Queensland redistributed

The Electoral Commission of Queensland has unveiled proposed new boundaries for a state electoral redistribution. Eight seats have been abolished: Labor-held Fitzroy, Kurwongbah and Mount Gravatt, the Nationals seats of Charters Towers, Darling Downs and Cunningham, the Liberal seat of Robina, and the last remaining One Nation seat, Tablelands. The new seats are Buderim, Coomera, Dalby, Macrossan, Mermaid Beach, Morayfield, Samsonvale and Sunnybank. I don’t think I’ll have time to dissect the implications myself, but hopefully the Poll Bludger readership can shed some light on matters in comments (indeed, they have already done so in the previous federal thread). We will hopefully also be hearing from Antony Green later today.

UPDATE: Antony Green in comments offers the following notional margins for seats outside the south-east:

4.5 5.9
1.0 1.0
Barron River
5.1 4.6
NEW 9.0
2.4 0.9
7.6 7.4
8.1 7.9
22.3 19.8
4.4 2.2
15.1 10.9
NEW 18.6
Glass House
7.7 0.2
18.0 12.6
Hervey Bay
1.8 2.1
3.7 2.0
5.7 2.6
7.2 7.1
1.7 3.4
17.6 17.0
NEW 7.4
10.7 8.4
6.5 1.3
Mt Isa
12.3 8.5
9.9 9.7
10.5 11.2
5.4 5.4
20.5 19.8
Southern Downs
20.3 20.4
17.0 16.8
Toowoomba North
10.4 7.6
Toowoomba South
9.6 11.3
9.1 9.4
23.3 22.7
4.4 0.4

Some quick notes on various seats derived from reading of various sources, including a very good contribution from reader Northern Oracle in comments.

New electorates:

Buderim. A new seat to accommodate the population explosion on the Sunshine Coast, likely to prove a gift to the Liberals.

Coomera. New Gold Coast electorate formed largely from Albert, along with part of Broadwater. Minus a sitting Labor member, likely to be won by the Liberals.

Dalby. Formed in large part from two abolished Nationals seats, Cunningham and Darling Downs. The latter was originally won by Ray Hopper as an independent in 2001, but he later joined the Nationals. Cunningham MP Stuart Copeland is spoken of as a future leadership contender, and could conceivably end up with Hopper running against him as an independent (further update: the Courier-Mail reports Hopper might be marshalled against independent Dolly Pratt in Nanango.

Macrossan. Formed in equal part from abolished Charters Towers and Tablelands, which could put their respective sitting members – Shane Knuth of the Nationals and Rosa Lee Long of One Nation – head to head at the next election.

Mermaid Beach. Formed largely from the remains of Robina, this new seat seems likely to be the new home of the Liberal member, Ray Stevens.

Morayfield. A new electorate created in the northern Brisbane growth corridor mostly out of Kallangur, which shifts southwards. Should have a solid notional Labor margin.

Samsonvale. This is essentially a successor to abolished Kurwongbah, so its member Linda Lavarch (who has already confirmed she will seek the seat) can presumably rest easy unless there is an unrelated threat to her preselection.

Sunnybank. Largely constituted of abolished Mount Gravatt, held for Labor by Judy Spence with a margin of 12.9 per cent. Anna Bligh confirms Spence will be offered the nomination for Sunnybank.

Significantly changed Labor electorates:

Mudgeeraba. Labor member Dianne Reilly, who won by 2.9 per cent in 2006, faces the unwelcome addition of large Liberal-voting areas from abolished Robina.

Glass House. Won by Labor’s Carolyn Male by 7.7 per cent in 2006, Antony Green reckons this seat might have become marginal Nationals.

Pumicestone. Northern Oracle in comments says this seat, which Labor’s Carryn Sullivan holds by 5.4 per cent, has been made stronger for the Liberals by absorbing parts of abolished Kallangur.

Whitsunday. The loss of the one-time Communist stronghold of Bowen will take a bite out of Labor’s uncomfortable 4.4 per cent margin.

Greenslopes. Absorption of parts of abolished Mount Gravatt will produce a potentially significant cut in the 10.1 per cent Labor margin.

Mt Isa. Held for Labor by Betty Kiernan by 12.3 per cent in 2006, population decline has required the addition of pastoral areas to the east and south, which by my reckoning have cut the margin to around 8 per cent (no doubt explaining the fuss Labor is making over the geographic size of the electorate, which might make the ECQ consider amendments). Given the lead contamination issue in Mt Isa itself, that’s clearly enough to bring the seat into play.

Inala. A shift southwards for this southern Brisbane seat should dent the 26.3 per cent Labor margin, but not by enough to make life interesting.

Other Labor-held seats that have credibly been said to have become more difficult: Aspley, Indooroopilly and Chatsworth.

Significantly changed non-Labor electorates:

Burdekin. Antony Green says Labor now has a slight advantage in this Nationals-held marginal, which Rosemary Menkens won in 2006 by 2.4 per cent.

Clayfield. Labor has been strengthened in this Liberal-held Brisbane marginal, which Tim Nicholls gained for the Liberals from former minister Liddy Clark in 2006 by a margin of 1.7 per cent.

Mirani. Essentially merged with Labor-held Fitzroy, thereby cutting deep into Nationals member Ted Malone’s 6.5 per cent margin. The abolition of Fitzroy had been anticipated in advance, prompting member Jim Pearce to announce his retirement. However, the loss of the maverick Pearce’s high personal vote means any notional margin would probably flatter Labor.

Nanango. Addition of unfamiliar territory could undermine One Nation-turned-independent member Dolly Pratt, who held off a Nationals challenge from Joh-Bjelke Petersen’s son John in 2006 by 4.2 per cent. The Courier-Mail reports Pratt might face Ray Hopper, whose seat of Darling Downs has been abolished.

UPDATE (26/5/08): Full details and adjusted margins from Antony Green.

UPDATE (27/5/08): More from David Fraser at Graham Young’s Ambit Gambit.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

106 comments on “Queensland redistributed”

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  1. My understanding of the current process is that ballots have already been sent out to the Queensland liberal membership. Brough and co will have to wait for that outcome towards the end of June. Plebisites of Liberal members in Fisher Ryan and Mcpherson have already confirmed strong support for a merger. The Convention will debate the merger but not vote on it if it is to be scrapped it will only cause more divisiveness for the Queensland Liberals.

  2. Agree Paul, but until very recently Brough was seen as the anti merger Presidential candidate. Even if the merger goes ahead it will be a different shape than had Spence been elected. According to channel seven news the debate the Liberals had on the merger was very lively.

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