Malvern – Greens: Polly Morgan

Greens candidate for Malvern, Polly Morgan
(Photo via Polly Morgan Facebook)

Greens candidate for Malvern, Polly Morgan (Photo via Polly Morgan Facebook)

A member of the Victorian Greens since 2010, this is Morgan’s first time running as a candidate, and given Malvern’s status as one of the most blue-ribbon electorates in Victoria, it is certainly a baptism of fire. However, the Greens have maintained a steady improvement at the polls over the past decade, to the point where 2014 candidate James Bennett closed the gap between the Greens and Labor to just 5 per cent.

Interestingly, it has been the Greens’ new presence in Malvern- they first contested the electorate in 2002, with Robert Trafficante serving as their champion- that has strengthened the Liberal stranglehold on the seat. Since the Greens emerged, Labor’s primary vote has dropped from nearly 30 per cent to 21.4 per cent in the 2014 election.

Morgan is a former member of the Australian Democrats. Before joining the Greens, she had a history of making her voice heard as an outspoken advocate for LGBTIQ rights and inclusion for people with disabilities.

She argues that the influence of big businesses has left the Malvern electorate at breaking point, with an aging public transport system, big increases in house prices and the slow removal of the area’s parks and nature sites. Morgan also says she plans to improve the area’s cycling infrastructure should the Greens make an unlikely win.

While mounting a serious challenge on Michael O’Brien and the Liberals may be beyond her, it will be an intriguing battle between Morgan and the electorate’s Labor representative as who can run second in this race. The Greens have been edging ever closer to the red vote in the past few years, and a silver medal for Malvern would be an impressive achievement.