Arch Bevis, since 1990.
Central Brisbane. Brisbane covers the Brisbane CBD and inner suburbs north of the Brisbane River including Fortitude Valley, Paddington, Ashgrove, Kelvin Grove, Newmarket, Clayfield and Hendra.
Brisbane was redistributed towards the east, losing the suburbs of Ferny Grove, Bardon, Grovely to Ryan and Everton Park to Lilley. In exchange Brisbane gained suburbs to the east of the 2007 seat from Lilley including Gordon Park, Clayfield, Hamilton and Hendra.
Brisbane is an original federation electorate. It has been held by the ALP for most of its history interrupted by short periods of conservative MPs.
The seat was first won by Thomas Macdonald-Paterson, who joined the Protectionists when Parliament first sat. Macdonald-Paterson was not endorsed by the local Protectionists for the 1903 election, and the split in the protectionist vote gave the seat to the ALP’s Millice Culpin.
Culpin was himself defeated after one term by Justin Foxton of the Anti-Socialist Party (formerly the Free Traders). Foxton served as a minister from 1909 until his defeat at the 1910 election by the ALP’s William Finlayson.
Finlayson held the seat until 1919, when he was defeated by Donald Charles Cameron of the Nationalist Party. Cameron held the seat until 1931, when he lost the seat against the tide of conservative gains against the Scullin Government. Cameron returned to serve one term in the neighbouring seat of Lilley from 1934 to 1937.
The ALP held the seat continuously for the next fourty-four years, with only two MPs holding the seat from 1931 until 1975. George Lawson won the seat in 1931 and held it until 1961. He served as Minister for Transport from 1941 until the 1943 election. The seat was then held by Manfred Cross until his defeat by Liberal Peter Johnson in 1975. Johnson defeated Cross again in 1977 before Cross won the seat back in 1980.
Cross held the seat until his retirement in 1990, when the ALP chose Arch Bevis, who has held the seat ever since. While Brisbane has never been held by a large margin, it came closest to being lost to the Liberals in 1996, when Bevis’ margin was cut to 0.36%.
- Andrew Bartlett (Greens) – Democrats Senator 1997-2008, Democrats leader 2002-2004.
- Ewan Saunders (Socialist Alliance)
- Arch Bevis (Labor) – Member for Brisbane since 1990.
- Mark White (Family First)
- Teresa Gambaro (Liberal National) – Member for Petrie 1996-2007.
Brisbane is a marginal Labor-Liberal seat, but its history shows very little swing in the seat, suggesting that it will be difficult for the Liberals to gain this seat, even if they were to gain the 4% swing nationally that would correlate to Brisbane changing hands. New suburbs added to Brisbane from Lilley are better for the Liberals, with the Liberals winning the area overall, but they are unlikely enough for the Liberals to win.
The Greens are clearly focusing on the seat by running such a high-profile candidate as Andrew Bartlett. Brisbane is not as strong for the Greens as the corresponding inner-city seats in Sydney and Melbourne, but is still one of the best Greens seats in Queensland, and a strong campaign by Bartlett could substantially increase the Greens vote and transform the status of Brisbane.
2007 two-candidate-preferred result
Results do not take into consideration effects of the redistribution.
I have divided booths into three areas. Those in the north-east of the seat are those previously contained within Lilley, and gave a majority to the Liberals and recorded a markedly lower Greens vote. The remaining booths were divided between those in the centre of the electorate, including Fortitude Valley, New Farm and Windsor, and those in the west of the electorate, including Kelvin Grove, Newmarket and Paddington. There is not a large difference between the votes in those two areas.
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