Margin: Liberal National 11.1%
Region: Southern Brisbane
Candidates in ballot paper order
2012 ELECTION RESULTS
Electorate boundary outline courtesy of
Ben Raue of The Tally Room.
The inner south-eastern Brisbane seat of Mansfield has perhaps the state’s best claim to bellwether status, which was again confirmed at the 2012 election when the Liberal National Party gained the seat with a 15.5% swing and a margin well on line with the statewide result. The electorate covers suburbs on either side of the Gateway Motorway about 10 kilometres from central Brisbane, including Upper Mount Gravatt in the west and Rochedale in the east, and further extends eastwards into lightly developed territory around Burbank.
Mansfield was created in 1972 and held at first by the Liberals, later changing hands as part of the Nationals’ triumphant sweep through Brisbane in 1983, and then falling to Labor when Wayne Goss came to power in 1989. Its bellwether status is complicated by the delayed transfer to power from Labor to the Coalition in February 1996, but the seat made its contribution to the situation by falling to the Liberals at the 1995 election with a 9.3% swing.
Phil Reeves recovered the seat for Labor by an 80-vote margin in 1998, then survived a court challenge against the result at which Labor’s capacity to form a government was at stake. The seat was secured for Labor by a 7.9% swing in 2001, before a 4.0% swing in 2009 returned it to marginal territory. Reeves was then promoted to cabinet, where he remained until the 2012 election defeat.
The LNP’s successful candidate in 2012 was Ian Walker, a partner with law firm Norton Rose who had been included in an Australian Financial Review’s best lawyers list in 2010. Prior to the election, Campbell Newman caused a stir within the party when he nominated Ian Walker ahead of any member currently in parliament as a potential leadership contender in the event that he failed to win Ashgrove. This was reflected by an immediate elevation to the outer ministry as Assistant Minister for Planning Reform, then promotion to cabinet in February 2013 in the science, information technology and the arts portfolios, which had been vacated by the resignation of Mudgeeraba MP Ros Bates.
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