Redcliffe by-election, 2014

February 22, 2014

Cause of by-election
Sitting member Scott Driscoll, elected in 2012 as a member of the Liberal National Party but sitting as an independent since March 2013, resigned from the Queensland Parliament on 19 November 2013, after the the Parliament’s Ethics Committee recommended his expulsion from the Parliament for contempt of Parliament in relation to fraud allegations. He has since been fined $90,000 by the Parliament.

Margin – LNP 10.1%

Geography
South-East Queensland. Redcliffe covers most of the Redcliffe peninsula in Moreton Bay local council area, specifically the suburbs of Kippa-ring, Redcliffe, Woody Point, Clontarf, Margate and Scarborough, as well as Moreton Island.

History
The seat of Redcliffe has existed since the 1960 election. It was dominated by conservative parties until 1989, and has been dominated by the ALP ever since.

The seat was first won in 1960 by Jim Houghton. He was first elected as an independent and after a brief stint as a Liberal he joined the Country Party in 1963. He held the seat until his retirement in 1979.

The seat was won at the 1979 by-election by Liberal candidate Terry White. White was appointed to the ministry in 1980. He became the leader of a group of Liberal MPs critical of Joh Bjelke-Petersen and their own party’s closeness to the Nationals. In 1983 he led a Liberal rebellion which resulted in his election as Liberal leader and the dissolution of the coalition. In the ensuing election a majority of Liberals lost their seats and the Nationals won a majority in their own right.

White stepped down as Liberal leader following the disastrous 1983 election and held Redcliffe until his retirement in 1989.

Ray Hollis won Redcliffe for the ALP in 1989. He became Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 1998 and retired in 2005. This triggered the 2005 Redcliffe by-election. At the ensuing by-election the ALP lost the seat to Liberal candidate Terry Rogers, who won with an 8.4% swing.

Rogers only held the seat for one year, and lost at the 2006 election to the ALP’s Lillian van Litsenburg. She retained the seat at the 2009 state election.

In 2012, van Litsenburg lost to the LNP’s Scott Driscoll.  Driscoll had been president of the United Retail Federation, and his political career quickly came undone due to allegations he misled the Parliament over his business interests. He was suspended from the LNP in March, and resigned in November 2013 under the threat of expulsion.

Candidates
The LNP is running Kerri-Anne Dooley, who ran for Family First in Redcliffe in 2012. The ALP is running former federal member for Petire Yvette D’Ath, who lost her seat at the 2013 federal election. The Liberal Democratic Party, who are not registered for state elections in Queensland, are running Gabriel Buckley as an independent. Also running as independents are Len Thomas and Talosaga McMahon.

Assessment
The LNP government is substantially less popular than it was at the time of the last election, and when you factor in the circumstances of the vacancy, this seat could well be vulnerable. Having said that, a 10% swing will still be a big ask for the Labor Party. It’s also possible that the Palmer United Party will put in a strong effort – they are unlikely to win, but it’s hard to predict what a high PUP vote would do to the race.

2012 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Scott DriscollLNP13,99149.24+14.94
Lillian van LitsenburgALP8,73930.76-12.26
Bevan CollingwoodKAP2,4848.74+8.74
Noel ClothierGRN1,9126.73+0.61
Kerri DooleyFF1,2884.53+1.91

2012 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Scott DriscollLNP15,42760.10+15.67
Lillian van LitsenburgALP10,24239.90-15.67
Polling places in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election. Kippa-Ring in green, Redcliffe in blue, Scarborough in yellow, South in orange. Click to enlarge.

Polling places in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election. Kippa-Ring in green, Redcliffe in blue, Scarborough in yellow, South in orange. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths in Redcliffe have been divided into four areas: from north to south along the coast, these are Scarborough, Redcliffe, and South, with Kippa-Ring lying inland.

The LNP won all four areas, with their LNP primary vote ranging from 45.8% in Redcliffe to 56.7% in Scarborough. The ALP vote ranged from 26% in Scarborough to 32.5% in Redcliffe.

The third-polling candidate came from Katter’s Australian Party. The KAP candidate’s vote ranged from 6.8% in Scarborough to 10.7% in the south.

The ECQ does not provide booth-level two-party-preferred figures. Estimates have been made, based on preference flows across the electorate. These estimates give the LNP a majority in all areas, ranging from 57.4% in Redcliffe to 66.5% in Scarborough.

Voter groupALP %LNP %LNP 2PPTotal votes% of votes
South32.2346.8058.06631422.22
Redcliffe32.4545.8457.36476716.78
Scarborough26.0556.6866.51470716.57
Kippa-Ring31.3747.8359.11461016.22
Other votes31.0049.6360.07801628.21
Estimated two-party-preferred votes in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election.

Estimated two-party-preferred votes in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election.

LNP primary votes in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election.

LNP primary votes in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election.

Labor primary votes in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election.

Labor primary votes in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election.

KAP primary votes in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election.

KAP primary votes in Redcliffe at the 2012 Queensland state election.

About the Author

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

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