Wannon – Australia 2022

LIB 10.2%

Incumbent MP
Dan Tehan, since 2010.

South-western Victoria. Wannon covers the southwestern corner of Victoria, including Warrnambool, Portland, Ararat, Lorne and Hamilton. Wannon covers Colac Otway, Pyrenees, Ararat, Corangamite, Central Goldfields, Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Warrnambool council areas.

Wannon expanded closer to Geelong, taking in the remainder of the Colac Otway council area and part of the Surf Coast council area from Corangamite. Wannon also lost the remainder of the Northern Grampians, including Stawell, to Mallee, and lost the western part of the Golden Plains council area to Ballarat. These changes reduced the Liberal margin from 10.4% to 10.2%.


Wannon is an original federation seat, having been created for the 1901 election. It has mainly been held by the Liberal Party and its predecessors, with the exception of a number of short periods when it was held by the ALP, with the ALP last holding the seat up to the 1955 election.

Wannon was first won in 1901 by Free Trade candidate Samuel Cooke. Cooke was a former minister in the Victorian colonial government, and he held the seat for one term before heading overseas in 1903.

He was succeeded in 1903 by another Free Trader, Arthur Robinson, who was a former colonial/state MP in the Victorian Parliament. Robinson held the seat for one term, losing in 1906. He went on to return to the Victorian Parliament and serve as a state minister.

The ALP’s John McDougall won Wannon off Robinson in 1906, campaigning against Robinson’s anti-union views. McDougall was re-elected in 1910, but lost in 1913, and failed to return to the House of Representatives in other seats at the 1914 election, a 1915 by-election and the 1917 election.

McDougall was replaced in 1913 by Liberal candidate Arthur Rodgers. Rodgers served as a minister in the Hughes government from 1920 to 1922 He held the seat until the 1922 election, when he lost to the ALP’s John McNeill. Rodgers won the seat back in 1925, before again losing to McNeill in 1929. McNeill served as a minister in the Scullin government, before losing the seat yet again in 1931.

The United Australia Party’s Thomas Scholfield won the seat in 1931, and held it until 1940, when he lost to the ALP’s Donald McLeod. McLeod held the seat for most of the next decade, losing it in 1949 to the Liberal Party’s Daniel Mackinnon.

Mackinnon only held the seat for one term, with McLeod regaining the seat in 1951. Mackinnon went on to win the neighbouring seat of Corangamite in a 1953 by-election, and held it until 1966.

At the 1954 election, McLeod was challenged by Liberal candidate Malcolm Fraser. McLeod defeated Fraser with a 17-vote margin.

In 1955, McLeod retired, and Fraser won the seat with a comfortable margin.

Fraser was a right-winger within the Liberal Party, and sat on the backbenches for a decade before joining the ministry in 1966. He served first as Minister for the Army, then Minister for Education and Science, and then Minister for Defence.

In 1971, he resigned from the ministry in protest at John Gorton’s interference in his portfolio, triggering a party room vote which saw a tied vote, and John Gorton was replaced as Prime Minister by William McMahon.

Fraser served as a minister in the McMahon government and on the opposition frontbench in the first term of the Whitlam government. After Billy Snedden’s loss in 1974 Fraser challenged for the leadership. Under Fraser’s leadership, the Liberal Party obstructed Gough Whitlam’s government in the Senate, which eventually led to Whitlam being dismissed by the Governor-General in late 1975, and Fraser became Prime Minister.

Fraser won the 1975, 1977 and 1980 elections, but lost in 1983, and retired from Parliament shortly after.

The 1983 by-election was won by David Hawker, also of the Liberal Party. Hawker served as an opposition whip from 1989 to 1990 and as a frontbencher from 1990 to 1993, and again as a whip until the 1996 election.

Hawker served as a backbencher in the Howard government from 1996 until the 2004 election. Hawker was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives after the 2004 election, and served in the role until the 2007 election.

Hawker retired in 2010, and the seat was won by Dan Tehan. Tehan has been re-elected three times.


  • Graham Garner (Independent)
  • Dan Tehan (Liberal)
  • Ronnie Graham (One Nation)
  • Hilary McAllister (Greens)
  • Alex Dyson (Independent)
  • Craige Kensen (United Australia)
  • Amanda Mead (Liberal Democrats)
  • Gilbert Wilson (Labor)
  • Assessment
    Wannon is a safe Liberal seat.

    2019 result

    Dan Tehan Liberal 53,09451.1+0.751.1
    Maurice Billi Labor 27,15026.1-3.925.9
    Alex DysonIndependent10,79710.4+10.410.2
    Zephlyn Taylor Greens 6,5906.3-1.96.8
    Joshua WallaceUnited Australia Party6,2586.0+6.05.5

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Dan Tehan Liberal 62,73360.4+1.260.2
    Maurice Billi Labor 41,15639.6-1.239.8

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into six areas. The two local government areas in the north-east of the seat have been grouped together. The three in the south-east have also been grouped together. Polling places in the other four local government areas have been grouped along council boundaries.

    The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 54% in the north-east to 65.3% in the Southern Grampians.

    Voter groupIND prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Southern Grampians13.165.34,8094.7
    Other votes8.760.811,52511.3

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

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    1. This seat will be interesting to watch as populations swell along the cost & in Ararat this could make this seat marginal in future elections.

    2. There is likely too much conservative rural territory, with enough of the seat`s population, that that is unlikely. The lower density/smaller built up area living may also increase conservative political views among sea change and tree change voters, particularly if they move to the more conservative rural areas.

    3. That’s an interesting theory, Tom the first and best – where a voter live influences how they vote, even when they have relocated from other areas bring different past voting history. Any evidence??

    4. Tom the first and best I kinda get it, although its the voters and not the areas they reside in. When we look at the typical Australian swing voter, it’s likely to be a mid-fourties blue-collar middle-class white man. An example I could think of where demographics and votes are roughly the same are Cottesloe and Dunsborough in WA, both being wealthy, well-known beachside areas, with high levels of affluence and the same demographics. For both areas the vote is (around) 60% Lib, 20% Green, 15% Labor. Having been to these areas multiple times, they both have the quaint seaside vibe, terrible parking situations, and far too many cafes. I would consider both areas small-L liberal areas, given the high non-religious percentage (42% in Dunsborough). Will they swing? Given the state election, probably not.

    5. actually South West Coast and Polwarth came close last time, Sorry but Henry Bolte territory is not safe blue anymore. It really is becoming more competitive, Labor could very well flip both state seats next year. If you want a conservative region of victory look at the Mildura and the Gippsland and Shepperton. THOSE are what i’d call safe conservative areas in the state.

    6. The Liberals won Polwarth on primaries in an election where they copped a belting. Not sure that signifies “Labor getting close”….perhaps you may be getting mixed up with the post-redistribution margin (which added a bunch of territory that mostly overlaps with Corangamite, not Wannon)?

    7. State figures were ultra Marginal in Ripon………Polwarth 6% and South West coast 2 to 3 % all liberal…. boundary Changes boost the alp vote in the first two by 3%. . The last 2 plus Hamilton make up most of Wannon.
      Historically Wannon has averaged 60/40 in… the Liberal party’s favour post Malcolm Fraser. To Win here Labor needs a vote of 55% plus in the big towns……. they are not getting that. Where they do win the big towns,,,,,,, and that is not everywhere the vote is close to 50/50. The Boundary Changes have helped the liberals by less than 1% in Wannon. That said there is a slow drift to Labor in this seat…… and the Surf Coast Area which is now in Wannon will make the drift in this seat stronger

    8. Labor admittedly won a few booths here in 2019, but none of them were particularly large. They won Ararat, Dereel, Halls Gap, Napoleons, Portland Central, Portland North Central, Ross Creek, the external Sebastopol EVC, Smythesdale and Snakes Valley. They had a decent swing against them in Warrnambool and Hamilton (2-5%) while Colac didn’t really swing much. In the rest of the booths they either went slightly towards or against Labor, however these booths were smaller and didn’t affect the result as much, and that’s why the swing was only 1.23% to Dan Tehan.

    9. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/aus2022/wannon2022/comment-page-1#comment-755343

      Voters in rural and regional areas are more likely to vote conservative than urban voters. I suspect this is because of rural areas requiring greater self-reliance than urban areas, the social structures in regional areas, the lower population densities lessening the need for rules preventing some activities and city versus country identity politics. All of these are location based, so it stands to reason that there is a reasonable chance that some voters who move are likely to form more conservative voting patterns over time (not necessarily becoming swing voters, some would likely move from being swing voters to conservative voters).

    10. Apart from the area shared with Ripon (and any of the area of Kara Kara* not part of Ripon), the ALP has not won any of the area of Wannon since the 1970 state election (when they had Country Party preferences).

      They have come close in the ALP high watermark elections of 2002 and 2018 in South West Coast. However, the recent state redivision it proposing to move some more conservative territory to South West Coast, from Polwarth. Polwarth is looking like it loose more of its conservative eastern territory to South West Coast in the next redivision as Torquay grows (now within Polwarth). Polwarth is likely to become less conservative and South West Coast more conservative.

    11. Ryan, they do okay. About 50-60% Liberal combined in Portland, Port Fairy and Warrnambool. We’re not talking Airey’s Inlet type numbers here….

      That’s more than enough to hold their own given most of the rest of the seat is strong for them.

    12. The seat will continue to shrink with more of the rural territory going into Mallee, this could really benefit ALP in future elections.

    13. Some really bad assumptions being made here. A bit of growth in the Geelong/Surf Coast region is not going to greatly alter the sheer size, nor the political complexion, of Wannon.

    14. Now that places like Anglesea and Winchelsea are in a safe Liberal seat, it will be interesting to see if the Labor vote drops off when there are fewer resources allocated to an unwinnable seat.

    15. Dyson’s vote impressive and he didn’t just take them from Labor and the Greens. Maybe the new coastal areas would be good terrain for him as a Voices candidate, could he get ahead of Labor? Liberal primary isn’t that high. Unlikely I know but people are getting excited about Goldstein where Libs had higher primary vote and Voices candidate has never been tested.

    16. Wanton post 1955 has stayed 60/40 2pp most times…. Labor is competitive in most large towns except Colac and Hamiliton . But where they win in larger towns it tends to be very close.max 52% 2pp they of course lose in smaller towns and in-between…. maybe the key to this is through the state level .. wins in Polwarth south West Coast and Ripon and Labor mps build personal vote . Plus boundary changes eg moving Hamilton out of Wannon.. but this is in the medium to longer term

    17. Alex Dyson must be competitive gentlemen as Dan Tehan frowned through his [Alex’s excellent] performance at Ararat recently and has put him last on his HTVs. ALP have put no resources into Wannon and reportedly the candidate wished to put Alex at number 2 but Head Office would not allow it. There is a real possibility Alex could get more vote than the ALP if people understand that in fact he could win by building on his 10%+ last time. We shall see.

    18. There are a lot more Dyson banners than Tehan in Port Fairy…and I’ve only seen one ALP one. Similar discrepancies in Warrnambool.

      Tehan won’t be getting much in my end of the street …6-1 against by my count.

    19. It will be interesting to see if Dyson can come second in 2PP, first overtaking Labor on the back of Green preferences. Dyson polled well in the major towns last time, prior to being a ‘Voices for’ candidate, and both he and the Greens should do well in the Surf Coast/Otways booths that have been added following redistribution.

    20. I am feeling anxious as Saturday night approaches. I’m on the conservative coast of Wannon – the area from Warrnambool to Apollo Bay and its hinterland. There is an undercurrent of anger with the federal govt. I wonder if it will affect the voting.

    21. Alp dyson and gr 42% lib 51 uap 6.. with a swing away from the right.. could be interesting if Dyson performs eell

    22. @Barb What are your thoughts on the support for Dyson in this part of the electorate? Last election he got 17% in Port Campbell (with 11% Green), while the combined support of him and the Greens was good in places like Allansford (21%), Peterborough (16%) and Timboon (16%). Otways booths added from Corangamite also had combined environmental independent/Green vote (which Dyson will presumable tap into) of Lavers Hill (25%), Apollo Bay (24%), Gellibrand River (18%) and Forrest (31%)

    23. @WanderWest I think it will be better this election, but how much so, I don’t know. The trick would be to get 1st preferences in sufficient number to be a direct challenge to Libs. That means taking Lib first preferences especially.

      I think Alex’s got improved recognition thanks to social media and corflutes and an excellent campaign getting out amongst the communities. Chatting to people it seems that there is a bit of real hostility to Morrison. I haven’t experienced that level of negativity from ‘general public’ before.

      Port Campbell, Peterborough, Princetown and hinterland are edgy with planning problems and serious environmental concerns. Currently a serious blue green algal bloom in Peterborough that brought state MP Riordan to a public meeting of about 100 in Peterborough last week. That’s an extraordinary thing.

      Apollo Bay had its big planning issues and locals were again seriously organised and successfully took action.

      All this speaks to people getting very dissatisfied with politics as normal. And Dyson’s message is getting through and it’s about voting Tehan out.

      Impressive was Dysons video at Easter that compared the federal money going to Wannon vs Mallee and Corangamite (they got 4 to 5 times more). The message is make Wannon marginal.

      I was at Colac handing out how to vote cards today and Colac is still a deeply conservative place. I know it can be different though because I remember when Bob Hawke was in town and the electorate was Corangamite. The swing against Libs then was massive (12%). But this was not capitalised with follow up, instead the ALP candidate was given Corio as a gift.

      This is Dysons 2nd tilt and I get the feeling that he is in it for the long term. A previous independent who stood first as an ALP candidate, then independent (personal acquaintance) believes it can be done. But it requires organised support…such as the strong Voices of Wannon group that now exists.

      If not now, then next time 😉

    24. Saw suggestions that Dyson Was getting good support in areas outside the bigger cities and that he will be in.the final 2

    25. Interesting he won some small booths as well Yes I suspect Tehan has reason to win and the libs should be worried about Polwarth in Nov.

    26. If Dyson is interested in state politics then he’d be a clear favourite to win South West Coast. If not him, then a community backed independent would be in with a good chance.


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