Fairfax – Australia 2013

LNP 7.0%

Incumbent MP
Alex Somlyay, since 1990.

Geography
Sunshine Coast of Queensland. Fairfax covers the central part of Sunshine Coast Regional Council. It covers the towns of Buderim, Maroochydore and Nambour, as well as following the coast from Maroochydore to Coolum Beach.

History
Fairfax was first created in 1984 when the House of Representatives was expanded, and has always been held by conservative parties. The seat was first won by Evan Adermann of the National Party, who had previously held Fisher since the 1972 election and served as a minister in the Fraser government.

Adermann retired at the 1990 election, and the seat was fought as a three-cornered contest in 1990. The ALP came first on primaries, with the Nationals leading the Liberals by 0.7% on primary votes. A high Democrats vote pushed the Liberals ahead of Nationals candidate John Stone, who had resigned from the Senate to contest the seat, and Alex Somlyay (LIB) won the seat on National preferences.

Somlyay has held the seat ever since by varying margins, most recently having a margin of over 62% following the redistribution before the 2007 election. A 9.4% swing to the ALP made Fairfax a marginal seat following the 2007 election. A 4% swing back to the LNP strengthened Somlyay’s position in 2010.

Candidates

Assessment
On paper, Fairfax is a held by only 7% for the LNP. The LNP should have no trouble defeating Labor, and despite Clive Palmer’s obnoxious claims, there is no evidence that Palmer is a serious threat to the LNP’s hold on the seat.

2010 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Alex SomlyayLNP39,10249.45+2.72
Dan McIntyreALP21,58927.31-9.07
Narelle McCarthyGRN14,22818.00+9.31
Ron HuntFF4,1475.24+1.32

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Alex SomlyayLNP45,03256.95+3.98
Dan McIntyreALP34,03443.05-3.98
Polling places in Fairfax at the 2010 federal election. Inland in orange, Nambour in blue, North-East in green, South-East in yellow. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Fairfax at the 2010 federal election. Inland in orange, Nambour in blue, North-East in green, South-East in yellow. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas. Those booths near the coast have been split into “North-East” and “South-East”. The south-east is the most populous part of the seat, including Maroochydore and Buderim. The north-east includes seats close to the coast.

Booths away from the coast have been split into those near the town of Nambour, and the other booths grouped as “Inland”.

The LNP won a majority in all four areas, varying from 50.7% in the north-east to 58.7% in the south-east. The Greens vote varied from 16.1% in the south-east to 22.1% in the north-east.

Voter groupGRN %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South-East16.1458.6922,13132.97
Nambour17.5755.5615,32322.83
North-East22.1450.6811,39216.97
West21.4955.387,71411.49
Other votes15.8959.4310,56415.74
Two-party-preferred votes in Fairfax at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Fairfax at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Fairfax at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Fairfax at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the south-eastern corner of Fairfax at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the south-eastern corner of Fairfax at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in the south-eastern corner of Fairfax at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in the south-eastern corner of Fairfax at the 2010 federal election.

70 COMMENTS

  1. Bernie, Ted O’Brien may the nicest person in the world but whilst he serves under Abbott he will never get my vote. Clive may do nothing for the Coast but the country comes before the region. I will vote for Clive for no other reason than in the hope of limiting the number of seats for the LNP.

  2. I don’t know if this sounds right but Palmer basically needs to pull a good 12-15% off the LNP primary vote, a few % from ALP and do a Wilkie to end up 3rd above the Greens once all the other minors are eliminated. Then wins on the back of Green and ALP prefs. Given that everyone is pref’g him before the LNP, if he gets that base vote off the LNP it looks good for him. But that is a big IF!

    Does that sound about right? The chances of this occurring seem small, if not remote. We have yet to see any seat specific polling (only the Qld poll of PUP at 8%) . Frankly, the guy is a buffoon full of contradictions even if a colourful one at times – he would certainly liven up question time if he attends. His little dummy spat at Melb airport last week about the delayed refueling highlights that he hasn’t quite figured out what matters to the ordinary voter compared to the extraordinary billionaire.

    However, history in other places – esp the US – has shown that having a wealthy member as your representative does wonders for the improvements to the electorate as they can use their vast wealth and networking skills to ‘bribe’/ensure money comes to the electorate and seemingly rectify pressing issues. Even when they are not in govt.

    If Fairfax voters vote out of pure self interest then Palmer would win hands down.

  3. So, Sideshow Clive looks to have won.
    If he is confirmed as the winner, the Clerk of the House or other officials from Parliament House will need to send people to Clive and make sure that he understands the etiquette of behaviour in the Chamber. He’ll need to tone down his atmospherics.
    I know that there have been many “characters” in Parliament over the years – think Evatt, Ward, Cameron, Whitlam, Killen, Hawke, and others – but I’m not that this character will be quite what people have in mind.

  4. The AEC has switched its 2 candidate preferred count to Palmer vs. the LNP. Palmer leads 51.83% to 48.17% as of this evening, although a few polling places have yet to report the 2CP count.

  5. Nothing overly surprising about that, morgieb. PUP’s popularity was on an upwards trajectory at the time of the election – pre-poll voters would have voted earlier, and thus at a time when PUP’s popularity was lower.

    That said, it wasn’t pre-poll votes that caused the margin cut. Pre-poll votes only account for a margin reduction of 53 votes, not the 1600 that it dropped by between the two points. The difference was likely caused by continued counting of ordinary votes – they haven’t finished counting ballots from all of the polling places, yet.

  6. Can you just imagine being the guy at Parliament House who has to give Clive his induction?

    I can not imagine a more painful experience.

  7. Very interesting. Palmer may have wished for an error like this in Fisher which may have pushed his candidate close to taking the seat. He is 1050 ahead as of todays update so IF this is an error in the LNP’s favour then he look more comfortable.

    One person on PB suggested that it may be the staff at his Coolum resort sending him an anon. msg……

  8. I recall everyone saying that Palmer is no chance here and that I commented that we could be underestimating Palmer and that he wouldn’t run here unless he thought he actually had a chance.
    I told you so…

  9. Credit to you observer on that one, but Palmer only got momentum during the last week. If the poll wwas Wednesday he doesn’t have a chance even. Thursday and Friday it started to build.

Comments are closed.