Moncrieff – Australia 2013

LNP 17.5%

Incumbent MP
Steven Ciobo, since 2001.

Moncrieff covers the central part of the Gold Coast, covering the coast from Miami to Paradise Waters and Southport, and as far inland as Nerang.

Moncrieff was first created at the 1984 election, and has always been held by the Liberal Party.

The seat was first won in 1984 by Kathy Sullivan, who had been a Queensland senator since 1974. Sullivan held the seat until 2001, serving continuously in Parliament for 27 years, a record for any female parliamentarian. She served two brief terms in the Opposition shadow ministry in the 1980s and 1990s, and served as a Parliamentary Secretary in the Howard government from 1997 to 2000.

Sullivan was succeeded in 2001 by Steven Ciobo. Ciobo served on the backbenches for the remainder of the Howard government, and has served as a Shadow Minister since 2007.


  • Barrie Sinclair Nicholson (Family First)
  • Peter Spajic (Citizens Electoral Council)
  • Steven Ciobo (Liberal National)
  • Grant Pforr (Palmer United Party)
  • Veronica Bernadette Beric (One Nation)
  • Toni McPherson (Greens)
  • Jason Munro (Labor)

Moncrieff is a very safe LNP seat.

2010 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Steven Ciobo LNP 46,832 61.85 +2.27
Robert Hough ALP 17,776 23.48 -6.71
Sally Spain GRN 8,756 11.56 +5.34
James Tayler FF 2,351 3.11 +1.36

2010 two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Steven Ciobo LNP 51,103 67.49 +3.69
Robert Hough ALP 24,612 32.51 -3.69
Polling places in Moncrieff at the 2010 federal election. East in blue, North in orange, West in green. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Moncrieff at the 2010 federal election. East in blue, North in orange, West in green. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three areas: east, north and west.

The LNP won a large majority in all three areas, ranging from 63% in the west to 70.5% in the east. The Greens came third, with the Greens vote around 12% in each area.

Voter group GRN % LNP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
East 11.67 70.48 22,580 29.82
North 12.03 66.18 15,702 20.74
West 11.75 62.97 15,119 19.97
Other votes 11.01 68.46 22,314 29.47
Two-party-preferred votes in Moncrieff at the 2010 federal election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Moncrieff at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Moncrieff at the 2010 federal election.
Greens primary votes in Moncrieff at the 2010 federal election.


  1. Until last year, this used to be my seat. Ultra-safe liberal and Labor doesn’t even get a look in. No one remotely thinks that this area could ever be held by a Labor member federally.

    Steve Ciobo frustrates me though. Not the best local member and certainly has nothing on how good Kathy Sullivan used to be.

    I think Ciobo was a Turnbull supporter too, so that will hurt his ministerial prospects.

  2. What I’d be really interested in is how they would respond to a strong alternative candidate from a minor party, considering how ineffective Ciobo has proven himself (especially if Tony Abbott gets a stint as PM)

  3. I’m sure the people of New England, Lyne and Denison feel a lot more recognised after being thrust into the centre of Federal politics, this year could be Moncrieff’s

  4. I believe this seat will contain the strongest Palmer vote on the Gold Coast. I don’t think it will really do any damage though. I imagine 10% is likely.

  5. How come Labor have never come close to winning federal Gold Coast seats? They won most of the state seats at their 2001 and 2004 landslides, and Southport and Albert were actually pretty safe for a while.

  6. Bird of paradox:

    1. The levels of popularity the Beattie, and to a lesser extent, the Bligh governments achieved in the Gold Coast has never been matched, as far as I know, at the federal level.
    2. Optional preferential voting would have aided in making those ALP margins a bit bigger.

  7. Anton’s points are correct, but further to this, with the exception of the years where the Libs and Nats were hopeless in Queensland (2001 and 2004), the only areas that really were strong ALP seats were Currumbin, Southport and Albert. Each of these seats supports the ALP reasonably strongly (around Coolangatta, Southport and Beenleigh, respectively). But at the federal level, these ALP-leaning areas are swamped by the overwhelmingly LNP-voting areas such as Robina, Broadbeach, Surfers, Parkwood, Runaway Bay and Coomera. If the ALP ever wish to win a Gold Coast seat, without a doubt Forde (which they won in 07) or Fadden are their best bets.

  8. The longer this goes on the more I think all Palmer’s media conferences and tv ads will not have a big effect. He will be lucky to crack 6% of the vote here.

  9. Yeah, quite a few (bad) ads and a lot of billboards.

    He’s spending a lot of money, but getting very little traction. Probably because most people see his party as vain and self-serving. I think Queensland or NSW will be his best states, but I agree with you QO, neither will get above 6%.

  10. I think in Hinkler he will crack 6%, in fact above 10% and approaching 15%. That is based off the candidate though.

  11. I agree with you there QO. Hinkler will probably be Palmer’s best seat, and I think he’ll simply split the LNP vote, possibly handing the seat to Labor. He won’t go so well in Fairfax, where I don’t know he’ll get above 10% and definitely not above 15%.

  12. I don’t see why the PUP candidate would “split” the vote and somehow hand the seat to Labor as a result. It’s likely that votes for the PUP will have preferences flow to the Liberals, not to Labor. And I can’t see the PUP candidate managing enough to overtake the Liberals on primary vote (which would be necessary, I think, for PUP to be the “spoiler”).

    I’d say that, for Labor to gain the seat, it would take a major gaffe by Ciobo or a major policy screwup from the Liberals (like announcing plans to do something that would result in far less tourism to the area). I do think that it will see a significant swing towards Labor, and a significant chunk of primary vote for the Liberals lost to PUP, but Liberals should still have a comfortable 45% or so of the primary vote, and preferences flow from PUP will easily push them over the line. My prediction is 60% 2PP.

  13. I think he’d do OK-ish in Fairfax, Hinkler and Maranoa. But that says more about the candidates than himself.

    Most of the time he won’t get the deposit back.

  14. Glen, there’s absolutely no doubt that the Libs will retain Moncrieff. Short of a major redistribution, a realignment of the parties’ philosophical orientation or the emergence of a credible third alternative party in Australia, I can’t foresee a possibility of the ALP ever winning Moncrieff (Much the same as I can’t see them winning Bradfield, Berowra or Mackellar without fundamental changes to our system).

    There’s no risk of PUP overtaking the LNP, but the possibility for Palmer to be a ‘spoiler’ in Hinkler or Fairfax is due to the risk of preference leakage to the ALP.

  15. To give you some idea of how things are not travelling well for the ALP, is the fact that there is still no candidate being pre-selected (yet). Yet this is an area that elected ALP members in State Seats during the Beattie and Bligh Governments.

  16. Macca – not sure why you’re trying to convince me, particularly, of it (especially given that you’re the one who proposed PUP being the spoiler enough to hand it to Labor). Like I said, it would take a major mistake on behalf of either Ciobo or the Coalition in order for them to lose the seat. We’re talking the sort of mistake that has only ever happened a handful of times in this country. I do see Labor doing relatively well here (compared with previous elections), but not enough to get them over the line, and I’d expect it to be their high-water mark.

    I also don’t understand why people keep talking about PUP preference “leakage” to the ALP. If people would have voted Liberal if the PUP weren’t there, then they’re not going to put Labor above the Libs in preferences when voting PUP. Any preference flow of PUP voters that goes to Labor will come from voters that would have voted Labor in the first place, so no “leakage”.

  17. Angus – Labor’s going to finalise their preselection for Moncrieff tomorrow. It’s not that “things are not travelling well”, it’s that it’s a very safe Liberal seat at this time, so they don’t feel the need to rush to get a candidate in – they don’t expect to actually win it (for the same reasoning that I and others have noted above). As I said above, they could see a significant swing to them in the seat at this election, but nowhere near enough to take the seat.

    If the ALP manage to get more 2PP than about 42%, they’ll have done well in the seat.

  18. Glen, if you read my post again, you’ll see that I never suggested PUP could beat Ciobo or have any significant impact on Moncrieff. My point was that they could impact Hinkler.

    I think you’re wrong about preference leakage – it happens quite often. See some of the three-cornered contests between ALP/Libs/Nats. There’s often leakage of preferences between the Libs and Nats to the ALP despite the fact they’re in coalition, which has resulted in the ALP winning these seats in the past.

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