Victorian State Election 2010: Forest Hill
Electorate: Forest Hill
Margin: Labor 0.8%
Upper house region: Eastern Metropolitan
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: Forest Hill covers central eastern Melbourne suburbs from Blackburn South east to Dandenong Creek. The former area is naturally marginal, while the latter covers territory that has made the federal seat of Aston fairly safe for the Liberals. Kirstie Marshall’s win here in 2002 was Labor’s first since the seat’s creation in 1976, although they came close with John Cain’s election victories in the 1980s. Marshall won fame as an aerial skier in the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics, and was recruited by Labor Unity operatives to tackle what then appeared the ambitious prospect of Forest Hill. She went on to secure the seat with a thumping 12.3 per cent swing, boosted by the retirement of Liberal veteran John Richardson. Marshall made headlines during her debut term when she was ejected from the parliamentary chamber for breastfeeding her new-born daughter, and in late 2008 when a taxi driver complained to police that Marshall had “screamed obscenities at him, stood in front of his moving cab and injured his finger wrestling the keys from the ignition of his car”. Marshall conceded she “did not react particularly well at the time”. The Liberals have again nominated their candidate from 2006, chartered accountant Neil Angus.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.