Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 20.9%
Region: Sunshine Coast
Federal: Fairfax/Fisher

Candidates in ballot paper order




Palmer United Party

Liberal National (top)

Labor (bottom)




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

Held by parliamentary Speaker Fiona Simpson, Maroochydore covers a stretch of the Sunshine Coast south of Noosa, from Mooloolaba north to Coolum Beach and inland to the Sunshine Motorway. One of the hard core of conservative seats to survive the 2001 landslide, the electorate was created when one-vote one-value was brought into effect in 1992, most of its territory having previously been in the abolished electorate of Cooroora, which in turn had a history going back to 1922. Cooroora extended north to Noosa, but had a strongly rural identity for most of its history. It was accordingly long safe for the National/Country Party, but this had weakened by 1989 to the extent that the tide to Wayne Goss pushed Labor over the line by a 1.0% margin.

Maroochydore had a slight notional Nationals margin going into the 1992 election, and was won for them by Fiona Simpson, the 27-year-old daughter of long-serving Cooroora MP Gordon Simpson. Simpson boosted her margin in 1995, and retained enough of her primary vote in 1998 to stay safe from One Nation. She was brought to within 0.8% of defeat by the Peter Beattie landslide in 2001, but swings in her favour at every election since have built her up to her present formidable margin. Simpson has made headlines over the years for calling for castration and public floggings for rapists and violent criminals, describing the Goss government as “a toad to the radical homosexual lobby”, and praising Exodus Ministries in 2002 for its work in helping gay and lesbian people “grow into heterosexuality over time”.

Overlooked for a ministry in the Borbidge government, Simpson had a long term on the front bench during the years in opposition from 1998. It was reported in the wake of both the 2006 and 2009 election defeats that she was counting numbers for the leadership. Her cause on the latter occasion was presumably not helped by her performance during the election campaign, when then leader Lawrence Springborg was twice obliged to qualify public transport funding commitments she had announced.

When the plan to enlist Campbell Newman as extra-parliamentary leader was hatched in April 2011, Simpson ran for the position of interim official parliamentary leader in rebellion against an arrangement which had secured it for Jeff Seeney, and it was seen as a sign of discontent within the party that she reportedly scored 13 votes. She remained on the opposition front bench until the election, after which she became the first women ever appointed Speaker of the Queensland parliament.

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

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