Burdekin – QLD 2017

ALP 1.4%

Incumbent MP
Dale Last (LNP), since 2015.

Geography
North Queensland. Burdekin stretches from the southern outskirts of Townsville down the Queensland coast to Bowen. The seat then extends further south to the rural hinterland covering Moranbah and Nebo. The main towns in the seat are Ayr and Bowen. The seat covers all of Burdekin LGA and parts of Isaac, Mackay, Townsville and Whitsunday LGAs.

Redistribution
Burdekin shifted south, losing areas on the outskirts of Townsville, including Stuart, Wulguru and Idalia, to Mundingburra, and gaining rural areas at the southern end of the electorate from Whitsunday, Mirani, Gregory and Dalrymple (mostly from Mirani). These new areas are contained in the Isaac and Whitsunday council areas. These changes flipped the seat from 2.9% LNP to 1.4% Labor.


History
The seat of Burdekin has existed since 1950. For most of that time the seat has been held by the Country/National Party, although it was held by One Nation and then Labor for two terms from 1998 to 2004.

The seat was won by independent Arthur Coburn in 1950. Coburn held the seat until 1969, when he was succeeded by the Country Party’s Val Bird.

Bird held the seat until his retirement in 1983, when he was replaced by Mark Stoneman. Stoneman held the seat until his retirement in 1998.

At the 1998 election, the seat was won by One Nation’s Jeff Knuth. Knuth, like most One Nation MPs, soon quit the party. He ended up joining the City Country Alliance and ran for them in 2001.

In 2001 Knuth lost to the ALP’s Steve Rodgers. Rodgers held the seat for one term, before losing to Rosemary Menkens of the National Party in 2004.

Rosemary Menkens retained the seat in 2006 and 2009. The 2009 redistribution made Burdekin a notional Labor seat, but Menkens gained a sufficient swing to retain the seat, this time for the Liberal National Party.

In 2012, Rosemary Menkens increased her margin. Menkens retired in 2015, and was succeeded by LNP candidate Dale Last.

Candidates

Assessment
Burdekin is a marginal Labor seat on paper. It’s also a very good area for One Nation.

2015 election result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Dale Last Liberal National 10,51037.3-10.736.2
Angela Zyla Labor 7,52226.7+6.128.9
Steven IslesKatter’s Australian Party3,39612.1-14.213.5
Jacinta WarlandPalmer United Party2,3308.3+8.38.1
BJ DavisonIndependent2,3068.2+8.26.8
Belinda JohnsonOne Nation1,3054.6+4.63.4
Lindy Collins Greens 8072.9+0.12.7
Others0.4
Informal5672.0

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Dale Last Liberal National 12,20152.9-9.648.6
Angela Zyla Labor 10,87247.1+9.651.4
Exhausted5,10318.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Burdekin have been divided into four areas. Polling places have been divided along local government lines. Three areas are named after the local government area, with the Isaacs area named ‘south’.

The Liberal National primary vote ranged from 25.5% in the south to 41.5% in Burdekin. The LNP topped the primary vote in three out of four areas.

The Labor primary vote ranged from 20.8% in Burdekin to 47.6% in the south, and Labor topped the primary vote in the south.

Katter’s Australian Party came third in all three areas, ranging from 8% in Whitsunday to just over 15% in Burdekin and Townsville.

Voter groupLNP prim %ALP prim %KAP prim %Total votes% of votes
Burdekin41.520.815.37,26325.9
South25.547.612.34,24615.2
Whitsunday32.727.48.04,08014.6
Townsville34.128.315.21,6816.0
Other votes38.427.714.610,74138.3

Election results in Burdekin at the 2015 QLD state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Katter’s Australian Party primary votes.

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room.

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