Western Victoria – Victoria 2010

Incumbent MLCs

  • Peter Kavanagh (DLP), since 2006.
  • David Koch (LIB), since 2006. Previously MLC for Western 2002-2006.
  • Jaala Pulford (ALP), since 2006.
  • Gayle Tierney (ALP), since 2006.
  • John Vogels (LIB), since 2006. Previously MLC for Western 2002-2006.

Geography
Western Victoria region covers the electoral districts of Ballarat East, Ballarat West, Bellarine, Geelong, Lara, Lowan, Melton, Polwarth, Ripon, South Barwon and South-West Coast.

Western Victoria covers parts of Victoria along the southern coast west of Port Phillip Bay to the South Australian border. It also covers the cities of Geelong and Ballarat.

Eight seats in Western Victoria are held by the ALP, along with two Liberal seats and one National seat.

2006 result

GroupVotes%Quota
Labor165,71242.012.5204
Liberal139,11435.272.1159
The Greens34,0228.620.5175
The Nationals21,9025.550.3331
Family First15,5123.930.2359
Democratic Labor Party10,4852.660.1595
Country Alliance3,5000.890.0532
People Power2,9220.740.0444
Socialist Alliance1,1300.290.0172
John Camilleri1790.050.0027

The ALP and the Liberal Party each achieved two full quotas. The ALP achieved half of a third quota, while the Greens polled half a  quota and the Nationals polled a third.

The fifth seat was decided after a rather unusual distribution of preferences, going to Peter Kavanagh of the DLP, who was the sixth-highest polling party on primary votes. Kavanagh achieved this with some very convenient results that allowed him to overtake candidates who then preferenced him.

After elimination of minor candidates, the count reached this point:

  • Ward (GRN) – 0.5275 quotas
  • Carbines (ALP) – 0.5192
  • McIntosh (NAT) – 0.3391
  • Alderson (FF) – 0.2372
  • Kavanagh (DLP) – 0.1978
  • Bullen (LIB) – 0.1146
  • Hodge (CA) – 0.0566

Upon the elimination of  Hodge, Kavanagh overtook Alderson. Liberal preferences then flowed to the Nationals. At the key point, Kavanagh outpolled Alderson by only 309 votes.

Kavanagh was then 1090 votes ahead of McIntosh. Her preferences pushed Kavanagh into the lead at the next count:

  • Kavanagh (DLP) – 0.8786
  • Ward (GRN) – 0.5366
  • Carbines (ALP) – 0.5305

ALP preferences flowed to Kavanagh, electing him ahead of the Greens’ Marcus Ward. The Greens outpolled the ALP by only 403 votes. If the ALP had outpolled the Greens, Greens preferences would have elected the ALP’s Carbines instead of Kavanagh.

Candidates
The ALP is running sitting Labor MLCs Gayle Tierney and Jaala Pulford and candidate Richard Morrow. The Greens are again running Marcus Ward.

The Liberal Party and Nationals are running a joint ticket:

  1. Liberal MLC David Koch
  2. Liberal candidate Simon Ramsay
  3. Nationals candidate David O’Brien

Political situation
The two Labor seats and the two Liberal seats are all reasonably secure. Peter Kavanagh’s hold on his seat, however, is extremely precarious.

Kavanagh was very close to falling behind first Family First and then the Nationals and key points during the count. If the Liberal Party polls slightly better they may also overtake Kavanagh at the key point in the count. While you can assume Kavanagh will increase his primary vote after four years as an incumbent MLC, he is still a long way from a quota in his own right.

If Kavanagh manages to get to the final round, he is quite far ahead of the Greens. That, however, assumes that the ALP will continue to preference in the same way. Following the 2004 Senate victory by Family First Senator Steve Fielding and the 2006 result in Western Victoria, the ALP has faced a backlash for using their preferences to elect right-wing candidates ahead of the Greens, and in 2007 and 2010 the ALP preferenced the Greens in the Senate in Victoria.

If they repeat this decision in the Victorian state election, Kavanagh’s chances immediately fall to close to zero. While the Greens only outpolled the ALP by a slim margin, the current political environment suggests that the Greens vote will increase and the ALP vote will decrease, making that margin wider. This suggests that the Greens would be the favourite to win the seat.

However, even if the ALP preferences the Greens, it is possible that the right could still gain the third seat. Adding together the final vote for Labor and the Greens, collectively they outpoll the DLP (including the preferences of Family First, Liberal and National) by 3.14%. A swing of just over 1.5% from, say, Labor to Liberal would likely see one of the right-wing candidates in close competition with the Greens for the final seat.

14 COMMENTS

  1. If Kavanagh manages to get to the final round, he is quite far ahead of the Greens. That, however, assumes that the ALP will continue to preference in the same way. Following the 2004 Senate victory by Family First Senator Steve Fielding and the 2006 result in Western Victoria, the ALP has faced a backlash for using their preferences to elect right-wing candidates ahead of the Greens, and in 2007 and 2010 the ALP preferenced the Greens in the Senate in Victoria.

    The excitement of gaining a DLP Senator in the region will certainly help Peter Kavanagh’s chances.
    No doubt John will campaign alongside Peter in this region.
    The Statement that the ALP has faced a backlash may very well be the opposite in that region. Many there are upset with the green alliance. In fact hostility against the Federal deal is obvious.
    I have no idea what preference deals will occur in this seat but the ALP could very well face a massive backlash if a similar deal is done here.

    I visted Ballarat on the weekend and the enthusiasm of the branch there has not been seen this high in years.

    Great to see so many young faces in what will certainly be an interesting contest.

  2. No surprises there.

    Will the Coalition be running another 2 to have 5 to not loose the people who preference only the Coalition?

  3. Any reason why it’s two Libs followed by a Nat? That gives the Libs two sure seats, leaving the Nats to fight the Greens (or the DLP) for the last seat. They can’t be too happy about that.

  4. Bird of paradox Says;
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 6:24 AM
    Any reason why it’s two Libs followed by a Nat? That gives the Libs two sure seats, leaving the Nats to fight the Greens (or the DLP) for the last seat. They can’t be too happy about that.

    The Nationals will always be the poor cousin of the coalition. If they ran a separte ticket they may very well have a better chance working with some of the other minors. When in coalition or (like Qld) the LNP the sequence goes two libs one Nat.

    I can see a time when the Vic Nats will be like the LNP in Queensland unless they can stand alone and break the Umbilical cord.

  5. They already proved that in 2002 and 2006 though, Tony, when they were outside of Coalition. But you need to be in Coalition to be in government to actually deliver policies.

  6. Kavanagh looks like he’s gone here. What are people’s thoughts on the battle for final spot – presumably LNP v GRN?

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