Victorian State Election 2010: Prahran
Margin: Labor 3.6%
Upper house region: Southern Metropolitan
Federal: Higgins/Melbourne Ports
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: The electorate of Prahran covers inner city suburbs south-east of the city, with the river as its northern boundary. This area is remarkably diverse: Prahran and St Kilda East gave Labor two-party margins of around 15 per cent at the federal election, with the Greens in the high twenties; while in Toorak to the east, Liberal margins were as high as 25 per cent, and the Greens vote markedly lower. The electorate also juts into city apartment territory at Fawkner Park, which is strong for the Greens and weak for Labor.
Prahran has existed in one form or another since 1889, and has frequently changed hands. Before gaining the seat in 2002, Labor held it from 1894 to 1897, 1920 to 1921, 1924 to 1932, 1945 to 1955 and 1979 to 1985. After failing to swing at the 1999 election that dumped Jeff Kennett’s government, Prahran recorded a decisive 9.2 per cent shift in 2002 that delivered victory to Labor candidate Tony Lupton, a barrister aligned with the Labor Unity (Right) faction. Lupton emerged from the 2006 election with a margin of 3.6 per cent after a Liberal swing of 0.8 per cent. He was subsequently promoted to parliamentary secretary, and to Cabinet Secretary after Steve Bracks’ departure in August 2007.
The Liberals have again nominated their candidate from 2006, barrister and former deputy lord mayor Clem Newton-Brown, whose preselection in 2006 was described as part of a “grassroots revolt” by branch members against the dominant Kroger-Costello camp.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.