Victorian election 2014

Shepparton

Margin: Nationals 25.9%
Region: Northern Victoria
Federal: Murray

Outgoing member: Jeanette Powell (Nationals)

Candidates in ballot paper order

shepparton-nat

shepparton-alp

MICHAEL BOURKE
Country Alliance

GREG BARR
Nationals (bottom)

DIANE TEASDALE
Independent

DAMIEN STEVENS
Greens

SUZANNA SHEED
Independent

RODNEY HIGGINS
Labor (bottom)

2010 BOOTH RESULTS MAP

PAST RESULTS

DEMOGRAPHICS

RESULTS MAP: Two-party preferred booth results from 2010 state election showing Nationals majority 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 Nationals stronghold of Shepparton extends northwards from the northern Victorian city that bears its name to the Murray River, and also encompasses the smaller centres of Mooroopna and Tatura to the city’s west. The region made national news in January when a request for assistance for Shepparton’s SPC Ardmona cannery was rejected by the federal government, imperilling 2700 jobs, before the Victorian government filled the breach with a package worth $22 million. Perhaps reflecting Shepparton’s economic troubles, the electorate has had to gain new territory in the redistribution out to the Murray River to maintain its numbers. The new areas add 5000 voters around Numurkah from Murray, and 2400 around Nathalia from abolished Rodney.

The National/Country Party has held Shepparton since it was created in 1945, although the seat was abolished in 1955 and revived in 1967. They were nonetheless outpolled on the primary vote by the Liberal candidate Stephen Merrylees when Don Kilgour retired in 2002, but preferences delivered victory by a 4.3% margin to Nationals candidate Jeanette Powell, who had previously held an upper house seat in North Eastern province since 1996. Merrylees again ran in 2006, but this time Powell went untroubled, her margin blowing out to 16.7%. Dennis Patterson of the Country Alliance finished ahead of Labor in 2010, but Powell won an absolute majority on the primary vote for the first time, and prevailed over Patterson by 10.2% after preferences.

Powell is retiring at the coming election, and will be succeeded as Nationals candidate by Greg Barr, an electorate officer to Powell and a former police officer. Barr won preselection ahead of Michael Dobbie, an Education Department workers and who represented Australia in wheelchair tennis at the 2008 Paralympics, and Marcus O’Dwyer, a Kialla farmer who works for a company selling agricultural products.