Queensland election 2015

Mount Coot-tha

Margin: Liberal National 5.4%
Region: Inner Brisbane
Federal: Brisbane/Ryan

Candidates in ballot paper order




Liberal National (top)

Greens (bottom)

Labor (centre)





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

The inner western Brisbane seat of Mount Coot-tha delivered the Liberal National Party its biggest scalp of the 2012 election rout in Andrew Fraser, who had served as Treasurer since Anna Bligh came to the premiership in September 2007. The 10.6% swing against Fraser was in fact at the lower end of the statewide scale, but more than sufficient to account for his margin of 5.2%. The electorate is located immediately to the west of the city centre, its eastern neighbour being Brisbane Central.

Mount Coot-tha encompasses Milton, Auchenflower and Toowong on the northern bank of the Brisbane River, along with Bardon, Paddington and Red Hill in the north. This area contains the state’s highest concentration of professionals, reflected in the electorate’s top ranking in the state for median income. It is also among the strongest seats for the Greens, who achieved their best result here at the 2012 election, but a failure of their vote to break out of the low twenties has meant they have never been seriously competitive.

Mount Coot-tha was created in 1950 as the successor to abolished Enoggera, which had been a contested seat over the preceding decades. The seat was held by the Liberals for the first four decades of its existence, much of its territory of the time being that which today makes Moggill a safe seat. The Liberals were nonetheless able to retain the seat on the less favourable boundaries which resulted from Moggill’s creation at the 1986 election, before Labor won it for the first time off a 13.2% swing when Wayne Goss came to power in 1989. Wendy Edmond then held the seat until her retirement in 2004, serving as Health Minister for the first two terms of the Beattie government. Her closest call electorally came in 1995, when an 8.9% swing closed the gap to 3.5%.

Andrew Fraser came to the seat in 2004 as the boy wonder of the Labor Unity faction, having held ministerial, electorate and party positions prior to landing his parliamentary berth at the age of 27. The following year he was promoted to parliamentary secretary, and another year hence became the state’s youngest ever cabinet minister. He gained the Treasury portfolio at 31, and became the state’s youngest ever Deputy Premier at 35. For all his achievement, electoral popularity proved elusive, in part because his portfolio encumbered him with the most unpopular measures of the Bligh government after the 2009 election. Long before the 2012 election, it became apparent that Fraser would have little hope of defending the 5.2% margin he carried over from 2009.

The victorious Liberal National Party candidate in 2012 was Saxon Rice, described by the party as “an economist with a masters in international law who has done time in Canberra”. Rice won immediate promotion after the election to the outer ministry as Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education. Her Labor opponent at coming election is Steven Miles, an organiser with the Left faction United Voice union. Miles won preselection ahead of factional colleague Fiona McNamara, a Queensland Teachers Union organiser and veteran of three unsuccessful federal campaigns in Dickson and Brisbane. Conservative Courier-Mail columnist Des Houghton suggests McNamara was the favoured candidate in the local ballot, but that Miles had decisive factional support from the central party’s electoral college. The Greens have endorsed Red Hill solicitor Omar Ameer.

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

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