Leichhardt – Australia 2019

LNP 3.9%

Incumbent MP
Warren Entsch, since 2010. Previously Member for Leichhardt 1996-2007.

Far North Queensland. Leichhardt covers the Cape York Peninsula and the east coast of Australia as far south as Cairns. While the seat covers a vast area, most of the population is in the area around Cairns.

Leichhardt lost the suburb of Bentley Park at the southern end of Cairns to Kennedy, which slightly reduced the LNP margin.

Leichhardt was first created at the 1949 election. Apart from the 2010 election, the seat has been won by the party of government at every election since 1972.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Tom Gilmore of the Country Party, who was defeated by the ALP’s Henry Bruce in 1951. Bruce held the seat until his death shortly before the 1958 election, when he was succeeded by Bill Fulton.

Fulton held the seat until his retirement at the 1975 election. David Thomson won the seat for the National Country Party in 1975, and served as a minister in the Fraser government from 1979 until his defeat at the 1983 election, when John Gayler (ALP) won the seat.

Gaylor held the seat until his retirement in 1993, and the ALP’s Peter Dodd held the seat for one term before he was defeated by Warren Entsch (LIB) in 1996.

Entsch held the seat for eleven years before retiring in 2007, when a swing of over 14% gave the seat to the ALP’s Jim Turnour.

In 2010, Entsch returned to politics and won his seat back off Turnour with a swing of 8.6%, and he was re-elected again in 2013 and 2016.


Leichhardt is a marginal seat, and could be vulnerable to Labor, but Entsch running for re-election will make it easier for his party.

2016 result

Warren Entsch Liberal National 35,06639.5-5.839.5
Sharryn Howes Labor 24,93928.1-4.528.1
Kurt Pudniks Greens 7,7028.7+2.18.8
Peter Leonard RogersOne Nation6,7757.6+7.67.5
Daniel MccarthyIndependent6,0966.9+6.96.9
Brad TassellKatter’s Australian Party3,8404.3+0.04.3
Ned Kelly GebadiFamily First2,2572.5+0.42.5
John KellyRise Up Australia1,4391.6+1.11.6
Michael NewieIndependent6940.8+0.80.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

Warren Entsch Liberal National 47,91554.0-1.753.9
Sharryn Howes Labor 40,89346.0+1.746.1

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five areas. Polling places in the Cairns council area have been split into north, central and south Cairns. Polling places in the Douglas council area have been grouped, and the remainder have been grouped as Cape York. Most of the population is in Cairns.

The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all but one areas, with a vote ranging from 50.9% in central Cairns to 57.5% in the Douglas area.

Labor polled 56.6% in Cape York.

Voter groupLNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Cairns North52.315,10817.8
Cairns Central50.913,11415.4
Cairns South51.69,23210.9
Cape York43.45,1496.1
Other votes58.111,65913.7

Two-party-preferred votes in Leichhardt at the 2016 federal election

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  1. It is hard to see anyone dislodging Entsch. He appears to be one of those rare politicians who is almost universally liked

  2. Chad Anderson, the Independent will be the one to watch. He is confident he will win the majority of votes and be elected the First Independent Leader of Leichhardt.

  3. I have a lot of respect for Entsch and one would expect him to have an easy time being re-elected but given the recent situation of the party and Chad Anderson I really wonder how safe he really is.

    I don’t know enough about this region to make a say just yet but I’m thinking a 1-1.5% TPP swing to Labor.

  4. Entsch signed the petition for the spill, in what looks like revenge for Brendan Nelson. He may have lose some lustre over that.

  5. He won’t win, Hes one of those politicians that isn’t exactly honest with his constituents, He refuses to reveal who he voted for in the leadership spills, Likely because he doesn’t want people knowing he voted for Dutton this time around. I think he voted for Morrison, but 1 cannot say for sure. He is definitely not a Small L liberal, I think he falls because i think the people of this electorate will have had enough of him, They have had him for almost 20 non consecutive years

  6. Look’s like Labor has a serious chance of picking this one up, This morning the LNP are on $1.80 on Sportsbet ahead of the ALP’s $2.00. The LNP should be worried

  7. Liberal margins since 2010 are not as good as those prior to Warren Entsch’s earlier retirement…. Does this mean he will lose? I don’t know. But does any one know how long he has committed to stay for……. what happens if he is elected as a member of the opposition? I estimate Warren will be 70 if he stands again after 2019

  8. Labor are now favorites on Sportsbet but only by a fraction. Bill Shorten has made regular trips to this seat. Warren Entsch may be popular but this is the only election he has stood where he will be tested. He didn’t stand in 2007 and LNP were comprehensively beaten in this seat when he didn’t stand. He did win it back in 2010 mind you but that was largely driven by the backlash from QLD after Labor dumped Kevin Rudd. This one will be close.

  9. The fact that Entsch wasn’t in parliament during the 2007-2010 term makes his “for Brendon Nelson” scribbling all the more bizarre.

  10. OK, so in 2007 Queensland as a whole swung rather strongly to Labor – 7.5%. Meanwhile, Leichhardt swung by about 14.3%.

    In 2010 Queensland as a whole swung back to the Coalition by 5.6%. Meanwhile Leichhardt swung by 8.6%.

    There are a few conclusions one could draw from this. The most defensible one IMHO is that Entsch is good for at least 3% in personal vote.

  11. Sportsbet is now producing stronger odds for Labor in this seat Labor $1.70 LNP $2.50.

    Warren Entsch hasn’t ruled out doing a prefernce deal with One Nation either suggesting he would wait to see who the candidate is.

    One seat to keep an eye on.

  12. this is Mr Entsch’s last hurrah….. he has a personal vote…. is it enough to stop labor winning here? even if he wins what happens next election when he does not stand? if he wins and is in opposition will he cause a byelection?

  13. Warren Entsch had a pivotal role in Turnbull’s demise, being the final signature needed to spill the leadership on his last day. I am not seeing much evidence since the marriage equality vote that he’s “one of the good ones” (as far as progressives are concerned). I think he’s been ruled out preference deals with PHON since he’s in the Liberal party room, but he hasn’t been very vocal about that personally.

    The election will be a test of his personal popularity rather than him being a moderate Liberal. Given how strongly this area votes Labor at state level, you’d have to think Labor are at least in with a chance.

    Liberal pork barrel spending in the budget on Cairns ring road would also suggest that they don’t count this one as safe.

  14. Daniel McCarthy KAP now coming in at $4.50 after starting at around the $30.00 mark. Storming ahead around the outside and does he have the legs to bring it home. McCarthy is a great protest vote for Labor who do not like Greens and Shorten. And a great protest vote for LNP who are over Entsch. Entsch has been reported in the news involved in granting large sums of monies paid to “Reef Protection Groups” who have then contributed large sums of monies for his election campaigns.

  15. @Jill

    I still think you have missed the big story is Labors odds are improving in Leichhardt significantly. Labor is now $1.60 and LNP have blown out to $3.00. Warren Entsch is popular but his length of time in the seat may make his popularity fading and plays into the narrative of time for a change.

    KAP is likely only going to be a factor in where preferences are directed.


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