Queensland election 2015

Mermaid Beach

Margin: Liberal National 26.0%
Region: Gold Coast
Federal: McPherson/Moncrieff

Candidates in ballot paper order



Family First

Labor (bottom)

Palmer United Party

Liberal National (top)





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

Located along the Gold Coast south of Surfers Paradise and north of Burleigh, the safe Liberal National Party seat of Mermaid Beach was created at the 2009 election as the successor to abolished Robina, taking 81% of its voters. Robina in turn was created in 2001 in place of abolished Merrimac, which was itself created in 1992 to accommodate the area’s rapid growth. Merrimac and then Robina were held for the Liberals by Bob Quinn, who first entered parliament as the member for South Coast in 1989. Along with Moggill and Caloundra, Robina was one of only three seats retained by the Liberals after the 2001 election, at which Quinn’s margin was cut from 16.2% to 4.0%. He subsequently replaced David Watson as party leader, a position he held until he was rolled in favour of Bruce Flegg eight days before the 2006 election was called.

Quinn promptly announced his retirement, initiating a preselection battle won by former Gold Coast mayor Ray Stevens ahead of Mark Powell and Aaron Debattista, the respective candidates of the Santo Santoro/Michael Caltabiano “Sicilian” and Bob Tucker/Bruce Flegg “western suburbs” factions. Stevens entered the shadow ministry in April 2007, successively serving in housing affordability and public works, information and communication technology, housing affordability and public works again, tourism and fair trading after the 2009 election and tourism and racing after November 2010, before being demoted to parliamentary secretary after Campbell Newman became leader in March 2011. He remained at parliamentary secretary level immediately after the election, before winning promotion in October 2012 to the outer ministry as Assistant Minister to the Premier on e-government.

cuIn the second last week of the campaign, Ray Stevens learned the hard way about the existence of things called social media and the internet, following his peculiar non-response to questions posed by David Donovan of pro-Labor website Independent Australia. Stevens’ now-famous bird impersonation was caught on camera; Donovan did not prove of a mind to accede to his request that it not be published; and the results went, as the young folks apparently like to say, “viral”. The issue related to Stevens’ contentious involvement in a cable car project on which government approval is pending. Stevens’ long-established point-blank refusal to answer questions on the subject has long been exercising elements of the media, particularly the Gold Coast Bulletin.

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

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