Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 11.3%
Region: Gold Coast
Federal: Fadden

Candidates in ballot paper order





One Nation

Labor (bottom)

Palmer United Party

Liberal National (top)

Family First




Electorate boundary outline courtesy of
Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

The Gold Coast seat of Broadwater was one of the less surprising of the Liberal National Party’s 44 gains at the 2012 election, Labor’s hold on the seat since 2001 having been tenuous and historically anomalous. Taking its name from the waterway that separates South Stradbroke Island from the mainland, the electorate includes the island and the mainland suburbs of Paradise Point, Runaway Bay and Biggera Waters.

Alan Grice of the Nationals held the seat for the first nine years after its creation in 1992, before being swept out by a 13.9% swing amid the tidal wave of 2001. Grice’s primary vote had shrunk from 61.2% to 39.5% in the face of the 1998 challenge from One Nation, who polled 26.2% and finished a short distance behind Labor in third place. With the race reverting to two horses in 2001, Grice was only able to add 7.3% to his primary vote from 1998, while the Labor vote shot from 30.0% to 52.4%.

The seat was held for the next three terms by Peta-Kaye Croft, who did exceptionally well to pick up further swings of 1.7% in 2004 and 1.1% in 2006. Under the changing terms of the coalition agreement, she was faced on the former occasion by a Nationals candidate and on the latter by a Liberal. With the Liberal National Party merger in effect at the 2009 election, Croft suffered a 4.6% swing that reduced her margin to 2.0%. This was inevitably obliterated at the 2012 election, although the 13.3% two-party swing was in fact modest by the standards of the Gold Coast.

The LNP had burned through two candidates in the lead-up to the election before settling late in the hour on Verity Barton, a 26-year-old electorate officer to Senator George Brandis. The first of the candidates was Richard Towson, an automotive industry consultant and also the candidate in 2009, who withdrew in January 2012 after blowing 0.07 at a random breath test. The second was Cameron Caldwell, principal of a Hope Island law firm, whose preselection had displeased Campbell Newman as he was hoping to supplement the party’s thin representation of women. An opportunity duly emerged when Caldwell resigned three days out from the close of nominations after photos emerged, innocuous of themselves, of him and his wife at a party staged by a swingers’ club.

cuOne day out from polling day, the Gold Coast Bulletin identified Broadwater along with Albert as two seats on the Gold Coast in which Labor was “hopeful of a win”. However, the paper also brought results of ReachTEL survey of 1115 respondents on the Gold Coast which indicated the regional swing was short of the 11.3% margin, with the LNP vote down from 58.3% in 2012 to 48.3%, but Labor up only from 23.7% to 29.4%.

Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.

Back to Crikey’s Queensland election guide

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