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. guytaur

    [Putin is not a man to keep quiet on foreign powers attempting to kill him from the public person we have seen.

    That’s a crock precisely because Putin has not used it.]

    You wouldn’t want to be the person who tried to blow Putin up. I’m guessing he’s not the forgive and forget kind of guy.

  2. “@AndrewSCasey: @qanda plse ask Greg Combet what can b done to tempt him back to Canberra to b our next PM? #qanda”

  3. This theologian is talking the right thing. The poor and vulnerable have to come first.

    Applies to budgets not just surrogacy.

  4. “@jakekapitz: The Liberal Party: a broad church. But it’s still a church in a secular society. #qanda”

    Good line there 🙂

  5. For Combet to come back to parliament the design of the HOR chamber would have to be altered to conform to modern access standards. He was in pain from his arthritis due the seating. He was cramped in those seats. Having some with more leg room would be a start.

  6. Just given the Q&A drivel the Flick. Sus-san Lie (genuine Germanic pronunciation here) gets the ‘How can vulnerable children be … You get the rest of it.

    Juliar done it, for sure.

  7. @guytaur/1015

    No need to explain what metadata is really, just be very concerned with your privacy and data, or will be abused.

  8. Dan ‏@freckedfreak 10m
    @TonyHWindsor Don’t forget Hockey and Shorten both on record as saying it was unecessary. People need to know that.

    Is it true that Bill Shorten thought the RC into child abuse wasn’t necessary ?

  9. zoid

    Jennifer Robertson from Wikileaks quoting the NSA just made it plain to the audience what danger there is to their privacy.

  10. Possum Comitatus ‏@Pollytics 2m

    I have nothing to hide. Still – get a f!cking warrant #qanda

    Greens ‏@Greens 1m

    .SussanLey, here’s why who you called, when and for how long is important. #metadata h/t @HondoGratten

    Scott Ludlam ‏@SenatorLudlam 1m

    #GetAWarrant #metadata #qanda

    Kiera ‏@KieraGorden 44s

    I’ve never metadata I didn’t like! #QandA

  11. guytaur

    [You just missed Tony Jones actually making a practical timely and relevant interruption to Ley.

    I fell off my chair.]

    Two points – ‘Tony Jones’ then I’ve missed nothing by switching off.

    Second point – ‘off my chair’. I’ll try to not stand on you when I next wander around.

  12. “@smurray38: Tomorrow’s #newspoll: 2PP ALP 52 (-2) Coalition 48 (+2) Primary LNP 40 (+4) ALP 34 (-2) Grn 13 (+1) Others 13 (-3) #qanda #auspol”

  13. @smurray38: Tomorrow’s #newspoll Abbott Satisfaction 36 (0) Dissatisfaction 54 (+1) Shorten Satisfaction 36 (-2) Dissatisfaction 44 (+3) #auspol #qanda

  14. twaddle

    [The Liberal Party is no broad and all church. A church with no broads in it.]

    Watch out! If WWP reads that you’re in for it.

  15. Its not a strange Newspoll. Its on trend with most other polls (Galaxy, Reachtel, Essential). Last fortnight it stood out from them. Now its corrected. Morgan is 54-46 on 2013 prefs, overall RM series leans to ALP 1.5% according to Kevin Bonham, so it could be said they are all in the same zone now.

  16. Great! Just great! The Liberals and their cheer squad will see this as the green light to pump up the volume even higher on the national security/jihadist nonsense! Seems all they have to do is talk about anything but the budget and up they go in the polls!

  17. [Preferred PM Abbott 41 (+3)]

    It’s a real pleasure to be a voting citizen of such a kinky country.

    The ‘aliens’ just love us.

  18. [ Seems all they have to do is talk about anything but the budget and up they go in the polls! ]

    And Jo Hockey luvs you very much. 🙂

  19. matt

    [ The Liberals and their cheer squad will see this as the green light to pump up the volume even higher on the national security/jihadist nonsense!]

    Don’t panic. Under your bed is one dead red. Behind him is a genuine AK-47 (and two plumbers taped quick change magazines) and a RPG.

    Get these and you’ll be fine.

  20. I was hoping it would be a continuation of worse figures for the LNP, but I will just have to settle for bad figures for them.

  21. I am a little disappointed with Newspoll but not entirely surprised.

    Polls lag events and the effect of last week will take a while to wash through.

  22. [davidwh
    Posted Monday, August 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm | PERMALINK
    If that Newspoll is correct the LNP will cream Labor if they ever manage to perform at or above average.

    Getting a bit ahead of yourself there I think David. There are plenty of things bubbling away which can bring this government undone. Abbott will run out of unicorns sooner or later.

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