For as long as there has been a federal parliament, there has been a seat of Gippsland, and for as long as there has been a National/Country Party, the seat has been theirs. The present incumbent is Darren Chester, who succeeded Peter McGauran at a by-election in 2008.
A brief introduction to Saturday’s by-election to fill the vacancy caused by Troy Buswell’s resignation from the WA state seat of Vasse, which looms as a contest between the Liberals and the Nationals.
The latest quarterly Newspoll result from WA finds no change on the previous result, with the two parties at level pegging on two-party preferred, and a slight worsening of Colin Barnett’s already poor personal ratings.
Presently held for the Liberals by Environment Minister Greg Hunt, the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island seat of Flinders was famously lost by Prime Minister Stanley Bruce in 1929, but Labor has only managed to win it on two further occasions since.
William Bowe is a doctoral candidate with the University of Western Australia’s Discipline of Political Science and International Relations. He has been running the electoral studies blog The Poll Bludger since January 2004, independently until September 2008 and thereafter with Crikey.