Victorian election 2014

Bendigo East

Margin: Labor 3.2%
Region: Northern Victoria
Federal: Bendigo (98%)/Murray (2%)

Candidates in ballot paper order

bendigoeast-alp

bendigoeast-lib

GREG BICKLEY
Liberal (bottom)

CAMERON DOWLING
Country Alliance

LYNETTE KAY BELL
Rise Up Australia

JACINTA ALLAN
Labor (top)

JENNIFER ALDEN
Greens

GLENIS BRADSHAW
Family First

2010 BOOTH RESULTS MAP

PAST RESULTS

DEMOGRAPHICS

RESULTS MAP: Two-party preferred booth results from 2010 state election showing Liberal majority in blue and Labor in red. New boundaries in thicker blue lines, old ones in thinner red lines. Boundary data courtesy of Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

PAST RESULTS: Break at 1999 represents effect of the subsequent redistribution.

DEMOGRAPHICS: Based on 2012 census. School Leavers is percentage of high school graduates divided by persons over 18. LOTE is number identified as speaking language other than English at home, divided by total population.

Bendigo’s two electorates are separated by the rail line which runs through the city from south to north, with Bendigo West accommodating the town centre. Bendigo East derives a larger proportion of its voters from Bendigo itself, its territory beyond the city limits consisting of thinly populated rural areas to its east and north. By contrast, Bendigo West extends southwards to accommodate Castlemaine and its surrounds, the inclusion of which makes it the stronger of the two electorates for Labor. The margins in the two electorates are nonetheless all but identical, which likely reflects the popularity of the member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan. The redistribution has reordered Bendigo East’s territory outside of the city, adding 1150 voters at the northern end from the abolished seats of Rodney and Swan Hill, and removing 4300 voters immediately to the north-west of the city to Bendigo West and Ripon. This results in a slight reduction in Labor’s margin, from 3.8% to 3.2%.

The current incarnations of Bendigo East and Bendigo West have existed since 1985, when a single electorate of Bendigo was divided in two. This marked a reversion to a state of affairs that had existed between 1904 and 1927. Prior to that, Bendigo had been accommodated by the single electorate of Sandhurst, reflecting the city’s original name, which elected between one and three members from the establishment of the Legislative Assembly in 1856 until the electorate’s abolition in 1904. Labor was generally dominant in the city until the Bendigo electorate fell to the Liberals in 1964, remaining with them until the Cain government came to power in 1982.

For the first 14 years after Bendigo East and Bendigo West were recreated in 1985, the former was held by the Liberals and the latter by Labor, except in 1992 when Bendigo West fell to the Liberals with Jeff Kennett’s landslide win. However, both seats were won by Labor when regional Victoria turned against the Kennett government in 1999, and have remained with them ever since. Bendigo East was won on that occasion by Jacinta Allan, who accounted for a 5.1% Liberal margin with an 8.1% swing. Allan was one of the star performers of Labor’s 2002 landslide, her 10.0% swing being well above the par for regional Victoria. She suffered a 7.7% correction in 2006, but this was followed by a relatively mild swing of 1.6% in 2010, which left 3.8% of her margin intact.

Allan rose quickly through Labor’s parliamentary ranks, becoming at 29 the youngest minister in the state’s history after the 2002 election, and being rated a leadership contender in the wake of the 2010 election defeat. However, her Socialist Left faction settled upon Daniel Andrews, and the deputy position was reserved for the Right. Allan’s first portfolios were education services and employment, which she maintained until succeeding John Brumby in regional and rural development when he became Premier in August 2007. The former portfolio was maintained in opposition, while the latter was exchanged for bushfire response. A further expansion of her role transpired after Rob Hulls’ departure in February 2012, when she exchanged roads for police and emergency services.

The Liberal candidate is Greg Bickley, owner of a local transport business and the party’s unsuccessful candidate for the federal seat of Bendigo at the 2013 federal election.