Division of Ballarat

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Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of BALLARAT 2016.png
Division of Ballarat in Victoria, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1901
MP Catherine King
Party Labor
Namesake Ballaarat (from a Wathaurong Aboriginal word: balla arat, thought to mean "resting place".)[1]
Electors 110,793 (2016)
Area 4,652 km2 (1,796.1 sq mi)
Demographic Provincial

The Division of Ballarat (spelt Ballaarat from 1901 until the 1977 election[1]) is an Australian Electoral Division in the state of Victoria. It was named for the provincial city of the same name by Scottish squatter Archibald Yuille, who established the first settlement − his sheep run called Ballaarat − in 1837,[2] with the name derived from a local Wathaurong Aboriginal word for the area, balla arat, thought to mean "resting place". The division was one of the original 75 divisions contested at the first federal election.[1]

The division currently takes in the regional City of Ballarat and the smaller towns of Bacchus Marsh, Ballan, Blackwood, Buninyong, Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford, Myrniong and Trentham and part of Burrumbeet.

The current Member for Ballarat, since the 2001 federal election, is Catherine King, a member of the Australian Labor Party.


At various times in its existence the division has included other towns such as Ararat, Maryborough, and Stawell.

Ballarat is a marginal seat, changing hands at intervals between the Labor Party and the non-Labor parties. Its most prominent member has been Alfred Deakin, who was Prime Minister of Australia three times. Liberal senator Michael Ronaldson was the grandson of Archibald Fisken, a former Member for Ballarat.[3]

Ballarat also holds the distinction of seeing the closest seat result in Australian history. Nationalist Edwin Kerby unseated Labor incumbent Charles McGrath by a single vote in 1919. However, McGrath alleged irregularities, and the result was thrown out in 1920, forcing a by-election that was won by McGrath.[4]


Member Party Term
  Alfred Deakin Protectionist 1901–1909
  Commonwealth Liberal 1909–1913
  Charles McGrath Labor 1913–1919
  Edwin Kerby Nationalist 1919–1920
  Charles McGrath Labor 1920–1931
  United Australia 1931–1934
  Archibald Fisken United Australia 1934–1937
  Reg Pollard Labor 1937–1949
  Alan Pittard Liberal 1949–1951
  Bob Joshua Labor 1951–1955
  Labor (Anti-Communist) 1955–1955
  Dudley Erwin Liberal 1955–1975
  Jim Short Liberal 1975–1980
  John Mildren Labor 1980–1990
  Michael Ronaldson Liberal 1990–2001
  Catherine King Labor 2001–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2016: Ballarat[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labor Catherine King 42,275 43.27 +1.36
Liberal Sarah Wade 33,931 34.73 −3.27
Greens Alice Barnes 10,551 10.80 +1.29
National Paul Tatchell 4,108 4.20 +4.20
Christians Dianne Colbert 2,023 2.07 +0.85
Family First Graham Howard 1,896 1.94 +0.72
Independent Bren Eckel 1,802 1.84 +1.84
Rise Up Australia Tran Tran 1,121 1.15 +0.91
Total formal votes 97,707 94.71 −0.63
Informal votes 5,461 5.29 +0.63
Turnout 103,168 93.12 −1.80
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Catherine King 56,002 57.32 +2.43
Liberal Sarah Wade 41,705 42.68 −2.43
Labor hold Swing +2.43


  1. ^ a b c "Profile of the electoral division of Ballarat (Vic)". Current federal electoral divisions. Australian Electoral Commission. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Buninyong monument. Ballarat Reform League. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  3. ^ "House of Representatives: Voting by constituency, Victoria". Legislative election of 24 March 1990. Adam Carr. 1990. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "BALLARAT ELECTION VOID.". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 3 June 1920. p. 8. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Ballarat, VIC, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°30′58″S 144°03′58″E / 37.516°S 144.066°E / -37.516; 144.066