Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 10.1%*
Region: Northern Brisbane
Federal: Bonner/Petrie
* Labor 7.1% at by-election on 22/2/2014

Candidates in ballot paper order



Family First


Palmer United Party

Labor (top)


Liberal National (bottom)



BY-ELECTION 22/2/2014


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

One of two seats gained by Labor at by-elections since the Newman government came to office, the northern Brisbane seat of Redcliffe occupies the peninsula 25 kilometres north of central Brisbane which bears its name, together with Moreton Island. The conservative vote is strongest at the peninsula’s northern tip around Scarborough, while the remainder had traditionally leaned to Labor. The seat has been held for Labor since the by-election on February 22, 2014 by Yvette D’Ath, who held the federal seat of Petrie from 2007 until her defeat at the 2013 election by a margin of 0.5%. D’Ath’s win in Redcliffe was achieved by a 7.1% margin after what at the time was an unprecedented swing of 17.2%, although it was to be surpassed later in the year by the 19.1% swing at the Stafford by-election.

Redcliffe was created in 1960 and held for its first 19 years by Jim Houghton, who won the seat as an independent and then sought an accommodation with the conservative parties, serving very briefly as a Liberal and then with the National/Country Party from 1962 until the end of his career. The Liberals fielded candidates against Houghton throughout the 1970s and came close to unseating him in 1977, when their candidate was Terry White. Houghton went on to retire mid-term, and White won the seat at the ensuing by-election. White went on to become leader of the Liberal Party at the head of the electorally disastrous anti-Joh rebellion in August 1983, which would shortly cost most of his party colleagues their seats. He eventually lost the seat with Labor’s sweep to power in 1989, and now lends his name to a national chain of pharmacies.

The incoming Labor member, Ray Hollis, retained the seat on uncomfortable margins in 1995 and 1998 before picking up a 13.7% swing with the 2001 landslide, but was nearly brought back to earth in 2004 by a 10.5% swing to Liberal candidate Terry Rogers. Rogers was rewarded for his performance with an uncontested preselection when Hollis retired mid-term in July 2005, which along with the departure of outgoing Deputy Premier and Treasurer Terry Mackenroth initiated the twin by-elections of Redcliffe and Chatsworth the following month. Both were won by the Liberals, with Rogers securing a 1.2% margin after an 8.3% two-party swing. As with Michael Caltabiano in Chatsworth, Rogers’ parliamentary career did not survive beyond the end of the term: Labor’s defeated by-election candidate, Lillian van Litsenburg, prevailed on her second attempt at the September 2006 election with a margin of 5.4%, which was little changed at the election of 2009.

The landslide of 2012 saw van Litsenburg unseated by Scott Driscoll, a former national president of the United Retail Foundation, whose swing of 15.7% was slightly above the statewide result of 13.7%. Driscoll cited health reasons for his mid-term resignation in November 2013, but it was obviously no coincidence that this followed immediately after a parliamentary ethics committee found him guilty of 42 counts of contempt of parliament, with the recommendation that he be expelled from parliament and fined $90,000. The charges related to Driscoll’s failure to declare income received through his and his wife’s involvement in local retailers’ and community associations. He was further accused of funnelling money from these groups to a company owned by his wife, and of approaching Coles and Woolworths with promises to amend trading hours in exchange for cash donations. Charges of fraud and soliciting secret commissions were laid against Driscoll in October 2014.

Yvette D’Ath was an official with the Australian Workers Union prior to embarking on her parliamentary career, placing her in the Labor Forum sub-faction of the Right. She won Petrie by a margin of 1.6% at the 2007 federal election after a 9.5% swing, then received what proved to be a decisive 2.1% boost at the redistribution before the 2010 election. This enabled her to survive a subsequent swing of 1.7%, which was well below a statewide result of 5.6% and allowed her to secure re-election with a 2.5% margin. She was then unseated in 2013 by Luke Howarth of the Liberal National Party, who won by a 0.5% margin after a 3.0% swing. After her election in Redcliffe, D’Ath was allocated the shadow portfolios of education, disability services and science. Only disability services was maintained after the rearrangement that followed Anthony Lynham’s election to Stafford the following July, her other portfolios since being Attorney-General, training and housing.

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

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