Senate – Queensland – Australia 2019

Incumbent Senators

Term due to expire 2019Term due to expire 2022
Fraser Anning (Independent)1 Matthew Canavan (Liberal National)
Andrew Bartlett (Greens)2 Anthony Chisholm (Labor)
Chris Ketter (Labor) Pauline Hanson (One Nation)
Ian Macdonald (Liberal National) James McGrath (Liberal National)
Claire Moore (Labor) Amanda Stoker (Liberal National)3
Barry O’Sullivan (Liberal National) Murray Watt (Labor)

1Fraser Anning replaced Malcolm Roberts on 10 November 2017 following the High Court ruling that Malcolm Roberts was ineligible to sit.
2Andrew Bartlett replaced Larissa Waters on 10 November 2017 following the High Court ruling that Larissa Waters was ineligible to sit.
3Amanda Stoker replaced George Brandis on 21 March 2018 following George Brandis’s resignation.

For the vast majority of the time since proportional representation was introduced, Queensland has had a majority of Senators from right-wing parties such as the Liberals, Nationals, DLP and One Nation. Indeed, the ALP maintained a consistent number of senators for most of this period, holding four Queensland senators continuously from 1951 to 1984. They held a fifth seat from the 1984 election until 1990, when they fell back to four seats. They gained a fifth again in 2007.

From 1951 until the 1964 election, Queensland had four ALP senators, four Liberal senators and two Country Party senators. The 1964 election saw the Liberals lose a seat to the Democratic Labor Party candidate (and ex-Premier) Vince Gair. They won a second seat in 1967, which resulted in the Liberals, Country Party and DLP each holding two senate seats in Queensland, alongside four ALP senators. The 1970 election maintained the status quo.

The 1974 double dissolution saw the DLP lose both their seats, with the Liberal and Country parties each winning a third seat. The Queensland delegation remained steady at four ALP and three for each of the coalition parties until 1980, when the National Country Party lost one of their three seats to the Democrats. The 1980 election was the first time that the Coalition parties ran separate Senate tickets in Queensland, after running jointly for the previous thirty years. The 1983 double dissolution saw the Nationals win back a third seat at the expense of the Liberals, who by this point in time had begun to run on separate tickets. Throughout the 1980s the Nationals held more Senate seats in Queensland than the Liberals.

The 1984 election saw an enlargement in the Senate, with the ALP winning a fifth Senate seat for the first time and the Nationals electing a fourth senator. This balance of five ALP, four Nationals, two Liberals and a Democrat was maintained at the 1987 double dissolution election.

The 1990 election saw the Liberals overtake the Nationals. After the 1987 double dissolution the Senate had decided that two ALP, two Liberal and two National senators would have six-year terms, despite the fact that the Liberals had won half the number of seats of either other party. This gave them a boost in 1990, as they won two seats to the Nationals one, while not having any incumbents up for election. In practice this meant that the Liberals won two seats, one off the ALP and the other off the Nationals. The ALP was reduced back to four seats, and the Coalition again gained a majority of Queensland senate seats.

The 1993 election saw the Democrats win a second Queensland seat, at the expense of the Nationals. This produced a result of four each for the ALP and Liberal Party and two each for the Nationals and Democrats.

The 1993 election result was maintained in 1996, but in 1998 the Nationals lost one of their two seats to One Nation. In 2001 there were again no changes, and in 2004 the Nationals and Liberals each gained a seat, with One Nation losing their seat and one of the two Democrats being defeated. The 2007 election saw the defeat of the last remaining Democrat, producing an overall result of five senators each for the Labor and Liberal parties and two Nationals senators.

In 2010, the LNP went in to the election with four incumbent senators, and retained three of those seats. Labor maintained their two seats, and the Greens’ Larissa Waters won the first ever Greens Senate seat in Queensland.

In 2013, the LNP retained their three sitting senators, while Labor lost one of their three seats to Glenn Lazarus, running for the Palmer United Party.

2016 result

Liberal National 960,46735.3-6.14.5851
Labor 717,52426.3-2.23.4253
One Nation250,1269.2+8.61.1941
Greens 188,3236.9+0.90.8990
Liberal Democrats77,6012.8+2.20.3705
Nick Xenophon Team55,6532.0+2.00.2657
Family First52,4531.9+0.80.2504
Katter’s Australian Party48,8071.8-1.20.2330
Glenn Lazarus Team45,1491.7+1.70.2155
Animal Justice32,3061.2+0.10.1542
Sex Party/Marijuana (HEMP)30,1571.1+1.10.1440
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers29,5711.1+0.40.1412
Liberty Alliance29,3921.1+1.10.1403
Marriage Equality23,8110.9+0.90.1137
Australian Cyclists Party19,9330.7+0.70.0952
Drug Law Reform17,0600.6+0.60.0814
Democratic Labour Party15,4430.6+0.30.0737
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party14,2560.5+0.50.0681

Preference flows
Eight seats were won on primary votes – the LNP won four seats, Labor won three and One Nation one. Larissa Waters was elected further on in the count.

We now fast forward to the last nine candidates competing for the final three seats:

  • Barry O’Sullivan (LNP) – 0.6797 quotas – up 0.0946 quotas
  • Chris Ketter (ALP) – 0.5862 – up 0.1609
  • Rod McGarvie (FF) – 0.4487 – up 0.1983
  • Malcolm Roberts (ON) – 0.4456 – up 0.2515
  • Gabe Buckley (LDP) – 0.4320 – up 0.0615
  • Suzanne Grant (NXT) – 0.3358 – up 0.0701
  • Paul Bevan (AJP) – 0.3194 – up 0.1652
  • Rowell Walton (KAP) – 0.3066 – up 0.0736
  • Glenn Lazarus (GLT) – 0.2991 – up 0.0836

Malcolm Roberts had performed particularly well on the preferences up to this point, as had the Animal Justice Party.

Glenn Lazarus preferences pushed KAP ahead of AJP, and particularly helped One Nation, pushing Roberts ahead of McGarvie:

  • O’Sullivan (LNP) – 0.7020
  • Ketter (ALP) – 0.6372
  • Roberts (ON) – 0.5124
  • McGarvie (FF) – 0.4662
  • Buckley (LDP) – 0.4387
  • Grant (NXT) – 0.3856
  • Walton (KAP) – 0.3470
  • Bevan (AJP) – 0.3285

Animal Justice preferences helped Family First claw back some of One Nation’s lead, but Roberts still stayed in an election-winning position.

  • O’Sullivan (LNP) – 0.7243
  • Ketter (ALP) – 0.6878
  • Roberts (ON) – 0.5459
  • McGarvie (FF) – 0.5250
  • Buckley (LDP) – 0.4510
  • Grant (NXT) – 0.4014
  • Walton (KAP) – 0.3612

KAP preferences helped Roberts extend his lead over Family First, and close in on Labor.

  • O’Sullivan (LNP) – 0.7757
  • Ketter (ALP) – 0.7337
  • Roberts (ON) – 0.6430
  • McGarvie (FF) – 0.5852
  • Buckley (LDP) – 0.4695
  • Grant (NXT) – 0.4429

NXT preferences pushed Ketter into the lead, while also extending Roberts

  • Ketter (ALP) – 0.8594
  • O’Sullivan (LNP) – 0.8475
  • Roberts (ON) – 0.7220
  • McGarvie (FF) – 0.6201
  • Buckley (LDP) – 0.4951

LDP preferences pushed the LNP over quota, while taking Labor close to winning the eleventh seat. Family First weren’t able to close the gap on One Nation, and thus Roberts won the twelfth seat:

  • O’Sullivan (LNP) – 1.0433
  • Ketter (ALP) – 0.9621
  • Roberts (ON) – 0.7764
  • McGarvie (FF) – 0.6706


  • Larissa Waters (Greens)

Labor and the LNP will likely each retain the two seats they currently hold.

The Greens (running former senator Larissa Waters) will be likely competing with Labor to win the third ‘left’ seat.

One Nation will be aiming to win back the seat they lost when Fraser Anning left the party, although the LNP will also have their eye on that seat.
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  1. I’m certain Anning will lose his seat and it will be picked up by the LNP.

    One Nation are going to have a hard time winning/retaining any of their seats at the next election, by 2020 Hanson will be all that’s left of them.

    I think The Greens will retain their seat.

  2. Definitely 2 LNP and 2 ALP, then likely 1 ONP and 1 GRN.
    The One Nation vote will drop but it will still be above 10% likely higher perhaps more towards 15.

  3. Anning will no doubt will be number 1 on KAP ticket.KAP did not finalise Senate candidate until hours before close of nominations in 2016 yet came very close to winning a Senate seat.This failure to endorse a Senate Candidate played a part in my resignation from KAP. KAP campaign hampered by lack of money . This time advantages of incumbancy will enable Anning to campaign state wide.I put Ashby-Hanson, ALA and Greens below majors this time Anning will probably be above ALP and LNP. I would not write him off. Mistake a lot of people make is to think that Queensland is all similar to Zone of Inner City Parastism. Anning is to be congratulated for putting electorate ahead of self interest. Bob Katter, Brian Austin, DonLane and Vince Gair along with a few other QLP MP,s in 1957.all survived for one election after their parties deserted them. Pauline Hanson has deserted her base to court fame and fortune. Her base will eventually see what she is.

  4. 2 of each major, 1 Green, and one PHON. Malcolm Roberts won’t be a huge vote winner but the “Pauline Hanson” in the party name should get him enough above the line votes to be the beneficiary of the anti-politics vote unless the Greens somehow manage to appeal to those voters like they did in 2010 (then I’d give the final seat to the ALP).

    If I remember correctly there’s a grassroots campaign against reselecting Chris Ketter due to his vote against Marriage Equality. If he doesn’t, Queensland doesn’t have the same below the line culture as Tasmania to enable a Lisa Singh type to leapfrog him

  5. Andrew – good point about Anning’s incumbency advantages. The KAP brand and whatever party organisation they have should certainly stand him in better stead than Glenn Lazarus.

    John – regarding Chris Ketter, I think the sort of people who’d vote BTL and the sort of people who’d want to vote for Ketter don’t overlap much. He has very little public profile, anyway.

    I wonder if KAP and PHON will swap preferences? Given recent events that seems unlikely, but it probably improves their chances.

  6. “The Greens (running former senator Larissa Waters) will be likely competing with Labor to win the third ‘left’ seat”

    Labor would have to primary a gargantuan ~28.6% above the Greens to have a chance at getting a 3rd seat at the Greens’ expense. Extremely unlikely in my opinion.

    I think Labor 3rd candidate will exclude before the Greens and the real fight will be a count-off for 6th between Larissa Waters and a 4th potentially elected conservative (One Nation, LNP, KAP, I’m not sure).

  7. Or in other words, Bennee, two half-senate quotas higher.

    It’s also instructive in some ways to look at party-preferreds rather than primaries as a guide to “can quota be made?”

    With the return to half-Senate-election quotas, these are the starting points:

    One Nation start out on about 0.65Q. Their 4PP from 2016 (15.06%) is bit over a quota, so they should get there. As long as the PHON primary is below a quota they’ll only get the one seat, of course. It’s always possible that some other party (e.g. KAP) will beat them out, but KAP would need to do extremely well. When I say “PHON” from here to the end of the post, I mean “PHON, KAP, or someone similar” – whoever comes out on top.

    The LNP should easily get two quotas on primary (they managed 2.47Q in 2016). As long as their primary doesn’t drop below about 32%, they should be in a good position to gather preferences for a third quota. Their 4PP from 2016 (39.83%) suggests they can get to 0.79Q in a fairly straightforward fashion, and from there they might well be the last standing with one seat left to fill.

    Labor’s 2016 primary had them below two quotas, but their 4PP (30.65%) suggests they’ll get there. If they’re to get a third spot they, like the LNP, will need to clear about 32% *primary* to be sufficiently ahead of the larger micros and avoid exclusion.

    The Greens’ 2016 primary has them starting on 0.48 of a quota. Their 4PP (10.66%) should get them to about 0.75Q.

    There’s also about 4% of 2016 voters who didn’t indicate a 4PP preference. Picking those up would be very helpful for some.

    So my prediction is LNP vs GRN for the final seat, with a pre-swing advantage to the LNP. This matches the s282 recount, where James McGrath beat out Larissa Waters for the last 6-year seat.

    Once we think about swings:

    Within the Right, if the LNP does just well enough at PHON’s expense, a Ginninderra-ing is possible and the Greens will be frozen out. If the LNP does better than expected still at PHON’s expense, it’ll be PHON vs GRN.

    Where things get real murky is in what sort of LNP to Labor (i.e. Right to Left) swing might be available. 2% would be enough to pull the LNP partial down, and then if Labor’s *incoming excess* would-be-4PP breaks hard enough for the Greens over the LNP, that would do it for the Left.

    Any overall Left to Right swing pretty much instantly locks in 3 LNP, 2 ALP and 1 PHON. It would take an implausibly large swing Left to Right to get below 2 ALP, as long as the Greens mostly preference ALP>LNP.

  8. So if the Greens poll 7% (as in 2016), Labor would need about 35.6% to be ahead on primary votes. Possible, but I agree it is unlikely.

  9. Based on the results from Longman, a couple of points about this race that now seem clearer:

    1) It now appears that, barring some collapse between now and the vote, that One Nation will gain back a Senate seat.

    2) However, if the Longman results are representative, it appears that they will cut into the LNP vote enough that them winning a third seat becomes less likely.

    3) This makes the sixth seat up in the air, and heavily dependent on how the parties fare in their primary votes- Greens versus the third LNP candidate seems most likely, but KAP could also have a shot, though, barring massive improvement on their 2016 vote, the ALP seems out of the running.

  10. Their vote in Longman was about 10% down on the One Nation vote in the same area at the state election – it’s of One Nation’s stronger areas.

    However agree with your prediction – 2 of each major, 1 Green and 1 PHON. Palmer and Katter will take some vote off PHON that might not come back, and I don’t think Roberts will get a quota, but I don’t think he’ll end up below the third LNP candidate.

  11. Katter, Lyle Shelton and Palmer are all making a play for parts of Hanson’s vote. Katter is trying to be even further (alt)-right, Lyle Shelton is trying to corner the Christian right and social conservatives, and Palmer is going for the anti-politics joke vote.

    In the new senate system it could mean none of them get elected.

    Looking at longman, Labor beating Liberals on primaries is a real possibility given how much of their vote leaks to One Nation et al. Labor 3 outlasting all the far right candidates is also a possibility.

    Not ruling out 3 Labor, 2 Liberal, 1 Green

  12. What a despicable display from Fraser Anning, and now doubled-down by Bob Katter.

    A clear attempt to outflank One Nation from the (far-far-far-far) far-right by KAP. Potentially electorally ingenious in that being the highest primarying far-right party in QLD seems a strong strategy and getting the highest primarying seems to be about getting the most salacious comments broadcast widely, but will racist voters studious preference all 4 parties? (it is 4 right? PHON, KAP, AC, UAP) If not John could be on the money and they could all spoil it for each other.

    I’m still tipping Larissa Waters for the Greens to primary under 1 quota, while Labor primaries just over 2 quotas. The most important numbers are Larissa’s first preference vote, Labor’s flow rate to Larissa, and far-right exhaustion rates. LNP will limp to 3 seats with leakage from far-right parties imo.

  13. the fight on the far right…….. one of 4…….. most likely on…….Bob Katter is not racist but he needed in his opinion to pretend to be……the sky news interviews were train wrecks…..Mr Anning was a politician without a party this he joined kap………strange bed fellows

  14. Green announce “Navdeep Singh” as second candidate for senate from Queensland, Larissa waters’s seat is clear, but Navdeep also in wining position due to his social work & communication skills.

  15. A couple of observations…
    1) Longman is such an outlier seat that there are very few lessons to be learnt from the vote there;
    2) Can we assume that there will be 2 LNP, 2 ALP and 1 Green.
    3) The ALP remaindered quota will be less than the Greens, but will just be enough to tip them over into a full quota with not much to spare. There will not be four Senators from the left, let alone two Greens.
    3) The seat to go will be the PHON//IND/KAP seat currently held by Fraser Anning. He ended up there dragged through by Pauling Hanson and Malcolm Roberts. His speech was more about positioning and building name recognition then any sense of ideological commitment. Unfortunately for him it’s made it difficult for PHON to preference him.
    4) So the likely battle for number 6 will be LNP, PHON, KAP and PUP. Let’s look at the preference flows first. LNP will put PHON ahead of KAP and PUP. PUP voters will probably exhaust. And KAP voters will be all over the place, even if they put LNP behind PHON on the HTV.
    5) So assuming PUP goes out first, no net shift. KAP goes out next, with enough votes bleeding to the ALP and LNP to put the LNP ahead of PHON. And then PHON splits 60/40 to LNP, giving them just enough to form a quota. With minor preferences it will be the Sex Party in 2010 all over again.
    6) So the final result will likely be LNP, ALP, LNP, ALP, GRN, LNP.

  16. The Greens in QLD would be happy to get their senate primary vote to any 2 digit number.

    Navdeep Singh would be in with a strong chance in a double dissolution but the Greens are an extremely slim chance of electing him in a half-senate election.

    The 2nd senator from a party is much harder to elect than the first. For example primaries of 20.2% (2010 GRN TAS), 21.5% (2014 ALP WA special election), 24.9% (2013 NXT), and 26.6% (2013 ALP WA) all failed to elect 2 senators.

    These are the smallest primaries to elect 2 senators in half-senate elections since 2007: 29.7% (2010 ALP WA), 29.4% (2010 ALP QLD), 28.5% (2013 ALP QLD), 27.5% (2013 LIB SA).

    The new preferencing rules likely make it easier on 2nd senate candidates though, perhaps 20% Greens primary (which would be truly remarkable) could elect Navdeep Singh.

  17. Oh, and interestingly enough this time around there will be mostly new faces in the Senate, with many of the current Senators displaced.

    Ian Macdonald and Barry O’Sullivan have both been removed from winnable spots on the ticket, Claire Moore is supposedly retiring and Andrew Bartlett stepped down for Larissa Waters.

    That leaves Fraser Anning and Chis Ketter in the game, so probably just Ketter from Queensland once the dust settles from the next election.

  18. According to the Bludger Tracker the Greens are up +0.7% in Queensland since 2016 and are now very close to 10% primary. This is Queensland we’re talking about which is often considered to be Australia’s most conservative state. However, the increasing support for the Greens is entirely believable considering they recently won their first seat in the Qld parliament. I think the Adani issue is also helping them a lot with environmentally conscious Queenslanders and those who’s jobs depend on the Great Barrier Reef (which is around 70,000+ people). There was even a recent poll which had the Greens out-polling One Nation in Queensland 10% to 9% (I can’t remember which polling company it was done by but it was in the last couple of weeks). Waters is also a very well known and liked figure now among the left. Based on all this, I think there’s a very good chance the Greens will retain their Qld senate spot. There is also a good chance a of them winning the lower house seat of Brisbane.

  19. I came across LNP Candidate Gerrard
    Rennick in Burpengary shopping centre earlier in week. Certainly the most sensible and knowledgeable Liberal candidate I have come acccross in a long time.

    It is vital for both major parties that they allow their candidates to get out, meet, and talk to electorate.

    Rennick seems to fit into the Menzies – Fraser era policy mould rather than being an auto man innoculated with Friedmanite neo-liberalism.
    He will certainly will be at top of Coalition block on my Senate Ballot paper next year.
    At this point it is easier to determine who will be bottom ( Greens and Anning) than who will be top.
    Looked at last weeks Q&A yesterday and can see why Government was stable and respected years ago. John Andrrson’s Performance outshone two serving politicians by far.
    We need to clean Parliament out of at least 30% of deadwood we currently have.
    We need to start asking candidates hard questions and determining our vote on basis of their answers. Questions need to be related to how they will fix the mess and it needs to be clear that no vote will be gained by telling me what other major party did wrong.
    At this point I want Katter, Country Party or DLP Candidates to have balance of power and I want whoever has control in House to be in a minority in Senate. Rennick will be a good influence in Senate but to get there he will need to beat neo-fascist and neo-communist Candidates as well as libertarians such as Australian Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
    Andrew Jackson


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