Burnett – QLD 2017

LNP 6.6%

Incumbent MP
Stephen Bennett, since 2012.

Geography
Central Queensland. The seat covers coastal areas surrounding the city of Bundaberg, although not including the urban centre of Bundaberg. It covers Childers, Booyal, Elliott Heads, Bargara, Rosedale, Lowmead, Bucca and Miriam Vale.

Redistribution
Burnett lost areas surrounding the Bundaberg urban area, including Branyan, Ashfield and Kalkie, and gained a rural area from Callide, which includes Bucca, on the western edge of the seat.


History

The seat of Burnett has existed continuously since 1960. In that time, the seat has been won by the National Party (in its various forms) at all but one election.

Doug Slack won the seat for the National Party in 1986. Slack served as a minister from 1996 to 1998, and held the seat until 2001.

In 2001, Slack was defeated by the ALP’s Trevor Strong.

In 2004, Strong was defeated by National Party candidate Rob Messenger.

Messenger won re-election in 2006 as a National and in 2009 for the Liberal National Party.

In 2010, Messenger, along with fellow MP Aidan McLindon, resigned from the Liberal National Party after a failed coup against the party’s deputy leader, Lawrence Springborg.

Messenger lost his seat in 2012 to LNP candidate Stephen Bennett. Messenger then went on to join the Palmer United Party and ran for Hinkler at the 2013 federal election. He later served as chief of staff to Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie, and was expelled from PUP in November 2014.

Bennett was re-elected in 2015.

Candidates

Assessment
Burnett is a safe LNP seat on paper, but is a very good area for One Nation, who have the potential to threaten the LNP’s hold on the seat.

2015 election result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Stephen Bennett Liberal National 14,43447.2+7.247.3
Bryan Mustill Labor 9,13429.9+13.629.4
Richard LovePalmer United Party4,44514.5+14.514.7
Colin Sheppard Greens 1,4394.7+1.04.7
Peter WyattIndependent1,1343.7+3.73.6
Others0.2
Informal7632.4

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Stephen Bennett Liberal National 15,49456.8-1.756.6
Bryan Mustill Labor 11,78243.2+1.743.4
Exhausted3,31010.8

Booth breakdown

Booths in Burnett have been divided into four areas. Polling places in the areas surrounding Bundaberg have been grouped together, with the remainder split into central, north and south.

The Liberal National primary vote ranged from 42% in the north to 50% around Bundaberg.

Labor’s primary vote ranged from 26% around Bundaberg to 34% in the north.

The Palmer United Party vote ranged from 13% in the north to 15.6% in the centre.

Voter groupLNP prim %ALP prim %PUP prim %Total votes% of votes
Central45.930.315.69,50834.8
South46.930.515.13,11011.4
North42.234.013.12,1617.9
Bundaberg Surrounds50.026.115.31,8386.7
Other votes49.327.914.010,70239.2

Election results in Burnett at the 2015 QLD state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between two-party-preferred votes, Liberal National primary votes, Labor primary votes and Palmer United Party primary votes.

About the Author

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

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