South-West Coast is located in ancestrally Liberal territory, and was thus a natural choice for Portland's former member, Denis Napthine, to transfer for the 2002 election. He barely held onto his seat in the Labor landslide of that year, seeing his margin reduced to only 0.7 percent. However, it has reverted to its previous form as a safe Liberal seat. Napthine subsequently served as Premier of Victoria from 2013 to 2014. Following his government's election loss to Labor in November 2014, Napthine resigned from parliament on 3 September 2015. Roma Britnell retained the seat for the Liberals at the ensuing by-election on 31 October.