By-elections triggered in Victoria


Following dual resignations of senior Liberals on August 31, we’ll be seeing two Victorian state by-elections in neighbouring rural seats in south-western Victoria later this month.

Former Premier Denis Napthine and former minister Terry Mulder both resigned from their seats on August 31, after losing power in November 2014.

Napthine’s seat of South-West Coast covers Warrnambool and Glenelg in the south-west corner of Victoria, and Mulder’s seat of Polwarth lies immediately to the east of South-West Coast, covering Anglesea, Lorne, Lismore, Colac, Camperdown, Terang and Mortlake.

Both seats are held by the Liberal Party by margins of around 11%. The Labor Party has announced that they won’t contest either seat, while the Nationals have announced they will run in both seats.

The date for the by-elections has not yet been set.

Read the guide to the Polwarth by-election.

Read the guide to the South-West Coast by-election.

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  1. South Western Victoria is not really Nationals territory at all. Barring a strong Independent emerging out of somewhere, should be safe Liberal retain.

    Polwarth does have a base for the Greens along the Great Ocean Road towns, so it will be interesting to see what sort of vote they can get there.

  2. Donna Petrovich running for the Libs in South-West Coast would be a bit of a risk. She used to represent Northern Victoria in the upper house, before losing election bids in McEwen (Federal) and Macedon (State), neither of which are anywhere near Warnambool. She’d be at risk of being viewed as a carpetbagger.

  3. Dennis Napthine’s son looks like going up against Donna Petrovich for Liberal preselection. This could be made interesting with Dennis Napthine’s choice for Liberal preselection defecting to the Nationals after putting his name up for Liberal preselection, also the Labor candidate at the last state election for the seat, Roy Reekie, who is running as an independant should theoretically have strong base support.

  4. You’re probably concentrating on Canning today, but there’s some updates from the last week to these Victorian by-elections. The writs were issued on Thursday, the date for both is 31 October. Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh contested Liberal preselection for South-West Coast, but ended up being endorsed as the Nationals candidate. And Joe Miles is the Greens candidate for Polwarth.

  5. The Liberals should win both by-elections, although with Neoh as the Nationals candidate it could be interesting what happens in South-West Coast.

  6. Some more declared candidates for South-West Coast: independent candidates Swampy Marsh (dairy farmer) and Michael McCluskey (2014 state election candidate); and Pete Smith who describes himself as an independent Liberal. Farmer Melinda Cass has been preselected as the Country Alliance candidate for Polwarth.

  7. The Greens have released their how to vote cards, they have put the Liberals ahead of the Nationals, seemingly due to the recent proposal by the Opposition Leader to extend the CSG moratorium until 2020, this is a significant change since the last Victorian state by-election where the Greens preferenced the Nationals ahead of the Liberals. These seats should be easily retained by the Liberals now, especially Polwarth with its much better Green vote.

  8. Given the “left” vote in Polwarth, the Greens might well finish second, ahead of the Nationals, anyway.

  9. Although with the Sex Party running a candidate may hinder their cause, they should steal some Labor voters as the candidate is reasonably successful and has been an ALP member, also running for persecution in the past, in the end the Greens will out poll them and it will be between the Greens and Nats as to who will finish in Polwarth.

  10. David O’Brien as the former Western Vic MLC running in Polwarth would have to be a decent shot at winning Polwarth. betting markets certainly give him a good chance.

  11. would expect the liberals to win both…….. but Powarth largely is included in Corangamite which is changing………also Southwest coast is possible Long term for Labor….. 2002 almost ALP
    next election 5% Liberal Margin, last 2 elections 10% Liberal Margins…… very minor swing to Labor Last time…. Naptine clearly has a personal vote

  12. The Liberal’s should win both easily, I can’t see the Nationals pulling enough votes due to the natural tendencies of voters in this area of Victoria. An independent would have been suited to these by elections because of the conservative vote being split and Labor not contesting, although if that was to happen someone would have come out of the woodwork a lot earlier, I can’t imagine an independent gaining enough support in 3 and a half weeks. The only independent who I could foresee having a reasonable shot is Reekie in Southwest Coast as he should have the previous Labor vote transfer to him, but in the end it could hurt him gaining votes.

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