Take a look at the nation's most marginal seat, Corangamite, in the south-western corner of Victoria.
5 Aug 2013 - 5:00 PM  UPDATED 27 Aug 2013 - 2:53 PM

CORANGAMITE (Labor 0.5%)

Corangamite is one of the original 75 divisions contested at the nation's very first federal election in 1901. The electorate is named after Lake Corangamite, which is derived from the Aboriginal word for "bitter", a refence to the lake's salt content.

Corangamite was a marginal seat until 1930, switching between the likes of the Protectionist Party, Country Party and United Australia Party. The seat shifted hands to the newly-formed Liberal Party between the 1940s and 1990s, but more contemporary redistributions and demographic changes have seen the seat held by Labor on increasingly slim margins since 2007.

The electorate's hub of Geelong has made headlines after the closure of major car manufacturing plants and significant job losses.


Source: Australian Electoral Commission

The division sits in the south-western corner of Victoria and is home to iconic tourist attractions such as the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles. A large rural shire, Corangamite is characterised by rugged coastline, rainforest and lakes areas as well as pastoral lands.

Main industries include primary production (beef, dairy, sheep), manufacturing, tourism and retail.

The division stretches from Skipton in the north, covering Meredith, Ocean Grove, Geelong, Colac, Lorne and Apollo Bay in the south. Most of the seat's voters live in Geelong.


The seat is currently held by Labor MP Darren Cheeseman, who is running for re-election against the Liberal Party's Sarah Henderson. The two faced each other in the 2010 election, with Mr Cheeseman winning on the nation's slimmest margin after a swing of 0.44% to the Liberal Party.

Labor's Darren Cheeseman is running with a jobs plan for Geelong, saying employment would be the biggest issue in the election campaign. He is also pledging upgrades to school infrastructure and education programs as part of Labor's broader Gonski reforms.

The Liberal's Sarah Henderson has outlined policy commitments around infrastructure upgrades, including a $1.5 billion highway upgrade for Geelong commuters as well as $50 million to improve the Great Ocean Road and boost the tourism sector.

On day one of the Liberal Party's 2013 campaign tour, Sarah Henderson was joined by deputy leader Julie Bishop.


Population: 9,024
Median age: 45
Families: 2,401
Average children per family: 2
Median weekly household income: $823

Most of the division's population was born in Australia (84%), with the largest overseas-born community arriving from the United Kingdom (5%), according to 2011 census data. Each year, the seat hosts the annual Robert Burns Scottish Fesitval.

The medium age of voters is 41 years and the average household size consists of 2.5 people. The largest proportion of the Corangamite electorate consists of two parent families with children under the age of 15 (25%).

In the electorate's hub of Geelong, most households (12.1%) earn between $78,000-$103,999 annually, which matches the national average.

IN FOCUS : Geelong voters