Seat of the week: Longman

Elected in 2010 at the age of 20, Wyatt Roy looked to be cruising to an easy second term as member for his seat on Brisbane’s northern fringe. Now post-Ruddstoration opinion polling suggests he has a real fight on his hands.

Longman is centred on Caboolture and Burpengary in Brisbane’s outer north, from which it extends eastwards to Bribie Island and the mainland coast immediately opposite and westwards to the semi-rural townships of Woodford and D’Aguilar. The seat was created at the 1996 election from territory that had mostly been in Fisher, which thereafter assumed a more coastal orientation along the southern half of the Sunshine Coast. Caboolture and Bribie Island have been the constants of the electorate amid frequently changing boundaries, which have variously appended the electorate’s core either with outer northern Brisbane suburbs or semi-rural hinterland. The former was most evident when the boundaries encompassed the coastal suburb of Deception Bay at the time of the 2007 election, which was the only occasion thus far when the seat has been won by Labor. This area was transferred to Petrie in the redistribution before the 2010 election, with Longman regaining the Woodford and D’Aguilar area it had temporarily lost to Fisher.

Longman had a notional Liberal margin of 1.6% on its creation at the 1996 election, to which the party’s candidate Mal Brough added a further 10.0% in the context of a disastrous result for Labor throughout Queensland. Brough was nonetheless lucky to survive the 1998 election after a 1.6% redistribution shift and a 9.1% swing back to Labor left him with only 0.5% to spare. After picking up successive swings of 1.8% in 2001 and 5.2% in 2004, Brough’s margin was pegged back by redistribution to 6.6% going into the 2007 election. By this time Brough had emerged as a senior figure in the Howard government, serving progressively as Employment Services Minister from 2001 to 2004, Assistant Treasurer and Revenue Minister from 2004 to 2006, and Families and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs from 2006 until the Howard government’s defeat a year later. His profile was considerably raised by the latter role, in which he oversaw the government’s sweeping intervention into Northern Territory indigenous communities.

Longman gave Labor one of its most rewarding victories of the 2007 election when Brough was dumped by a 10.3% swing, which was notably more concentrated in low-income Caboolture than the more affluent Bribie Island. Labor’s winning candidate was Jon Sullivan, who had served the area in state parliament from 1989 as member for Glass House and Caboolture, before losing the latter seat to One Nation in 1998. The exchange of urban for semi-rural territory at the 2010 election reduced the Labor margin from 3.6% to 1.9%, though even the pre-redistribution margin would have been insufficient against the 3.8% swing Sullivan suffered amid an election result which cost Labor seven of its 15 Queensland seats. His cause was not aided by a late campaign gaffe committed during a public forum broadcast on ABC Radio, in which he drew jeers from the audience after responding critically to a question posed by the father of a disabled child.

The LNP’s victory was especially noteworthy in returning a candidate who at 20 years of age was the youngest person ever elected to an Australian parliament. Wyatt Roy had won preselection at a local party ballot the previous March, at which time the seat was not considered one the party had much cause to be optimistic about. A University of Queensland student, electorate officer to state Glass House MP Andrew Powell and president of the Sunshine Coast Young Liberal National Party, Roy reportedly impressed party members with his pitch at the preselection meeting, and performed well in subsequent media appearances. His win in the ballot ahead of former Caboolture councillor Peter Flannery and local businessman Steve Attrill was confirmed by the party’s state council, despite criticism from Mal Brough who queried how such a candidate would connect with the the electorate’s “large component of veterans and seniors”.

Labor’s candidate for the coming election is Michael Caisley, an organiser with the Left faction United Voice union (formerly the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union). Meanwhile, Mal Brough will be seeking to return to politics as LNP candidate for the electorate’s northern neighbour, Fisher.

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.

2,056 comments on “Seat of the week: Longman”

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  1. my say
    Posted Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 8:55 am | PERMALINK
    u rekon bob

    ==================remember 2010


    Yes , laurie oaks should be ashamed of that

  2. Morning all. While I am pleased to se Labor being careful not to preselect people with tainted pasts, this case in NSW may be harsh.
    [Labor looks set to dump its candidate for the Sydney seat of Bennelong after he was named as a witness at an upcoming corruption inquiry.]

    Perhaps thre are good reasons yet to emerge, but simply being a witness does not seem so bad. If this is to be the standard for candidates, thn others would have to go to. Unless the new approach is applied consistently it will be vulnerable, though the scrutiny is far better than before.

  3. Anne Summers:
    [I am not the only person who feels a range of emotions from utter sadness to irrepressible rage at how our first female prime minister was got rid of. I have had dozens and dozens of communications from people, most of them women, since June 26, many of them in the wake of reading my interview with Gillard, her last as prime minister. Without exception, these people are upset and angry. They are not ready to move on. Not yet, anyway.

    What will it take?
    Kevin Rudd is now undeniably back in charge. He is setting a cracking pace as he zips around the country laying on hands, dispensing his “fair dinkum” homilies, soaking up the love and consigning to the grave the “old politics” of negativity.

    But while he might be pointing at Opposition Leader Tony Abbott while he talks about “old politics”, his sights are in fact set on Julia Gillard. Her three years and three days leading this country are now being systematically either derided and ridiculed or else totally airbrushed from history. It’s almost as if it is being suggested that we were not actually being governed for all that time.]

    Read more:

  4. zoomster

    its time they realised the quick, short message like twitter has more effect in this busy world

    hope you told them so.

    I did get a very nice one liner from head office
    thanking me for my donation,,
    which I was very happy with

    same here on the site may be me, but I cannot concentrate on very large posts, may be because I have on my mind ‘what
    I want to do next, even its just get to my study to sew

    I bet you know what I mean

    let them know,,, we are now in social media mode.

    tweet them that should fix it, ,, better not , tweets are seen by libs. lol

  5. Apparently Kimberly Kitching has withdrawn her nomination for Lalor and given her support to Gillard’s preferred candidate, Joanne Ryan. That’s one in the eye for Andy Landy.

  6. zoomster people that write long letter and repeat them sleves worry you want take notice,

    they are often very bright people, much brighter than I,
    so hence the long letter.
    some people love the long letters though

    ive noticed and this not to criticise

    I can say something in two lines,’

    some one else will say it in 4 paragraphs

    and it gets rave reviews lol

    now off to soccer watch not play,

  7. Socrates

    As I posted yesterday, I know nothing of the ex Bennelong candidate but I do know one of his supporters. I had actually joked with someone just on Wednesday that knowing who supported the candidate you had to assume bad, very, very, very bad.

    I suspect that the ALP will wish to remove this fellow quick as quick. The crowd he mixes with I suspect share a bit with “Arfur”

  8. Morning all.

    Thanks for that link to Summers, lizzie.

    [But while he might be pointing at Opposition Leader Tony Abbott while he talks about “old politics”, his sights are in fact set on Julia Gillard. Her three years and three days leading this country are now being systematically either derided and ridiculed or else totally airbrushed from history. It’s almost as if it is being suggested that we were not actually being governed for all that time.]

    It’s been apparent to me as well. I had hoped it wasn’t the case, but if others have noticed it, then it isn’t just me.


  9. Confessions

    As you will of course recall one of the issues that triggered the 2012 challenge by Rudd was the “airbrushing out of history” at the 2011 conference.

    I disagreed with it then and disagree with it now – Gillard should be honoured as far as possible, only excepting any issues that were electorally negative.

  10. Mark Latham today:

    [Walsh lists scores of examples in which reporters assisted Rudd’s destabilisation campaign against Gillard. They published inaccurate information from off-the-record briefings, giving greater priority to the creation of headlines than the truthfulness of their work. Then, having attended Rudd’s press conferences, at which he declared his loyalty to Gillard, they turned a blind eye to the deceitfulness of his position; a case of journalists allowing lies to stand on the public record.]

    Journalists on twitter are upset about it, but I suppose the truth hurts.

  11. confessions

    When I first started posting (rather than reading) on PB, I found a group with a large range of knowledge and a tolerance for most opinions (except during the nightwatch!).

    I no longer feel this. 🙁

  12. zoomster:

    The hand fed lines and say this or say that bears all the hallmarks of a micro manager.

    Seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  13. Socrates,

    The suburb of Ryde itself has a large wealthy Italian population and having a surname ending in a vowel is not here a barrier to electoral success. However the rest of the Bennelong population might be put off by this vowel if it is reminiscent of the NSW Right.
    There have been hints of corruption at Ryde Council for quite some time including OBeid’s connections with the new Ryde shopping centre.

  14. Well, good to see some action backing the rhetoric.

    I’ve said it before — true reform of NSW must see some preselections overturned, otherwise it’s just posturing.

  15. OzPol
    Some of the best standing stones are up in the Orkneys(The Ring of Brogar) and some of best ancient sites are there plus The Shetland
    Will do one of the older uncles is going with us tomorrow who really knows what he is talking about
    I am going to sleep now as after midnight, BTW still 24 C

  16. For netball fans – a (Shock! Gasp!) a Guardian Front Page pic & lead into the article Thunderbirds and Firebirds battle for netball supremacy: The ANZ Championship grand final will be a thrilling spectacle but netball is struggling to attract recognition

    A couple of high-profile (?wannabe) Blokey Types who coach Netball & try to promote it should be very happy to see it given such prominence.

    BTW I’m not a fan. It was a school “ball” sport at which I was even more hopeless than I was at tennis & rounders.

  17. lizzie:

    Yes, I’ve felt the same way for around a year now, esp the intolerance for other viewpoints.

    On the bright side, some of the originals from the last 5 years are still here, and still contributing worthwhile comments, but many have moved exclusively to twitter, or to across the road.

  18. Latham did his damnedest to bring down JG in 2010 and now people want to believe everything he says because he’s doing the same to Rudd. I suppose those believing him now must have supported him back then too.

  19. confessions

    Thanks for the Latham link. I’d like to see an objective review of the Walsh book, because the Ruddsters won’t believe Latham.

  20. Gary:

    What part/s of Latham’s article do you think are not true? Instead of attacking people, why not argue against the substance of the issue.

    Do you perhaps think Latham is lying when he writes:

    [More than any other press gallery figure, Oakes has allowed the practice of off-the-record backgrounding to flourish. He has built a reputation for “scoops” through covert deals with senior MPs. They feed him material, usually damaging to their own side of politics, on condition of never being associated publicly with the information. As a leader in his profession, the Oakes technique has become infectious; an industry standard by which political reporting now carries more quotes off-the-record than on it.

    This is not just a favoured tactic of the Rudd camp. During the aborted leadership coup in March, for instance, Sky News reporter Kieran Gilbert told his viewers of a text message from an unnamed Gillard supporter declaring, “Rudd’s got it”.

    This was an attempt by Gillard’s strategists to lure Rudd into a caucus ballot (for which, at that stage, they still had the numbers).]

  21. Laurie Oakes has turned from being a political analyst with inside contacts, into someone who just repeats the contents of PR statements. His Telegraph article today merely tells us that the Liberals are going to run anti-Rudd adverts on TV tomorrow night.

    The same Liberal PR is repeated today by Dennis Shanahan in the Australian and by Mark Kenny in Fairfax media. All these “political gurus” are little more than retailers of political PR.

    What sane person would pay good money to Murdoch and Fairfax to read what is essentially a public relations handout?

  22. What Latham says about media backgrounding is correct.

    To be fair to Rudd and company I am sure that reporting of the backgrounding was not initially expected.

    I think that was the election leaks. Since then just an irresistible tactic

  23. Fess just tell me why you’re prepared to believe everything the scorned Latham says now when back in 2010 he did everything t thwart JG’s election chances. Remember?

  24. Night Night now to Guytaur and Confessions went on Twitter for a few minutes to answer tweets.yes having a great time. Iceland was still the most amazing on this trip so far

  25. Dtt 60

    Thanks and probably true. I am aware of the alleged corruption at Ryde Council. Obviously anyone associated should not be touched.

    Also good news re Kitching withdrawl. An unacceptable risk in the current election. One way or another this election will be won by no more than two or three seats. Labor cannot afford to have any liability candidates in winnable seats.

  26. GARY





  27. Good on you my say, a true believer. The party needs many more like you instead of those who a busy fighting for so and so within the party. Labor is it’s own worst enemy at times.

  28. Has this Reachtel poll been reported (from Guardian Oz). I is an encouraging result.
    [Kevin Rudd’s return to the Labor leadership has delivered the government a significant bounce in Queensland – a state where the party needs to gain seats if it is to have any hope of winning this year’s federal election.

    A new ReachTel poll commissioned by Together Union in Queensland shows a positive swing of between 7-8% on a two-party preferred basis to Labor in Queensland following Rudd’s return to the prime ministership.

    That swing suggests Labor could pick up six seats in Queensland if the election was held now.

    Labor’s primary vote in the state is now 40.8%, according to ReachTel. The Liberal National Party is on 44.2%. On a statewide measure Bob Katter’s KAP is polling 3.9% and Clive Palmer’s PUP is 4.6%.]
    Interesting to see that Labor now has three things gong for it in Qld – a swing to Labor since Rudd was made leader, Campbell Newman harming the LNP vote, and Katter and Palmer perhaps splintering the conservative block. It should be interesting up the on election night.

    Maybe Newman can do for Abbott what Joh did for Howard in 1987? Let us start a “Campbell for PM” campaign. He wants to be paid as much as the PM….

  29. [Fess just tell me why you’re prepared to believe everything the scorned Latham says now when back in 2010 he did everything t thwart JG’s election chances.]

    Because everything Latham has written today is spot on. This for eg, is something PBers have been decrying for years, and why the press gallery is so broken today:

    [Off-the-record briefings have become so common, MPs know they can manipulate the media and public opinion with impunity. Instead of having to use the tools of persuasion and policy work to get ahead in public life, they can advance their cause by stealth. The democratic principles of transparency and accountability have been lost. The Australian virtues of being upfront and fair dinkum have been replaced by the whispered cowardice of “working the phones”.]

    Latham goes on to cite Walsh making the same points PBers have been making about MPs abusing journo ethics to protect sources long before Walsh wrote her book.

    But no, Latham’s appalling behaviour in the 2010 election campaign demands that his entirely valid arguments are dismissed out of hand, when all objective evidence before us tells says otherwise.

    That, I’m afraid to say, is illogical.

  30. [Journalists on twitter are upset about it, but I suppose the truth hurts.]

    Latham is probably the biggest threat to Rudd and ironically they are both bad losers, but Latham sooked about it, Rudd fought back. One has strength one is a sook. I can’t believe anyone pays Latham to write.

  31. [But no, Latham’s appalling behaviour in the 2010 election campaign demands that his entirely valid arguments are dismissed out of hand, when all objective evidence before us tells says otherwise.]

    It doesn’t matter how true the message is, if you have a clown with no credibility delivering it, the only people who are going to listen are people who already agree.

  32. Gary

    Well, I’m sick of being targeted as a lover or hater, when all I want is a fair discussion based on facts. The atmosphere here since Mr Rudd “regained his rightful place” has changed incredibly, now that the previous critics of JG have taken over.

  33. Murdoch media (Malcolm Farr) has a go at Malcolm Turnbull over his travel expenses. The article mentions his “star power” in attracting attention to candidates in marginal electorates and that his visits attract local attention but no national media attention.

    The article ends with a cryptic sentence “Mr Turnbull has no doubts he could be prime minister, but there isn’t even a whisper that he is moving around Australia as part of a move against Mr Abbott.”

    [LIBERAL Malcolm Turnbull has a travel itinerary which makes Kevin Rudd look like a stay-at-home – and no one thinks he’s campaigning for the leadership.

    In the past 18 months Mr Turnbull has visited 56 federal seats for specific functions to help Liberal candidates. That’s a simple average of just over three a month but doesn’t take into account multiple visits to some electorates.

    And the visit list doesn’t include the trips made as a shadow minister and with front bench colleagues on Opposition business.]

  34. [Apparently Kimberly Kitching has withdrawn her nomination for Lalor and given her support to Gillard’s preferred candidate, Joanne Ryan. That’s one in the eye for Andy Landy.]

    I was dubious about last night’s tweet, but it seems to be true. The Clutterham exercise, badly botched though it has been, is an attempt to find a credible alternative to Kitching. I think Kitching would have made a good MP (I know her slightly). But, unfair though it is, she carries the baggage of her husband’s career, for which he is widely loathed in the Labor Party.

  35. WeWantPaul

    Not true. People have listened to Alan Jones on CSG because the message is right. The message is heard despite it being Alan Jones.

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