Margin: Labor 4.3%
Region: Western Metropolitan
Federal: Maribyrnong (57%)/Melbourne (37%)/Wills (6%)
Outgoing member: Justin Madden (Labor)
Candidates in ballot paper order
MARIO ANTONIO MENDEZ
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.
The electorate of Essendon has existed without interruption since 1904, and currently encompasses a narrow stretch of territory starting at Ascot Vale four kilometres to the north-west of central Melbourne, from which it extends northwards through Essendon and Moonee Ponds to Essendon Airport and Strathmore. The redistribution has given the Labor margin a 1.9% boost by adding territory in the south, including 5300 voters in Flemington and Travancore who were formerly in Melbourne, and removing one in the west, sending Aberfeldie and its 3000 voters are transferred to Niddrie.
Labors modern ascendancy in Essendon commenced when it gained the seat at the 1979 election, since when it has suffered defeat only in the 1992 landslide by a margin of 1.2%. Judy Maddigan recovered the seat for Labor with a 4.6% swing in 1996, and retained it until her retirement in 2010. She was succeeded by Justin Madden, an upper house member since 1999 who is still remembered far beyond Victoria as a towering ruckman who played 332 VFL/AFL games for Carlton and Essendon from 1980 and 1995. Madden came to politics via his role as president of the AFL Players Association, and served first as Sports Minister and then as Planning Minister in the Bracks/Brumby government. He was accommodated in Essendon at the 2010 election as a result of complex factional arrangements that delivered his existing seat in Western Metropolitan to Martin Pakula.
With Madden retiring at the election, Labors new candidate is Danny Pearson, a former staffer to Steve Bracks during his premiership and more recently a director with lobbyists Hawker Britton. Pearson is associated with the Labor Unity faction, and was mentioned as a possible successor to Judy Maddigan in 2010, and in relation to several vacancies which have emerged since. The Liberal candidate is Fred Ackerman, an Education Department adviser and former president of the Victorian Principals Association.