Corangamite – Australia 2022

ALP 1.0%

Incumbent MP
Libby Coker, since 2019.

Geography
South-western Victoria. Corangamite covers suburbs on the southern fringe of Geelong and then extends out to Torquay and Bannockburn. The seat also covers the Bellarine peninsula.

Redistribution
Corangamite previously covered a larger rural area, but contracted to cover a smaller area around Geelong. Apollo Bay, Lorne and Aireys Inlet were transferred to Wannon, while Meredith, Teesdale and Lethbridge were transferred to Ballarat. These changes slightly reduced the Labor margin from 1.1% to 1.0%.

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. Cheeseman was re-elected in 2010, and lost to Liberal candidate Sarah Henderson in 2013. Henderson was re-elected in 2016.

Labor’s Libby Coker defeated Henderson at the 2019 election. Henderson returned to parliament later in 2019 after being appointed to fill a vacancy in the Senate.

Candidates

  • Stephen Juhasz (Federation)
  • Alex Marshall (Greens)
  • Libby Coker (Labor)
  • Meg Watkins (Animal Justice)
  • Stephanie Asher (Liberal)
  • Paul Barker (Liberal Democrats)
  • Luke Sorensen (One Nation)
  • Daniel Abou-zeid (United Australia)
  • Jean-Marie D’Argent (Derryn Hinch’s Justice)
  • Assessment
    Corangamite is a very marginal seat.

    2019 result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Sarah Henderson Liberal 43,01742.3-1.342.4
    Libby Coker Labor 36,04735.5+1.435.8
    Simon Northeast Greens 9,1849.0-3.18.7
    Damien ColeIndependent5,1315.0+5.15.1
    Mandy GrimleyDerryn Hinch’s Justice2,7242.7+0.42.6
    Neil HarveyUnited Australia Party2,2572.2+2.22.2
    Naomi AdamsAnimal Justice2,1432.1-0.12.1
    Ian ErskineRise Up Australia1,1171.1-0.11.1
    Informal4,1964.0-0.7

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
    Libby Coker Labor 51,89551.1+1.051.0
    Sarah Henderson Liberal 49,72548.9-1.049.0

    Booth breakdown

    Polling places in Corangamite have been divided into four areas. Booths in the Geelong urban area have been grouped together, as have those on the Bellarine peninsula. The rural booths in the remainder of the seat have been grouped as “south-west” and “west”.

    Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in Bellarine (53.4%), Geelong (54.9%) and the south-west (58.1%) while the Liberal Party won 50.6% in the west.

    Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Bellarine8.753.421,22523.8
    Geelong8.754.99,52810.7
    West6.849.44,0514.5
    South-West12.658.13,8354.3
    Pre-poll8.349.535,55939.9
    Other votes9.247.314,89116.7

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

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    91 COMMENTS

    1. Thanks for the clarification Yoh An, you’re right that this division encompasses only the outer edges of Geelong-proper and the Bellarine Peninsula, not the “most urban parts of Geelong” as I inaccurately described it. Point still stands though that the redistribution has concentrated down into the more urban parts of the region, losing a lot of the inland, small towns encompassed in the Surf Coast and Coloc Otway shires.

    2. Population wise (total not voters), only about 35,000 live in the outer southern suburbs of Geelong that are in Corangamite. Compare this to the coastal/rural townships of the Bellarine, around 60,000 all up. 25,000 in and around the coastal town of Torquay. Finally the small number of Golden Plains townships being about 10,000. These coastal/rural townships are all part of Geelong’s commuter belt (and increasingly Melbourne’s) but don’t see themselves as part of Geelong.

    3. Stephanie Asher’s dawn service self-promotion bungle would have done her a disservice here. I wouldn’t write her off yet, but this will be harder for her to win as this would have angered a lot of people.

    4. Indeed if you look at the breakdown of booths, about a quarter of the population is in Geelong, about half is on the Bellarine peninsula, and the other quarter is to the west of Geelong.

    5. I would consider anywhere within the City of Greater Geelong to be part of Geelong, especially places like Leopold and Drysdale.

    6. Greater Geelong extends beyond Geelong itself, in the same way that Greater Bendigo, Greater Shep or City of Ballarat do. Residents of the Bellarine (which was a separate LGA until the 90s and seeks to become once again) don’t see themselves as part of Geelong, more a neighbour.

    7. you realise some people got vaccinated because they were basically told they would be jobless and cast out of no essential businesses

    8. I’m from the area – by way of breakdown: the electorate can be divided into the following parts; the outer southern suburbs (growth areas) of Geelong, the Golden Plains Shire, the Surf Coast and the Bellarine. Geelong as a whole is reliably Labor, the parts of the Surf Coast that sit within Corangamite are also pretty reliably Labor. The Golden Plains Shire is predominantly ‘tree change’ types hence their voting habits replicate those of suburban working class areas (pretty reliably Labor) and the Bellerine, prone to large swings between Labor and Liberals in the past, has become more stable in recent years, generally favouring Labor. The Bellarine is where Stephanie Asher is more well known but this is a by and large a party contest and the Liberal brand is very much on the nose.

      As such, I think Labor will retain the seat even though their campaign on the ground hasn’t been particularly huge.

      The electorate is becoming more progressive though and more condensed, the last redistribution basically moved the most reliably Liberal friendly areas out of the electorate.

      PS: vaccine mandates and other conspiratorial rubbish will have absolutely no barring on the result here. That’s just fanciful thinking.

    9. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/aus2022/corangamite2022/comment-page-2#comment-767677

      Bellarine has been a few percent more ALP than South Barwon for decades but it is still a marginal but that is somewhat disguised by the fact that the Liberals haven`t had a big win at a state election in Victoria since the 1990s. Unless Victoria has another single-term Liberal Government elected in 2030, I expect the Liberals to win/retain Bellarine in 2034. The Liberal also cannot be ruled out for 2030 or even this year if Neville retires.

    10. It would not be a surprise if Lisa Neville pulled the pin this year – 20 years is a long stint – and she has not been particularly well. Possible Lib pick up with her retired.

    11. I really don’t understand why Morrison is spending so much time here, it doesn’t really seem like a seat the LNP will get back. Maybe I’m wrong but with a sophomore swing in a likely pro Labor swing election it should be a Labor retain

    12. I can only assume they are looking at the margin and thinking they can overcome it. They clearly haven’t thought about demographic change. If I was Asher, I definitely wouldn’t have Scomo campaigning with me. He is a complete mismatch to this progressive electorate. Odd they chose Torquay too, where I expect their vote to drop below 30% this election.

    13. @wander west, There only two areas i can see some hops for the Libs are Outer Geelong suburbs and potentially Queenscliff where there rich retirees. Last election the Libs did get a swing to them in Outer suburban Geelong but this was outweighed by the increased progressive vote on the Surf Coast. I agree i expect the Libs to do badly around Torquay, Ocean Grove etc with an increased sea change demographic

    14. Asher has pulled out of this evening’s community forum in Torquay and advised she will not be participating in any further community forums of the campaign. I believe there are at least two more scheduled beyond tonight’s.

    15. Why does it seem that so many candidates for the Liberal and National parties always try to dodge any sort of forum or debate scheduled to include the other candidates within their respective electorate? I noticed even Scott Morrison himself pulled a similar stunt and refused to participate in any debate hosted by a half decent media outlet or commentator. They so badly want to be oppressed by the evil fake news media even though they have Murdoch’s empire behind them every step of the way.

    16. All candidates avoid some forums.
      Candidates forums are unscripted and party managers know how they can go horribly wrong. There is normally at least one candidate whose views allign with the majority of the audience. Both major parties view debating with minor parties as a risk.
      During the 2019 Frderal election I represented the Country Party candidate ( now Federation Party) at a Catholic Parents and Friends forum in Caboolture re private education. Simon Birmingham represented the Liberal Candidate . I managed to bring the house down when I told the audience about the Goulburn Strike and explained to the Audience at St Columbans Caboolture that they were not receiving government funding but rather subsidising Governmrnt by sending kids to private schools. Simon Birmingham responded by making snide remarks about minor parties. In effect the candidates forum put the minor party agenda on the front foot resulting in a cabinet minister have to veer off track to deal with the issue.
      The Candidates Forum in Longman in 2010 derailed the ALP candidate and in effect lost the the ALP the seat.
      Candidates Forums are dominated by individuals who are very committed to the issues they present and often raise issues which journalists sweep under the carpet. They are a quagmire that both major parties want to avoid.
      The major parties do not want minor parties and independents to have equal time but only the most biased of forum organisers can be a blatantly major party biased as the mass media is.

    17. Andrew is correct that the majors don’t much like the forums – but the fact remains that the ALP and Greens are still largely showing up for them, whilst prominent Libs are in hiding.

      Voters are noticing that.

    18. Laine
      Morrison is willing to debate on Channels 7, 9, & Sky – the 2 top rating News services in Australia, along with the top rating Channel on social media and pay TV. Politicians do aim to communicate to an audience, after all.
      How many debates did Bob Hawke do against Howard, I wonder?

    19. That actually supports Laine’s point.

      He’s willing to debate, but only on outlets owned by friends and moderated by cheerleaders.

      Morrison won’t willingly go anywhere where there’s a chance he could be asked a genuine question he wasn’t expecting.

      Hawke vs Howard isn’t really relevant as the scene has changed since then, starting particularly with televised debates like Keating vs Hewson with The Worm in the 90s.

    20. Exitpoll of 100 pre-poll votes in Corangamite (2019% in brackets): 50 (32) ALP, 6 (14) GRN, 39 (41 LIB), 4(2) AJP, 1 (3) UAP

    21. Geoff … Why are your 2019 figues only adding up to 92? Did the Independent get 8% – if so maybe you should have listed him with 0 (8).

    22. @Geoff, this lines up with what I would expect in Corangamite. The “Coalition insiders” who have been purporting that this division is in play for them are out-of-touch or lying. There just isn’t any winds that would be in their favour: the redistribution, the population growth composition, the anticipated national swing. And also the high-vaccination rates (relative to Melbourne, Victoria and Australia) which discount the narrative that electors are frustrated at Dan Andrews & Labor here. None of those suggest that there would be a swing in Coalition’s favour in Corangamite. McEwen I believe is probably a different story to Corangamite. My assessment is that the suburban West of Melbourne might also swing slightly in Coalition’s favour due to covid frustrations/backlash, but these divisions already have too insurmountable of a Safe Labor margin to make any impact or difference.

    23. I’m guessing Geoff’s figures are from the paywalled Geelong Advertiser article. This is from the Torquay PPVC. Comparison should therefore be with the 11,000 pre-poll votes at the equivalent booth in 2019, not what I am assuming are the 4,000 declaration votes. Either way it points to an easy Labor win with Cole’s votes flowing back to Labor this year. 09/05/22 Exit Poll (2019 Torquay PPVC) : 50 (32) ALP, 0 (15) Cole, 6 (9) GRN, 39 (39) LIB, 4 (2) AJP, 1 (1.5) UAP, 0 (1.5) DHJP

    24. @Wanderwest, seems a few of the paywalled publications have done exit polls across many divisions at pre-poll voting centres. Is there a good place I can access the breakdown of these exit-polls outside of the paywalls?

    25. @SEQ no idea, sorry, I was relying on original post’s data and then AEC for 2019 data. I would like to see an exit poll for Corangamite from Clifton Springs, on the Bellarine. That would give better insight into Corangamite’s trend, given the Bellarine’s tendency to swing.

    26. I suspect the Liberal candidate will have a crack at South Barwon at the state election if they haven’t already selected a candidate?

      I expect Labor will achieve a swing here but it will be less than the statewide average.

    27. The Liberals are NOT going to win Corangamite. They may surprise in McEwen but as other posters have noted it wouldn’t makes sense for them to win Corangamite.

      However I believe that the ALP are at a high watermark in Victoria and there aren’t many places where they can expand the map – Deakin, Casey, La Trobe don’t look like they’re moving; remember that bizarrely Jason Wood held La Trobe against the odds in 2007 against the Ruddslide, somehow lost in 2010, but then returned in 2013 and has remained ever since. The real battlegrounds are Higgins, Kooyong, Chisholm, Goldstein, and McEwen.

    28. Liberals have already presented former South Barwon MP Katos, who will lose. I imagine Asher will run for Bellarine.

    29. Actually Liberals already have a Bellarine candidate, so it looks like Asher will be sitting it out in November.

    30. Entre…
      Jason Wood ‘somehow’ lost in 2010 amidst the 1.5% fall in coalition vote across Victoria. Presumably something similar to the usual ‘how’ happened in perennial marginal seat of laTrobe.
      Julia Gillard was standing in a Victorian seat & lent a boost to the Labour vote in that state – and that state alone.

    31. Entrepreneur there are reports Labor think they can win Casey, espscially since popular local MP Tony Smith is retiring. Clearly Deakin is also at play because Albanese, Chalmers and Wong were all there today. La Trobe must come into play with the interest rate rise in that mortgage belt seat. I don’t seriously think McEwen is in play with a decent swing expected to Labor nationally.

    32. Observations at the prepoll centre in Torquay yesterday; there were a lot of people taking only Labor HTV cards and a significant number of people taking only Greens HTV cards, while a lot of people took only Greens and Labor, knocking back the right wing parties. Very few people were taking only Liberal HTVCs, and fewer people still were taking only Liberal Democrats and UAP. Of course there were a lot of people going in who weren’t taking anything at all.

      Labor’s got a Corangamite retain in the bag and any suggestion that the “freedom” parties might gain enough support to unseat the incumbent based on the state government’s handling of the pandemic is still laughable (even more so after seeing with my own two eyes who people were actually positively engaging with versus who most of them weren’t).

    33. Labor have a negative campaign against Asher on social media highlighting layoffs at Geelong Council during Covid, so trying to make her strength a weakness (a sign it’s still in play?). Irony is that if Mayor was still directly elected (a system Labor scrapped) Asher would never have been Mayor.

    34. I believe the big YouGov poll did show this seat is close, so maybe there is some logic to the campaign heating up again here.

    35. Morrison has been in Corangamite 5 times, Albanese hasn’t been even once. Wong did make a brief appearance last week. This seems to indicate that Labor are pretty confident here. I’ve been surprised at how little campaigning has been happening here by the candidates themselves. Lots of announcements through media release/social media but both candidates have been knocking back opportunities to be interviewed by the media and Asher pulled out of all public (non-staged) appearances. If I could make an individual seat prediction it would be 53-47 to ALP TPP and potentially wider.

    36. This one was a complete fizzer after all the talk, one of the biggest swings to Labor in the state.

      It has a Corio-like margin now.

    37. There are some huge swings against the Liberals here, the largest of which appear to be in the smaller rural townships that have traditionally been strong for the Liberals. Even Asher’s home town of Ocean Grove swung solidly against her. A lot of people had been wondering how the thousands of new residents in Armstrong Creek would vote. Some people expected UAP to do well, but they didn’t, meanwhile the Greens picked up 20% in Armstrong Creek east.

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