The death overnight of the Liberal member for Aston, Peter Nugent, will cause a by-election in the eastern suburban electorate in Melbourne.
The Liberal Party holds the seat by a margin of 4.24%.
Nugent had represented the seat since 1990, defeating Labor’s John Saunderson in that year and holding the seat in 1993, 1996 and 1998.
In 1998, Nugent held Aston with 54.24% of the two-party-preferred vote, compared to 45.76% for the ALP.
Nugent polled 48.49% of the primary vote, compared to 38.51% for the ALP. The Democrats polled 7.53%.
By any measure, given the electoral performance of the coalition in Western Australia, Queensland and Ryan in the past three months, Aston will be difficult for the Liberal Party to hold.
A by-election in Aston will be impossible to avoid, except in the unlikely event that the Prime Minister chooses to call an early general election.
Aston covers the suburbs and parts of Forest Hill, Vermont, Ringwood, Wantirna, Heathmont, Bayswater, Knoxfield, Scoresby, Boronia, Rowville and Lysterfield.
This is the current map of the Aston electorate: