Fran Bailey, since 1996, previously 1990-1993.
McEwen covers a large swathe of central Victoria. It stretches from the northern and eastern fringe of Melbourne, with some parts of the seat lying barely 20 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. These suburbs include Hurstbridge, Healesville, Warburton, Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction.
McEwen stretches out to Seymour in the north and Alexandra and Eildon to the northeast. The seat also includes Macedon and surrounding towns.
McEwen was created when the Parliament was expanded in 1984, and was first won by Peter Cleeland of the ALP. The seat has always been marginal, and has only ever been held by two people in a quarter of a century.
Cleeland held on in 1987 before losing to Fran Bailey in 1990. Cleeland returned in 1993 before Bailey defeated him again in 1996. Bailey has held on at every election since 1996, but never with a great margin. She held on with a 2.2% margin in 1996, 1.0% in 1998 and 1.2% in 2001. She gained a 6.4% margin in 2004, but that melted away in 2007, when her margin was wiped out and the seat became the most marginal seat in the country.
Bailey led for most of the count after the 2007 election but her Labor opponent, Rob Mitchell, was declared the winner by six votes. A full recount gave Bailey a margin of twelve votes. This result was challenged in court and after seven months Bailey was declared the victor with a margin of twenty-seven votes.
Fran Bailey has announced her retirement. The ALP National Executive has preselected Rob Mitchell, who stood in McEwen in 2007. The Liberal Party attempted to recruit former cricketer Dean Jones, but he turned the offer down. The Greens have again preselected Steve Meacher, who stood for McEwen in 2007.
In addition to being the most marginal seat in Victoria, McEwen was the location of most of the deadly Black Saturday fires of February 2009, including Kilmore, Kinglake and Marysville. It is unclear how that will affect the federal election campaign in the seat.
2007 two-candidate-preferred result
I have broken up booths in McEwen between the six Local Government Areas that cover the seat.
- Macedon Ranges – western end of the seat, including Macedon, Gisborne and Lancefield.
- Mitchell – northwestern part of the seat, including Kilmore, Seymour and Broadford.
- Murrindindi – far northeastern part of the seat, including Yea, Alexandra and Marysville.
- Nillumbik – northeastern fringe of Melbourne, including Hurstbridge.
- Whittlesea – northern fringe of Melbourne.
- Yarra Ranges – suburbs on the eastern fringe of Melbourne, including Healesville, Warburton, Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction.
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