Victorian State Election 2010: Narracan
Margin: Liberal 2.7%
Upper house region: Eastern Victoria
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: Together with Morwell, Narracan was one of two Gippsland seats unexpectedly lost to Labor in the 2006 election, despite their hold on the seats pre-dating the 2002 landslide. The electorate covers more than 4,000 square kilometres in western Gippsland, including the towns of Moe, Warragul and Neerim. Moe is deeply working-class and extremely strong for Labor, whereas Warragul, Neerim and surrounding rural areas are naturally conservative. The electorate was created in 1967 and held by the Liberals for its first 32 years, though only by precarious margins in the period of the John Cain government. A 3.8 per cent swing at the 1996 election cut the margin to 1.6 per cent, so that a swing of 4.1 per cent in 1999 was enough to delivered the seat to Labor’s Ian Maxfield. The redistribution ahead of the 2002 election shifted the seat 3.0 per cent in the Liberals’ favour, so that Labor needed to pick up a slight swing in order to retain it, but in the event he went untroubled with a swing of 7.2 per cent. However, his seemingly secure 6.8 per cent margin was eradicated by a 9.5 per cent swing to Liberal candidate Gary Blackwood, a Baw Baw shire councillor and operator of local timber transport and harvesting business. Blackwood won promotion to parliamentary secretary for health services in November 2009.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.