Brisbane – Australia 2019

LNP 6.0%

Incumbent MP
Trevor Evans, since 2016.

Central Brisbane. Brisbane covers the Brisbane CBD and inner suburbs north of the Brisbane River including Fortitude Valley, Paddington, Ashgrove, Kelvin Grove, Newmarket, Clayfield and Hendra.

Brisbane lost part of Enoggera to Ryan. This change increased the LNP margin from 5.9% to 6%.

Brisbane is an original federation electorate. It has been held by the ALP for most of its history interrupted by short periods of conservative MPs, up until the last election.

The seat was first won by Thomas Macdonald-Paterson, who joined the Protectionists when Parliament first sat. Macdonald-Paterson was not endorsed by the local Protectionists for the 1903 election, and the split in the protectionist vote gave the seat to the ALP’s Millice Culpin.

Culpin was himself defeated after one term by Justin Foxton of the Anti-Socialist Party (formerly the Free Traders). Foxton served as a minister from 1909 until his defeat at the 1910 election by the ALP’s William Finlayson.

Finlayson held the seat until 1919, when he was defeated by Donald Charles Cameron of the Nationalist Party. Cameron held the seat until 1931, when he lost the seat against the tide of conservative gains against the Scullin Government. Cameron returned to serve one term in the neighbouring seat of Lilley from 1934 to 1937.

The ALP held the seat continuously for the next fourty-four years, with only two MPs holding the seat from 1931 until 1975. George Lawson won the seat in 1931 and held it until 1961. He served as Minister for Transport from 1941 until the 1943 election. The seat was then held by Manfred Cross until his defeat by Liberal Peter Johnson in 1975. Johnson defeated Cross again in 1977 before Cross won the seat back in 1980.

Cross held the seat until his retirement in 1990, when the ALP chose Arch Bevis, who held the seat for the next twenty years. While Brisbane has never been held by a large margin, it came closest to being lost to the Liberals in 1996, when Bevis’ margin was cut to 0.36%.

In 2010, the Liberal National Party ran former MP Teresa Gambaro. Gambaro had served as member for the marginal seat of Petrie from 1996 until she was defeated in 2007.

Gambaro won the seat in 2010 with a 5.7% swing, and was re-elected with a further 3.2% swing in 2013.


Brisbane has trended towards the LNP over the last few election cycles, to the point where the LNP polled almost half of primary votes in 2016. You’d expect the LNP to lose ground in the current political environment, but it may not be enough to overturn the result.

It’s worth noting that the Greens are only 6.6% behind Labor on primary votes, and they are running short-term senator (and former Democrats leader) Andrew Bartlett. His high profile could help push the Greens ahead of Labor, but it’ll take a lot of work for the Greens to win.

2016 result

Trevor Evans Liberal National 46,97249.9+1.949.9
Pat O’Neill Labor 24,50026.0-4.125.9
Kirsten Lovejoy Greens 18,27919.4+5.119.4
John HumphreysLiberal Democrats1,9622.1+2.12.1
Mark VegarFamily First1,5971.7+0.81.7
Bridget ClinchVeterans Party9151.0+1.01.0

2016 two-party-preferred result

Trevor Evans Liberal National 52,69355.9+1.656.0
Pat O’Neill Labor 41,53244.1-1.644.0

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three areas:

  • Central – Brisbane, Fortitude Valley, New Farm, Spring Hill, Windsor.
  • North East – Ascot, Clayfield, Hendra, Stafford
  • West – Alderley, Ashgrove, Ithaca, Kelvin Grove, Newmarket, Paddington, Red Hill

The Liberal National Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 50.9% in the centre to 60.4% in the north-east.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 14.2% in the north-east to 23.5% in the centre.

Voter groupGRN prim %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
North East14.260.417,57719.1
Other votes18.057.719,31321.0

Election results in Brisbane at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

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  1. Tough one. I think if the polling stays the same Evans may narrowly hold on 51-49 But. things could change. I think Andrew Bartlett will make this more competitive. And it might help labour because of preferences. However we need to wait until the labour candidate is announced before we can call this one.

  2. Evans should be fine because i think most of the vote change will be between Labor and the Greens and not the LNP and the Greens. Simply because Evans is a moderate liberal which should keep some of the moderate voters.

  3. The LNP vote collapse and the swing to the Greens in the inner city in the QLD state election was palpable. This seat is certainly in range to fall, especially if “Coalition kowtowing to One Nation” and “Stop Adani” are narratives once again.

    Add Andrew Bartlett’s name recognition/profile to the mix and we’ve got a 3 cornered contest.

  4. Don’t know what the excitement is about here. This seat has moved steadily toward the LNP, on the back of big demographic changes, which continue.
    I’ll be surprised if there is a swing here. The Greens might even fail to gain ground

  5. I’m not sure how much demographic change is responsible for the margin here. The inclusion of strong Liberal areas that used to be Lilley has clearly hurt Labor, and I suspect the Libs had a stronger campaign last time and Evans seems to be popular. I think there are about 7 LNP seats in Queensland Labor is more likely to gain than this one at the next election, but I expect it will turn Labor’s way again when Evans retires, particularly if the Clayfield area is redistributed out again.

  6. Best chance for a Greens gain outside Victoria.
    * The sitting member is a Liberal
    * Greens have a strong base
    * Marginal but a low priority for Labor
    * The campaign Labor would need to win Brisbane would undermine their other Queensland marginals

    Greens should throw everything they have at this seat

  7. I know very little about Brisbane’s demographics, and it looks a probable LNP hold but on election trends at least you could potentially see a Prahran style result where the Greens will be in a better position than Labor to win the seat should it make the 2PP.

  8. Where does this idea come from, that Labor voters will overwhelmingly preference the Greens ? IOW what difference will it make if the Greens were to come second ? How have the Greens covered themselves with glory over the last few years!?.
    The more well known their loony ideas become, the less electable they are.

  9. This isn’t my home seat. I can’t see the LNP losing urban and certainly not to the Greens.
    Trevor Evans is a pretty active local member and received strong accolades for his prominence in the plebiscite.

    I feel that if anything, there may have been a case of Labor underperformance at the last election rather than an especially strong greens campaign, although it’s worth noting that part of Maiwar is within this electorate. Will be interesting to see if the Greens do start overtaking Labor in the western booths, but I can’t see it Happening overall.

  10. “Where does this idea come from, that Labor voters will overwhelmingly preference the Greens?”

    The ‘idea’ has come from the clearly verifiable fact that this is what Labor voters have done in every recent election. The state seat of Maiwar (which adjoins the western boundary of the federal seat of Brisbane) is the most obvious recent example.

    Whilst Malcolm has mentioned the Prahran style result, Maiwar is a better example.

    The big difficulty will be getting the Liberal two-party preferred vote below 50%. If it does (and it’s a big if), then – as with Maiwar – the winner will be who out of the Greens or Labor come second on primaries.

  11. Andrew Bartlett
    Keep going. Enlighten voters to the reality that the Greens are not an environmental party, but a hard left Marxist menace.
    Don’t count on Labor preferences. People are beginning to wake up to you vandals.
    It is good that you won Maiwar. The more people see of you, the less they will like you

  12. For anyone after figures from the neighbouring/overlapping Maiwar Senator Bartlett refers to above:

    Maiwar started notionally at 2PP 53 vs 47 (LNP vs ALP) with the Greens in 3rd (47.6 LNP, 29.3 ALP, 20.4 GRN primary) and ended up falling to the Greens 51.6 vs 48.4 (41.9 LNP, 27.8 GRN, 27.5 ALP primary).

    That kind of movement repeated in the division of Brisbane would easily put the Greens over Labor. The subsequent runnoff would be a narrow (~1%) win to LNP over the Greens.

    A tangential question is, are the swings to the Greens in the state election (chiefly in McConnell but also other seats overlapping Brisbane) going to convert to the federal ballot? If they are then the Greens are starting at more like ~23% primary not 19.4%. Similarly if that logic holds the LNP could be starting from an abysmal ~41% not the 50% primary they got in 2016.

  13. winediamond would it then be good for Andrew Bartlett to win Brisbane? He wouldn’t be able to help himself waving hammer and sickles everywhere! The game would be well and truly up!

    Seriously though, 2018 is the 14th calendar year that Andrew has been in federal parliament and the 21st consecutive year of Greens in federal parliament, the anti-marxist backlash you hope the Greens will suffer isn’t going to happen.

  14. Bennee
    Most of my friends vote Green. They are generally quite delusional, & misinformed. They may, or may not wake up. However their children will be very different, just as my son (Shooters, & Fishers) is very different to my (Green, Get Up !) ex. So the backlash is inevitable
    The real question is an inter-generational one. Who is going to pay (the bill) for the self- indulgent lifestyles of the current generations ?

  15. The Greens recent plays to the center are more likely to be their undoing than any perceived shift to the left; them being ‘far left loonies’ being the line (and variations of) that blatantly anti-green types have been using since the beginning of the party’s history to argue that they would sink and falter. Yet, that hasn’t happened. Ironically, they have only begun to plateau and slide in the last few years during which they have been playing the middle ground and trying desperately to give the impression that they are one of the ‘establishment’ parties who are ‘ready to govern’.

    As for the seat predictions: probably Liberal retain. Their current numbers look pretty comfortable and they would have to suffer quite a large primary vote swing against them to lose plus the moderate Liberal personality factor will appeal to blue-green social liberal types.

  16. The comments about Andrew Bartlett need to be addressed.

    YEs the Greens are an extreme leftist group. I am not sure if any of them are Marxist. Most of them are too ill-disciplined to be Marxists.

    We should not imitate Marxists and just throw words like “Fascist” and “Marxist” at each other when we just do not like the person.

    Andrew Bartlett policies from my experience on his blog are a danger to Australia if he were to be elected but as an individual he has shown few totalitarian tendencies. He is courteous in debate, allowed me (and other Social Conservatives) to comment on his blog.

    Within the Greens there is a Marxist element especially in NSW. He permitted me tio say this on his blog.

    I will work to keep Andrew Bartlett out of Parliament but Benee the chances of him waving a hammer and Sickle are very slim. My experience in old DLP was that the biggest threats to our freedom were not the Coms waving a red flag but the Coms who did not wave a red flag but were secreted in the ALP and the Trade Union movement, The Peace and Environmental Fronts.

    Please put Andrew Bartlett near bottom of your How to Vote However we do not need to descend to the level of Ashby-Hanson voters to do this. It is likely that unless we get a real Com or fascist standing he will be last on my Ballot Paper as he was when he stood for the Senate previously. ONe step below the AShby Hanson Political Party candidate.

    Bartlett’s comments on the statistics of Brisbane division results are 100 % correct.

    Andrew Jackson

  17. Matt
    You sure do have a wild idea of “middle ground”, & an “establishment party”. The Greens will never be “ready to govern” until they stop their completely Type 1 fixated behaviour .BTW that will never happen. Di Natale being the best example of a Type 1 fixation i have ever seen.

  18. Andrew Jackson
    We disagree about whether the Greens are a Marxist party. If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, looks like a duck, then it is a duck !

    Also the word Marxist does not have the same connotations, or intensity as Fascist or indeed Nazi. Maybe it ought to.

    i do agree with you that Bartlett is the Greens best face, & in very marked contrast, does not behave in the abusive, disgusting, & petulant ways of Bandt, & Di Natale
    I haven’t forgotten them branding Jim Moylan as a war criminal. Appalling

    My gut tells me that the Green vote has peaked in the seat of Brisbane, & Evans will get another swing towards him

  19. What do the state figures equate for in this seat? Would assume green vote would be less…obviously big demographic changes here

  20. I see people wanted a projection of state results to federal.

    I’ve done a booth collation (all of McConnel & Clayfield, about 5/8ths of Cooper and 3/8ths of Stafford).


    In each state district, I eyeballed the “real booths” i.e. the local ones on the day, calculated what proportion of people attending those are at the ones in the Division of Brisbane, applied those proportions to all the other votes, summed relevant primaries, then multiplied by the district-wide 3PP:primary ratios to compensate for any independents and minor parties.

    Then I summed estimated 3PPs from each district or part thereof.

    Results: 40.25% LNP, 37.1% ALP, 22.64% GRN.

    Of course, it’s not going to be those numbers; the Liberals in Brisbane do almost-consistently worse in state elections than at federal level (or local).

    I’d suggest we could jump straight to an inferred 45% LNP, 32% Labor, 23% Green (all 3PP) as the starting point.

    I don’t know how much more the Greens can manage; the above already factors in the quite solid swings they got in 2017. They might well spend a lot of resources just to maintain their voteshare gains.

    Finally, a note on data quality: I got about 97K total voters off a total enrolment of 112K; this works out because turnout rates were sub-90 in all four districts and a paltry 82% in McConnel.

  21. I expect Labor to run a campaign in Queensland that will appeal more to traditional Labor voters (working class voters of many political persuasions) rather than progressives, so they can pick up the regional and outer suburban marginals. They’ll need to run those ads in the Greater Brisbane area to retain Longman and pick up Dickson. I also think a smart campaign would try to ward off a possible political realignment in PHON vs Labor territory, including SEQ seats like Oxley and Blair.

    The Greens could pick up the slack for cosmopolitan urban progressives.

    I’m not even sure Labor will try very hard to win this, and they certainly won’t be trying to win Ryan, so those are the Greens best opportunities in a low tide Liberal election (especially since they collapsed in Noosa and lack the organisational capacity in the Sunshine Coast). They’ll need to wait for an unpopular Labor government to poach seats like Griffith.

  22. On that point, the Greens would be very wise to explicitly target seats that are either held by Liberals, right faction Labor (eg Wills, Macnamara, Richmond), or no incumbent (Canberra if the incumbents contest the other 2 seats). Labor ran the line that the Greens were trying to white ant supposed Labor progressives like Albanese and Plibersek last election, and it hurt their chances against the likes of Feeney and Danby.

    A big obstacle the Greens face, especially in “get rid of this government” elections is people not understanding how preferential voting works and thinking that voting Green will hurt Labor’s chances of forming government.

    If I were running the Greens campaign I’d surround the party with public statements that the top priority would be to focus on retaining incumbents, with Brisbane (Liberal held), Macnamara (worst Labor MP) and Richmond (only non inner city seat where Greens are competitive) the top 3 priorities for gains.

  23. Evans is very popular in Brisbane and as a former resident of Paddington, I can attest to the fact he was everywhere.

    Ran a far better campaign than Labor/Greens last time and should hold on again next year with a minimal swing against him.

  24. Andrew Bartlett shown on local tv news door knocking on Brisbane with Larissa Waters. All parties should be as prepared as this. I am sure that if a conservative minor party organised a door knocking photo opportunity that no TV cameras would turn up. This is the bias of pro green inner city focussed media types showing up. The greens are organised enough to utilise this bias. Brisbane is a seat where all candidates should door knock all houses and all parties should door knock multiple times. House doors are 20 metres apart not 80 metres apart in outer suburbs or 80 km apart in Kennedy. However most parties have not yet selected their candidates. Greens management and commitment gives them an advantage similar to that of Com’s.

  25. To be fair, Andrew, Bartlett is also a sitting senator. I’m sure if Fraser Anning announced he was contesting a lower house seat, and started door-knocking with Bob Katter, the cameras would turn up too.

  26. Inner Brisbane Greens doorknocking is a story picked up quite late by the media though. 2016 Brisbane city council, 2016 federal, and especially 2017 QLD state election has seen tremendous growth in their ground campaign, they are routinely out-doorknocking the two major parties (not that that was ever the LNP’s strength, but it was Labor’s).

  27. I have had experience trying to get media to turn up to listen to KAP MPs one needs to get them to ride a horse, turn up on a ride on mower or have his candidates dress up as B1 and B2 to get Brisbane to turn up in inner city (George St, Newstead House, or Hamilton) but the chance of getting them to go to Babinda both of them would need to doa Lady Godiva to get them out of Brisbane & Griffith let alone get them into Kennedy.

    My “fairness” is based on recognition that goes back to the days of Sir Allen Hume then PMG cabinet minister in charge of ABC and a recognition that ABC and other media were ( from at least 1967) were and still are full of communist sympathisers and Liberal government tolerated this

    In early 1967 whilst a student in Grade 11. I wrote my first political letter complaining about the overt bias of ABC.The response I got played a big part in my move towards DLP. By the end of the year I was handing out HTV for the No case in Senate Nexus Referendum. 51 years later I still see blatant bias in most of media.

  28. I think Evans is the only Queensland MP (other than retiring Jane Prentice) who supported Turnbull all the way through the Dutton coup – this could make him resistant to Labor running a Brisbane-wide campaign on the issue to target Luke Howarth (Petrie), Ross Vasta (Bonner), and Dutton himself (Dickson).

    However I think he’s still vulnerable to the Greens, and I expect large swings against the Liberals in all “urban Liberal” seats. Turnbull meant something to those voters that Morrison just doesn’t, and he is far, far, more socially conservative than a typical inner city Liberal voter.

  29. The Greens might improve their vote in Brisbane but are not likely to do well enough to win. A Lib retain or Lab gain are far more likely.

  30. Labor spent a lot of money on this seat in 2016 with not much to show for it, and there are 8 or 9 other marginal seats in Queensland that are more winnable, yet quite different in nature to Brisbane. I expect a “keep up appearances” level campaign from Labor here. This is a contrast to the state election where 3 of the 4 seats had Labor incumbents on sophomore surges, and Clayfield, despite being held by the LNP leader, was a winnable marginal (although that may have only been discovered in hindsight).

    On the other hand the Greens, who have lately gone all in on a “Turf the Liberals out” message, would see this is their best opportunity to win a seat off the Liberals, and a seat outside Victoria. They have preselected about as high a profile candidate as you can get for the Greens. They also need to work hard to save Larissa Waters – having any winnable seats at all will get Greens covered in the courier mail and on statewide TV and Radio, and there’s a magnifying effect for minor parties that comes from being “in play” in a seat. Bartlett is leaving the senate to campaign full time. I expect an enormous campaign from Greens here – as big as their campaigns for Batman and Higgins in 2016.

    That’s the reason why I think the seat is a true 3 cornered contest. I expect a swing against Evans to below the 45% mark, and Greens narrowly beating Labor into 2nd place.

  31. Not very often that I agree with Andrew Bartlett but I regard the Greens as a mixture of an ALP / Communist front they have no where to go but to ALP. Look at Green Pref flows if you disagree and tell us when they elected a conservative.
    Andrew Bartlett is an asset for them even I respect him even if I totally disagree with 99% of what he stands for.
    This seat is not a natural LNP seat. It is a mixture of tenant slums and yuppies. perfect recruiting ground for ALP and Greens.

  32. Labor has shortened to $2.88 and Greens to $5.50 (Liberals $1.72).

    Imo they should be on level pegging, Labor only just preselected a candidate and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a target for Labor.

  33. Australian Financial Review has reported Labor sources believe this seat is vulnerable. Apparently voters in this electorate are not happy Malcolm Turnbull was toppled for Scott Morrison.

  34. That hardly surprises me. This is not a seat that the Liberals should be holding by this much, and is a very wet Liberal one.

  35. Another blow for the LNP, they now have slipped to $1.85 on Sportsbet and Labor now on $2.15, A good campaign in Brisbane could flip this seat. But Labor shouldn’t rely on this seat to take government obviously

  36. The betting odds should NOT be relied upon as an indicator of election results – far from it in my opinion! I know Australians will bet on anything but I’m sure elections is not large pool…

  37. Trevor Evans should safely retain this – Labor has not built candidate profile like in 2016 and like in Ryan, they are nowhere to be seen either. Greens campaign probably is stronger here than Ryan because of Andrew Bartlett’s profile, as such probably will be the 2CP opponent.

  38. BJA I take betting odds as being meaningless. A single bet of a few thousand dollars would corrupt the figures. Is there any case of betting odds not reflecting ALP result equals 2016 + 4.5%. I tried looking up Sportsbet site but it was so strange to me I gave up and went back to watching TV.

  39. It was reported in the Australian Financial Review that the LNP executive have approved a decision to preference Greens in Deputy Premier Jackie Trads state seat of South Brisbane. They also reported considering doing the same in federal seats of Brisbane and Griffith. I get the feeling it will be unlikely though as it would have to be given the go ahead from their federal colleagues. Some also fear what the LNP executive are doing could backfire by alienating their supporter base.

    Labor continues to lead on Sportsbet in Brisbane at $1.95 while the LNP $2.60. Greens are still at the outsider rate at $5.00.

  40. Liberal preferences in those federal seats are merely symbolic; they’ll be top 2. However, South Brisbane is now a strong chance for the Greens. I wonder what the Libs will do in the Council election? I find it hard to imagine there’s anyone they hate more than Jono Sri…

  41. My gut feeling would have rated Labor/Greens chances of picking up this seat as massively underrated, except for Trevor Evan’s moderate reputation and the fact that the left have practically written it off themselves. Their campaigners are nowhere to be seen. They could have had an upset on the scale of Melbourne’s inner city upsets in the recent state elections if they bothered to try. If they *do* decide to get their act together (like, this week) look for massive swings particularly in the west where places like ashgrove abandoned the LNP in droves at the latest QLD state election. Everyone likes to talk about ‘conservative Queensland’ and the strength of the LNP here, but this seat is one of the most socially progressive in the nation. Tough call.

  42. The betting has shortened in favour of Labor, at $1.85 and Libs on $2.60. Seems like a powerful trend since October last year. How good an indicator is the betting market?

  43. The betting markets tend to be a reflection of conventional media narratives about politics. They are often wrong in very predictable ways. For example you could make very good money betting on Sharkie to retain Mayo until the first opinion poll was released – showing she was actually up 58/42. Sometimes those polls never come but there are other ways to get a sense of the vibe beyond mainstream media sources.

    Most people who bet on elections don’t do basic due diligence like checking how to vote cards, and individual seat races might not move very quickly with changes in the race. I think most people who frequent sites like this would be able to make better predictions than the average punter. If you understand basic concepts like “sophomore surges” then you’re in very good stead.

  44. Don’t get why Evans is at long odds on this seat, pretty good idea to put a cheeky 20 on in my mind. He may lose but he’s still the favourite to win the seat imo


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