Victorian election 2014

Gippsland South

Margin: Nationals 22.6%
Region: Eastern Victoria
Federal: Gippsland (75%)/McMillan (25%)

Candidates in ballot paper order



Rise Up Australia

Labor (bottom)


Country Alliance

Nationals (top)





RESULTS MAP: Two-party preferred booth results from 2010 state election showing Nationals majority 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.

Held securely for the Nationals by party leader Peter Ryan, the electorate of Gippsland South has never been held by Labor in an uninterrupted existence going back to 1859. It currently extends from Leongatha and Korumburra in the west to Sale in the east, encompassing a 200 kilometre stretch of coastline that includes Wilsons Promontory, and has not been affected by the redistribution. Sir Herbert Hyland first gained the seat for the Country Party in 1929, and retained it through an epic parliamentary tenure that ended with his death in 1970. It then fell to Liberal candidate James Taylor, who was defeated in 1973 and would later return as a member for the local upper house province. Neil McInnes then held the seat for the Country/National Party until he defected to the Liberals in 1980, for which he was rewarded with defeat at the next election in 1982. The Nationals have held the seat ever since, Peter Ryan succeeding Tom Wallace as member in 1992.

Peter Ryan rose to the Nationals leadership upon the resignation of Pat McNamara in the wake of the 1999 election defeat, despite his lack of ministerial experience. The coalition agreement reached in 2008 secured him a position in shadow cabinet, and with the election of the Baillieu government in 2010 he became Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Bushfire Response, as well as Deputy Premier. He soon became embroiled in controversy in the former portfolio, due to the government’s troubled relationship with Police Commissioner Simon Overland, who would resign in June 2011 over an Ombudsman’s finding that misleading statistics pointing to a drop in the violent crime rate had been released shortly before the 2010 election campaign. The following November, an adviser to Ryan on police matters, Tristan Weston, was found by an Office of Police Integrity inquiry to have been part of a campaign to undermine Overland that included leaks of sensitive material to the media.

Unnamed Liberal sources were quoted in the media suggesting Ryan should have stepped down as Deputy Premier, although he denied all knowledge of Weston’s activities. The issue flared again in March 2013, when a Herald-Sun report based on taped conversations between Weston and Tony Nutt, Baillieu’s chief-of-staff, appeared to indicate that Weston was offered Liberal Party funds as compensation for taking the fall over the OPI investigation, raising further questions as to how much Ryan knew about his activities. Baillieu’s decision to refer the matter to the newly formed Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission was the catalyst for Frankston MP Geoff Shaw’s decision to quit the Liberal Party and sit as an independent, which in turn was the catalyst for Baillieu’s resignation as Premier. In the reshuffle that followed, Ryan was reassigned to the new state development portfolio, said to have been created at his own suggestion.

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