Margin: Labor 0.9%
Region: Southern Metropolitan
Federal: Melbourne Ports
Candidates in ballot paper order
2010 BOOTH RESULTS MAP
RESULTS MAP: Two-party preferred booth results from 2010 state election showing Liberal majority in blue and Labor in red. New boundaries in thicker blue lines, old ones in thinner red lines. Boundary data courtesy of Ben Raue of The Tally Room.
PAST RESULTS: Break at 1999 represents effect of the subsequent redistribution.
DEMOGRAPHICS: Based on 2012 census. School Leavers is percentage of high school graduates divided by persons over 18. LOTE is number identified as speaking language other than English at home, divided by total population.
Covering the inner-city immediately south of the river, the electorate of Albert Park has existed without interruption since 1889, and has been held by Labor since 1950. Labor had an uncommonly close call in 2010, when a 7.6% swing reduced the margin to 2.1%, and the redistribution has further pared it back to 0.9% by transferring 6500 voters in Elwood to its southern neighbour, Brighton.
There has also been an adjustment of the eastern boundary with Prahran, which adds 3000 voters in St Kilda and removes 1200 in the strip of apartments between St Kilda Road and Albert Park Lake. The Yarra continues to define the electorate’s western boundary, from which it extends along the bayside through Port Melbourne to St Kilda, and along the riverfront to Southbank. The area balances inner-city affluence and bohemianism – the former prevalent at Southbank, the latter at St Kilda – making it the highest-income electorate held by Labor.
Albert Park was held from 1992 to 2007 by John Thwaites, who rose to the position of deputy leader following the 1996 election defeat, a position he maintained until the end of his parliamentary career. Thwaites held the portfolios of health and planning in the first term of the Bracks government and environment and water in its second, before quitting politics on the same day as Steve Bracks in July 2007. This initiated a by-election that the Liberal Party’s administration committee opted not to contest, to the chagrin of the party’s then leader Ted Baillieu. The result was a comfortable victory for Labor candidate Martin Foley, who prevailed at the final count with a 7.1% margin over the Greens.
Foley emerged through the Left faction Australian Services Union, having worked first as an official with the union and then as chief-of-staff to Bracks government minister Bob Cameron. He has twice been promoted since the 2010 election defeat, first to shadow parliamentary secretary immediately after the election, and then to shadow cabinet in the water, arts and youth affairs portfolios at the end of 2013. His Liberal opponent is Shannon Eeles, managing director of the Centre for Inclusive Schooling of Children with Autism.
Tex Perkins, veteran frontman of The Cruel Sea and The Beasts of Bourbon, is running as an independent as part of a campaign to restore St Kilda’s Palais Theatre.