Seat of the week: Oxley

Despite unfavourable redistributions and the statewide swing of 2010, Bill Hayden’s old seat has returned to safe Labor form since the famous interruption of Pauline Hanson.

Still famous 15 years later as the former electorate of Pauline Hanson, the modern seat of Oxley was created around the satellite city of Ipswich west of Brisbane in 1949 (a seat bearing the name earlier existed in southern Brisbane, before being renamed Griffith in 1934). Redistributions in 2004, 2007 and 2010 sent the electorate’s remaining share of Ipswich to Blair, pushing Oxley towards Brisbane with the addition of Middle Park and Jindalee in the north and Algester to the east. The changes before the 2010 election garnished the margin from 14.1% to 11.3%, and the punishing statewide swing against Labor that followed pared it back to 5.6%.

Oxley was was held for the Liberals on fairly comfortable margins for a decade after its creation by Donald Cameron, who served as Health Minister in the Menzies government. However, a 9.4% swing in the near-miss election of 1961 portended a long-term shift, delivering the seat to Labor’s Bill Hayden. Hayden did extraordinarily well to lift his margin to 19.1% by 1969, but Queensland’s reaction against the Whitlam government was enough to cut it back to 3.8% in 1975. By the time Hayden resigned to become Governor-General in 1988, the seat was safe enough for Labor that Les Scott was able to survive a sharp swing at the resulting by-election with a 4.0% margin.

After retaining a margin of 12.6% at the 1993 election, few suspected that Scott would be in serious danger despite the hostile environment Labor faced in 1996. However, trouble came in the form of Liberal candidate Pauline Hanson, whose campaign remarks about Aboriginal welfare saw her disendorsed by a party sensitive about its leader’s complicated history on racial issues. The voters by contrast rewarded her with an astonishing 48.6% of the primary vote, resulting in a 4.7% win after preferences. Unfortunately for Hanson, Oxley was substantially redrawn with the 1998 redistribution, losing its rural areas beyond Ipswich to newly created Blair along with parts of Ipswich itself, while absorbing the very safe Labor urban area of Inala. Rightly or wrongly, Hanson decided the new seat offered her the better prospects and Labor’s Bernie Ripoll had no trouble regaining Oxley at the 1998 election.

A member of the Australian Workers Union/Labor Forum faction, Ripoll served as a parliamentary secretary in opposition after the 2004 election, but was passed over when Labor came to office in 2007. His preselected Liberal National Party opponent for the coming election is Andrew Nyugen, a 28-year-old policy adviser to Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk.

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.

977 comments on “Seat of the week: Oxley”

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  1. This little black duck@947

    Seems Ms Bishop has a good memory:

    The young lawyer in the Liberty print dress was sent straight to the Supreme Court, where one of the firm’s partners was defending a man accused of murder. Nearly three decades later, Bishop still recalls every detail of that first assignment as a 22-year-old.

    Remember what you said about the Wittenoom workers, Julie?

    I imagine most people would remember a first assignment like that. Now the Wittenoom case, er er ar ar er?

  2. William:

    I predicted a majority Liberal win at the next state election, but admittedly on the back of a rural stampede back to the Liberals.

  3. feeney@935

    bemused @ 928

    Yes, I agree with what you say. The whole thing is becoming so confused, deliberately I think by the MSM etc, in order to create a stench or smell around the PM.

    If the suggestion is that JG helped with the legal documents, knowing that their purpose was to use funds for Wilson to purchase this bloody house, then there are matters to be addressed. She has already denied this anyway.

    I really don’t know what to think anymore, mainly because there has been no allegation made against JG.

    As I have posted earlier. She did 2 things.
    1. She set up an Incorporated Association.
    2. She nominally did some conveyancing that appears to have been largely handled by a para-legal.
    Both are mundane legal tasks that are in no way memorable beyond the bare fact of doing it.

  4. Newspoll

    51-49 2PP to the coalition

    Primaries: Coalition 43, ALP 36 , Greens 11

    Better PM: Gillard 46, Abbott 33

    Gillard: Satisfied 37, Dissatisfied 52

    Abbott: Satisfied 30, Dissatisfied 61

    23-25 November. Sample 1156

    Very little change from last poll

  5. [Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm | PERMALINK

    Posted Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm | PERMALINK
    BTW have been on new blog and got very lonely over there

    That is okay, we welcome back lost sheep who are tempted by greener pastures that turn out to be plastic turf.]

    Thanks Puffy, I am saying Baaaa very humbly and won’t be tempted again with greener pastures, I can assure you

  6. [Newspoll

    51-49 2PP to the coalition]

    Well, well.

    Mumble has said for ages now that the daily commentary doesn’t have any impact on polls fortnight to fortnight.

    Perhaps he was right. If so, watch the space ‘moving forward’.

  7. Confessions

    If JulieB wants to be the attack dog, she has to have her own credibility challenged. The fact she lives in a glass house is valid, especially as she keeps using the pejorative term “boyfriend” to demean the PMs past relationships.

  8. Sprocket
    [If JulieB wants to be the attack dog, she has to have her own credibility challenged. The fact she lives in a glass house is valid, especially as she keeps using the pejorative term “boyfriend” to demean the PMs past relationships.]
    Well said!
    I do however admire Confessions ability to rise above the fray.

  9. {BH
    Posted Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm | PERMALINK
    Mari Glad we stayed up for the poll}

    Smart,happy and now tired little PBers we are 🙂

  10. They threw everything at PM – still cant knock her down 51-49, vbad for Abbott, Peta’s expecting 53-47 & scream “abbott, you fuacking idiot”

  11. your not going to beleive this i have been looking at realestate for a friend for the last hour and
    the thing dropped out and up came
    this page
    what a laugh no differnt, all their capper
    and by the way mss jb i can remember my first day at work to but dont remmeber what the weather forecast was who the obbs for the day
    but i wore a yellow linen dress and took my cream cardi with me and an umbrella with flowers on it

    of course you remeber your first day at work and
    where you went we where given a tour of the army baracks which at that time was at the back of bureau becauce they had a canteen

  12. do you know what
    i dont read william bit above much

    for pity sake how could that change to the above
    when nothing happend
    iam going to put this poll in the bin’
    of history

    and do the things i planned to do today

    my oh just came home ask his opion

    said well yes if its differenct electorates

    i suppose it could
    well william what do they do how do they poll

    can we have your expert opinion on that

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