Seat of the week: Ryan

The subject of a better-late-than-never Seat of the Week is the wealthiest electorate in Brisbane, which has reverted solidly to conservative type since a fleeting moment of glory for Labor in 2001.

Teal and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for the LNP and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

The western Brisbane seat of Ryan is dominated geographically by the Taylor Range to the city’s north-west, but nearly all of its voters are drawn from the suburban plains to the east and south. The suburbs of Ferny Grove and Enoggera at the northern end are Labor-leaning, but in the south are wealthier Indooroopilly and Kenmore on the northern shore of the Brisbane River, with conservative-leaning The Gap and Bardon lying in between. The seat was created with the expansion of parliament in 1949, from territory which had been passed around over time between Lilley, Brisbane and Moreton. It has covered much the same area since, although between 1998 and 2010 the northern end was exchanged for Middle Park and Jindalee south of the river.

Ryan has been won easily won by the Liberals, and more lately the Liberal National Party, at every general election since its creation. Prior to 2001 it had had only two members, firstly Nigel Drury until 1975, and then Howard government Defence Minister John Moore. Then came the only interruption to the seat’s history of conservative dominance after Moore quit parliament when he lost his portfolio in a reshuffle. At a troubled time for the Howard government, the ensuing by-election in February 2001 was won by Labor with a 9.8% swing, giving them what proved an ill-founded confidence boost concerning their prospects at the election due later in the year. Labor member Leonie Short went on to defeat the following November at the hands of Liberals candidate Michael Johnson, a 34-year-old Hong Kong-born and Cambridge-educated barrister of part Chinese extraction. Johnson won a local preselection plebiscite amid loud complaints of branch stacking, and after a defeated candidate’s successful Supreme Court action against a move by the state executive to install its own candidate.

The statewide swing to Labor in 2007 cut the margin from 10.4% to 3.8%, from which it was further reduced to 1.1% by the redistribution that took effect at the 2010 election. Meanwhile opposition to Johnson was mounting within his own party, with reports emerging of an internal investigation into his expenditure records and fundraising activities. In May 2010 he was expelled from the party for attempting to broker an export deal between the Queensland Coal Corporation and a Chinese conglomerate during parliamentary sittings and with the use of his parliamentary email address. A preselection was then won comfortably by Jane Prentice, who served the Indooroopilly-based ward of Walter Taylor on Brisbane City Council. Johnson ran as an independent in 2010 but secured only 8.5% of the vote, with Prentice securing the seat for the LNP with a 6.0% swing. She picked up a further 1.4% swing in 2013, boosting her margin to 8.5%.

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.

991 comments on “Seat of the week: Ryan”

Comments Page 19 of 20
1 18 19 20
  1. victoria:

    I intend to read that blog post tomorrow morning when I’m not so wound up by a shithouse day at work.

    That author invariably turns everything s/he writes into a Rudd love-in, even when things have SFA to do with Rudd especially. At present it’s reading like another Rudd love-in, so I’m going to wait until the morning to read it properly.

  2. Wakefield did I make you think ABC watchers were xenophobic? No. Were my comments ambiguous? The ABC is not in my opinion deserving of the guvmint complaining about bias. The ABC echoed the words and sentiments of the right wing bastards and are still left wing. Sophie’s name as MD candidate. They may not be kidding.

  3. connie

    That’s a fact!

    Hockey wants to go further into debt to solve the debt crisis – and the Greens have said go for it 😯

    Joe Conomics with the blessing of the Full Moon – what a combination 😆

  4. Jackol re Graincorp. Agreed – Labor can cause quite a bit of trouble for LNP by pointing out the contradictions of free marketeers and nationals. But not smart for Labor to be lining up with the IPA free marketeers.

  5. As far as it goes if Hockey’s plan is to use a big bond issue to fund infrastructure, which is what has been hinted at, that actually seems fairly sensible.

    All I would say to the ALP is: if this happens, the ALP need to be watching any such infrastructure projects like a hawk – any problems in terms of budget blowouts, and certainly in terms of workplace accidents and the like – the ALP should be able to hammer the LNP using the LNP’s own rules.

    But the basic idea of funding infrastructure projects taking advantage of current low interest rates is probably exactly the right thing to do at this point in time, and if this is what Hockey does, and if the infrastructure given the green light has merit (as opposed to a whole bunch of road construction or repair), then I’ll give Hockey credit.

  6. The greens…a force for stupidity again. The libs must be made to justify debt when they rant that we are Greece not so long ago. the greens should force them to be accountable instead an agreement with the new fiscally responsible greens who aren’t keeping the main game in mind. The coalition is the enemy. Say no. Put them on the ropes.

  7. Graincorp?

    The Greens praised Hockey’s decision.

    Labor will stick to what is in the best interests of the economy. The rejection of the takeover bid was made with poor judgement.

    Saul Easlake “Australia open for business – NOT” 😉

    Joe Conomics can side with the Loons. Labor sides with the experts 😎

  8. Much as I love Labor and loathe Abbott, and think the greens do more damage than they do good, the debt ceiling was a Howes of an idea, quite stupid and completely useless. The greens did the right thing.

  9. [
    Posted Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink


    The coalition-Greens alliance is driving the country further into debt. 🙂
    You might be a bit slow but now your getting the hang of it.

  10. Dee, having traded in Woodside on a number of occasions, at a profit in most cases 🙂 I’m disgusted with their profiting at the expense of East Timor.

    I’d be prepared to give back a share of the dividends received even.

    Shame on you Woodside 🙁 I don’t like you anymore 😐

  11. Well WWP

    That’s just not going to cut it!

    You can’t just say something is stupid and useless. You’ve got to put forward points of view.

    I’ve expressed my views earlier…need say no more!

  12. tricot

    [Who benefits from such a policy of no limit?]

    Public policy and everyone to the left of the LNP.

    The lion’s share of the practical political benefit will go to the ALP, which gets the benefit of the policy it should have had, with none of the political odium that would have followed if they’d tried reversing themselves.

    Bear in mind that the clock was ticking on $400bn. In July, they’d have got that anyway. All the ALP’s leverage would have dissipated and whatever nuisance this caused the regime would have been forgotten.

    We Greens had no business demanding a cap because, like almost all economists, we saw the debt ceiling as pointless. It was an exercise in ignorant populist posturing.

    So both in terms of principle and practice, it made sense for us to help remove the cap. Of course, this makes the LNP look stupid because they campaigned on balanced budgets. Now they can be cast as profligate and if they breach accountability, there’s an unlimited supply of good lines for all of us to use against them.

    The whining here from the ALP supporters is amusing. We’ve done you a huge favour. Be happy.

  13. Dee, yes but we’ve always been disgusted with Howard, Downer etc…

    What about the AWB scandal?

    What about the former Nats Leader who sold his shares in AWB before the headlines broke out? 😯

  14. Franny

    We’re ecstatic, Coalition in bed with the Greens again.

    First Graincorp, now given an open cheque on debt and deficit directly by the Loons.

    Just stick to full moon package of the carbon tax for the trifecta 😀

  15. [NSW’s coal seam gas industry has a “complete lack of solutions” to deal with large quantities of salt, with one pilot project alone producing five tonnes of salt a day, a report commissioned by the state’s Chief Scientist says.
    Since the methane is typically trapped in rock fractures that also contain water, when miners such as Santos and AGL extract the gas they also bring water to the surface, much of it highly salty.
    In their report, University of NSW’s Stuart Khan and Geena Kordek cited Santos’ recently approved drilling project in the Pilliga Forest, in the state’s north-west. It will probably produce an average of three tonnes of salt a day over three years, or as much as five tonnes daily during peak output.]

    Read more:

  16. Fran is right, the debt ceiling was pointless. However, Labor can now correctly ask Hockey: were you lying when you said $300 billion debt was a crisis under Labor? Or are you lying when you now say over $300 billion debt is not a crisis under Liberals? Which position was the lie, Joe?

    Also, infrsstructure bonds, while good in principle, are being proposed for projects like the Melbourne East West Tunnel, which is not proven to be worth building. Another lemon, like Campbell Newman’s bankrupt tunnels in Brisbane. Why do conservatives only ever want to dig deeper holes for themselves?

  17. for almost zero percent of infinity debt the Greens could have done something worthwhile but apparently they just capitulated Democrats style

  18. Centre – your commentary about the Greens suggests that you got the runs once when your mother made you eat your greens – its a bit mindless.

  19. The whining here from the ALP supporters is amusing. We’ve done you a huge favour. Be happy.

    I’m happy with the outcome. I was saying this was a battle the ALP shouldn’t choose to fight, that it would come back to bite a future ALP government. Now the Greens have made it go away. The ALP can oppose the deal at no cost. When the Government reneges on the deal the Greens and ALP can cry foul, which won’t do any good but may give a day’s bad press for the Government outside the Murdochracy.

  20. I missed Lateline, but saw this on twitter

    [#Timor Ambassador to Oz on #lateline says he’ll let Australians decide if spying was for ‘national security’ or for commercial gain.]

  21. The Ambassador was, surprise surprise, very diplomatic.

    No killer quotes – he refused to make any direct allegations.

    That doesn’t matter so much really – the lawyer and the case seem to be happy to make all the direct accusations.

    He was mainly doing the “disappointed” thing, and per the tweet, inviting Australians to draw their own conclusions.

  22. @Fran/916

    I was more concerned as to why Hockey hasn’t told anyone what is the debt used, considering that they are already cutting into the welfare (which greens are suppose to be fighting against)?

    btw, Ocean Protector is still no where to be seen, still in the Dark.

  23. I think the Greens deal is a convenient end to that issue. The debt ceiling itself is rubbish and well gone. It is also an issue which could put the Coalition back on firmer ground when they are in the mire. A good issue to pursue with some good arguments but a good one to let pass at the moment.

    The Greens deal means Labor doesn’t need to compromise, still has some put down lines about Hockey and debt but can let the government ( I use the word loosely) carry on in the superlative manner they have achieved so far.

  24. So what did the Greens get out of this deal?

    One would hope something substantive like the Libs backing off on the clean energy finance corporation.

    Any clues?

  25. Well, I think Bandt has been making a little bit too many pressers lately!

    What are the odds for a leadership change in the Greens?

    If I was bookmaking on it I’d have Bandt pretty close to Milne to lead them by the next election.

  26. [Why is Joe Hockey still fat? I thought he had that surgery where you can only eat a tiny amount of food without throwing it back up?]

    Caveats: I don’t know how much Joe’s weight or the exact nature of his operation (there are a few variants) has changed so I’m not commenting on him.

    The most common bariatric surgery is a “lap band”. It’s common for the band to need to be adjusted and sometimes it has to be deflated or removed if it is causing complications. You don’t actually throw up food; in fact the patient is incapable of throwing up which can cause dire problems if the patient needs an anaesthetic as they are at high risk of aspirating.

  27. 925

    If Bob Brown is Cheryl Kernot, which seat does is he now ALP MP for?

    SHY is not ever going to be Greens leader. Not even if a full membership ballot was introduced.

  28. Where have I heard this recently?

    [“The actions taken by the Australian government are counterproductive and uncooperative,” Mr Gusmao said. “Raiding the premises of a legal representative of Timor-Leste and taking such aggressive action against a key witness is unconscionable and unacceptable conduct. It is behaviour that is not worthy of a close friend and neighbour or of a great nation like Australia.”]

    We are running out of nations to piss off.

  29. 935

    It was a short for a Four Corners, I think, on weight loss surgery where I saw a doctor say he new of a case of someone with one of these surgeries had, instead of dramatically reducing food intake, overcome the gag reflex and filled his oesophagus with food.

  30. Interesting take from a while ago on the Aust / East Timor dispute thats heading for the Hague. Makes good background reading.

    Seems Timor-Leste’s biggest issue will be the lateral boundaries of their claim, and they cant be changed without Indonesia’s agreement / involvment. Up till now it was considered that Indonesia would not want to go there.

    Of course this was before Abbott and his rabble totally fwarked up the bilateral relationship. So, Indonesia could agree to support their smaller neighbor with who they would of course like to have friendly relations by agreeing to discussions on those lateral maritime borders.

    Look at the maps here.

    Its possible one of the flow on effects of that would be Timor-Leste getting the whole of Sunrise and Troubadour. Gives Indonesia a chance to angle for a share of it as well, and Aust gets zip.

    I really wish that the Fibs had gotten it into their heads that the Australia / Indonesia relationship is about more than boats and beef. 🙁

  31. George Brandis QC ‏@George_Brandis 59m

    I have decided to join Twitter as a platform to express both my personal views and official professional press/information releases.-GB
    Retweeted by Scott Ludlam

    Why is Greens re-tweeting Liberals?

  32. Diogs

    Hockey, is obviously fit enough to burst a blood vessel in his tirades against the opposition in QT.

    And was obviously fit enough to play Rugby in his uni days.

    What a lazy loser Hockey is really?

    Speaks a lot for his work ethic in my view.

  33. [ One would hope something substantive like the Libs backing off on the clean energy finance corporation. ]
    apparently that actually makes a profit and the Libs are using the Greens to get out of their promise to discontinue it.

  34. Re British in NERI in 1945\\\Tricot 855
    In one of the series of autobios by the actor Dirk Bogarde…who seems an unlikely UK officer in Indian Army in 1945…. and who recounts how his regiment was sent to Java to hold down the rebellious Indonesians until the Dutch colonialists could muster an army and ship it out to reconquer Indonesia…seems odd now but…
    It all failed of course..and the Dutch were forced to go from the NEI
    Like the French in Vietnam however they were willing to fight to reimpose their rule after the Japs had surrendered in 1945…the follies of the imperialists

    BTW Bogard’s bios are a great read about his life before and after he became a UK comedy film star in the 50ies and how then later he made more serious films with Visconti (“Death in Venice is the classic )and finally how he tired of the film world and gave up the UK and went to live in Provence in a cottage he restored with his male lover
    He was fairly circuspect about this in an age where such matters weren’t talked about.
    There are 4-5 books in the series which covers.his life in the UK and USA..and later his life in Provence

    He was in England and France a great gardener too…. The books cover his entire life with great stories about his film-making

  35. [apparently that actually makes a profit and the Libs are using the Greens to get out of their promise to discontinue it.]

    Are they?

Comments Page 19 of 20
1 18 19 20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *