Lilley – Australia 2019

ALP 5.7%

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.

Lilley lost Bridgeman Downs at its western edge to Dickson. This change increased the Labor margin from 5.3% to 5.7%.

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. Swan has been re-elected seven times.

Swan 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. Swan resigned from the deputy leadership and the frontbench when Kevin Rudd was elected Labor leader in 2013.

Sitting Labor MP Wayne Swan is not running for re-election.

Lilley has been considered marginal when Labor was doing poorly, but should stay in Labor hands in 2019, even with the retirement of the sitting member.

2016 result

Wayne Swan Labor 41,81943.5+3.343.8
David Kingston Liberal National 37,54539.0-2.338.7
Claire Ogden Greens 11,13711.6+3.911.7
Sharan HallFamily First3,4513.6+2.23.6
Simon James HolmickLiberal Democrats2,2022.3+2.32.3

2016 two-party-preferred result

Wayne Swan Labor 53,19055.3+4.055.7
David Kingston Liberal National 42,96444.7-4.044.3

Booth breakdown

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

The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 54.4% in the south to 62.8% in the north.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 10.6% in the centre to 15.2% in the north.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes10.753.817,66919.1

Election results in Lilley at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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  1. Whatever people may or may not think about Wayne Swan, he was obviously a fairly popular and hard working local MP.

    Labor suffered quite a few nasty swings in Queensland in recent times, but he’s held on against the trend in all of them.

    (A bit like Rudd in that respect, I guess….)

  2. I strongly expect this will be a Labor retain. Swan’s personal vote should not be discounted, but personal vote rarely exceeds 5% in urban electorates, the margin is there and the overall swing is (almost definitely) going towards Labor.

    I also wouldn’t expect to see much of an LNP campaign here, given the need to sandbag neighbouring divisions.

  3. Mark Mulcair
    We disagree. I’m unconvinced about Swan’s credentials as an MP. Correct me if i’m wrong, but didn’t he lose the strong lib areas in the west of Lilley, (Ascot, Hendra etc) in re distributions to Brisbane ?. This had the effect of flattering his numbers, all these years. Perhaps his personal vote is inconsequential ?.

    I would take this opportunity to remind everyone that now that “the world’s greatest treasurer” has decided to withdraw his services, we will be paying him more money ! This is because his defined benefit Superannuation pays more per annum, than his salary as a backbencher !.
    This is part of the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars of completely UN- Funded Commonwealth/ public Superannuation. And No this is not in the budget, & is not calculated in public debt

  4. Ha Ha Ha Swan is running for President of the ALP. Man are they in trouble !. If he does to the ALP what he did to the country, they will never win anything. Shorten “has ‘privately’ backed him” according to Troy Bramston.

  5. wine…… you raise the question of unfunded super…… what is in the future fund….. should it be used for alternate purposes?

  6. Alex J
    Swan was well known but he did not have a strong personal vote in LIlley. In fact if anything LIlley residents resented his lack of attention to the electorate.
    You will find if you look in the archives that I made this comment before 2016 or maybe even 2013 election when I found a very early street stall plonked outside Katter’s Party Office in Nudgee Road. Workers on the stand were so politically switched on that thy did not recognise the KAP sign.

  7. Mick
    The Future Fund only covers $110,000 Billion last time i checked of Federal unfunded Super. The liability is about double that, + the States. Problem was that the RGR Govt’s made no contribution to the Future Fund. I doubt that successive Lib govts have either.

    Andrew Jackson
    That is just embarrassing . Thanks for confirming my suspicions

  8. Mick
    Sorry i didn’t answer your last question. I’d remind everyone that the pollies stole the pension fund which (all) Taxpayers contributed to in the 50’s, & 60’s. I’d be loath to give them the slightest chance of getting their grubby little paws anywhere near the FF.

  9. Liberals will try hard to win it (keeping in mind they need to win seats off Labor to retain government) but the votes just aren’t there

  10. John
    Lilley is a rock solid Labor seat. Why would the Libs put much effort in ?. It would be like Labor putting a lot of effort into N Sydney (my seat) !
    Like in most safe seats most of the electors are fundamentally stupid, & vote for the incumbent, instead of at least trying to push him to preferences. Making our electorates marginal, is how to get money spent in your electorate.

  11. @ Wine diamond how is it safe Labor? Labor has lost the seat before, North Sydney is what you call a safe seat but for the Libs.

  12. Liberals will try to win it because they’ll be looking for any opportunity they can to win seats off Labor, remembering that they’ll need to pick up seats to make up for the redistribution, and not many are presenting themselves (in my view top 3 opportunities are all subject to the upcoming byelections). A retiring long term member in a state the Liberals will be sandbagging heavily is one of the less implausible scenarios for a Liberal gain off Labor.

  13. Feel the Bern
    Yeah Swan got tossed once. Lilley was partly constituted of the Lib areas now in Brisbane. As it it stands now, it’s all Labor.

    Not even the LNP are stupid enough to think they have a chance in Lilley.

  14. Lilley is certainly not as safe for Labor as seats like Rankin, Oxley and Moreton – yes, the state seats swung massively last year but it could swing back.

    All but 1 of the councillors north of the river are LNP.

    I still have FAITH in the Coalition retaining government next year! I think ‘from Ryan’ is a subtle indicator…

  15. Coalition won’t retain goverment, Turnbull is heavily disliked, Shorten is too, But remember i think voters are more likely to give the other party a chance at governing again, Unless Julie bishop becomes leader, i see them losing at least 15 seats to Labour (Net loss), He is heavily disliked in QLD, i don’t know one person in my state that said they ”liked” turnbull. I see it extremely unlikely for Turnbull to remain PM after next election. Onto this seat, Safe labour for this election, Prob about at least a 3 point swing to labour here

  16. Im from Qld and Turnbull is a legend!!!! Qld need to realise the problems up here are caused by the useless Labor staye government

  17. While BJA is right compared to Rankin and Oxley, I’m not too sure about Moreton.

    It seems some think Lilley is also safer long term than Griffith. Terri Butler contested the Lilley preselection and tried to get out of Griffith.

  18. Queensland Observer, where did you hear about Terri Butler and Lilley?

    It would make sense. In addition to being scarily close with the LNP, Griffith has prospects for the Greens. It would be the kind of seat that could fall even if an ALP government gets re-elected. Lilley on the other hand is reasonably safe for the foreseeable future.

  19. Q Observer
    How absolutely hilarious. I loathe Butler, it’s great that even her own feel the same. She must have impressed them with her inability to say a sentence without “I” !

  20. I cannot find a single online source that mentions Butler seeking a move to Lilley. It seems most unlikely on the face of it

  21. It wouldn’t be wise for the LNP to put a whole lot of recources here, especially over seats like Brisbane, Griffith and Dickson.

    I’m expecting Labor to win no more than 80 seats next election, which will not set them up for a good chance of re-election in 2022, only then do I think the LNP will have a chance.

  22. Angus JT –

    I am in furious agreement with you.

    I would certainly expect a relatively low-key LNP campaign here. Enough to keep the Senate vote up and avoid embarrassment – but not a smidgen more.
    Especially considering the likely context of a slight swing to Labor statewide, Lilley having gotten safer in the redistribution, and all its neighbours being higher-priority targets.

    Your seat prediction seemed low initially, but the pendulum (assuming a 52-48 result) would only get Labor to 82 or so. And if the Greens then picked up Cooper and Macnamara… then 80 is bang on.

  23. I can’t exactly reveal any of my sources on this one. But the Butler trying for Lilley thing is pretty commonly known around Brisbane political circles and the corridors of Federal Parliament. I heard it from plenty of people, but the rock solid ones I don’t want to give away.

    Dean Wells’ daughter had AWU backing and Wayne Swan. Butler thought the left had gained enough sway to get her up. But Swan is a pretty good operator and Lilley was never really an option.

    I am shocked no media picked it up, though Labor did keep it under wraps. It only got spread widely after the preselection was done. Maybe journalists were embarrassed about being in the dark about it while it happened.

  24. Queensland Observor
    Main Stream Media pick up very little . Apart from sensational personality type stories they rely on Press Release stories from parties to provide content.
    Just about all on this site have some knowledge of what is going on in some party .
    I will ask question who has been quizzed by a reporter in last month. No reporter has ever quizzed me since Bjelke Petersen era.
    Working in three Political offices since 1970’s I have had to answer no comment only once to a reporter and only thing he wanted was details of preference decision. No attempt to discuss preferences prior to decision. Reporters are trained to be unenquiring journalists. Journalists would not even know who the office bearers of Major Parties are in Lilley. They would not know minor party candidates. When I was National Secretary for KAP I found an ALP street stall on footpath outside KAP office in Nudgee Rd and those manning it did not know of existence of a National Party Office adjoining there stall. Reporters would never think of building up a data base of party members to question. Reporters have always been short sighted but focus has moved from a 24 hour deadline to a 2 minute deadline.
    Who has spoken to a Journalist in last 24 hours?
    My guess is None of you unless it is family or day to day contacts? Does any Journalist know who Queensland Observor is.
    No news paper has published a detailed map of likely consequences of their headline grabbing polling.
    Sydney Morning Herald has had very little details about pre selections for coming election. Ben has a list of candidates on this site when did SMH publish such a list.
    The list should have been developed two years ago and printed at least once a month.
    I know that Ben writes for UK based Guardian. It is a disgrace that Guardian can provide information about politics in Australia ahead of The Australian.
    When manning a party roadside stall havs anyone been approached by a Journalist. TV cameras will come if told in advance that a well known candidate will bring a tortoise or ride a cow but if candidate wants to talk about electricity prepare to talk to yourself. Tally Room exists because Reporters get a 1 out of 10 for political reporting.
    Andrew Jackson

  25. I read where some insiders think Lilley’s margin is inflated because of Wayne’s Swan personal following in the seat. I don’t think it really matters. I doubt this is one seat the LNP would be targeting as stated by current polling trends. The LNP candidate pulling out is hardly ideal but its not really a fatal blow either. LNP has maxed out its gains in Queensland and winning seats back off Labor in this election is tough ask but LNP would be looking to seats like Herbert or Longman before Lilley. By saying that I don’t expect the LNP to win Herbert or Longman and will instead try and save the furniture as the election gets closer.

  26. Political Nightwatchman
    Agree with you that Libs have “maxed out” their seats in Queensland.
    I have said previously that Swan was not popular. Electorates rarely like ministerial members. Ministers are very rarely good local members. They just do not have the time. It is true that recognition helps but Swan was not popular.
    This election is about which and how many Liberal seats will be lost. Chances of an urban seat like Lilley going opposite direction to country as a whole are near zero. ALP will retain Lilley.
    Lilley is a very diverse seat that does not seem to be reflected in booth results.The Southern part is wealthy and resembles the the English Home Counties – wealth is generally old wealth. The centre of electorate looks like a Housin Commission estate occupied by home owners who have bought the properties. Inala with trees and semi cared for lawns and the North like Ashgrove for the impoverished. old smaller Queenslanders on big blocks but a bit run down. In the West a few units and Green vote appears to be higher than expected. Greens rarely do well where families live.
    The dominant industry is the airport with adjoining light manufacturing which appears now to being converted to retail. Warehousesvthat once served all of Queensland now are hire car/ airport parking sites serving Brisbane only. In effect it is the NE sector of Brisbane with real economic growth occuring in in every other sector but not this sector. Airport is the one factor that has not turned this into an unemployment desert. shopping centres othrer than Airport DFO and Toombul are strip centres on decline. Mindshare which used to be one of city’s peripheral centres outside of CBD has been choked of shoppers by traffic congestion chaos.
    Definite ALP retain. Only factor against this is ALP typical 21st Century female candidate from service sector which does not reflect the demography of Lilley. Bill Shorten TU Candidate would be more appropriate for Lilley in those parts that will consider voting ALP.

  27. Labor corflutes were everywhere here. LNP had nothing. That really tells you something about the response of Queensland to Shorten


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