Margin: Liberal National 13.5% versus KAP
Region: Central Queensland
Federal: Flynn/Maranoa/Wide Bay
Candidates in ballot paper order
2012 ELECTION RESULTS
Electorate boundary outline courtesy of
Ben Raue of The Tally Room.
Held since 1998 by senior Newman government minister and former Nationals leader Jeff Seeney, Callide covers rural territory inland of Bundaberg and Rockhampton, its main population centres being Gayndah, Mundubbera, Eidsvold, Monto and Biloela on the Burnett Highway, and Taroom and Theodore on the Leichhardt Highway. It has been in National/Country Party hands since its creation in 1950, except after Lindsay Hartwig was expelled from the party in 1981 and retained it as an independent until 1986.
Seeney’s arrival at the 1998 election coincided with the One Nation earthquake, which together with the loss of retiring member Di McCauley’s personal vote caused the Nationals primary vote to plunge from 74.4% to 37.7%. However, Labor preferences would help Seeney keep his nose in front of One Nation in both 1998 and 2001, by margins of 2.3% on both occasions. Normality was restored in 2004 when Seeney polled 60.4%, and One Nation finished third behind Labor.
Seeney rose to his first shadow ministerial position in the wake of the 2001 election wipeout, and promptly developed a reputation as a combative performer after frequent ejections from parliament. The Nationals made him leader when Lawrence Springborg stepped aside after the 2006 election defeat, but poor poll ratings caused the party room to conclude that a return to Springborg would put it on a better footing for looming merger negotiations. Seeney was reportedly defeated in the party room vote by ten votes to six, and afterwards assumed the position of Shadow Mines and Energy Minister.
In early 2011, Seeney emerged as one of the main instigators behind the enlistment of Campbell Newman as the party’s extra-parliamentary candidate for the premiership, an arrangement which resulted in existing LNP leader John-Paul Langbroek standing aside and Seeney assuming the interim role of parliamentary leader. It was a seen as a sign of discontent with the arrangement that Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson nominated for the position and reportedly received 13 votes. Seeney emerged from the 2012 election victory as Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, a portfolio load that has gone undisturbed throughout the term.
Callide will be contested for the Palmer United Party at the coming election by John Bjelke-Petersen, son of the legendary former Premier, who ran unsuccessfully for his father’s old stronghold of Nanango for the National Party and the Liberal National Party in 2006 and 2009, and then for Palmer United in Maranoa at the 2013 federal election.
Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.