Ferny Grove – QLD 2020

ALP 4.6%

Incumbent MP
Mark Furner, since 2015.

Geography
South-East Queensland. Ferny Grove covers northern parts of the City of Brisbane and southern parts of Moreton Bay LGA, on the northwestern fringe of Brisbane. The seat covers the suburbs of Ferny Grove, Ferny Hills, Arana Hills, Enoggera, Upper Kedron and parts of Keperra, Gaythorne and Alderley.

History
Ferny Grove has existed since 1992, and has been won by Labor at every election except 2012.

It was first won in 1992 by Glen Milliner, who had held the neighbouring seat of Everton since 1977. He became a minister in the Goss government in 1989. He continued to serve as a minister until the government lost power in 1996, and he retired from Parliament in 1998.

Ferny Grove was won in 1998 by Geoff Wilson. Wilson held Ferny Grove for five terms, and served as a minister from 2004 to 2012.

In 2012, Wilson was defeated by LNP candidate Dale Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth held the seat for one term, losing in 2015 to Labor’s Mark Furner. Furner was re-elected in 2017.

Candidates

Assessment
Ferny Grove is a marginal seat, and it could be in play in 2020.

2017 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Mark Furner Labor 12,59040.5-3.0
Nick Elston Liberal National 12,44640.1-0.9
Elizabeth World Greens 4,82015.5+4.3
Lisa FooIndependent1,2083.9+3.9
Informal9783.1

2017 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Mark Furner Labor 16,97154.6-0.7
Nick Elston Liberal National 14,09345.4+0.7

Booth breakdown

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

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, with around 55-56% in each area.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 15% in the west to 20% in the east.

Voter groupGRN primALP 2PPTotal votes% of votes
West15.155.58,08126.0
Central17.456.26,50320.9
East20.455.34,22013.6
Pre-poll11.652.65,60018.0
Other votes14.353.26,66021.4

Election results in Ferny Grove at the 2017 QLD state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Greens primary votes.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Like with neighbouring Everton, the incumbents should benefit with a swing towards then. The Greens hit their highest vote in this seat at the last election, so will be interesting to see if they continue the trend of gathering more votes over time in this seat, not enough to challenge yet and 2012 showed that even high tide LNP elections are out of their reach for now. Although ON running this time might depress the LNP vote so that could be interesting, but doesn’t really change the overall outcome…

    Prediction (August 2020): ALP Retain

    Fun fact: Current Maiwar MP Michael Berkman was the Greens candidate here in 2015.

  2. My district! I don’t see it falling to the LNP any time soon – and especially not since the redistribution in 2016 lopped off Samford in favour of Enoggera.

    This is definitely a knowledge-worker-heavy kind of area. But it’s older and (naturally) more suburban than the inner city.

    So the Greens won’t be in striking distance any time soon in this area (and know it), but their vote is gradually trending up. I suspect their campaigns here and in similar seats (Everton, Stafford) are 80/20 resourced to mostly just keep their statewide vote solidly above 10%. Most resources are focused on the more winnable seats (and neighbouring Cooper, already a target seat, just got that much more winnable), but you’d have to think they’re a decent chance for a second Qld Senate seat in 2022 and that’s a lot easier when districts like Ferny Grove are above 15%.

    Yes, Michael Berkman ran here in 2015, and for MBRC Div 10 in 2016. Consequently plenty of Greens volunteers from this area helped out in Maiwar in 2017.

    I expect a PHON vote of about 5%, based off of Senate results.

  3. I heard rumours earlier in the year that Mark Furner was going to retire, would be bigger news after yesterday’s announcements.

  4. AlexJ if Greens gain neighbouring Cooper they might have cause to try here next.

    Most of the seat overlaps with the Greens target seat Ryan which is anotherr avenue to increasing vote. Along similar lines I think Greens will target Stafford and Bulimba eventually despite them being not even remotely winnable right now.

    Probably the election for them to have a strong go would be against a sitting LNP rather than ALP member as currently the 2 majors are too close in primary.

    ALP retain at this election

  5. This electorate isn’t quite ‘Labor heartland’ but it is a combination of the demographics that are increasingly loyal to the left/centre-left. Ferny Hills/Grove, Keperra, Arana Hills, Upper Kedron are mostly lower-middle/working class that saw small swings towards Labor at the federal election. Mitchelton, Gaythorne, Enoggera, Newmarket etc are part of the gentrifying inner-city that are even more reliably Labor/Greens voting demographics. If I was a coalition strategist I’d be thinking there are far easier pickings than this one, even if Mark Furner retires.

  6. Hey Ben, you missed out an X in the “assessment” section. It’s XXXX they drink up in Queensland. 😛

    I can’t see Ferny Grove (or Bulimba, etc) being anything apart from seats where the Greens come a respectable third and help elect Labor on their preferences (Labor were probably thinking of seats like this when they brought in CPV). In states with an upper house, a vote in the teens means they can probably get an MLC elected for the relevant region. Here, they’re more just flying the flag.

  7. Ferny Grove does have a decent “soft green” vote, over 20%… but it’s still their ninth best seat when they really need to focus on four.

  8. Mark Furner has signs up now, so I think it’s time to put the will-he-resign speculation to bed.

    (Also spotted a Chris Lehmann sign, and I imagine Joel Colls signs will be going up soonish too.)

  9. Yes, those rumours were obviously misguided – someone is roadsiding for Furner outside Great Western shops every couple of mornings too.

    Signs in Moreton Bay council went up last weekend, they can go up in Brisbane City this coming weekend.

  10. Alexj
    Interesting insights about this area. it would be curious how much numbers would change under OPV ?
    Probably not decisively in the END ?
    I found your view of the Greens a little intriguing . I do see the Greens, & the country (especially QLD) taking very divergent directions. Just my view, & i’m pretty unsurprised that many see it different, for lots of reasons. Most particularly because there’s always a lag between new directions, & the acceptance of them.

    It is difficult to see how Labor & the Greens can get more than 2 seats with little more than a 1/4 of the 2pp vote. What are your thoughts ?
    cheers WD
    BTW LABOR HOLD

  11. WD –

    Greens voters in this area are not so different from those across the rest of mid-ring Brisbane.
    The last election under OPV, 2015, was an absolute squeaker. On three-party-preferred, LNP incumbent Dale Shuttleworth got 46.3%, ALP candidate Mark Furner got 39.9%, Greens candidate Michael Berkman got 13.8%.
    We then saw 18% of Berkman’s votes exhaust, so effectively 70% of them went to Labor and 12% to the LNP.

    Note that this election saw a very concerted effort by basically everybody to preference against the LNP. Normally under OPV I’d expect a somewhat higher Greens exhaust rate.

    When you say “the country” do you mean the nation, or the rural/regional areas? I ask because the Greens are doing as well as they ever have in Brisbane.

    “It is difficult to see how Labor & the Greens can get more than 2 seats with little more than a 1/4 of the 2pp vote.” err, what?

    My prediction for this seat: if there isn’t a mood to kick Labor out, they should hold on here.

  12. Alexj
    Sorry i was unclear i was referring to the senate in the next fed election probably mid 2021 re 2 seats.
    Thanks for your thoughtful analysis. Your numbers are always revealing, & illustrate a different dimensions.

    “Country” means nation. With labor, & the greens i just see the greens as the hard base of the current trend toward collectivism, authoritarianism, & internationalism. This trend has been strong for over a decade.. So IMV minor shifts between Labor, & the greens aren’t too relevant. OTH I can’t wait to hear as many pronouncements, moralising, judgements & lecturing from the new member of South Brisbane, as possible !!. That will be a significant change.

    You are probably correct in saying ” the Greens are doing as well as they ever have in Brisbane.”. However this trend will lose impetus sooner, or later. Alarmism is unsustainable, like every other kind of extremism.That is just historical reality.

    cheers WD

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