Margin: Liberal 18.3%
Location: Northern Regional, Victoria
In a nutshell: In 1996 Murray joined what for the Nationals is a depressing roll call of country seats which fell to the Liberals after a sitting member retired. In this case it was Sharman Stone who secured won a seat which had been a Country Party stronghold since its creation in 1949, the most notable member being party legend Jack McEwen.
Electorate analysis: Created in 1949 from territory previously covered by Bendigo and Indi, Murray has maintained a core around Shepparton, Kyabram and Echuca on the Murray, currently extending west to Kerang and east to Cobram. Country Party titan Jack McEwen held the seat from its creation in 1949 until his retirement in 1971, when it passed to Bruce Lloyd. In a sadly typical outcome for the Nationals, the seat fell to the Liberals when Lloyd retired in 1996, Sharman Stone outpolling the Nationals candidate 43.2 per cent to 29.7 per cent. Stone was promoted to parliamentary secretary after the 1998 election and to the junior ministry in January 2006. After the 2007 election defeat she assumed the environment portfolio, before winning promotion to the front bench as Shadow Immigration Minister when Malcolm Turnbull became leader in September 2008.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.