Margin: Liberal 19.0%
Region: Albury/Southern Border
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Electorate analysis: The electorate of Albury includes the Murray River border city of that name, along with (from west to east) the shires of Corowa, Greater Hume and Tumbarumba. In an uninterrupted history going back to 1880, the seat was only held by Labor for two brief periods until Harold Mair’s win in the 1978 Wranslide. Mair held the seat until the Unsworth government was defeated in 1988, when the gun law backlash helped deliver it to Liberal candidate Ian Glachan. Labor’s fortunes declined as reductions in the size of parliament forced the electorate into more conservative rural territory, although Albury councillor Claire Douglas came within 1.0 per cent of winning as an independent in 1999. Glachan retired in 2003 and was succeeded by Greg Aplin, who had worked locally as a television station manager and university administrator. Aplin was born in Zambia and served as a Rhodesian diplomat and Zimbabwean government official after independence in 1980, before moving to Australia in 1981. He first had to overcome another challenge from Claire Douglas, but her primary vote dropped from 34.8 per cent to 22.5 per cent. In 2006 he won promotion to Shadow Minister for Housing, then moved to justice and emergency services the following November. After the election he exchanged justice for Aboriginal affairs and mental health, and would later relinquish emergency services May 2008. In the December 2008 reshuffle all his repsonsibilities were exchanged for fair trading.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.