Seat of the week: Corangamite

Corangamite has covered a shifting area around Colac 150 kilometres west of Melbourne since its creation at federation, its complexion changing somewhat with the absorption of the Geelong suburbs of South Barwon and Belmont in 1955. It was one of Labor’s two gains in Victoria when Kevin Rudd came to power in 2007, giving Labor its first win in the seat since the Great Depression. In its current form the electorate includes the Geelong suburbs south-west of the Barwon River and the Great Ocean Road as far as Apollo Bay, together with rural areas to the west and north. The Geelong suburbs, which include Liberal-leaning Highton and marginal Belmont and Grovedale, contain a little over a third of the electorate’s voters, and are distinguished (along with Torquay) by a younger demographic profile and a preponderance of mortgage payers. Growth in Geelong, Torquay and the Bellarine Peninsula left the seat over quota at the redistribution to take effect at the next election, resulting in the transfer of most of the Bellarine Peninsula (accounting for about 5700 voters) to Corio. This has had a negligible impact on the Labor margin, which on Antony Green’s calculation goes from 0.4% to 0.3%.

Labor’s only wins in Corangamite prior to 2007 were in 1910, when future Prime Minister Jim Scullin became member for a term (he would return as member for the inner Melbourne seat of Yarra in 1922), and at the 1929 election when Scullin’s short-lived government came to power. The Country Party held the seat for one term from 1931, after which it was held by the United Australia Party and then the Liberal Party. The enlargement of parliament in 1984 cost the electorate its most conservative rural territory in the west, but it took another 23 years before Labor was able to realise its hopes of gaining the seat. It was assisted to this end by the “sea change” phenomenon, the ABC TV series of that name having been set in the electorate at Barwon Heads. This has drained about 10% from the Liberal primary vote in the Great Ocean Road towns since the early 1990s, with the Greens vote there burgeoning to 17% at the 2010 election.

Corangamite was held from 1984 to 2007 by Stewart McArthur, who to the dismay of some in the Liberal Party sought another term in 2007 at the age of 70. His Labor challenger was 31-year-old Darren Cheeseman, an official with the Left faction Community and Public Sector Union who won a hotly contested preselection over Peter McMullin, the Right-backed mayor of Geelong and candidate from 2004. Cheeseman went on to overwhelm McArthur’s 5.3% margin with a 6.2% swing that was evenly distributed throughout the electorate. Faced at the 2010 election by a fresh Liberal candidate in Sarah Henderson, a former state host of The 7.30 Report and daughter of former state MP Ann Henderson, Cheeseman was brought within 771 votes of defeat by a 0.4% swing that went slightly against the trend of a 1.0% statewide swing to Labor. Cheeseman went on to receive substantial publicity in February 2012 when he declared Labor would be “decimated” if Julia Gillard led it to the election, which set the ball rolling on Kevin Rudd’s unsuccessful leadership challenge a week later.

Sarah Henderson will again represent the Liberals at the next election after winning a fiercely contested struggle for Liberal preselection against Rod Nockles, an internet security expert and former Peter Costello staffer who also sought preselection in 2010. Henderson’s backers reportedly included Tony Abbott and Michael Kroger, with Nockles having support from Peter Costello, Andrew Robb, Senators Arthur Sinodinos and Scott Ryan and Higgins MP Kelly O’Dwyer. In the event, Henderson won a surprisingly easy victory with an absolute majority on the first round.

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.

2,255 comments on “Seat of the week: Corangamite”

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  1. Good morning, bludgers. Good morning, Dawn Patrol, schnappi, Lyne Lady.

    Good Morning, Whyalla! I did stay up long enough to check that you had survived (& watch the Poms’ innings); BUT …

    Australia lost the ODI because of the Carbon Tax! Shame!

  2. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 ‏@Thefinnigans
    well who would have thunk that Clive Palmer described his Party as a Stalinist Party, maybe he is Pavlovich Beria

  3. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 ‏@Thefinnigans
    Did i see Prissy Pyne turned a whiter shade of a pale when Ashby/Brough/Slipper was mentioned on #Lateline It must be the 16 vestal virgins

  4. At first it was just ghostly, but now it looks the graveyard shift has also turned into a whiter shade of pale as the ceiling flew away

  5. So Abbott will call a DD should his carbon price repeal bills get knocked back in the Senate. Why won’t someone call him out on that as Antony Green has repeated written there is little chance of a DD anytime before 2015. He must also know that the ALP will be doing him no favours over any legislation and will use all tactics in the Senate to avoid putting the bill up. Committee, amendments etc.

    Also the pathetic MSM let him get away with a hugh porky yesterday when he said that more the 50% of those souls sent to Nauru did not end up in Australia. Not one of them challenged him.

    I also expect renewed emphasis on the parliamentary spending habits of Peter Slipper over the next week or so. The dirt unit that the LNP doesn’t have has already started with this.

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Gina doesn’t seem to know how to fight clean.
    Let’s hope this will be the case. It’s going to be a rough week next week with Abbott;s barnstorming bullshit tour of Australia.
    Michelle Grattan has popped up with an excellent article on last week’s AS debate.
    Mike Carlton is well worth a read!
    Cathy Wilcox – a beauty!
    Ron Tandberg has excelled himself here with his view of the AS debate.

    [What’s happening in the Australia media signals where we’re hurtling as a nation. The Labor Party was formed in the late 19th century to counter the power of wealth and capital. If it is annihilated at the next election, we will potentially leap backwards more than 100 years in our social history. I predict there will also be an all-out assault on the ABC, described only a few weeks ago by Andrew Bolt as ”a giant news agency for the left”.
    Hyperbole of this sort is on a par with saying all journalists are communists, which Gina Rinehart is said to do. (When did you last meet a communist? Seriously. I’d have to go back 30 years.) The argument for the ABC is one of quality, that its news and current affairs programs plus its documentaries are demonstrably better than those on commercial television…
    The ideological right has had the ABC in its sights for decades. Simply because it is a state-funded body, some label it Marxist…

    It is radicals who are leading the charge against the ABC, radicals of the right, and, along with the extremely rich and powerful, they are poised to get their way…
    Any national media reflects the national mind. Within a few years, we could have a national mind dominated by Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, talkback radio hosts and tabloid newspaper columnists.]

  8. [Australia lost the ODI because of the Carbon Tax! Shame!]

    Apparently David Hussey (13 from 37) was trying to avoid breathing too hard so that he wouldn’t add to the teams CO2 footprint. Why wasn’t he given free permits? Outrageous!


  9. Glad to see that bludgers are doing their bit to make the carbon tax as risible as the ‘fridge magnets against terrorism’.
    Libs are sooo good at scare campaigns. Labor could do better 🙂

  10. George Newhouse Human Rights Lawyer and former ALP candidate against Malcolm Turnbull was on radio with John Stanley this morning advocating the same solution to the Asylum Seeker issue as Julian Burnside did yesterday. He agrees on an arrangement being made with Indonesia.

  11. Good Morning Bludger!

    I put forward the proposal that we ditch all News and Fairfax papers and install one Mike Carleton as Australia’s official scribe.

    Love this bit of his article (once again, Thanks BK)

    [All you can do is bunker down and prepare for the worst. I have soap, candles and kindling piled up in the garage, along with supplies of tinned pate de fois gras and a carton of Krug if things get really bad. But when the batteries in the laptop expire I’m afraid you will have to do without me.

    Read more:

  12. BK,

    There was talk on twitter, which Emmo confirmed, that there is about 5 minutes worth of the interview that was cut.

  13. This just about takes the cake.

    But, if you’re a RW nutter, esp a USA RW religious nutter, of course this make sense!

    [“Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.]

    Let’s look at the higher order skills in Bloom’s Taxonomy: Cognitive Domain (1956)

    Separates material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. Distinguishes between facts and inferences.
    Troubleshoot a piece of equipment by using logical deduction. Recognize logical fallacies in reasoning. Gathers information from a department and selects the required tasks for training.
    Key Words:
    analyzes, breaks down, compares, contrasts, diagrams, deconstructs, differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes, identifies, illustrates, infers, outlines, relates, selects, separates

    Synthesis: Builds a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure
    Examples: Write a company operations or process manual. Design a machine to perform a specific task. Integrates training from several sources to solve a problem. Revises and process to improve the outcome.
    Key Words: categorizes, combines, compiles, composes, creates, devises, designs, explains, generates, modifies, organizes, plans, rearranges, reconstructs, relates, reorganizes, revises, rewrites, summarizes, tells, writes.

    Examples: Select the most effective solution. Hire the most qualified candidate. Explain and justify a new budget.
    Key Words: appraises, compares, concludes, contrasts, criticizes, critiques, defends, describes, discriminates, evaluates, explains, interprets, justifies, relates, summarizes, supports.

    What a recipe for chaos! – if, that is,
    (1) one’s a televangelist trying to flog a fundamentalist “religion” which demands (a) total belief in & total acceptance of whatever claims the evangelist-in-chief makes; (b) tithes – ie 10% of one’s gross income – which go to those flogging it and whatever aggrandisement the flogger-in-chief deems fit

    (2) one’s “evangelising” the far right wing of the GOP/ Tea Party and pushing all the mad claims of the “birthers”, that anything Democratic is communism or (even better) communist Nazism/ fascism – and (of course) also trying to extract cash from true believers.

    For them and what they’re trying to flog – mainly for their own wealth and power the world’s most dangerous activities are:
    * analysing the claims, assembling expert information re them from a variety of sources:
    * summarising the information under various “category” headings, so all positions can be tabulated for:
    * weighing up all aspects of the topic and coming to evidence-based conclusions.

    Hamlet: for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

    Julius Cæsar: Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much; such men are dangerous

    Little wonder those on the USA far religious/ political right want the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills banned from school curricula!

  14. Good morning all.

    lizzie @ 21. Scary reading that stuff that shows how deeply entrenched is the cancer of the coalition.

  15. As implausible as Pyne was last night on Lateline that last 30 seconds of Craig Emerson was lost on the half dozen non-political tragics watching with me. I was called upon to unpick it all.

    Emerson should probably have simply said that Pyne’s explanations showed that the so called Slipper affair showed that the Liberals would say anything and do anything to get government and that when they wound up in court that would be proved.

    At that time of the evening, none but people who follow politics much as some follow sport would have been up to following Emerson’s summary.

  16. Sigh.

    Last night I posted here and on facebook about the cap on the top of my roof blowing away.

    This morning, I get a reply from my sister that ‘the carbon tax will make it more expensive to fix.’

    Yes, because my husband climbing on the roof and nailing it back on attracts a carbon price how, exactly?

    Never should have let the girl move to Far East Gippsland…

  17. SK and BK

    Was the cut-out the bit where Pyne floundered so badly he had to be rescued? I find it amazing that all Emma had to do was ask a couoke of direct questions and he was lost.
    So the Manager of Oppn Bus can’t actually explain his party’s Carbon Solution?
    Big Fail.

  18. BK,

    Emmo being all class wouldn’t say but chatter on twitter wasn’t impressed. Think it might be another go at protective propaganda the LNP are famous for.

  19. [Space Kidette ‏@SpaceKidette

    @abcMarkScott Why is Waleed Aly talking about a Carbon TAX. IT IS NOT A TAX. It is factually INCORRECT & YOU KNOW IT TO BE. #mediafail.]

  20. Ta for the link, SK.

    I’ll see you Krug, and raise you vice and hedonism!

    [THE one ray of light in the encircling gloom is that, like ancient Rome, our end of days might come in riotous debauchery. The Reverend Fred Nile MLC warns in his latest jeremiad that the O’Farrell government is ”willingly giving the city over to vice and hedonism”. It is worth quoting.]

  21. SK & lizzie

    facebook is the only place we talk nowadays!!

    Pity, because I used to love her madly….but she married someone who encouraged all the worst aspects of her character (and deliberately drove wedges between her and her family).

  22. [The Reverend Fred Nile MLC warns in his latest jeremiad that the O’Farrell government is ”willingly giving the city over to vice and hedonism”. ]

    And to think I didn’t have a reason to visit Sydney!

  23. Oh look. Apparently there IS such a thing as ‘pull factors’ —

    [ASYLUM seekers are paying people smugglers much higher rates to travel to Australia as they rush to make it while the ”good” Gillard government clings to power.

    Some of the thousands of asylum seekers waiting in Cisarua for a boat to Christmas Island told The Saturday Age yesterday that they regarded Julia Gillard as ”good” for them but feared she would lose power shortly.]

  24. [Never should have let the girl move to Far East Gippsland…]

    Oh no, tell her to watch out for people wearing moccasins and carrying pig’s heads.

  25. The Coalition: hypocrisy abounds. Obdurate, it demands a return to the policies of the Howard years, even though the Immigration Department believes these will no longer work. Tony Abbott says refugees must not be sent to a country that has not signed the UN Conventions on Refugees – somehow this did not trouble him when Howard was using Nauru, which was not then a signatory. Abbott’s boast that he would turn back the boats is reckless populism. The navy has outlined the hazards involved, and Indonesia will not accept any sent back. In the cold granite heart of the Coalition it thrills each time another cargo of refugees turns up to embarrass the government.

    Plumbing new depths of bad taste, that odious twerp from South Australia, Senator Cory Bernardi, has a video on his website offering to send Gillard a celebration cake with 196 candles, one for each boat arrival on her watch.

    The Greens: they just want to be pure, virtuous eunuchs. If the modified Malaysian solution were to save even one

    This is from bk and others link mike carlton

    Just se t it to liberals i know which is only 2 but kindly ask them to pass on as i know they dont want boats,

    Tried this way as they may,

  26. Some of the thousands of asylum seekers waiting in Cisarua for a boat to Christmas Island told The Saturday Age yesterday that they regarded Julia Gillard as ”good” for them but feared she would lose power shortly.

    The above i would say this is what the SMUGGLERS are telling them

  27. My Say

    [work. Tony Abbott says refugees must not be sent to a country that has not signed the UN Conventions on Refugees ]

    You could have added in your post Indonsesia has not signed, but abbott will turn boats back to indonesia who say they will not accept them

  28. I just got so angry I wrote an email of complaint to the abc about the fact the use of the term carbon tax is factually incorrect.

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