Victorian State Election 2010: Brighton
Margin: Liberal 10.9%
Upper house region: Southern Metropolitan
Federal: Goldstein/Melbourne Ports/Hotham
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: Brighton covers bayside suburbs to the south of St Kilda, an area affluent enough that Labor has never once been able to win the seat since its creation in 1856. Kennett government Treasurer Alan Stockdale held the seat from 1985 until his retirement in 1999, which precipitated a preselection brawl between the rival Kennett and Costello-Kroger camps. The former backed Louise Asher, Kennett government Small Business and Tourism Minister and member for the upper house province of Monash, while the latter instead wished for Asher to take the vacated seat of Kew so Brighton could be left for Costello adviser Mitch Fifield. Asher went on to easily defeat Fifield, who is now a Senator, while the Kew preselection went to another Kennett-backed candidate, Andrew McIntosh.
The defeat of the Kennett government brought a major promotion to deputy leader and Shadow Treasurer, but the latter role was reassigned to Robert Clark in an October 2001 reshuffle that left her with the industry and employment, major projects and tourism portfolios. She also agreed to relinquish the deputy leadership when Robert Doyle, a member of the rival Kroger-Costello camp, deposed Denis Napthine was deposed as leader in August 2002, but recovered the position when Phil Honeywood stood aside in April 2006, a month before Ted Baillieu replaced Doyle as leader. Her current portfolio load consists of urban water, small business, tourism and major events and women’s affairs.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.