Corio – Australia 2013

ALP 13.5%

Incumbent MP
Richard Marles, since 2007.

Map of Corio's 2010 and 2013 boundaries. 2010 boundaries marked as red lines, 2013 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.
Map of Corio’s 2010 and 2013 boundaries. 2010 boundaries marked as red lines, 2013 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.

Geelong and surrounding areas. Corio covers most of the Geelong urban area and those parts of the City of Greater Geelong north of the centre of Geelong. The seat also stretches along the north coast of the Bellarine Peninsula.

Corio previously only covered a smaller part of the Bellarine Peninsula with the tip of the peninsula contained in Corangamite. Corio expanded along the peninsula to reach the Queenscliff council boundary. This reduced the ALP margin from 14.2% to 13.5%.

The seat of Corio is an original federation seat. It was originally a marginal seat, switching between conservative parties and the ALP, but since the 1970s it has become a relatively safe Labor seat.

Corio was first won in 1901 by Richard Crouch, a Protectionist candidate and the youngest member of the first Parliament. He was re-elected in 1903 and 1906 before losing in 1910. He later returned at a much older age to hold the neighbouring seat of Corangamite for the ALP from 1929 to 1931.

Corio was won in 1910 by the ALP’s Alfred Ozanne. He lost in 1913 to Liberal candidate William Kendell, but won the seat back in 1914. Ozanne lost again in 1917.

The seat was won in 1917 by Nationalist candidate John Lister. He held the seat for the next decade, losing in 1929.

The seat of Corio was won by Labor candidate Arthur Lewis in 1929, but he only held it for one term before losing to the United Australia Party’s Richard Casey.

Casey joined the Lyons ministry in 1933, and became Treasurer in 1935. When Robert Menzies became Prime Minister in 1939, he saw Casey as a rival for the leadership, and moved him into a lesser role, before appointing him as Ambassador to the United States. Casey played a key role in cementing Australia’s alliance with the United States in the Second World War.

He returned to Parliament as Member for La Trobe in 1949, and served as a key minister in the Menzies government until his appointment as a member of the House of Lords in 1960. He also served as Governor-General from 1965 to 1969.

The 1940 Corio by-election was won by the ALP’s John Dedman. He was appointed to the ministry upon the formation of the Curtin Labor government in 1941, and served in a key role in the War Cabinet. He was particularly responsible for war production, post-war reconstruction and the creation of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). He lost Corio in 1949 to Liberal candidate Hubert Opperman.

Opperman had been a prominent Australian cyclist, and had rode in the Tour de France on a number of occasions. He served as a Cabinet minister from 1960 to late 1966, before leaving Parliament in 1967 to serve as High Commissioner to Malta.

The 1967 Corio by-election was won by the ALP’s Gordon Scholes. Scholes was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in early 1975 after the resignation of his predecessor after a disagreement with the Whitlam government. Scholes served in the role for the remainder of the Whitlam government. He served as a minister in the Hawke government from its election in 1983 until 1987, and retired in 1993.

Corio was won in 1993 by Gavan O’Connor. He joined the Labor frontbench in 1998 and served on the role until 2007. In 2006 he was challenged for preselection by ACTU Assistant Secretary Richard Marles, who won. O’Connor ran as an independent for Corio in 2007, but polled a distant third.

After winning Corio in 2007, Marles served on the backbench until he was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary in 2009. Marles served in a number of roles as a Parliamentary Secretary until he resigned from the role in March 2013 after supporting a campaign to see Kevin Rudd challenge for the Labor leadership.


  • Tony Harrington (Palmer United Party)
  • Yann Legrand (Rise Up Australia)
  • Richard Marles (Labor)
  • Brendan Fenn (Family First)
  • Peter Read (Liberal)
  • Sue Bull (Socialist Alliance)
  • Patrick Atherton (Australian Christians)
  • Greg Lacey (Greens)
  • Stephanie Asher (Independent)
  • Justine Deborah Martin (Sex Party)

Corio is a safe Labor seat.

2010 result

Richard MarlesALP42,57851.51+6.02
Don GibsonLIB25,72931.13+1.52
Gavin BrownGRN10,35512.53+6.62
Scott AmberleyFF3,0283.66-0.30
Sue BullSA9711.17+0.77

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Richard MarlesALP53,08364.22+5.29
Don GibsonLIB29,57835.78-5.29
Polling places in Corio at the 2010 federal election. Central in yellow, East in green, North in orange, West in blue. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Corio at the 2010 federal election. Central in yellow, East in green, North in orange, West in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas. “East” covers the small number of booths scattered around the Bellarine peninsula. “North” covers the small number of booths in the northern parts of the seat, along with those on the northern edge of the Geelong urban area, including Corio and Norlane.

The main bulk of the population in the Geelong urban area is split between “West” and “Central”, with the Geelong CBD in Central and the suburbs to the north-west of the CBD in West.

The ALP’s majority varied from 56.6% in the east to 73% in the north. The Greens vote varied from 10% in the east to 14% in the centre.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Other votes13.4760.5419,629
Two-party-preferred votes in Corio at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Corio at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Corio at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Corio at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in inner Geelong at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in inner Geelong at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in inner Geelong at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in inner Geelong at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Rumours Labor in trouble but I told Geelong Advertiser I expect a fair swing but too big a margin. Liberal candidate low profile.

  2. Yes this was one of those seats Labor was allegedly suspending polling on because they were concerned about the result.

    Given the seats apparently being polled were Bruce, Chisholm, Isaacs, McEwen, and this one, it gives some indication of their hopes of holding Corangamite, Latrobe and Deakin.

    Still, it would be a massive boilover for the Liberals to win here. A strong local independent maybe, but not a Lib….

  3. The big issue in Corio would have to be the Ford plant closing down. It’ll probably stay Labor, but Marles would want to be careful how he and his party deal with it.

    Was there much of a political effect in SA when the Mitsubishi plant closed down a few years ago?

  4. Perhaps, though perhaps the opposite too. I think most people realise that no one Government is responsible for the decline in manufacturing – that it’s largely external forces.

    If anything, I would guess the response (Labor contributing to a restructure package for Ford workers, the Libs opposing further assistance to help the auto industry) might help the Gov in places like Corio.

  5. As an aside, Sir Hubert Opperman, “Oppy”, was a fairly minor player in the Tour de France, but won, in a record time, the then more prominent Paris-Brest-Paris race in 1931. Pyrmonter’s grandfather rode against him in the 1940s and claimed to have beaten him … over the first 1/3 of the course. The final result of the race however didn’t enter family lore.

  6. This seat keeps popping up as one with a large swing in the winds. I think it is a Labor hold but will be interested in how it fairs on election night.

  7. Stephanie Asher who polled well in Mayoral election is running as Independent. Has some local profile with a column in local paper but her main Council appeal was being the only Surf Coast based candidate, she has however just moved to Geelong.

  8. Expecting a bit of a shake up here for labor…….Perhaps too big a task for Libs to win. North of Victoria Street a problem for the Libs but the longer this campaign goes on the worse for Labor….. Rudd not producing the goods and has a poor record…. As someone once said, (can’t think who) “you can’t fatten the pig on market day”

  9. Yere, still a long shot for Libs….. If Corio falls on election night then not only is the furniture gone but the floor boards and interior walls won’t be safe and the coalition will still be in government when Prince George becomes King……….

  10. The margin probably flatters Labor a little….the Peninsula towns, some of inner city Geelong, and Lara and beyond are reasonable for the Liberals in a good year.

    It’s impossible to see the Libs overcome the smashing majorities in Corio and North Shore though…

  11. MDMConnell, I can see your point about Labor being flattered……The old North of Victoria Street (North Geelong) syndrome is alive and well here. The Libs take such a beating in Norlane and Corio booths that it makes it a difficult proposition for them……If the previous Prime Minister was at the helm though I wonder what sort of conversations we would be having about Corio???

  12. I’d say he was campaigning there because its close to corangamite and he can still campaign to workers rather then stay at home voters

  13. Good Point Observer…..I suppose there is only a river that seperates the two…..Not far to go while you are in town…………

  14. Apparantly Peter READ put in a solid performance in the debate at Deakin on Monday night…..Won some punters over….. I am going to call him the TAC man…… Reckon he will wipe off 5 (per cent that is)

  15. Reports are that Peter READ did well at the debate held at Deakin Uni on Monday night. Going to call him the TAC man. Wipe off 5 (% from the margin)

  16. I predict the margin will get down to around 7-8%, but Labor no real risk of losing.

    The Liberal benchmark is probably turning those Peninsula booths blue and getting it down to 50-50 in Leopold and Lara.

  17. Didn’t attend myself but Read put in another good effort at candidates forum in Geelong today i am told. At one point he was being heckled by a cfmeu member who was ranting and raving while Read was trying to anwser another question. Read calmly said that the heckler may be interested in the coalitions mental health policy. Crowd loved it…. Tipping he can knock a bit the margin..

  18. Reports are saying that though the audience applauded Read; those who were listening to the debate on the radio were overwhelmingly negative to that statement.

    Though I don’t see a swing to Labor (there will probably be a swing against Labor) as there was a significant swing to them at the 2010 election; I think Read’s comment will ensure that this seat remains in the double-figures for Labor.

  19. At least the crowd had a sense of humour surely we are not that prude a society yet. Clearly the crowd enjoyed it as they saw how big a nuisance the heckler was …..Darren Cheeseman called for him to be disendorsed yestersay over the comment. Spare me…. I reckon Cheeseman’s got his own worries over the river. I wouldn’t be getting too worried about the Liberal candidate for Corio…. Worry about the one in Corangamite………….

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