2000 Isaacs by-election

The 2000 Isaacs by-election was held in the Australian electorate of Isaacs in Victoria on 12 August 2000. The by-election was triggered by the death of the sitting member, the Australian Labor Party's Greg Wilton on 14 June 2000. The writ for the by-election was issued on 30 June 2000.

BackgroundEdit

The Labor Party's member for Isaacs, Greg Wilton, committed suicide on 14 June 2000. Wilton's marriage had broken down earlier in the year, and shortly afterwards Victoria Police arrested Wilton after finding him, clearly distressed, with his children in a car in the You Yangs national park. While Wilton's intentions on the day were unclear, unrestrained media coverage of the incident was considered by his colleagues to have contributed to his eventual suicide six weeks later.[1]

The Isaacs by-election was the first election in Australia to be held after the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax on 1 July 2000, and the Liberal Party declined to run a candidate. Labor's preselection was a messy battle with the party's left faction proposing to pre-select Jill Hennessy, the former state president of the Labor Party and an advisor to Premier Steve Bracks. They were overridden by the party's federal executive, who put forward Ann Corcoran, although the change resulted in a convoluted factional deal in which pre-selection ballots were altered after their submission.[2]

ResultsEdit

Isaacs by-election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labor Ann Corcoran 34,483 56.54 +8.11
Democrats Haydn Fletcher 10,540 17.28 +11.36
Greens Mary Hutchison 5,539 9.08 +6.94
Independent Carl Wesley 5,329 8.74 +8.74
Australia First Patricia Brook 3,270 5.36 +4.92
Democratic Labor Gail King 1,832 3.00 +3.00
Total formal votes 60,993 91.84 −4.55
Informal votes 5,420 8.16 +4.55
Turnout 66,413 81.65 −14.56
Two-candidate-preferred result
Labor Ann Corcoran 40,280 66.04 +9.64
Democrats Haydn Fletcher 20,713 33.96 +33.96
Labor hold Swing N/A

AftermathEdit

The Labor Party held the seat of Isaacs, with a primary vote swing of 8.11 towards them. The lack of a Liberal candidate saw positive primary vote swings towards all the minor parties, in particular the Australian Democrats, the main rival on a two-candidate preferred basis. Ann Corcoran went on to hold the seat in the 2001 and 2004 federal elections, but lost pre-selection prior to the 2007 election.[3]

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