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.