Margin: Liberal National 10.2%
Region: Southern Brisbane
Candidates in ballot paper order
2012 ELECTION RESULTS
Electorate boundary map outline courtesy of
Ben Raue of The Tally Room.
The southern Brisbane seat of Sunnybank recorded one of the biggest swings of the extraordinary 2012 election result, turning a Labor margin of 10.8% from the 2009 election into its present Liberal National Party margin of 21.0%. Encompassing Acacia Ridge, Coopers Plains and Archerfield in the centre, Rocklea in the west and Macgregor in the east, the electorate was created at the 2009 election as the successor to abolished Mount Gravatt, from which it took about half of its voters. It ranks second to its northern neighbour Stretton as the state’s most ethnically diverse electorate, with a large concentration of residents of Chinese, Korean and Indian backgrounds.
Mount Gravatt’s history went back to 1950, and it behaved as many other seats did in passing from Labor to Liberal with the Labor government’s defeat in 1957, then falling to the National Party as part of its sweep through Brisbane in 1983, and finally returning to Labor when Wayne Goss came to power in 1989. Sunnybank had previously existed concurrently with Mount Gravatt from 1992 until 2001, when it was held for Labor by Stephen Robertson. With Sunnybank abolished at the 2009 election, Robertson moved to Stretton, which had absorbed most of its territory.
Sunnybank was won for Labor on its re-creation in 2009 by Judy Spence, who had previously been the member for Mount Gravatt since 1989. Spence held positions in cabinet, shadow cabinet and then cabinet again from 1995 until 2009, when she was demoted to parliamentary secretary. According to the Courier-Mail, this amounted to the settling of an eight-year-old factional score relating to her defection from the Left to Labor Unity to save her position in the ministry in 2001, with earlier suggestions the Left would seek revenge by stymieing her bid to move from Mount Gravatt to Sunnybank.
The seat has been held for the LNP since 2012 by Mark Stewart, who had previously been a marketing and sales manager for a signage company. He faces a high-profile Labor opponent at the coming election in Peter Russo, a lawyer and former Australian of the Year, who says he was inspired to run by the government’s attacks on the judiciary. Russo’s prominent clients have included Mohamed Haneef, Peter Slipper and Scott Driscoll, the former LNP member for Redcliffe.
Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.