McPherson – Australia 2013

LNP 10.3%

Incumbent MP
Karen Andrews, since 2010.

Southern end of the Gold Coast. McPherson covers the Gold Coast’s border with New South Wales and stretches up the coast to Burleigh Heads and covers inland Gold Coast as far north as Clear Island Waters and Merrimac.

McPherson was created as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives in 1949, and it has always been held by Coalition parties: by the Country Party until 1972 and by the Liberal Party from 1972 until the Liberal National Party merger in recent years.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Country Party leader Arthur Fadden, who became Treasurer in the post-war Menzies government. Fadden had briefly served as Prime Minister during the Second World War and had previously held Darling Downs since 1936.

Fadden held the seat until his retirement in 1958, when he was replaced by the Country Party’s Charles Barnes. Barnes served as a minister from 1963 until just before the 1972 election, and retired at that election.

At the 1972 election the seat of McPherson was lost by the Country Party to Liberal candidate Eric Robinson. Robinson served as a junior minister in the first term of the Fraser government and was appointed Finance Minister in 1977. He briefly stood down in 1979 due to a dispute with Malcolm Fraser, and was dropped from the ministry after the 1980 election. He died suddenly in January 1981.

The 1981 by-election was won by state Liberal MP Peter White, who defeated National Country Party senator Glen Sheil. White held McPherson at the 1983, 1984 and 1987 elections, and retired in 1990.

McPherson was won in 1990 by the Liberal Party’s John Bradford. Bradford held the seat until 1998. In April 1998 he resigned from the Liberal Party and joined the Christian Democratic Party. He contested the Senate in Queensland in 1998 for the CDP but was not elected.

McPherson was won in 1998 by Margaret May, who has held the seat for the last decade. May briefly served as a shadow minister under Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull but then returned to the backbench and retired in 2010.

At the 2010 election, the LNP’s Karen Andrews won the seat with a 1.6% swing towards her.


McPherson is a safe LNP seat.

2010 result

Karen AndrewsLNP42,06953.90-0.93
Dan ByronALP22,52628.86-6.99
Ben O’CallaghanGRN9,67612.40+6.49
Matthew ReevesFF3,7774.84+3.33

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Karen AndrewsLNP47,04460.28+1.63
Dan ByronALP31,00439.72-1.63
Polling places in McPherson at the 2010 federal election. North-East in green, North-West in orange, South in blue. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in McPherson at the 2010 federal election. North-East in green, North-West in orange, South in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three areas:

  • North-East – Burleigh, Varsity Lakes.
  • North-West – Mudgeeraba, Reedy Creek, Robina.
  • South – Coolangatta, Currumbin, Elanora, Palm Beach, Tallebudgera.

The LNP won a majority in all three areas, varying from 56.3% in the south to 65.6% in the north-west. The Greens vote varied from 9.3% in the north-west to 14.3% in the south.

Voter groupGRN %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes12.4761.5722,43428.74
Two-party-preferred votes in McPherson at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in McPherson at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in McPherson at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in McPherson at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Not since Labor put Eddy Sarroff up for nomination here a few years back has there been a decent challenge for McPherson.

    What’s interesting though is that this seat includes the Gold Coast’s bible belt from Worongary to Tallebudgerra, so you get a higher Family First vote than the other GC seats.

    My prediction for this seat is that the Greens vote will fall, Labor won’t go anywhere, with the Libs largely picking up some of the extra votes.

  2. Palmer’s candidate Susie Douglas is married to Alex Douglas, state MP for Gaven (further north) who’s gone from LNP to independent to PUP over the last year or so, and she was also a Gold Coast councillor, for whatever that’s worth. She oughta get one of PUP’s better results, maybe something like 10%.

  3. Susie Douglas is also an ex Gold Coast councilor and is high profile. She has led the anti split development movement.

  4. that should read spit* – for those out of the loop it is against a cruise ship terminal and possibly a casino

  5. Anti-cruise ship terminal, eh? There’ll be nowhere local to park the Titanic II if she gets her way.

  6. Plus Susie Douglas also ran for Mayor at the last Council election, so she does have a very strong profile. I too can see PUP getting 10% here, but not enough to cause any real concern to the LNP.

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