Herbert – Australia 2019

ALP 0.02%

Incumbent MP
Cathy O’Toole, since 2016.

Herbert covers the vast majority of the urban area in Townsville. It also covers rural areas to the west of Townsville which are contained in Townsville LGAs.

No change.

Herbert is an original federation seat. The seat originally covered most of North Queensland, from Mackay to the Torres Strait, but now is almost entirely based in Townsville. The seat has long been a marginal seat, and only three former MPs have managed to retire on their own terms.

The seat was first held by Fred Bamford, who held the seat for a quarter of a century. He was first elected as a Labor member and was expelled from the ALP over conscription in 1916. He served briefly as a minister under Billy Hughes and represented the Nationalists under his retirement in 1925.

At the 1925 election, Premier of Queensland Ted Theodore resigned from office in order to run for Herbert, but was surprisingly defeated by Lewis Nott of the Nationalists, who held the seat for one term. Nott later emerged as the first member for the Australian Capital Territory as an independent from 1949 to 1951.

George Martens won the seat for the ALP in 1928 and held it until his retirement in 1946. The seat was then held by Labor’s William Edmonds until 1958.

Edmonds was defeated that year by John Murray of the Liberal Party, who was defeated himself by the ALP’s  Ted Harding in 1961. Harding was defeated in 1966 by Robert Bonnett. The seat was then held solidly by the Liberal Party for a long period. Bonnett retired in 1977 and Arthur Dean held on to the seat for the Liberals from 1977 to 1983.

In 1983, Dean was defeated by the ALP’s Ted Lindsay, as part of Bob Hawke’s election win over Malcolm Fraser. Lindsay held the seat for the entirety of the Hawke/Keating government before being defeated in 1996 by Liberal candidate Peter Lindsay (no relation). Lindsay was re-elected four times, and retired in 2010.

The Liberal National Party’s Ewen Jones won the seat in 2010. The redistribution had made Herbert a notional Labor seat, but a swing of 2.2% saw Jones retain the seat for the LNP. He was re-elected in 2013.

Jones lost in 2016 to Labor candidate Cathy O’Toole in an extremely close race. Recounting eventually gave O’Toole the seat with a 37-vote margin.


Herbert is the most marginal seat in the country and will be a key contest.

2016 result

Ewen Jones Liberal National 31,36135.5-7.8
Cathy O’Toole Labor 26,90030.5+1.1
Geoff VirgoOne Nation11,95013.5+12.7
Colin DwyerKatter’s Australian Party6,0706.9-1.2
Wendy Tubman Greens 5,5336.3+1.0
Michael PunshonFamily First3,1753.6+2.3
Aaron RaffinGlenn Lazarus Team1,9372.2+2.2
David HarrisLiberal Democrats1,0961.2+1.2
Martin BrewsterPalmer United Party3150.4-8.5

2016 two-party-preferred result

Cathy O’Toole Labor 44,18750.0+6.2
Ewen Jones Liberal National 44,15050.0-6.2

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five areas. Most of the seat’s population lies in the Townsville urban area, and these booths are divided into three areas: Townsville, Mundingburra and Thuringowa-Douglas. The remaining booths are divided between those in the rural hinterland to the west of Townsville, and those on islands off the coast.

Despite the result being a virtual tie, the ALP managed to win a majority of election-day ordinary votes in four out five areas, ranging from 50.3% in Townsville to 60.1% on the islands. The LNP won 50.2% in rural mainland parts of Herbert. The LNP performed most strongly in the pre-poll and other votes, achieving almost 54% of the pre-poll vote and almost 55% of other votes.

Labor won 2902 more election-day votes than the LNP, while the LNP outpolled Labor by 2865 votes in the special vote.

Voter groupON prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes13.945.212,31813.9

Election results in Herbert at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and One Nation primary votes.

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  1. Nanette Radeck KAP Candidate In Herbert is shown on KAP website holding meeetings in Stockland shopping centre. This means they are much better organised than has previously been the case. You can not just rock up to a commercial mall and start sprooking.
    As I said earlier KAP Will probably out Poll Palmer and Ashby-Hanson and Nanette Radek may become part of a block of KAP MPs.State MPs have
    Done a good job looking after the interests of their respective electorates. Consequently I can see KAP building a solid base in 2019 to relaunch a true rural party replacing ineffective NTionals in 2022.

  2. Palmer’s advertisments appear to be coming intrusive. At a non political function I was talking to an ALP leaning friend and a couple of non political members started to winge about Palmer’s Ads. I have not heard this level of complaint about political campaigning since Campbell Newman’s initial Ashgrove campaign. If Outer Suburban bribanites are sick of his advertising. How much more will be the case in Townsville.
    Can anyone in Herbert fill us in on how intrusive Palmer’s campaign has become.
    I am beginning to think that Herbert will be a very interesting seat to watch with no result for about a week.
    Andrew Jackson

  3. NSW election makes my comment of March 9 all the more valid. If NSW has a problem with an independent National Party and the election showed up a big problem. Queensland’s equivalent will be much greater. Country Queensland is suffering as much as Country NSW and in NSW rural voters could mistakenly park their vote with Nat’s but only the most delusional country voter can think that the party of Campbell Newman is anything other than the Parliamentary Arm of Brisbane City Council. Even those of us who Townsville voters think live in Brisbane but who in reality live on Brisbane’s outskirts are aware that the current ALP Government and LNP alternative view inner city residents who want to live adjacent to brothels, strip clubs, bridges, are the dominant influence on major parties. We know that these King’s in reinforced concrete are in charge.

    A recognition that this is the case could result in a serious increase in Radeck’s vote.

    There is great similarity between Bob Katter’s policies and Shooters Farmers and Fishers and neither of them can be regarded as Right Wing by anyone other than a Left Wing extremist. On most things they stand between the socialism of ALP and market worship of the Liberals. At the same time they support a responsible environmental policy putting mankind ahead of nature worship. They reject the hatred espoused by fascist leaning groups.

  4. Palmer has spent 100million on ads and the best he can get is 8 percent in Herbert Pauline will get 9 percent I think this will go back to LNP if PM changes his mind on Preferencing ONP or her May as well give the key to the Lodge to Electricity Bill now

  5. Palmer May have spent millions on ads but media give Pauline Hanson much more in free publicity.

    She should be ignored and only get reported on when answering questions put to her by a reporter. First question should always be have any new outlets been excliuded afrom
    This conference. When she is forced to say ABC excluded ALL REPORTERS sHOULD STAND AND WALK OUT.

  6. @Dave Smith

    I don’t think it matters if Scott Morrison agrees to prefernce One Nation or not I’m pretty sure One Nation preferences will be heading to the LNP in this seat.

    And One Nation operated in QLD the last state election that they will generally preference against sitting members unless the LNP cut out a deal with them. So either way One Nation will likely prefernce the LNP in this seat.

    I still think Labor will hold and the LNP have gone very quiet on winning back Herbert after the controversy that came out about their candidate.

  7. I read in the media Clive Palmer is now not likely going to be the UAP canidate in Herbert.

  8. According to 9 News the UAP’s preselection for Herbert won’t be for another few days.

    Spokesman in the article also mentioned that the UAP where confident they’d have a presence in parliament and claimed to have upwards of 12,000 members, make of that what you will.

  9. Is this the same source that claimed PUP were going to have 10 Senators across Australia in 2013?

    Who was that source? Why none other than Clive himself 😛

  10. O’Toole “swore hand on heart” Labor would not review Adani on Thursday.
    Then Tanya happened……again !!

    Ms Plibersek also took another swing at the “inflated jobs figures” provided by Adani. “I think the jobs numbers are overstated. We can’t rely on an Indian mining company to bring jobs to central and north Queensland”

    If Fraser Anning said this he’d be called a racist and there would be calls for him to be censured

    This girl can’t help herself !! Today she said Labor would review the approval !! Go Tanya !!. Just keep talking !!

  11. Wine Diamond If Fraser Anning said this his motives would be racial. TP motives are not hostility to Indians but rather hostility to emissions. She can justifiably be called an environmentalist but racism does not get a look in. The key thing is motive.

  12. There is no responsible environmental policy if you put mankind ahead of nature worship. Sadly, there is no party who represents nature and animals with mankind. The children born today will inherit a badly scarred barren rock with no fish in the oceans and most animals extinct except a few in ‘zoos’. Trees and most plantlife will be found in greenhouses and scientists will scratch their heads and try to work out how humans got to this point, without noticing.

    I am, obviously, a leftist, and will vote for a party with a somewhat promising environmental policy (no Adani), no ‘clean’ coal, more marine parks and no more land clearing, killing one marsupial every second, to put more methane producing cattle on.

    O.M.G. Funny, theres no one for me to vote for 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ now!!!

    Sadly, ALP it shall be.

    Note: Palmer is doing everything and anything to gets votes including, supposedly, opening up the refinerary again. God help us!!!!

  13. Andrew
    Clearly wrt TP you are not seeing what i’m seeing. The girl as form as a long term anti zionist, & has other “unfortunate” views.

    Vegan girl
    Clearly you missed my post on the Hughes thread . here it is again, just for you

    There is indeed an existential threat to Mankind , & it is not climate change, nor virus, nor war.
    It is celestial Impact
    There is an irresistible irony in this . The human race will spend decades, untold trillions of $ in futile attempt to change the world’s temperature 1, or 2 degrees. Then the universe will smack us with something big, & hard !!. To wake us up from our self indulgence, self importance, self absorption !!. To provide us with a reality which will be truly inescapable !!

    Then the global warming will happen !! A couple of HUNDRED DEGREES. But it’s not all bad, the worlds population will go back to under a Billion, & that will be SUSTAINABLE !!.

    Won’t happen ?. That is the future tens of millions of mystics have foreseen for decades. Myself included.

  14. You cannot seriously be declining one of the greatest threats to humanity, that just about 90% of Scientists have proven it with undeniable evidence are you winediamond?

  15. All you need to do is read the Townsville Bulletin letters page (I live up here). O’Toole is cactus. Her refusal to support Adani for so long means that her sudden having a go at the QLD Labor Govt and then saying it would go ahead (without actually endorsing it), people are sick of it. Crime a major issue here, and we know people seem to have difficulty differentiating between state and federal issues. Phil Thompson has been out there for a long time now, and ex-Defence resonates up here, he does a lot of work for veterans

  16. Daniel
    IF there is is a problem.The “solutions” proposed will not work, they will simply impoverish, & harm billions of people. As i’ve said to you before “90 %” of scientists HAVE NEVER AGREED ON ANYTHING. Such statements are gross conflated propaganda, & nonsense.
    I have responded to you previously in detail, & you were rude enough to decline to respond.

  17. Wine Diamond
    When I studied Climatology as part of a Geography Teaching degree meteorite space impact was likely to lead to another ice age. At that
    Time most scientists feared climate change because of the potential for an ice age as the result of meteriorite or volcanic cloud.
    Most scientists rejected Continental drift.
    I am a sceptic about global warming but not a denialist.
    Current Coalition Government has about the right response.
    You however are the first person to talk about “a couple of hundred degrees” . Add a couple of hundred degrees and all life on earth would be cooked in steam. Please bring the debate back to Earth specifically Herbert.
    POLITICAL NIGHTWATCHMAN What are youu reading in the papers about Clive Palmer and Herbert now?
    What is happening on ground in Townsville? Is Clive in City? He is planning something for later in week. Herbert or Senate?

  18. What do we think of Palmer’s Star candidate for Herbert, Greg Dowling?

    I reckon he’ll probably poll less than Katter’s candidate to be honest.

  19. Waiting till 5 weeks before election to announce candidature is clearly a mistake. Clearly Palmer was running six months ago and circumstances alter cases. Palmer has more chance of winning a Senate seat than Herbert. Herbert Candidate May get a boost out of Clive’s commitment to pay refinery workers but I suspect it is too late.
    Nanette Radeck is running a good campaign in Herbert not something that all KAP candidates have done. It is a rare day when she is not posting evidence of some activity.She seems to have mastered Social Media better than any previous KAP candidate.

    Herbert is a relatively compact seat by KAP standards. Supporters for KAP exist in Townsville so she should be able to get message out by brochure.
    The brochure that I have seen comparing LNP, KAP and LNP is well designed and should appeal to North Queensland.
    Difficulty might be in communicating with soldiers on operations. This might in fact make my comment about compactness of seat totally false.
    With KAP office in Townsville Nanette Radeck should be doing better than UAP. UAP and KAP have
    Many common policies so hopefully they are preferencing each other tightly.
    At this stage in House of Reps Longman I will be giving my primary vote to UAP with no sign of KAP, DLP or Country Party Candidate nominating. Palmer himself will be above majors but below KAP and DLP candidates.
    No Herbert I think KAP has
    Some chance of winning the House seat.

  20. LNP have released an advert interviewing ALP candidate O’Toole
    Who has probably just cooked her chances of being re-elected by refusing to say I support Adani mine. She appears to actually support Adani but will just not say so.
    Andrew Jackson

  21. Adani seems to be to Central and North Queenland in 2019 what the Franklin Dam was to Tasmania in 1983 – a chance to tell outsiders to butt out and leave us to our thing. In 1983 it shored up the Libs hold on the Tasmanian seats and in 2019, I can see a similar thing happening – swings to the LNP in Capricornia Flynn and Dawson, the LNP winning Herbert. It may also have an effect in Hinkler as well and possibly even seats like Blair or Longman.

    I would not include Leichhardt in this hypothesis as there are few benefits in FNQ. I also wonder if it may give the LNP enough steam to knock off Bob Katter in Kennedy.

  22. Bob Katter’s position on Adani has been consistent support. Both liberals and ALP have one position in CQ/NQ and a completely different position in Inner suburbs. I have no doubt that O’Toole supports Adani but Vince Gair supported 3 weeks annual leave. An ALP MP is subject to Caucus Direction and also to party direction. Therefore Cathy O’Toole has to be prepared to resign from ALP if directed to oppose jobs on CQ/NQ. Will she do this?

  23. Why cant she say the words “I support the Adani mine” The Galilee basin isn’t the same thing

  24. More interesting than the LNP/ALP result was
    The interesting point is that Anning is getting less than 1%and he is sharing that 1% with Coms Trots
    uniformed NAZI’s Animal Liberationists CEC and other nutty conspiracists, as well as
    Groups such as Australian Christians, Australian Conservatives.
    Second interesting point was that Katter has increased vote by 88% from 6.9 to 13.

    I have doubts about the validity of result with respect to Anning but he clearly is not cutting it with decent Australians.

  25. Primaries from the recent Newspoll are ALP 30, LNP 35, KAP 13, ON 7, UAP 7, GRN 7.

    Primaries are a complete dog’s breakfast based on the 2 polls we’ve gotten here, UAP at 7 seems more likely to me than 15 imo.

    KAP on 13 is surprising, and will be interesting to see how his preferences flow if (big if too) that’s accurate.

  26. Galaxy seat poll has Herbert a toss up as expected (what’s new!), ALP 50, LIB 50.

    Most notable is KAT primary of 14 (+7.1) and ON drop. ALP 31 (+.5), LNP 32 (-3.5), UAP 9 (+8.6) ON 6 (-7.5), GRN 5 (-1.3)

  27. If UAP and ON flow strongly to Katter, there’s an outside chance that Katter would leapfrog into second place and end up with the win.

  28. Can see why Labor might struggle here but, but polls (unreliable I know) encouraging for a sitting MP in a provincial seat, current consensus she’s definitely gone seems overstated

  29. Australia has been a federation of six states since 1901 and the states have a right to make their own decision about on shore development. The states created the commonwealth through protracted but peaceful discussions in the 1890’s and with no shots fired like in other countries.

    The commonwealth government should keep out of it. If Qld want as coal mine so be it, if SA want a nuclear power plant so be it. if Vic want a wind farm so be it, if WA want a solar farm so be it. The commonwealth government should stick to defence, external affairs and overseas trade as detailed in the constitution.

  30. I understand that the CFMMEU in this electorate was not supporting the ALP as they were concerned the ALP were doing what the chardonnay socialist in the inner city south wanted on various issues instead of supporting jobs

  31. Adrian
    Completely agree.
    Australian States are Sovereign . Commonwealth powers are defined in Commonwealth Constitution but hav been expanding into any crack they can leak into. Electricity Generation is not a Commonwealth responsibility and I concur if SA wasn’t s to rely solely on wind they should be free to do so. In fact they are free to do so.
    We in Queensland sent a very strong message to then Premier Joh Bjelke Petersen that we want cheap reliable power. We re unforced this with a strong message to the Newman dictatorship that we want that power owned and operated by the State Government and last week end sent Premier a clear message we want coal. I expect Anna that plans will be drawn up before the State election next year to build new high efficiency low emission Government owned and operated coal fired power station using coal from Central Queensland. We can sell power to SA and Victoria when the wind does not blow or the battery goes flat.
    No excuses accepted build Adani and new Coal generators.

  32. In Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, I bought a pair of Finches (not the brown chested ones associated with Adani mine) but they dies within a few week despite following the market sellers instruction on what to feed and care for them. Apparently they don’t have a long life and I may have been sold older ones CHEEP.

  33. Adani mine finally given Queensland government approval today. This follows the Commonwealth government approval before the recent election. Now the workers can get on with their work and nearby towns and cities like Townsville will hopefully prosper.

    When I was posted to Townville in the Army in 1974/75 Townsville was an active place. Townsville also has James Cook University, Lavarack Army Barracks and a RAAF Base which should also help the local economy.


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