Corio – Australia 2022

ALP 10.3%

Incumbent MP
Richard Marles, since 2007.

Geography
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.

Redistribution
No change.

History

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.

Richard Marles has been re-elected four times since his first win in 2007, and became deputy leader of the Labor Party after the 2019 election.

Candidates

  • Sue Bull (Socialist Alliance)
  • Jessica Taylor (Federation)
  • Manish Patel (Liberal)
  • Simon Northeast (Greens)
  • Robert Jones (One Nation)
  • Naomi Adams (Animal Justice)
  • Max Payne (Liberal Democrats)
  • Shane Murdock (United Australia)
  • Richard Marles (Labor)
  • Assessment
    Corio is a safe Labor seat.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Richard Marles Labor 47,01047.6+4.2
    Alastair Thomson Liberal 33,42633.8-2.8
    Amber Forbes Greens 12,90213.1+1.4
    Desmond SanbornUnited Australia Party5,4145.5+5.5
    Informal3,6483.6-1.1

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
    Richard Marles Labor 59,57260.3+2.1
    Alastair Thomson Liberal 39,18039.7-2.1

    Booth breakdown

    Polling places in Corio have been divided into four areas: central, north, south and east.

    Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 55.5% in the south to 68.1% in the north.

    The Greens came third, with a vote ranging from 9.9% in the north to 16.3% in the south.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    North9.968.116,37616.6
    Central15.060.015,87616.1
    South16.355.59,88910.0
    East14.667.38,7908.9
    Pre-poll12.157.233,06833.5
    Other votes13.558.214,75314.9

    Election results in Bendigo at the 2019 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

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    2 COMMENTS

    1. Labor hold but will be interesting to see the progression of the Greens vote in the inner suburbs of Geelong, which somewhat mirrors the Greens vote trend in the gentrifying inner suburbs of Melbourne, albeit at a far smaller scale of course.

      House prices in the eastern suburbs of Geelong have also risen significantly relative to the rest of Geelong over the last half a decade. Interestingly this hasn’t had a corresponding increase in the Greens vote in the area at the last few of elections, state and federal – nor has it impacted the TPP against the ALP which continually sits at the high 60’s/low 70’s mark while the Greens primary continues to hover at between 6-12% give it take – so will be interesting to see if there’s finally a bump in the Greens vote in the area at this election.

    2. This seat is interesting because it’s basically the election in miniature.

      Labor got big swings to them in the affluent and inner city part of the seat, while suffering a loss in the more working class and outer suburban areas. Highton and Newtown having the same 2PP margin as Bell Park and Norlane is actually quite ridiculous.

      As Matt notes, Greens did indeed advance in inner Geelong, actually displacing the Liberals in the top two in a couple of inner city seats.

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