Academic makes Corangamite call
A DEAKIN politics lecturer has predicted the “shrunken” borders of Corangamite will improve Labor’s chances at the next federal election, potentially changing its marginal status.
Dr Geoff Robinson said the boundary changes, which take effect from Monday, July 26, would see the electorate become more of a Geelong-based seat that he believed would favour Labor at the next election.
Despite no election date set, Liberal candidate Stephanie Asher and incumbent Labor MP Libby Coker are already committed to strong campaigns for the “new” seat, which will take in the the south-east corner of Golden Plains Shire as well as Bellarine, south-west suburbs of Geelong, Torquay and a greatly reduced area of the Surf Coast Shire.
Dr Robinson said he expected Corangamite, which was traditionally a safe Liberal seat and had become marginal when Labor’s Darren Cheeseman won in 2007, would follow the political leanings of the Corio electorate and other major regional cities such as Ballarat and Bendigo.
Dr Robinson said Corangamite would probably still receive “some interest” during the Federal campaign but the loss of marginal status could impact election commitments.
“They’ve been promising the world to Corangamite but I’m guessing we’ll see less of that this time and hear more about railways on the Central Coast of New South Wales rather than around Geelong.”
Dr Robinson said he believed the pandemic and vaccination rollout would be an election issue, regardless of when the election was called, with “the New South Wales situation making it hard for the government.”
“Given the way things are going, it’s not going away; I’m guessing it will be significant issue at the election,” he said.
“Local issues also favour Labor; it’s a Victorian seat with young families and unionised organisations. There’s staff losses at the uni and the Federal Government is not stopping those job losses. Labor will use that in their campaigning.”
Dr Robinson said he believed several minor parties such as the Animal Justice Party and the Greens would have representation on Corangamite’s ballot, with a “small right-wing party” standing for the anti-vaccination movement having “some sort of political representation.”
“A lot will depend on the national trend but I predict Labor would have to be doing pretty bad to lose Corangamite,” he said.