Senate – Queensland – Australia 2013

Incumbent Senators

Term expires 2014 Term expires 2017
Ron Boswell (LNP)George Brandis (LNP)
Sue Boyce (LNP)Barnaby Joyce (LNP)
Mark Furner (ALP)Joe Ludwig (ALP)
John Hogg (ALP)Jan McLucas (ALP)
Ian Macdonald (LNP)Brett Mason (LNP)
Claire Moore (ALP) Larissa Waters (GRN)

For the vast majority of the time since proportional representation was introduced, Queensland has had a majority of Senators from right-wing parties such as the Liberals, Nationals, DLP and One Nation. Indeed, the ALP maintained a consistent number of senators for most of this period, holding four Queensland senators continuously from 1951 to 1984. They held a fifth seat from the 1984 election until 1990, when they fell back to four seats. They gained a fifth again in 2007.

From 1951 until the 1964 election, Queensland had four ALP senators, four Liberal senators and two Country Party senators. The 1964 election saw the Liberals lose a seat to the Democratic Labor Party candidate (and ex-Premier) Vince Gair. They won a second seat in 1967, which resulted in the Liberals, Country Party and DLP each holding two senate seats in Queensland, alongside four ALP senators. The 1970 election maintained the status quo.

The 1974 double dissolution saw the DLP lose both their seats, with the Liberal and Country parties each winning a third seat. The Queensland delegation remained steady at four ALP and three for each of the coalition parties until 1980, when the National Country Party lost one of their three seats to the Democrats. The 1980 election was the first time that the Coalition parties ran separate Senate tickets in Queensland, after running jointly for the previous thirty years. The 1983 double dissolution saw the Nationals win back a third seat at the expense of the Liberals, who by this point in time had begun to run on separate tickets. Throughout the 1980s the Nationals held more Senate seats in Queensland than the Liberals.

The 1984 election saw an enlargement in the Senate, with the ALP winning a fifth Senate seat for the first time and the Nationals electing a fourth senator. This balance of five ALP, four Nationals, two Liberals and a Democrat was maintained at the 1987 double dissolution election.

The 1990 election saw the Liberals overtake the Nationals. After the 1987 double dissolution the Senate had decided that two ALP, two Liberal and two National senators would have six-year terms, despite the fact that the Liberals had won half the number of seats of either other party. This gave them a boost in 1990, as they won two seats to the Nationals one, while not having any incumbents up for election. In practice this meant that the Liberals won two seats, one off the ALP and the other off the Nationals. The ALP was reduced back to four seats, and the Coalition again gained a majority of Queensland senate seats.

The 1993 election saw the Democrats win a second Queensland seat, at the expense of the Nationals. This produced a result of four each for the ALP and Liberal Party and two each for the Nationals and Democrats.

The 1993 election result was maintained in 1996, but in 1998 the Nationals lost one of their two seats to One Nation. In 2001 there were again no changes, and in 2004 the Nationals and Liberals each gained a seat, with One Nation losing their seat and one of the two Democrats being defeated. The 2007 election saw the defeat of the last remaining Democrat, producing an overall result of five senators each for the Labor and Liberal parties and two Nationals senators.

In 2010, the LNP went in to the election with four incumbent senators, and retained three of those seats. Labor maintained their two seats, and the Greens’ Larissa Waters won the first ever Greens Senate seat in Queensland.

Number of Queensland Senators from each party after each Senate election, 1951-2010. Click to view interactive chart.
Number of Queensland Senators from each party after each Senate election, 1951-2010. Click to view interactive chart.

2010 result

Liberal National Party1,015,06241.42+1.022.8996
The Greens312,80412.76+5.440.8935
Family First83,7863.42+1.220.2393
Australian Sex Party63,5862.59+2.590.1816
Liberal Democrats55,2222.25+2.090.1577
Fishing and Lifestyle48,5471.98+1.190.1387
Shooters and Fishers42,6691.74+1.210.1219
One Nation22,3530.91+0.740.0639
Australian Democrats19,0190.78-1.100.0543

The ALP and the Liberal National Party each won two seats on primary votes.

We enter the race when there are nine candidates left:

  • Larissa Waters (GRN) – 0.9624 quotas
  • Brett Mason (LNP) – 0.9077
  • Wendy Francis (FF) – 0.2839
  • Desiree Gibson (SXP) – 0.1848
  • Jim Fryar (LDP) – 0.1595
  • Keith Douglas (AFLP) – 0.1489
  • Andrew Peter (SHO) – 0.1237
  • Rod Evans (ON) – 0.1235
  • Paul Stevenson (DEM) – 0.1046

The exclusion of the Democrat pushed Waters just over the line, and elected the first Green to the Senate from Queensland. The other benificiaries were the LNP and the Liberal Democrats. Waters had a .0186 surplus over the quota, and after the distribution of this small surplus the race stood as follows:

  • Mason (LNP) – 0.9262
  • Francis (FF) – 0.2844
  • Gibson (SXP) – 0.1958
  • Fryar (LDP) – 0.1825
  • Douglas (AFLP) – 0.1619
  • Evans (ON) – 0.1242
  • Peter (SHO) 0.1240

At this point, the LNP is far out in front, but without any favourable preferences was vulnerable to one out of the bunch of small right-wing parties pushing into the lead. The elimination of the Shooters candidate pushed the Fishing and Lifestyle candidate from fifth to third place.

  • Mason (LNP) – 0.9273
  • Francis (FF) – 0.2858
  • Douglas (AFLP) – 0.2795
  • Gibson (SXP) – 0.1970
  • Fryar (LDP) – 0.1827
  • Evans (ON) 0.1265

The elimination of the One Nation candidate pushed the Fishing and Lifestyle candidate out ahead of the other minor parties. Three quarters of One Nation’s preferences went to the AFLP, with most of the remainder going to Family First.

  • Mason (LNP) – 0.9287
  • Douglas (AFLP) – 0.3692
  • Francis (FF) – 0.3194
  • Gibson (SXP) – 0.1982
  • Fryar (LDP) – 0.1833

Almost all of Fryar’s preferences flowed to the Sex Party, pushing them ahead.

  • Mason (LNP) – 0.9304
  • Gibson (SXP) – 0.3774
  • Douglas (AFLP) – 0.3702
  • Francis (FF) – 0.3203

The elimination of Wendy Francis pushed Douglas out to almost two-thirds of a quota.

  • Mason (LNP) – 0.9750
  • Douglas (AFLP) – 0.6426
  • Gibson (SXP) – 0.3801

At this point Mason was very close to a quota at this point, and only a very strong preference flow from the Sex Party would have elected the Fishing and Lifestyle candidate. While most of the preferences that the Sex Party had built up through the count flowed to Douglas, the Sex Party’s primary votes flowed to the LNP, and elected Mason.

  • Mason (LNP) – 1.1573
  • Douglas (AFLP) – 0.8335
Final rounds of Queensland Senate preference distribution. Click to view interactive chart.
Final rounds of Queensland Senate preference distribution. Click to view interactive chart.

The Liberal National Party is running:

  1. Ian Macdonald, sitting Senator
  2. James McGrath
  3. Matthew Canavan
  4. David Goodwin
  5. Theresa Craig
  6. Amanda Stoker

The Labor Party is running:

  1. Chris Ketter
  2. Claire Moore, sitting Senator
  3. Mark Furner, sitting Senator

The Greens are standing Adam Stone. The Pirate Party are running Melanie Thomas. Katter’s Australian Party is running James Blundell. The Palmer United Party is running Glenn Lazarus. Greg Rudd, brother of the former Prime Minister, is running as an independent. Patricia Petersen is running for her Australian Independents party. Family First are running Sally Vincent. The Stable Population Party is running Jane O’Sullivan. The 21st Century Australia Party is running Grace Cobb. The Secular Party are running Hilton Travis. The Socialist Equality Party are running Mike Head.

A swing of less than 2.3% from the LNP to the minor right-wing parties would see a minor right-wing candidate defeating the third LNP candidate. However in current circumstances it seems that the LNP is set to increase their seat and lock in their third seat.

In 2010, the combined vote for the Greens and Labor after preferences reached 3.02 quotas. The Sex Party’s preferences would have favoured the Greens and Labor, and their preferences increase this figure to 3.2 quotas.

If there is a significant swing to the LNP away from Labor (as seems likely), the ALP and Greens will fall short of winning a third seat.

In current circumstances, Katter’s Australian Party will be a serious contender to win a seat off the ALP.

If you fit the results of the 2012 state election onto Senate quotas, the LNP wins three seats with half a quota of surplus, the ALP falls just short of a second quota. The Greens would win barely half a quota, while the KAP would be well on their way to winning a seat.

It seems most likely that the final seat will be a race between Katter’s party and the Greens, with an outside possibility that the Greens and KAP could both win a seat, with Labor reduced to a single seat.


  1. LNP Qld Senate candidates for the 2013 Federal election: Senator Ian Macdonald, James McGrath, Matt Canavan, David Goodwin, Dr Theresa Craig and Amanda Stoker.

  2. The LNP will easily get their top three candidates elected (Ian Macdonald, James McGrath and Matt Canavan). Labor will get their top two (Chris Ketter and Claire Moore) and the final spot will be a three way battle between Katter’s Australian Party, the Greens (Adam Stone) and Labor’s Mark Furner. Senator Furner’s chances of re-election are very slim.

  3. I agree that LNP will get 3. I think the ALP will get 2, and I reckon KAP will get the last off Liberal or other minor right preferences. The Greens vote will fall too much in QLD for them to hold on.

  4. There is an outside chance that the LNP get 4 Senators. Especially if they replicate the state election result and get half a quota. I imagine for instance the Greens would preference LNP above Katter and the UAP.

  5. The more I hear the less likely my statement about the Greens. They will preference Katter due to CSG. I don’t know about Palmer though.

  6. I’ve been thinking about our senate race and the possibility of a result where the LNP get 4, Labor get 1 and 1 minor (KAP or GRN). The more I think about it, the less likely I think either the LNP getting 4 or Labor getting just 1 is. My prediction is on primarys, LNP get 3 and ALP gets 1. It’s then down to the ALP, GRN and KAP to fight it out for the last 2 seats. KAP gets a seat next (off LNP surplus and minor right parties like FF, LDP, Shooters and Fishers), followed by the ALP just securing their second seat ahead of the Greens.

  7. In my opinion I never thought the coalition would secure a fourth seat as the minor parties will likely preference each other. Looking back at the 2010 senate result in Queensland the left could barley get above 3.13 of a quota with the Labor+greens+ sex party vote. If you consider the sex party vote to not go 100% to the left it was even less. Fact is one of the minor parties be it katters party, Clive’s party, or another minor will win the senate seat. There is no way that Labor and the greens will win more then two seats in the state.

  8. It is highly unlikely but the LNP preference negotiator is the same person who secured the fourth spot in 2004. So if the preferences go the right way and the vote is high enough who knows.

    I agree that the Greens won’t win the 6th seat. if they win a seat it means Labor is left in 1. This is highly unlikely though.

  9. The Coalition managed to win four seats in 2004 because they ran two separate tickets – if the LNP had run a single ticket, as they will do in 2013, they would not have won three.

  10. Increasingly I am thinking that the Greens won’t win the last spot and it will go to KAP. The LNP will get 3 and Labor will get 2.

  11. What is likely to be the impact of Palmer’s party and Katters’ mob? Their votes it seems to me are not going to come from the group who are at this stage still going to vote ALP. Therefore they must come from LNP voters -Every vote that goes to them raises the possibility of a leakage away form the LNP, no matter how small.

  12. I disagree with you on two accounts. First I think Katter’s pro union anti-privatization stance will help him pick up support on the left. He will pick up equal amounts of Labor and Coalition support. Also in my opinion Palmer and Katter are going to have a very strong preference flow between each other and one of them is more or less assured to make it into the final count for the senate there by there eliminating any leakage. The Coalition in opinion is also very unlikly to make it into the final count for the last seat.

  13. Kap is going to pick up about 35% of the vote from the Left and 65% from the right. The odds of KAP picking up the 3rd left seat is highly likely, in fact I would be surprise if they do not poll better then the Greens

  14. Labor will get 1 in the Senate and 1 in the Lower House. They will be lucky to poll 18% in the Senate. The Libs will get 3, Labor 1, Greens 1 and someone else the 6th in the Senate. The Greens will get elected on Labor preferences.

  15. I disagree Mark. I think there’ll be some leakage from the Greens back to Labor, which will partially offset the leakage from Labor to LNP. Labor will get one on primary, with Greens preferences pushing Labor above 2. On the right, the LNP will get 2 on primary votes, with at least one seat going to either KAP or PUP. Given the right preference deals, I could foresee a situation where Shooters, KAP or PUP preferences push one or the other ahead of the 3rd LNP candidate at the final moment.

  16. 18%. Come on. I expect Labor to get about 1.7-1.8 quotas and the Greens to get 0.7-0.8 quotas, which may be enough for three seats, but there’s every chance one will miss out. From what I’ve seen, QLD is looking like Labor’s worst state in a primary vote sense.

  17. Macca – You’ve only got five seats accounted for. You could be right though, the Greens preferences could give Labor 2 seats instead of the Greens winning one themselves.

    That would leave the LNP with three and the right wing squabblers with one.

  18. No, I’ve got 6. 2 Labor, 2 LNP, 1 to either KAP or PUP and 1 to either LNP, KAP, PUP or Shooters (eliminating which ever party got the 5th seat).

    I just think that this would take into account that the ALP will lose votes to the LNP and to KAP, Greens will lose votes to the ALP and the LNP will lose votes to KAP and PUP. Plus, Keith Douglas’s performance in 2010 shows how good preference deals can get a party with relatively few votes at least close to the line.

  19. Theoretically if the Greens put the Australian sex party ahead of Labor and the green vote goes below around .7 of a quota they have a very slim chance of taking a seat away from Labor with Green preferences.

  20. With the jump in support for Labor, I would now be betting on 2 LNP, 2 ALP, 1 KAP and 1 more for one of the major parties

  21. I still think the LNP will get three seats here. Four was never likely and now is impossible.

    Two seats could happen but I think LNP will be close enough to a full third quota that it will sneak over.

    I think Katter will be a victim in this and the Greens or labor will get the last seat which I previously thought would go to Katter.

  22. I would think the LNP would get to 3, but KAP is probably less likely to get the last spot unless a deal is done with Labor ahead of the Greens.

  23. This could be interesting. LNP might even lose their third spot to a minor right candidate, particularly given that Katter and Palmer should poll here.

  24. Here’s how I see it. There are going to be around 50 parties running for the Senate in QLD. Labor will get 2 seats, Liberals will get 2 seats then there will be 2 seats up for grabs. I reckon the Greens won’t get in but two new minor parties will. It’s going to be a lottery for the two last spots. Tom.

  25. The Lnp will still get three. If they don’t do so via full quotas they will get 2.8 or 2.9 and then creep over the line. The real question is labor vs matter for the sixth spot.

  26. morgieb – No I think if the LNP are short 3, they will have enough to get to 3 from PUP/CDP preferences.

  27. Perhaps, though I see Palmer preferencing Katter over the LNP. Though that’s just me. >_>

    And do the CDP have much of an impact in Queensland? Aren’t FFP bigger?

  28. It’s hard to tell how PUP will preference – they may preference LNP over KAP, because while PUP is staunchly pro-business, KAP is incredibly not, in terms of their attitudes to things like trade, competition, etc. But having said that, Palmer himself clearly isn’t particularly enamoured with the LNP at this point in time – that’s why the party formed in the first place. My instinct is that KAP will draw more from Nats and, to a lesser degree, ALP, while PUP will draw most of its voters from Libs. And I think the question becomes whether PUP preferences based on politics or personalities.

  29. I still believe 3 lnp as they have drawn well on the ballot box and their candidates actually campaign across the state. McGrath and Canavan are putting in the km.

  30. I actually think the chances are quite high that LNP and ALP only get two seats each, with one going Greens and one going KAP.

  31. Well Glenn I believe that is more likely than labor grabbing three, but labor putting Kap above greens kill their chances. I see two full quotas each. Lnp near 3 and creep over the line while labor and pup flows to Kap electing them at the greens expense.

  32. QO – the Greens nearly got a full quota on their own in 2010, and it’s likely that the Sex Party will put Greens high in their preference list (Greens + Sex Party made up 1.075 quotas). If the Greens can hold their primary vote in the Senate, they’ll win a seat, almost certainly.

    The risk for the Greens is the KAP taking some of the vote that went to them as a protest vote. But I think there’ll be more protest votes than ever at this election, despite what polling appears to say.

  33. Fair enough except the sex party preferences the LNP in 2010 and helped get Mason up. I think the greens could get 0.8 quotas and still miss out thanks to the labor Kap deal.

  34. QO, what are you talking about? Sex Party senate group preferences in Queensland in 2010 went like this:

    Sex Party
    Secular Party
    Carers Alliance
    Liberal Democrats (surprised at this one, actually – looks like a preference deal)
    Senator On-Line
    Socialist Alliance
    LNP (in reverse order)

    And then other groups after that. I suspect that you’ve confused first preference votes with total votes before being excluded. When they were excluded, they had 133,067 votes. First-preferences, they had 63,586. Meaning, more than half of their votes at point of exclusion were not first preferences. And 62,867 of their votes at exclusion came from the LDP (whose preferences went LDP, DLP, Independent group I, Climate Sceptics, Sex Party, Carers Alliance…) – most of that was LDP first preferences, and LDP put Liberals ahead of Labor (although it went first two liberals, then first two labor, then third liberal, then third labor).

    And it’s likely that a similar spread will happen from the Sex Party at this election.

  35. Glen said: “I actually think the chances are quite high that LNP and ALP only get two seats each, with one going Greens and one going KAP”. But the LNP will get close to 50% of the primary vote. How will they not get 3 quotas? The left won’t get enough to get 3 up in this election in QLD.

  36. DB – I’m skeptical that the LNP will do that well, especially in Queensland. The numbers in the polls don’t seem reasonable, to me.

    I could see LNP managing maybe 38%, KAP (plus PUP and probably FF preferences) getting to 14.5%, Greens+Sex getting to about the same, Labor getting to 28%, and then preferences pushing Labor over the line (you need about 28.6% of the vote for two quotas, and Carers, Democrats, and leftover Greens+Sex preferences should manage that).

  37. My apologies, I mistook Mason saying sex party preferences won him his seat . They did but that didn’t mean the LNP was above the greens.
    That said I still believe the LNP will get three or near three quotas. Kap labor greens three way battle for the last spot.

  38. Glen Druery who runs the minor party alliance has lied to heaps of parties about preferences. He said that he was giving all these parties preferences for the Shooters and Fishers party and Fishing and Lifestyle party but has reneged on lots of deals. He has taken all their votes and is not giving them back. He is paid by Fishing and Lifesyle to get Fishing and Lifestyle elected in QLD so when he saw that F and L were losing, he lied and cheated. Fishing and Lifestyle will probably win QLD but they shouldn’t. They will have lied and cheated their way in just like Stephen Fielding did years ago,

  39. Palmer preferencing Greens here, and surprisingly high in other states too. Greens lose ALP but gain Palmer. Stone could get elected after all – 8% GRN, 4% PUP, 2.5% micro feeders is not impossible.

  40. So much to say… the LNP will get about three quotas and the ALP will get just under two quotas. They will probably get their 2nd senator, but there’s a small chance it will go to the Greens instead.

    The final spot is a lot of fun.

    Family First has done very well with preferences… coming from Shooters, Fishers, One Nation, Christians, Palmer, seven micro-parties, and excess Liberal vote (if any). That could take them to ~10% and put them into the “end game”.

    Katter gets nearly no preferences… only DLP and the insignificant Protectionists. Recent polls suggest he could get less than 5% and might well drop out early.

    Sex Party picks up preferences from HEMP, Democrats, Independents, and six other micro-parties, which could take them up to 4-5% of the vote.

    Liberal Democrats get preferences from Smokers, Stop the Greens, Republicans, and Rudd’s brother, which could take them up to 4-5% of the vote. If the LDP gets in front of Sex, then they get Sex/HEMP preferences, taking them to 8%. That would put them ahead of Katter, and they get Katter/DLP preferences, taking them over 10% and into the “end game”.

    So we could have Greens, Family First and Liberal Democrats fighting it out for the last spot. If the Greens fall… LDP is elected. If Family First falls… LDP is elected. If LDP falls… Family First is elected. Take your pick. My hope is that the LDP makes it over the line just so that the Australian chatterati can be perpetually confused about whether to say a libertarian is “left wing” or “right wing”. 😉

    In the bonus round, if the Labor vote falls so that their 2nd candidate is behind the Greens, then two of the above three might be elected.

  41. BTW, for the list of candidates, Gabriel Buckley is running for the Liberal Democrats, the fantastic Rachel Connor is running for Smokers’ Rights, and John Rooth is running for Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens).

    Also, you’ve got the wrong first candidate for Family First (Aidan McLindon), and the 21st century mob aren’t running a candidate.

  42. John, love your website, but I think wearing your LDP hat makes you a little optimistic here. I have had a read through and it appears as though the LDP have done well but One Nation seems to have placed in front of it on many of the tickets you mentioned. So preferences would go there and LDP would be eliminated.

    Also wouldn’t the Shooters and Palmer both come into play?

    Maybe I haven’t read it properly though’ happy to be corrected.

  43. I couldn’t find a better place to put this, so I put it here.

    “The LNP now anticipates retaining its existing seats, and aspires to further snare Moreton (Labor margin 1.1%), Petrie (2.5%), Lilley (3.2%) and Capricornia (3.7%). However, contrary to the findings of last week’s automated phone polls, both sides consider Peter Beattie’s tilt at Forde (LNP margin of 1.6%) to be “hanging in the balance”. A “senior ALP insider” is quoted saying the party still has hopes for the Townsville seat of Herbert (2.2%), where Peter Beattie was campaigning on Monday, and to a slightly lesser extent for Brisbane (1.1%), where Labor started the campaign as short-priced favourites”. Source: Pollbludger

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