Kennedy – Australia 2019

KAP 10.6% vs LNP

Incumbent MP
Bob Katter, since 1993. Previously state Member for Flinders 1974-1992.

Geography
Far North Queensland and northwestern Queensland. Kennedy covers a large part of Queensland’s land mass, stretching from the Queensland coast between Cairns and Townsville (although containing neither, and stretching inland to the Northern Territory boundary, covering the inland towns of Mount Isa and Charters Towers. Other major towns include Innisfail, Ingham, Tully, Mareeba and Gordonvale.

Redistribution
Kennedy gained a small area at the southern end of Cairns, including Bentley Park.

History
Kennedy is an original federation electorate. It was mainly held by the ALP until 1966, and since then it has mainly been held by members of the Katter family, first for the Country/National Party and latterly as an independent.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Charles McDonald of the ALP in 1901. McDonald was elected as the first Labor Speaker in 1910 when the ALP won a majority in Parliament for the first time, and served in the role for the entirety of the Labor governments of 1910-1913 and 1914-1917, although he went to the backbench when the Labor government split over conscription in 1917. He held the seat until his death in 1925.

Nationalist candidate Grosvenor Francis won Kennedy at the 1925 election unopposed following McDonald’s death. Francis won re-election in 1928 but lost Kennedy to the ALP’s Darby Riordan.

Riordan held Kennedy until his death in 1936, when he was succeeded by his nephew Bill Riordan. Riordan held the seat for thirty years, and retired in 1966.

The 1966 election saw Kennedy won by the Country Party’s Bob Katter Sr. Katter was a former member of the ALP who left the party in 1957 when the Queensland Labor Party split from the federal party, and ended up in the Country Party. He briefly served as a minister in the McMahon government for ten months in 1972 before the election of the Whitlam government.

Katter Sr died in 1990 shortly before the federal election, and the seat was won by the ALP’s Rob Hulls, who ran a business in Mount Isa. Hulls held the seat for one term, losing to Bob Katter Jr, a former state MP, at the 1993 election. Hulls moved to Victoria and was elected to the Victorian state parliament in 1996. Rob Hulls went on to serve as a minister in the Bracks government and as Deputy Premier in the Brumby government.

Katter Jr was a strong supporter of Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s state government, and found himself at odds with the federal Liberal/National coalition. He resigned from the Nationals in 2001 and easily won re-election as an independent in 2001, and at the next three elections.

Following the 2010 federal election, Katter found himself sharing the balance of power with fellow independents. He broke with fellow independents in refusing to support a minority Labor government.

In 2011, Bob Katter founded a minor party led by himself, named Katter’s Australian Party (KAP). The KAP performed strongly at the 2012 Queensland state election, winning 11.5% of the statewide vote. One of two MPs who had defected from the Liberal National Party to the KAP retained their seats, and Katter’s son Rob won the seat of Mount Isa. A third LNP member defected to the KAP following the election.

In 2013, Katter was re-elected, but with a much-reduced margin after a 16% swing to the LNP, and KAP performed poorly outside of Kennedy. Katter recovered much of his margin in 2016.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Bob Katter shouldn’t have any trouble winning another term.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Bob KatterKatter’s Australian Party34,27739.9+10.538.4
Jonathan Pavetto Liberal National 27,80632.3-8.532.6
Norm Jacobsen Labor 16,48019.2+2.819.5
Valerie Weier Greens 4,2134.9+1.75.0
Donna Maree GallehawkFamily First3,2343.8+2.53.7
Others0.8
Informal3,4183.8

2016 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Bob KatterKatter’s Australian Party52,57061.1+8.960.6
Jonathan Pavetto Liberal National 33,44038.9-8.939.4

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Jonathan Pavetto Liberal National 48,90356.9-10.356.7
Norm Jacobsen Labor 37,10743.1+10.343.3

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into seven areas. Kennedy covers a massive geographic area.

Most of the booths lie close to the east coast of Queensland. Booths in Tablelands and Cassowary Coast council areas have been grouped together under the name of the council.Those booths in the south of Cairns Regional Council have been grouped as ‘Mulgrave’.

Booths in Carpentaria, Hinchinbrook and Townsville local council areas, along with a single booth across the border in Charters Towers council area have been grouped together as “Hinchinbrook”.

Booths in the inland towns of Mount Isa and Charters Towers have been grouped, with the remainder of remote polling places being grouped as ‘West’.

Some parts of Mulgrave (and the special votes) were previously contained in other seats. The 2CP figure in these sub-areas only consider votes cast inside Kennedy in 2016.

Katter’s Australian Party won a two-candidate-preferred majority over the LNP in all seven areas, ranging from 54.4% in Hinchinbrook to 68.6% in the west.

The Labor primary vote ranged from 14.2% in the west to 28.4% in Mulgrave.

Voter groupALP prim %KAP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Tablelands16.361.313,77615.3
Cassowary Coast18.961.39,63510.7
Mulgrave28.467.59,17410.2
Hinchinbrook19.754.47,2008.0
Mount Isa21.665.95,1235.7
Charters Towers15.567.13,2563.6
West14.268.63,1193.5
Other votes17.756.811,43912.7
Pre-poll19.960.227,13730.2

Election results in Kennedy at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (KAP vs LNP) and Labor primary votes.


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Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room.If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.