Queensland 2017 Archive


Queensland election dataset – pre-poll voting keeps growing

I’ve just finished pulling together all of the data from the recent Queensland state election and have added it to my data repository.

This dataset includes:

  • List of candidates
  • List of electorates, with data on turnout and formality
  • List of polling places, including full address and latitude/longitude
  • Primary vote by polling place
  • Primary vote by electorate
  • Two-candidate-preferred by electorate

The only thing I couldn’t track down was the two-candidate-preferred vote by polling place. The ECQ has previously not made this data available, although they have now published this data by PDF for the last three elections. I plan to turn those PDFs for 2009 and 2012 into accessible spreadsheets at some point, and I’ll revisit this dataset to add the 2PP figures if the ECQ eventually publish them (if you find them on some dark corner of the ECQ website, please let me know).

I now have this data published for two successive Queensland state elections. The data includes a field which categorises each polling place according to vote type. You can use this to count up how many votes were cast as ordinary votes, pre-poll votes or as other votes.

There’s been a long-term trend of more people choosing to vote early. I previously wrote about this in the context of NSW state elections, after pre-poll made up more than 14% of votes at the 2015 state election. I haven’t found any old posts about this, but the same trend is clear in federal elections – well over 1 million Australians voted early in 2016.

This data can show you that over 26% of votes at the 2017 Queensland state election were cast as pre-poll votes, up from 19.6% in 2015.

Vote type20152017
Ordinary votes62.6%56.4%
Other votes (incl. postal)17.7%17.4%

I’d love to also add in the same figures for the 2009 and 2012 elections, but first I’ll need to add these datasets to the data repository. You could help expedite this work by donating to this website.


One Nation 2016 vote – how well did it predict 2017?

On Tuesday, I published estimates of the Senate vote at the 2016 federal election for the Nick Xenophon Team, broken down by South Australian state electorates.

While writing that article, I became curious about whether the similar dataset (built by Alex Jago) for One Nation in Queensland had done a good job of predicting the One Nation vote at the 2017 state election – we’d used the data regularly before the election, but after 6pm on election night we threw it out.

Well here is a chart comparing the 2016 Senate vote for One Nation (after distribution of minor preferences) to the party’s primary vote in the recent state election, in the 61 seats where One Nation stood candidates.

The trend is pretty strong – while the vote at the state election was slightly higher, it did not vary tremendously from the trend.

The correlation between these two datasets is 0.796 – in other words, the two datasets correlate by about 80%. It’s not a perfect correlation, but a very strong trend.

The biggest exception was in party leader Steve Dickson’s seat of Buderim. One Nation polled 12.7% at the 2016 election, but managed 28.85% at the recent state election. This makes sense – the party had an incumbent MP and put a lot more effort into that seat. Apart from that seat, the ratio was not more than 2:1 in any other seat.


QLD election – where we stand

Well that was an interesting election night! Almost one third of seats have a candidate other than Labor or the LNP in the top two, with a few others where a minor party is threatening for the top two. We also have numerous seats where it is very unclear who will come in second place (ala Prahran 2014), so those seats will likely drag on for numerous days.

I thought I’d run through my assessment of where the seats stand, and what information we are lacking for each seat.

Firstly, I estimate that Labor has won 44 seats, the LNP has won 34, and Katter’s Australian Party has won two. This puts Labor three seats short of a majority.

I think Labor has retained 42 of their seats (including regaining Cairns) and gained Aspley and Redlands. I think the LNP has retained 33 of their seats (including winning back Buderim from One Nation) and has gained Nicklin back from retiring independent Peter Wellington.

There are five conventional races which are just very close:

  • Bonney – Labor lead by 10 votes
  • Bundaberg – LNP lead by 201 votes
  • Caloundra – Labor lead by 146 votes (Antony has given this seat to the LNP)
  • Gaven – Labor lead by 462 votes
  • Pumicestone – LNP lead by 263 votes

I’m sure there’ll be more analysis about where votes are outstanding here as the week goes on. As a reminder, three Labor wins in this category would give them a clean majority.

Then there are eight (count it, 8!) seats where there is uncertainty about who finished in the top two or an incorrect preference count meaning we don’t know how preferences will flow.

By my count five of these eight seats cannot be determined until the full distribution of preferences is concluded.

I’ll run through them one at a time.

Thuringowa – likely Labor hold, possible LNP gain

The election night preference count clearly put Labor on 56% against One Nation. It’s not clear whether One Nation or the LNP will come in the top two (this will need to wait for a full preference distribution). If One Nation comes in top two, case closed, it’s a Labor win. If the LNP come in the top two, we don’t know how their preferences will flow, but it’s hard to see the LNP overcoming the Labor lead.

Labor leads the LNP by 11.2% on primary votes, with 35.9% between One Nation and Katter’s Australian Party, and 5.4% for the Greens. If we assume this lead increases to 16% with Greens preferences, the LNP would need about three quarters of the ON/KAP preferences to win. Seems unlikely. Since this won’t be answered without a full preference distribution, we won’t get a final answer on this seat for a while.

Mirani – likely ON gain, possible Labor hold

Labor leads with 36.9% of the primary vote, followed by One Nation on 31.5% and the LNP on 27.4%.

We don’t have a preference count between Labor and One Nation. Presumably that will come today or in the next few days. It seems likely this will put One Nation over the top.

Burdekin – likely LNP gain, possible ON/Labor

I keep coming close to calling this seat for the LNP. We have three candidates effectively tied for first place: LNP on 33.7%, ON on 32.3%, Labor on 31%. As long as the LNP comes in the top two, they should win. We have a clear preference count putting LNP over Labor, and Labor preferences should favour the LNP over One Nation.

The only way the LNP loses is if they drop into third place – the margin for this is 2.7%. Right now I’m keeping it undecided, but don’t expect it to stay that way unless things change.

Cook – likely Labor hold, possible ON/KAP gain

We have effectively a three-way tie for second. Labor leads on 39.3% of the primary vote, followed by One Nation on 18.9%, the LNP on 17.9% and Katter’s Australian Party on 17.6%.

We know Labor wins easily against the LNP. But what happens if KAP or (more likely) ON comes out on top in the three-way tie? It appears that the ECQ is planning to switch its preference count to Labor vs ON which should answer this question.

One Nation would need to close a 20.4% preference gap with 35.5% of votes from the LNP and KAP, which would require a very strong preference flow.

Hinchinbrook – likely KAP gain, possible LNP hold/ON gain

Four candidates have polled between 19% and 30%. The LNP lead on 29.9% of the primary vote, followed by One Nation on 21.9% and KAP on 21.2%, wth Labor fourth on 19.1%.

The ECQ is planning to do a new preference count, presumably between LNP and One Nation. The ABC is reporting a 3.5% margin for KAP over LNP, but it’s not clear if this is a projection or the old preference count. We won’t know the result here until the full preference count is completed.

You’d expect Labor preferences to aid KAP, and they don’t need much to jump ahead of One Nation. At that point, you’d also expect them to do well on One Nation preferences. So we could see a candidate win from third. Or not. Who knows?

Rockhampton – likely IND gain, possible ALP hold/ON gain

Yet another case where we don’t know who the top two candidates are!

Labor leads with 31.8%, followed by ex-Labor independent Margaret Strelow on 23.8%, One Nation on 21.3% and the LNP on 17.6%. LNP preferences will likely decide whether Strelow or One Nation make it to the final count.

We don’t have a current preference count, I expect the ECQ is planning to do one between Labor and Strelow. She would need to close an 8% gap with 38.9% preferences from One Nation and the LNP, which seems very doable. We won’t know for sure until the final preference distribution. Does anyone have insights into how Strelow’s voters would have preferenced One Nation?

Noosa – likely IND gain, possible LNP hold

We know who the top two candidates are in Noosa. Independent Sandy Bolton leads with 32.2% and the LNP trails with 29.8%. We just need a preference count, which I expect to come today or tomorrow. It seems likely Bolton will do well off Greens, Labor and One Nation preferences.

Maiwar – GRN or ALP gain

Finally, the seat of LNP shadow treasurer Scott Emerson. Another seat where we don’t know the top two!

Emerson leads the primary vote on 40.7%, with the Greens second on 28.8% and Labor third on 28.1%. Labor and the Greens are very close, and late counting may change the order. There are also preferences from an independent which could change which of the two progressive parties makes it to the final two. Whoever does should win. We won’t know the final answer until the final distribution of preferences, but this can be counted as a seat which will help Labor form government.


QLD election night live

10:57pm – There won’t be anymore to contribute here tonight. Please head over to the Guardian liveblog if you want to read more of my thoughts. I’ll be back tomorrow with a Guardian piece, and will put something together for this website too.

9:46pm – I now think Maryborough is going to Labor, which gives them 44. Maiwar will go to Labor or the Greens, so that’s 45 votes. They then need two more seats from:

  • Five conventional Labor vs LNP close races.
  • Two Labor vs One Nation seats with no preference count.
  • Thuringowa, where Labor will win if One Nation comes second. If the LNP comes second, we don’t have a preference count.
  • Rockhampton, where we don’t have a preference count between Labor and the ex-Labor independent Margaret Strelow
  • Cook, where we don’t have a preference count between Labor and Katter’s Australian Party or One Nation, either of whom could come in the top two

9:14pm – You might be interested in this summary at the Guardian liveblog:

I’ve gone quiet as I’ve been trying to get a grasp of the landscape.

By my count Labor holds 43 seats, the LNP holds 34 and Katter’s Australian Paty holds 2. This leave 14 more seats still in place.
There are four more seats where Labor is currently leading on the primary vote ahead of the LNP (Bonney, Bundaberg, Caloundra, Pumicestone).

There is another seat where Labor is leading against One Nation(Maryborough), and there are six seats where we either don’t know who has made the top two, or don’t have a correct preference count (Logan, Mirani, Maryborough, Maiwar, Cook, Rockhampton). Labor is also trailing the LNP in Burleigh.

That’s twelve seats where Labor has a chance of winning, including five where they are leading. If Labor wins four of those seats, they should win a majority.
The other two seats in play are Noosa (LNP vs Independent) and Hinchinbrook (LNP vs Katter’s Australian Party or One Nation).

7:56pm – The story of this election is “we don’t know who is in the top two” – the latest example of this is in Cook. Labor is leading with 35% of the primary vote, while Katter’s Australian Party, the LNP and One Nation are clustered around 18-20%. Labor looks good against the LNP, but who knows whether KAP would do better.

7:37pm – It’s probably time to change our expectations about where the Greens have their best chance of winning seats. It’s not in places with a low Liberal vote where they can go head-to-head with Labor (ala federal Melbourne). Labor has gained a boost thanks to Liberal preferences, so the Greens now need a primary vote lead to win those seats. Maiwar could well become the fourth case of the Greens winning a seat in a race against a Liberal or National, thanks to Labor preferences. Labor currently leads the Greens by 70 votes. Watch that space.

7:28pm – I’ve made a bunch of posts at the Guardian liveblog. A quick summary of the picture – One Nation doing very well but not clearly winning many seats, Labor appears to be gaining ground in south-eastern marginal seats, and the Greens are doing quite well in the inner city.

6:00pm – Polls have just closed across Queensland. I will be joining the Guardian’s liveblog so don’t expect too many updates here, but I will post a few quick updates. Please use this thread for discussion of tonight’s results.


QLD election eve prediction thread

Polls will open in 25 hours in Queensland and the comments threads have been lighting up here with people discussing each electorate.

In particular there have been a few people posting their predictions on each seat guide.

So I thought I would resurrect an old tradition and create a thread for people to post their predictions of what will happen tomorrow.

I won’t try to be exact with my prediction (never a good idea to predict before votes start reporting) but I’ll give some general thoughts:

  • One Nation will win seats, and poll very well for a minor party, but won’t do as well in votes or seats as in their peak in 1998. Possible the polls are overstating their support and they will drop to the low teens.
  • I don’t think we will see either party in a strong enough position to confidently declare victory early in the night.
  • There is a high chance of a hung parliament but it’s still quite likely that the result will be a majority government, or a hung parliament where only one major party has a viable path to government.

I’ll have a piece in the Guardian tomorrow morning laying out what to expect on the night. Tomorrow evening there’ll be an open thread here, and I might contribute occasionally, but I’ll also be contributed to the Guardian’s liveblog, so I’ll just see how much capacity I have to do both. You’re welcome to join in the conversation in the comments.


QLD 2017 – final candidates locked in

Nominations closed on Tuesday for the Queensland state election, so I’ve done one last update for my candidate list.

There are 453 candidates running: an average of 4.87 per seat.

Labor, the Liberal National Party and the Greens are all running a full ticket. There are nine seats where they are the only parties running.

One Nation is running in 61 seats. Katter’s Australian Party is running ten candidates, while the Civil Liberties, Consumer Rights, No-Tolls party is running eight candidates. There are also 95 independents running.

The gender balance for the bigger parties are:

  • 18% – One Nation
  • 28% – LNP
  • 37.6% – Labor
  • 44.1% – Greens

You can read the list here.


Candidate update – nomination day

Nominations close today in the Queensland state election. I did an update of candidates last night, checking each of the main party websites for missing candidates, and taking onboard all the candidate updates posted in comments – thanks to you all.

You can view the updated list here.

Last week’s list included 316 candidates (including Billy Gordon, who later announced he would not run): this has now increased to 348.

The Greens have now announced candidates in all 93 seats, up from 87 last week. I could still only find 82 Labor candidates, with candidates missing in action in 11 others (although I’m sure I’ve missed some). The LNP is up to 89 candidates. One Nation’s candidate numbers have mostly remained steady at 57 (up two) while KAP has increased from six to ten.

I have now identified 12 independents (up from five last week, excluding Gordon). This includes Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow, who decided to run as an independent after losing the Labor preselection contest for the seat of Rockhampton following the sitting MP’s late retirement announcement.

There’s at least 26 seats with out-of-date candidate information, but I will wait until this evening, after nominations are declared, before making a final update on each seat, including the full list of candidates in ballot order.


Major parties go to QLD election missing candidates

I have been compiling a list of candidates for the Queensland election as I always do, regularly updating the lists on each seat guide.

I ran an update last night, after the Premier’s election announcement, and was surprised at the number of vacant spots on the major party candidate lists, with Labor in particular still lacking candidates in a large number of seats. It is possible I am missing some candidates, but I searched for each seat lacking a major party candidate and only found a handful of extra candidates.

According to my current list (which you can view here), the numbers for each party are:

  • Greens – 87
  • Liberal National Party – 84
  • Labor – 78
  • One Nation – 55
  • Katter’s Australian Party – 6
  • Independents – 6

I should note that where they have not otherwise announced their retirement, I have counted all sitting MPs as running. It’s not entirely clear if Billy Gordon (for example) is planning to run as an independent in Cook.

It is quite shocking that the Labor Party, despite having the choice of election timing and deciding to go early, is still lacking candidates in 15 seats. It is true that most of these seats are in areas the party has no chance of winning, but they have no candidate in Hinchinbrook (3.4% margin) or in Burnett, Ninderry, Gympie and Southport, all of which have margins between 6.6% and 7.8%. Not likely Labor wins, but not complete write-offs either.

The LNP is doing better, but still have nine seats without candidates. Maryborough (margin 1.1%) is a particular surprise.

It’s not shocking that One Nation has only nominated 55 candidates. For a party that has only emerged as a major force in the last eighteen months, it’s impressive to manage candidates in almost two thirds of the state. There are a handful of seats (for example the seats held by KAP) where the party has deliberately chosen not to run, and the party has also had issues with candidates being disendorsed. But I think we need to assume that One Nation will not close to running a team in every seat, and thus we’d expect a lower total statewide vote than the polls suggest (but if the party has good coverage in its best seats, that may not matter).

When I rank seats according to the One Nation vote in Alex Jago’s analysis of the 2016 Senate result, most of the missing candidates make sense. One Nation are only running candidates in six of the 25 seats with the lowest Senate vote, which explains half of the missing candidates. They are running in most seats with a stronger One Nation vote, but with some glaring exceptions.

The party is deliberately not running against KAP incumbents in Traeger and Hill, but they are also missing candidates in Warrego, Condamine, Gladstone and Thuringowa – all in the top twenty One Nation seats in 2016.

Finally, let’s take a look at the gender breakdown for each of these parties.

PartyWomenMenWomen %
Liberal National Party216325.0%
One Nation104518.2%
Katter’s Australian Party1516.7%

The pattern is consistent with other recent elections. Overall a majority of candidates for all parties are men, with the Greens closest to parity, with Labor not far behind. The LNP and One Nation have much lower proportions of women amongst their candidate lists.

Please feel free to download and use the spreadsheet listed above. If you are aware of any candidates I’ve missed, or if there are any errors in the data, please post them as comments under the relevant seat guide, and I will make an update later this week. Nominations close next week, and after that I will make one last update.


Key seats in the Queensland election

The 2015 Queensland election was very close, with neither party winning a majority of seats. Labor is estimated to hold 48 seats, while the LNP holds 42 seats. There are two Katter’s Australian Party seat, and one independent seat. 47 seats are needed for a majority.

Recent polling has been very close, with both Labor and LNP winning polls. This suggests that either side has the potential to gain seats, and lose other seats. In addition there are numerous seats where other parties could be a factor: independents, the Greens, One Nation and Katter’s Australian Party.

Labor-LNP marginals

There are nineteen Labor seats with a margin against the LNP under 6%.

There are four Labor seats on the north side of Brisbane with margins of less than 6%: from the city centre northward these are McConnel, Cooper, Ferny Grove and Pine Rivers.

There are also seven marginal Labor seats in southern Brisbane and Logan: Mount Ommaney, Miller, Greenslopes, Mansfield, Stretton, Springwood and Logan.

In central Queensland, heading north, the Labor marginal seats are Maryborough, Bundaberg, Keppel and Mirani.

Labor has five marginal seats in north Queensland: three around Townsville (Burdekin, Townsville and Mundingburra) and the Cairns-area seat of Barron River.

LNP-Labor marginals

There are eighteen LNP seats with a margin against Labor under 6%.

There are four LNP marginal seats in the City of Brisbane: Aspley, Chatsworth, Everton and Maiwar.

There are six marginal LNP seats on the Gold Coast: Bonney, Burleigh, Coomera, Currumbin, Gaven and Theodore.

The LNP is defending two seats in the Redland council area: (Oodgeroo and Redlands) and three on the Sunshine Coast (Caloundra, Glass House and Pumicestone).

There are three LNP marginal seats vulnerable to Labor further afield: Hinchinbrook, Whitsunday and Toowoomba North.

Katter’s Australian Party seats

Katter’s Australian Party holds two seats. Traeger is very safe, but the seat of Hill will be in play against the LNP.

Independent seats

Sitting independent MP Peter Wellington is retiring in Nicklin, and that seat is not likely to be in play. There are two sitting independent MPs who won seats in 2015 as Labor candidates, and they will be facing an uphill battle to win, against either Labor or the LNP. These two seats are Cairns and Cook, both in far north Queensland.

One Nation seats

Since One Nation were not a major player in the 2015 state election, it is not simple to determine where One Nation might stand a chance. I’ve considered their chances in a previous post.

One Nation state leader Steve Dickson holds the Sunshine Coast seat of Buderim, which he won in 2015 as an LNP candidate. One Nation also came close to winning the seat of Lockyer in 2015, and did well in that area at the 2016 federal election.

Some other prospects for the party include the Labor seats of Mirani, Maryborough and Burdekin, and the LNP seats of Hinchinbrook, Callide, Gregory, Burnett and Nanango.

Greens seats

The Greens do not hold any seats in Queensland but there are a small number of seats which have strong Greens votes and could potentially be vulnerable to the party.

There are three seats in inner Brisbane where the party has polled well. The party has previously targetted or held the two seats merged to make up Maiwar, and currently holds the Brisbane City ward which overlaps with South Brisbane, and has also done well in McConnel.

The Greens came second in Noosa in 2015, and generally do well in this area at state elections.


Queensland election guide – redistribution summary

Queensland has recently undergone a redistribution of state electoral boundaries, the first in almost a decade. The existing boundaries were used at three elections: 2009, 2012 and 2015.

The number of seats was increased from 89 to 93. This resulted in the creation of five new electorates, with two seats merged.

The inner-city electorates of Indooroopilly and Mount Coot-tha were merged into the new seat of Maiwar. Maiwar is a marginal LNP seat, with a margin of 3%.

Five new seats were created:

  • Bancroft – Labor seat on the northern fringe of Brisbane, with an 8.3% margin.
  • Bonney – marginal LNP seat on the Gold Coast, with a 2.2% margin.
  • Jordan – safe Labor seat at the eastern edge of Ipswich, with a 13.5% margin.
  • MacAlister – Labor seat in the north-east of Logan, with a 6.4% margin.
  • Ninderry – LNP seat on the Sunshine Coast, with a 6.9% margin.

Eleven other electorates have changed their name.

Former nameNew name
Brisbane CentralMcConnel
BeaudesertScenic Rim
Mount IsaTraeger

The last Queensland state election produced a result of 44 Labor, 42 Liberal National, 2 Katter’s Australian Party and 1 independent.

Antony Green’s redistribution estimate (which I will discuss further below) produces a result of 48 Labor seats, 42 Liberal National seats, 2 Katter’s Australian Party and 1 independent. Two of those Labor seats are now held by independent MPs elected in 2015 as Labor candidates, and one of those LNP seats is now held by a One Nation MP, elected representing the LNP.

Notes on redistribution calculations

I have produced my own estimates of the impact of the redistribution on each electorate. I have produced my own estimates as part of the process of breaking each electorate into sub-areas.

Read the rest of this entry »