Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 12.1%
Region: Caboolture/Bribie Island
Federal: Longman

Candidates in ballot paper order



Labor (bottom)




Liberal National (top)

Palmer United Party




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

Yet another entry on Labor’s seemingly endless casualty list from the 2012 election, the electorate of Pumicestone brings together two demographically divergent population areas at the northern fringe of Brisbane: the northern part of Caboolture, which is the stronger area for Labor, and the inhabited southern part of Bribie Island and its adjacent mainland suburbs, a retirement haven that leans further to the conservatives. The electorate has by some distance the lowest median income in the Greater Brisbane area, together with the oldest median age.

Pumicestone was created at the 2001 election in place of abolished Caboolture, which had progressively been held by the National Party from its creation in 1977 until 1986, then by Labor until 1998, and lastly for a term by One Nation. Labor’s position in Caboolture was strengthened by the 1986 redistribution, prompting sitting member Bill Newton to move to the new seat of Glass House and Caboolture to be won for Labor by Ken Hayward. Hayward in turn moved to Kallangur when it was created at the 1992 election, and Caboolture was retained for Labor by Jon Sullivan. One Nation candidate Bill Feldman polled 29.9% in 1998 to finish well clear of the Nationals, and also gouged enough from Labor that he was able to emerge 2.7% ahead of Sullivan after preferences.

Feldman became parliamentary leader of the One Nation splinter group the City-Country Alliance in January 2000, which variously had five or six members. This distinction didn’t save him when he contested Pumicestone at the 2001 election, which was won for Labor by Carryn Sullivan, wife of the aforementioned Jon Sullivan, who would later serve a term as federal member for Longman after defeating Mal Brough in 2007. Carryn Sullivan scored 46.2% of the primary vote, as the remainder divided between Feldman, the Liberals and One Nation. When the anti-Labor vote consolidated behind the Liberals in 2004, the two-party swing against Labor was 10.7%, but that still left Sullivan holding a margin of 5.4%, which went all but unchanged over the next two elections.

Sullivan went on to a heavy defeat in 2012 at the hands of Lisa France, a former environmental scientist who had more recently been co-owner with her husband of a real estate agency on Bribie Island. After accounting for the 5.0% margin with a 17.1% swing, France won immediate promotion to the outer ministry as Assistant Minister for Finance, Administration and Regulatory Reform. Her Labor opponent at the election will be Rick Williams, a financial planner.

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

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