Margin: Labor 21.2%
Location: Outer Western Melbourne, Victoria
In a nutshell: It doesn’t get much safer for Labor than in the western Melbourne suburbs of Keilor, Sydenham and Derrimut, which form the basis of Gorton. The seat was created in 2004 and has since been held by Brendan O’Connor, who previously held the abolished seat of Burke for a term.
Electorate analysis: The north-western Melbourne seat of Gorton was created at the 2004 election with the abolition of Burke, which furnished it with 12,000 voters around Sydenham. From there it extends east to Keilor and south to Derrimut and Sunshine West. Burke MP Brendan O’Connor contested the seat for Labor, having gone from a 5.5 per cent margin in Burke to a notional margin of 20.2 per cent in Gorton. O’Connor entered parliament in 2001 with the backing of the Ferguson Left faction, making him factionally close to the Prime Minister, and was previously an official with the Australian Services Union. He was promoted to shadow parliamentary secretary when Kevin Rudd became Labor leader in December 2006, and on election to government he entered the junior ministry as Employment Participation Minister, before moving to home affairs in June 2009.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.