Maiwar – QLD 2020

GRN 1.6% vs LNP

Incumbent MP
Michael Berkman, since 2017.

Inner west of Brisbane. Maiwar covers suburbs on the north side of the Brisbane river ot the south-west of the Brisbane city centre, including Indooroopilly, St Lucia, Toowong and Auchenflower.

Maiwar was created for the 2017 election, as a merger of the seats of Indooroopilly and Mount Coot-tha.

Indooroopilly alternated between the Liberal Party (1992-2001), Labor (2001-2008) and the LNP (2009-2017), with a brief interregnum when Labor MP Ronan Lee joined the Greens in 2008, and held the seat until 2009, when he lost to LNP candidate Scott Emerson.

Mount Coot-tha had been held by the Liberal Party from 1950 to 1989, and then by Labor from 1989 until 2012. LNP candidate Saxon Rice won in 2012, and lost the seat to Labor’s Steven Miles in 2015.

Miles, now serving as environment minister in the Labor government, chose to move to the seat of Murrumba in 2017 upon the abolition of his seat. Miles went on to serve as Health minister following the 2017 election, and has served as deputy premier since May 2020.

Emerson, who had risen to the position of Shadow Treasurer on the LNP opposition’s frontbench, lost Maiwar in 2017 to Greens candidate Michael Berkman.


Maiwar is a very marginal seat, and both the LNP and Labor would be eager to reclaim the only Greens seat in the state. The Greens narrowly defeated the LNP on the two-candidate-preferred count, but they also narrowly defeated Labor in the preference count. The two-candidate-preferred count would do the Greens no good if Berkman were to fall into third place.

Having said all of that, the Greens often solidify their hold on seats like this after one term with an incumbent MP.

2017 result

Scott Emerson Liberal National 13,35241.9-5.8
Michael Berkman Greens 8,85027.8+7.4
Ali King Labor 8,77227.5-1.5
Anita DiamondIndependent8882.8+2.8

2017 two-party-preferred result

Michael Berkman Greens 16,44951.6+51.6
Scott Emerson Liberal National 15,41348.4-4.6

Booth breakdown

Booths in Maiwar have been divided into three areas: central, north and south.

The Greens won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred votes (against the LNP) in all three areas, polling 50.2% in the south and 56.6% in both the centre and the north. The LNP did better on the special votes, polling 52.4% on the pre-poll vote and 53.1% amongst other votes.

Labor came third, with a primary vote ranging from 27.7% in the south to 29.8% in the centre.

Voter groupALP primGRN 2CPTotal votes% of votes
Other votes25.546.97,04822.1

Election results in Maiwar at the 2017 QLD state election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (LNP vs Greens) and Labor primary votes.


  1. Although Labor has been more visible than Greens on the weekends, don’t think this will be three cornered.

    Likely will be clear LNP vs GRN

  2. Once Greens MPs are elected in single member electorates they rarely lose when they contest.

    The only instances where they lost are Fremantle, Northcote and Cunningham. One of those they were lucky to win, one had an atrocious member who left the party and the other lost due to a hide tide Government reelection, and is now a senator.

    Greens should be in a reasonable position here, probably a 53-47 win. Whilst being a good shot in South Brisbane, with an outside chance in McConnel.

  3. Just a little tidbit- Ali King is running for the ALP in Pumicestone for this election, being the ALP candidate for Maiwar in 2017.

  4. L96 – Worth noting the other common factor of those three Greens losses there: all seats that were first won in by-elections. In fact the Greens have never retained a single-member seat they won in a by-election, and they’ve never lost one that they first won at a general election. It will be interesting to see how long this stays the case!

  5. –Green Members & By-election History–
    @ Geoffrey – that is indeed a curious case! I had to check this out… (single-member districts in the lower house)
    Fed – Melbourne won at general election 2010 and held since (2013-2016-2019 elections). [A side note: Melbourne had 16 candidates for the 2013 election!]
    NSW – Ballina, Balmain and Newtown all won at general elections (2011, 2015, 2015 respectively) and held since.
    VIC – Brunswick, Melbourne and Prahan all won at general elections (2014, 2018, 2014 respectively) with the 2014 seats still held, and we’ll find out in 2022 if Melbourne continues the trend (I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t.)

    Fed – Cunningham was a by-election and lost at next election.
    VIC – Northcote was a by-election and lost at next election.
    WA – Fremantle was a by-election and lost at next election.

    –Green Seat Targets & Votes–
    I was looking back at old comments from the 2009 QLD Election about the old seat of Indooroopilly and the chances of that becoming green. The redistribution really did help with creating Maiwar and I really don’t see the greens loosing this seat. Miller was the other seat created with parts from the old Indooroopilly but don’t see that one becoming green as ALP and LNP vote too high. Looking at 20% first preference as an arbitrary cut off, you get the following:

    [Clayfield 19.3%][Cooper 20.6%][Greenslopes 21.3%][Maiwar 27.8%][McConnel 27.1%][Miller 21.9%][Moggil 20.9%][South Brisbane 34.4%]

    McConnel and Moggil are the two I reckon would be next likely to fall for the Greens after South Brisbane due to the way the ALP and LNP votes are in those seats.

    Prediction (August 2020): GRN Retain

  6. LNP lost this seat on preferences – a general bounce back on primaries should occur in SEQ and there is no reason such cannot flow through to Maiwar.

    How much? Who knows but hopefully enough for majority government.

  7. Sitting MP advantage goes from LNP to Greens here (Labor gave theirs up because Miles shifted seats in 2017 – they actually did pretty well to go backwards by less than the LNP). So, LNP and Green both in the 30’s, Labor probably stuck in third.

    I don’t imagine Labor would try too hard here – campaigning too hard against the Greens is more likely to help the LNP win than anything else. If they want to win seats, there’s Pumicestone or some of the Gold Coast ones.

  8. It’s very rare for an incumbent federal government’s party to win back a state election with the exception of SA in 2018 and Tasmania in 2014 in recent times, And those 2 states had something in common. The state governments of the day had been in power for a long time, Labor in QLD had only been in power for about 5 years. The Federal election results in QLD doesn’t affect the state election because Labor has won all but 1 election since 1989, And the coalition has had impressive federal victories in QLD since then. The bookies up until recently had the LNP winning perhaps because of the federal. but i’m saying it wouldn’t matter because even internal polls show the LNP losing key marginals in the SEQLD but are gaining around in Marginals in regional areas like Townsville. I see no reason why Berkman won’t hold on here in Maiwar. Green MP’s rarely lose re-election and the LNP won’t gain on primaries here nor will Labor, both parties will lose votes to the Greens like what usually happens in Green seats. The election will be close but it is ASB to think the LNP will win a majority government. The Premiers approval ratings are high but not as high as her counterparts in other states. And people are unlikely to throw out a government amidst a pandemic. For all those reasons Labor will hold on. But it won’t be a landslide by any means. If the LNP win it will be a minority government with the lone One Nation MP and the 3 Katter MP’s. On my calculations assuming no minor party or independent gains a seat this time, Is that the LNP will need at least 42-43 Seats to be in territory of forming government, Which is unlikely at this stage based on internal polling. I can see the LNP winning the TPP but losing the election because allot of their votes will be wasted in Regional QLD in seats they already hold. I wouldn’t be surprised if seats like Townsville (Which is held by Labor) Whitsundy and Burkedin all see 5-10% swings to the LNP. But in the SEQLD nothing moves and is standstill. And according to internal polling they are not winning back suburban voters. I’d love to be proven wrong on this one. But i’d rather trust history and the bookies. If Bill Shorten was pm, then we would almost certainly would be having a different conversation. Maiwar Likely GRN hold (3-5% TPP swing)

  9. Daniel,

    I’m not sure what particular internal polling you’re referencing but from what I’ve seen internal polling, or seat polling in general, is usually very unreliable.
    Just look at the internal and seat polls at the last fed election in QLD which underestimated the vote towards the LNP.
    Or look to Eden-Monaro where National internal polling had them winning TPP52-48 with John Balilaro. And another underestimated the size of the ALP primary vote.
    Or just 5 years ago in Aspley, Labor internal polling showed Labor leading by 5-6 points from memory which would have meant a 25+ swing to Labor but in the end it was only a 16% swing.

  10. Still doesnt change the fact history is against an LNP win. But the polls that had Labor ahead in Gaven,Mansfield,Aspley, Mt Ommaney,Redlands and narrowly behind in Currumbin IICR. I believe the polls are right but things do CHANGE like they did at the last election. Last minute undecides and people who change their mind last minute can make a big difference. This is Labors election to lose. And this seat is the Greens to lose. Frecklington is not even that popular. She lags on Prefered Premier. Nowhere near the approals of her federal counterparts and Morrison wont save her either. Even Alan Jones says he struggles to see which 9 seats the LNP will gain to win. Unless you can come up with those 9 seats and comprehensively explain why you think they will win them. The point is people don’t want change. I don’t sense the mood for change. Especially amidst a pandemic. Deb is likely to be replaced by Tim Mander or Dave after the election

  11. @Daniel, is it actually that many they need? Ok, I’ll try get you 9: Townsville, Mundingburra, Thuringowa, Barron River, Whitsunday, Keppel, Aspley, Redlands, Gaven.

    I can see LNP winning all of those but I can also see them falling short in a couple. Those should be the 9 main targets though. Then extend into Springwood as a possible 10th.

  12. FTB: in any other state that’d be true, but the hammer in the works is that half of those seats could go to One Nation or KAP instead, and then the LNP are left trying to convince people they can run a minority govt.

  13. FTB
    ok you have come up with 9-10. What about Labor losing a few more to ON, or KAP ?. Doesn’t that change the numbers ?
    Bof P What is the big problem with minority govt. What does the LNP have to convince anyone of re minority govt. Labor have yet to convince me that they can run a majority govt !!!. i don’t rate Paluzchuk a lot higher than Andrews, & he & KK (Premier hottie) are the very worst i have ever seen.

  14. Daniel if Libs have any sense they will dump Frecklington before theelection. Every time she opens her mouth she does Libs dammage.
    Palaszczuk has managed the COVID 19 crisis well and Queenslanders even before COVID 19 were not overly hostile to Palaszczuk , she and her party were not hated in the way Newman was. I thought prior to COVID 19 crisis that ALP would get back by skin of teeth. Main opposition to Palaszczuk appears to be now coming from conspiracy nutters, political activists and those substantiall impacted
    By lock down. I have no doubt that Palaszczuk will win.

  15. ANDREW J
    Do you seriously think there is any chance of the LNP dumping Frecklington ?. Deb’s problem is that she is not very bright, however Anna is a sub 100 IQ HERSELF. so as far as i can see they cancel each other out.

  16. “Bof P What is the big problem with minority govt.”

    Considering Queensland’s managed to have two of them (three if you count Borbidge’s half-term) in the recent past, obviously no problem. In particular, nobody seemed to mind the one in 1998. A LNP / One Nation govt would be a chaotic mess which nobody wants, though.

    It’s true that One Nation could win more seats than those listed above, but they would come from both sides. They could win Maryborough and Rockhampton. They could also win Lockyer and Burdekin. Given that the LNP have lost more seats to the crossbench than Labor (three KAP, Noosa and Maiwar, vs only Mirani for Labor), that gives Labor an advantage if there’s no majority. One possibility is Labor+Green+Bolton.

  17. B of P
    Yep. Well said. You may well be right about a minimalist outcome. My gut is going in a different direction. It is difficult to imagine people that voted LNP IN 2019, turning around & voting Labor right now. I know this is a state election, but still…. We will see

  18. Plenty of examples of people splitting their votes at the state and federal levels:

    WA 2017, Federal 2016/2019
    VIC 2018, Federal 2019
    NSW 2015, Federal 2016

  19. AK.
    I’D argue that only WA is a good example. Victorians have demonstrated appalling judgement consistently , & NSW has OPV which does cloud the issue
    cheers WD

  20. WD: you say “It is difficult to imagine people that voted LNP IN 2019, turning around & voting Labor right now.”

    Well, the LNP had 54.1% of the TPP in Qld in 2016, and Labor still won in 2017. Then again, the LNP got 58.44% last year.

    And Qld certainly has form with electing the Coalition federally and Labor at a state level.

  21. WD When an MP thinks they will lose his seat they behave strangely. YEs I think Deb Frecklington could be a backbencher by election day. Two Months ago did you think there was the slightest chance of Jackie Trad being a backbencher? Freckling ton has little support in Administrative wing of Party and her support in Parliamentary wing will dissipate when News polls start to show the a dozen or so LNP members losing seat.

  22. AlexJ Clearly that (the conventional view) is very foolish to dispute. So i’m not saying you are wrong.
    However that is the most absorbing question of this election. Has there been a “seismic shift” in voting patterns ?. When Daniel declares that “the Petrie result was a fluke”, my gut moves. Labor got handed it’s arse in middle class seats. This was camouflaged somewhat by good results in wealthy (elite) seats (safe lib seats mostly). Was this a “one off”? We will see.

    Andrew Jackson
    All right All right you WERE correct about Trad Stop gloating it is unattractive. I will be pissed off if you get to be right about Deb too.

  23. Labor might try for a power play and preference LNP over Greens as a signal to voters they’re trying to keep in North QLD, but even that might not work. The swing in Walter Taylor ward towards Greens was insane and I expect it will be even larger for Berkman himself.

    GRN retain

  24. All I can say is that Lauren Day (LNP candidate) is getting positive reception on the ground.

    Whether its enough to win, all I can say is I hope so.

  25. I expect and predict that Michael Berkman will retain his seat.
    There’s probably a point or two of incumbency advantage to be had — and that represents an LNP -> Greens swing, which helps Berkman at both the 3CP and 2CP stages.

  26. Lauren Day is super well resourced and hard working, but I think this really comes down the the Brisbane wide swing (or lack thereof).

  27. Agree with Queensland Observer, Lauren is one of the best if not the best new candidate the LNP have preselected.

    She will give the Greens a run for their money here but I still see the Greens winning with a strong flow of Labor preferences. I note UAP are also running here, which might shave a few percent of the majors.

  28. What a plot twist this week, with the Greens funnelling Jobkeeper (allegedly) into the Maiwar campaign account.

    There were certainly less out on the roads out here this morning!

  29. My seat! Agree with the above. LNP firing here with good candidate and strong presence but ALP/Green preference exchange means they will need to need to get in the very high 40’s in primaries to win. Don’t think they’ll make it.

  30. @ Andrew Jackson surely you have changed your tip now? I’m a Labor man but there is no way in hell they can win this now, have you seen the media pile on on Labor these last few days? No one can withstand that, there’s too many sheep. I had the election as too close call but I’m not only leaning to an LNP win now, I’m thinking an LNP mini landslide. Labor could deadest lose every seat north of Maryborough except Curtis Pitt’s. Maryborough will be a challenge too. Also I could be wrong but I swear I saw a poll the other day that had the state wide 2PP as 56-44. That’s worse than the 2012 landslide.

  31. Even if said poll was reliable (and I have my personal doubts), it would still be 7 percentage points better than the 2012 result, which was 63-37.

  32. @Feel the Bern, I may not be the AJ you were talking to, but that 56-44 has been addressed by Kevin Bonham in his latest post.

  33. @Feel the Bern, the fact that the Courier Mail or the other Murdoch papers haven’t put out any comprehensive polling, other than old YouGov polling that’s several months old or cherry picked electorate polling from the Greens and a mining company, suggests to me that Labor is polling far better than Murdoch wants Queenslanders to know….

  34. There are a few very particular factors in this seat which haven’t been recognised.
    1/ Rapidly shifting demographics.
    There is a huge influx of Asian voters into this area, Mostly chinese, & recent.Whether they vote Labor, or LNP isn’t the point. They won’t vote green.
    2/ Scott Emerson was a really poor local member.
    He thought because he was treasurer he was magnificent, & everyone should have just understood how great, & important he was. AND that was just the beginning , it all went from there.
    Reminds me of Dan Andrews , & the PM. It seems we have a virtual epidemic of this “achiever” personality type(3) in politics ATM. This accounts for the new level of (sophisticated) denial, deceit , & deception.
    Wow what an achievement !!, What a success !!. All these pricks (achiever personality type 3s) have achieved in essence, is to take political representation DOWN to a whole new level, of denial, deceit , & deception. Yeah I’m repeating myself. Andrews is the best i’ve ever seen. If he were interested in money, instead of power he’d have gone to Wall St, & run a more famous ponzi scheme than Berni Madoff !. Well that is a success , & achievement of sorts…..! That is always the problem : It is the image OF success , rather than the substance. Therin lies the fundamental deceit,& deception, & consequently, the danger. A political success is very often NOT in the public interest, & very frequently it is against the public interest.

    The ultimate political poison is when the voter feels they have been deceived , & there is no coming back.
    That is why Labor will lose govt in QLD. Hypocrisy is the ultimate damming evidence. No one should think that what “Denial DAN”is doing in Victoria, won’t colour, influence, & amplify what Labor in doing in QLD. Although Palaczuckuk’s hysterical, paranoid, delusions (lies) are pretty compelling!.
    The comparison with Gladys (Berejiklian) is facinating as they are the same ‘LOYALIST” personality type 6). Doing THE SAME job. Driven by the same phobic fear (& anxiety doubt etc). Anna dissolves, wails & goes teary, grandstanding in parliament, no less Gladys is counter- phobic ,& so digs in quietly, resolutely, & fearlessly, she gets the blokes head, & firmly delivers it up his arse !!. ” Go ahead, Try that again little Johnny”(Barilaro )!!. Metaphorically speaking of course !
    QLD will not forgive Palaczckuk for her hopeless ineptitude, & pathetic displays of weakness. Would Gladys have tearily accused the PM of “bullying” her ??. Not on your life. But I’LL wager, if it came to that, The PM would have a “squirrel grip” experience within 24hrs !!. Well at least metaphorically !!.
    If Emerson had been in any way responsive to his own electoral challenges, he may not have lost Maiwar in the first place. However no doubt it was really because no one recognised his brilliant “success ” as a treasurer, & his countless talents, & abilities.
    The Greens won’t hold this seat, & the Libs have a better chance than Labor.

  35. winediamond –
    If you think the demographics here are shifting rapidly under the Greens’ feet, that’s a bold projection even by your standards; it must be incredibly so. Look at the Council results in Walter Taylor ward from just six months ago; the LNP went backwards by about 13% on 2CP. To the north in Paddington ward (which overlaps Maiwar) the results were also strong for the Greens. Under full-preferential voting they probably would’ve taken both wards off the LNP and they will have that benefit next month.

  36. AlexJ
    I’M pleased you found my post (thought) provoking!. Thank you for your generous acknowledgement WRT
    ” that’s a bold projection even by your standards; “. it’s nice to know, & be reminded , that my”standards”, & efforts, ARE admired, & appreciated by others ! So thank you again !.

    Raising council electoral results i do find is also a “bold” proposition, in itself. My (blogging) mate “scaper…” (who works in Maiwar) also feels somewhat compelled, to remind you that voter participation, ( in council elections ) rarely exceeds 70%. So therefore nearly a third of voters failed to cast a valid vote. Perhaps you overlooked this, as i’m certain you must be aware of these facts,& reality.

    Perhaps a better, or more productive indicator might be Julian Simmons’s desultory result in the 2019 Ryan fed election. Jules managed to achieve the incredible distinction of a swing against himself, which would indicate his lack of appeal. Perhaps next time Jules will mange to (“metaphorically”) shoot himself in the head, rather than the foot !? This result would also appear to be a compelling factor in a predictive sense.

    If I were a Greens organiser i’d be ordering beer, (OR SOMETHING STRONGER !) not champagne for October 31st.
    CHEERS WD & scaper….

  37. Your claim about voter participation is not true. In Brisbane City in 2016, the mayoral turnout was 84%. It dropped to 79.9% in 2020 in the context of COVID-19. Not much lower than you’d get at state elections, which was 87.5% in 2017.

  38. Ah, turnout questions. I wonder if there are recent studies on who does and doesn’t tend to show up for Australian local council elections? The conventional wisdom is that it tends to be the oldies who turn out the most reliably – and we do have surveys for how they vote: usually LNP! So to me at least that suggests the lower turnout in March shifted the result a bit in the LNP’s favour. Next month we shall see!

    (I’d also like to know what scaper’s thoughts are once all the yard signs are legally allowed to go up next Saturday…)

  39. Ben
    I was waiting to see if anyone was sharp enough to pick up about Covid 19. Kudos to you !!.
    However i did mean to EMPHASISE “”VALID votes” So including the informal vote. Of course we can always argue about that too……!
    . May not be”much lower” but it is SIGNIFICANTLY lower. Overall you were right to correct me on 70% iT is more like 80% as you have demonstrated. I’ll elaborate on relevance in my next post to Alexj
    cheers WD

  40. AlexJ
    Turnout questions yeah. Interesting. When you related “conventional wisdom” i had an immediate instinctive response. Unfortunately i am a primitive instinctive “body type” & thus am forced to rely on such unsophisticated process, unlike more evolved feeling/sensory, or thinking/perceptive types of humans. Who incidentally would greatly outnumber my less evolved type in environments such as this site !!. Still we all have to work, or make do, with what we have!! Non !?
    My instinct is that very busy, productive, committed people are often not even aware of council elections, let alone motivated to patronise them. These would predominantly be LNP, & ON voters, would you agree ? This is just a hunch, & some observations. i could well be wrong.
    WRT to scaper…’s view. He believes the election result is already beyond doubt, & Labor will get smashed.Consequently he has great disdain for what people put in the yards, in a very profound way. You see he is a landscape construction engineer !!
    Of far more interest will be the thoughts, & impressions of goddaughter Genie who lives in Moggil, & works in Maiwar. I am sure you will find her politics, views, & ideas far more “enlightened” than old buggers like scaper, & me !!
    cheers WD


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