Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 19.5%
Region: Inner Brisbane
Federal: Moreton/Ryan

Candidates in ballot paper order





Labor (bottom)

Liberal National (top)






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

The inner western Brisbane seat of Indooroopilly covers naturally strong territory for the Liberals, and it was a measure of Peter Beattie’s electoral dominance that it was in Labor hands from 2001 to 2009. The electorate extends from Indooroopilly itself south to Fig Tree Pocket and east to St Lucia, and across the river to Graceville and Sherwood on the southern bank. The area is characterised by a large concentration of young professionals, ranking top in the state for the proportion of residents who finished high school and equal youngest in terms of median age. It also contains a large Chinese community, placing it third behind Stretton and Sunnybank for speakers of Chinese languages.

The electorate was created at the 1992 election in place of abolished Toowong, a traditional Liberal seat which fell to the National Party with Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s triumphant incursion into Brisbane in 1983. Denver Beanland recovered it for the Liberals in 1986 and went on to become the inaugural member for Indooroopilly, serving as Attorney-General in the Rob Borbidge government of 1996-98. Beanland had a troubled tenure in the latter rule, which presumably contributed to the 12.5% swing he suffered at the 1998 election, reducing his margin to 0.7%.

The swing to Labor at the 2001 election was a relatively mild 3.3%, but this was nonetheless sufficient to deliver victory to the party’s candidate Ronan Lee. The Liberal primary vote recovered by 5.8% at the 2004 election, but this was partly down to a smaller field of candidates and the two-party swing was only 0.8%. The 2006 election was similarly disappointing for the Liberals, with both major parties down fractionally on the primary vote and Labor picking up a two-party swing of 0.3%.

Lee meanwhile earned a reputation as something of an agitator within the Beattie government, bucking the party line over uranium mining, privatisation, means testing and co-payments for surgery at public hospitals. He surprised everybody in October 2008 by quitting Labor to join the Greens, despite his conservative views on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Claims would soon emerge of a high turnover in Lee’s electorate office due to his abrasive attitude towards staff. With help from the Labor turmoil, the Liberal National Party won the seat at the 2009 election with an 8.6% swing. Ronan Lee fell narrowly short of taking second place ahead of Labor, as would his successor as Greens candidate at the 2012 election, when it recorded the party’s second highest vote in the state despite a 7.4% drop compared with 2009.

The LNP member since 2009 has been Scott Emerson, a former state political reporter for The Australian and more recently director of public relations firm Crook Publicity. Emerson also ran for preselection in 2006 but was blocked by the Michael Caltabiano/Santo Santoro faction, a fact that was noted when Emerson suspended Caltabiano as director-general of Transport and Main Roads in his capacity as the relevant minister in October 2012. He had been promoted to shadow cabinet in November 2010, then became Transport and Main Roads Minister after the March 2012 election victory.

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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