Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 4.2%
Region: Central Ipswich
Federal: Blair

Candidates in ballot paper order



Family First

Liberal National (top)


Labor (bottom)





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

Ipswich was the scene of one of the biggest swings of the 2012 landslide, making Liberal National Party candidate Ian Berry became the seat’s first conservative member since 1983. The city had earlier been notable as the home of Pauline Hanson and her federal parliamentary base as member for Oxley from 1996 to 1998, but at no stage was her party able to secure the seat. The electorate encompasses the central parts of the city, with the areas to the north and west of the Bremer River accommodated by Ipswich West, and its eastern parts located within Bundamba.

Labor held Ipswich for all but one term from 1915 until its temporary abolition in 1960, and Llew Edwards of the Liberals did well to gain the seat when it was recreated in 1972, and to retain it for three elections thereafter. Edwards became the Liberals’ parliamentary leader in 1978, and his loss of the position to Terry White in 1983 helped precipitate the breakdown of the coalition and the Nationals’ subsequent election triumph.

With Edwards’ retirement at the 1983 election, Ipswich was won for Labor by David Hamill, who went on to serve as Treasurer after the Beattie government was elected in 1998. Hamill was succeeded on his retirement in 2001 by Rachel Nolan, who served in various portfolios in the final term of the Bligh government. Her margin of 16.8% was then demolished by a swing of 21.0% at the 2012 election, delivering victory to Ian Berry, a solicitor and former president of the Queensland Law Society.

Labor’s new candidate for the seat is Jennifer Howard, an electorate officer to federal Blair MP Shayne Neumann. Howard’s entry to the preselection race reportedly resulted in the withdrawal of Andrew Antoniolli, an Ipswich councillor, and Steve Axe, electorate officer to Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller. Antoniolli agreed to vacate the field in favour of Howard as she had the majority support of the Right, and his presence in the contest was threatening to split the vote and deliver victory to Axe, a member of the Left. The Courier-Mail reported in early 2013 that the position was likely to go to Shayne Neumann in the event that he lost Blair at the federal election.

cuTwo weeks out from the election, Labor conducted its campaign launch in the electorate, presumably with an eye to both Ipswich and neighbouring Ipswich West. The electorate was a specific target of Campbell Newman’s vote-for-us-or-else strategy a week later, having been promised a $1.5 million cycling facility would only proceed, according to Newman’s construction, if LNP incumbent Ian Berry was around to put it forward for the government’s Get in the Game program.

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

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