Electoral Form Guide: Goldstein
Margin: Liberal 6.1%
Location: Inner South-Eastern Melbourne, Victoria
In a nutshell: Covering affluent suburbs of Melbourne’s inner south, Goldstein has been safe for the Liberals since its creation in 1984. Andrew Robb succeeded David Kemp as member in 2004.
Electorate analysis: Created in 1984 in place of the abolished electorate of Balaclava, Goldstein takes in plush inner Melbourne bayside suburbs Brighton and Black Rock. Balaclava and then Goldstein were held by Fraser Government minister and arch-wet Ian Macphee, whose dumping in favour of “new right” figurehead David Kemp for the 1990 election had a lot to do with John Howard losing the party leadership in 1989. Kemp retired at the 2004 election and was succeded by former Liberal federal director Andrew Robb, who had long been spoken of in relation to safe seats in New South Wales, his home for the past two decades.
Robb hailed from Victoria originally, having been raised in a large working-class Catholic family that supported the Democratic Labor Party. He came to the Liberal Party via student politics and a job at the newly established and soon-to-be hugely influential National Farmers Federation, of which he became executive director in 1985. Robb’s tenure as federal director covered the 1990, 1993 and 1996 federal elections, and he went on to set up the successful marketing company Acxiom for Kerry Packer. In government he was promoted to parliamentary secretary in January 2006, and thence to the outer ministry as Vocational and Further Education Minister in January 2007.
Following the election defeat Robb nominated for the deputy leadership, but lost to Julie Bishop. He instead became Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, and was briefly discussed as a leadership candidate when Malcolm Turnbull was embroiled in the “Utegate” affair embroiled Malcolm Turnbull 2009 there were briefly suggestions he might assume the leadership. Shortly afterwards he made the surprise announcement that he was moving to the back bench as he was suffering a depressive illness. He returned to the front bench in the finance portfolio in March 2010, following the failure of the Barnaby Joyce experiment.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.