Margin: Nationals 14.5%
Region: Far North Coast
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Electorate analysis: Ballina is the state’s second northernmost coastal electorate, being separated from Queensland by Tweed. Its main population centres are the coastal towns of Byron Bay in the north and Ballina in the south. This area includes farmland and rural communities that have kept the seat in National Party hands, along with counter-cultural elements who boosted the Greens to just shy of 20 per cent in 2003 and 2007. The seat was created with the enlargement of parliament in 1988 and has since been held by former accountant Don Page, grandson of party giant and short-serving Prime Minister Earle Page. Page the younger was a parliamentary secretary during the Greiner-Fahey government, and made the front bench when the Coalition entered opposition in 1995. He became deputy Nationals leader in 2003, after failing in a pitch for the leadership, but was defeated for a post-election leadership vote in 2007 by Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser. He currently holds the shadow portfolios of small business, regulatory reform and the north coast.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.