Electorate analysis: Bega is located in the south-eastern corner of the state, covering a 200 kilometre stretch of coastline that ends at the Victorian border. It extends inland only as far as the Great Dividing Range, the major population centres being Bega, Batemans Bay and Eden. The seat has been in Liberal hands since its creation in 1988, 28-year-old Andrew Constance succeeding inaugural member Russell Smith in 2003. A former Young Liberals president and public relations consultant, Constance was rated by some local critics as a “blow-in” from Sydney, prompting an independent challenge from Eurobodalla shire president Chris Vardon. However, he retained the seat with little fuss and enjoyed a swift rise to the front bench, being given the disability services and ageing portfolios in November 2006.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.