Cairns – QLD 2017

ALP 7.5%

Incumbent MP
Rob Pyne (IND), since 2015.

Far North Queensland. The seat of Cairns covers the Cairns CBD and the neighbouring suburbs of Bungalow, Westcourt, Manoora, Kanimbla, Edge Hill, Mooroobool, Earlville, Brinsmead, Whitfield and Aeroglen.

Cairns shifted north, gaining Brinsmead, Whitfield and Aeroglen from Barron River, and lost Bayview Heights and Woree to Mulgrave. These changes cut the Labor margin from 8.5% to 7.5%.


Cairns has been a Labor seat for the last century, barring a short period when it was held by an Independent Labor MP.

The seat was held by Bill McCormack from 1912 to 1930. He served as Premier of Queensland from 1925 to 1929.

The seat was won in 1998 by Desley Boyle. Boyle served five terms in Parliament, and served as a minister in the Beattie and Bligh governments from 2004 to 2011.

Desley Boyle retired at the 2012 election. LNP candidate Gavin King won the seat off the ALP with a 13% swing.

King held his seat for one term, losing to Labor candidate Rob Pyne in 2015.

Pyne quickly fell out with his Labor colleagues, openly criticising numerous government decisions. Pyne resigned from the Labor Party in March 2016, and has served out the remainder of his term as an independent.


Cairns is difficult to predict. The seat is likely to be a race between the sitting independent MP and the Labor candidate, although it is entirely possible that stray preferences could elect the LNP candidate.

2015 election result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Rob Pyne Labor 13,770 45.6 +18.1 44.5
Gavin King Liberal National 10,960 36.3 -6.2 37.3
Jeanette Sackley Palmer United Party 2,902 9.6 +9.6 9.2
Myra Gold Greens 2,010 6.7 -0.5 7.5
Bernice Kelly Independent 553 1.8 +1.8 1.5
Informal 739 2.4

2015 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Rob Pyne Labor 16,563 58.5 +17.3 57.5
Gavin King Liberal National 11,774 41.5 -17.3 42.5
Exhausted 1,858 6.2

Booth breakdown

Booths in Cairns have been divided into three areas: north-east, north-west and south.

The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 57.6% in the north-west to 61.1% in the north-east.

Voter group ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
North-West 57.6 5,309 18.9
South 60.8 5,208 18.5
North-East 61.1 1,753 6.2
Other votes 55.9 15,830 56.3

Two-party-preferred votes in Cairns at the 2015 QLD state election

About the Author

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