Victorian State Election 2010: South West Coast
Electorate: South-West Coast
Margin: Liberal 4.0%
Upper house region: Western Victoria
Click here for Victorian Electoral Commission map
Electorate analysis: South-West Coast extends from the South Australian border east along the coast through Portland and Warrnambool, and inland to Macarthur. It was created at the 2002 election upon the abolition of Portland, a seat that had been in Liberal hands since 1973. It is held for the Liberals by former party leader Denis Napthine, who entered parliament in 1988 and did not achieve great seniority in the Kennett government, until he served as Treasurer for brief two-week period between the 1999 election and the fall of the Kennett government. He subsequently emerged as Leader of the Opposition following Jeff Kennett’s resignation, but was deposed by Robert Doyle three months before the November 2002 election. Napthine went into that election defending a notional Liberal margin of just 4.7 per cent in his new seat, and he did well under the circumstances to hold it against a relatively mild 4.3 per cent swing. The 2006 election added a further 3.3 per cent buffer to his margin. Since losing the party leadership his shadow portfolio workload has progressed from state, rural and regional development to agriculture and water in the previous term, to ports and racing in the current one.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.