Victorian State Election 2010: Caulfield
Margin: Liberal 7.6%
Upper house region: Southern Metropolitan
Federal: Melbourne Ports/Goldstein
Outgoing member: Helen Shardey (Liberal)
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: Located in Melbourne’s inner southern suburbs, the electorate of Caulfield has existed since 1927 and has never been held by Labor, although an “Independent Socialist” with links to the party held the seat from 1943 to 1945. The Liberal margin was worn down by relatively small swings of 0.8 per cent in 1999 and 4.9 per cent in 2002, but a 5.3 per cent swing to the Liberals returned it to the safe seat zone in 2006. Factional moderate Helen Shardey became member in 1996, and announced her intention not to contest the coming election in June 2009. This followed reports she would face a preselection challenge from David Southwick, owner of an events management company and narrowly unsuccessful upper house candidate for Southern Metropolitan in 2006. The challenge was said to have been opposed by Ted Baillieu, a factional colleague of Shardey and opponent of the Michael Kroger faction which backed Southwick, and to have partly motivated a decision by the party’s administration committee to truncate the preselection process. Southwick nonetheless emerged as the only candidate when Shardey opted to retire.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.