Victorian State Election 2010: Frankston
Margin: Labor 3.2%
Upper house region: South-Eastern Metropolitan
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
DE GRAAFF, Denise
Electorate analysis: Frankston is a major commercial centre on the Mornington Peninsula about 40 kilometres south-east of the city. The electorate also incorporates Labor-leaning suburbs out to Karingal in the east, balancing out the conservative inclination of Frankston and the coast. It was created in 1967 but was abolished between 1985 and 1992, concurrent with the existence of an electorate called Frankston North. Labor gained Frankston for the first time in 1982, but the Liberals won the seat in the Kennett landslide when it was re-created in 1992. The electorate was dramatically redrawn when Frankston East was abolished in the 2002 redistribution, taking on most of the latter seat’s voters and losing Liberal-voting areas at either coastal end. This cut the margin from 10.7 per cent to 3.3 per cent, considerably less than Liberal member Andrea McCall needed to survive the 9.6 per cent swing to Labor.
The new member was 28-year-old Alistair Harkness, a former electorate officer to Steve Bracks who has remained on the back bench in his two terms as member. Harkness suffered a 4.4 per cent primary vote swing in 2006, but this translated into a two-party swing of only 2.6 per cent. Labor had feared they might do a lot worse due to the backlash over their decision to impose tolls on the Eastlink project – popularly known as the Mitcham-to-Frankston motorway – in breach of a promise made at the 2002 election. Robert Doyle’s confused attempts to capitalise on the issue were partly responsible for his decision to step aside as leader in May 2006.
The Liberal candidate at the coming election is Geoff Shaw, owner of a local accountancy business.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.