Brisbane City – draft redistribution margins


The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) last Friday released the draft boundaries for the Brisbane City Council election, due in March 2020. I’ve now put together a map of the electoral boundaries, and I’ve also calculated margins in all 26 wards, as well as primary votes for the three main parties.

The changes have helped Labor in a couple of marginal LNP wards, but overall has not had a big impact on Labor’s prospects of gaining control of the council in 2020.

The Brisbane Times story last Friday reported that the redistribution would make the election much more competitive for Labor, but I don’t really see much evidence for this claim in the data.

The Central ward did shrink in size, but it had practically no impact on the LNP’s margin, reducing it from 8.2% to 8.1%.

The LNP’s margin in Doboy has been reduced from 4.3% to just 0.04%, making it very vulnerable to Labor in 2020. Apart from this one ward, the changes in most other marginal wards have been small.

Labor currently holds five out of 26 wards, alongside one Green and one independent. The LNP would need to lose six wards to lose their majority, or eight wards to give Labor and the Greens a majority.

On a uniform swing basis, a swing of 5.6% away from the LNP would see six wards flip, while 7.5% would shift eight wards. Prior to the redistribution, these figures were 5.7% and 8%.

It is, however, true that the shift from optional preferential voting to compulsory preferential voting, which is currently being considered by the Queensland government, would significantly boost the chances of Labor and the Greens in marginal LNP seats.

The Greens did strengthen their hold on their inner-city ward of The Gabba, increasing their margin against the LNP by 1.8%. The Greens only won in 2016 because they managed to overtake Labor. The redistribution has also helped the Greens in their efforts to fend off Labor, increasing the primary vote margin between the two progressive parties from 1.7% to 2.5%.

The Greens are also closer to overtaking Labor in Central ward, just 3.5% behind, compared to a gap of 4.2% in 2016.

WardPartyOld marginNew marginChange
Bracken RidgeLNP10.6%9.6%-1.0%
Forest LakeALP5.3%5.4%0.1%
Holland ParkLNP4.8%4.0%-0.8%
PaddingtonLNP vs GRN5.8%5.6%-0.2%
PullenvaleLNP vs GRN18.1%18.0%-0.1%
TennysonIND vs ALP26.3%23.3%-3.0%
The GabbaGRN vs LNP5.0%6.8%1.8%
The GapLNP5.7%4.5%-1.2%
Walter TaylorLNP vs GRN16.5%15.7%-0.8%

I’ve also included the below map. By default it shows the outline of the existing boundaries (red) and the proposed boundaries (green) but can be toggled to show a map of the new wards coloured by the incumbent party. Click on those coloured wards to see the primary vote and two-candidate-preferred margin for each ward.

I will be returning to Brisbane City Council regularly over the next seven months, including with a full Brisbane City ward map. If this is something you’re looking forward to please consider signing up as a Patreon donor to support this important but lower-profile work.

You can download the draft boundaries as a Google Earth layer from my maps page. I will be making a complete set of wards for all Queensland councils later this year.

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  1. If the state government does get around to bringing compulsory preferential voting back into line with federal and state, that will assist both the Greens and Labor in different seats.

    The new boundaries bring the Greens a bit closer in their main target of Paddington, and a stronger preference flow would tighten things a lot more.

    It’s hard to know how much of a swing will be on against the Libs. They have been in power now since 2008, but they has mostly avoided the culture warrior, war on the environment bullshit that their state and federal counterparts have become ever more obsessed with. They’ve also spent a fortune (of ratepayer money) on propaganda about themselves.

    Whether that will be enough to counter the overdevelopment and underfunding of public and active transport may vary from one area to another.

    If there is a decent swing on, and compulsory preferential voting is back, then other seats like Central and Coorparoo and Northgate and Marchant are quite loseable for the Libs.

    Although at Council level, incumbency usually counts for a lot. Sophomore effects may be enhanced as part of that, which may make Northgate harder than it appears. Given the Lib incumbent for Doboy has already de-camped to a much safer seat, I’d be very surprised if that one doesn’t fall.

    Sophomore & incumbency effect should also make The Gabba safe for the Greens. There is some chance that the Libs will fall to third and (presumably) preference Labor, so the Greens would need to boost their primary as insurance against that. But I expect they will do that quite comfortably.

  2. Great work as always Ben.

    I agree with Andrew’s comments regarding the Greens’ challenge in holding the Gabba ward. My understanding is that Cr Sri is an extremely polarising figure, popular amongst supporters, but reviled amongst opponents.

    I would think Paddington ward would be a massive target for the Greens, more so than Central given the LNP are already below 50% primary there and the relative palatability of Michael Berkman easing LNP supporters to the prospect of a Greens representative.

    Moving out from the City, absolutely Labor would have to be targeting , Coorparoo, Northgate and Enoggera, with stretch goals of Marchant and The Gap.

  3. Andrew Bartlett might find that the electors of Wooloongabba are sick of Sri’s childish antics and send him
    Packing. Liberals should Preference ALP ahead of anti human Greens. ALP Conference this weekend I think will draw a line between the centre left ALP and the extreme left Greens.
    When even CFMEU want to dump the ALP deputy premier we may be heading for a 4Th split in ALP.
    First Split First World War Conscription
    Second Split Lang and Depression
    Third split Communism in 1950’s
    Forth Split Green Anti developmentism In 2010’s.

    Their is always the possibility that Greens and Liberals will disintegrate into factional groupings.

    Extinction Revolution will not gain Green votes outside of what Geographers call the Zone of Transition where most Green Voters are located.
    In Barbers at Zillmere the other day I was the moderate voice. What all others wanted to do to Extinction Revolution road stickers can not be repeated without getting me barred from Tally Room.

  4. I estimated the LNP lead if the voting system is changed to Compulsory Preferential. I assumed Labor and Green voters preference each other 80% over LNP and independent voters preference Labor or Greens 50% over LNP.

    Pullenvale, Walter Taylor, Paddington, and the Gabba are Greens vs LNP, the rest are ALP vs LNP (I think Central will flip to being Greens vs LNP in the election though). I left out Tennyson because it wasn’t worth the thought, if the incumbent runs she will win and if she doesn’t the current numbers mean nothing.

    Ward OPV2PP CPV2PP Difference

    Chandler 22.30% 19.67% 2.64%
    Hamilton 19.70% 16.16% 3.54%
    Pullenvale 18.00% 14.05% 3.95%
    Jamboree 17.80% 15.10% 2.70%
    McDowall 15.90% 13.59% 2.31%
    Walter Taylor 15.70% 13.09% 2.61%
    Macgregor 14.80% 11.34% 3.46%
    Calamvale 14.40% 11.34% 3.06%
    Bracken Ridge 9.60% 7.40% 2.20%
    Runcorn 8.90% 6.54% 2.36%
    Central 8.10% 5.36% 2.74%
    Marchant 7.50% 5.16% 2.34%
    Enoggera 5.60% 3.40% 2.20%
    Paddington 5.60% 3.31% 2.29%
    The Gap 4.50% 2.61% 1.89%
    Holland Park 4.00% 1.99% 2.01%
    Coorparoo 2.40% -0.02% 2.42%
    Northgate 1.70% -0.48% 2.18%
    Doboy 0.00% -1.16% 1.16%
    Deagon -2.90% -4.28% 1.38%
    Morningside -5.00% -5.95% 0.95%
    Forest Lake -5.40% -7.33% 1.93%
    The Gabba -6.80% -8.24% 1.44%
    Wynnum-Manly -10.50% -11.50% 1.00%
    Moorooka -13.70% -13.76% 0.06%

  5. Benee
    Well done especially version 2 political acumen and IT skills with continuous improvement. Ben and Antony Green beware your jobs in danger.

  6. Andrew
    Not quite sure I would agree with your splits.

    Yes Hughs switched sides but the ALP remained largely intact

    Ditto Lyons

    The Lang split was NSW centric so not really relevant nationally

    “Your description of “communism”in the 1950s is misleading. There DLP who were fiercely anti communist but also anti socialist split from the ALP in sufficient numbers to justify the description of split. Since this split did not occur in NSW it is misleading to say it as about “communists” But yes it was over major ideological differences.

    Now it is misleading to describe the arrival of the greens as a “split” While there was some movement of local members from ALP to Greens there was no significant shift of MPs etc so it in no way represented a split. However certainly the Greens are competion for the ALP which may have the effect of being a “split” but terminology is important and there is no way the Greens represent a split.

    Of course there will be anti green sentiment in Zillmere. That is battler territory and the split such as there is within the ALP voting demographic is for One Nation.

    Since we are talking BCC here, the views of the inner city greens will be significant. just look at that percentage of Greens votes across BCC which is relatively quite high. Paddington is an obvious target

  7. I agree the threat from Greens is in inner city. Brisbane City is not like Sydney it is larger demographically than Tasmania and for that matter Sydney City. It is ( or at least was) the largest city in the world by area.

    Paddington May be a target but Paddington ranges greatly from massive mansions to renovated slums.

    Andrew Bartlett who I would regard as the best Green Candidate could not take Brisbane Division at Federal election Bartlett’s failure to take Brisbane was not for want of trying or campaigning. See my comments on Brisbane Page for 2019 Federal

    Greens active support for antiadaniism will cost them votes everywhere in Queensland. A bloke who gets roasted for being late to work because a super-glued eco-fascist rejecting the rule of Parliament is not going to say Thankyou to the cause of his roasting. For every roasted employee there would be hundreds who knows the boss wants to char them but knows it is a waste of time. When it comes to romotion in the secrecy of the covert confidential report the boss will take his/her revenge.
    My prediction is a de-greening of BCC.
    The point about Zillmere is that I was the least hostile.
    Australia faces a much greater threat from a totalitarian figure like Mussolini than from an eco-fascist takeover.
    Remember Ben has in the past called my views fascist and I am finding myself increasingly on the Left not only economically but also socially.

    In effect what I am saying is that the political spectrum is now skewed towards libertarian authoritarianism and that the Greens are contributors to this skewing and the likes of Hanson, Anning and Gaynor are moderating the skew by revolting great majority of electorate.

  8. Maverick’s comment about therebeing no split in NSW is incorrect. It is true that the split was lareger in Victoria and Queensland but the name Democratic Labor Party came out of NSW. In Victoria. The party that continued with traditional Labor policies was the ALP(Anti-Communist) and in Queensland the Queensland Labor Party. In fact in Victoria the Left wing came within a whisker of having to find a name other than ALP because what became the DLP won all assets of the Labor Party including the name. I am not sure why they did not keep using name.
    I am not currently a member of any party but as I have been a DLP Candidate on 4 occasions I clearly have been a member of DLP and am a supporter of DLP and its policies of distributism, subsidiarity and social justice.

  9. “Andrew Bartlett who I would regard as the best Green Candidate could not take Brisbane Division at Federal election Bartlett’s failure to take Brisbane was not for want of trying or campaigning. See my comments on Brisbane Page for 2019 Federal

    Andrew Bartlett continued to campaign in Brisbane even while he was dealing with a very personal and serious health issue. He’s an absolute legend and an inspiration to all of us.

  10. Andrew
    Some of your comments are of course correct in part but obviously we have very, very different perspectives on the DLP and its position relative to the ALP.

    The DLP/QLP represented one wing of the ALP, essentially the conservative, generally religious, typically Catholic wing. It included also I think many small business types who because of their Irish Catholic origins had been ALP, but as they became wealthier were ready for a shift to the more business focused Liberal/ National Parties. However the centre and the left of the ALP did not split and of course NSW held.

    The point I was making was that the DLP was indeed a split in the ALP and a devastating one electorally. None of the other events cited were really in the same league, other than Jack Lang in NSW.

    Yes Andrew is a decent guy.
    I think Andrew is a bit out of date when he refers to Paddington having renovated slums. It is classic Greens territory. The Bardon area which it has gained is pretty Green voting.

    Sadly I think you are right re fascism. There is very much a split now between the educated middle class and the less educated “battlers.” The ALP is the loser in this phenomenon

  11. Lord Mayor Schrimer May have lost a court case yesterday but in doing so he has ensured that the blame for disruptive protesters is not blamed on LNP.
    Sri’s post court case win interviews will not gain him new votes especially amongst undivided voters.
    Schrimer is advertising heavily on internet sites seeking feedback about Victoria Park. This close to an election any council advertising featuring the Lord Mayor must be viewed as political in nature. In fact No Council advertising should be fronted by Lord Mayor.
    ALP campaign verging on invisible. Even Libs are not active. Less than a month ago I attended a school fete where a LNP Councillor’s Stall was completely un-manned. Thanks for the free stylus/pen but is that really what ratepayers pay Council Rates for.
    In Moreton Bay Regional Council we now have Mayor not standing, Councillor who was standing for Mayor under a legal cloud and currently stood down, with three other known candidates for Mayor
    ⚫️ Eric Shields campaigning on line with policies that are vague motherhood statements which all would agree with. Anti corruption, better communication but very little substance to policies
    ⚫️ Dean Teasdale Redcliffe Real Estate agent Nothing really known about policies
    ⚫️ Peter Flannery no visible campaigning but has been a hard working Councillor for Division 2 no policy framework visible. Flannery’s biggest problem will be that he is seen by voters as part of current Mayor’s team. At moment Flannery will have my vote but we have six months to go.

    The councils on periphery of Brisbane Ipswich,Logan, Moreton Bay and Gold Coast all seem to be under a cloud of lack of management systems. Beating in mind that the last elected Mayor of one of them has now been convicted and whole council dismissed by government. Local Government in Queensland needs a drastic overhaul with much greater Local Government Department oversight.
    Procurement needs to be placed clearly under Government Procurement guidelines. Currently LGs nearly all deny they are subject to Government Purchasing regulations
    although these supposedly apply to all statutory bodies.

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