Ripon – Victoria 2018

LIB 0.8%

Incumbent MP
Louise Staley, since 2014.

Western Victoria. Ripon covers rural areas to the west of Ballarat and Bendigo, including the towns of Ararat, Beaufort, Bridgewater, Maryborough, Stawell and Creswick. The electorate covers the entirety of the Pyrenees council area, and parts of Ararat, Ballarat, Buloke, Central Goldfields, Hepburn, Loddon and Northern Grampians council areas.

The current Ripon electoral district has existed since 1976. In that form, it was held by the Liberal Party from 1976 to 1999, and by the ALP since then.

The first Ripon district was created in 1945. It was held by the ALP’s Ernie Morton from 1945 to 1947 and again from 1950 to 1955. The Liberal Party’s Rutherford Guthrie held the seat from 1947 to 1950. The original Ripon district was abolished in 1955.

When Ripon was created in 1976, it was first won by Liberal MP Tom Austin, who had held the seat of Hampden since 1972. Hampden was abolished in the 1976 redistribution, and Austin moved to Ripon.

Austin served as a minister in the Liberal state government from 1978 to 1982 and as Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 1985 to 1987. He retired in 1992.

Austin was succeeded by Steve Elder, who had been Liberal Member for Ballarat North from 1988 until the seat’s abolition in 1992. He served as a Parliamentary Secretary in the Kennett government until his defeat at the 1999 election.

Elder was defeated in 1999 by Joe Helper. Helper has been re-elected in 2002, 2006 and 2010, and served as a minister in the Labor government from 2006 to 2010.


Ripon is the most marginal Liberal seat in the state. The sitting MP should benefit from a new personal vote, but could still lose the seat very easily.

2014 result

Daniel Mcglone Labor 14,05935.1-3.7
Louise Staley Liberal 13,11832.7+4.2
Scott Turner Nationals 7,34218.3-2.7
Rod May Greens 2,8567.1+1.2
Danielle FowlerFamily First8972.2-0.7
Trevor DomaschenzCountry Alliance4951.2-1.5
Mitchell LeeDemocratic Labour Party4901.2+1.2
Peter MulcahyRise Up Australia4481.1+1.1
Kevin LoitertonAustralian Christians3520.9+0.9

2014 two-party-preferred result

Louise Staley Liberal 20,32950.8-0.9
Daniel McGlone Labor 19,72849.2+0.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in Ripon has been divided into three parts, along local government boundaries:

  • North-East – Central Goldfields and Loddon council areas
  • North-West – Buloke and Northern Grampians council areas
  • South – Ararat, Ballarat, Hepburn and Pyrenees council areas

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote across Ripon, but this was only thanks to a large majority of the vote in the north-west, where they polled 61%. Labor won 50.2% in the south and 51.9% in the north-east.

The Nationals primary vote ranged from 15.9% in the south to 29.9% in the north-west.

Voter groupNAT prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes16.650.46,87317.2

Election results in Ripon at the 2014 Victorian state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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  1. Labour gain, I think what is happening nationally (very unpopular coalition gov) could tilt this to labour, Victoria will swing to labour even at the next Fed, Labour should do much better here and gain this seat, Since the CFA dispute is long gone now

  2. There was a very high leakage from National to Labor in 2014. If the new Liberal member is even half good, she will manage to consolidate some of this to herself. I’d expect an above average swing to the Liberals here.

  3. @Daniel, ‘CFA dispute is long gone now’ – what planet are you living on? It’s still very much alive in regional Victoria.

    I think the issue is more pertinent now than it’s ever been.

    Agree @Peter, the leakage cost the Libs and makes this seat look far more vulnerable than it really is. With the absence of the Nats this time, the Libs should hold comfortably.

  4. Population trends favour Labor here with the expansion of the Ballarat suburbs where Staley doesn’t have much of a profile and where Labor is campaigning.

  5. I think you’ll find that Rural seats like these will have swings towards the Coalition but in Metro seats a swing towards Labor Especially in this election, The CFA and other rural issues will help the coalition while recent events such as yesterday’s attack will help Labor (The premier’s response might help him)

  6. On the ground, I’m seeing pretty much an equal number of Staley and De Santis signs. Any predictions as to which way this will go?

  7. The momentum statewide is very much in Labor’s favour, and the margin here is so small. Even if they happen to underperform here relative to the rest of the state they should still manage a 0.8% swing.

  8. Fascinating contest. I expect Labor to increase its majority, and the pendulum says Ripon is first cab off the rank. But incumbency is crucial in rural seats and first term members often get a boost. So Staley is a good chance to hold on against the tide.

  9. We often here in the media “down to the wire” but does anyone who use the term know its origin? Many phrases are of army or sailing origin. Down to the wire refers to an army unit dug in defence were barbed wire obstacles are position to the front to block or channel the enemy into the killing ground for machine gun fire to slaughter them. However to be effective the wire has to be covered by observation and fire “down to the wire” otherwise the enemy could cut the wire undetected. Another over use phrase is “by and large” which see a “large” square sail set “by” the wind. Another one is “close to the wind” before the sail luffs (flaps without wind in the sail).

  10. John Roskam of the IPA looking for some solace said a few days ago:
    ‘Leafy, affluent seats in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs swung viciously against the Liberals, while in some country and regional areas the swing against the party was practically non-existent.’ As Staley an IPAer it must have been Ripon he was clinging to. Still she did very well to almost survive

  11. This is a devastating loss for the Liberals. Whilst the eastern suburbs seats will naturally swing back in the future, rural incumbents are notoriously difficult to dislodge. The next redistribution may make things harder too. If no rural seat is abolished then a redrawn Ripon will probably add to Labor’s margin.

    Also, what happened to Stakey’s lead? In 24 hours the seat went from something like Lib+70 to ALP+30. It’s unlikely there were enough votes in that time to produce a 100 vote swing. Evidently, the distribution of preferences found something the indicative count did not.

  12. The last redistribution saw a seat in northern Victoria abolished and consequently Ripon expanded north. It’s guesswork, but I think we might see the reverse this time. That is, the rural seats remain but need to expand. As a result Ripon sheds its more remote areas, and perhaps takes in a bit more of Ballarat.

  13. There needs to be a voter fraud investigation here, Or at least a full vote recount, 15 votes is too narrow, Even closer than Herbert in 2016. This is not over yet. Stop saying the Liberals have won, This is too close,

  14. Well that’s a turn up. Another reversal. This time the recount changed initial distribution of preferences result.

    Again I’d love to know what caused this. Was it simply just a question of which votes to admit and which to reject?

    Point in fact the Liberals have won this seat. Staley will be sworn in as the member for Ripon. Labor is free to challenge the result if they wish. Depending on what the court finds, that may mean the result is reversed or a fresh election called. But one thing it will not find is “vote fraud”; allegations of such have always proven to be sensationalistic nonsense.

  15. Well done Louse Staley who is a good small L candidate. That makes 4 experienced professional Liberal women in parliament now. They all should get a shadow ministry. However why didn’t the Liberals wait until the election was finalised before selecting the new leader and deputy leader?

  16. Adrian, Wait until the recount, Or was there already a recount? Get the facts before you jump to conclusions like this ”She hasn’t won yet”

  17. Now there are four good Liberal women in the Parliament and they all should be made Shadow Ministers in my opinion. However why didn’t they wait until all the results were known before electing the new Liberal leader and the deputy?

  18. is Staley small l liberal? ipa links….would expect this matter to go to the court of disputed returns which given the tiny margin will probably call a fresh election. Liberals could argue for a voice in opposition?

  19. Daniel, this WAS the recount. Staley has won Ripon.

    Labor (or whoever) can challenge the result in the Court of Disputed Returns if they want. But AFAIK they need to have some sort of argument that the VEC made a legitimate error, either in counting (e.g. wrongly rejected formal votes as ‘informal’) or eligibility (wrongly struck someone off the roll, postal voter didn’t get their ballot paper, etc)…and that this would have been enough to affect the result.

    Maybe that will be the case, but simply saying “it’s really close and we lost, so we need a recount!” is not enough.

  20. I asked Antony green, It appears it was the recount, But since the margin is so tight, It needs caution. (voter fraud is unlikely but possible) It can happen anywhere not just in the USA. Also the Absence of the Nationals did not help her, Because there was going to be a swing towards the government, and the Nationals would have come in 3rd place, and Labor would have had Higher 1st preference votes due to the splitting, I highly doubt 100% of the National preferences would have gone to the Liberals, i say about 90% of them would have though, National voters either voted Labor this time, Or a small party such as the Christian Democrats, (And didn’t the Christian Democrats preference Labor over the Liberals?)

  21. Mark Mulcair – Yes correct. Why would the ALP be interested in a petty court challenge as they have won the general election convincingly and will have so many MP’s all wanting and fighting over getting a ministry.

  22. 55 isn’t a great number, It should have been a landslide because the opposition is just ruining this country, If any of you are still a member of the party you should resign, We will just get nowhere

  23. I find it strange how this didn’t swing, Compared to safer seats like Hawthorn, Louise wasn’t the most popular MP, Although the CFA could have hurt labor’s chances here

  24. there would I suspect be formal votes ruled informal and visa versa ………..i would say in any seats with a 15 vote winning margin……….. there would be a possible case for the court of disputed returns……….. there is just not the precision in a seat with 40000 votes

  25. Daniel: Aside from taking in a very small part of the Ballarat metro area (suburbs of Lucas and Miners Rest), Ripon is easily a rural seat. Labor had next to no swings in many rural seats, and it’s possible that the Nat leakage hypothesised on previous comments may have meant that Ripon in 2014 was ‘unnaturally Labor’.

  26. Krispy, even then, Lucas, Miners Rest and Mitchell Park are not prime areas for Labor, with very minimal public housing compared to other areas like Sebastopol (in Buninyong) and Delacombe (in Wendouree).


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