Whitsunday – QLD 2017

LNP 0.6%

Incumbent MP
Jason Costigan, since 2012.

Geography
North Queensland. The seat stretches along the Queensland coast from just north of Mackay to just south of Bowen. It covers parts of Mackay and Whitsunday local government areas, including Cannonvale, Airlie Beach, Proserpine, Calen and some outer northern and western suburbs of Mackay.

Redistribution
Whitsunday contracted, losing Mount Pleasant to Mackay and losing its south-western fringe to Burdekin. These changes increased the LNP margin from 0.4% to 0.6%.

History
Whitsunday was created for the 1950 election and was a solid seat for the Country/National party for most of its history.

The seat was held by three MPs from the Country Party or National Party from 1950 until 1989.

In 1989, the ALP won government for the first time in decades under its leader Wayne Goss. In a shock result, Whitsunday was won by the ALP’s Lorraine Bird.

Bird held the seat throughout the Goss government. She was defeated in 1998 by One Nation’s Harry Black. Black left One Nation in 1999 and helped found the City Country Alliance that year.

In 2001, Black ran as the City Country Alliance candidate, but was defeated by the ALP’s Jan Jarrett. Jarrett was re-elected in 2004, 2006 and 2009, and was appointed as Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business in February 2011.

In 2012, Labor MP Jan Jarrett was defeated by LNP candidate Jason Costigan. Costigan was narrowly re-elected in 2015.

Candidates

Assessment
Whitsunday is an extremely marginal seat and could go to either side. If Labor could win Whitsunday it would give them a buffer to help them hold onto power.

2015 election result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Jason Costigan Liberal National 13,474 41.8 -2.6 41.9
Bronwyn Taha Labor 11,775 36.5 +9.1 35.9
Kylee Stanton Palmer United Party 4,047 12.5 +12.5 12.6
Tony Fontes Greens 1,972 6.1 +0.2 6.5
Dan Van Blarcom Independent 997 3.1 +3.1 3.1
Informal 695 2.1

2015 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Redist
Jason Costigan Liberal National 14,565 50.4 -10.3 50.6
Bronwyn Taha Labor 14,347 49.6 +10.3 49.4
Exhausted 3,353 10.4

Booth breakdown

Booths in Whitsunday have been divided into three areas. Polling places on the outskirts of Mackay have been grouped, with the remainder split into centre and north.

The ALP won 53.6% of the two-party-preferred vote in the Mackay area, while the LNP won 50.3% in the north and 56.6% in the centre.

The Palmer United Party polled between 12% and 13% in all areas.

Voter group PUP prim % ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
Mackay 12.7 53.6 6,123 24.4
North 12.8 49.7 5,044 20.1
Central 12.2 43.4 2,865 11.4
Other votes 12.6 48.3 11,059 44.1

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