Thuringowa – QLD 2017

ALP 6.6%

Incumbent MP
Aaron Harper, since 2015.

Geography
Far North Queensland. Thuringowa covers southern and western suburbs of Townsville, including Thuringowa Central, Condon, Rasmussen, Kelso and Kirwan.

Redistribution
Thuringowa shifted slightly east, gaining the remainder of Kirwan and part of Vincent from Mundingburra, and lost its western fringe, including Alice River and Deeragun, to Hinchinbrook. These changes increased the Labor margin from 5.5% to 6.6%.

History
The seat of Thuringowa has existed since 1986. The seat has been won by the ALP at all but two elections, with One Nation interrupting the Labor hold on the seat in 1998 and the LNP winning in 2012.

Thuringowa was won in 1986 by Labor MP Ken McElligott, who had been first elected in Townsville in 1983. He served as a minister in the Goss government from 1989 to 1991 and again from 1995 to 1996.

At the 1998 election, McElligott was defeated by One Nation’s Ken Turner. Turner, like every other One Nation MP elected at the 1998 election, soon left the party, becoming an independent in 1999.

Labor candidate Anita Phillips defeated Turner in 2001. She served one term before stepping down in 2004 to run for the federal seat of Herbert, unsuccessfully.

Craig Wallace retained the seat for Labor in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2009. Wallace served as a minister from 2006 to 2012.

In 2012, Wallace was defeated by LNP candidate Sam Cox. Labor suffered a 22% swing on primary votes, and dropped to third place behind Katter’s Australian Party.

Labor came back in 2015, with Labor candidate Aaron Harper defeating Cox with a 12% swing.

Candidates

Assessment
Thuringowa is a less marginal Labor seat. In normal circumstances you’d expect Labor to retain the seat comfortably, although it is not clear what impact One Nation could have.

2015 election result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Aaron Harper Labor 11,58439.5+12.240.7
Sam Cox Liberal National 9,94533.9-2.234.5
Ian FergusonPalmer United Party3,40711.6+11.611.5
Jeffrey KnuthOne Nation2,1617.4+7.45.8
Karen Thompson Greens 1,0283.5-0.14.3
Michael WatersFamily First6172.1-0.71.7
Margaret BellIndependent5792.0+2.01.4
Informal7922.6

2015 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Aaron Harper Labor 14,31255.5+6.956.6
Sam Cox Liberal National 11,45644.5-6.943.4
Exhausted3,55312.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Thuringowa have been divided into three areas: central, north and south.

The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 54% in the centre to 61% in the south.

The Palmer United Party vote ranged from 10.5% in the centre to 12.3% in the north.

Voter groupPUP prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Central10.554.27,31824.9
South12.361.07,25924.7
North11.757.06,59622.4
Other votes11.452.88,26128.1

Election results in Thuringowa at the 2015 QLD state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between two-party-preferred 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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