Griffith – Australia 2013

ALP 8.5%

Incumbent MP
Kevin Rudd, since 1998.

Southern Brisbane. Griffith covers the suburbs of Brisbane on the south side of the Brisbane river across the river from the Brisbane CBD, including South Brisbane itself, as well as Greenslopes, Holland Park, Kangaroo Point, East Brisbane, Coorparoo, Carina, Seven Hills, Morningside, Balmoral and Bulimba.

Griffith was created for the 1934 election, replacing the original seat of Oxley which was abolished at that election. Both Oxley and Griffith have been marginal seats, with Griffith swinging back and forth regularly between the Liberal Party and the ALP since 1949, although this has not usually coincided with national changes. The seat has become relatively safe for the ALP since it was won by Kevin Rudd in 1998.

The seat was first won in 1934 by Labor MP Francis Baker, who had previously won the seat of Oxley off the United Australia Party, ironically at an election when the UAP swept away the federal Labor government.

Baker was re-elected in 1937, but was killed in a car accident in 1939 at the age of 36. Ironically his father was elected to federal parliament in Maranoa in 1940, after his son’s term in Parliament.

The 1939 Griffith by-election was won by Labor candidate William Conelan. Conelan held the seat until he lost Griffith to Liberal candidate Douglas Berry in 1949.

Berry was re-elected in 1951 but lost to the ALP’s Wilfred Coutts. Coutts held on in 1955 but failed to win re-election in 1958, losing to the Liberal Party’s Arthur Chresby, and winning it back in 1961.

Coutts lost the seat once again in 1966, when the seat was won by Liberal candidate Donald Cameron. Cameron held the seat for eleven years, moving to the new seat of Fadden in 1977. He held Fadden until his defeat in 1983, and returned to Parliament at the 1983 Moreton by-election, which he held until his retirement in 1990.

The ALP regained Griffith in 1977, with Ben Humphreys winning the seat. Humphreys served as a minister in the Hawke/Keating government from 1987 until 1993, and retired at the 1996 election.

The ALP preselected Kevin Rudd, but he lost to Graeme McDougall (LIB). McDougall only held on for one term, losing to Rudd in 1998. Rudd joined the ALP shadow ministry in 2001 as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, a role he held for five years.

Rudd’s profile rose as Shadow Foreign Minister, and he was considered a contender for the ALP leadership when Simon Crean resigned in 2003 and when Mark Latham resigned in 2005, but he waited until late 2006 when he challenged Kim Beazley, and was elected leader, and then proceeded to win the 2007 federal election, becoming Prime Minister.

Kevin Rudd was removed as Labor leader and Prime Minister in June 2010, and was re-elected in Griffith as a Labor backbencher. He returned to the ministry as Foreign Minister following the election. He returned to the backbench as part of a failed challenge to Julia Gillard’s leadership in February 2012.


  • Sherrilyn Church (Rise Up Australia)
  • Jan Mcnicol (Stable Population Party)
  • Greg Sowden (Independent)
  • Luke Murray (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Liam Flenady (Socialist Alliance)
  • Kevin Rudd (Labor)
  • Anne Reid (Secular Party)
  • Geoff Ebbs (Greens)
  • Bill Glasson (Liberal National)
  • Karin Hunter (Palmer United Party)
  • Adam Kertesz (Family First)

Griffith is Labor’s safest seat in Queensland. Rudd is a very strong local member and will probably hold on, but if Labor does very badly in Queensland he could still lose. Rudd was considered vulnerable when Gillard was Prime Minister. Originally his accession to the leadership was assumed to strengthen his hold on Griffith, but local polling

2010 result

Kevin RuddALP35,44544.08-9.01
Rebecca DochertyLNP28,78435.80+1.82
Emma-Kate RoseGRN12,37815.39+7.54
Gregory RomansLDP1,8662.32+2.10
Jesse WebbFF1,1631.45+0.66
Hamish ChittsIND6010.75+0.75
Jan PukallusCEC1750.22+0.22

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Kevin RuddALP47,00758.46-3.86
Rebecca DochertyLNP33,40541.54+3.86
Polling places in Griffith at the 2010 federal election. Bulimba in red, East in yellow, Greenslopes in green, South Brisbane in blue. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Griffith at the 2010 federal election. Bulimba in red, East in yellow, Greenslopes in green, South Brisbane in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas. Bulimba in the north, Greenslopes in the south, South Brisbane in the west and a series of booths along the eastern boundary.

The ALP won a majority between 56% and 59% in three areas, and over 62% in South Brisbane. The Greens vote varied from 10.4% in the east to 23.4% in South Brisbane.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
South Brisbane23.4362.3613,01016.18
Other votes15.6058.3219,52824.28
Two-party-preferred votes in Griffith at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Griffith at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Griffith at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Griffith at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Glen – Ill try and find a source, but from recollection there were 105 people, not 100, 37 Abbott, 35 Rudd and remainder said no-one won from memory.

  2. As I said, I was surprised with that result, but I don’t agree with Observer (surprise, surprise). Statistics show that most people have made up their mind in this election (90% of Coalition voters and only 70% of ALP voters) and just want it to be over. Coalition voters are more committed than ALP voters according to the polls taken so far. Given only 400k watched last night, it suggests people don’t care anymore; they just want it over.

    The other thing is Abbott is much more engaging in real life than Rudd (see Peter Brent’s article today) so that may account for some of the audience. Rudd is made for TV and is much more of a statesman than Abbott, but you’d rather have a drink with Tony I’d suggest, which probably comes through a bit in these types of forums. But to the viewer, Rudd appeared the better performer.

    Can Labor make up 3-4% in the last 2 weeks, that is the question? My view, it’s possible and probably not a bad election for the Coalition to lose.

    The interesting thing will be whether Glasson’s obvious strong performance in Griffith (and he is a great great candidate, probably the best new candidate on offer on either side) will force the PM to start campaigning in his own seat? Doubt he would, but this poll suggests Mr Rudd could lose his own seat, in which case, Labor can’t win the election if it is correct one would think.

    Labor’s dream would be for Rudd to lose his seat and for Labor to win the election. Just imagine that thought for the ALP.

  3. Look DB I don’t think an party can really ever say how many people have made their mind up at all. Every individual is different with changing circumstances, we just won’t know until the informal ballots and turn out is determined. I know I have in the past questioned your polls DB but it is impossible to know how many people are decided and just how committed people are. I don’t think a low viewing rate necessarily says that. I’ll say that most people who watched are pretty much solid voting people for one party or the other. The forum was held on a weeknight, around dinner time and a state based forum (Brisbane forum wouldn’t appeal to perth views).

    I think were gonna have to disagree on personality in person I’ve met both and can safely say Kevin was more down to Earth and not fake like Tony. But lets assume that your right (Not that your party preference would influence your view on the two), its a bigger asset to be better at TV then one on one. Theres not enough time to have a drink with every Australian, and that forum was couple of hours with only 100 people.

    I’d say yes anything is possible and the ALP campaign looks planned and pretty convincing, I think the libs have underestimated the ALP campaign.

    In regards to Bill yes he is probably one of the libs best candidates but I don’t think he would be the electorates best choice, I’d probably say the lib in KS is better. No matter what I can safely say Rudd will probably win his seat, I’m sure many libs hope Abbott loses his its bizarre that they had Sinodinus as the lib candidate in Warringah.

  4. I walked down Oxford Street in Bulimba last week and all I saw was Bill Glasson signs and volunteers. The ground game for the ALP is non existent in Bulimba. 2 polls, Reachtel and Lonergan, show Glasson’s Primary vote over 40%. I still think Rudd will survive but a lot of the base ALP support has been eroded over the years.

  5. It is also not a good look for Rudd to turn down tonight’s Griffith candidate debate so he be on the Project.

  6. Observer – I don’t mind you questioning the polls I provide. That’s fine. I don’t like you questioning my integrity. But you must admit, what I have said is pretty well reflected also in these Robopolls and I’ve generally written it before the Robopolls have arrived in most situations.

    I reckon Rudd will win Griffith. Bulimba has changed a bit. My sister lived in Cannon Hill for a few years. Bulimba seems a little more affluent. Brisbane seats typically have some type of affluence in each seat and that’s why you can understand the State election result in seat terms based on a 2PP vote which was similar to NSW.

    But as for commentary you make as opposed to myself – it only comes down to keeping a sense of realism, which I am pretty good at. As I said, Rudd performed better in my view and won the debate and he is made for TV. Abbott is better face-to-face (again see Mumble today) but the internal polling suggests the ALP are heading for a fairly big loss I’m afraid at this point. That’s not my bias. That’s what’s going on. I look forward to the next set of polls.

  7. Observer
    For one, (amongst countless others) Warren Mundine has met both (Abbott, & Rudd) too. Warren has no reason to like any Liberal (being a former ALP President) . Clearly he prefers Abbott. Forgive me if i see his opinion as being more informed, & qualified than yours!!!.

  8. DB- What I am saying is that it is impossible for polling to accurately account for how much of the population in undecided or committed, people can change their mind on that all the time even if they have said their committed. And its worth noting that a robopoll company that commissioned the poll for this seat actually admitted that robopolls aren’t as reliable as national polls as they don’t have a great track record and are relatively new.

    And like I said I think we are going to have to agree to disagree as someone who can say they have met liberal MPs and can admit some are really easy to talk to and genuine, can’t say the same about my experience with Abbott. I’m also wondering whether poll methods will have to change with new age groups no longer having landline any more.

    Winediamond first off show the link for this. Second, Warren Mundine is pretty annoyed about not getting the senate spot that Bob Carr got and has a job if the libs win. I’m not going to start getting into why my opinion should count for more vice versa but I’d ask that you respect peoples opinions. As someone who can’t vote, the leaders didn’t have to talk to me they did and I’m sharing my experience and also experience of other people I know. Mundine and myself are clearly equally qualified seeing as we have both met the people we are talking about.

    Bear Necessaties, its really interesting about the forum tonight. Studies show the forums aren’t attended by undecided voters but rather party supporters (except the case last night where a poll invited people), so by going on the project, he has probably reached out to more undecided voters in his electorate then the forum would and undecided voters all over the place. As I said Abbott didn’t attend his so I think the community would expect leaders not to be able to make it but Rudd did attend one earlier in the election. Atleast you get signs, here in Warringah not one Abbott sign spotted, even the labor candidate has signs and its not even on a single digit margin!

  9. DB – I heard those numbers (it was 37, 35, and then 33 for “undecided”)… but it was their alignment going IN to the debate. And if it’s true that the 37 said Abbott won and the 35 said Rudd won and the 33 said neither won, then it really just means nobody won – you can’t argue that Abbott won marginally on the basis that more Abbott supporters were there.

  10. Its interesting that the robopollsters have said double digit swings against labor in Griffith, Blaxland, Forde, McMahon, Lindsay, Bennelong, Aston, Lyons, Bass, Braddon, Franklin a 7% swing in KS, Corangamite, 5% in Brisbane and Macquarie, 4% in Deakin and Banks. So something has to give if national polling says a 2% to the coalition

  11. Griffith Newspoll 22/8 Sample 500 2PP 48 -10

    Newspoll confirms Lonergan’s poll yesterday (that many laughed at) indicating that Kevin Rudd is set to lose his seat and become only the third PM to do so behind Stanley Bruce and John Howard. This poll should be taken seriously as it is Newspoll, it is not automated, and Dr Bill Glasson IS working his backside off everyday in Bulimba and surrounds.

  12. Surge of support for the Coalition according to the betting sites.

    This afternoon, Sports Bet odds in Griffith shows support for Labor slips to $1.33 whilst support for the LNP hardens to $3.00. Currently, Centrebet odds in this electorate shows support for Labor drifts to $1.30 whilst support for the LNP firms to $3.20.

  13. I tell you what, while it still seems unlikely to me that Rudd could lose – Glasson really is winning ground on him. I think almost every day I’ve been out and about in Griffith (and I work here), I am constantly seeing signs and volunteers out supporting him – Far more than I’m seeing for Rudd.

    While it still seem unlikely, I did hear an interview on the radio on the weekend saying how voters in Griffith might think to themselves “well the LNP’s going to win anyway, so Rudd will probably resign and we’ll have to have a by-election. In that case, we may as well vote LNP now.”

    It seems a bit simplistic, but certainly could be a plausible explanation for a portion of the swing.

  14. Another setback for Labor according to Sports Bet.

    Currently, Sports Bet odds in Griffith shows support for Labor eases from $1.33 to $1.38 whilst support for the LNP tightens from $3.00 to $2.80.

  15. Further setback for Labor according to Centrebet.

    Currently, Centrebet odds in Griffith shows support for Labor slips from $1.30 to $1.35 whilst support for the LNP firms from $3.20 to $2.90.

  16. Momentum for the Coalition according to Sports Bet.

    This afternoon, Sports Bet odds in Griffith shows support for Labor drifts from $1.35 to $1.40 whilst support for the LNP tightens from $2.85 to $2.75.

  17. So the newest robopoll is now saying Rudd is in the lead 57.2-42.8. Anybody who doubted that the robopolls are untrustworthy should now be convinced. Does anybody really believe that, last week, Rudd was at risk of losing Griffith, and this week, he’s got a 7.2% margin?

  18. Glen point well made…….. the robopolls are like tossing a coin to see who wins…. completely
    inaccurate…………..There is roughly a 53/47 split according to the opinion polls….the
    robopolls suggest approx 60/40 or worse.

  19. Two polls out in this seat: JWS showing Rudd ahead 57/43 and Galaxy, who appear to be doing the most credible seat by seat polling, has Rudd 54/46 ahead.

    I have no doubt there is a swing against Rudd in this seat. I reckon Galaxy is about right.

    Glen, as I have previously suggested, one poll in one seat doesn’t tell us much, but the trend shows there is a swing on against the Government. I think Andrew Katsaris put it the best today when he suggested on current national polls the Coalition were headed for about 84 I think it was, but the seat specific polls suggested they were headed for 105. I suspect it less than 105, but probably slightly better than 84.

  20. Good news for Labor according to Centrebet.

    This morning, Centrebet odds in Griffith shows support for Labor firms from $1.35 to $1.20 whilst support for the LNP eases from $2.90 to $4.00.

  21. Better news for Labor according to Sports Bet.

    This afternoon, Sports Bet odds in Griffith shows support for Labor tightens from $1.36 to $1.25 whilst support for the LNP slips from $2.75 to $3.50.

  22. Slight setback for Labor according to Centrebet.

    Currently, Centrebet odds in Griffith shows support for Labor drifts from $1.20 to $1.25 whilst support for the LNP firms from $4.00 to $3.60.

  23. I know someone who put money on Glasson a few months back when he was 6 bucs to win this seat. I believe they will be pretty rich come Saturday night. I think I’ll crawl into a hole when that happens.

  24. The vibe I get on the street in Griffith is that Rudd’s gone, but those odds make it seem REALLY unlikely.

    Not sure how confidently I could predict this as a retain or lose.

  25. Interesting though all the odds are shortening for the LNP and lengthening for Labor
    Im bit concerned about “Rudd for PM” comments as it sounds ominous for QLD Labor….

    OUCH !

  26. If they lose Griffith, they won’t hold a seat in Qld, but it’s also probably the only seat they have a chance of holding in Qld. It’s gonna be a close seat.

  27. See, I’m not sure I agree with you Rudd for PM. While Griffith has the highest margin, I see the demographics as being largely similar to Brisbane – which I would see as more likely to swing than a seat like Capricornia (which due to its highly unionised workforce I would see as a more solid Labor vote). That and factoring in the KAP vote preferencing Labor, I see Capricornia or Blair being stronger for Labor than Griffith.

    I agree that it’s possible the Labor won’t hold a seat in Queensland, but I don’t think it’ll happen.

  28. Poll out this morning on this seat showing Rudd 52/48 behind Glasson. It was mentioned this morning on Sunrise, but I cannot find a link to it anywhere, but suspect it was ReachTEL.

  29. Funny analysis……I get his logic about turfing out a leader who’ll probably resign anyway, but I’d have thought Blair and Capricornia at least would be much better chances of LNP gain than Griffith…..

  30. Another setback for Labor according to Centrebet.

    Currently, Centrebet odds in Griffith shows support for Labor eases from $1.25 to $1.35 whilst support for the LNP tightens from $3.60 to $2.90.

  31. My vote is for Kevin. Why have 2 LNP parties both Federal and State running the place? Who knows how much further cuts will be taking place!

  32. The best candidate the ALP could provide for this seat would be Di Farmer. Her state electorate, Bulimba, is in Griffith and has a well respected profile. I think she would beat Bill Glasson. Maybe Shane Sutton would beat Glasson as well. Any other ALP candidates and it probably will be Glasson as MHR for Griffith.

  33. Yeah Di is best choice, she has that support in the Bulimba end of the electorate that heavily swung against labor and seeing as Shayne Sutton whose council ward is also in Bulimba won’t be contesting, Di will probably get the nod

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