Seats of the week: Fadden and Moncrieff

This week’s Seat of the Week double-up accounts for the northern two-third of the Gold Coast, served by Liberal National Party members Stuart Robert and Steven Ciobo.


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.

Fadden covers the northern part of the Gold Coast municipality, from Gaven and Labrador in the south through Coomera, Pimpama and Ormeau to Logan River in the north, with the Pacific Motorway forming most of its western boundary. This area’s intensive population growth has caused the electorate to be progressively drawn into the Gold Coast since its creation in 1977, at which time it contained none of its present territory, instead covering outer southern Brisbane and the Gold Coast’s rural hinterland. The redistribution caused by the expansion of parliament in 1984 drew it into Brisbane, extending as far northwards as Salisbury and Rochedale, with the Logan River as its southern boundary. It first infringed upon the Gold Coast when it acquired Coomera at the 1996 election, the migration being completed with the exchange of Redland Bay in the north for Southport in the south at the 2004 election. The ongoing population explosion caused it to shed nearly 14,000 voters inland of its current boundary at the most recent Queensland redistribution before the 2010 election.

With the exception of 1983, Fadden in its various guises has been won at every election by the conservatives, meaning the the Liberal Party prior to the 2010 merger and the Liberal National Party thereafter. The inaugural member was Don Cameron, who had held Griffith for the Liberals since 1966. The 1975-engorged margin was whittled away at the 1977 and 1980 elections, then overturned with David Beddall’s victory for Labor with the election of the Hawke government. Cameron returned to parliament a year later at a by-election caused by Jim Killen’s retirement in Moreton, which became the third seat he represented. The 1984 redistribution made Fadden notionally Liberal, causing David Beddall to jump ship for Rankin. The seat was then won for the Liberals by David Jull, who had held the seat of Bowman from 1975 until his defeat in 1983. Jull’s margins were less than 5% until 1996, but generally well into double digits thereafter.

Jull was succeeded on his retirement at the 2007 election by Stuart Robert, a former army intelligence officer. Robert was said to have played a role in “rounding up support” for Tony Abbott ahead of his challenge to Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership in December 2009, and was elevated afterwards to shadow parliamentary secretary in the defence portfolio. He was further promoted after the 2010 election to the outer shadow ministry portfolio of defence science, technology and personnel, which was rebadged as Assistant Defence Minister following the 2013 election victory.


Teal numbers indicate two-party majority for the LNP. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Moncrieff covers the central Gold Coast from Miami north through Surfers Paradise to Nerang Head, and inland to Nerang and Highland Park. The seat was created with the expansion of parliament in 1984, previous to which the entirety of the Gold Coast had been accommodated by McPherson since 1949, and by Moreton beforehand. Moncrieff originally extended deep into rural territory at Beaudesert, before assuming its current coastal orientation with Beaudesert’s transfer to Forde in 1996. Prior to Moncrieff’s creation the entirety of the Gold Coast had been accommodated by McPherson, which had itself been created with the previous expansion of parliament in 1949. The Gold Coast had originally been contained within the electorate of Moreton, which has since migrated into Brisbane’s southern suburbs. The area has had conservative representation without interruption since 1906, with McPherson passing from Country Party to Liberal Party control in 1972, and Moncrieff being in Liberal and more recently Liberal National Party hands since its creation.

Steven Ciobo assumed the seat at the 2001 election after the retirement of its inaugural member, Kathy Sullivan, who had previously been a Senator since 1974, establishing what remains a record as the longest serving female member of federal parliament. Ciobo emerged through Liberal ranks as a member of the Right faction, associated with former ministers Santo Santoro and Warwick Parer and state party powerbroker Michael Caltabiano. He rose to the shadow ministry in the small business portfolio after the defeat of the Howard government, which was elevated to a shadow cabinet position when Malcolm Turnbull ascended to the leadership in September 2008. However, he was demoted to the outer shadow ministry portfolios of tourism, arts, youth and sport when Tony Abbott became leader in December 2009 and relegated to the back bench after the August 2010 election, which was generally reckoned to be a consequence of his support for Turnbull. Following the 2013 election victory he won promotion to parliamentary secretary to the Treasurer.

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.

621 comments on “Seats of the week: Fadden and Moncrieff”

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  1. [ Each day brings out a new story of JoHos excess, first cigars, now a $50,000 dinner on the taxpayer. ]

    Imagine the fury if Swannie had spent $50,000 on a dinner and had danced a jig when about to screw millions of voters…..

    Let alone the cigars.

  2. The EXCLUSIVE Sam maiden is a smear of new libertarian Senator David Leijdonholm. Maybe Murdoch organs are going to go the squirrel on him?

    Leyonhjelm gives me the creeps, but it’s a strange move for Murdoch to go after one of the crossbench.

    Abbott is going to need as many votes in the Senate as he can get. I guess Murdoch attacking them isn’t the LNP, but pushing them into Palmer’s point of view isn’t going to make Abbott’s life easier.

    Maybe there’s some idea that by discrediting the Senate there’s some political upside for the government? Maybe they (Murdoch and the LNP) really are playing for a DD and want to scrub the Senate clean? Maybe there’s an idea to start making excuses for failing to pass legislation and shifting blame onto the crossbench as well as the ALP and the Greens…

  3. Hockey’s excess, umm, bills to the tax payer, is another reason why I prefer that Labor/Greens/Pup should be spending the time blocking the entire budget.

    Because as Palmer said it’s based on lies, does Labor and Greens want to be part of that lie?

    (more rants incoming).

  4. [Galaxy pollster David Briggs said the proportion of voters who believe they are worse off was one of the worst he had encountered. Just 11 per cent of voters believe they are better off as a result of Mr Hockey’s budget.]

    [“It is a worse result than we have seen in any Howard and Costello budget or Rudd and Swan budget,’’ Mr Briggs said.]

    [Warning the financial sting in the budget is the prescription Australia needs to repair Labor’s debt and deficits, the Abbott Government has ­argued belt-tightening will pay dividends in the long term.]

    [But in a worrying sign for the government, voters remain divided.]

    I’m surprised by these figures.
    [According to the poll 41 per cent believe the budget will be good for the economy, but 46 per cent believe it will not be good for the economy.]

  5. it’s now “official”

    [GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 47s
    #Galaxy Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 47 (-1) ALP 53 (+1) #auspol]

  6. [ Galaxy pollster David Briggs said the proportion of voters who believe they are worse off was one of the worst he had encountered. Just 11 per cent of voters believe they are better off as a result of Mr Hockey’s budget. ]

    Some kind soul should do something about getting these poor deluded beggars committed. They are clearly extremely ill! 😉

  7. I’ve just been watching a film on NITV (National Indigenous TC, Channel 34) about Max Stuart, the Aboriginal man accused of rape and murder of a 9 year old white girl, in South Australia in the 1950s.

    Rupert Murdoch, then owner of the Adelaide News, in concert with his editor, journalist and Changi survivor Rohan Rivett, campaigned to have the guilty verdict overturned.

    The case went as far as the Privy Council, which confirmed the death sentence on Stuart, but execution was stopped when a Royal Commission into the circumsances surroundiong the arrest, interrogation and trial of Stuart was set up.

    Although the Royal Commission also declined to recommend reversal of the sentence, Sturat’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison. Stuart served 14 years before release.

    We all know what happened to Murdoch. He wenton the bigger and better things.

    Rohan Rivett was sacked by Murdoch as editor, when Murdoch was threatened with a charge of seditious libel against the government of South Australia. Many say Rivett’s dismissal was the price Murdoch agreed to pay to get out of trouble on the seditious libel charge.

    The film ended poignantly, with a piece to camera by an old man, Max Stuart himself, somewhere in the Outback.

    Then the ad break came on, with Stan Grant (who it now seems works for NITV, and not Sky anymore) doing a promo for an Indigenous curretn afdfairs program thatwas to discuss… the Abbott government’s withdrawl of $500 million in funding for indigenous affairs.

    If any one thinks that Abbott is ever going to get the black vote back again, they had better think again.

    He can brag all he likes about being the Aboriginal’sBest Friend, but he’s lost them.

    As for Murdoch, nearly 60 years later, he lost it a long time ago.

  8. It apears that one of my posts disappeared into the ether.
    It was a post responding to
    poroti 576
    A most excellent nom de guerre.
    It was
    Thanks my name is from a movie in which Kurt Russell plays a super Hero. the movie is “Sky High” a very funny family type movie Warren Peace is the son of a Super hero and and a super villian, War and Peace< which allows me to be good cop bad cop if I wish.

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