Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 11.2%
Region: Central Coast
Federal: Capricornia/Dawson/Flynn
Outgoing member: Ted Malone (Liberal National)

Candidates in ballot paper order



Liberal National (top)

Labor (bottom)

Palmer United Party





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

Covering a 200 kilometre stretch of the central coast, from the northern outskirts of Rockhampton to the southern outskirts of Mackay, the electorate of Mirani has had an unbroken existence going back to 1912, in which time it has only been held for Labor from 1935 to 1947. It will be vacated at the coming election by the retirement of Ted Malone, who came to the seat as the Nationals member at a by-election in 1994.

Malone survived three close shaves in the seat in his time, before breaking clear with the 2012 landslide. The first was when One Nation threatened in 1998, causing a three-way divide in the primary vote that ended with Malone narrowly edging out the One Nation candidate to take second place, then closing the gap on preferences to prevail over Labor by 2.7%. The electorate proved unusual at the 2001 election in failing to swing significantly to Labor, allowing Malone to finish 3.8% in the clear with some help from redistribution. He did less well out of the redistribution before the 2009 election, which produced a notional Labor margin of 1.2% by adding the mining areas to the west and south of Rockhampton. A swing in Malone’s favour of 1.8% was just sufficient to get him over the line, and it was followed by a 10.6% swing in 2012.

Malone served on the front bench in one capacity or another throughout the long years of opposition, but it was reported that Campbell Newman wished to drop him after he was established as the Liberal National Party’s extra-parliamentary leader in April 2011, and was only restrained from doing so by the powerful party president, Bruce McIver. Newman eventually got his way when the scale of the 2012 landslide prompted a wholesale rearrangement, relegating Malone to the back bench. However, he was back by the end of the year, attaining the position of Assistant Minister for Emergency Volunteers in the rearrangement that followed Bruce Flegg’s resignation in November.

The LNP’s new candidate is John Kerslake, a local police sergeant who ran unsuccessfully in Mackay at the 2012 election. Kerslake’s preselection in November initiated another round of reportage on a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation that had been used against him during the 2012 campaign, which concerned alleged favouritism towards a strip club manager during a police campaign to reduce crime in Mackay’s entertainment district. The investigation concluded with a finding that he had no case to answer. Labor’s candidate for the second election running is former MP Jim Pearce, who held first Broadsound and then Fitzroy from 1989 to 2009, before bowing out when the latter seat was abolished in the redistribution.

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

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