Wide Bay – Australia 2019

LNP 8.2%

Incumbent MP
Llew O’Brien, since 2016.

Wide Bay covers parts of the Queensland coast, including the towns of Noosa, Gympie and Maryborough, at the southern end of central Queensland as well as the northern end of the Sunshine Coast.

Wide Bay lost an area on its northern boundary, extending out to Walligan and Torbanlea, to the neighbouring seat of Hinkler. This change slightly increased the LNP margin from 8.1% to 8.2%.

Wide Bay is an original federation electorate. It has been held for most of its history by the Nationals and its predecessors, although there have been two periods where it was held by the ALP for over a decade.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Gympie colonial MP Andrew Fisher, a prominent Labor member. Fisher had served as a minister in Anderson Dawson’s brief government in 1899, the first socialist government in the world.

Fisher served as a minister in Chris Watson’s federal Labor government in 1904, and became deputy leader of the ALP in 1905. He became the ALP’s leader in 1907. In 1908, Alfred Deakin’s minority government fell, and Fisher became Prime Minister at the head of a Labor minority government. This lasted until 1909, when Deakin returned to power at the head of a new unified Liberal party.

Fisher returned to office after the 1910 election, when the ALP won an unprecedented majority in the House of Representatives. This was the first time a party won a majority in a federal election. He governed until 1913, when he lost office to the Liberal Party, but he returned to power after Joseph Cook called a double dissolution in 1914. Fisher resigned from Parliament in 1915.

The ensuing Wide Bay by-election was won by Liberal candidate Edward Corser by only 86 votes. Corser was re-elected as a Nationalist in 1917, 1919, 1922 and 1925, dying in July 1928.

The 1928 Wide Bay by-election was won by Corser’s son, Bernard Corser, who stood for the Country Party. He held the seat until his retirement in 1954.

The seat was won in 1954 by the Country Party’s William Brand, who had previously served as a senior member of the party in the Queensland state parliament. He was re-elected in 1955 before retiring in 1958.

Wide Bay was won in 1958 by Country candidate Henry Bandidt, but lost in 1961 to the ALP’s Brendan Hansen. Hansen held Wide Bay until his retirement in 1974, and was elected to the Queensland state parliament for the seat of Maryborough from 1977 until 1983.

Upon Hansen’s retirement in 1974, the Country Party’s Clarrie Millar won back Wide Bay, and he held it until his retirement in 1990.

Wide Bay was won in 1990 by the National Party’s Warren Truss. Truss was made a junior minister in the Howard government in 1997 and joined the cabinet in 1999. He was elected Deputy Leader of the Nationals in 2005, and became party leader after the defeat of the Howard government.

Truss served as Nationals leader from 2008 until 2016, including as Deputy Prime Minister from 2013 to 2016.

Truss retired in 2016, and was succeeded by LNP candidate Llew O’Brien.


  • Daniel Bryar (Greens)
  • Jason Scanes (Labor)
  • Andrew Schebella (United Australia)
  • Llew O’Brien (Liberal National)
  • Tim Jerome (Independent)
  • Jasmine Smith (Conservative National)
  • Aaron Vico (One Nation)
  • Assessment
    Wide Bay is a reasonably safe LNP seat.

    2016 result

    Llew O’Brien Liberal National 39,37343.8-5.143.9
    Lucy Stanton Labor 20,30122.6+1.922.6
    Elise Anne CottamOne Nation14,02215.6+15.615.6
    Bron Marsh Greens 7,3558.2+1.68.2
    Jannean DeanGlenn Lazarus Team4,0824.5+4.54.5
    Bruce MayerFamily First2,3992.7+1.22.7
    Barry CookKatter’s Australian Party2,3572.6-3.32.6

    2016 two-party-preferred result

    Llew O’Brien Liberal National 52,26458.1-5.058.2
    Lucy Stanton Labor 37,62541.9+5.041.8

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into four areas. Polling places in Fraser Coast council area have been grouped as ‘Maryborough’ and those in the Sunshine Coast and Noosa council areas have been grouped as ‘Noosa’. Those booths in the town of Gympie have been grouped together as Gympie Urban. The remainder of the Gympie council area have been grouped together with the small number of booths in the South Burnett and Cherbourg council areas as ‘Gympie Rural’.

    The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 50.9% in Maryborough to 60.6% in Gympie Rural.

    The One Nation vote ranged from 8.9% in Noosa to 21.2% in Maryborough.

    Voter groupON prim %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Gympie Rural19.360.611,27012.7
    Gympie Urban20.855.47,8678.8
    Other votes15.861.412,52014.1

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

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    1. It will be interesting to see how much the PHON preferences hurt the LNP, last time. I’d guess quite a lot.

    2. During the 2013 election I am aware that internal ALP polling had this seat as a probable for KAP.

      Whilst this turned out to be an inaccurate it is very apparent from a total of 25.43% for minor conservatives and 33.61% for minors that this electorate does not think much of major parties. LNP looks safe but if you take off 4.5% Swing to ALP the seat is not a sure thing. MY prediction LNP at about 54% 2PPV. Preferences of minors could be disastrous for O’Brien. Once again he should be talking to minor party candidates.

    3. Labor have an excellent candidate in Jason Scanes, an ex-Afghanistan veteran who will certainly appeal to more conservative voters who may feel that O’Brien has done little to help the electorate. Conversely, the State member for Maryborough, Labor’s Bruce Saunders has accomplished a lot after claiming the seat with a massive 20% 2PP swing. If Scanes adopts a similar ‘grassroots’ campaign to Saunders he has a good chance at an upset.


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