Electoral district of Melbourne

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This article is about Victorian Legislative Assembly electorate. For the seat of the New South Wales Legislative Council (known as City of Melbourne 1848–51), see Electoral district of Town of Melbourne.
For former electorates of the Victorian Legislative Council, see Electoral district of City of Melbourne and Melbourne Province.
For the Australian federal electorate, see Division of Melbourne.
VictoriaLegislative Assembly
Electoral district of Melbourne 1856.png
Location in greater Melbourne area
State Victoria
Dates current 1856–1859, 1889–present
MP Jennifer Kanis
Party Australian Labor Party
Electors 43,916 (2010)
Area 31 km2 (12.0 sq mi)
Demographic Central Metropolitan

The Electoral district of Melbourne is an electorate of the Victorian Legislative Assembly. It is currently based around the localities of Carlton, North Carlton, Melbourne, East Melbourne, West Melbourne, North Melbourne, Parkville, Newmarket, Kensington and Flemington, and includes Melbourne University. The district has been in existence since 1856 (it was abolished in 1859 and reestablished in 1889).

Melbourne, 1855

The electorate has been traditional Labor territory since 1908, but has become increasingly marginal against the Australian Greens since 2002. Senior Labor minister Bronwyn Pike successfully held the seat against strong Greens challenges at three subsequent elections, defeating future Greens Senator Richard Di Natale in 2002 and 2006, and prominent lawyer Brian Walters in 2010. Pike resigned in 2012, and Labor candidate and City of Melbourne councillor Jennifer Kanis retained the seat after a closely contested by-election, which saw her finish second on primary votes to Greens candidate Cathy Oke but win on preferences.


Melbourne was one of the inaugural districts of the first Assembly in 1856.[1] Its area was defined by the 1855 Act as:

Commencing at a Point in the Yarra Yarra River due South from the South-western Angle of Gisborne Street, thence to Gisborne Street, and by the Western Side of that Street to Victoria Parade, thence by the South Side of Victoria Parade to the Western Side of Nicholson Street, thence by the said Western Side of Nicholson Street Northwards to the Boundary Line of the Corporate Limits of Melbourne, thence by the last-mentioned Boundary Line bearing West to the Moonee Ponds, by the said Moonee Ponds downwards to the Site of Main’s Bridge,[a] thence by a Line bearing South to the Yarra Yarra River, and on the South by the Yarra Yarra River to the commencing Point.[1]
a now Flemington Bridge

Melbourne was abolished in 1859, its area was split into the new Electoral district of East Melbourne and Electoral district of West Melbourne, each having two members.[2]

Melbourne was re-created as a single-member electorate by the The Electoral Act Amendment Act 1888[3] which took effect at the 1889 elections.


First incarnation (1856–1859, 5 members)[4]
Member 1 Party Term Member 2 Party Term Member 3 Party Term Member 4 Party Term Member 5 Party Term
  Archibald Michie None 1856–1859   David Moore None 1856–1859   John Smith[5] None 1856–1859   William Stawell None 1856–1857   John O'Shanassy[6]# None 1856
  James Service None 1857–1859   Henry Langlands None 1857–1859
Second incarnation (1889–present, 1 member)
Member Party Term
  Godfrey Carter None 1889–1900
  Edward Findley Labor 1900–1901
  James Boyd Ministerialist 1901–1908
  Alexander Rogers Labor 1908–1924
  Thomas Hayes Labor 1924–1955
  Labor (Anti-Communist) 1955–1955
  Arthur Clarey Labor 1955–1972
  Barry Jones Labor 1972–1977
  Keith Remington Labor 1977–1988
  Neil Cole Labor 1988–1999
  Bronwyn Pike Labor 1999–2012
  Jennifer Kanis Labor 2012–present

Election results[edit]

Melbourne state by-election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Greens Cathy Oke 10,197 36.52 +4.60
Labor Jennifer Kanis 9,321 33.38 –2.29
Sex Party Fiona Patten 1,832 6.56 +3.67
Independent Stephen Mayne 1,325 4.74 +4.74
Independent David Nolte 1,302 4.66 +4.66
Independent Berhan Ahmed 1,127 4.04 +4.04
Family First Ashley Fenn 841 3.01 +3.01
Democratic Labor Michael Murphy 521 1.87 +1.87
Christians Maria Bengtsson 342 1.22 +1.22
Independent Joseph Toscano 208 0.74 +0.74
Independent Kate Borland 207 0.74 +0.74
Independent Adrian Whitehead 169 0.61 +0.61
Independent Patrick O'Connor 162 0.58 +0.58
Independent David Collyer 160 0.57 +0.57
Independent John Perkins 145 0.52 –0.03
Independent Gerrit Schorel-Hlavka 66 0.24 +0.24
Total formal votes 27,925 90.66 –5.65
Informal votes 2,878 9.34 +5.65
Turnout 30,803 68.62 –18.31
Two-candidate-preferred result
Labor Jennifer Kanis 14,384 51.51 –4.66
Greens Cathy Oke 13,541 48.49 +4.66
Labor hold Swing –4.66


^# O'Shanassy won both Melbourne and Kilmore districts, he decided to represent the latter resulting in a by-election for Melbourne.[7]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Victoria Constitution Act 1855" (pdf). Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "An Act to alter the Electoral Districts of Victoria and to increase the number of Members of the Legislative Assembly thereof." (pdf). 1858. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Electoral Act Amendment Act 1888" (pdf). Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Victorian Parliament". South Australian Register. Trove. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Eastwood, Jill. "Smith, John Thomas (1816–1879)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Edward Sweetman (1920). Constitutional Development of Victoria, 1851-6. Whitcombe & Tombs Limited. p. 183. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Political Condition. The New Parliament". The Argus. Trove. 29 October 1856. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Central Province and Electoral Districts of Melbourne, St Kilda, Collingwood, South Melbourne, Richmond and Williamstown." (map). State Library of Victoria. 27 November 1855. Retrieved 12 May 2013.