Electoral district of Richmond

Electoral district of Richmond

Richmond is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Victoria. It is a 4km² electorate in the inner east of Melbourne, encompassing the suburbs of Richmond, Cremorne, Burnley, Abbotsford, Collingwood, Clifton Hill, North Fitzroy and Fitzroy.

Richmond is one of the original remaining electorates dating from the creation of the legislature in 1856. It was initially a two-person electorate, but was changed to return only a single member in 1904. It covers a series of traditionally working-class, industrial suburbs, and has been continuously held by the Australian Labor Party with the exception of only one term since 1904. The brief exception occurred amidst the famous Labor split of 1955, when the incumbent Labor member, Frank Scully, joined six other Catholic MPs in breaking away to found the Democratic Labor Party. Scully, as the party's leader, was the only MP to hold his seat at the next election, but was defeated in 1958 by William Towers, previously the member for the nearby electorate of Collingwood.

Though a traditionally safe Labor seat, it has become progressively marginal in recent years due to increasing support for the Australian Greens in the area. This first occurred at the 2002 state election, when union organiser Gemma Pinnell nearly won the seat on Liberal preferences, taking 47% of the two-party preferred vote. The Green surge was seen as a reaction to the conservative policies of the then federal Labor leader, Kim Beazley, by the generally progressive inner city constituency. Labor polled slightly better in the 2006 state election, taking 54% of the two-party preferred against Greens candidate and local councillor Gurm Sekhon. It remains a marginal seat, however, and is likely to be strongly contested at the next election in 2010.

The current member is the Labor Party's Richard Wynne, who currently serves as the state Minister for Housing and Minister for Local Government. Wynne gained the seat in 1999 after the former Labor member, Demetri Dollis, was disendorsed for extended absence overseas.

Members for Richmond

External links

* [http://www.vec.vic.gov.au/RichmondDistrictprofile.html Richmond District - Victorian Electoral Commission]


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