Townsville – QLD 2017

ALP 5.7%

Incumbent MP
Scott Stewart, since 2015.

Geography
Central Townsville. The seat covers the Townsville CBD and the suburbs of Castle Hill, Garbutt, Mount Louisa and Bohle, as well as Magnetic Island and Palm Island.

Redistribution
No change.

History
The seat of Townsville has existed continuously since 1970, and previously existed from 1878 to 1960.

The seat has been dominated by the Labor Party for most of the twentieth century, although Labor domination has occasionally been punctuated by Coalition victories.

The ALP had held the seat for all but three years from 1915 to 1960, but after the seat was restored in 1972 it was won by the Liberal Party’s Norman Scott-Young. He held it until 1983.

The 1983 election was triggered by the breakdown in the coalition between Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s National Party and the Liberal Party, and a majority of Liberal MPs lost their seats, including Scott-Young.

Ken McElligott won Townsville for the ALP, but three years later lost to the National Party’s Tony Burreket.

Burreket lost to the ALP’s Ken Davies in 1989. In 1992, Davies moved to the neighbouring seat of Mundingburra. He retained Mundingburra by a bare 16-vote margin. The result was overturned in the courts in 1996. The ALP decided to replace Davies as the ALP candidate, and he ran as an independent. The Liberal Party won the race, and resulted in the ALP losing its parliamentary majority and the National-Liberal coalition forming a new government.

Geoff Smith was elected to Townsville for the ALP in 1992, and held it for two terms until 1998. He was succeeded in 1998 by Mike Reynolds. Reynolds served as a minister from 2004 to 2006 and as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 2006 to 2009, when he retired.

Mandy Johnstone was elected to Townsville in 2009 for the ALP. In 2012, Johnstone was defeated by LNP candidate John Hathaway. Hathaway was defeated in 2015 by Labor’s Scott Stewart.

Candidates

Assessment
Townsville is a marginal Labor seat, but is only likely to change hands if the LNP wins a comfortable victory.

2015 election result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Scott Stewart Labor 11,267 40.1 +10.8
John Hathaway Liberal National 10,130 36.0 -2.6
Alan Birrell Palmer United Party 2,697 9.6 +9.6
Gail Hamilton Greens 2,356 8.4 +0.7
Leanne Rissman One Nation 1,079 3.8 +3.8
Michael Punshon Family First 596 2.1 -0.5
Informal 613 2.1

2015 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Scott Stewart Labor 14,280 55.7 +10.5
John Hathaway Liberal National 11,360 44.3 -10.5
Exhausted 2,485 8.8

Booth breakdown

Booths in Townsville have been divided into four areas. Polling places on offshore islands have been grouped together, with the remainder split into centre, south and west.

The ALP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 54.4% in the centre to 61% in the south.

The Palmer United Party came third, with a vote ranging from 7.5% in the centre to 11.5% in the west. The Greens vote ranged from 5.5% in the west to 12.6% on the islands.

Voter group PUP prim % GRN prim % ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
Central 7.5 9.6 54.4 7,824 27.8
West 11.5 5.5 58.7 6,226 22.1
South 10.0 9.6 61.4 3,913 13.9
Islands 9.4 12.6 58.0 1,713 6.1
Other votes 10.0 7.9 51.5 8,449 30.0

Two-party-preferred in Townsville 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.