Danby versus Held: The story of the two Jewish candidates in Melbourne Ports - Take Two

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The federal electorate of Melbourne Ports has long been a safe Labor seat. It also has a high proportion of Jewish voters. Since 1998 it has been held by Michael Danby, a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel. Recent boundary and demographic changes may have made the seat marginal and in the 2007 election the Liberal Party selected Adam Held, another Jewish supporter of Israel, to run against Danby. Both emphasised their pro-Israel credentials but, while the swing to Labor was not as high as it was nationally, Danby increased his vote. With the aid of Greens preferences, he held the seat comfortably. Nevertheless, in six out of nine key Jewish booths a majority voted Liberal. The author argues that Jewish voters are only unified on the question of Israel; on other issues they are diverse. Some are attracted to the Liberals on economic questions and others to Labor and the Greens on social and environmental questions. But any candidate who did not support Israel would be unlikely to win Melbourne Ports.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31 - 37
Number of pages7
JournalPeople and Place
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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