Braddon – Australia 2019

ALP 1.7%

Incumbent MP
Justine Keay, since 2016.

Braddon covers the West Coast and North-West of Tasmania, including the islands to Tasmania’s northwest. The seat covers West Coast, Burnie, Central Coast, Circular Head, Devonport, Latrobe and Waratah/Wynyard councils. It also covers King Island. The seat’s largest centres are the towns of Devonport and Burnie.

Braddon expanded to the east, taking in the remainder of the Latrobe council area, including Port Sorell, from Lyons. These changes cut the Labor margin from 2.2% to 1.7%.

The seat of Braddon was created in 1955 when the existing Divison of Darwin was renamed. The seat of Darwin was created in 1903 for the first election with single-member electorates in Tasmania, and has always been a northwestern electorate. The seat of Darwin/Braddon has been largely dominated by conservative parties, with Labor holding the seat for 37 of the seat’s first 104 years up to 2007.

The seat was first won by the ALP’s King O’Malley, who held the seat until 1917. O’Malley is best-known for his service as Minister for Home Affairs under Andrew Fisher which saw him take responsibility for choosing the site and town plan for Caberra. He was also largely responsible for the Americanised spelling of the name of the Australian Labor Party. He was strongly anti-conscriptionist and his term as a minister ended when the ALP split, with Billy Hughes joining with the Liberals to form the new Nationalist government. At the 1917 election, O’Malley was narrowly defeated by a Nationalist candidate, and the Nationalist parties and its successors held the seat for the next forty years, with the exception of a single term in 1922 when the seat was held by the nascent Country Party.

The most prominent MP to represent Darwin during this period was Enid Lyons, widow of former Prime Minister Joseph Lyons, who was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives in 1943 and held the seat until the 1951 election.

After the seat was renamed Braddon in 1955, the ALP won the seat back in 1958. Ron Davies held the seat for the ALP up to the post-dismissal election in 1975, when he was defeated by the Liberal Party’s Ray Groom, who held the seat until 1984. He went on to enter state politics and was Premier from 1992 to 1996. Chris Miles succeeded Groom in Braddon and held the seat for the Liberal Party up to the 1998 election, when he was defeated by Sid Sidebottom.

Sidebottom held the seat for the ALP from 1998 to 2004, when he lost the seat to Liberal Mark Baker in a backlash against Mark Latham’s forestry policies.

Sidebottom regained the seat in 2007, and was re-elected in 2010.

In 2013, Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley defeated Sidebottom with a 10% swing, but he lost in 2016 to Labor’s Justine Keay.

Justine Keay was forced to resign from parliament in early 2018 due to her late citizenship renunciation in 2016, but she was re-elected at the resulting by-election.


Braddon is a marginal seat and could be in play at the upcoming election. The recent by-election was won by Labor, but the seat is still just as marginal as it was before the by-election.

2016 result

Brett Whiteley Liberal 26,84141.5-5.442.0
Justine Keay Labor 25,89840.0+2.539.6
Scott Jordan Greens 4,3586.7+1.66.8
Glen SaltmarshRecreational Fishers3,7015.7+5.75.7
Joshua BoagLiberal Democrats1,3802.1+2.12.0
Clinton RiceRenewable Energy Party1,3432.1+2.12.1
Graham HodgeChristian Democratic Party1,1511.8+1.81.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

Justine Keay Labor 33,75952.2+4.851.7
Brett Whiteley Liberal 30,91347.8-4.848.3

2018 by-election result

Brett Whiteley Liberal 24,64539.3-2.2
Justine Keay Labor 23,21837.0-3.1
Craig GarlandIndependent6,63310.6+10.6
Brett NealShooters, Fishers & Farmers2,9844.8+4.8
Jarrod Edwards Greens 2,5184.0-2.7
Donna GibbonsIndependent1,5332.4+2.4
Joshua BoagLiberal Democrats8281.3-0.8
Bruno StrangioPeople’s Party4210.7+0.7

2018 by-election two-party-preferred result

Brett Whiteley Liberal 29,93847.7-0.1
Justine Keay Labor 32,84252.3+0.1

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into six areas. Polling places in the Circular Head, Waratah/Wynyard and West Coast LGAs were divided into North West and South West. Polling places in Devonport and Latrobe council areas have been grouped into one group. Polling places in Burnie and Central Coast council areas have been grouped together separately.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in three out of six areas at the 2016 election, ranging from 52.3% in Devonport-Latrobe to 61.3% in the south-west. The Liberal Party polled a majority in the other three areas, ranging from 50.3% on the Central Coast to 63.8% on King Island.

Labor won a majority in four out of six areas at the 2018 by-election, ranging from 50.9% in the north-west to 60% in Burnie. The Liberal Party won a majority in the central coast (50.6%) and King Island (52.7%).

Independent candidate Craig Garland came third at the by-election, with a primary vote ranging from 6% in Devonport-Latrobe to 21.9% in the north-west.

2016 booth breakdown

Voter groupALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Central Coast49.711,65817.0
King Island36.27781.1
Other votes49.57,54311.0

2018 by-election booth breakdown

Voter groupGarland prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Central Coast7.949.410,44416.6
King Island19.547.37351.2
Other votes6.649.26,1329.8

Two-party-preferred votes in Braddon at the 2016 federal election

Election results at the 2018 Braddon by-election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for independent candidate Craig Garland.

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  1. I wouldn’t consider Labor safely home in this seat even though Keay was just re-elected. Whiteley was a terrible choice of candidate, and Section 44 seems to have engendered sympathy for candidates if anything.

    There should have been a swing towards Keay; a sophomore surge. 0.1% makes me think she’s in trouble if the Liberals can find a compelling candidate.

    However every passing day of the Hodgman government’s 2nd term increases the risk of them ending up on the nose (as state governments often do in their 2nd terms).

    Predicting an ALP retain but not an easy one

  2. Gavin Pearce is the new Liberal Candidate for Braddon.

    In any other election, I’d say this seat would be a nail biter, but this time Keay will easily be returned.

  3. The Nationals have a candidate in Braddon, as of today – her name is Sally Milbourne.

    All 3 marginal Tasmanian seats now have both a Liberal and Nationals candidate in the field.

  4. Steve Martin, who replaced Jacquie Lambie, is running as a Nationals senator in Tasmania. It makes sense to be running lower house candidates to help his vote.

  5. After last night AT PML pub test in Bass. The biggest issue seemed to be high energy prices. People seemed outraged in view of TAS having 95% ? Renewable ?. So i guess if it’s true, why wouldn’t people be pissed off.?
    Craig Garland is running in the Senate so his preferences won’t get Keay over the line this time.
    Looks like she is right up against it this time. The thing that struck me was the absolute certainty that things will go against Labor. So we will see

  6. At this election, the path to a Liberal victory lay in picking off seats one-by-one. 1 or 2 in TAS, 1 or 2 in NSW, 1 in the NT etc. If they can do this WHILE sandbagging most of their seats, it may possibly be enough to offset the inevitable losses to Labor.

    Still think Braddon is one of the best chances for a Liberal gain this election. Morrison will have much more appeal here than Turnbull did.

  7. the liberals I suspect don’t have a path to victory……. the overall 2pp in labor’s favour is 53/47 similar to Rudd and Abbott in 2007 and 2013 respectively. Take nsw for example.. seats in play… Lindsay? Page Banks Robertson Gilmore Reid with sff chance in Parkes….. even in the Best case scenario for the libs Labor is likely to make a net one seat gain. Also ind chance in Cowper

  8. Well no. It’s 52-48 and closing. That one point or more is the difference between landslide and narrow victory.

    Still, at 52-48 it’s extremely hard to see them winning, even if they wage an exceptional marginal seat campaign. If the polls get even close though, then this starts to become more viable. Not saying it’s likely, just that it is not totally outside the realms of possibility.

    (There’s no chance for Labor in Parkes by the way. The only threat is from SFF but have they even announced a candidate yet?)

  9. Parkes is like Barwon at the state level except larger and the inclusion of Dubbo makes it more pro national.
    Assume the ind vote in Dubbo is a proxy for sff…… then there is a very fractured vote and a ABN
    ANY one but National vote in excess of of the national party vote of maybe 4% Libro’s only chance is if they end up in the final 2 but unlikely

  10. Oh dear Mick here you go again. 4 weeks out and you’re out there with your prognostications again. Lets cast a more detailed psephological look at things, rather than what Mick hopes will happen:
    NSW is clearly the Libs best state – Morrison far more popular here than Shorten. so that rules out any significant swing to ALP from 2016. Banks is a likely hold if you extrapolate Oatley/East Hills numbers and same for Reid. The ALP’s attempt to recycle Dianne Beamer will likely fail in Lindsay. And Gilmour looming as a Lib hold as the effect of the retiree tax sinks in with its substantial +65 demographic.
    So now the dial moves to ALP seats where Mediscare worked in 2016 – look at Dobell and Macquarie in particular. On state election numbers Macquarie is a Lib win, so the votes are there. But I stress its too early to definitely call anything……and I can’t imagine Shorten will be the gift that Michael Daley was!!

  11. I really do not think it is wise to use the state election as a yardstick this time around. Michael Daley and NSW Labor were far more unpopular than the federal Labor Party. Daley was shown to be a racist, and Shorten is not.

  12. I mean everyone is saying NSW is strong for the LNP, but the Newspoll state poll from March 26 had the swing at 4% in NSW to labor and the national polls haven’t really moved too much from where they were. You can’t just extrapolate state election results and say that’s what will happen federally, as the Berejiklian government has been nowhere near as incompetent and divided as the Feds have been.

    Morrison does well in Lindsay, but he doesn’t go down well in Reid, Wentworth or Warringah. That’s even before we get to Gilmore and Robertson or even Page. Macquarie and Dobell are both very unlikely to change hands with polls where they are and the expected sophomore surges.

  13. There is no such thing as a retiree tax…….. it is simply withdrawing a benefit for people who pay no tax…. and are not pensioners… such a benefit does not exist any where else in the world. A lot of people effected by this change will not be alp voters probably ever.
    Money saved by such a change can be used for in part improving conditions in nursing homes by providing more staff and more registered nurses.

  14. what I said was in nsw….. was the alp will be at worst plus 1 there even if they lost Lindsay
    and probable status quo in tas.

  15. Mick
    Have you read what i have written about the withdrawal of franking credits.?? It is not a tax, it is an expropriation. There is no relationship between doing this, & nursing homes, registered nurses, or, & anything else. That is pure nonsense.
    Mick if you want to compare our tax system to other countries. Then start talking a 20%+ GST. INHERITANCE TAXES,Wealth taxes, CGT on the family home. Levies for govt debt, retirement, health etc. How appealing do you reckon that is ??. Do you think that builds a strong economy ? BS DOES. So we will see if Australians want to sign up for it . BS is betting they will.

    I disagree with you about NSW. i don’t think Labor will win anything, although Sam will go go close. OTH i’ve said before they will lose Lindsay , & EM.
    Things do not look healthy for Labor in this seat or Bass

  16. It seems like Braddon will maintain its tradition of most of the last 6 elections. Of the 5 Tas seats this one appears the most certain to change and be a Lib gain.

  17. According to ABC its a Liberal gain, Pearce will be a 1 termer ALP gain in ’22 due ro recent history


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