Victorian election 2014

Rowville

Margin: Liberal 13.1%
Region: South Eastern Metropolitan
Federal: Aston (98%)/Holt (1%)/La Trobe (1%)

Candidates in ballot paper order

rowville-lib

rowville-alp

TIM WISE
Greens

LEANNE PRICE
Rise Up Australia

KIM WELLS
Liberal (top)

TAMIKA HICKS
Labor (bottom)

2010 BOOTH RESULTS MAP

PAST RESULTS
(WANTIRNA/SCORESBY)

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.

Rowville is a newly christened electorate in outer eastern Melbourne encompassing Rowville, Scoresby, Lysterfield and the southern parts of Knoxfield and Ferntree Gully. Although newly named, it can be seen as the successor to Ferntree Gully, as it encompasses more voters from the electorate as it previously existed than the redrawn electorate of the same name. The 12,000 voters of Rowville, Knoxfield and Scoresby were in the abolished electorate of Scoresby, but the remaining 25,500 are carried over from Ferntree Gully. The entirety of the area is strong for the Liberals, who have a notional margin of 13.1%.

The Liberal Party candidate for the seat is its member for Scoresby, Kim Wells, who served as Treasurer under Ted Baillieu’s leadership before being demoted to Police and Emergency Services Minister when Denis Napthine became leader in March 2013. Wells was first elected to parliament after unseating Labor’s Peter Lockwood in Wantirna as part of Jeff Kennett’s 1992 landslide, instantly turning a seat held by Labor on a margin of 0.2% into a safe Liberal seat through a swing of 14.3%. The 2002 election replaced Knoxville with the new seat of Scoresby, which Wells retained by a 3.3% margin in the face of an 11.6% swing. He picked up a 7.9% swing in 2006, when the Bracks government’s broken promise in imposing a toll on the EastLink motorway played in his favour, followed by a relatively mild 3.0% swing in 2010.

Wells was promoted to the shadow cabinet in 2000 in the police and emergency services and corrections portfolios, but nonetheless faced an aggressive preselection challenge before the 2006 election from Michael Gidley, who would instead end up twice running for Mount Waverley, unsuccessfully in 2006 and successfully in 2010. Wells was on the Jeff Kennett-Ted Baillieu side of the party’s factional divide, and supporters of Gidley’s challenge reportedly promoted themselves as loyalists of then-leader Robert Doyle, to whom they claimed Wells was insufficiently loyal. Doyle in fact distanced himself from the challenge and reiterated his backing of Wells, and Gidley was persuaded to fall back on Mount Waverley.

Wells was promoted to Shadow Treasurer after the subsequent election, and carried the portfolio into government four years later. However, as the Coalition floundered in the polls, criticisms emerged that he was failing to sell the government’s economic message, and he was reassigned to police and emergency services after Denis Napthine took over from Ted Baillieu in March 2013.