Victorian State Election 2010: Polwarth
Margin: Liberal 10.7%
Upper house region: Western Victoria
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: Polwarth covers more than 100 kilometres of western coast, from Peterborough through Apollo Bay to Lorne, and inland to Colac, Camperdown and Cressy. The seat has existed since 1889 and has always been in conservative hands, but was only held by the Country Party between 1940 and 1949. The member since 1999 has been Terry Mulder, former operator of a Barongarook cleaning business, who won preselection on the retirement of veteran member Ian Smith. He first had to overcome a high profile Nationals candidate in former Geelong Football Club legend Paul Couch, who finished third behind the Labor candidate. Mulder held the shadow portfolios of water resources in his first term, transport in his second and roads in his third, and he put his name forward for the leadership when Robert Doyle relinquished it six months prior to the 2006 election before opting to give Ted Baillieu a clear run. He has been the name most frequently put forward as an alternative during intermittent bouts of speculation about Baillieu’s prospects.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.