Caloundra – QLD 2017

LNP 4.7%

Incumbent MP
Mark McArdle, since 2004.

Sunshine Coast. Caloundra covers Golden Beach, Pelican Waters, Meridan Plains and parts of Little Mountain, Caloundra and Caloundra West.

Caloundra lost Currumundi to Kawana and Mooloolah Valley to Glass House, while gaining a small area from Glass House near Landsborough. Caloundra also lost the northern end of Bribie island to Pumicestone. These changes increased the LNP margin from 3.8% to 4.7%.


The seat of Caloundra has existed since the 1992 election, and has always been held by the Liberal Party, now the LNP.

Liberal leader Joan Sheldon first won the seat in 1992. She had been first elected at the 1990 Landsborough by-election. Landsborough had been held by former Nationals Premier Mike Ahern.

Sheldon became Liberal leader in 1991, and moved to Caloundra at the 1992 election. She went on to serve as Deputy Premier and Treasurer in the Borbidge coalition government from 1996 to 1998, and stepped down as Liberal leader in 1998.

Sheldon retired in 2004, and was succeeded by Mark McArdle. McArdle became leader of the Liberal Party in 2007 as a compromise after the party’s 8-member caucus was deadlocked between Bruce Flegg and Tim Nicholls.

McArdle led the Liberal Party until the merger with the National Party in 2008, and served as Deputy Leader of the Liberal National Party until the 2009 election.

McArdle was re-elected with an increased majority in 2012, and then held on despite a large swing in 2015.


Caloundra is a marginal LNP seat.

2015 election result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Mark McArdle Liberal National 13,021 43.8 -20.4 44.9
Jason Hunt Labor 8,595 28.9 +6.5 28.7
Phillip Collins Palmer United Party 3,071 10.3 +10.3 10.3
Fiona Anderson Greens 3,026 10.2 -3.2 9.7
Barry Jones Independent 1,991 6.7 +6.7 6.3
Informal 684 2.3

2015 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Mark McArdle Liberal National 14,223 53.8 -17.4 54.7
Jason Hunt Labor 12,202 46.2 +17.4 45.3
Exhausted 3,279 11.0

Booth breakdown

Booths in Caloundra have been divided into three areas: central, east and west.

The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two of the three areas, with 51.9% in the east and 59.4% in the centre. Labor polled 52.8% in the west.

The Palmer United Party vote ranged from 7.8% in the centre to 15% in the west. The Greens vote ranged from 6% in the centre to 13% in the west.

Voter group GRN prim % PUP prim % LNP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
West 13.4 15.3 47.2 4,980 19.8
East 12.2 9.2 51.9 4,780 19.0
Central 6.0 7.8 59.4 4,340 17.3
Other votes 8.4 9.7 57.5 11,017 43.9

Election results in Caloundra at the 2015 QLD state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between two-party-preferred votes, Greens primary votes and Palmer United Party primary votes.

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.