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Author Topic: Victoria, Australia, by-elections in the life of the 57th Parliament (2010-2014)  (Read 2500 times)
Smid
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« on: January 19, 2011, 05:43:10 pm »
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So The Age reports that the by-election in Broadmeadows, triggered by the retirement of former Premier John Brumby, will be held on 19 February 2011.

The seat is held by Labor by a very large margin. Labor polled 62.29% of the primary vote and 70.98% of the 2PP. The 2PP swing against Labor was about 10%, read into that what you will.

Quote from: The Age
THE people of Broadmeadows will go to the polls on Saturday February 19 for the third time in six months - this time to elect a replacement for former premier John Brumby.

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Ken Smith, will today issue the writs for the byelection, setting a tight schedule for the local poll triggered by Mr Brumby's resignation from Parliament in December after the ALP's November election loss.

Despite a 10.9 per cent local swing against the premier in November, the ALP still enjoys a hefty 21 per cent margin in one of its traditional strongholds.

Labor hopefuls are already jockeying for preselection for the seat, for years tagged as belonging to the party's Right faction.

A split in the faction, triggered in part by the 2008 Kororoit preselection, is likely to open up the field for a potentially bitter internal battle.

Faction bosses are also trying to balance the growing internal pressure for more local MPs with the long-held view that safe seats such as Broadmeadows be reserved for ministerial and/or leadership candidates.

The party's administrative committee will meet next week to set a process and date for preselection, which would have to be finalised soon after.

The Liberal Party is yet to decide if it will run a candidate in the Labor stronghold, although party insiders are keen to further erode Labor's hold on the seat while Ted Baillieu is in his honeymoon period.

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber named Graham ''Smokey'' Dawson as his party's candidate. Mr Dawson has previously run in the neighbouring electorate of Yuroke and is a librarian in Broadmeadows.

The Democratic Labor Party is also hoping to stand a candidate. It has been in discussions with several people and will make a decision today.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 05:44:41 pm by Smid »Logged
Comrade Sibboleth
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 05:46:13 pm »

Nice safe seat for whoever's lucky enough to get the nod.
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 04:43:08 pm »
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Again, according to The Age, the Liberal Party will not be nominating a candidate to challenge in the by-election.

Quote from: The Age
THE Liberal Party will not contest the byelection in former premier John Brumby's seat of Broadmeadows on February 19.

Liberal Party state director Tony Nutt yesterday paid tribute to Mr Brumby's service to Victoria.

''The Liberal Party acknowledges John Brumby's service as premier and treasurer to the people of Victoria and wishes him and his family well,'' Mr Nutt said. ''Given the particular circumstances, the Liberal Party has decided not to contest the byelection for Broadmeadows.''

Premier Ted Baillieu said: ''The Coalition government is totally focused on important issues facing Victorians, such as the floods.''

The Age believes there was also a widely held view within the Coalition that the Liberal Party had no chance of winning the seat, with the ALP enjoying a 21 per cent margin, despite a 10.9 per cent swing against Mr Brumby in November.

Labor hopefuls are already jockeying for preselection. Frank McGuire, brother of Eddie, is believed to be enjoying growing cross-factional support as the preferred candidate.

RICHARD WILLINGHAM
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 05:50:47 pm »
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Another article in The Age talks with Labor's candidate from the wealthy suburb of beachside Brighton who is running for the battler electorate of Broadmeadows. The article exceeds the maximum length for Atlas, so Iíll split it across two posts.

Quote from: Shane Green, The Age
The other McGuire

There are no prizes for guessing who'll win Saturday's Broadmeadows byelection.

Mary Delahunty knows the pressures of being a Labor star recruit. In 1998, the former ABC journalist and Walkley Award winner was recruited to stand in the byelection for the safe Labor seat of Northcote, after Kirner-era minister Tony Sheahan quit politics.

After Steve Bracks surprisingly toppled Jeff Kennett the following year, Delahunty became a key member of the new premier's team. By most measures, the next two terms were a success for her as she held the education, planning, arts and women's affairs portfolios. Yet for Delahunty, there was always an extra level of scrutiny and expectation that came from being an outsider.

This Saturday, another outsider is poised to follow in her footsteps. Former ABC journalist and Walkley winner Frank McGuire, brother of the ubiquitous Eddie, is expected to easily win the byelection for the safe Labor seat of Broadmeadows, following John Brumby's decision to quit politics after his state election loss.

Delahunty doesn't presume to give advice to McGuire, although she thinks he will succeed in Spring Street, but she does offer some personal reflections on what he can expect. She says it is a privilege to be asked to represent a community, but outsiders who haven't served a political apprenticeship are subject to different expectations.

''If you come in as an outsider in the way that I have, and Frank is, you know that you're a bigger target than anybody else and you accept that. That's part of the deal,'' she says. ''I don't have any regrets about that at all. When you come in in that way, the so-called star recruit, the expectations are elevated, not by you, but certainly by the press. Your former colleagues seem to get pretty much in a tizz about anything you say or do.''

Second, McGuire will face a different environment if Labor regains power. ''Once you're in government, then it becomes, as it should and quite appropriately, extremely competitive,'' says Delahunty, who wrote of her experiences in her recent memoir, Public Life, Private Grief.

''It's a tough and brutal game of politics, no holds barred. And if you haven't done an apprenticeship, sometimes it means you have to pedal faster.''
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2011, 05:53:00 pm »
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Quote from: Shane Green, The Age
Early Monday morning finds Frank McGuire already pedalling faster, working the morning commuters at Broadmeadows station. The sun is creeping over the platforms, and he is moving through the underpass with an A-frame sign in one hand and a stack of flyers in the other, while looking for the prime position to meet and greet.

Even after a 10.9 per cent swing against Brumby at the state election, Labor holds the seat by a margin of 21 per cent. Moreover, the Liberals haven't even bothered to field a candidate. The Greens, the Sex Party and the DLP are running, as are several independents. But with such a big margin, is this contest the equivalent of watching trackwork before a one-horse race?

''People deserve a real campaign,'' says McGuire, who has been working the stations along the Broadmeadows line each morning. ''I've been determined to be out here every day, and to deliver a campaign and let people know. I think it's important, not being taken for granted, in any way, shape or form [pause to deliver a flyer and message: Frank McGuire, sticking up for Broadmeadows] and that's started to bite with people.''

McGuire faces two challenges. The first is the prevailing view this isn't a contest. ''You're gonna win, don't worry!'' says a commuter who declines a flyer. Then there is letting people know they actually have to vote again less than three months after the state election. Take the following exchange with a voter:

''Frank McGuire, sticking up for Broadmeadows.''

''Oh yeah, I know who you are.''

''There's a byelection on Saturday.''

''Is there?''

The anointing of McGuire as Labor candidate for Broadmeadows has been messy, at times bitter and generally reflective of the troubled state of Labor in Victoria. He is the candidate imposed by the Labor machine, in this case federal ministers and Right powerbrokers Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy He also had the support of the Socialist Left, against vehement opposition from locals and other powerful elements from the party's Right.

McGuire grew up in Broadmeadows but now lives in Brighton. He wasn't an ALP member when chosen - and still may not be, if claims are right that the paperwork was askew. He came in over a local contender, Hume councillor Burhan Yigit, who had the backing of four big unions. The battle culminated in an unsuccessful bid to have the Supreme Court stop Labor's national executive endorsing McGuire.

Asked about the fracas, Yigit says he is concerned about the process, not the byelection or the candidate. ''I know Frank and he's a fine man,'' says Yigit. ''It's the process that I'm angry about, not Frank.''

Yet even just days out from the poll, the whispering campaign against McGuire continues. He will be guaranteed factional enemies from day one.

For his part, McGuire, who has never been a member of a party, says he was approached before Christmas by a local ALP member, and events moved quickly from there. On face value, the contradiction of the candidate from Brighton standing in Broadmeadows could not be any more extreme - the Golden Suburb versus Struggletown. But the truth is very different. McGuire, and his brother Eddie, are very much Broadmeadows. Theirs is a working-class narrative - the original aspirationals, families who worked hard for a better life for the next generation.

The 7.13am has just left Broadmeadows station, prompting McGuire to recall the daily commute he would make about the same time to the Christian Brothers College at St Kilda, where he had won an academic scholarship. The trip was a slice of Melbourne society in the 1970s, beginning with the waft from the Nabisco factory at Broadmeadows, and the smell of fear from the animals heading to slaughter at Newmarket, to the pinstriped rush of the city and the migrant women heading to factories in Richmond.

McGuire couldn't help but notice the difference once he crossed the Yarra, what he calls an ''interesting journey daily across the socio-economic fault line in Melbourne''.

He went straight into a newspaper cadetship at the old Melbourne Herald, where his education in life continued. (A personal disclaimer: the author worked with McGuire at The Herald.)

In an early assignment, McGuire asked the outgoing head of the Premier's Department, Major-General Ken Green, what was his greatest failure. ''Broadmeadows,'' said Green. The mandarin was referring to the failure to provide social infrastructure to support a new suburb on Melbourne's fringe, a suburb created to feed the factories the government attracted to make Victoria a manufacturing powerhouse.

Yet while the suburb was regarded as a policy mistake, McGuire says his family saw it differently. ''My dad always said landing in Broadmeadows was a dream come true, and Mum literally said it was an answer to a prayer. So you've got to put everything in context.''

McGuire's career since has veered between journalism, politics and a private strategic consulting business. His journalistic career included successful stints at Four Corners and the Sunday program, collecting two Walkley Awards for journalism.

Politically, he spent time in John Cain's media unit, and headed the Victorian branch of the Australian Republican Movement. The latter led to working as a strategist with the Australian Democrats when Natasha Stott Despoja was leader. ''We met through the Republican movement,'' says Stott Despoja, who describes McGuire as a ''dear friend''. ''It is hard to find someone as infectiously positive and energetic as Frank.''

McGuire's daily train ride across Melbourne's social border of the Yarra and Ken Green's declaration that Broadmeadows was a failure were critical in the development of his thinking. As an ABC journalist in the 1990s, he pursued the story of a new estate in nearby Thomastown. Government agencies had yet to catch up, and for young mothers, the local McDonald's became the de facto maternal and childcare centre.

''The kids could play in a safe environment, and [the mothers] could share coffee and have the networking that they needed,'' he says.

McGuire could see the same problems Broadmeadows experienced happening in Thomastown. ''Why can't we get out act together better? When are we going to stop repeating the same mistakes and leaving people isolated and marginalised?'' he says. ''It became a theme for me, understanding that if you keep leaving people marginalised and isolated at the end of the line, it's a time bomb situation.

''There's almost inevitably a criminal justice issue that will explode. That's what had happened here previously. And what we ended up getting was a bigger police station and a grander courthouse before we had a library or a hospital or all the social infrastructure that a community needs.''

In 1999, McGuire was asked by Hume City Council to become the founding head of the Safe City Council. As the name suggests, this was a law-and-order approach. Instead, McGuire changed the emphasis, and helped create the Global Learning Village, attracting corporate sponsorship, including that of this paper. The centre included Broadmeadows' first library in its 50-year history.

''All that stuff about me being a so-called celebrity and being parachuted in made me laugh out loud,'' says McGuire. ''Anyone whose been involved Ö they understand. Let's get to a preventative model, instead of just continuing down the punitive model. Let's start treating causes and not just symptoms all the time.''

The issue of being a celebrity or star recruit is an interesting one. While he shares the surname of one of the biggest celebrities in Australia, McGuire isn't his brother, or for that matter, a kind of Mary Delahunty.

Nick Economou, a senior politics lecturer at Monash University, suspects that voters on Saturday will simply ratify the ALP's decision, irrespective of whom it preselected.

''I don't think the question of whether or not he's got high recognition value really comes into it,'' he says. ''Look, I didn't know that Eddie McGuire had a brother, and I reckon lots of people in Broadmeadows didn't either. It's the McGuire you didn't know we had.''

Economou says a high-profile independent could have made for a more interesting contest. ''Sadly, what a shame someone like Phil Cleary isn't running. It would be interesting to see how he would go in a contest like that.''

Watch the result on Saturday for signs of disillusion, such as a high informal vote, or a likely large rate of people simply not voting, he says

Barring a remarkable upset, McGuire will be the new member for Broadmeadows. Despite having had a state treasurer and then premier in John Brumby as the local member, Broadmeadows has a 15 per cent jobless rate, three times the national average. McGuire talks up the idea of replacing the disappearing ''muscle jobs'' with those involving intelligence and innovation. ''We're going to have to reinvent these communities,'' he says.

But his challenge will be about making a difference, especially in opposition. Pedalling harder and faster will need to be a way of life.

It's not split perfectly - given that it separates the two sentences in the middle where the whole cycling/pedalling analogy originates, but I think it was the best point to split it - between the interview with Labor's previous star candidate, Mary Delahunty, and Frank McGuire's background and personal history.
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 03:21:13 am »
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So the Broadmeadows by-election was held on Saturday.

Unsurprisingly, the Labor candidate, Frank McGuire, won the seat.

The Labor Party's primary vote fell about 22% from the November election, to about 53% (I'll update this later, once they finish counting postals and pre-polls). The 2CP result was determined by the VEC to be Labor vs Greens prior to the night, so it is showing a swing to Labor, however I am pretty sure that following the full distribution of preferences, the final 2CP will be Labor vs Independent.
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2012, 09:30:51 pm »
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Bumping an old thread to include the news that the former Brumby Government Deputy Premier, Rob Hulls, has announced his retirement. His seat of Niddrie was held by Labor in the November 2010 election with a 2PP vote of 56.95%. There were five independents who ran against him (the highest number of independent and total candidates in any electorate). The primary results were:

Labor - 14,435 (45.76%)
Liberal - 11,000 (34.10%)
Greens - 2,451 (7.77%)
Family First - 1,263 (4.00%)
Independent 1 - 1,516 (4.81%)
Independent 2 - 499 (1.58%)
Independent 3 - 162 (0.51%)
Independent 4 - 140 (0.44%)
Independent 5 - 131 (0.42%)

The large number of candidates, and relatively high proportion of people speaking a language other than English at home (Italian, I'd suspect, partially from knowing the area a little, and partially from other demographic maps showing the high proportion of Catholics in the electorate - one of the highest in the state, I think... anyway, the religion isn't Greek Orthodox...) probably both contributed to the highest informal vote in the 2010 state election - 2,865 (8.33%), which is higher than the margin (so theoretically could have affected the election result, but I think we all know that Hulls would have been elected regardless of it being theoretically possible).

Anyway, without further ado, here's the Herald Sun story. I'll post a link to Antony Green's page once he's uploaded his analysis.
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 06:27:23 pm »
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Antony Green has prepared a page detailing the by-election, with his usual thorough analysis of the seat, the retiring member and historic results.
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 11:27:34 am »
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I find it unusual that a Party (as per Antony Greens page) don't field candidates. That seems to be common place in Australia and i think the UK (?). The Port Adelaide and Ramsay SA by-elections will also not have Liberal candidates.
Why is this the norm down under? Here its unheard of for parties not to field candidates... even in ridings considered un-winnable (i.e the tories will no doubt run in Toronto-Danforth, even thougth they will never win)
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 02:55:43 pm »

I find it unusual that a Party (as per Antony Greens page) don't field candidates. That seems to be common place in Australia and i think the UK (?). The Port Adelaide and Ramsay SA by-elections will also not have Liberal candidates.
Why is this the norm down under? Here its unheard of for parties not to field candidates... even in ridings considered un-winnable (i.e the tories will no doubt run in Toronto-Danforth, even thougth they will never win)

The PLQ didn't field a candidate against Marois in the 2007 Charlevoix by-election, and that's usually been the case for such affairs in Quebec.
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 03:11:58 pm »
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Really? a courtesy?
I still think it can be a wasted opportunity... i do remember the Liberals running in the Penrith NSW by-election which was seen as a huge upset cause the electorate had been Labour forever from what i know.
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2012, 03:19:23 pm »
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Well, it is more or less a tradition to let new party leaders in, without much opposition, from the Liberals.
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2012, 05:15:07 pm »
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It's generally quite strategic. Penrith was contested because, while having been held just once (?) previously by the Liberals, the area was Liberal-held federally throughout the Howard years and the seat was winnable, especially with polls showing the hammering awaiting Labor, and the swings during the previous round of by-elections (Ryde, Lakemba, Port Macquarie and another seat which I forget).

Going back a bit longer, federally the Liberals didn't contest the Cunningham by-election, centred on the industrial town of Woolloongong, and the Greens picked up the seat because Liberal voters were willing to vote Green to defeat Labor, and some Labor voters, upset at the mid-term retirement of their MP (and consequent cost of a by-election), were also prepared to vote Green, whereas they may have not voted Liberal if there had been a candidate. If the Liberals had fielded a candidate, the Greens would have finished third and Labor won on their preferences, however by not fielding a candidate, the Greens actually won the seat off Labor.

Sometimes it pays to run, though - Labor almost decided to not run in the Ryan by-election (federal), but endorsed a candidate who ended up winning in a surprise upset (first time the seat didn't go Liberal in its 50-year history).

Labor didn't field a candidate in the Higgins by-election, which is affluent but contains some inner-suburbs where the Greens can potentially do well. This was at the same time as Rudd was enjoying his extended honeymoon as Prime Minister and the Liberals (then under Turnbull, although the leadership change happened I think a week before the by-election) were polling poorly, so Labor believed that by not running they were maximising the chance of the Greens stealing the seat, although it didn't pan out that way.

The difference between by-election and general election is that in the general election candidates need to be fielded in all the seats, since a presence at polling booths increases a party's vote and this flows through to the Upper House, however in a by-election, there is no need to maximise a party's vote in the Upper House, so therefore no need to field a candidate and spend campaign funds on a seat that the party cannot win, especially if it could potentially cause an upset for the other party by allowing a candidate who would otherwise finish lower than the party, sneak in on preferences.
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2012, 05:19:33 pm »
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Why is this the norm down under? Here its unheard of for parties not to field candidates... even in ridings considered un-winnable (i.e the tories will no doubt run in Toronto-Danforth, even thougth they will never win)

One other significant difference between Australia and Canada is compulsory voting. If the Tories don't run in T-D, tory voters just won't show up to vote. In Australia, since voting is compulsory, they'd show up to vote and without a tory candidate, would probably vote Liberal, and could potentially throw a spanner in the works for the NDP.
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 08:11:52 am »
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Why is this the norm down under? Here its unheard of for parties not to field candidates... even in ridings considered un-winnable (i.e the tories will no doubt run in Toronto-Danforth, even thougth they will never win)

One other significant difference between Australia and Canada is compulsory voting. If the Tories don't run in T-D, tory voters just won't show up to vote. In Australia, since voting is compulsory, they'd show up to vote and without a tory candidate, would probably vote Liberal, and could potentially throw a spanner in the works for the NDP.

Thanks, great history too on by-elections, i followed all of them and always found it odd... But Australia unlike Canada uses the AV preference system so parties can play around strategically like that. Here we have FPTP and no manditory voting... so by-elections usually have less then 50% turnout unless its hotly contested or a marginal/winnable riding for more than one party. If we go by May 2011 results, tories and liberal combined would still not win since the NDP won with 60%+ but that was with Jack.

Also Australia can and tends to elect a large number (comparatively so) of Independants.
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 04:05:39 am »
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News Item in the Herald Sun

Quote from: Ashley Gardiner, The Herald Sun
Ted Baillieu defends decision not to contest Niddrie by-election


PREMIER Ted Baillieu has defended his party's decision to not contest the March 24 Niddrie by-election.

He has rejected Labor accusations of cowardice to not run in the contest sparked by the retirement of former deputy premier Rob Hulls.

“They will say whatever they want to say,” Mr Baillieu said today.

“It’s a seat we’ve never held, and that’s the bottom line.”

The Liberal Party administrative committee last night decided against contesting Niddrie, which is held by Labor with a 6.9 per cent margin.

Liberal state director Damien Mantach said the decision was made after consultation with senior Liberal MPs.

“Since it was first contested in 1976, Niddrie has always been held by Labor. It was retained by Rob Hulls in the November 2010 State election,” Mr Mantach said.

Deputy Labor leader James Merlino said the seat was winnable for the Liberals.

"They are too gutless to front up,” Mr Merlino said.

Nominations for Labor preselection close tomorrow ahead of a local ballot.

Potential candidates include former staffers Ben Carroll and Jaclyn Symes.
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2012, 02:34:39 am »
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So in addition to today's Queensland state election, the Niddrie by-election in Melbourne's west also occurred. Polls closed half an hour ago. Results should be up at www.vec.vic.gov.au - to avoid confusion, and in case you missed the earlier commentary, there is no Liberal candidate, so 2CP is likely to be Labor vs Greens.
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2012, 07:32:13 am »

ALP hold with 46% of first preferences and 71% of the 2PP thingy.
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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2012, 03:38:00 am »
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State Member for Melbourne, Bronwyn Pike, resigns from Parliament.

Of course, in Melbourne, the Greens outpolled the Liberals, so it's a marginal Labor vs Green seat. The Electoral Commission always publishes Labor vs Coalition 2PP in the Report into the election, and on that basis the seat becomes very safe Labor. Greens are obviously the bigger threat to Labor in this seat.
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2012, 03:51:29 am »
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So the by-election is tomorrow. The Greens are the firm favourite, but Labor has won it at every election since 1908. Labor has been talking down its chances, leaking an internal poll last week showing them trailing the Greens, and blaming the federal government. Of course, if any electorate can resist a swing against Labor due to the Carbon Tax, it would be this seat, which is entirely within the federal boundaries of the only seat held by the Greens.

ReachTel published a poll with Labor trailing the Greens on primary vote, 38-36, so preferences will play a vital role. The Catholic Church emailed parents with children in Catholic schools, endorsing Labor, due to the Greens policy of refunding church-run schools. The Sex Party also will be preferencing Labor due to"anti-sex morality"from some in the feminist wing of the Greens.

I think Labor I'd talking down their chances so they have a good news story to tell when they scrape across the line in a seat they've held for over a century, but people seem to think the Greens are just about home and hosed. The results will be very interesting, regardless.
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2012, 05:24:41 am »
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Looks like I might be wrong... Labor 31%, Greens 40%. I'm not sure what booths are reporting, though, and the electorate is polarised between Labor and the Greens, plus good Liberal booths in Docklands and East Melbourne, so early results may not reflect final results.

Sex Party 7% and Stephen Mayne 4.5%.

I think North Melbourne East should be good for Labor, but they're trailing there, so that's good news for the Greens. Only it and Parkville returning at this stage.
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2012, 05:30:30 am »
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More booths in, Labor has improved slightly, but only has a plurality in the Gotham Hill booth, which I think was they're strongest both in the General. I think a fair number of housing commission towers in that part of the electorate, but I could be wrong.
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2012, 06:01:29 am »
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The best part of this might be the Sex Party sitting on 7%...
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2012, 06:14:21 am »
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The best part of this might be the Sex Party sitting on 7%...

I know! First time they've received their public funding?

I may not be quite so wrong... Labor at 50.37%. Looks like Liberal voters were the most reliable Labor vote, judging from the results in the East Melbourne booth...
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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2012, 12:16:16 pm »

I may not be quite so wrong

You're quite good at this, aren't you Grin
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