Electoral Form Guide: South Barwon
Electorate: South Barwon
Margin: Labor 2.3%
Upper house region: Western Victoria
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: South Barwon includes the Geelong suburbs south-west of the Barwon River and a further 600 square kilometres to the west and south, including the coast from Barwon Heads to Torquay. The former area includes Highton, which is strong for the Liberals, and Belmont and Grovedale, which swung heavily to Labor in the Steve Bracks landslides and the 2007 federal election (with decisive effect in Corangamite). Torquay and Barwon Heads incline slightly to Labor, while smaller booths inland are strong for the Liberals. The seat was created in 1976 and was in Liberal hands until the 2002 landslide, when it fell to former Geelong mayor and CFA fire fighter Michael Crutchfield. The swing to Crutchfield was 10.1 per cent, which added to the 5.5 per cent he achieved on his first attempt in 1999 and provided enough of a buffer to withstand a 2.7 per cent correction in 2006. Crutchfield was promoted to parliamentary secretary in the reshuffle that followed Steve Bracks’ departure in August 2007.
The Liberals have endorsed Andrew Katos, a councillor for Deakin ward on Greater Geelong City Council. Jeff Whalley of the Geelong Advertiser reported Katos won preselection with the backing of former Corangamite MP Stewart McArthur, defeating catering firm owner Tony Le Deux.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.