Kirsten Livermore, since 1998.
Central Queensland. Capricornia covers the Queensland coast from Rockhampton to just south of Mackay.
Capricornia is an original federation electorate. After changing between a number of parties in early decades, it has been held by the ALP for most of the last half-century, with the exception of two wins by the Country/National Party at particular low-points for the ALP.
The seat was first won in 1901 by independent candidate Alexander Paterson. Paterson didn’t run for re-election in 1903, and was succeeded by the ALP’s David Thompson.
Thomson lost in 1906 to the Anti-Socialist Party’s Edward Archer. Archer too was defeated after one term, losing in 1910 to the ALP’s William Higgs.
Higgs was a former Senator for Queensland, who held Capricornia for the next decade. He served as Treasurer in Billy Hughes’ government from 1915 to 1916, resigning over Hughes’ support for conscription. Ironically he later left the ALP in 1920 and ended up in Hughes’ Nationalist Party. He failed to win re-election as a Nationalist in 1922, losing to the ALP’s Frank Forde.
Forde was the state MP for Rockhampton, and rose quickly in the federal Labor ranks. He served as a junior minister in the Scullin government, being promoted to cabinet in the final days of the government in 1931. Forde became Deputy Leader of the ALP in 1932.
Forde contested the leadership of the party in 1935, losing by one vote to John Curtin, having lost support due to his support for Scullin’s economic policies. He served as Minister for the Army during the Second World War on the election of the Curtin government.
Forde became Prime Minister in July 1945 upon the death of John Curtin, and served eight days before losing a leadership ballot to Ben Chifley. He served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence in the aftermath of the Second World War, until he lost Capricornia at the 1946 election, despite the ALP winning a comfortable victory.
Capricornia was won in 1946 by the Liberal Party’s Charles Davidson. Davidson moved to the new seat of Dawson in 1949, and went on to serve as a minister in the Menzies government before retiring in 1963.
Davidson was succeeded in Capricornia in 1949 by Henry Pearce, also from the Liberal Party. Pearce held Capricornia for twelve years, losing in 1961 to the ALP’s George Gray.
Gray held the seat until his death in 1967, and the ensuing by-election was won by Doug Everingham. He served as Minister for Health in the Whitlam government, but lost Capricornia in 1975 to Colin Carige of the National Country Party, winning it back in 1977. Everingham then managed to hold the seat until his retirement in 1984.
He was succeeded in 1984 by Keith Wright, who had been the Labor leader in the Queensland parliament since 1982 and member for Rockhampton since 1969. Wright held Capricornia until 1993, when he was charged with rape, leading to him losing his ALP endorsement. He contested Capricornia as an independent, but lost to ALP candidate Marjorie Henzell.
Henzell held the seat for one term, losing to National candidate Paul Marek in 1996. Marek also held the seat for one term, losing to the ALP’s Kirsten Livermore in 1998. Livermore has held the seat ever since.
Sitting Labor MP Kirsten Livermore is not running for re-election.
- Peter Freeleagus (Labor)
- Paul Lewis (Rise Up Australia)
- Derek James Ison (Palmer United Party)
- Paul Bambrick (Greens)
- Bruce Diamond
- Hazel Alley (Family First)
- Michelle Landry (Liberal National)
- Robbie Williams (Katter’s Australian Party)
Labor has been performing very poorly in Queensland over the last few years, and Capricornia is Labor’s fourth-most marginal seat in the state and the only Labor state outside of the south-eastern corner of the state. The loss of Kirsten Livermore’s personal vote will hit Labor hard, and it’s hard to see them retaining Capricornia without her vote in current circumstances.
2010 two-candidate-preferred result
Booths have been divided into four areas. Booths in the Isaac Regional Council area have been grouped together. This area has the smallest population but covers the largest areas. A majority of voters live in the Rockhampton council area. Booths in this area have been split between those in the Rockhampton urban areas itself and those outside of it. Booths in the Mackay and Whitsunday areas have been grouped as “North”.
The ALP won a majority in three areas, varying from 51.9% in the north to 62% in Isaac. The ALP won 56.7% in Rockhampton’s urban area, which is the dominant part of the electorate. The LNP won over 52% of the vote in the rural parts of Rockhampton council.
|Voter group||GRN %||ALP 2PP %||Total votes||% of votes|