Fisher – Australia 2013

LNP 4.1%

Incumbent MP
Peter Slipper, since 1993. Previously 1984-1987.

Sunshine Coast of Queensland. Fisher covers southern parts of the Sunshine Coast. The seat is centred on the town of Caloundra and includes the coast as far north as Alexandra Headland and inland towns including Landsborough and Maleny.

Fisher was created in the 1949 expansion of the House of Representatives, and has been won by Coalition parties at all but two federal elections, and was held by members of the same family for its first thirty-five years of existence.

The seat was won by Charles Adermann in 1949, after previously having served as Member for Maranoa since 1943. Adermann held the seat for over twenty years, serving as a minister in the Coalition government from 1958 to 1967. Adermann retired in 1972 and was succeeded by his son Evan Adermann.

Adermann held the seat from 1972 until the 1984 election, when he moved to the new seat of Fairfax. Adermann served as a minister in the Fraser government from 1975 until 1980, and served in Fairfax until his retirement in 1990.

Adermann was succeeded by Peter Slipper (NAT) in 1984, and was defeated by the ALP’s Michael Lavarch in 1987.

The Liberal Party first challenged in Fisher at the 1972 election when the senior Adermann retired, and started to regularly contest the seat in 1983. At the 1990 election, Lavarch was re-elected while the National Party was pushed into third place.

At the 1993 election, Fisher’s boundaries shifted and became notionally Liberal, and Lavarch shifted to the nearby seat of Dickson, where he won a special election a month after the general election due to the death of another candidate. Lavarch became Attorney-General and was defeated at the 1996 election.

In Fisher, the Liberal Party stood Slipper, the former National Party member for the seat, and won. Slipper’s margin exploded to over 70% in 1996 and stayed above 10% for the entirety of the Howard government, with Slipper serving as a Parliamentary Secretary from 1998 to 2004.

Slipper’s hold on Fisher was weakened in 2007 with a 7.9% swing. Slipper gained a 0.6% swing in 2010.

Slipper survived a push to replace him with Mal Brough prior to the 2010 election, but his relationship with the Coalition had begun to break down. After the 2010 election he was elected as Deputy Speaker with the support of the ALP, defeating the Coalition-endorsed candidate.

In November 2011, the sitting ALP Speaker resigned from the position, and Peter Slipper accepted the nomination and was elected as Speaker. Slipper was threatened with expulsion from the LNP, and resigned soon after being elected Speaker.

Soon after his election as Speaker, Slipper faced controversies including accusations of misusing Cabcharge vouchers and sexual harrassment of a staff member.

Slipper temporarily stepped aside as Speaker in May 2012, and resigned as Speaker in November 2012. He now sits as an independent.


  • Mark Meldon (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Mark Maguire (Australian Independents)
  • Mal Brough (Liberal National)
  • Tony Moore (Family First)
  • Bill Gissane (Labor)
  • Bill Schoch (Palmer United Party)
  • Rodney Christensen (Rise Up Australia)
  • Jarreau Terry (Independent)
  • Peter Slipper
  • Garry Claridge (Greens)

Fisher should be easily regained by the LNP.

2010 result

Peter SlipperLNP34,23546.48+2.28
Chris CumminsALP22,33230.32-2.71
Garry ClaridgeGRN11,66415.84+9.91
Robyn RobertsonFF5,4217.36+4.88

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Peter SlipperLNP39,86854.13+0.60
Chris CumminsALP33,78445.87-0.60
Polling places in Fisher at the 2010 federal election. Caloundra in blue, Coast in green, Inland in orange. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Fisher at the 2010 federal election. Caloundra in blue, Coast in green, Inland in orange. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three parts. Most polling places lie near the coast. The largest cluster lie around the town of Caloundra. The remaining booths on the coast have been grouped as ‘Coast’, and the inland booths have also been grouped together.

The LNP won a majority in all three areas, varying from 52.3% in inland areas to 54.3% along the coast in the north-eastern corner of the seat.

Voter groupGRN %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes13.2357.6220,37227.66
Two-party-preferred votes in Fisher at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Fisher at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Fisher at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Fisher at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the eastern part of Fisher at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in the eastern part of Fisher at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in the eastern part of Fisher at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in the eastern part of Fisher at the 2010 federal election.


  1. You will probably see the biggest swing to any candidate in QLD right here to Brough. Slipper had the worst personal vote of any QLD Liberal candidate when comparing the difference between the HoR vote and the Senate result in Fisher.

  2. Yes, in the context of the big pro-Liberal swing in Queensland last time, a margin in Fisher of only 4% is pretty poor.

  3. This will be quite interesting…lnp……Brough who carries baggage, Alp……normally no chance,
    The Palmer candidate, a big green vote and maybe Slipper
    Slipper may contest just to make it harder for the lnp
    How would the preference go?

  4. I don’t think it is politically possible for the ALP to have preference deals with both PUP and KAP. Both would be considered minor right parties. More sensibly, one would have a better deal with the ALP and one would have a better deal with the LNP. Notwithstanding common sense, I can’t see KAP having a favourable preference deal with the ALP over the Coalition while Gillard is PM. Rudd would be a different matter. As for PUP, I really can’t see PUP having a preference deal with the ALP as their policies are largely aligned with Coalition ones. More than likely, I think these minor parties will have better deals with the Coalition particularly as they may have the balance of power with them in the Senate. KAP especially, as I think they are most likely to get the last spot in QLD and that would more likely be off the back of Coalition votes as Labor will probably fail to get 2 quotas in their own right, while the Coalition in QLD will probably get over 3.

    I’m sure KAP’s advisors would be all over this.

  5. Pollitically I think it is possible for a preference deal here. Its unlikely the PUP and KAP will get high results in same places I view them as similar to the liberals (PUP) and the Nats (KAP). Palmer should do well on the sunshine coast where his presence is felt significantly. His anger for the LNP will want to see them humiliated for how they have neglected his political interests and this will be a seat that won’t go with the QLD trend of pro LNP. People feel disgusted over Mal Brough but also feel annoyed over the labor. Its entirely possible therefore that the LNP vote will either remain the same or change slightly, the labor vote to decrease going to palmer and the same case for the greens with other vote to go largely to palmer and KAP to get a low vote with 3% being exteremely generous. Then this seat could be held by less than 2% LNP VS PUP. But if labor come second and Palmer decides to get payback on the LNP then again this seat could be held by a small margin for labor despite a swing on the primary vote and the state wide trend

  6. If labor has a resurgance in Qld and slipper, greens, palmer and katter parties all contest then it is easy for all to swap preferences……put Brough last…… he will then need an absolute majority or a big leakage win

  7. Based on pollbludger, there is a 4.2% swing to labor in QLD and using the election calculator, a very very narrow labor win. Abbotts campaign in QLD is getting stranger and just absurd calling himself a bigger QLDer then Rudd, I see the real Abbott poking his head and could result in labor gains in difficult seats such as this. I fully agree with the preference idea. Preferences will play the biggest role in this seat

  8. This seat definitely isn’t as trivial as it might have looked on paper, and I agree with those above that say that minor party preferences could push Labor over the line.

    LNP got 42.5% of the vote in the senate here. The remainder of their house vote likely went to Fishing and Lifestyle party and Shooters and Fishers party, as well as One Nation; adding these together with LNP’s senate vote, you get roughly LNP’s house vote (I’m assuming the other right-wing parties in the senate took from FF, who got only 4% in the senate but 7% in the house).

    But now, Shooters and Fishers and Fishing and Lifestyle voters will almost certainly vote KAP in the house. If we assume, say, one tenth of LNP senate voters also shift their support to KAP, that would bring KAP’s vote up to about 7%, before factoring in Labor voters shifting to KAP. I’m going to guess 11-12% KAP primary vote. I also see Greens holding at about 15%.

    PUP will suck support from LNP, too, though. Given the location, I’d estimate maybe 7-8% (Family First, I’d say will end up losing a couple of points, to 5%). This then leaves 61% of the vote left for Labor and Liberals to fight for – assuming no voters shifting between them, I’d expect Labor to be at 25% and Liberals to be at 36%.

    The problem for the LNP is that, of these, only Family First is likely to have preferences flow more to them; if we suppose a strong flow of 80%, LNP get to about 40% after distributing FF preferences. Next is PUP, which I’ll assume will put LNP below Labor, but with significant leakage – 40% flow to LNP, bringing LNP up to about 43%. Then it’s KAP, which will probably preference Labor, and less leakage – let’s say 25% to LNP. Brings LNP up to 46%. Which means that they would need to get 4% from the Greens, or more than 25% leakage.

    And that’s before you factor in any primary swing between the two parties. With Rudd’s return, I’d estimate a 2% swing in Labor’s favour, based on the 2% swing against in 2010.

    My 2PP prediction, assuming PUP preferences Labor over LNP: LNP 47%, Labor 53%.

    If PUP preferences LNP, I see it as an LNP retain, but a marginal one, perhaps a 1% margin. Wouldn’t be surprised if we saw both Rudd and Abbott talking to Palmer in the next few weeks, with this seat being one of the key points of discussion.

  9. Glen, sorry, but I really do not know where you get this stuff from. How do PUP/KAP/GRN get 34% in this seat? I mean, really! You haven’t even allowed for FF yet! I’m still waiting for your prediction that Labor will win North Sydney and Warringah.

    36/25 split for the major parties? Come on!

    Also, how can you say that PUP and KAP will predominantly preference ALP in front of LNP? That doesn’t make sense at all. At best, the PUP and KAP will provide a split ticket. At worst, both will preference the LNP.

    The LNP will get a primary of close to what they received last time and will increase their margin. I am fairly confident with that prediction. If Labor couldn’t win it in 2007 with Kevin07, they ain’t gonna get close this time.

    Slipper was notorious for having a low personal vote in this seat (refer Peter Brent’s analysis). Many of his constituents will be happy to see the back of him I suspect.

  10. ohhh…… I suspect Mr Brough will have a negative personal vote here. If so …. with a swing to
    labor and votes for kap & pup & green………..the preferences would be anyone’s guess.
    suggest common ground of all put Brough last

  11. DB, it’s really quite simple.

    Katter is socially and economically conservative. This means he aligns with Labor economically and the Liberals socially, and he tends to align most strongly with the Nationals. His party is set up essentially as an extension of his own politics, hence his name in the party’s name. As a result, he’s probably going to preference differently depending on the seat. In this sort of seat, I’d expect him to favour the ALP, because it’s not really a rural electorate, it’s Labor vs Liberal, and Katter likes Rudd himself – with this being a Brisbane region seat, I expect KAP to preference Labor.

    PUP has some chance of preferencing Labor ahead of the LNP, because the whole reason for the existence of the PUP was that Palmer was fed up with the LNP.

    As for the numbers for PUP/KAP/Greens, I’m going to ask you to read the actual argument I put forward. KAP will get a good 4% immediately from Shooters and Fishers party and Fishing and Lifestyle party senate voters, both of which align pretty closely with KAP’s politics. He’ll also get some from the ALP and some from the LNP. Note that KAP in Buderim at the state level got 8%, nearly 9% in Maroochydore, 11% in Glass House, and 26% in Nanango. There was no KAP candidate in Caloundra, so we can’t fully analyse it, but this gives a sense of how people in the area voted in the state election, back when KAP had no real presence. Unfortunately, with no upper house here in Queensland, I can’t use senate numbers to improve accuracy.

    Note that there’s little, if any, doubt that the Greens aren’t going to be losing votes to KAP or PUP, and they’re probably going to hold steady when all is said and done, so I left their primary vote untouched.

    PUP are the wildcard, because they’re a completely new party. But I expect them to at least outperform Family First, who are likely to get 4-5% based on recent history in the seat (and neither KAP nor PUP will be likely to take any votes from FF).

    Mind you, I wouldn’t have expected such strong support for KAP or PUP in the seat if it weren’t for the LNP’s candidate, Mal Brough, given the whole messy affair relating to the claims against Slipper. If LNP had a less… infamous candidate, I’d expect KAP to maybe get 8-9% and PUP to get maybe 2-3%.

    As for “If Labor couldn’t win it in 2007 with Kevin07”, I’m going to point out that in 2007, Labor was running against an incumbent, and that Labor got a higher vote in the Senate than in the House. Also, the swing against Slipper in 2007 was nearly 8%… which was, incidentally, a little lower than neighbouring seats of Fairfax and Longman (Brough’s old seat). Also incidentally, Slipper only made a small gain of less than 1% in 2010, while the Liberal candidates in Fairfax and Longman both got swings of over 3%. And that was with no spoiler candidates.

  12. Unless the Ashby thing blows up in Brough’s face about a factor of ten times more than it has done so so far, Brough will win easily. DB is right, Peter Brent’s stuff shows that Slipper had the worst personal vote in the nation – so bad that it was not just low but negative. All else being equal they’ll get a bounce worth about three points for getting rid of him. I call it a fake marginal.

  13. Probably Brough but could go either way.
    Slipper was already thought something of a liability before he departed the LNP for the Speakership to save Gillard’s skin. He won’t be missed, especially in light of what’s taken place over the years.
    How many people remember that this seat was marginal for the LNP on a conventional 2PP basis before Slipper’s departure to the crossbench and everything else since? Brough is standing for a marginal seat which might well have been his to lose while Gillard led Labor, but now looks more open with Rudd leading Labor.
    I suspect also that Brough is more polarising to Labor people than to voters in this seat or in his old seat of Longman, which he lost in 2007 when Queenslanders en masse through in their lot with Rudd.
    One to watch.

  14. With a poll out today showing Brough with a 3 to 1 lead over the Labor candidate, this appears quite a safe Liberal hold. Where are these swings in QLD people are talking about?

  15. Wait, when did Peter Slipper change his mind? I thought he already decided to retire, and gave a valedictory speech at the last sitting of parliament.

    I wonder if the switch to Rudd might have convinced him that he can influence the result in the seat by running, slicing some votes away from the LNP. Given their treatment of him recently, we can confidently say that his how-to-vote will put Labor well ahead of LNP.

  16. DB – this would be the poll that had Labor + LNP representing only 51.2% of the vote, with a sample of 200?

    Personally, I’m more concerned that a good third (give or take) of the sample didn’t have a position.

  17. DB – if you’re looking for evidence of a swing in Queensland, you won’t find it here. The ALP didn’t win this seat in 2007, and haven’t won it (primary vote was only 32% that year). The only time the ALP has ever held it was 1987-93.

    On the other hand, there was barely any swing against Labor here in 2010, while other seats around it swung massively. Peter Slipper is probably to blame for that. Now he’s gone it’ll revert back to where you’d expect – a safe LNP seat.

  18. very interesting…… now alp….. kap… pup … and Slipper
    I would assume Slipper cannot win…… but he stood to help Brough lose
    if it ends up all of the above against Brough then he has a 50/50 chance at best
    esp if they see a common purpose…… put Brough last !!!!

  19. The race here definitely just got more interesting.

    Slipper may not have had any notable personal vote, but there’s a sympathy vote factor in play – it looks pretty strongly like Brough and Ashby conspired to bring him down because he was willing to stop being partisan and help get things done; at least, that’s how it looks to some people.

    It’s going to draw some votes away from Brough, people who disliked what Brough did but aren’t going to vote for another party… Slipper would be seen as a candidate with Liberal values, and thus should capture that vote. It won’t be nearly enough for him to win his seat, but it’ll hurt Brough.

    Add the PUP pulling more votes away from Brough (I’m betting that this will be one of PUP’s strongest seats, purely because the LNP candidate is Brough), and KAP will probably do decently, too. Greens are probably going to get at least 12% (based on numbers at the state election in seats contained in or overlapping Fisher). I see both ALP and LNP losing a significant chunk of votes. I also feel a little for the Family First party – I think they’re going to have trouble reaching that 4% number necessary to get election funding, simply because KAP, PUP, and Slipper are all going to capture some of the right anti-major vote away from FF.

  20. Palmer has just announced that tomorrow he will hold a press conference on
    “Slipper, Hockey, Brough, Palmer ‘Affair’ – The Truth”.

  21. the arguement Glen put forward if even half right will make this seat uncertain….it may be even a different result depending on the order the parties ‘ preferences are distributed.
    I suggest unless Mr Brough gets very close to a majority on primary votes….. greater than 48%
    he is in trouble. Peter Slipper ran I suspect to help Mr Brough lose……

  22. What are the HTVs saying? Are more putting Slipper before the Libs? He may yet pull a Wilkie and win from 3rd place if Labor directs preferences his way.

  23. Now way Slipper can win. He has the lowest personal vote of any MP in QLD. This is a safe Liberal seat and Brough, regardless of what you think of him, will win comfortably.

  24. I think minor parties could do well, the announcement by Clive was designed to drop support for the libs but unfortunately Brough will probably win but I think this seat goes from one unpopular local member to another unpopular local member

  25. DB – it’s not quite obvious. Slipper has one thing going for him – the underdog status. It’s not going to win him the seat, but it could swing the 2PP. Brough isn’t going to have much personal vote, either, and a batch of swing voters are probably going to vote Slipper specifically because he’s perceived as a persecuted man. And he’ll certainly send preferences to Labor rather than to Brough. If he can pick up, say, 6% of the vote from Brough, and 70% follow his preferences, it could hand the seat to Labor – this is, of course, assuming no other swing being involved. Other swings will affect how this works out.

  26. Glen, I think you are drastically overestimating the extent to which LNP voters see him as persecuted. The ones who see him that way are overwhelmingly more likely to be more ALP-aligned, if not regular ALP voters. If 6% of voters go for Slipper and 70% preference Labor, that 70% will be, by and large, people who would have voted for Labor anyway.

    I do agree with Observer, though.

  27. RichR – I’m referring to 6% of LNP voters, which represents just one in eight; a reasonable number, in my view. As I said, I’m referring to the swinging voters that voted LNP in 2010. I’d imagine that he’ll probably get 4-5% of ALP voters, who will vastly preference Labor over the LNP. I’m assuming that ALP voters that vote for Slipper will put ALP ahead of LNP anyway, since they tend that way already and the HTV supports it too; amongst LNP supporters, I’m envisaging about 30% of them voting for Slipper because they dislike Brough, and about 40% following the HTV simply because that’s what they do. That brings the number up to 70%.

    Ironically enough, this will probably be the first election in which Slipper gets a personal vote.

  28. Well…this could get interesting – the PUP are only 3 points behind the ALP and could possibly make up the gap with preferences – but I think Brough’s lead on primary votes is robust enough to hang on.

  29. I saw Peter Costello (geez, how I detest that stingy little codger) on TV last night.
    He predicted that Green preferences could put Palmer’s candidate ahead of Labor by the second-last count, after which Labor preferences could help Palmer’s candidate to beat Brough – what a turnout for the books this would be!
    And I think that Brough is another polarising Coalition figure among Labor people, more so than in the seat for which he’s running – how much celebration would there in Labor if Brough lost?
    It probably won’t happen, though.

  30. Just 1.4% for Peter Slipper. Is that a record for a sitting member? That makes even Adele Carles’ and Craig Thomson’s efforts look good.

  31. The AEC has switched its 2 candidate preferred count to LNP vs. PUP, but only has 4 polling places in the new 2CP count so far. The LNP leads 57-43 in that small sample.

  32. With 13 polling places, LNP leads 55.3-44.7.

    More importantly, I’ve gone through and looked at LNP’s primary vote in the booths that have been counted for 2CP. Here’s the numbers:

    LNP primary vote across all booths: 43.93%
    LNP primary vote across those counted for 2CP: 45.828%

    So currently, the polling places that have been checked are leaning stronger to LNP than in general. This may or may not make a difference on 2CP.

  33. Tony Abbott now has another problem……. who has ambitions for the ministry or more
    Fisher byelection? when?

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