Dawson – Australia 2019

LNP 3.4%

Incumbent MP
George Christensen, since 2010.

Central and North Queensland coast. Dawson covers the Queensland coast from Mackay in the south to the outskirts of Townsville in the north. The seat covers the coastal areas, but not the inland areas, of Burdekin and Whitsunday local government areas, as well as parts of Townsville and Mackay LGAs.

Dawson lost a small area to the south of Mackay to the seat of Capricornia. This area covers McEwans Beach, Chelona and Rosella. These changes slightly increased the LNP margin from 3.3% to 3.4%.

Dawson was created in 1949 when the House of Representatives was expanded. The seat was first won by the Country Party’s Charles Davidson. Davidson had previously won the neighbouring seat of Capricornia in 1946 for the Liberal Party, defeating Frank Forde, who had served as the ALP’s Minister for the Army since 1941, serving as Prime Minister for one week in 1945 following the death of John Curtin.

Davidson served as a federal minister from 1956 until his retirement at the 1963 election. George Shaw succeeded Davidson as Country Party member in 1963, but died in early 1966 without ever facing re-election.

Rex Patterson (ALP) won the seat at the 1966 by-election. Patterson served as a minister in the Whitlam government from 1972 to 1975, and Patterson lost his seat at the election following the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975.

The seat was won in 1975 by Ray Braithwaite of the National Country Party. Braithwaite served as a backbencher for 21 years, retiring at the 1996 election.

Braithwaite was succeeded by De-Anne Kelly, also a National. Kelly was made a Parliamentary Secretary in October 2003, and was promoted to the junior ministry following the 2004 election. She was demoted back to a Parliamentary Secretary position in January 2006.

Kelly lost the seat at the 2007 election in a shock upset when a 13% swing to the ALP overturned Kelly’s 10% margin and gave the seat to Mackay City Councillor James Bidgood. Bidgood didn’t run for re-election in 2010, and a 5% swing back to the Liberal National Party saw George Christensen win the seat. Christensen was re-elected in 2013 and 2016.


Dawson is a marginal seat and could certainly be vulnerable to a strong Labor campaign, but Christensen is a prominent MP and will receive a lot of support.

2016 result

George Christensen Liberal National 38,47442.6-3.642.6
Frank Gilbert Labor 29,60832.8+3.132.8
Ash DoddKatter’s Australian Party5,9046.5-0.26.5
Jonathon Dykyj Greens 4,6525.2+0.15.2
Steven LargeIndependent4,1844.6+4.64.6
Michael HallGlenn Lazarus Team4,0754.5+4.54.5
Amanda NicksonFamily First3,4033.8+1.93.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

George Christensen Liberal National 48,16753.3-4.253.4
Frank Gilbert Labor 42,13346.7+4.246.6

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five areas. Dawson covers parts of four local government areas. Polling places in Townsville, Burdekin and Whitsunday have been grouped according to council area. About half of voters live in Mackay Regional Council area. These booths are split between those in the Mackay urban area and those in the remainder of the region.

The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in four out of five areas, ranging from 52% in rural parts of the Mackay region to 62.4% in Burdekin. Labor won 53.4% in the Mackay urban area.

Voter groupLNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Mackay Urban46.616,86318.9
Mackay Rural52.07,6668.6
Other votes56.211,09112.4

Two-party-preferred votes in Dawson at the 2016 federal election

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  1. I dare say that Christensen has quite a personal vote here and could well nullify the threat of One Nation taking it to preferences, that being said this will very much be in play come election time due to the fact that Turnbull isn’t particularly popular in the country.
    My prediction at the moment would be Christensen by a whisker 50.5 to 49.5

  2. As much as I’d love to see Christensen lose the seat, I doubt it will happen. I suspect Christensen will get support for being a ‘rebel MP who speaks his mind who is hard done by political correctness’ which will be enough for him to hold on. Turnbull’s unpopularity in rural Queensland, therefore, probably won’t factor very much in this seat.

  3. Matt
    I’M with you on Christensen. I too would love to see him turfed out, flushed if possible ! that is a clue to how i truly see him.
    I can’t bear big talkers, who won’t act. Has this bloke ever crossed the floor ? You are right, it will be interesting to see what his personal vote really counts for. I’ll wager it is more than he deserves.
    Do you think that Turnbull’s unpopularity outweighs Shorten’s ?. I doubt it

  4. L96
    I don’t think it will be close at all. More is the pity. Shorten has made sure that Turnbull’s unpopularity in rural QLD won’t be a factor

  5. George Christensen plays the role of an anti-establishment, independent character that seems to be sought in this electorate. Whether or not it contains actual substance, I think it will have enough of an impression that he should hold this seat, certainly a better chance than most LNP MP’s on this margin.

  6. I tend to think this seat is in to play for Labor now. Paul Williams wrote an article a week ago that the LNP on polling would have lost all their marginals under 4% in Queensland if Turnbull stayed on as PM. Dawson falls in that bracket. The fact the ugly leaderships spill has put their numbers further behind and the LNP missed out on Queenslander Peter Dutton being PM tends to point that its worked out worse for their prospects in Queensland.

    The fact Labor announced its candidate so early suggests they think this seat is winnable as well.

  7. Daniel… I agree.. George has a huge problem though that if one of the conservative minors launched a strong candidate against him He may very well be gone. George has threatened heaps but failed to do anything. A good Katter or one nation might see him on his way.

  8. The kinds of plays ScoMo is making are absolutely targeted at seats like Dawson. It’s possible with the Victorian results that internal expectations have shifted to saving the Queensland furniture now, too.

  9. Tony Zegenhagen has hit it on the nail. George Christiansen has said himself that he is in the wrong party but he remains in LNP. He should in fact be a Katter or DLP candidate. At times he comes close to PHON . We can thank GC for being the straw that broke the camal’s back of the Coalition’s opposition to the Banking Royal Commission but his voting record has supported neo liberalism policies. His electorate would be better served if he were to jump to cross bench just before the election and stand for Katter or Palmer. George Christiansen you know what is right and what is wrong. Australia needs you to not just talk but also jump.

  10. With the controversy with George Christensen, does this really make this seat now in play. A number were predicting his personal vote may save him, but now with the controversy will that be enough for him to be looking for a new job.

  11. I think Labor will be the favorites to win this seat. Media reports suggested George Christensen spending 42 weeks in four years in the Philippines will resonate with voters who get four weeks paid holiday a year. It makes a farce of the coalitions line ‘we have to live within our means’.

    He has also has been tagged the ‘member for Manila’ because he has been out of his electorate so long. Because his seat is so marginal and the statewide swing against the coalition he really can’t afford to take this seat for granted.

  12. In politics it can be advantage to be a ‘character’ think Katter, but if pushed too far you turn into an idiot & this costs you votes. Peter Black the NSW MP went from one to other as his drinking stopped being amusing. Any prospect that Christensen could cross this line?

  13. The Sportsbet odds have shortened in favour of the ALP at $1.60 and George on 2.20. Is trend an accurate assessment of voter intentions? Will the trend continue?

  14. Electric car nuttiness and anti-coal extremism will go down like a lead balloon in Dawson. This is a race between Christensen and One Nation.

  15. @ The Sheriff

    Rubbish! Labor wouldn’t be going so hard at George Christensen running ads about his overseas trips in the Philippines if they were not in with a good chance. To suggest Labor won’t finish in the final two party preffered is way off the mark.

    Yeah I’ll give you Adani maybe a polarizing issue in this seat. But Liberals Electric cars scare campaign has been removed after it emerged Liberals including Josh Frydenberg have praised electric cars. Liberals even got ridiculed by some commentators suggesting your utes would be in danger under Labor was overreach. Liberals can’t afford to go too hard on Adani because they may receive a backlash from voters in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

  16. With all of the negative media attention swirling around Boy George, I can’t see the LNP holding on this time. With that being said, I think Labor’s candidate is flying too far under the radar and is less than inspiring.

    51-49 to Labor.

  17. on the assumption that this politically equivalent to the old Dawson… this was a alp seat for 10 years basd o the personal vote of the alp’s Dr Patterson………..the seat was lost In 1975 and only won for one term 2007 to 2010. George is certainly larger than life…. what may be seen as crazy may go well here. The 3% margin is very small and labour can poll much better than Mackay
    Does this mean……… a change? I don’t know.
    I live in Suburban Sydney which is a long way away

  18. This is a seat the LNP should have locked up given the Adani issue. Instead, Christensen’s personal problems will probably cost them the seat.

    ALP gain.

  19. One Nation have placed George Christensen 4th and Labor 6th on their HTV’s.

    2nd for Katter Party and second last to Fraser Anning’s candidate.

    Seems they’re not voting along ideological lines.

  20. As a small family business I would like to support George, sadly the evidence against him and the LNP that has accumulated over the last years precludes me from that this time around. I have found that the LNP colluded with Labor back during the GFC to damage our sector to protect themselves and the top end of town. It is there in black & white – unlawful legislation imposed on the non-Union small business sector only- the cost has been a loss of businesses & jobs and a crash in the opportunities for our school leavers especially in traineeships & Apprenticeships since 2010. I feel it will better to vote for non-major parties to keep a balance of power in both houses to prevent more back room collusion and dodgy legislation getting through the parliament.

  21. Mike Stone
    Legislation can not be in lawful. If you disagree with legislation tell us why.

    One factor that has become clear since HTV were issued was that George Christiansen got poor preference flows from HTV. LNP need to ask question about why so many minor parties failed to Preference GC at top of their HTV. Might I suggest that arrogance on part of party is main cause. GC i GC is a good member
    Who should ensure that preference negotiation in 2022 is taken out of hands of Brisbane Apparatcheks and handled locally. He needs to promote his strengths to minor parties.


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