Lilley – Australia 2019

ALP 5.7%

Incumbent MP
Wayne Swan, since 1998. Previously 1993-1996.

Northern Brisbane. Lilley covers most of the northern corner of the City of Brisbane, including the suburbs of Chermside, Stafford, McDowall, Wavell Heights, Nudgee, Taigum, Deagon, Sandgate, Zilllmere and Nundah. The seat also covers Brisbane Airport, which substantially increases the land area covered by Lilley, without much of a resident population.

Lilley lost Bridgeman Downs at its western edge to Dickson. This change increased the Labor margin from 5.3% to 5.7%.

The seat of Lilley was first created at the 1913 election. The seat has a history of moving between Labor and conservative parties, although it has shifted gradually towards the ALP, only falling to the Liberals at their peak.

The seat was first won in 1913 by Liberal candidate Jacob Stumm. He retired at the 1917 election.

The seat was then won by Nationalist candidate George Mackay. Mackay held the seat for 17 years. After the new United Australia Party won the 1931 election, Mackay was elected Speaker, and served in that role until his retirement at the 1934 election.

Lilley was then won by the UAP’s Donald Charles Cameron, who had previously held Brisbane from 1919 until his defeat in 1931. He only held Lilley for one term before retiring.

In 1937, the UAP’s William Jolly was elected to Lilley. Jolly had been the first Lord Mayor of the Greater Brisbane City Council. Jolly held the seat for two terms, but lost the seat in 1943 to the ALP’s James Hadley.

Hadley was the first Labor member for Lilley, and held it until his defeat in 1949. The seat was then held by Liberal MP Bruce Wight.

Wight held the seat until 1961, when he was defeated by the ALP’s Donald James Cameron. He only held the seat for one term, losing to Kevin Cairns from the Liberal Party in 1963. Cairns served as a junior minister under William McMahon from 1971 to his defeat at the 1972 election, losing to the ALP’s Frank Doyle. Cairns won the seat back at the next election in 1974 and held it until his defeat in 1980.

The ALP’s Elaine Darling won Lilley in 1980. She managed to win re-election in 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990, and was the first Labor MP to hold Lilley for more than two terms.

Darling retired in 1993, and was succeeded by Wayne Swan, the Secretary of the Queensland ALP. Swan lost the seat in 1996 to the Liberal Party’s Elizabeth Grace, but won it back in 1998. Swan was re-elected six times, in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016.

Swan joined the Opposition shadow ministry in 1998 and rose to the top of the party, becoming Treasurer after the election of the Rudd government in 2007.

In 2010, Wayne Swan became Deputy Prime Minister. Swan resigned from the deputy leadership and the frontbench when Kevin Rudd was elected Labor leader in 2013.

Sitting Labor MP Wayne Swan is not running for re-election.

Lilley has been considered marginal when Labor was doing poorly, but should stay in Labor hands in 2016, even with the retirement of the sitting member.

2016 result

Wayne Swan Labor 41,81943.5+3.343.8
David Kingston Liberal National 37,54539.0-2.338.7
Claire Ogden Greens 11,13711.6+3.911.7
Sharan HallFamily First3,4513.6+2.23.6
Simon James HolmickLiberal Democrats2,2022.3+2.32.3

2016 two-party-preferred result

Wayne Swan Labor 53,19055.3+4.055.7
David Kingston Liberal National 42,96444.7-4.044.3

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas: Central, East, North and South.

The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 54.4% in the south to 62.8% in the north.

The Greens primary vote ranged from 10.6% in the centre to 15.2% in the north.

Voter groupGRN prim %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes10.753.817,66919.1

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

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  1. Whatever people may or may not think about Wayne Swan, he was obviously a fairly popular and hard working local MP.

    Labor suffered quite a few nasty swings in Queensland in recent times, but he’s held on against the trend in all of them.

    (A bit like Rudd in that respect, I guess….)

  2. I strongly expect this will be a Labor retain. Swan’s personal vote should not be discounted, but personal vote rarely exceeds 5% in urban electorates, the margin is there and the overall swing is (almost definitely) going towards Labor.

    I also wouldn’t expect to see much of an LNP campaign here, given the need to sandbag neighbouring divisions.

  3. Mark Mulcair
    We disagree. I’m unconvinced about Swan’s credentials as an MP. Correct me if i’m wrong, but didn’t he lose the strong lib areas in the west of Lilley, (Ascot, Hendra etc) in re distributions to Brisbane ?. This had the effect of flattering his numbers, all these years. Perhaps his personal vote is inconsequential ?.

    I would take this opportunity to remind everyone that now that “the world’s greatest treasurer” has decided to withdraw his services, we will be paying him more money ! This is because his defined benefit Superannuation pays more per annum, than his salary as a backbencher !.
    This is part of the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars of completely UN- Funded Commonwealth/ public Superannuation. And No this is not in the budget, & is not calculated in public debt

  4. Ha Ha Ha Swan is running for President of the ALP. Man are they in trouble !. If he does to the ALP what he did to the country, they will never win anything. Shorten “has ‘privately’ backed him” according to Troy Bramston.

  5. wine…… you raise the question of unfunded super…… what is in the future fund….. should it be used for alternate purposes?

  6. Alex J
    Swan was well known but he did not have a strong personal vote in LIlley. In fact if anything LIlley residents resented his lack of attention to the electorate.
    You will find if you look in the archives that I made this comment before 2016 or maybe even 2013 election when I found a very early street stall plonked outside Katter’s Party Office in Nudgee Road. Workers on the stand were so politically switched on that thy did not recognise the KAP sign.

  7. Mick
    The Future Fund only covers $110,000 Billion last time i checked of Federal unfunded Super. The liability is about double that, + the States. Problem was that the RGR Govt’s made no contribution to the Future Fund. I doubt that successive Lib govts have either.

    Andrew Jackson
    That is just embarrassing . Thanks for confirming my suspicions

  8. Mick
    Sorry i didn’t answer your last question. I’d remind everyone that the pollies stole the pension fund which (all) Taxpayers contributed to in the 50’s, & 60’s. I’d be loath to give them the slightest chance of getting their grubby little paws anywhere near the FF.

  9. Liberals will try hard to win it (keeping in mind they need to win seats off Labor to retain government) but the votes just aren’t there

  10. John
    Lilley is a rock solid Labor seat. Why would the Libs put much effort in ?. It would be like Labor putting a lot of effort into N Sydney (my seat) !
    Like in most safe seats most of the electors are fundamentally stupid, & vote for the incumbent, instead of at least trying to push him to preferences. Making our electorates marginal, is how to get money spent in your electorate.

  11. @ Wine diamond how is it safe Labor? Labor has lost the seat before, North Sydney is what you call a safe seat but for the Libs.

  12. Liberals will try to win it because they’ll be looking for any opportunity they can to win seats off Labor, remembering that they’ll need to pick up seats to make up for the redistribution, and not many are presenting themselves (in my view top 3 opportunities are all subject to the upcoming byelections). A retiring long term member in a state the Liberals will be sandbagging heavily is one of the less implausible scenarios for a Liberal gain off Labor.

  13. Feel the Bern
    Yeah Swan got tossed once. Lilley was partly constituted of the Lib areas now in Brisbane. As it it stands now, it’s all Labor.

    Not even the LNP are stupid enough to think they have a chance in Lilley.

  14. Lilley is certainly not as safe for Labor as seats like Rankin, Oxley and Moreton – yes, the state seats swung massively last year but it could swing back.

    All but 1 of the councillors north of the river are LNP.

    I still have FAITH in the Coalition retaining government next year! I think ‘from Ryan’ is a subtle indicator…

  15. Coalition won’t retain goverment, Turnbull is heavily disliked, Shorten is too, But remember i think voters are more likely to give the other party a chance at governing again, Unless Julie bishop becomes leader, i see them losing at least 15 seats to Labour (Net loss), He is heavily disliked in QLD, i don’t know one person in my state that said they ”liked” turnbull. I see it extremely unlikely for Turnbull to remain PM after next election. Onto this seat, Safe labour for this election, Prob about at least a 3 point swing to labour here

  16. Im from Qld and Turnbull is a legend!!!! Qld need to realise the problems up here are caused by the useless Labor staye government

  17. While BJA is right compared to Rankin and Oxley, I’m not too sure about Moreton.

    It seems some think Lilley is also safer long term than Griffith. Terri Butler contested the Lilley preselection and tried to get out of Griffith.

  18. Queensland Observer, where did you hear about Terri Butler and Lilley?

    It would make sense. In addition to being scarily close with the LNP, Griffith has prospects for the Greens. It would be the kind of seat that could fall even if an ALP government gets re-elected. Lilley on the other hand is reasonably safe for the foreseeable future.

  19. Q Observer
    How absolutely hilarious. I loathe Butler, it’s great that even her own feel the same. She must have impressed them with her inability to say a sentence without “I” !

  20. I cannot find a single online source that mentions Butler seeking a move to Lilley. It seems most unlikely on the face of it

  21. It wouldn’t be wise for the LNP to put a whole lot of recources here, especially over seats like Brisbane, Griffith and Dickson.

    I’m expecting Labor to win no more than 80 seats next election, which will not set them up for a good chance of re-election in 2022, only then do I think the LNP will have a chance.

  22. Angus JT –

    I am in furious agreement with you.

    I would certainly expect a relatively low-key LNP campaign here. Enough to keep the Senate vote up and avoid embarrassment – but not a smidgen more.
    Especially considering the likely context of a slight swing to Labor statewide, Lilley having gotten safer in the redistribution, and all its neighbours being higher-priority targets.

    Your seat prediction seemed low initially, but the pendulum (assuming a 52-48 result) would only get Labor to 82 or so. And if the Greens then picked up Cooper and Macnamara… then 80 is bang on.

  23. I can’t exactly reveal any of my sources on this one. But the Butler trying for Lilley thing is pretty commonly known around Brisbane political circles and the corridors of Federal Parliament. I heard it from plenty of people, but the rock solid ones I don’t want to give away.

    Dean Wells’ daughter had AWU backing and Wayne Swan. Butler thought the left had gained enough sway to get her up. But Swan is a pretty good operator and Lilley was never really an option.

    I am shocked no media picked it up, though Labor did keep it under wraps. It only got spread widely after the preselection was done. Maybe journalists were embarrassed about being in the dark about it while it happened.


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