Geelong – Victoria 2018

ALP 6.0%

Incumbent MP
Christine Couzens, since 2014.

Geography
Inner suburbs of Geelong. Geelong covers the Geelong city centre, as well as the suburbs of Belmont, Fyansford, Manifold Heights, Newcomb and St Albans Park.

History
There has been an electoral district named Geelong in the Legislative Assembly for most of the Assembly’s existence. It existed as a four-member district from 1856 to 1859, then as a three-member district from 1877 to 1889, then as a two-member district from 1889 to 1904.

The single-member district existed from 1904 until 1976, and again since 1985. The seat long alternated between Labor and the Liberal/Nationalist parties. Since 1952 it has always been held by the party in government.

The newly created seat of Geelong was won in 1985 by the ALP’s Hayden Shell. He had held the seat of Geelong West since 1982. He held Geelong until 1992, when he was defeated by Ann Henderson of the Liberal Party.

Henderson was re-elected in 1996, but in 1999 she narrowly lost to the ALP’s Ian Trezise, who won a 0.03% margin, after gaining a 3.5% swing.

Trezise won re-election three more times, and retired in 2014. Labor’s Christine Couzens won Geelong that year.

Candidates

Assessment
Geelong is a marginal Labor seat, but would require a large swing for the Liberal Party to gain the seat.

2014 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Christine Couzens Labor 16,516 41.0 -1.3
Paula Kontelj Liberal 15,232 37.8 -2.3
Bruce Lindsay Greens 4,833 12.0 +1.2
Pedro Pegan Shooters And Fishers 1,021 2.5 +2.5
Ruth Clark Family First 962 2.4 +0.3
Douglas James Mann Independent 659 1.6 +1.6
Tony Leen Country Alliance 564 1.4 0.0
Sarah Hathway Socialist Alliance 468 1.2 +0.9
Informal 2,020 4.8

2014 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Christine Couzens Labor 22,556 56.0 +2.1
Paula Kontelj Liberal 17,699 44.0 -2.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Geelong have been divided into three parts: East, North and South. Those polling places in ‘South’ covers the area around Belmont on the south side of the river.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 53.9% in the north-west to 64.6% in the east.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 9.3% in the east to 15% in the north-west.

Voter group GRN prim % ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
North-West 15.0 53.9 10,110 25.1
East 9.3 64.6 7,754 19.3
South-West 12.6 57.4 4,672 11.6
Other votes 11.5 54.3 6,971 17.3
Pre-poll 11.2 53.0 10,748 26.7

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

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Pretty much all of the area listed as “East” was added at the last redistribution. You can see from the booth results that this has helped Labor here (at the expense of their longer-term position in Bellarine).

    The seat does contain some of the traditional affluent/desirable parts of inner Geelong, around Newtown and Geelong West. But it’s a pretty solid Labor district on these boundaries now.

  2. It’s quite remarkable how those polling places in the east (Whittington/Newcomb) stay consistently within the 65-70% range for Labor – no matter whether it’s a state or federal election, or whether it’s a good or bad year for Labor. The industrial working class northern suburbs of Geelong are less consistent in that regard and tend to swing more heavily between good and bad years despite still being very firmly Labor. Given demographic changes (house prices in the area comparatively shooting through the roof in recent times being one sign), I wonder how long this consistency will last?

    Labor should retain the seat nonetheless and Couzens has likely acquired a new personal vote, but it’s still not a seat they should take for granted. I can’t see the Liberals performing well enough this year for this to fall.

    I’m surprised the Greens haven’t preselected their candidate here yet as well as their complete lack of visibility (a stark contrast to this time in 2014). This is one regional seat where, because of the demographics, the Greens have the capacity to do quite well in if the local branches bothered to mobilise their local support base properly.

  3. Newcomb, St Albans Park, and Whittington have a lot of public housing, so I imagine they’re pretty rusted on Labor.

    The Greens have some potential in the inner city areas, but as long as the eastern suburbs are in this seat, it will likely remain fairly safe for Labor.

  4. Greens candidate isn’t Shane Elevato (though he was initially preselected and had a public Facebook page a week or so ago for less than 24 hours before it went down), but is https://m.facebook.com/lois.newman.geelong/

    Newman ran for council last year, but in the ward that largely sits within the South Barwon district, and got only nearly half the vote compared to what the Greens got in the same area at the last federal election. Has a low profile and isn’t particularly well-rooted in the community aside from her political endeavours.

    Darryn Lyons will almost certainly outpoll the Greens here now as a result, as much as I hate to say it.

  5. The question isn’t whether Lyons will out-poll the Greens, but whether he’ll out-poll the Liberals.

    Unlikely I would think.

  6. Reachtel has Lyons on 15% but still 13% behind Libs, also the Labor/Greens vote is only down 2%, so even if he made it to the final count Labor should win. Only hope would be for him to take votes from Labor.

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