Corangamite – Australia 2013

ALP 0.3%

Incumbent MP
Darren Cheeseman, since 2007.

Geography
South-western Victoria. Corangamite covers suburbs on the southern fringe of Geelong and then extends as far west as Colac. As well as parts of Greater Geelong, Corangamite covers all of Surf Coast, Colac Otway and Queenscliff councils, as well as a majority of Golden Plains Council. The main towns outside of Geelong are Ocean Grove, Torquay, Colac and Winchelsea.

Map of Corangamite's 2010 and 2013 boundaries. 2010 boundaries appear as red line, 2013 boundaries appear as white area. Click to enlarge.
Map of Corangamite’s 2010 and 2013 boundaries. 2010 boundaries appear as red line, 2013 boundaries appear as white area. Click to enlarge.

Redistribution
Corangamite underwent relatively minor changes. Corangamite’s western boundary was aligned with the western boundary of Colac Otway Shire. Corangamite lost sparsely populated ares on the northern side of the Barwon peninsula to Corio.

History
Corangamite was an original federation division, and a seat which changed hands often in early years, before becoming a solid conservative seat in the latter half of the 20th century.

It’s first member was Chester Manifold of the Protectionists, but he retired due to ill-health at the 1903 election and the seat was won by Grafton Wilson for the Free Traders. Wilson was defeated in 1910 by the ALP’s James Scullin, who held the seat for one term before being defeated by former member Manifold, who returned to contest the seat for the Liberals. Manifold, whose son, Sir Chester, was a state MP and a famed horse-breeder and racing administrator, held the seat until he died at sea in 1918.

The December 1918 by-election saw the first use of preferential voting for the federal parliament. Scullin returned to contest the seat for the ALP, and topped the primary vote, but was comfortably defeated on preferences by the Victorian Farmers Union’s William Gibson. Scullin would subsequently win the seat of Yarra in 1922 and serve as Prime Minister from 1929-32.

Gibson held the seat for the Country Party, serving as Postmaster-General and Minister for Works and Railways until his defeat in 1929 by Labor’s Richard Crouch, who had previously been a Protectionist/Liberal MP for Corio from 1901-1910. Crouch then lost to Gibson in 1931, who served one more term before winning election to the Senate in 1934.

Geoffrey Street of the UAP, who would serve as Defence Minister in Menzies’ first government, won Corangamite in 1934 and held it until his death, along with two other ministers, in a plane crash in 1940.

Allan McDonald, a former state MP, won the seat for the UAP in 1940, and quickly became a minister in the Menzies government. He unsuccessfully contested the UAP leadership in 1941 and 1943, and remained on the backbench when the Liberals returned to power in 1949. He died in 1953, and was succeeded by Daniel Mackinnon, who had previously been MP for Wannon.

Mackinnon retired in 1966, and was succeeded by Tony Street, son of the former member Geoffrey, who served as a minister in various portfolios in the Fraser government and subsequently retired in early 1984.

Stewart McArthur won the seat in 1984, and held it until defeated by the ALP’s Darren Cheeseman in 2007. A seat significantly impacted by changing demographics, McArthur’s 44.70% was the lowest primary vote for the conservative major party in the seat since 1934.

The Liberal vote barely rebounded in 2010. A swing of 0.44% to the Liberal Party halved Cheeseman’s margin, and made Corangamite the most marginal seat in the country.

Candidates

  • Lloyd Davies (Greens)
  • Helen Rashleigh (Rise Up Australia)
  • Alan Barron (Australian Christians)
  • Adrian Whitehead (Independent)
  • Darren Cheeseman (Labor)
  • Peter Wray (Family First)
  • Jayden Millard (Sex Party)
  • Warren Jackman (Country Alliance)
  • Buddy Rojek (Palmer United Party)
  • Andrew Black (Nationals)
  • Sarah Henderson (Liberal)
  • Nick Steel (Australian Protectionist Party)

Assessment
Corangamite is a very marginal Labor seat, and Labor will struggle to maintain it in the current political environment.

2010 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Sarah HendersonLIB42,15544.99+0.29
Darren CheesemanALP37,04339.53-2.38
Mike LawrenceGRN10,71311.43+3.46
Ann WojczukFF1,8501.97-1.59
Sally-Anne BrownIND1,4181.51+1.51
Nathan TimminsLDP5290.55+0.36

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Darren CheesemanALP47,23550.41-0.44
Sarah HendersonLIB46,46449.59+0.44
Polling booths in Corangamite at the 2010 federal election. Geelong in red, Golden Plains in yellow, Surf Coast in green, Colac Otway in blue, Ocean Grove in purple. Click to enlarge.
Polling booths in Corangamite at the 2010 federal election. Geelong in red, Golden Plains in yellow, Surf Coast in green, Colac Otway in blue, Ocean Grove in purple. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into five areas. Booths in the Surf Coast, Colac Otway and Golden Plains local government areas have been grouped by LGA. Booths in the Greater Geelong and Queenscliff local government areas have been split into two parts. Booths in the Geelong urban area have been grouped as Geelong. Booths on the Bellarine peninsula (including Queenscliff) have been grouped as Ocean Grove.

The ALP won majorities in four out of five areas, varying from 51.8% in Geelong to 54.7% in Surf Coast. The Liberal Party won over 54% of the two-party vote in Colac Otway. The Greens vote peaked at 16% in the Surf Coast area.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Geelong10.3351.8424,71139.25
Surf Coast16.0454.7011,74518.66
Ocean Grove14.5353.1510,69616.99
Colac Otway7.3845.429,23714.67
Golden Plains9.0254.096,56310.43
Other votes11.5946.4827,196
Two-party-preferred votes in Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in southeastern parts of Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in southeastern parts of Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in southeastern parts of Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in southeastern parts of Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the Geelong part of Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the Geelong part of Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in the Geelong part of Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in the Geelong part of Corangamite at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Colac at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Colac at the 2010 federal election.

75 COMMENTS

  1. My electorate. Lots of leaflets from Labor on TAFE & support for manufacturing nothing from Libs. No sign of the anti-refugee leaflet Libs have put out elsewhere. In 2010 Henderson swamped electorate with billboards & material nothing like this so far, perhaps Libs think they have it in the bag. Population is surging as bypass makes it easy to work in Melbourne, These new voters probably favour Labor but as outer suburbanites likely to swing. Demography is part of the story behind Labor’s victory but also drift of middle-class Vic suburbs to Labor.

  2. Without a sophomore surge this time, I can’t see the incumbent winning. Henderson is a high profile candidate and I believe she will take the goods this time. My understanding is that she is running again.

  3. I think Darren Cheeseman will struggle to hold this, if the current opinion polls stay as they are. This might go quickly on election night.

  4. Cheeseman is gone, Ford closure must be the final nail. Henderson will romp home. This was the seat the Libs should have won at the last election and if they did we wouldn’t have had the deplorable hung parliament.

  5. I don’t see Ford as a political negative for Labor (though obviously it is for Melbourne and Geelong). Labor’s come out clearly supporting the industry, whereas the Libs have said that they’ll review/drop support for the auto industry if elected.

    And surely most people are long-sighted enough to see the decline in manufacturing in Australia as being far longer than the past 6 or even 17 years.

    Having said that, Cheeseman is in big trouble, but I think Marles should hold pretty solidly.

  6. I recon this could still be the most marginal seat in the country but for the libs who i think may hold it only by less than 1%

  7. I’d love to see some local, or internal polling, on this seat!

    What was going to be a definite ALP loss may now be another close contest, I suspect with Henderson still slightly favoured. A seat where the Greens Surf Coast votes will again decide it.

  8. I’m going to make a prediction, in part based on how marginal this seat is.

    I’m betting that Corangamite ends up not swinging much at all. Less than 0.2% swing one way or the other, with maybe a 1% swing to the Greens in primary vote, perhaps 2% if some Libs voters shift to Greens or there are no additional candidates. Or perhaps a small swing against the Greens in primary vote – I’m not actually making a prediction on that part.

  9. I agree Glen not much in this seat could go either way. Wouldn’t be surprised if seats in Victoria on margins larger went but this stayed

  10. Coalition well on top in this seat. Sarah Henderson is a wonderful candidate. A result in line with 2004 or 2001 anticipated.

  11. Well that means ur polling shows a 5% swing here, not great if there’s a big margin of error because of the small sample. This is a regional seat so should be treated carefully to those in Melbourne. Pendulum or polling never does these seats justice

  12. DB secret prediction just in:
    “Polling I have heard about says the liberals are certain to gain every marginal seat off labor with the LNP within reach of every lineball seat as opposed to labor who in 50/50 seats are all but gone. I’m comfortable in lingiari, wait no I’m not the polling 4 weeks out from the election isn’t consistent with what I think about lingiari! Any seat the LNP is in danger of is still winnable for the liberals but any seat the ALP hold that is on a safer margin is therefore certain liberal gain. My liberal views don’t influence my opinion at all”

  13. Sorry MS that I don’t believe polling is to be taken word by word I take the approach it’s easier to vent anger in a phone poll then on a ballot paper. You wouldn’t know the meaning of hack

  14. No, he makes a point MS. Just for clarity, I think the Coalition are on target to pick up 14 seats off Labor and lose 4. I’m not going to go through every seat and my prediction is not based on every single specific seat. Overall trend suggests this to be the case at the moment.

    Rudd has gone backwards in the last 3 weeks. No argument.

  15. Observer, grammar is very important. There’s a vast difference between someone’s liberal views and their Liberal views.

    Regardless, I think it’s important for everyone to maintain an open mind and an evenhanded perspective. It’s not a fault to recognise your own weaknesses and your opponent’s strength.

  16. Look I just think that basing your views on polling is a bad idea, I’m interested to hear it but you always have to consider variables, and how reliable it can be and whether its consistent with what experts say. I’m happy to say deakin will likely go but I’ve always viewed this to be harder then it looks based on state election trends here, regional location and the fact that it has generally bucked the trend here
    If you disagree with what I think ask me and I’m more then happy to explain unlike DB who never goes into any detail of the poll

  17. Yes because the party operators don’t do polling they come on here to find out what an anonymous party person says

  18. For now on DB whenever you post anything about polling I’m happy to explain in detail why I may think the opposite

  19. I’m not going to take sides or accuse people of behaving badly but I don’t think constant adversarial arguments about your own separate internal polling between Observer and DB. Please feel free to express disagreement but constantly hashing it over squeezes out other people who want to comment on these seats.

  20. Now starting off in this seat, based on state intentions then the ALP is in mid 40s, liberals mid 30s, and greens just above 11% panning out to a 56/44 best case for the liberals. I don’t think this will be the case here but the locals are familiar with voting for a brand that has been on the nose. I think its likely that this seat will dip in greens support to about 7-8%, the ALP primary vote to still remain high 30s but dip and the remainder either go to the liberals or minor parties. If it goes to the libs, then I think you’d get 53/47 to the libs, not to bad in hopes of labor holding as its still pretty marginal, if it goes to other minor parties then I’ll have to look at preferences.

    The big issues here I think will be manufacturing, quality of education and health services and the economy. THese are strengths labor can build on better so its doable for labor, wouldn’t rule labor in or out but I’d say worse case for labor here is 53/47 to the liberals

  21. Observer – polling is worth looking at. It just needs a grain of salt, because most polling leaves out important questions.

    It’s why I’m finding the Morgan poll numbers interesting. They appear to be the only ones specifically asking for voter-chosen preferences, rather than just primary votes. Whether their numbers are accurate or not, we can be confident that at least their results are self-consistent. When using past preferencing patterns, Morgan Poll has Liberals ahead on 2PP 51.5% to 48.5%. When using voter-chosen preferences, Morgan Poll has the two parties even at 50%. And in Queensland, specifically, their poll says 2PP is 50/50, even though most other polls are saying something like 56/44 – this is likely because of the KAP vote in Queensland not following expectation.

    I’d be interested to hear what DB’s polling numbers (not just here) sound like if you assume that, outside of Queensland, real voting intentions have Labor doing 1% better (2PP) compared with polls, and in Queensland, Labor doing 5% better. What do the numbers look like, with that adjustment? I’m sure he’ll be highly skeptical of it being real, but I’d like to hear how it affects his seat counts.

  22. Observer: “I think its likely that this seat will dip in greens support to about 7-8%,”

    The Greens should hold 10%-11%, may even increase it if Davies campaigns well. This is the established ‘sea change’ crowd along the great ocean rd, very environmentally and socially aware.

  23. JWS says Lib 48% and ALP 36% for a 2PP of 53/47. That seems very low for the Coalition given the 12% point differential on primaries. I suspect on a primary of 48%, the Coalition would win with a higher margin than that.

  24. Good to finally see a public poll for this seat. When was this DB and do you know the sample size? I suspect that lower 2PP margin may indicate that the Greens vote is holding up?

  25. I would have said that if the Liberals can’t win this seat on such a narrow margin, they don’t deserve to win.
    But this seat was really marginal last time and they failed to win. There might have been a feel-good factor among Victorians about having one of their own in Gillard in the Lodge, but I didn’t think that it would save Labor here. Yet Labor held it.
    Still, I cannot imagine anything but a Liberal win … at least for the time being.

  26. Yappo, if RUDD is struggling to maintain the status quo nationally I just can’t see Corangamite holding. I detect a “vibe” beginning to evolve that was similiar to GILLARDS last 6 months where people have turned off and made up their minds. The original RUDD “sugar hit” appears well and truly over unless he can pull a rabbit out of the hat. The Libs are like a footy team with a healthy lead playing keepings off in the backline in the last quarter. RUDD (uncharacteristically) is jaded and is clearly making policy on the run. (N.T. example) Tactically, he should have governed for longer and went in November wouldn’t have been any worse……….As for the Greens………Status Quo in Corangamite……..give or take a couple of percent……

  27. I don’t have much disagreement with what you have written and agree he should have gone later – though mid Oct as opposed to Nov. I have been psoting all along that the LIBs will most likely pick this one up and nothing has changed that view.

    I just think it is a bit silly to post a definitive statement “This seat is done. Henderson the new member..” when we are not even at half time yet (to extend use of your footy analogy). As they say, ‘a week is a long time in…..’

  28. Yeh look these regional seats are always difficult to predict. Polls aren’t consistent but I do think if the liberals poll well in victoria, this should fall but until then we won’t know and can’t presume anything

Comments are closed.