South-West Coast by-election, 2015

October 31, 2015

Cause of by-election
Former Premier and Liberal leader Denis Napthine resigned on 31 August 2015.

MarginLIB 11.0%

Geography
South-Western Victoria. This seat covers the South Australian border and the western end of Victoria’s southern coast. It covers the towns of Warrnambool, Portland, Port Fairy, and Macarthur. South-West Coast covers the City of Warrnambool and a majority of the Shire of Moyne and the Shire of Glenelg.

History

South-West Coast was created at the 2002 election, replacing the abolished seats of Portland and Warrnambool.

At the 2002 election it was won by former Liberal leader Denis Napthine. He had been Member for Portland since 1988, and Minister for Youth and Community Services in the second term of the Kennett government. He was elected leader of the Liberal Party following Kennett’s defeat in 1999, and led the party until 2002, when he was replaced by Robert Doyle as Liberal leader months before the 2002 state election.

At the 2002 election, Napthine moved to the new seat of South-West Coast, holding it with a 0.7% margin despite a large swing to the ALP. He was re-elected with a larger margin in 2006. In 2010, he increased his margin to 11.9%.

Napthine served as a minister in the Bailleu Coalition government. In March 2013, Bailleu resigned as Premier and Napthine was elected as leader of the Liberal Party and Premier.

Napthine led the Liberal/National coalition into the 2014 election, and the government was narrowly defeated.

Candidates

  • Rodney Van De Hoef
  • Roma Britnell (Liberal)
  • Roy Reekie (Independent)
  • Jim Douglas (Country Party)
  • Michael Neoh (Nationals)
  • Pete Smith
  • Thomas Campbell (Greens)
  • Swampy Marsh
  • Jennifer Gamble (Animal Justice Party)
  • Lillian Len (Australian Christians)
  • Michael McCluskey

Assessment
Napthine’s margin of 11% is reasonably solid, and the Liberal Party would be expected to win. The Nationals have not contested South-West Coast since they polled 4% in 2006, after polling 11% in 2002. They are unlikely to be a serious threat, but if the Nationals have a chance, now would be the time.

2014 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Denis Napthine Liberal 23,234 57.0 +7.7
Roy Reekie Labor 11,507 28.2 +3.6
Thomas Campbell Greens 3,993 9.8 +1.6
Steven Moore Country Alliance 945 2.3 -1.2
Michael McCluskey Independent 654 1.6 +1.6
Linda Smith Independent 449 1.1 +1.1

2014 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Denis Napthine Liberal 24,914 61.0 -0.9
Roy Reekie Labor 15,947 39.0 +0.9
Polling places in South-West Coast at the 2014 Victorian state election. Glenelg in orange, Moyne in green, Warrnambool in blue. Click to enlarge.

Polling places in South-West Coast at the 2014 Victorian state election. Glenelg in orange, Moyne in green, Warrnambool in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths in South-West Coast have been divided into three parts, along local government areas: Glenelg, Moyne and Warrnambool. A majority of the electorate’s population lives in the Warrnambool area. Glenelg is the other major town in the electorate, although the council area also covers surrounding rural areas.

The Liberal Party’s two-party-preferred vote ranged from 57% in Glenelg to 70% in Moyne, with Warrnambool falling in between with 60.8% of the two-party-preferred vote.

The Greens came third, with a vote ranging from 8.6% in Moyne to 11% in Glenelg.

Voter group GRN % LIB 2PP % Total votes % of votes
Warrnambool 10.1 60.8 10,283 25.2
Moyne 8.6 70.0 5,159 12.7
Glenelg 11.0 57.1 3,887 9.5
Other votes 9.7 59.6 21,453 52.6
Two-party-preferred votes in South-West Coast at the 2014 Victorian state election.

Two-party-preferred votes in South-West Coast at the 2014 Victorian state election.

Greens primary votes in South-West Coast at the 2014 Victorian state election.

Greens primary votes in South-West Coast at the 2014 Victorian state election.

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room. If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.