Queensland election 2015


Margin: Liberal National 7.1%*
Region: Inner Brisbane
Federal: Brisbane/Lilley
* Labor 12.0% at by-election on 19/7/2014

Candidates in ballot paper order



Labor (top)


Liberal National (bottom)



BY-ELECTION 19/7/2014


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

Covering suburbs about six kilometres to the north of central Brisbane, Stafford is one of two seats Labor has recovered at by-elections since the disastrous 2012 election result. The electorate extends from Alderley and Grange north to Chermside and Stafford Heights, a moderately affluent area of middling ethnic diversity. It has existed as an electorate in some form since 1972, although it was superseded from 1992 to 2001 by the electorate of Kedron. The two seats between them were held by Labor from 1989 to 2012 on margins of between 7.3% in 2009 and 22.4% in 2001, before a 14.4% swing delivered it to Liberal National Party candidate Chris Davis in 2012. The by-election following Davis’s resignation was held on July 19 and won by Labor with a crushing swing of 19.1%, easily accounting for the existing 12.0% margin. The result was widely seen as portentous with respect to the electoral prospects of Campbell Newman in the demographically similar neighbouring seat of Ashgrove.

A former state president of the Australian Medical Association, Chris Davis won immediate promotion to Assistant Health Minister after the 2012 election, but soon emerged as a thorn in the side of the Newman government. He was sacked from the outer ministry in May 2014 after siding with doctors in a pay dispute and polling constituents on the government’s contentious changes to the Crime and Misconduct Commission. After a further falling out over the government’s increase to the disclosure threshold on political donations, Davis announced his resignation from parliament on May 25. He floated the possibility of running against Newman as the Labor candidate, but it does not appear this prospect was ever taken seriously by Labor.

Stafford is now held for Labor by Anthony Lynham, a maxillofacial surgeon who in his capacity as a spokesperson for Queensland Coalition for Action on Alcohol emerged as a critic of the government over its relationship with the hotel industry. It was reported after his election that Lynham was likely to join the AWU/Labor Forum sub-faction of the Right, potentially with a view to securing the leadership, and perhaps even doing so before the election. This did not transpire, but a reshuffle prompted by his election allocated to him the education, science and primary industries portfolios. The Liberal National Party will again be fielding its candidate from the by-election, Bob Andersen, a senior psychologist with Queensland Health.

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

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