Victorian election 2014

Wendouree

Margin: Liberal 0.1%*
Region: Western Victoria
Federal: Ballarat

* Labor-held seat made notionally Liberal by redistribution

Candidates in ballot paper order

wendouree-alp

wendouree-lib

LIAM HASTIE
Sex Party

SHARON KNIGHT
Labor (top)

SHEILA O’SHEA
Rise Up Australia

CIELO FENN
Family First

CRAIG COLTMAN
Liberal (bottom)

ALICE BARNES
Greens

JOHN BUCHHOLZ
Country Alliance

2010 BOOTH RESULTS MAP

PAST RESULTS (BALLARAT WEST)

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.

Wendouree is the new name for the electorate that had long been known as Ballarat West, which provides it with all of its voters outside of a stretch of Ballarat Central and neighbouring Redan, whose 1900 voters were previously in Ballarat East. As well as changing the name, the redistribution has also given the Labor-held seat a notional Liberal margin – albeit one of only 0.1%, compared with Labor’s 1.1% margin at the 2010 election. Areas transferred out of the old Ballarat West are Sebastopol in the city’s south, sending 6900 voters to Buninyong (formerly Ballarat East), and Miners Rest on the city’s northern fringe, sending 900 voters to Ripon.

Ballarat’s distinct electoral history began at the height of the gold rush in 1859, when the multi-member districts of Ballaarat West and Ballaarat East (the spelling of the city’s name having long been a source of confusion) were created to accommodate the booming population. Reflecting the later decline, they had both become single-member seats by 1904, and were merged into a single electorate of Ballarat in 1927. The city was again split into separate seats in 1955, this time as Ballarat North and Ballarat South, before reverting to the original configuration of Ballarat West and Ballarat East in 1992. The various seats were in conservative hands more often than not, although Labor held Ballarat South during its period in office from 1982 to 1992. Ballarat West and Ballarat East have had identical records since their re-creation in 1992, being held by the Liberals through the Kennett years and Labor thereafter.

Sharon Knight came to the seat at the 2010 election upon the retirement of Karen Overington, who died the following August. A member of the Socialist Left, Knight had previously been manager of Lifeline Ballarat and family counselling services at Uniting Care Ballarat, and was formerly an electorate officer to federal Ballarat MP Catherine King. The Liberals have again endorsed their candidate for Ballarat West in 2010, Craig Coltman, a former joint manager of a family Mitre 10 hardware store. Coltman won preselection ahead of Ballarat councillor Samantha McIntosh.

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”. In the final days of the campaign, the Herald-Sun reported from both sides of the fence that Labor was all but home.