Adam Carr's guide to
The 2007 Australian federal election

The House of Representatives


Division of Melbourne Ports


Michael Danby (ALP)

His ALP website
and his campaign website

Adam Held (Lib)

His Liberal Party website

Rebecca Gebbing (FF)

Her Family First website

John Mathieson (Dem)

His Democrats website

Phillip Walker (Grn)

His Greens website
Location: Melbourne: Caulfield, Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, St Kilda
Division named for: Port Melbourne and Williamstown, the ports of Melbourne, which were both in the electorate in 1901
Median weekly family income: $1,407 (10th highest)
Persons born in non English speaking countries: 20.4% (31st highest)
Persons in professional occupations: 47.7% (5th highest)
Persons aged 65 and over: 13.0% (75th highest)
Couple families with dependent children: 28.6% (147th highest)
Dwellings being purchased: 16.5% (144th highest)
Dwellings are flat, unit or apartment: 53.7% (4th highest)
Sitting member: Michael Danby (Labor), elected 1998, 2001, 2004
Born: 16 February 1955, Melbourne
Career: Assistant Private Secretary to Hon Barry Cohen MHR, editor Australia/Israel Review, adviser to Hon Alan Griffiths MHR, industrial officer Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association
Deputy Opposition Whip from 22 November 2001
1996 two-party majority: Labor 06.1
1998 two-party majority: Labor 05.8
2001 two-party majority: Labor 05.7
Effect of 2004 redistribution: no change
2004 primary votes: Labor 39.1, Liberal 42.9, Green 14.1
2004 two-party majority: Labor 03.7
2004 enrolment: 92,740
2007 enrolment: 95,935 (+03.4%)
Melbourne Ports has existed since Federation, but it is one of the most radically changed of the federation seats, both in terms of its boundaries and its social composition. Once based in Melbourne's working-class heartland in the western suburbs, since 1969 it has extended eastwards to St Kilda, while in 1990 the wealthy suburb of Caulfield was added. Today Melbourne Ports is in the top 10% of electorates in terms of median income level and proportion of people in professional occupations. Yet it continues to elect a Labor member, as it has done since 1906, although since 1996 it has been highly marginal. This is partly because many of its high-income residents in suburbs like St Kilda hold left-wing views, and partly because the electorate is about 25% Jewish, and many Jewish voters who would otherwise vote Liberal support sitting member Michael Danby. In 2004 Labor polled 73% of the two-party vote in Sandridge, and more than 60% in five St Kilda booths, while the Liberals carried every booth in Caulfield, polling 60% in Caulfield North. Members for Melbourne Ports have included Labor Cabinet ministers Ted Holloway, Frank Crean and Clyde Holding. Michael Danby won the seat for Labor in 1998. He is currently the only Jewish member of the House of Representatives (this will change if Mark Dreyfus wins Isaacs this year), and this helps him in East St Kilda and Caulfield. In 2004 the Liberals ran a Jewish candidate against Danby. They gained only a small overall swing, but a more substantial one in the Jewish parts of Caulfield. They are trying the same tactic this year with Adam Held. In the current political climate Danby seems to be in no danger, despite the steady demographic drift of this seat towards the Liberals.
Candidates in ballot-paper order
  • Michael Danby (Labor) is the sitting member: see biography above.
  • John Mathieson (Democrats) is a corporate advisor.
  • Phillip Walker (Greens) has a Masters of Social Science from RMIT University and runs his own consulting business.
  • Rebecca Gebbing (Family First) is a student.
  • Adam Held (Liberal) is a lawyer and Stonnington City councillor.
  • Aaron Isherwood (CEC) is an organiser.

    Campaign news
    Held throws out a challenge for Danby’s seat

    Candidates on YouTube
    Michael Danby


    Two-party vote by booth, 2004 Click to enlarge map

    Two-party swing by booth, 2004 Click to enlarge map

    Members for Melbourne Ports

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