Groom – Australia 2019

LNP 15.3%

Incumbent MP
John McVeigh, since 2016. Previously Member for Toowoomba South (QLD), 2012-2016.

Groom covers the city of Toowoomba and rural areas to the west of the city contained entirely within Toowoomba Region council area.

No change.

Groom was created as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives at the 1984 election. The seat has always been held by Coalition MPs.

Groom was first won in 1984 by the National Party’s Tom McVeigh. McVeigh had been Member for Darling Downs since the 1972 election, and was elected Member for Groom in 1984 when Darling Downs was abolished. Darling Downs had previously centred on Toowoomba, which became the centre of the new seat of Groom.

McVeigh retired in 1988, triggering a by-election. The Liberal Party contested the by-election, and their candidate Bill Taylor outpolled the Nationals by 4.5% on primary votes and won a substantial majority on Labor preferences.

Taylor held the seat for a decade, retiring in 1998. The Nationals again challenged for the seat, but fell into fourth place behind Labor and One Nation, with the Liberal Party’s Ian Macfarlane winning the seat.

Macfarlane was made a junior minister in January 2001, and joined the Howard cabinet after the 2001 election as Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, a role he held for the remainder of the Howard government. Macfarlane served as a frontbencher while the Coalition was in opposition, and as a cabinet minister during the Abbott government.

Macfarlane was dropped from the ministry when Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. He attempted to switch from the Liberal party room to the Nationals party room, but the LNP state executive blocked the proposal.

Macfarlane retired at the 2016 election, and was replaced by John McVeigh, who won the seat easily.


Groom is a safe LNP seat.

2016 result

John McVeigh Liberal National 49,27054.0-1.6
Bronwyn Herbertson Labor 20,25922.2+0.1
John SandsFamily First9,14010.0+7.4
Josie TownsendNick Xenophon Team6,9607.6+7.6
Antonia Van Geuns Greens 5,6186.2+1.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

John McVeigh Liberal National 59,58965.3-1.2
Bronwyn Herbertson Labor 31,65834.7+1.2

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas. A majority of the population lives in the Toowoomba, and these booths were split into two halves: north and south. The booths outside of the Toowoomba urban area have also been split into north and south.

The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 57.2% in Toowoomba North to 71.9% in the rural south.

Voter groupFF prim %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Toowoomba North11.257.219,37421.2
Toowoomba South10.163.018,73320.5
Other votes8.370.117,30719.0

Election results in Groom at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Family First primary votes.

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  1. The LNP actually had a swing towards them in Toowoomba North at the last state election even though Kerry Shine (ALP member from 2001-2012, nearly won it back in 2015) was the candidate.

    In other words, nothing to see here.

  2. Labor have announced their candidate financial adviser Troy Kay. Yep, should be an easy retain for the LNP but probably a swing away from them because of the state swing.

    John McVeigh was considered a chance as deputy leader in state politics and now finds himself off the front bench federally. Liberals will likely find themselves in opposition federally after the next election, but McVeigh departure from state politics could be viewed as an indicator that the state LNP won’t be getting back into government anytime soon.

  3. PNW –
    McVeigh would surely be aiming at picking up an outer ministry (presumably of the shadow variety) next term. His competition will be diminished, and if he performs well he’ll be in prime position for a front bench role down the track. Groom is pretty safe, he’s got time.

  4. Perry Ardrelius is the Fraser Anning Conservative National Party candidate here.

    This should split the PHON/hard right wing vote.

    This seat may have an above-average swing to Labor though.

  5. Toowoomba makes up 2/3 of this seat …. with an average lib vote of 60% the remainder is more rural
    and more anti labor ….. not likely to change parties


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