Earlier in the campaign, I had occasion to divide Queensland’s 89 seats into 12 regions in order to compare variations in population growth. I will now use the same regions to compare the size of the two-party swing for and against Labor, after omitting seats where independents or exceptional circumstances interrupted the normal two-party contest. The number in brackets after the name of each region is the number of seats in the sample; the two sets of figures are mean and standard deviation. I will add further commentary regarding the outliers in these samples shortly. UPDATE: See below.
|Sunshine Coast (4)||-4.1||3.6|
|Gold Coast (8)||2.0||2.6|
|Northern Brisbane (7)||-0.7||1.6|
|Urban Hinterland (3)||1.6||2.7|
|Southern Brisbane (13)||-1.7||3.5|
|Central Coast (4)||0.7||4.1|
|Inner Brisbane (13)||-1.9||2.4|
|Western Brisbane (6)||-0.4||2.8|
|Regional Towns (5)||1.1||3.5|
By the way, the regions are listed in order of their rate of population growth, a potentially interesting hangover from the last time I used the table.
Sunshine Coast. The mean figure here would be even more pronounced if you removed Pumicestone, which swung 0.5 per cent to Labor. That would leave Kawana (7.3 per cent), Maroochydore (6.5 per cent) and Caloundra (3.0 per cent). Independent-held Nicklin and Noosa have been excluded, although it’s notable the Nationals were up 6.9 per cent in Nicklin and Labor down 3.1 per cent.
Gold Coast. Most of the results here were roughly status quo compared with 2004, including Gaven, which swung 1.8 per cent where it needed to swing 5.0 per cent if the Nationals were to repeat their April by-election win. The exceptions were the big swings to Labor in Robina (6.5 per cent) and Burleigh (4.0 per cent).
Northern Brisbane. The wild talk about Kallangur amounted to nothing more than a 3.2 per cent swing; all other swings in this region were less than 2 per cent either side.
Urban Hinterland. Not much left of this after you remove Gympie and Nanango Lockyer (2.8 per cent to Labor), Beaudesert (3.5 per cent to Labor) and Glass House (1.5 per cent to Liberal).
Southern Brisbane. There are two conspicuous outliers here: Chatsworth, where Michael Caltabiano still managed a 9.8 per cent swing compared with 2004, and Cleveland, which lived up to expectations with a swing of 8.0 per cent. Remove those two and you get a mean of -0.4 per cent and a standard deviation of 1.7 per cent. So in other words, an extremely stable picture with a small number of exceptions.
Central Coast. Gladstone and Maryborough are out because of independents, Whitsunday because its 11.0 per cent swing to the Nationals was an outlier born of one-off circumstances. That leaves an evenly mixed bag: Burnett (4.4 per cent to Nationals member Rob Messenger), Hervey Bay (0.8 per cent away from Labor member Andrew McNamara), Keppel (3.2 per cent swing to Labor member Paul Hoolihan) and Mirani (4.7 per cent swing against Nationals member Ted Malone).
Inner Brisbane. Ashgrove (6.7 per cent) and Brisbane Central (5.0 per cent) slightly boost the anti-Labor mean here. Interestingly, Peter Beattie’s margin in the latter has gone over two elections from 25.0 per cent to 14.6 per cent. Removing those two puts the mean at -1.2 and the standard deviation at 1.8.
Western Brisbane. A 4.6 per cent swing against Labor in Inala and a 3.6 per cent swing to them in Ipswich West (a slightly embarrassing outcome for retiring member Don Livingstone) cancel each other out and inflate the standard deviation; the other four seats hardly budged.
Cairns/Townsville. Uniformly excellent results for Labor, the outstanding figure being the 9.6 per cent swing in Thuringowa, partly explained by independents distorting the result in 2004. Removing that reduces the mean to 3.6 per cent and the standard deviation to 1.1. Other swings ranged from 2.2 per cent in supposedly vulnerable Mulgrave to 4.9 per cent in Mundingburra.
Regional Towns. By which I mean Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Mackay and Rockhampton. The only swing against Labor was the 5.0 per cent that has brought Bundaberg down to the wire; remove that and you’ve got a mean of 2.6 per cent and a standard deviation of 0.8.
Interior/North The figures here are not much use, as the results are a testament to the importance of candidates in these areas. First-termers Jason O’Brien (Labor for Cook) and Shane Knuth (Nationals for Charters Towers) picked up 7.6 per cent and 8.4 per cent swings, while the other seats hardly budged.
Weighted. By which I mean the seats that are allowed to have fewer voters than the others because they cover vast geographic areas. This covers eight seats, including Tablelands which is excluded because it is held by One Nation; of the remainder, Mount Isa is held by Labor and the others are held by the Nationals. There was a general swing to Labor throughout the area, only Darling Downs bucking the trend by going 1.8 per cent the other way. Hinchinbrook led the way with a 7.8 per cent swing to Labor, influenced by the retirement of sitting member Marc Rowell.