Seat of the week: Jagajaga

Covering the eastern reaches of Melbourne, the electorate of Jagajaga has provided a reasonably secure electoral base for Jenny Macklin’s parliamentary career since 1996.

Jenny Macklin’s electorate of Jagajaga was created with the expansion of parliament in 1984, and covers suburbs in north-eastern Melbourne from Heidelberg and Ivanhoe out to North Warrandyte in the east. Its present area was mostly in the electorate of Bourke from federation until 1926, which accounted for northern Melbourne including Brunswick and Reservoir; Flinders and Indi from 1922 to 1937, which respectively covered its western suburban and eastern interior regions; Deakin from its recreation in 1937 until 1955, at which time Ivanhoe was absorbed by Batman; and Diamond Valley in its eastern parts from 1969 to 1984. When created in 1984, Jagajaga extended north to Bundoora and had the Yarra River as its eastern boundary, with Eltham and its surrounds accommodated by Casey and Menzies. Its present configuration was largely adopted at the redistribution which took effect at the 1996 election.

Red and blue numbers respectively indicate size of two-party booth majorities for Labor and Liberal. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Jagajaga was in part the successor to abolished Diamond Valley, although that seat’s extension into rural areas further to the north made it a marginal seat that went with the government of the day at each election during an existence that ran from 1969 to 1984. Diamond Valley was won narrowly for Labor in 1983 by Peter Staples at the expense of Liberal incumbent Neil Brown, who would return to parliament in 1984 as member for Menzies and later became deputy Liberal leader (and was more recently a contentious appointment to the panel that appoints ABC board directors). Staples secured the considerably more accommodating electoral territory of Jagajaga in 1984, which had a notional Labor margin of 8.4%, and retained the seat until his retirement in 1996, in which time his closest shave was a 2.6% winning margin amid the Victorian anti-Labor backlash of 1990.

Staples was succeeded by Jenny Macklin, a former researcher and state ministerial staffer and member of the Socialist Left. Macklin retained the seat by 2.7% on her electoral debut and secured slightly stronger margins over the the next three elections. After the 2001 election she rose to the position of deputy leader, a position she maintained until Kim Beazley was deposed by Kevin Rudd in December 2006, at which point she made way for Julia Gillard. Macklin also exchanged her education portfolio for family and community services and indigenous affairs, which retained without interruption throughout the six-year saga of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government. The only change to her workload in government was an exchange of housing for disability reform in December 2011. This continuity has been maintained in opposition, albeit that she relinquished indigenous affairs and families and community services was rebadged as families and payments. In the meantime, Macklin secured her hold on Jagajaga with strong successive swings in 2007 and 2010, respectively pushing her margin out to 9.0% and 11.5%, before a forceful 8.1% swing to the Liberals in 2013 pared it back to 3.1%.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,057 comments on “Seat of the week: Jagajaga”

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  1. Well I went to co-ed schools and saw sexism and revolting behaviour by teenaged boys.

    The difference with the all boys schools is that they don’t seem to grow out of that behaviour by the time they hit uni.

  2. Socrates

    My own children have attended the local co ed catholic school, and I have been impressed with their emphasis on supporting those less fortunate in the community, including refugees etc.
    I personally cant imagine any school deliberately fostering the attitudes that these yonng libs are putting forth. I reckon it has more to do with their sense of privilege and entitlement.

  3. The minimum wage schtick could be the sleeping giant in November.

    Those voters won’t appear in the polling (in the US, polling companies distort the actual data they receive to apply a “likelihood” of voting filter which excludes poor people on minimum wages as they usually don’t vote in droves like rich white folk).

    November is a very difficult election to predict:
    1. On historical grounds the Republicans should have a massive win
    2. The current polling pretty much points to a status quo
    3. Minimum wage elections usually benefit Democrats

  4. “@SamCD01: Senator Madigan says Joe Hockey told him that he’s ‘the most hated’ man in Australia at the moment. #Insiders”

  5. [“@SamCD01: Senator Madigan says Joe Hockey told him that he’s ‘the most hated’ man in Australia at the moment. #Insiders”]

    That’s our Joe, all about the drama.

  6. What a whinging, egocentric prick Sloppy is. He cries on John Madigan’s shoulder that the meeja hate him and most of the voters hate him.

    Since he’s all about him, he thinks that he’ll get the budget passed if he can get people to like/respect him (whatever budget crap he hands up). Fool!

  7. “@jameswpaterson: WA Liberal State Conference today passed a motion expressing their disappointment in the federal government for not delivering 18C promise”

  8. [So Abbott lies redirects to a great example of a lie. I guess they want to leave it to the professionals.]

    Interesting that the site was registered on budget day. Now why would they do that if they thought they were being open and honest with the electorate in the lead up to the election?

  9. Victoria 54

    Yes I agree. Hard to teach social justice and bigotry at the same time. It is the elitism that is the problem. Good teachers will not accept it, but elitist schools clearly believe they can dictate attitudes as well as academic standards. (Though dumb rich kids are still graduated, and under Abbott will still be going to uni too.)

  10. The amazing thing is that despite the Qld governments “we’ll fights yers all” attitude and the Federal governments tough budget and constant slip ups, Newman is still ahead and Abbott is only just behind heading into the mid term period.

  11. Tones on his way to Holland (it could have been anywhere – ‘Just get me out of here’).

    It’s a shame it couldn’t be one way … but I expect its a ‘subsidised return trip’.

  12. [57

    “@SamCD01: Senator Madigan says Joe Hockey told him that he’s ‘the most hated’ man in Australia at the moment. #Insiders”

    That’s our Joe, all about the drama.]

    Hockey seems to think it’s all about him. He’s yet another vain, incompetent Lib who is completely out of his depth.

  13. Its a good thing ALP pollies aren’t vain…….not the silver bodgie or Keating or Shorten……..not them!

  14. I am still waiting for the uproar from the Nationals and Farmers who freaked out with the 300m live exports were suspended. Now Abbott has managed to cost Aust $800m Russian trade

  15. ET

    [Its a good thing ALP pollies aren’t vain…….not the silver bodgie or Keating or Shorten……..not them!]

    You probably think this blog is about you? Don’t you?


  16. This story about the NBN highlights the Productivity Commission’s call the benefit cost analysis to be done and made public on any large infrastructure project. I agree. Labor’s failed implementation of the NBN by a bunch of incompetent mates might have been picked up sooner that way.

    But it ignores the elephant in the room – the Victorian Libs are proceeding with the Melbourne EW Link road tunnel despite no published benefit cost analysis, with $2 billion in Federal funds. Unlike the NBN, there is real doubt it will ever generate a net return. Macquarie Bank is in one of the bidding consortia, and are a Liberal party donor. I wonder who will win?

    Have a good day all.

  17. Joe Hockey – what a wimp. Just imagine the pathetic, snivelling mess he’d be if he had to put up with just a tiny fraction of the crap Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard had to put up with.

  18. A friend of mine who voted Liberal in 2013 was complaining bitterly on Facebook yesterday that Abbott had not only cost him his job with Centrelink but had withdrawn the funding which would have helped his autistic son with his schooling. A number of people sent messages of support.

    The word is spreading.

  19. [psyclaw
    Posted Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 9:25 am | PERMALINK
    # 49

    First bait of the day.]

    Well lets have a look at #49 in its entirety;

    Posted Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 9:09 am | PERMALINK

    Newman back in front 52-48 @ Qld state level]

    So a link to a political poll on a political blog is a bait now is it?

  20. Briefly

    [Clearly, the Libs have no sense of irony.]

    They think it’s something women do despite the carbon tax. 😉

  21. [71


    Hockey is far less competent than he appears to think he is.]

    He’s a very confused Treasurer….confused about the economy, the budget, the Senate, his own capacity. He should be shuffled off to the back bench.

  22. guytaur,

    Look to the left, then look to the right before crossing the road is the sort of data retention that will stop you being terminated with severe prejudice by a bus.

  23. At 9.45 I quit Insiders. All good and fair except Gerard, who has a PhD in (excuse me) turd polishing. Insists that everything said by Abbott was “misheard” “wrongly reported” “out of context”. Coorey slammed him down. Hah!

  24. And they all agreed that Hockey is a crybaby who needs to toughen up if he’s going to make a good Treasurer or become PM.

    I’d say he needs to learn to listen to people and not try to bully them into getting his own way.

  25. directs you to the Liberal Party website.

    The link is so obvious, why would they bother putting all the information on another website when they can just link the Liberal Party site?

    All the lies can be seen without the need to search.

  26. Type ‘’ into your browser and you get directed to pictures of Tony Abbott with a banner saying “We are building a better Australia”. It is in fact the Liberal Party Home page.

    Works for me.

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