Nicklin – QLD 2017

IND vs LNP 15.5%

Incumbent MP
Peter Wellington, since 1998.

Geography
Sunshine Coast hinterlands. Nicklin covers Nambour, Yandina, Cooroy, Mapleton and Kenilworth.

Redistribution
Nicklin lost its western fringe to Glass House, and lost the territory east of the M1 to the new seat of Ninderry. Nicklin then gained its southern tip from Glass House, and a small area at its northern end from Gympie. Peter Wellington won the seat with a 14.9% margin in 2015 – the new estimated margin is based on the vote in those parts of Nicklin which have not been redistributed (approximately 83.5% of the total area).


History

The seat of Nicklin has existed since 1986. The seat was dominated by the National Party until 1998, and since then has been held by an independent.

The seat was first won in 1986 by Brian Austin of the National Party. Austin had held the inner-Brisbane seat of Wavell since 1977, and moved after his seat was abolished.

Austin had been elected as a Liberal at the 1977, 1980 and 1983 elections, but defected to the Nationals following the 1983 election.

Austin was forced to retire in 1989, and the seat was won by Liberal candidate Bob King. However the result was declared void, and the 1990 by-election was won by the National Party’s Neil Turner.

Turner served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1996 to 1998, and in 1998 lost his seat to independent Peter Wellington.

Wellington won in 1998 with Labor and One Nation preferences. His vote helped prop up a minority Labor government, although only for a few months until a by-election gave Peter Beattie’s government a slim majority.

Wellington won re-election in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012.

Wellington won Nicklin in 1998 with a 5.7% margin. This margin grew to a peak of 29.6% in 2004, but has shrunk since then. In 2009, Wellington held on by 16.3%, and this margin dropped to 4.9% in 2012. Wellington won with a margin of 14.9% in 2015.

Candidates
Sitting independent MP Peter Wellington is not running for re-election.

Assessment
The LNP is likely to win this seat in the absence of Peter Wellington, but after almost two decades in his hands it is hard to predict how the seat will fall without him.

2015 election result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Peter Wellington Independent 13,237 43.8 +4.7 36.9
Matt Trace Liberal National 9,379 31.0 -4.8 33.1
Justin Raethel Labor 4,941 16.3 +8.5 17.5
Julie Doolan Greens 2,673 8.8 +1.8 9.6
Palmer United Party 2.5
Katter’s Australian Party 0.2
Informal 686 2.2

2015 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Peter Wellington Independent 18,058 64.9 +10.0 59.0
Matt Trace Liberal National 9,770 35.1 -10.0 41.0
Exhausted 2,402 7.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in Nicklin have been divided into four areas. Polling places in Nambour have been grouped together, with the remainder divided into north, south and west.

The primary vote for independent candidates (mostly Peter Wellington) ranged from 18% in the south to 49% in Nambour. Parts of the south were not contained in Wellington’s electorate in 2015.

The LNP primary vote ranged from 26.4% in Nambour to 40% in the south. The Labor vote ranged from 11.6% in the west to 20% in the south.

Voter group LNP prim % ALP prim % IND prim % Total votes % of votes
North 29.6 16.9 41.0 5,506 19.9
Nambour 26.4 17.5 49.0 5,334 19.3
South 40.1 19.8 18.2 4,478 16.2
West 38.6 11.6 39.6 2,308 8.3
Other votes 34.3 18.2 36.1 10,077 36.4

Election results in Nicklin at the 2015 QLD state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between independent primary votes, Liberal National primary votes, Labor primary 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.