Victorian election 2014


Margin: Nationals 13.6%
Region: Northern Victoria
Federal: McEwen (42%)/Murray (29%)/Indi (23%)/Bendigo (6%)

Outgoing member (Benalla): Bill Sykes (Nationals)

Candidates in ballot paper order




Family First

Nationals (top)

Liberal (centre)

Country Alliance

Labor (bottom)





RESULTS MAP: Two-party preferred booth results from 2010 state election showing Liberal majority in blue, Nationals in green and Labor in red. New boundaries in thicker blue lines, old ones in thinner red lines. Boundary data courtesy of Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

PAST RESULTS: Break at 1999 represents effect of the subsequent redistribution.

DEMOGRAPHICS: Based on 2012 census. School Leavers is percentage of high school graduates divided by persons over 18. LOTE is number identified as speaking language other than English at home, divided by total population.

The new seat of Euroa covers an area of central northern Victoria formerly in the abolished electorates of Benalla, Seymour and Rodney, extending from Heathcote and Kilmore in the west to Benalla in the east. It draws 18,700 voters from Benalla at the electorate’s eastern end, in an area extending from Nagambie and Avenel north-eastwards to Benalla itself; 17,600 in the south from Seymour, covering Kilmore north to Seymour and Puckapunyal; 7,100 in the north-west from Rodney, including Heathcote north to Girgarre and Merrigum; and a further 1000 voters in the north who were formerly in Shepparton.

The biggest contributor to the new electorate, Benalla, existed since 1904, and was held for the National/Country Party for all but three brief interruptions from 1920 onwards. Two of those interruptions involved conservative independents, but the third was a shock win by Labor’s Denise Allen at the by-election held after then Nationals leader Pat McNamara quit politics following the 1999 election defeat. The rural backlash against the Kennett government at the election had already pared back the margin from 15.4% to 7.4%, and it was followed at the by-election by a swing of 7.8%. The defeated Nationals candidate, Bill Sykes, ran again at the 2002 election, and this time prevailed by a margin of 2.0%. The electorate recovered its natural equilibrium thereafter, recording swings of 15.5% in 2006 and 9.5% in 2010.

With Sykes to retire at the election, and Rodney MP Paul Weller determined not to contest an electorate he doesn’t live in, the Nationals have a new candidate for the seat in Stephanie Ryan, a 27-year-old adviser to Peter Walsh, the Agriculture Minister, deputy Nationals leader and member for Swan Hill, who won preselection ahead of Martin Corboy, production manager for a stock feed company and the Nationals’ Senate candidate at last year’s federal election. The Liberals are also fielding a candidate, Benalla physiotherapist Tony Schneider – much to the chagrin of the Nationals, which they claim to be in breach of the coalition agreement. The move was also criticised from within the Liberal Party by former Premier Ted Baillieu. It follows tensions between the two parties resulting from a perception the Nationals assisted independent Cathy McGowan in her successful run against Sophie Mirabella in the federal seat of Indi.

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