Victorian election 2014

Ripon

Margin: Liberal 1.6%*
Region: Western Victoria
Federal: Wannon (48%)/Mallee (24%)/Ballarat (21%)/Murray (6%)/Bendigo (2%)

* Labor-held seat made notionally Liberal by redistribution

Outgoing member: Joe Helper (Labor)

Candidates in ballot paper order

ripon-lib

ripon-alp

ripon-nat

SCOTT TURNER
Nationals (bottom)

PETER MULCAHY
Rise Up Australia

DANIEL McGLONE
Labor (centre)

MITCHELL LEE
Democratic Labour Party

LOUISE STALEY
Liberal (top)

KEVIN LOITERTON
Australian Christians

ROD MAY
Greens

TREVOR DOMASCHENZ
Country Alliance

DANIELLE FOWLER
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, Nationals in green 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.
RESULTS MAP: Two-party preferred booth results from 2010 state election showing Liberal majority in blue, Nationals in green 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.

The western Victorian electorate of Ripon is a hitherto marginal Labor seat that has been tilted heavily in the Coalition’s favour by the redistribution, converting a 2.7% margin at the 2010 election into a notional Liberal margin of 1.6%. The retirement of Labor member Joe Helper has created a general expectation that the Coalition will confirm its hold on the seat, setting the scene for a three-cornered contesting involving the feuding Liberals and Nationals.

Ripon covers territory to the west of Ballarat and Bendigo, extending along the Western Highway from the outskirts of Ballarat to Ararat and Stawell, and from there north through Maryborough to St Arnaud and its rural surrounds. The active ingredient in the redistribution is the gain of the latter area, adding 7000 voters from the abolished Nationals stronghold of Swan Hill, along with 3500 from Bendigo East and 900 from Bendigo West. This has been counterbalanced by the loss of rural territory at the southern end of the electorate, which sends 4700 voters to Buninyong (formerly Ballarat East), 630 to Polwarth, and 1100 to Lowan further to the west.

Labor’s victory in Ripon on the back of an unheralded regional revolt in 1999 was a decisive factor in the defeat of the Kennett government, giving Labor its first win in the seat since the 1955 split. The surprise winner was Joe Helper, a motor mechanic and service station proprietor, who unseated Liberal member Steve Eder with a 7.2% swing. Helper picked up a further 5.9% swing in 2002 and held on to at least some of it after the corrections of 2006 and 2010, suffering respective swings of 3.1% and 1.6%.

The Labor candidate to succeed Helper is Daniel McGlone, a Ballarat barrister and former staffer to then Deputy Premier Rob Hulls. The Liberals have endorsed Louise Staley, a Willaura grain grower and formerly an agriculture expert at the Institute of Public Affairs. Staley has been a frequent preselection contestant in the past, including for the federal seats of Menzies, Casey and Wannon together with an unsuccessful run for Ripon in 2010. She succeeded on this occasion ahead of Nathan Anderson, electorate officer to Denis Napthine. The Nationals candidate is Scott Turner, a former Richmond AFL player who is now human resources manager at Gasons Agricultural Services in Ararat.

cuThe Coalition conducted its campaign launch in Ballarat three weeks out from polling day, signalling its high hopes for both Ripon and the Ballarat seats of Wendouree and Buninyong. However, a Liberal source cited in the Herald-Sun said Ripon was the only one of the three that looked “likely”, with the other two “looking hard”. The Herald-Sun reported on the morning of the election that the Liberals considered themselves the favourite, which was well in line with the general view.