Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 11.0%
Region: Gold Coast
Federal: McPherson/Moncrieff

Candidates in ballot paper order



Liberal National (top)


Family First

Palmer United Party

Labor (bottom)




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

Burleigh is one of a number of seats on the Gold Coast which are generally reliable for the conservatives, but which Labor was nonetheless able to win in 2001 and retain until 2012. The electorate is the second southernmost along the Gold Coast, with Currumbin separating it from New South Wales. It runs from Nobby Beach at the north end to Palm Beach in the south, and extends inland to Labor’s greatest area of strength around Burleigh Waters and Varsity Lakes.

The electorate was created in 1992 as the successor to South Coast, which had in turn been significantly redrawn with the creation of Currumbin in 1989, which cost it its position in the state’s south-eastern corner. South Coast was held by National Party colossus Russ Hinze from 1966 until the Fitzgerald inquiry forced his resignation in 1988, precipitating a by-election at which the seat was retained for the Nationals by Judy Gamin, despite the odour surrounding the party at the time. Gamin lost the seat at the next year’s general election to Liberal candidate Bob Quinn, later to become party leader and member for Robina.

The shake-up of electoral boundaries occasioned by the Goss government’s one-vote one-value reforms saw the electorate’s area divided between Merrimac and Burleigh at the 1992 election, with Quinn contesting the former and Gamin returning to parliament in the latter after securing a narrow win over Labor. Gamin went on to be buried by a 10.3% swing to Labor in the 2001 landslide, which delivered the seat to Labor’s Christine Smith. With Labor continuing to perform exceptionally well on the Gold Coast over the next two elections, Smith was able to pick up further swings in 2004 and 2006 before the pendulum swung back 3.9% in 2009. Then came the inevitable drubbing in 2012, when the 4.9% Labor margin was confronted by a swing to the LNP of 15.9%.

The seat has since been held by Michael Hart, owner of the Burleigh Heads business Mastercut Technologies and a figure in the local surf lifesaving movement. Hart had also been the party’s candidate in 2006 and 2009, but was initially overlooked for the 2012 election when the preselection delivered a surprise victory to 22-year-old Susannah Singleton, an electorate officer to Gaven MP Alex Douglas. However, Singleton withdrew less than week later citing personal reasons, and persistence finally paid off for Hart when he emerged the victor in the re-match.

Labor’s candidate is Gail Hislop, a human resources consultant who ran in McPherson at the federal election.

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

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