Call of the board: regional Victoria

Part four in the region-by-region review of the results in each seat at the May federal election.

This site’s slow-moving Call of the Board series, which takes a closer look at the results for every seat at the May 18 election, now makes it to regional Victoria. This area once enjoyed its fair share of marginal seats (see Ballarat, Bendigo and Monash/McMillan below), but now has only Corangamite to offer in the way of reliable election night seats-to-watch. Nonetheless, there were a few interesting things going on in the results for those who cared to look. (And while you’re here, note also the post on Brexit developments immediately below this one).

Ballarat (Labor 11.0%; 3.6% swing to Labor): Labor has been strengthening in this once highly marginal seat since Catherine King gained it at the 2001 election, at which it was the only seat in the country to shift from Coalition to Labor (with some help from the retirement of Michael Ronaldson, later a Senator). The only serious speed bump in that time was a 6.8% swing to the Liberals in 2013, reducing her margin to 4.9%, which she has now almost made good with successive swings of 2.4% and 3.6%. The Liberal primary vote on this occasion was down 4.0% despite the absence of the Nationals, who polled 4.2% in 2016, although they did face new competition on the right from the United Australia Party, which polled 4.6%.

Bendigo (Labor 9.0%; 5.2% swing to Labor): Victoria’s other regional city seat has followed a similar pattern to Ballarat over time: won by Labor from the Liberals in 1998, retained only narrowly in 2004 and 2013, and now looking secure again after successive swings of 2.5% and 5.2% in 2016 and 2019. The current member, Lisa Chesters, has now almost made up the 8.2% swing she suffered when she came to the seat on Steve Gibbons’ retirement in 2013. The Liberal primary vote was down 6.1% amid an overload of competition on the right, with One Nation, Conservative National and Rise Up Australia all in the field alongside the ubiquitous United Australia Party.

Casey (Liberal 4.6%; 0.1% swing to Liberal): Located on Melbourne’s eastern outskirts and held for the Liberals by the Speaker, Tony Smith, Casey was one of many Victorian seats that looked promising for Labor after the state election, but singularly failed to deliver on the day. Smith actually picked up a very slightly swing on two-party preferred, and none of the primary vote swings were particularly significant. Labor tended to do better in the more urbanised western end of the electorate, particularly in those parts of it newly added from La Trobe in the redistribution.

Corangamite (LABOR NOTIONAL GAIN 1.1%; 1.0% swing to Labor): Corangamite was designated as a notional Labor seat by the barest possible margin, so whoever received the swing was almost certain to win the seat. That proved to be Labor’s Libby Coker, just, in a result perfectly in line with the state average. Defeated Liberal member Sarah Henderson picked up a few swings in the booths newly added to the electorate on the Bellarine Peninsula, but the Great Ocean Road swung to Labor, reflecting its affluent and educated sea-changer demographic. The Greens were down 3.0% on the primary vote, as voters situated in the state’s south-west failed to warm to a candidate called Simon Northeast.

Corio (Labor 10.3%; 2.1% swing to Labor): Labor’s Richard Marles picked up 4.2% on the primary vote and 2.1% on two-party preferred, the former assisted by a small field of four candidates. The Liberals picked up some swings in Geelong’s down-market north, but the city centre and its surrounds went solidly to Labor.

Flinders (Liberal 5.6%; 1.4% swing to Labor): One of many disappointments for Labor was their failure to seriously threaten Greg Hunt in an area that had swung forcefully their way at the state election. Hunt was also little troubled by Julia Banks, who managed 13.8% of the primary vote, well behind Labor on 24.7%. Banks’s presence cut into the vote share for Liberal, Labor and the Greens – Hunt was down 3.8% to 46.7%, and needed preferences to win the seat for the first time since he came to it in 2001.

Gippsland (Nationals 16.7%; 1.5% swing to Labor): For reasons not immediately apparent, Labor was up 3.0% on the primary vote and cut slightly into what remains a secure margin for Nationals member Darren Chester.

Indi (Independent 1.4% versus Liberal; 4.1% swing to Liberal): As a number of highly trumpeted independents failed to live up to the hype elsewhere, Helen Haines performed a remarkable feat in retaining the independent mantle of Cathy McGowan. Haines’ primary vote of 32.4% was only slightly short of McGowan’s 34.8% on her re-election in 2016, although the Liberals put up a stronger show after gouging half of the Nationals vote. An interesting feature of the result was the 7.7% swing to the Liberals on two-party-preferred versus Labor, suggesting Haines’ preferences favoured the Liberals more strongly than did McGowan’s.

La Trobe (Liberal 4.5%; 1.3% swing to Liberal): A swing to the Liberals in Melbourne marginals was not a feature of too many pre-election predictions, but such was the outcome in La Trobe. Both major parties were up slightly on the primary vote amid a smaller field of candidates than 2016.

Mallee (Nationals 16.2%; 3.6% swing to Labor): Vacated with the demise of Andrew Broad’s two-term career, this was retained by the Nationals against a challenge from the Liberals, as it was in 2013 when Broad succeeded John Forrest. Liberal candidate Serge Petrovich actually fell out of the preference candidate before Labor, despite outpolling them 18.8% to 15.7% on the primary vote, and his preferences duly delivered a large winning margin to Nationals candidate Anne Webster. Webster would likely have won the seat even if Petrovich had survived to the final count, given her 27.9% to 18.8% advantage on the primary vote.

McEwen (Labor 5.0%; 1.0% swing to Liberal): Despite being an area of dynamic growth, particularly around Mernda and Doreen at Melbourne’s northern edge, McEwen turned in a largely static result on this occasion. This was in contrast to its form at the five elections from 2004 to 2016, when two-party swings ranged from 4.1% to 9.0%. Both major parties were down slightly on the primary vote as One Nation took to the field, scoring 5.9%, and Labor member Rob Mitchell’s two-party margin was slightly clipped after a blowout win in 2016.

Monash (Liberal 7.4%; 0.2% swing to Labor): The solid margin built up by Russell Broadbent since 2004 in the seat formerly known as McMillan was little disturbed, although the 7.6% recorded by One Nation took a 3.6% bite out of his primary vote. A noteworthy feature of the result was a heavy swing to the Liberals in the Latrobe Valley towns of Moe and Newborough, a pattern reflected in coal and electricity producing areas across the country.

Nicholls (Nationals 20.0%; 2.5% swing to Labor): After a three-cornered contest in 2016, in which Damian Drum gained the seat for the Nationals on the retirement of Liberal member Sharman Stone, the Liberals vacated the field in Nicholls (formerly Murray), and Drum retained the seat with a majority of the primary vote. One Nation polled 11.3%, easily the best result of the five seats they contested in Victoria.

Wannon (Liberal 10.4%; 1.2% swing to Liberal): Liberal member Dan Tehan picked up slight favourable swings on both the primary and two-party vote. Former Triple J presenter Alex Dyson polled 10.4% as an independent.

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.

731 comments on “Call of the board: regional Victoria”

  1. Confessions @ #698 Saturday, August 31st, 2019 – 9:41 pm

    The Greens excel at meaningless empty gestures which they’ve been indulging in now for years. The worst of their empty gesture has been addressing GHGEs. More recently I’ve posted articles exposing the Greens walking back their support for renewable energy. It started in Tas and has now leaked into Victoria.

    I’d say this pattern of behaviour can be said to be extreme.

    Meaningless empty gestures can’t be extreme in any place that speaks English. The semantics will not allow it.

  2. OC:

    Dio
    Look for the evidence of gay suicides. It is often years old and not strong

    I believe the idea that suicide in teenage football players (irrespective of sexuality) is higher than other sports is derived from a US study of collegiate sports, comparing (American) football (higher) to other major sports (all essentially the same).

    It is fairly widely believed that gay (male) teen suicide is higher than male teen suicide, irrespective of whether this belief is actually correct.

    There would of course be potential to “put two and two together” and conclude that the combination magnifies rather than dampens the effect (which could very well be the case)

    However, the question in any event is whether RA can make a clause in the CoC that (it would seem) absolutely prohibits the publishing of statements that discriminate on the basis of sexuality. This relates to some extent to whether they have a reasonable basis for doing so. It would seem likely that concern about teenage gay suicide is a reasonable basis (regardless of strength of evidence, and even its drection), at least by the (low) standards professional sport.

    There is a second question as to whether this is actually the basis for the relevant code of conduct clause. The opinions published by various (gay or pro-gay) people associated with Rugby assert that it is, but I’m not sure how it would be possible to tell. There are of course contrary opinions asserting that it’s all about disrepute in the eyes of sponsors and implying that this should ignored (based on some arguments that Rugby is somehow not operating commercially whilst pulling in 100s of millions of dollars in revenue)

    And finally there is a question as to whether the tribunal correctly decided the matter, including the detail that it was a high level breach.

  3. Dio
    Indeed
    Suicide is often multi-factorial. Unless someone leaves a suicide note saying that they are committing suicide because they identify as gay, the research is largely conjecture.
    Suicide prevention does not have a lot of science behind it
    In NSW we have spent a fortune on RMO welfare after 2 suicides a few years ago. Personally I do not think that the current work-load of a JMO is a particularly strong suicide risk but JMOs are driven people who may have a brittle response to the slings and arrows of life

  4. Fess…..I can’t really take them seriously. They are a moveable tent. If one were to approach them in a Red shirt, they will recede. They’re a political rainbow. The closer you get to them, the less there is to see. They are fakers. The last thing they ever want is to be close to the Red.

  5. I realise Confessions is throwing out bait but her claims are absurd.

    Victorian Greens Push For 100% Renewable Energy By 2030:

    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/victoria-greens-renewables-mb1190/

    “The Victorian Greens will move an amendment in State Parliament this week to boost the Victorian Renewable Energy Target for 2030 to 100%.

    The Andrews Labor Government introduced the Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Amendment Bill 2019 into Parliament last month. It would lift the current VRET of 25 per cent renewables by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025 to 50 per cent by 2030.

    Member for Brunswick, Dr. Tim Read, says this isn’t enough.

    “Victoria is already on track to reach this target by 2029,” said Dr. Read. “We need a more ambitious target to adequately respond to the climate emergency and to provide stable and reliable energy for Victorian homes and businesses.”
    :::
    The Victorian Greens say they have already developed and costed a comprehensive plan to achieve a 100 per cent renewables goal. This includes, but isn’t limited to:”

    http://greenmarkets.com.au/news-events/renewable-energy-index-may-2019

    Victoria is already close to achieving its target of 40% of Victorian power generationcoming from renewables by 2025 and within striking distance of their 2030 target for 50% renewables. Victoria requires about 2,000MW of further projects to reach its 50%target. It would only need a further two renewable energy contracting rounds similar in scale to the one it concluded in 2018 and it will have bridged the gap to its 2030 target. Note Victoria defines its target in terms of generation, not consumption. Assuming its remaining brown coal generation remains at historical levels, Victoria would re-emerge as a major power exporter under such a scenario.

  6. Pegasus says:
    Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Victorian Greens Push For 100% Renewable Energy By 2030:

    So dam what; they will not be in government. All they will use their words and action to stop Labor getting to 40%.

  7. Player One

    Victoria ill stop generating power with brown coal because power stations have a limited life and Victoria is not building new coal fired power stations.

    The facts are plain, the bullshit however is not.

  8. “A fundamental point. Greens who preference Libs above the ALP are confused wankers.”

    A fundamental point. Laborites who preference Libs above the Greens are confused wankers.


  9. Victoria ill stop generating power with brown coal because power stations have a limited life and Victoria is not building new coal fired power stations.

    Yep, and Loy Yang looks pretty close to death atm…

  10. frednk @ #708 Saturday, August 31st, 2019 – 10:13 pm

    Player One

    Victoria ill stop generating power with brown coal because power stations have a limited life and Victoria is not building new coal fired power stations.

    The facts are plain, the bullshit however is not.

    I think you could have stopped after “Victoria ill …”

    Has it occured to you that if all the coal-fired power stations currently operating or currenly planned to operate, continue to operate until the end of their currently planned lifetimes, that we are all cooked? 🙁

  11. Pegasus
    Do power stations have a limited life? Yes
    Are new power stations being build? No

    The bullshit is trying to generate a different set of facts from those realities.

    The problem is the bullshit being generated by the Liberals and the Greens, trying to generate different facts is preventing a sane response to reality.

    The Greens are joining the Liberals in causing serious problems.

  12. frednk @ #715 Saturday, August 31st, 2019 – 10:23 pm

    Do power stations have a limited life? Yes
    Are new power stations being build? No

    You really haven’t a clue, do you?

    https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Coal_fired_power_stations/Interim%20Report/c02

    Relevant research and advocacy efforts have so far focused, with a high degree of success in many places, on stopping new coal plants. But early phase out of both coal production and consumption assets will also be necessary to stay well below 2°C.

    In this scenario, black coal fired electricity is largely phased out by the early 2030s, while the more emissions intensive brown coal fired plants are all closed by 2020.

    Did you get that? 2020? That’s next year, in case you still don’t understand 🙁

  13. Player one.

    Your post was relating to Victoria. The situation in Victoria is well documented. There is no old information claiming there are new power stations being built. The situation is clear.

    The last is currently scheduled to close in 2048.

    To date all slated for closure have closed ahead of schedule.

    They have closed because they are not economical, they have closed because of renewable energy sources, wind mills that the Greens now hate being a major part of the mix.

    Anyone who wants them to close before the alternatives are built are pushing a policy that is not going to happen. It is bullshit.

  14. frednk @ #717 Saturday, August 31st, 2019 – 10:36 pm

    Anyone who wants them to close before the alternatives are built are pushing a policy that is not going to happen. It is bullshit.

    I’m not saying it’s going to happen. I’m just pointing out that it has to happen if you want to have a chance of Australia meeting its Paris committment, which is to keep global warming below 2 degrees.

    If you don’t want that, by all means continue to burn brown coal past 2020.

    But don’t then try and claim that Labor policy – which is to meet our Paris committments – is not contradictory 🙁

  15. frednk @ #720 Saturday, August 31st, 2019 – 10:51 pm

    And the solution is to drive gas guzzlers to Queensland?

    No, the solution is to close down the brown coal power stations. Or else stop pretending that you care about global warming.

    Labor people here seem to wonder why they lost the last election. One reason is that Labor policies are so riddled with contradictions that no-one really believed a word of them.

    At least the Liberals – and the people who voted for them – know the Liberals are simply lying.

    Labor just looks stupid by pretending that they are not, when their policies are so easily seen to be contradictory.

  16. Like with some others I sense Player One is drifting towards the Greens. The stooges have driven her away. I sense the good in her, the ALP hasn’t driven it from her fully.


  17. Player One says:
    Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    frednk @ #720 Saturday, August 31st, 2019 – 10:51 pm

    And the solution is to drive gas guzzlers to Queensland?

    No, the solution is to close down the brown coal power stations. Or else stop pretending that you care about global warming.

    A party that is trying to tell us to go back to the caves is full of it. What has to be developed is a sane path. The party that is trying to tell us to go back to the caves is providing nothing of use.


  18. nath says:
    Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Like with some others I sense Player One is drifting towards the Greens. The stooges have driven her away. I sense the good in her, the ALP hasn’t driven it from her fully.

    The Greens are there to drift to if you don’t actually want something done.

  19. Player One says:
    Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 10:55 pm
    frednk @ #720 Saturday, August 31st, 2019 – 10:51 pm

    And the solution is to drive gas guzzlers to Queensland?
    No, the solution is to close down the brown coal power stations. Or else stop pretending that you care about global warming.

    Labor people here seem to wonder why they lost the last election.

    Climate change per se was not a negative issue for Labor. Labor gained vote share among voters sensitised on that issue. Labor lost the election on the inter-connected trio – jobs, household incomes and incomes security. Among voters that swung to the Liberals, 75% were motivated by these issues.

    It is entirely false to say we don’t know why we lost. We know too well. We got beaten because the Liberals know how to campaign more effectively on jobs and incomes. Labor did not lose because they were perceived to be pro-coal. They lost in Queensland in particular because they were perceived to be anti-coal and therefore weak on jobs.

    The really simple facts are these. Australian seaborne thermal coal exports comprise 3% of annual coal consumption globally, and coal in all comprises 40% of fuel used for electricity generation. So total Australian thermal coal exports – not merely Queensland exports – comprise 1.2% of coal consumed in electricity production globally.

    If the Queensland coal industry closed tomorrow it would make exactly no difference whatsoever to global GHG emissions. The coal not shipped from Australia would be found elsewhere and would be used instead.

    Mining and shipping coal is not the cause of global heating. Combusting fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal – and land clearing create GHG emissions. We have to focus our attention on these things if we want to change emissions.

  20. frednk, P1,

    The alternatives are being built. Wind spills regularly in SA, huge amounts of solar are going in all over the place, Snowy Hydro 2 and PHES in Tas and QLD are moving forward, and the state governments (even NSW, it now seems) are about to unfurl a new tranche of network assets to transmit the power to where it is needed.

    Coal-fired power stations will shut down before the end of their technical lifetimes because of economics. Brown coal is more expensive to run than black, so it will likely go first. FFS, Loy Yang and Yallourn keep breaking down and earn nothing for large parts of the day. IMHO it won’t be long before one of their owners pull the plug (and LY is due to run until 2048 – not very likely).

  21. EGT
    There definitely a hypothesis that the repeated head trauma in gridiron is a cause of depression and suicide.
    A male sportsman saying they are gay during their career is one of the final taboos whereas for women it’s so common no one comments on it.

  22. In AFL maybe but not in the Rugbys- there have been openly gay NRL players since the 90s and the Bingham Cup was founded in 2002

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