The results of the Queensland election varied substantially between the various regions of Queensland.
Labor last won an election in 2009, when they won a small but solid majority of 51 seats. It now appears that Labor has won around 43-46 seats at the 2015 election, which is a recovery of most of the territory that was lost in 2012, when Labor was reduced to a rump of seven seats.
While Labor has regained most of the seats lost in 2012, that recovery wasn’t consistent across the state.
In southern Brisbane, which includes twenty seats, Labor went from holding 17 seats in the region to only three in 2012. They’ve recovered to at least 15 seats, with a small chance of returning to holding 17 seats.
Similar patterns can be seen in most regions, including North Brisbane, North Queensland and South-East Queensland – Labor has recovered to almost as many seats as they held in 2009, after being almost wiped out in 2012.
However the pattern is different on the Gold Coast, and in Central Queensland.
Labor only held three seats in Central Queensland in 2009, alongside two independents in Maryborough and Gladstone. Labor only lost one of those three seats in 2012, holding on in Mackay and Rockhampton. This election Labor has gained Gladstone from an independent, and is possibly also going to gain Maryborough from the LNP. Labor also gained Mirani, which has long been held by conservative MPs. Overall, Labor now holds six seats in the region, and could win a seventh in Maryborough – more than twice as many as they held in 2009.
Labor has experienced no recovery on the Gold Coast. Labor held seven out of nine seats in 2001, and six in 2004 and 2006, before dropping to four out of ten in 2009.
The LNP won a clean sweep of the seats in the Gold Coast in 2012, and this time around nothing has changed.
How did this happen? The Gold Coast was not immune from swings away from the LNP. The average swing to Labor was 11.5%, and eight out of ten seats had swings over 10%. But the two most marginal Gold Coast seats, Broadwater and Burleigh, experienced minor swings of 4.7% and 5.1% respectively. This was nowhere near enough to overturn margins of around 11%, despite controversy surrounding Broadwater MP Verity Barton.
The following charts show the vote has shifted for the LNP, Labor, the Greens and ‘others’ over the last three elections, by region.
Labor’s primary vote dropped substantially in 2012 in all eight regions, ranging from 13% in Western Queensland to over 17% on the Gold Coast and in other parts of south-east Queensland.
In 2015, the Labor primary vote recovered to close to the 2009 levels in most regions. Interestingly, the large increase in seats in Central Queensland is not reflected in a jump above 2009 levels in the Labor primary vote.
Despite these general trends, there was a relatively small jump in the Labor vote on the Gold Coast – the Labor vote is now barely above 30%, compared to 40.8% in 2009.
While the Labor primary vote collapsed in 2012, most of those votes didn’t go to the LNP. In most regions the swing to the LNP was modest on primary votes, except in South Brisbane and North Queensland.
Likewise, the LNP vote dropped by a relatively small amount in 2015. In some regions the LNP vote is higher than in 2009, and in others it is lower.
The biggest drops from 2009 to 2015 were in Central Queensland and Western Queensland. The LNP’s vote has steadily declined in the West over the last three elections.
The Greens vote dropped in sevens regions in 2012, but by modest amounts. On the Sunshine Coast, the Greens vote has increased steadily over the last three terms, and is now the best region overall for the Greens in Queensland.
In Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the Greens vote is higher now than it was in 2009, but in central and north Queensland the Greens vote has not totally recovered to 2009 levels.
The ‘others’ vote includes independents, Katter’s Australian Party (2012-15), Palmer United Party (2015), One Nation, Family First and Daylights Savings for South-East Queensland (2009).
The others vote peaked in all regions in 2012, due to a huge vote for KAP. The spike was biggest in areas outside urban Queensland, with 28-29% in central, northern and western Queensland.
In 2015, this vote dropped substantially, mainly due to KAP running in a much smaller number of seats. The other vote held up most strongly in western Queensland, due to a swing to KAP in Mount Isa.