About Corangamite (an in-depth look)

Location:South West of Melbourne

Size of Electorate:5,441km square

Held by:Sarah Henderson (Liberal Party, since 2013)

Margin:Won with a 3.9% margin in the 2016 election. Redistribution has turned this into a flat 50-50 seat, making this the government’s most marginal currently held seat.

About Corangamite

A seat held by the Liberal party without interruption from (1934-2007), Corangamite has traditionally been a safe seat for the party.

Corangamite went to Labor MP Darren Cheeseman in the 2007 election, marking the first time Labor held the seat since 1931, before losing Corangamite to Liberal candidate Sarah Henderson in 2013.

Copyright: Victorian Electoral Commission

Key Comments:

Corangamite was named for Lake Corangamite, although later rezoning pushed the lake outside its borders. In 2018, the Australian Electoral Commissions decided to retain the electorate’s name rather than changing it to the proposed name, Cox, after swimming instructor May Cox, as the new name “prompted some ridicule on social media”, according to Sarah Henderson.

Corangamite is one of Victoria’s oldest electoral divisions and was one of 65 contested in Australia’s first federal election in 1901. It is the eighth largest electorate in Victoria, and includes the surf coast area, the southern suburbs of Geelong, and rural areas in the west. The electorate starts at Queenscliff in the east and runs down the surf coast including Aireys Inlet, Anglesea, Apollo Bay, Barwon Heads, Belmont, Grovedale, Highton, Lorne, Ocean Grove, Wye River and Torquay.

The federal division of Corangamite has been a largely Liberal-dominated seat in recent years. The exception was between 2007 and 2013 when the seat was held by Labor’s Darren Cheeseman. In the 2013 Federal Election, Liberal candidate Sarah Henderson took the seat with a 4.22 per cent swing to the Liberal party. In the 2016 Federal Election, Henderson retained the seat against new ALP candidate Libby Coker who is standing again this time. But the election saw Corangamite become the Liberal’s most marginal in the country, with it becoming a notional Labor seat with a wafer thin majority of 0.03%. In 2016 Labor polled more 30,000 votes, The Greens over 11,000 votes, and several other minor parties gained votes, including the Justice party who saw a +3.09 swing go their way. In the 2019 Federal election, if will again be Sarah Henderson defending her seat from Libby Coker. Sarah Henderson will prove to be crucial to the Liberal Government remaining in power, particularly in the face of their often talked about “women problem.”

Covering a vast stretch of the Great Ocean Road, as well as some of Australia’s most famous seaside towns, the Corangamite electorate spans 5,441 square kilometres.

Towns within the division include:
Aireys inlet
Apollo Bay
Barwon Heads
Ocean Grove
Wye River

Corangamite also includes the suburbs of Geelong south of the Barwon River.

Some major landmarks within the electorate include:
The Great Ocean Road
The 12 Apostles
Barwon River
Victoria’s Surf Coast
Hopetoun Falls
The Otways