It’s a case of blurred lines and big swings as Ballarat turns red in the state election.
Despite being led by Liberals’ Louise Staley since 2014, a redistribution – bringing in the 6000 strong Buninyong formerly held under Labor’s Michaela Settle – means the seat of Ripon was theoretically considered a Labor seat.
With 62% of the Ripon’s votes counted at the close of Sunday Labor’s Martha Haylett had a lead of just over 40 votes, and Labor more than 1000 ahead on the two party preferred. However Haylett has not yet officially claimed victory despite early calls giving the seat to Labor.
Notoriously a divisive seat, Staley won Ripon at the 2018 election by just 15 votes.
Meanwhile, a 4% swing away from MP Michaela Settle in her new electorate of Eureka was not enough to unseat the MP – raking in 40% of first preference votes.
She’s been re-elected for a second term in the face of competition from former Moorabool Mayor Paul Tatchell, who created a swing of 1.7% towards Liberal, claiming 32% of the first preference votes.
Labor’s re-elected Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison has been Ballarat’s clearest winner.
Addison took nearly 50% of the first preference votes to secure her second term in the electorate, while Labor was voted in on 63.7% of the two party preferred votes.
Her Liberal counterpart Samantha McIntosh, also a former Mayor for Ballarat City Council, secured just 28.2% of first preference votes.
Addison says the hard work for Labor begins for the party this morning.
“We’ve got the Commonwealth Games coming up in March 2026…we’ve got regional fares that we’re going to bring down to Melbourne prices on V/Line from March.
We’ve got a lot of work to do and we won’t be wasting a single day” she said.
Image: Juliana Addison MP Facebook