The Liberal Party’s Sarah Henderson won the seat with 53.86 per cent of the vote on a two-party basis, defeating sitting Labor member Darren Cheeseman.
Corangamite remains a marginal seat – the Australian Electoral Commission lists a seat as marginal if the winning candidate won less than 56 per cent of the vote.
Ms Henderson said her key priorities as the new Corangamite MP were abolishing the carbon tax, supporting jobs growth, upgrading the Great Ocean Road and continuing the duplication of the Princes Highway.
Ms Henderson is the first female Member for Corangamite, after 13 men previously had the job.
Australians heard the word “Corangamite” frequently during the 2013 federal election campaign.
Just 0.4 per cent of votes dividing the major parties at the 2010 election.
Electoral officials took 10 days to declare a result in Corangamite in 2010, with the final tally relying on postal votes. Australians had held their breaths waiting for the final result, because Labor needed the seat to secure power at a national level. Mr Cheeseman’s victory proved vital for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to retain government.
The result was more clear cut in 2013, with Ms Henderson emerging as the clear winner on election night, although she waited a few days before formally claiming victory.
Boundary changes since the previous federal election could have changed the demographics in the electorate, putting more farming areas into Corangamite but removing bustling coastal areas in the east of the Surf Coast.
Meet the candidates
Twelve candidates nominated to run for Corangamite, the largest field in the seat’s 112-year history.
Candidates included members of the major parties, Liberal and Labor, long-established secondary parties in The Greens and the Nationals, and minor parties: The Sex Party, Australian Christian Party, Save The Planet, Australian Protectionist Party, Family First, Rise Up Australia, and Country Alliance. Former Palmer United candidate Buddy Rojek will be an independent. Katter’s Australian Party had promised to find a candidate, but was unable to find a person to put their hand up for the job.
Scroll through our slideshow of Corangamite’s candidates for the 2013 federal election.
Same characters, new story
Mr Cheeseman was the seat’s first ALP member since 1931 when he won the seat in 2007, ending a 76-year drought.
Mr Cheeseman defeated former Howard Government whip Stewart McArthur, who had held the seat for 23 years.
Regional leaders hope to attract more funding in 2013, and started a campaign to attract $50 million for the Great Ocean Road.The result is that Corangamite has changed from a safe Liberal seat to a marginal Labor seat. The marginal status has helped attract funding announcements during the past two campaigns, securing hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, including cash for an upgrade of the Princes Highway.
Corangamite residents also hoped to receive promises for spending on country roads, sports facilities such as Colac’s Central Reserve, Lake Colac, health, schools and the farming sector.
Liberal candidate Sarah Henderson made Colac’s first major announcement for the campaign, a $2.5-million pledge to help upgrade Colac’s Central Reserve sports facilities. Full story.
Incumbent Labor MP Darren Cheeseman followed suit, matching the Central Reserve funding. Full story.
The Liberals also announced $25 million for maintenance and upgrades on the Great Ocean Road, after a community campaign for the funding. The State Government will match the Great Ocean Road spending. Full story.
Labor failed to match the Ocean Road funding.
Labor fared better than the Liberals when officials drew the ballot order for Corangamite. Labor gained fifth spot on ballot papers, with the Liberals at 12th spot, an advantage possibly worth 1.5 percentage points for Labor. The Greens got top spot on ballot papers. Full story.
Colac Area Health is using the election to lobby for funding for a range of projects, including a $4.5-million centre for children’s health, and has written to the major parties asking for funding. Full story.
But the hospitals pleas fell on deaf ears, with neither major party committing to funding the much-needed facilities. Full story.
Lake Colac lobbyist and sailor David McKenzie called for the parties to fund work to improve the state of Lake Colac, but the only promise in that area hwas a $50,000 promise from Ms Henderson for a master plan for the lake.
Two new conservative parties, both with headline-grabbing Queensland leaders, attracted national headlines in 2013, but both Katter’s Australian Party and the Palmer United Party have had bad luck in Corangamite.
Businessman Clive Palmer’s party preselected Buddy Rojek as Corangamite candidate, but later disendorsed him after nominations closed. Full story.
Mr Rojek had promised a party with male and female models for his volunteers, and had made strange and offensive posts online before his disendorsement.
Mr Rojek stood as an independent, although Palmer United was still next to his name on ballot papers. He has talked about starting his own party, ANZAC United Party.
Queensland MP Bob Katter’s new political party had promised to field a candidate in every House of Representatives seat, but failed to live up to the promise in Corangamite.
Mr Katter visited Colac in April to drum up, attracting a crowd of farmers, and the party had another meeting at Pirron Yallock in July hoping to find a candidate.
Despite claims KAP was “still on the hunt” for a candidate, the party was unable to field one by the close of nominations.
The Democratic Labour Party failed to field a candidate in Corangamite, but still took out advertising encouraging people to vote for Nationals candidate Andrew Black.
Ms Henderson took the early lead in vote counts on election night, and was a clear winner early on. Full story.
She claimed victory over Mr Cheeseman on the Tuesday three days after the election. Full story.
Communities in the electorate include Colac, Apollo Bay, Birregurra, Lorne, Torquay, Winchelsea, Anglesea, Barwon Heads, Belmont, Grovedale, Highton, and Ocean Grove.
The region also includes parts of the world-famous Great Ocean Road, the beautiful Otway Ranges and volcanic plains.
The electorate of Wannon sits to the west, Ballarat to the north and Corio to the east.
Major industries are primary production such as dairy, beef, wool, grains and timber; food processing; manufacturing; retail; and tourism.
The electorate was named after Lake Corangamite, but the lake is not in the electorate. The Australian Electoral Commission put the lake into the neighbouring Wannon electorate in 2002 when it realigned the electorate’s boundaries. The border is now on the lake’s eastern shore.
Corangamite was one of Australia’s original 75 electorates, dating to the country’s first federal election in 1901.
Corangamite’s first MP, Chester Manifold, was buried at sea after dying on a voyage to the United States.
Future Prime Minister James Scullin was Corangamite MP from 1910 to 1913, but lost the seat. He later rejoined politics as MP for Yarra. He was Prime Minister from 1929 to 1932, the beginning of the Great Depression.
Ms Henderson is the first woman to hold Corangamite, and the fifth Liberal Party member to hold the office, although most members have been conservatives.