Victorian State Election 2010: Ballarat East
Electorate: Ballarat East
Margin: Labor 6.6%
Upper house region: Western Victoria
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: Ballarat East extends from the eastern outskirts of Ballarat for about 50 kilometres north-east to Kyneton and 25 kilometres south to Meredith. Labor records solid majorities in the major centres of Kyneton and Daylesford, which account for about half the electorate’s voters, and in the Ballarat booths, which account for about a third. The smaller rural booths are variable, but cumulatively favour the Liberals. The electorate was created in its modern form at the 1992 election, when it was narrowly won for the Liberals by Barry Traynor. Traynor held on in 1996 but was dumped by the rural backlash in 1999, when former school teacher and Ballarat mayor Geoff Howard picked up a decisive 4.7 per cent swing. The swing to Howard in the 2002 election was a relatively slight 4.2 per cent, but he equally suffered a mild 0.9 per cent correction in 2006. Howard is linked in the past with the independents faction that was traditionally associated with John Thwaites. He served as a parliamentary secretary from 1999 until he was dropped after the 2006 election.
The Liberals have endorsed Ballarat councillor and sales manager Ben Taylor, who was installed as candidate by the party’s administration committee.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.