Hill – QLD 2017

KAP vs LNP 4.9%

Incumbent MP
Shane Knuth (KAP), member for Dalrymple since 2009. Previously Member for Charters Towers 2004-2009.

Geography
Far North Queensland. Hill covers parts of far north Queensland south of Cairns, including a coastal area and a large inland area. The seat covers Innisfail, Atherton and Tully.

Redistribution
Hill is a new seat, taking in parts of three former seats. The largest proportion of the seat comes from the inland electorate of Dalrymple, which covered those parts of Hill to the west of dividing range. The north-eastern corner of the seat, including Innisfail, were previously included in Mulgrave, with the south-east previously included in Hinchinbrook. Katter’s Australian Party held Dalrymple by a 15.1% margin against the LNP. It’s estimated that KAP holds the new seat by 4.9%.

History
The seat of Hill has primarily replaced the seat of Dalrymple. That seat was created at the 2009 election, largely replacing the former seats of Tablelands and Charters Towers.

Charters Towers was created most recently in 1992. Rob Mitchell held the seat for the National Party from 1992 until 2001, when the ALP’s Christine Scott won the seat.

Scott held the seat for one term, before losing to National candidate Shane Knuth in 2004. Knuth was re-elected in 2006 and joined the newly-merged Liberal National Party in 2008.

Tablelands had been restored in 1986, and was held from 1986 to 1998 by Tom Gilmore Jr, of the National Party.

In 1998, Gilmore was defeated by One Nation’s Shaun Nelson. Nelson left One Nation in 1999, and as an independent he was defeated in 2001 by Rosa Lee Long, the new One Nation candidate.

Lee Long held Tablelands for One Nation at the 2004 and 2006 elections.

When Charters Towers and Tablelands were abolished in 2009, Lee Long and Knuth both ran for Dalyrmple, and Knuth won the seat, with a 5.2% margin.

In October 2011, Shane Knuth resigned from the Liberal National Party to join Katter’s Australian Party.

Knuth was re-elected as a KAP candidate at the 2012 and 2015 elections.

Candidates

Assessment
Hill is a difficult seat to predict. The sitting KAP MP definitely has a chance, particularly if he can increase his party’s vote at the eastern end of the seat where KAP either did not contest at all, or ran a low-profile campaign.

It’s worth noting that the switch to compulsory preferences may have a big impact. In a three-way contest, the distribution of the third-placed candidate’s preferences will likely decide the result. If Knuth can get in the top two, he’ll have an advantage since he is likely to gain a stronger flow of preferences.

2015 election result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Shane KnuthKatter’s Australian Party11,12741.6-12.125.8
Liz Schmidt Liberal National 8,00429.9+0.835.6
Leanne Kettleton Labor 6,48924.3+13.227.8
Valerie Weier Greens 1,1314.2-0.54.6
Palmer United Party4.6
Others0.8
One Nation0.7
Informal4591.7

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Shane KnuthKatter’s Australian Party15,98765.1-0.154.9
Liz Schmidt Liberal National 8,57134.9+0.145.1
Exhausted2,1938.2

Booth breakdown

Booths in Hill have been divided into four areas. Polling places in the city of Innisfail have been grouped together, with the remainder split into north-east, south-east and west. There is only a small population in the north-east.

The Liberal National Party topped the primary vote, ranging from 30% in the west to 44.6% in the south-east.

The Labor vote ranged from just 18% in the south-east to just over 40% in the north-east.

The Katter’s Australian Party vote was less than 7% in Innisfail, and 43.5% in the west. KAP did not stand in the seat previously covering the north-east.

Voter groupLNP prim %ALP prim %KAP prim %Total votes% of votes
West30.320.143.59,26128.4
Innisfail38.839.26.95,38016.5
South-East44.618.424.74,35513.4
North-East42.540.70.01,4044.3
Other votes34.230.624.212,15537.3

Election results in Hill at the 2015 QLD state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between Liberal National primary votes, Labor primary 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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