Margin: Labor 21.5%
Location: Western Melbourne, Victoria
In a nutshell: Health Minister Nicola Roxon’s electorate covers heartland Labor territory in Melbourne’s west, including Footscray and Williamstown.
Electorate analysis: Located directly to the west of the Melbourne city centre, Gellibrand includes the solidly working class and immigrant suburbs from Footscray near the city south to Williamstown on the bay, extending south-west to Altona. The only time Labor has not held the seat since its creation in 1949 was when John Mullens quit the party during the Labor split of 1955, becoming one of six ALP (Anti-Communist) members who failed to hold their seats at the subsequent election. Shadow Health Minister Nicola Roxon succeeded two-time Treasurer Ralph Willis as member in 1998. Roxon worked as an organiser for the National Union of Workers and as an industrial lawyer for Maurice Blackburn before winning Right faction backing for her saef seat at the 2007 election. She was promoted to the front bench after the 2001 election and rose quickly to Shadow Attorney-General portfolio in 2003 and then to the health portfolio when Kevin Rudd became leader in December 2006, which she has retained in government.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.