- Held by: Sharon Knight – Australian Labor Party
- Since: 2010
- Swing at 2010 election: 5.5 per cent to Liberal
- Redistribution details: Renamed Wendouree from Ballarat West. Lost the Labor-voting suburb of Sebastopol which gives the Liberals a notional slim lead of 0.1 per cent.
- Size of electorate: 114.3 sq. km
KEY COMMENTS: Covering Ballarat’s central business district and the area to the north of the lake that gives the electorate its name, Wendouree includes both rich and poor Ballarat. Major issues are the Liberal’s proposal to relocate the VicRoads headquarters to Ballarat and Labor’s promise to bring AFL to the city.
Heart attack central: health and jobs the key issues in Victoria’s most marginal electorate
Premier Denis Napthine travels to Ballarat almost every week to campaign because the survival of his government depends on it. The metropolitan seat of Wendouree, covering the town’s centre, is the most marginal seat in the state and the Liberals, who lead with a notional margin of 0.1%, believe it is vital to winning the election.
In 2010 Labor’s Sharon Knight won the old seat of Ballarat West by a slim margin over Liberal candidate Craig Coltman, but last year’s boundary changes excised the working-class, Labor-voting suburb of Sebastopol. A Labor insider told UniPollWatch that Knight’s office was deeply disappointed by that loss.
Coltman now stands a better chance against his old foe and can help the government compensate for seats it is predicted to lose in Melbourne.
There is a stark wealth gap in the electorate. Victorian houses and elite private schools dotted around Lake Wendouree strike a sharp contrast to the humbler timber bungalows in Wendouree West, a drug-affected community and one of the poorest suburbs in Victoria…
By Derrick Krusche. The relocation of the VicRoads headquarters to Ballarat is set to begin next year if the Napthine Government is re-elected.read more
By Derrick Krusche. The AFL has contradicted Labor suggestions that AFL season games might be played in Ballarat, thanks to a promised upgrade to the city’s Eureka Stadium.read more