Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Doyle was born in Melbourne, and went through secondary school in the regional city of Geelong. He graduated from Monash University in 1977, and the following year, began work as a teacher, at Geelong College, his alma mater. In 1982, he moved back to Melbourne, working as a departmental head at Lauriston Girls' School. After three years, he again changed schools, becoming a senior administrator at prestigious Scotch College.
At the 1992 state election, Doyle succeeded in winning Liberal preselection for the "safe" electorate of Malvern. The Liberal Party, under Jeff Kennett, won government, defeating Joan Kirner. Following the election, Doyle was immediately placed on the Crime Prevention Committee, and several other taskforces, particularly in the area of health.. In April 1996, Doyle was promoted to the position of Parliamentary Secretary for Human Services.
The Kennett government suffered a surprise defeat at the 1999 election, and Kennett himself resigned soon afterwards. Kennett's Health Minister, Denis Napthine, became leader, and Doyle took Napthine's place, becoming the opposition's health spokesperson. Due to a number of retirements before the election, Doyle found himself being talked about as a potential leader, though he had never held a ministerial position.
By 2002, the Liberal Party, which had been thought almost unbeatable under Kennett, was flagging in the polls, and was expected to lose the election due later that year. Doyle challenged Napthine, whose public exposure had been almost non-existent during his time as Opposition Leader, for the leadership of the state Liberal Party, and was successful.
He fought a largely negative election campaign, which suffered a large blow when the party's Treasurer, Robert Dean , was deemed ineligible to stand because he was not on the electoral roll. The election saw the Liberal Party suffer the worst defeat in the party's history. The party lost more than twenty seats, including some that never before been held by any other party. They also lost control of the Legislative Council for the first time in Victorian history.
Doyle retained his position after the election, and though there were rumors of a Louise Asher - Ted Baillieu coup against him, it never occurred.
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