- Held by: Richard Wynne (ALP)
- Since: 1999
- Swing at 2010 election: Although the ALP suffered a 9.1 per cent swing against it, Labor’s two party preferred vote was 56.4 per cent.
- Redistribution details: Richmond is rare among seats because it is almost completely unchanged.
- Size of electorate: 14.1 sq kms
KEY COMMENTS: Richmond is a very diverse electorate. Development is a big issue, along with the East-West Link, public housing and public transport. Richmond is one of the inner-city seats in which the Greens can expect to poll well, although taking the seat from Labor is a formidable task.
The construction of the East West Link is a highly contentious issue in Richmond, as you would expect in an electorate where almost 27 per cent of people travel to work via public transport. Labor, the Greens and some independents are opposed to it because major works, such as fly-overs, road diversions and the demolition of houses, are inevitable if the project goes ahead. Sitting MP, Richard Wynne, grabs opportunities to speak out against what he calls a ‘waste of money’ and a ‘dud tunnel’ whenever he can and he finds local audiences are largely receptive.
Richmond reveals the tensions of an inner city seat
Richmond is an inner city, Labor-held seat with a diverse population of recent arrivals and traditional, working class, long-term residents. But the area is undergoing rapid gentrification and re-development. This is a key issue for many electors. The proposed East West link is sharply controversial. Some candidates see this election as a battle for the “soul” and character of the electorate’s suburbs. Tom Stayner and former resident, Elias Clure, from RMIT University, examine some of the political cross-currents in Richmond and the surrounding districts in a contest that offers a real chance for the Greens to snatch the seat from the Labor Party. This podcast was recorded before the recent declaration by the Liberal Party that Weiran Lu is their candidate for the seat of Richmond.