Margin: Liberal National 14.2%
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
The candidates (ballot paper order)
JEREMY JOHN FREDERICKS
JAMES PATRICK MacANALLY
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.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.