Tennyson – Brisbane 2020

Council margin – IND 25.0% vs ALP
Mayoral margin – LNP 8.1%

Incumbent councillor
Nicole Johnston, since 2008.

South-western Brisbane. Tennyson covers suburbs on the south side of the Brisbane River to the south-west of the city centre, including Fairfield, Oxley, Yeronga, Yeerongpilly, Chelmer, Graceville, Sherwood and Corinda.

Tennyson lost an area around Clifton Hill to Moorooka and gained an area around Oxley from Moorooka. These changes reduced Johnston’s margin from 26.3% to 25%, although margins are difficult to calculate when a seat is held by an independent.

Tennyson was created in 2008 when the Labor-held Dutton Park ward was split between Tennyson and The Gabba. Tennyson was a notional Liberal ward with a 2.6% margin, and the sitting Labor councillor chose to contest The Gabba.

Tennyson was won by Liberal candidate Nicole Johnston with a 10.7% swing, giving her a 13.3% margin.

Nicole Johnston fell out with her Liberal National colleagues, leaving the party in 2010. She was re-elected as an independent in 2012 – the first independent to win a seat on Brisbane City Council in over sixty years. Johnston significantly increased her majority in 2016, increasing her two-candidate-preferred vote from 57% to 76%.


Nicole Johnston appears to be very safe in Tennyson.

2016 council result

Nicole JohnstonIndependent12,57255.4+14.652.0
Ashley Higgins Liberal National 3,79416.7-20.318.6
Stephen Harvey Labor 3,33514.7+2.316.2
Gillian Marshall-Pierce Greens 2,98513.2+3.413.2

2016 council two-candidate-preferred result

Nicole JohnstonIndependent14,15076.375.0
Stephen Harvey Labor 4,40423.725.0

2016 mayoral result

Graham Quirk Liberal National 11,53950.7-8.451.3
Rod Harding Labor 6,89530.3+8.130.7
Ben Pennings Greens 3,46815.2-0.914.2
Jeffrey HodgesIndependent3761.7+1.71.6
Jim EldridgeIndependent2000.9+0.90.8
Karel BoelePeople Decide1850.8+0.80.8
Jarrod WirthIndependent1210.5+0.50.5

2016 mayoral two-party-preferred result

Graham Quirk Liberal National 11,96557.7-10.758.1
Rod Harding Labor 8,77142.3+10.741.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in Tennyson have been divided into three parts: north-east, north-west and south-west.

The two-candidate-preferred vote for independent Nicole Johnston varied from 57% in the south-west to 83% in the north-west. This is a relic of the redistribution: approximately 1500 votes were added in the south-west while no voters were added in either of the other areas. The two-candidate-preferred vote for Johnston in those parts of the south-west which were previously in Tennyson was 79.6%.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 10% in the north-west to 15% in the north-east.

Voter groupGRN prim councilIND 2CP councilLNP 2PP mayoralTotal votes% of votes
Other votes15.663.360.14,61720.8

Election results in Tennyson at the 2016 Brisbane City Council election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (Independent vs Labor) for council, two-party-preferred votes for lord mayor, and council primary votes for the Greens.

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  1. This ward is predominantly the stronghold of Liberals In Moreton Federal Division. It is suburban with a bit of industry in South and East.. although it has voted predominantly Liberal over the years it has occasionally moved towards ALP. In 1960’s and 1970’s during Clem Jones ALP mayoralty majority of Ward was represented by ALP Alderman Gordon Thompson. At same time State and Federal seats Sherwood and Moreton were held by Liberal Fromt Bemchers John Herbert and Jim Killen.
    Chelmsford Graceville Sherwood Corinda are split by a railway line with high ground on West and Flood prone lowlands on East. Very strong Liberal territory on West with some of Brisbane’s best real estate on the East high percentage of city office workers commuting to town by rail. Predominantly Liberal booths till you get to Oxley. Tennyson in midle of electorate an island of affluence separating old housing commission estates from 150 year old Sherwood area. Frightening thing for me is I helped write centennial history of Sherwood area in late 1960’s.
    Lower parts of Chelmsford Graceville Sherwood Salisbury Tennyson and Yeronga were flooded out in 1964 and 2011. This must have increased rentals in area which could be detrimental to Libs. Tennyson now a centre for Tennis which suspect will have attracted Yuppies to seat therefore a gradual movement over time to ALP and Greens.
    When I lived in Ward it was centre of centralised marketing of Fruit and vegetables, had a meatworks ( Hutton’s) a heavy engineering works (Sargents) and a Shirt Factory ( Pelacco) these have all gone replaced by service industries.
    Cr Johnson is probably safe
    Council elections seem to favour the noisy and Cr Johnson was certainly that but it is potentially a three horse race Johnson, ALP and LNP.
    Preferences will be important. In fact I predict that one of the above three horse preferences will decide the result.

  2. This seat is difficult because the IND margin is very inflated with the LNP candidate being disendorsed after ballots printed due to past indisgressions. Johnston is probably safe though.

  3. At this stage I think Johnston is going to be safe. She has the name recognition and the personal vote.

    It’ll take a huge swing just to put her in second on primaries, and as long as Labor is willing to preference her over the LNP she should continue to do fine on 2CP.


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