Federal 2019 – the race in regional Victoria

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In this post I’m looking at the 13 electorates that I have defined as “regional Victoria”. This includes the major provincial cities of Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat, as well as the seats of Casey and La Trobe on the eastern edge of Melbourne (which some commenters have argued should have been included in my Melbourne analysis).

This area includes four Labor seats, five Liberal seats, three Nationals seats and one independent seat.

The Liberal seat of Casey covers the eastern fringe of Melbourne, including the Yarra Ranges. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith, holds the seat by a 4.5% margin, and the seat could very well be in play tomorrow.

The seat of Corangamite, which covers areas to the south-west of Geelong, is effectively a dead heat. Liberal MP Sarah Henderson has held this seat since 2013, and won with a 3.1% margin in 2016. The recent redistribution cut down the Liberal margin to effectively zero, and the seat is a key target for the Labor campaign.

The seat of Indi is in northern Victoria, covering Wodonga and Wangaratta. Independent MP Cathy McGowan has held this seat since 2013, now holding it by a 4.9% margin. She is retiring in 2019, and is hoping to hand over the baton to her ally Helen Haines. It’s often tough for independents to successfully hand over their seat to another independent, so this will be a seat well worth watching.

The seat of La Trobe covers Berwick, Narre Warren and Pakenham, all on the outer south-eastern fringe of Melbourne. Liberal MP Jason Wood holds the seat by a 3.2% margin. Wood has won the seat at four of the last five elections, with the exception of his defeat in 2010.

Mallee covers the north-western corner of Victoria, and is normally considered a safe Nationals seat. Andrew Broad holds Mallee by a 19.8% margin. Broad’s retirement has opened up the field here, with thirteen candidates running, the largest number in any one seat at this election. The Liberal Party are challenging the Nationals here, as well as a number of independents.

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