Wright – Australia 2019

LNP 9.6%

Incumbent MP
Scott Buchholz, since 2010.

Geography
Wright covers rural parts of South-East Queensland. Wright covers sparsely populated parts of the Gold Coast hinterland, rural parts of the City of Logan, and the entirety of Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim council areas. Wright covers the towns of Boonah, Beaudesert, Gatton and Laidley, and comes close to the major centres of Logan, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Toowoomba.

Redistribution
No change.

History
Wright was created in the 2010 election, out of parts of the seats of Forde and Blair. Both seats were Labor seats in 2007, but Wright was created as a notional Liberal National seat, and neither sitting Labor MP ran in Wright.

Forde was created at the 1984 election as a southern Brisbane seat as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives. The seat has since moved further south and lies on the edge of the urban part of South-East Queensland.

Forde was first won in 1984 by David Watson (LIB), who lost the seat in 1987 to Mary Crawford of the ALP. Watson was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1989 and went on to serve as a minister in the Borbidge government and as state Liberal leader from 1998 to 2001.

Mary Crawford held the seat from 1987 until her defeat at the 1996 election, serving as a Parliamentary Secretary for the last two years of the Keating government.

Kay Elson (LIB) won the seat in 1996. She held the seat for eleven years as a backbencher, retiring at the 2007 election.

In 2007 the ALP’s Brett Raguse won the seat. Forde was the safest Liberal seat to be lost in 2007, with the ALP gaining a 14.4% swing.

Blair was created for the 1998 election, and took over Ipswich from the seat of Oxley, which at the time was held by One Nation founder Pauline Hanson. Hanson ran for Blair, topping the poll on primary votes. The ALP polled second, with Liberal candidate Cameron Thompson third. Thompson gained Nationals preferences, then defeated Hanson on Labor preferences.

Thompson won by more comfortable margins in 2001 (58.5%) and 2004 (61.2%). The redistribution cut Thompson’s margin by 5.5% before the 2007 election. A 10% swing saw the ALP’s Shayne Neumann won the seat on a second attempt.

In 2010, Wright was created with a 53.8% majority for the LNP. The LNP’s Scott Buchholz won the seat with a 6% swing, and was re-elected in 2013 and 2016.

Candidates

Assessment
Wright is a reasonably safe LNP seat.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Scott Buchholz Liberal National 36,93541.8-6.0
Allistair Smith Labor 20,11022.8+1.4
Rod SmithOne Nation18,46120.9+20.9
Pietro Agnoletto Greens 6,7687.7+2.3
Barry AustinFamily First3,1633.6+1.0
Mark M StoneLiberal Democrats1,9792.2+2.2
John CoxMature Australia9021.0+1.0
Informal3,9804.3

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Scott Buchholz Liberal National 52,65159.6-2.2
Allistair Smith Labor 35,66740.4+2.2

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas. Wright covers parts of four local government areas, and polling places have been divided into these four areas.

The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 51.6% in Logan to 63.9% on the Gold Coast.

The One Nation primary vote ranged from 11% on the Gold Coast to 35.6% in the Lockyer Valley.

Voter groupON prim %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Scenic Rim17.662.616,75019.0
Lockyer Valley35.658.915,67017.7
Logan19.151.614,37616.3
Gold Coast11.163.98,6399.8
Other votes20.861.417,82020.2
Pre-poll16.860.215,06317.1

Election results in Wright at the 2016 federal election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between two-party-preferred votes and One Nation primary votes.


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16 COMMENTS

  1. Wright is such a mess of a seat. It seems like it is the leftovers of 3-4 other seats tossed together. So much for community of interest. Surely the AEC could have done something here to address the aberrance ?.

    Buchholz appears to be one of those MP’s that doesn’t attract attention, whilst working hard for his electorate. The election numbers appear contradictory in a lot of respects. It will be interesting to see where the votes flow, particularly the large PHON vote.
    I’M sometimes struck by the similarities between Buchholz, & Craig Kelly. The ‘know it all” arrogance of the predominantly Type 5 politicians (in our parliament), is not much evident in those two. Consequently i suspect they are both Type 6 fixations. To survive working with all the Type 5s these two would need to be far less fixated. That is a good thing.

  2. Labor could win this seat if they ran a low immigration/stable population policy, which is one of my theories as to their strategy to win the next election.

    They will make things hard for themselves in the Labor vs Green seats, and may drop a few (although unlikely as Plibersek, Albanese and Kearney can run personality based campaigns), but they’ll make the Queensland marginals much easier to win, and make seats like this one and Hinkler competitive again.

    Although even then, the Gold Coast hinterland booths will be a huge hurdle for a Labor victory.

  3. John
    That policy would be very smart, however it is as likely as a tax cut for wage earners over $90000 !. That would also be smart. Labor are blindly following BS, in his populist agenda, so they are missing things that ought to be obvious.

  4. WD, I suggested removing the Gold Coast hinterland and incorporating more of rural Ipswich and Logan at the last redistribution, but the AEC was going for a bare minimum change and rejected it.

  5. It’s seats like this that make me feel like we should have a larger parliament.

    It wouldn’t be popular but I think there should be 14 senators in each state so each half election is 7, and 3 in the NT and ACT respectively. Odd numbers make proportional systems work better.

    This would mean approximately 180 lower house seats. Keep in mind that Australians (except maybe Tasmanians) have fewer political representatives per capita than New Zealanders, Canadians and the British.

    Another advantage would allow for more accurate representation in how seats are drawn, since it seems like incremental redistributions aren’t delivering that.

  6. John
    We need fewer politicians, not more. Any move to increase the size of the house ought to be accompanied by the abolition of other political positions.
    For instance the abolition of state upper houses, some state, or territory govts. Only then would it be appropriate to consider more representation.

  7. Labor has preselected Pam McCredie to run for Wright.

    Her husband has run a number of times for State and Federal seats.

  8. Former One Nation candidate, Rod Smith is running for Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party in Wright.

    It’ll be really interesting to see how much of the LNPs vote drifts to KAP/PHON/FACP in this seat.

  9. Wright is an interesting seat I do worry however that the seat is overly focused on the scenic rim with little care for Lockyer Valley issues. The MP seems to work and live in Beaudesert and I believe his lack on interest in the Lockyer Valley is reflected by the significantly higher ONP vote in those areas. Maybe the Lockyer Valley would be better served split between Blair and the Toowoomba seats?

  10. PHON’s vote in the Scenic Rim area was much higher at the 2017 state election than in 2016 (27.6% in Scenic Rim), and they got 17.8% in Mudgeeraba (compared to 11.6% in the “Gold Coast” booths in 2016). Booths like Bonogin, Gillston got over 20% in the state election. Over 35% in both Jimboomba booths. I don’t think people realise how well PHON did in the 2017 state election.

    This seat would be very winnable for a conservative independent that could pick up the PHON vote, but whom Labor could also live with preferencing over the LNP. As it stands, One Nation won’t get those preferences and have no hope of beating the LNP. Looking at their facebook page, Labor don’t seem to be running dead and should be able to fully staff the booths, and ALP voters are reliable how to vote card followers.

    Predicting a LNP vs PHON runoff with LNP retaining on ALP and GRN preferences. Buccholz will go below 40% primary vote.

    PHON have a better chance of winning seats that could end up as an LNP vs ALP runoff (Flynn comes to mind)

  11. Does anyone have the ability to convert state election results into federal estimates? (Matched booths?) It is probably the best way of assessing the potential for PHON to pick up seats in QLD, Centre Alliance to pick up seats in SA, etc.

  12. Booth matching is tedious and unreliable.

    The AEC publishes a spreadsheet detailing how many people from each SA1 tract voted at each booth (using Reps numbers), but unfortunately their state counterparts don’t do an equivalent.

    And more importantly people really do vote differently state and federal.

  13. I know I’ve said this before, but I just feel the need to mention it one more time. You’ve claimed otherwise John, but it really does seem like you’re putting far too much value in State vs. Federal results. AlexJ is absolutely on the money. People. Do. Vote. Differently.

    Does that mean that Labor chances are less exciting than we’d otherwise be considering? Yes. I’m afraid that’s just something we’ll all have to live with.

  14. AlexJ, cheers for the info. No need to waste your time doing such a thing.

    Wreathy, I do talk about state results a lot, but I don’t just do it bluntly. I don’t live far from an area where people vote strongly Labor in federal elections and strongly Liberal in territory elections, for example.

    I should therefore clarify – I don’t think there’s any substantial difference between One Nation at the state and federal levels. The party is light on policy, and the policies it does propose regularly concern the wrong tier of government. I think it says quite a lot that the number of people willing to vote for such a party more than doubled between mid 2016 and late 2017 in this electorate.

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