Highlights of week two

Another round of Campaign Updates for the Victorian election guide:

South Barwon (Labor 5.0%): On Sunday, Ted Baillieu promised a Liberal government would spend $80 million duplicating Princes Highway from Waurn Ponds west to Winchelsea in the neighbouring electorate of Polwarth. Road issues are a major sore point in South Barwon; the recently announced route of the Geelong ring road is expected to feed 30,000 vehicles a day into a single set of traffic lights at Waurn Ponds, while Princes Highway itself has been the site of a number of fatal accidents. Tuesday’s Geelong Advertiser said there were "reports that Labor strategists had all but given up hope of holding the seat".

Lara (Labor 22.4%): More evidence of a Labor slump in the Geelong region comes from a poll of 311 voters in Lara, published in Saturday’s Geelong Advertiser. As with the paper’s Bellarine poll the previous weekend (and indeed that for South Barwon a fortnight before), results were given to within one decimal place, allowing us to determine the raw figures: Labor 122 (50 per cent after distribution of the undecided), Liberal 87 (36 per cent), Greens 25 (10 per cent), Family First 5 (2 per cent) and others 7 (3 per cent). In 2002, Labor polled 66.1 per cent to the Liberals’ 25.2 per cent. Once again, too many of the Advertiser’s respondents (67) were listed as undecided because the paper neglected to twist their arm.

Oakleigh (Labor 15.2%) and Frankston (Labor 5.8%): The big ticket items in the Liberals’ $1.7 billion health policy announced yesterday included a $60 million expansion of the Clayton campus of the Monash Medical Centre (actually in Clayton, although that’s unlikely to be the electoral target market; despite the current margin, nearby Oakleigh was in Liberal hands until 1999), and a matching of Labor’s promised $45 million investment in Frankston Hospital.

Doncaster (Liberal 0.8%) The Liberals have promised to spend $35 million extending the number 48 tram route a further four kilometres from Balwyn North to Doncaster – sound policy no doubt, but of benefit only to the already Liberal-held electorates of Doncaster and Box Hill.

Bendigo East (Labor 13.0%) and Bendigo West (Labor 16.0%): Following AAPT’s announcement on Monday that it will close its Bendigo call centre next year with the loss of 380 jobs, Labor has promised to "find another company" to replace it.

Eltham (Labor 4.8%): The Diamond Valley Leader reports that Liberal candidate Craig Ondarchie claims he has had his car vandalised and a threatening note placed on his windshield.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

8 comments on “Highlights of week two”

  1. Shoring up Doncaster and Box Hill does make a lot of sense.

    At the corresponding point in their respective election cycles – i.e. second term going into third – the Carr govt picked off two Coalition seats and the Beattie govt one.

    If the same thing is to happen for the Bracks govt then those two strike me as the most likely to flip. Assuming the eastern suburbs hasn’t fallen out of love with the government.

  2. Re Eltham:
    Ondarchie also “claims he has been physically threatened on the street over his candidacy”.
    Steve Herbert, Eltham’s Labor MLA said allegations were often made at the beginning of campaigns to “get a bit of extra media coverage”. -from the Heidelberg & Valley Weekly

    There seems to be a feeling that Eltham may tip back to the Liberals this election, or at least will be quite close. Ondarchie has regularly been in the local papers spruiking Liberal solutions to local road issues. Meanwile Herbert (probably like most incumbents) has flooded residents with a slick direct mail campaign. I received no less than three letters from him last week.

  3. Danny,
    Fusion was the offspring of the Free Traders/Protectionists. These two groupings (it wouldn’t be correct to use the term party, at least as it has been understood in Australia since the 1920s) were the essential Government/Opposition in the early years of Federation, with the Labor Party a minority cross-bench outfit. With the improving fortunes of the Labor Party, the non-Labor forces combined, hence the name Fusion.
    Note, that description is about the Federal sphere, but it was no doubt replicated in the States.
    Economy is a new one on me.

  4. Anything under 3% will go on the rebound. Prahran and Eltham are seats to watch. Melbourne and Richmond depend on Liberal Preferences. Two strong local candidates running Kevin Chamberlain and Stephen Jolly respectively could top up the Green vote which needs to beat the Liberal party in the inner city seats. Clem Newton Brown has a clean ticket. Were were people power on the Inner City Seats?


    Candidate lists finalised and Ballot Paper order published. Donkey vote estimated to be worth up to 1% should be also noted. (Lower House only)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *