George Christensen, since 2010.
Central and North Queensland coast. Dawson covers the Queensland coast from Mackay in the south to the outskirts of Townsville in the north. The seat covers the coastal areas, but not the inland areas, of Burdekin and Whitsunday local government areas, as well as parts of Townsville and Mackay LGAs.
Dawson was created in 1949 when the House of Representatives was expanded. The seat was first won by the Country Party’s Charles Davidson. Davidson had previously won the neighbouring seat of Capricornia in 1946 for the Liberal Party, defeating Frank Forde, who had served as the ALP’s Minister for the Army since 1941, serving as Prime Minister for one week in 1945 following the death of John Curtin.
Davidson served as a federal minister from 1956 until his retirement at the 1963 election. George Shaw succeeded Davidson as Country Party member in 1963, but died in early 1966 without ever facing re-election.
Rex Patterson (ALP) won the seat at the 1966 by-election. Patterson served as a minister in the Whitlam government from 1972 to 1975, and Patterson lost his seat at the election following the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975.
The seat was won in 1975 by Ray Braithwaite of the National Country Party. Braithwaite served as a backbencher for 21 years, retiring at the 1996 election.
Braithwaite was succeeded by De-Anne Kelly, also a National. Kelly was made a Parliamentary Secretary in October 2003, and was promoted to the junior ministry following the 2004 election. She was demoted back to a Parliamentary Secretary position in January 2006.
Kelly lost the seat at the 2007 election in a shock upset when a 13% swing to the ALP overturned Kelly’s 10% margin and gave the seat to Mackay City Councillor James Bidgood. Bidgood didn’t run for re-election in 2010, a 5% swing back to the Liberal National Party saw George Christensen win the seat.
- Jonathon Dykyj (Greens)
- George Christensen (Liberal National)
- Lindsay Temple (Family First)
- Ian Ferguson (Palmer United Party)
- Andrew Harris (Citizens Electoral Council)
- Bronwyn Taha (Labor)
- Justin Englert (Katter’s Australian Party)
Dawson is a very marginal seat, but with a new MP running for a second term and Labor’s popularity low in Queensland, Christensen should comfortably win re-election.
2010 two-candidate-preferred result
Booths have been divided into five areas. Dawson covers parts of four local government areas. Polling places in Townsville, Burdekin and Whitsunday have been grouped according to council area. About half of voters live in Mackay Regional Council area. These booths are split between those in the Mackay urban area and those in the remainder of the region.
The LNP won four out of five areas, with the majority varying from 54.5% in Townsville and the rural parts of Mackay, up to 61% in Burdekin. The ALP won a 53.4% in the Mackay urban area.
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