Victorian State Election 2010: Ballarat West
Electorate: Ballarat West
Margin: Labor 6.5%
Upper house region: Western Victoria
Outgoing member: Karen Overington (Labor)
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: Ballarat West includes the majority of the city that bears its name, and unlike its sister electorate Ballarat East extends to only a small area of outskirts beyond. Both electorates were created with the abolition of a single seat of Ballarat at the 1992 election, and both were held narrowly by the Liberals through the period of the Kennett government. A 5.8 per cent swing at the 1999 election gave victory to Labor candidate Karen Overington by a 1.0 per cent margin, and she enjoyed a further 7.5 per cent swing in 2002 and a correction of just 1.0 per cent in 2006.
Overington announced in May that she would not seek another term, citing the death of her husband the previous year and health problems of her own. Labor’s new candidate is Sharon Knight, manager of Lifeline Ballarat and family counselling services at Uniting Care Ballarat, and a former electorate officer to federal Ballarat MP Catherine King. Ballarat councillors Des Hudson and Cheryl Bromfield were both mooted as early preselection starters, but withdrew in favour of Knight. The Liberal candidate is Craig Coltman, a former joint manager of a family Mitre 10 hardware store who has pursued “other interests” since its sale two years ago.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.