Queensland election 2015

Surfers Paradise

Margin: Liberal National 29.5%
Region: Gold Coast
Federal: Moncrieff

Candidates in ballot paper order



Family First

Liberal National (top)


Palmer United Party

Labor (bottom)




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

Held since 2001 by former Liberal National Party leader and current Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek, the electorate of Surfers Paradise covers the coast from Broadbeach north to the Broadwater Spit, and extends inland through the southern part of Southport to Ashmore. The seat was held by the Nationals from its creation in 1972 until 1977, when a change in the direction of Labor preferences delivered it to the Liberals for a term. It was recovered for the Nationals in 1980 by future Premier Rob Borbidge, who held the seat until his retirement immediately after the 2001 election disaster. Borbidge puzzlingly conceded he had lost his seat on the night of that election, but went on to win by a margin of 5.3%.

The ensuing by-election in May was a further disaster for the Nationals, whose candidate vanished among a field of 12 that included the Liberal Party’s John-Paul Langbroek, who achieved more than double the Nationals candidate’s vote. However, the clear winner with 35.9% of the vote was former Gold Coast mayor Lex Bell, running as an independent. Bell entered the 2004 election encumbered by his involvement in the financial collapse of private college St Stephen’s, whose backers were bailed out by a party benefactor in what looked to many like a quid pro quo for a council rezoning decision. Bell’s vote fell to 22.9% and John-Paul Langbroek won the day in his second tilt as Liberal candidate, scoring 44.7% of the primary vote and a 13.9% two-party margin over Labor.

Initially most widely noted as the brother of Melbourne television and radio personality Kate Langbroek, John-Paul Langbroek progressively rose through the ranks until he secured the leadership of the Liberal National Party after Lawrence Springborg stood aside in the wake of the 2009 election defeat, prevailing in the party room over Clayfield MP Tim Nicholls and Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson. His unaggressive leadership style and preference for a “small target” roused criticism within the party, and when the plan for Campbell Newman to assume the leadership while running in the seat of Ashgrove was unveiled in March 2011, Langbroek accepted he did not have the numbers and resigned, leaving the position of official parliamentary leader to pass on to Jeff Seeney. Langbroek remained on the front bench, and took on the education portfolio following the March 2012 election victory.

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

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