Lilley – Australia 2013

ALP 3.2%

Incumbent MP
Wayne Swan, since 1998. Previously 1993-1996.

Northern Brisbane. Lilley covers most of the northern corner of the City of Brisbane, including the suburbs of Chermside, Stafford, McDowall, Wavell Heights, Nudgee, Taigum, Deagon, Sandgate, Zilllmere and Nundah. The seat also covers Brisbane Airport, which substantially increases the land area covered by Lilley, without much of a resident population.

The seat of Lilley was first created at the 1913 election. The seat has a history of moving between Labor and conservative parties, although it has shifted gradually towards the ALP, only falling to the Liberals at their peak.

The seat was first won in 1913 by Liberal candidate Jacob Stumm. He retired at the 1917 election.

The seat was then won by Nationalist candidate George Mackay. Mackay held the seat for 17 years. After the new United Australia Party won the 1931 election, Mackay was elected Speaker, and served in that role until his retirement at the 1934 election.

Lilley was then won by the UAP’s Donald Charles Cameron, who had previously held Brisbane from 1919 until his defeat in 1931. He only held Lilley for one term before retiring.

In 1937, the UAP’s William Jolly was elected to Lilley. Jolly had been the first Lord Mayor of the Greater Brisbane City Council. Jolly held the seat for two terms, but lost the seat in 1943 to the ALP’s James Hadley.

Hadley was the first Labor member for Lilley, and held it until his defeat in 1949. The seat was then held by Liberal MP Bruce Wight.

Wight held the seat until 1961, when he was defeated by the ALP’s Donald James Cameron. He only held the seat for one term, losing to Kevin Cairns from the Liberal Party in 1963. Cairns served as a junior minister under William McMahon from 1971 to his defeat at the 1972 election, losing to the ALP’s Frank Doyle. Cairns won the seat back at the next election in 1974 and held it until his defeat in 1980.

The ALP’s Elaine Darling won Lilley in 1980. She managed to win re-election in 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990, and was the first Labor MP to hold Lilley for more than two terms.

Darling retired in 1993, and was succeeded by Wayne Swan, the Secretary of the Queensland ALP. Swan lost the seat in 1996 to the Liberal Party’s Elizabeth Grace, but won it back in 1998. He joined the Opposition shadow ministry in 1998 and rose to the top of the party, becoming Treasurer after the election of the Rudd government in 2007.

In 2010, Wayne Swan became Deputy Prime Minister. At the 2010 election, Swan’s margin in Lilley was cut from 8% to 3.2%.


  • James Ryan (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Nick Forster (Greens)
  • Benedict Figueroa (Palmer United Party)
  • Rod McGarvie (Liberal National)
  • Wayne Swan (Labor)
  • Allan Vincent (Family First)
  • Nick Contarino (Citizens Electoral Council)

The seat of Lilley is very marginal, and will be a prize target for the Liberal National Party. Swan has held the seat for a long time and has a strong presence in the area. It won’t be easy for the LNP to gain the seat.

2010 result

Rod McGarvieLNP35,83541.22+2.39
Wayne SwanALP35,72441.09-10.19
Andrew JeremijenkoGRN10,57912.17+5.81
Andrew HerschellFF2,6963.10+1.32
Douglas CrowhurstIND2,1112.43+2.43

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Wayne SwanALP46,23453.18-4.77
Rod McGarvieLNP40,71146.82+4.77

Polling booths in Lilley at the 2010 federal election. South in red, East in blue, Central in green, North in yellow.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas: Central, East, North and South.

The ALP won majorities in three of those areas, varying from 52% in the centre to 59.7% in the north. The LNP won a slim 50.3% majority in the south.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes11.6152.8919,40722.32

Two-party-preferred votes in Lilley at the 2010 federal election.

Greens primary votes in Lilley at the 2010 federal election.

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room.If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.