Still too many red ribbon seats for the boys

Farrah Tomazin

Aspiring Labor politicians have always dreamed of seats like Lalor, Scullin,  Hotham, Gellibrand and Batman.

In such a fickle business, these patches are as good as it gets: safe  electorates with healthy margins to sustain long-term careers.

Over the years, seats like these have laid the foundation for Labor  luminaries such as Julia Gillard, Simon Crean and Barry Jones. And because they  are so safe, they are rarely vacated, held on to tightly, and fiercely fought  over.

Talent is gradually depleted as people become increasingly dissuaded from  having a go.

But right now – with Kevin Rudd’s resurrection and the aftermath of Labor’s  leadership woes paving the way for a spate of retirements – the party is facing  a rash of these seats being vacated at the same time.