Electoral Form Guide: Melbourne Ports
Electorate: Melbourne Ports
Margin: Labor 7.1%
Location: Inner Southern Melbourne, Victoria
In a nutshell: Melbourne Ports is far from Labor’s safest seat in Melbourne, but its demonstrated imperviousness to broader swings makes it a very unlikely prospect for the Liberals. Michael Danby has held the seat since 1998.
Electorate analysis: Melbourne Ports covers Bayside inner Melbourne from the mouth of the Yarra through Port Melbourne and Albert Park to St Kilda, jutting inland in the south to take in Elsternwick. Labor has held the seat since 1906, but the increasing affluence of the area has considerably narrowed the margin over time. It has nonetheless been remarkably stable in recent years, bucking the trends of the 1996 and 1998 elections to record negligible swings to Labor and Liberal respectively. It recorded no change at the 2001 election, and swung 2.0 per cent to the Liberals in 2004 and 3.4 per cent to Labor in 2007. Michael Danby became member in 1998 upon the retirement of Clyde Holding, who held the seat from 1977 after a long and unproductive spell as state Opposition Leader. Before Holding was Frank Crean, Whitlam government Treasurer and father of Simon.
Michael Danby is a member of the Right sub-faction associated with Stephen Conroy and Bill Shorten. He won preselection when Holding retired at the expense of factional colleague Tim Pallas, now a state government minister and member for Tarneit. A prominent Jewish community member, Danby is a former editor of the Australia-Israel Review and before entering parliament worked for Hawke government minister Barry Cohen and as an industrial officer for the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association. Although occasionally mentioned as a candidate for promotion, he has thus far risen no higher than Opposition Whip between 2001 and 2007.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.