Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 6.4%
Region: Central Coast
Federal: Capricornia

Candidates in ballot paper order



Labor (bottom)

Liberal National (top)



Palmer United Party




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

Keppel was among the 44 seats gained by the Liberal National Party at the 2012 election, but has otherwise behaved atypically in recent times in falling to the Nationals in 1992 and Labor in 2004. The electorate is naturally marginal by virtue of encompassing 100 kilometres of coastline around Yeppoon along with the outer eastern Rockhampton suburbs of Norman Gardens and Koongal, which are respectively strong for Labor and the conservatives. It has existed in one form or another since 1888, largely corresponding with the equivalent seat of Rockhampton North which existed from 1888 to 1912 and again from 1960 to 1992.

Labor held the seat for most of its history prior to 2012 outside of a few Country Party interruptions, one of which came at the 1992 election when the one-vote one-value redistribution pitted Peak Downs MP Vince Lester against the Labor member for Rockhampton North, Rob Schwarten. Lester emerged victorious, and Schwarten returned at the 1995 election as the member for Rockhampton. Lester’s personal vote likely made the difference when One Nation and Labor respectively made strong challenges in 1998 and 2001, as demonstrated by Labor’s victory when he retired in 2004, the party’s only gain of that election.

The seat was held for Labor over the next three terms by Paul Hoolihan, operator of a Rockhampton law practice and the narrowly unsuccessful candidate from 2001. Hoolihan went on to further strong performances with a 3.4% swing in his favour in 2006, and a swing against of only 0.5% in 2009. Then came the wipeout of 2012, when Hoolihan was evicted by a fairly typical swing of 14.0% to the Liberal National Party. The present LNP member is Bruce Young, a diesel fitter, cattle property owner and owner of a local medical business. His Labor opponent at the coming election is Brittany Lauga, a Rockhampton-based town planner who works for CQG Consulting. Lauga won preselection in what the Morning Bulletin described as a “close race” against Sandra Flanagan, a former Environment Department manager.

cuIn the second last week of the campaign, the electorate was the target of a somewhat confusing combined result of seats in the 6%-9% range for Newspoll, the other two being Cairns and Ipswich West. The collective two-party swing recorded to Labor was 13.4%, although the overall sample for the poll was a modest 600. Clearly Labor has high hopes for the seat, as Annastacia Palaszczuk visited it in the second last week of the campaign to promise $30 million in spending on fishing facilities around the state, to be funded by “economic growth”.

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

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