Queensland election 2015

South Brisbane

Margin: Labor 4.7%*
Region: Inner Brisbane
Federal: Griffith/Moreton
* Labor 1.7% at 28/4/2012 by-election

Candidates in ballot paper order





Liberal National (centre)

Greens (bottom)

Labor (top)



BY-ELECTION 28/4/2012


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

South Brisbane was formerly held by Anna Bligh, who was one of only seven Labor members to retain her seat at the 2012 election. She promptly resigned from parliament in the wake of the defeat of her government, initiating the first of three by-elections held during the current term, at which the seat was retained by Labor on an even narrower margin. The electorate follows the southern bank of the Brisbane River from East Brisbane through South Bank, Woolloongabba and Dutton Park, also extending southwards to Stones Corner.

In terms of electoral support, the electorate can be roughly divided into three parts: inner-city West End, where the Greens scored about a quarter of the vote in 2012, compared with 40% for Labor and 30% for the LNP; the more conventionally working-class south-east of the electorate, where the vote for Labor and the LNP was slightly higher, and support for the Greens was in the mid-teens; and East Brisbane, more affluent and less bohemian than West End, where the LNP vote was at around 50% compared with a little over 30% for Labor and a little over 10% for the Greens. While the electorate is among the Greens’ strongest, the party has never succeeded in outpolling conservative candidates to reach the final count, and optional preferential voting would likely starve them of preferences if ever they did.

Prior to 2012, South Brisbane had been lost to Labor on only three occasions in a history going back to 1960: with the landslide defeats of 1929 and 1974, and when ousted Premier and future Democratic Labor Party Senator Vince Gair took it into the Queensland Labor Party fold from 1957 to 1960. Demetrios “Jim” Fouras held the seat from 1977 until he was defeated for preselection in 1989 by Anne Warner, later to return as member for Ashgrove from 1989 to 2006. Warner was in turn succeeded by Bligh in 1995. After going into the 2012 election with a margin of 15.0%, Anna Bligh was able to retain the seat against a relatively mild swing of 10.3%. The subsequent by-election was held in late April, and produced a further 3.0% swing to the LNP. Labor candidate Jackie Trad was nonetheless able to retain the seat with a margin of 1.7%.

Jackie Trad had previously been Labor’s assistant state secretary and was formerly a staffer to Anna Bligh, who had reportedly long groomed her as her successor. Trad won Labor preselection without opposition, with suggestions that defeated ministers Andrew Fraser and Cameron Dick might use the seat to return to parliament discouraged by the Left’s determination to retain control of the seat. After her election she was assigned the shadow portfolios of environment, small business and the arts, further gaining transport and main roads in the reshuffle that followed Yvette D’Ath’s election to Redcliffe in February 2014.

The Liberal National Party candidate at the election will be Fiona Ward, electorate officer to Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens. The Greens candidate is Jonathan Sri, a community development worker and saxophonist with the band The Mouldy Lovers.

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

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