|Minister for Small Business and Tourism|
26 October 2004 - 3 December 2007
|Craig Emerson (Small Business)|
Martin Ferguson (tourism)
|Minister for Employment Services|
18 July 2004 - 26 October 2004
|Member of the Australian Parliament|
2 March 1996 - 19 July 2010
24 March 1990 - 13 March 1993
|Born||21 May 1946|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|Alma mater||University of Queensland|
Frances Esther Bailey (born 21 May 1946) is a former Australian politician. She is a member of the Liberal Party and served in the House of Representatives from 1990 to 1993 and 1996 to 2010, representing the Division of McEwen in Victoria. She held ministerial office in the Howard Government as Minister for Employment Services (2004) and Small Business and Tourism (2004-2007).
Bailey was born in Brisbane and attended All Hallows' School there, where she was regarded as a champion swimmer. She graduated from the University of Queensland and Kelvin Grove Teachers' College, later studying sociology at La Trobe University.
Bailey was secretary of the Yarra Glen branch of the Liberal Party from 1984 to 1988 and President of the branch from 1988 to 1989. She also worked as the campaign director for the Victorian state seat of Evelyn at the 1988 election.
Bailey was first elected at the 1990 election, defeating Labor incumbent Peter Cleeland in McEwen. She became the first female Liberal candidate elected to a Victorian seat, and the first woman elected to represent a rural electorate.
She was promoted to Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, and was heavily involved with the Liberals' Fightback! campaign to regain power. Cleeland defeated her in the 1993 election, a rematch of 1990. However, she won the seat back in 1996, defeating Cleeland in another rematch. She served on the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 1998 to 2002.
Before her return to McEwen, she sought preselection for the 1994 Kooyong by-election  but the preselection and then the by-election was won by her future parliamentary colleague Petro Georgiou.
In 2001, Bailey was promoted to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence. In July 2004 she was promoted to Minister for Employment Services and Assistant Minister for Defence. She became Minister for Small Business and Tourism in October 2004. In 2006, she flew to London with Lara Bingle to lobby the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre for the right to use the word "bloody" in advertisements promoting Australia (see So where the bloody hell are you?).
Her period as minister ended with the defeat of the Howard government at the 2007 election. Her hold on McEwen was always somewhat tenuous due to its demographics. Although classed as rural by the Australian Electoral Commission, it is actually a hybrid urban-rural seat. It includes several outer northern suburbs of Melbourne that tilt heavily to Labor, while the more rural portion votes equally heavily for the Liberals and Nationals. However, the 2007 election resulted in McEwen becoming the most marginal seat in the country. Initially, it appeared that Bailey had lost to former Labor state MP Rob Mitchell by six votes. Bailey requested and was granted a full recount, which gave her the win by 12 votes.
The result was challenged in the High Court of Australia in its capacity as the Court of Disputed Returns, and was referred to the Federal Court of Australia. Over seven months after the election and a review of 643 individual votes, the court altered the formal status of several dozen, eventually declaring Bailey the winner by 27 votes. Following the resolution of the long-running dispute, Bailey called for a total overhaul of the voting system.
| Minister for Employment Services
as Minister for Workforce Participation
| Minister for Small Business and Tourism
as Minister for Small Business,
Independent Contractors and the Service Economy
as Minister for Tourism
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for McEwen
| Member for McEwen