Federal 2019 – the race in South-East Queensland


19There are twenty seats in south-east Queensland, stretching from the Gold Coast in the south to the Sunshine Coast in the north.

South-East Queensland currently contains thirteen Liberal National Party (LNP) seats and seven Labor seats. Brisbane proper is dominated by Labor, with five Labor seats and three LNP seats, but the LNP holds the six seats on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. The real contest happens on the fringe of Brisbane, both to the north and south.

In this post I will run through six of the more interesting races.

Bonner is held by the LNP’s Ross Vasta by a 3.4% margin. It covers the eastern suburbs of Brisbane and has only been won by the ALP once since its creation in 2004.

The seat of Brisbane on paper is safer than the other seats featured, but has a more intriguing contest. The LNP’s Trevor Evans won this seat in 2016 with a 6% margin. This inner-city electorate is the kind of place you could imagine the LNP having trouble in following the removal of Malcolm Turnbull. The Greens polled almost 20% here in 2016 and are devoting some attention to the race, running former senator and Democrats leader Andrew Bartlett.

Dickson covers the northern fringe of the Brisbane metro region, and has been held by senior minister Peter Dutton since 2001. Dutton only holds the seat by a 1.7% margin but is a formidable local member. The seat has been a focus of a great deal of campaigning.

Forde is the most marginal seat in south-east Queensland, held by the LNP’s Bert van Manen by only 0.6%. It covers the southern fringe of Brisbane, centred on Logan. van Manen has held the seat since 2010.

Longman is the most marginal Labor seat in the region. This seat covers parts of the Moreton Bay region between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and was won in 2016 by Susan Lamb with a 0.8% margin. Lamb was forced to resign over problems with her citizenship, but she won the by-election with a 3.7% swing. This suggests she should probably win another term in 2019 but this seat remains very marginal.

The seat of Petrie is held by the LNP’s Luke Howarth by a 1.6% margin.

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  1. I live in the Petrie Electorate since the ALP preselected Corinne Mulholland as the candidate her and the team have been relentless talking with constituents. I can see why Petrie is one of the seats you looked at.

  2. FWIW and with no local knowledge myself, I’ve heard from at least two pretty informed sources that Ryan could be a bit of a sleeper & potential surprise ALP gain on election night.

  3. Think labor will pick up at least 2 and likely 3 out of the 4 of Dickson, Bonner, Petrie and Forde.

    Brisbane may be on for an above average swing but I’d expect Evans to be able to hold it on a 6% margin.

    I agree Ryan is a bit of a sleeper with the high greens vote and the loss of a popular incumbent, but I don’t think the swing is on to overcome a ~9% margin. That being said if labor and greens are able to get the LNP PV below 45% than it could be a tight result.

  4. Greens are really pressing hard here in Ryan, they obviously think they can do well. I think the LNP can hang on, but its not clear.

  5. The prospect of a blue-ribbon revolt is pretty dim this far out from the spill, and the LNP has had plenty of time to refocus attention on their economic scare campaign. Petrie and Forde are the only sure flips imo. I really don’t know what to think about the others. Fir what it’s worth, the LNP is throwing everything they have at Dickson.

  6. Good choices Ben. I’d add Griffith. It’s on a surprisingly tiny margin – tighter than post-byelection Longman and the tightest ALP held seat. Considering how soon the byelection was after the 2013 election, Butler could be seen to have actually had a sophomore slump. Something is going on there.

    Would like some ground truthing from locals but it seems like neither major is super active in the seat while Greens are going hell for leather there. Labor technically launched their campaign in Griffith but I don’t think Brisbane Convention Centre counts as an electorate specific launch (unlike, for example, Penrith in 2016).

    I’ll be keeping an eye on it on election night at any rate.

  7. Howarth held Petrie against all odds last time.I wouldn’t write him off. Whatever the result I expect Petrie and Bonner to have similar post election margins. Forde will be more Labor leaning than them.

  8. The Greens state Member for Maiwar, Michael Berkmann is very popular and has been active in campaigning on local environmental issues (Mt Coutha zip line, park land development etc)

    Maiwar overlaps Ryan.

    This is an electorate to watch.

  9. Where can somebody/anybody look to see where a candidates preferences are directed? Is there no legal requirement for a candidate to nominate where there preferences are directed prior to the election to allow voters to be well informed going into the vote?

  10. Stewart Wells you can find it on the candidates Facebook page. If that helps out.

  11. Stewart Wells – there’s no requirement for any candidate to recommend preferences, so there’s no need for candidates to lodge such a recommendation centrally. All that the preference sequence really tells you is which other candidates they like more.

  12. I’m assuming you already know this, but just in case… The preferences go where the individual voter sends them. The candidate’s preferences on the How To Vote are just a suggestion.

    But to answer the question, AFAIK you don’t have to lodge your HTV cards anywhere for federal elections. For some state elections (e.g. Victoria) you do – the HTVs are all available on the VEC website.


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