ahead of countries that are demonstrably much worse, and accuse the worldwide Jewish lobby of controlling the US, then you leave yourself wide-open to accusations of anti-Semitism.

    You make your bed and you have to lie in it.

  14. Most Palestinians are Semites as are some Arabs. Semites are an ethnic group not a religion. Sir Isaac Isaacs a great Australian Jew opposed political Zionism and was against the formation of a separate Jewish state in Palestine. (Source: Wikipedia). Would you call him an anti-Semite too?

  15. I contacted Danby a couple of years ago when I still lived in Elwood (I’m now in Camberwell) with a genuine query about the ETS. It was along the lines of his presiding over one of the most densely populated electorates in the country and a lot of the seat living in small terraces, flats, bedsits etc. In light of that, my query was how his constituents could be expected to reduce their emissions when they generally now live in one TV, one heater, no garden, one or no car (Port Phillip council has the lowest rate of car ownership in Melb) households with renters not being able to install solar or anything etc. After about 8 weeks I received a cobbled together bunch of e-mails which didn’t even get close to addressing my question. Not a fan at all I’m afraid.

  16. PK (29 Jul 10, 8.23pm) that’s Danby for you a, lazy, neurotic, incompetent, do nothing MP.

    However while the number of cars (0, 1, 2 or 3+) per household has not changed between the 2001 and 2006 (ABS: Census) the number of cars over the same period in Port Phillip has increased by 3500 cars. These extra cars are mainly in the new developments. Also according to recent newspaper reports Port Phillip has one of the highest per capita use of energy and water despite the fact most of us live as you say in small terrace houses and apartments.

    Even some of Danby’s election material in recent years has been rubbish. The fridge magnet calendar once had the NSW school term dates not Victoria’s which were different and he got the date of ANZAC Day (25 Apr 10) wrong but the Jewish holidays were everywhere on the calendar but no Muslim ones were shown though. Danby is sometimes referred to as “The Member for Israel” by the St Kilda and Elwood lefties

  17. ANZAC Day this year was 25 Apr 10 but the first one was 25 Apr 1915 – just to clarify that.

  18. Yeah I wrote to him regarding my concerns on ISP level filtering. His response was to mail me a pre formatted Labor pamphlet with parts of it underlined. Was not impressed.

  19. Six parties (no independents) have nominated in Melbourne Ports for the election on 21 Aug 10. As well as the ALP, Liberal and Greens candidates above there are candidates from Family First Party, Australian Sex Party and Secular Party of Australia

  20. Fair crack of the whip. Poor old Danby! What a lotof ingrates! Has everyone forgotten he sent us all fridge magnets (was that in 1998? Memeber to Tel Aviv? suppose he’s got to please his main constituency. Can he trust people with only one TV , heater etc (see above) to bother to vote? Think of the pension our pollies get for looking busy and keeping seats warm. This time I’m going to find out if it’s easier being green.

  21. This afternoon I got the Liberal candidates letterbox card (Middle Park) but no policies only a request for help as a volunteers, for money and a request to becoming a new member. Got Kevin Ekendahl’s postal vote application form last week too. Nothing at all from Michael Danby or any other candidate but all candidates have websites. The Secular Party candidate has written a comment on his website about Danby’s recent ad about Iran in the Australian Jewish News. Danby is good at attacking the easy overseas or relevant issue to Melbourne Ports and nothing else.

  22. Correction to my last. The last sentence should read “irrelevant” not “relevant”. It probably did not need explaining to the long suffering Melbourne Ports voter though

  23. Danby is really good at claiming he’s working hard for the seat, but let’s face it, that’s what he’s paid to do, he’s not really going the extra mile.

    I’m standing for the Secular Party in the seat.

  24. While Live has organised a candidates forum at 7pm, 10 Aug 10, St Kilda Town Hall where all 6 candidates are invited (only Family First declined to meet the people), the Australian Jewish News newspaper has advertised a forum on 15 Aug 10 where only the Zionist Labour and Zionist Liberal candidates have been invites. This reminds me of a similar forum for the 2007 election when only 4 of the 8 candidates were invited and “Mossad” type bouncers were stationed outside venues in Acland St, St Kilda to discourage other candidates. I assume the 15 Aug 10 forum will be a bit like the ABC TV Bananas on Pajamas with Z1 and Z2 spruiking to the “community” who have to book into the Synagogue business venue to get in.

  25. I am new to this electorate. I can’t believe we are less than 3 weeks out from the election and I have had to find this site to see who was running against the present member. Pretty poor effort from all candidates.

  26. Correction to my comment on 08 Aug 10 the Acland St meeting was abour the 2004 election not 2007. The Age 3000 column and perhaps other newspapers might have some interesting news about Michael Danby tomorrow (11 Aug 10)

  27. Danby excelled last night at the St Kilda Town Hall Candidates Forum. A young man asked why Danby was pictured in a full page ad in a gay magazine recently with a well known “trannie” who died 12 months ago. Danby went pale, looked uncomfortable and apologised. The moral of the story is to get a persons approval before you exploit them in a political ad and in this case make sure the poor “woman” is alive.

  28. MDMConnell (11 Aug 10) Yes those Zionist Mossad terrorists in the Israeli embassy are a worry so the we should deport all the embassy staff for ever and demolish their building with armoured bulldozers

  29. As someone who has recently moved to Melbourne Ports 12 months ago, I am absolutely amazed at the little or no communication from the candidates standing for election in this campaign. I am not Jewish, but certainly have an interest in international affairs. I am a young individual with a great intererest in the education and health systems. I want to know what these candidates are going to do. And to date, the only way I can find out is by going to their websites and even these are just full of political spin. I want some real action.

  30. Nick C’s bang on the money there. The Greens cracked 20% here… one of their best results, up there with Batman and Wills. Repeat that at the Vic election in a few months, and Prahran would start looking like a chance for the Greens.

  31. I wonder how Adrian Jackson feels knowing the Worldwide Zionist Conspiracy got Michael Danby up again?

    Middle Park stores might be short on tinfoil for the next little while…..

  32. Melbourne Ports is to be redistributed for the 2013 election and Danby’s Caulfield ALP branch stack will be outside the boundaries of the new Melbourne Ports. Bye bye Mr Danby as the ALP will not pre select you as the lefties in places like Elwood and Port Melbourne hate you. HA, HA, HA, HA.

  33. Well its now 10 Apr 2013 and the ALP are on skid row. If the Liberals cant beat Danby in September 2013 then they never will. Wouldn’t be great if Melbourne Ports, which have been held by the ALP of over 100 years, is lost by Danby this year. Danby is one of the laziest MP I have ever come across. Let the political holocaust begin.

  34. Danby (ALP) and Ekendahl (Lib) will be standing again in 2013 as well as Ann Birrell (Greens). I understand that this will be Ann’s last shot at an election having stood in a number of local elections over recent years but never getting elected. She came close to winning in Albert Park Ward (on preferences) in Port Phillip in 2012.

  35. It’s worth seeing Danby win again, purely to witness a few more meltdowns and head explosions from the Usual Suspects……

  36. Sorry but I’m going to shut down this page’s comments section – I want to keep comments to the new profiles, so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for me to produce a profile on Melbourne Ports. If you really want to talk about this seat head over to the Victorian Senate profile.

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