McConnel – QLD 2017

ALP 3.1%

Incumbent MP
Grace Grace, Member for Brisbane Central since 2015. Previously Member for Brisbane Central 2007-2012.

Geography
Central Brisbane. The seat covers the Brisbane CBD and the suburbs of Fortitude Valley, New Farm, Newstead, Spring Hill, Herston, Bowen Hills, Windsor and parts of Kelvin Grove, Wilston and Newmarket.

Redistribution
McConnel is a new name for the seat of Brisbane Central, gaining Petrie Terrace from Mount Coot-tha and losing Windsor and the remainder of Newmarket and Wilston to Clayfield and Stafford. These changes cut the Labor margin from 3.3% to 3.1%.


History
The seat of Brisbane Central has existed since 1977, and has always been held by the ALP.

The seat was first won in 1977 by Brian Davis. He had previously held the seat of Brisbane from 1969 to 1974, when he lost to the Liberal Party. He held Brisbane Central from 1977 to 1989.

In 1989 Davis was succeeded by Peter Beattie, the former State Secretary of the Queensland ALP. Beattie was appointed as Minister for Health in the Goss government in 1995. In 1996, the Goss government lost power and the National-Liberal coalition took power without an election. Following this change Beattie was elected as leader of the ALP.

Peter Beattie led the ALP into the 1998 election and became Premier at the head of a Labor minority government, which quickly gained a majority following a by-election. He won landslide victories in 2001, 2004 and 2006 before retiring in 2007.

At the following by-election, the seat was won by Labor candidate Grace Grace, former general secretary of the Queensland Council of Unions. Without a Liberal candidate, Grace’s main opposition came from Greens candidate Anne Boccabella, but retained the seat comfortably with a 7.9% margin.

Grace was re-elected in 2009, but Beattie’s 2006 margin of 14.4% collapsed to only 6%.

In 2012, Grace was defeated by LNP candidate Robert Cavallucci, but she won back the seat in 2015.

Candidates

Assessment
McConnel is a marginal Labor seat, and could be in play.

2015 election result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Robert Cavallucci Liberal National 12,042 41.8 -6.9 41.5
Grace Grace Labor 10,590 36.8 +3.1 36.4
Kirsten Lovejoy Greens 5,355 18.6 +3.3 19.3
Kai Jones Independent 815 2.8 +0.5 2.6
Others 0.1
Informal 481 1.6

2015 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Grace Grace Labor 14,334 53.3 +8.1 53.1
Robert Cavallucci Liberal National 12,584 46.7 -8.1 46.5
Exhausted 1,884 6.5

Booth breakdown

Booths in McConnel have been divided into three areas: centre, north and New Farm.

The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 52% in New Farm to 60% in the north.

The Greens vote ranged from 19% in New Farm to 22.8% in the north.

Voter group GRN prim % ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
New Farm 19.1 52.1 6,732 27.6
North 22.8 60.4 3,755 15.4
Central 22.5 56.4 2,071 8.5
Other votes 17.8 51.6 11,827 48.5

Election results in McConnel at the 2015 QLD state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens 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.