Darren Chester, since 2008.
Eastern Victoria. The seat of Gippsland covers most of the East Gippsland and Latrobe Valley regions, stretching as far west as Morwell and Traralgon.
The seat of Gippsland is an original federation electorate. It has always been held by conservative candidates, and has been held by the Country Party and National Party continously since 1922.
Gippsland was first won in 1901 by Allan McLean, a former Premier of Victoria and opponent of federation. McLean was a member of the Barton-Deakin protectionist party, but was at odds with their alliance with the Labour party. He was re-elected in 1903, but in 1904 he effectively left the Protectionist party to join the Free Trade ministry of George Reid. The ministry lasted for eleven months, and at the 1906 election McLean was defeated by George Wise, a Protectionist candidate.
Wise refused to join the Fusion in 1909 and defeated the Liberal candidate as an independent in 1910. In 1913, however, he lost to Liberal candidate James Bennett. Wise won back the seat, again as an independent, in 1914, and joined the new Nationalist party in 1916. He served briefly as a minister in the Hughes government from 1920 to 1921. Wise lost the seat in 1922 to the Country Party’s Thomas Paterson.
Paterson served as a minister in the Coalition government from 1926 until its defeat in 1929. He served as Deputy Leader of the Country Party from 1929 to 1937, and served as a minister again in the Lyons government from 1934 until the 1937 election. He retired from Parliament at the 1943 election.
The Country Party’s George Bowden won Gippsland in 1943. He held the seat until his retirement in 1961, and despite serving through twelve years of conservative rule, he never reached ministerial rank.
Peter Nixon won Gippsland in 1961. He joined the cabinet in 1967, and served in Coalition governments through to 1972 and again for the entirety of the Fraser government, before retiring at the 1983 election.
In 1983, Gippsland was won by Peter McGauran. McGauran held the seat for the Nationals for the next quarter century. He served as a junior minister in the Howard government from 1996 to 2005, barring a year from 1997 to 1998 when he was forced onto the backbench for his involvement in the ‘travel rorts’ affair. He was promoted to Cabinet in 2005 and was a senior member of the Nationals by the time of the 2007 election. He moved to the backbench in 2007 and retired from Parliament in 2008.
The 2008 Gippsland by-election was won by Nationals candidate Darren Chester, who defeated a challenge from both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party.
- Peter Gardner (Independent)
- Douglas Leitch (Sex Party)
- Jeff McNeill (Labor)
- Darren Chester (Nationals)
- Angie Foster (Family First)
- Peter Dorian (Rise Up Australia)
- Sav Mangion (Country Alliance)
- Deborah Faye Gravenall (Palmer United Party)
- Mark Guerin (Secular Party)
- Scott Campbell-Smith (Greens)
- Ben Buckley (Liberal Democrats)
Gippsland is a safe Nationals seat.
2010 two-candidate-preferred result
Booths have been divided into four areas. Polling places in East Gippsland and Wellington shires have been grouped together. Polling places in the Latrobe Valley have been split between the towns of Traralgon and Morwell.
The Nationals polled around 66-68% in the two large rural areas in the centre and east of the electorate. The Nationals won a slim 57.4% in Traralgon, and the ALP won 56.1% in Morwell.
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