Forde – Australia 2019

LNP 0.6%

Incumbent MP
Bert van Manen, since 2010.

South-East Queensland. Forde covers parts of Logan City, an urban area between the City of Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Forde also covers sparsely populated parts of the Gold Coast, but most of the population lives in Logan.

No change.

Forde was created at the 1984 election as a southern Brisbane seat as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives. The seat has since moved further south and lies on the edge of the urban part of South-East Queensland.

Forde was first won in 1984 by David Watson (LIB), who lost the seat in 1987 to Mary Crawford of the ALP. Watson was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1989 and went on to serve as a minister in the Borbidge government and as state Liberal leader from 1998 to 2001.

Mary Crawford held the seat from 1987 until her defeat at the 1996 election, serving as a Parliamentary Secretary for the last two years of the Keating government.

The Liberal Party’s Kay Elson won the seat in 1996. She held the seat for eleven years as a backbencher, retiring at the 2007 election. In 2007 the ALP’s Brett Raguse won the seat. Forde was the safest Liberal seat to be lost in 2007, with the ALP gaining a 14.4% swing.

The LNP’s Bert van Manen won the seat back in 2010 with a 5% swing. In 2013, Labor’s original candidate, Des Hardman, was replaced by former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie very close to the election. The high-profile candidate selection didn’t help Labor, with van Manen increasing his margin by 2.8%.

Van Manen won a third term in 2016, despite a 3.75% swing to Labor which made Forde the second-most marginal Coalition seat in the country.


Forde is a very marginal seat and will be a top Labor target.

2016 result

Bert van Manen Liberal National 34,09640.6-1.9
Des Hardman Labor 31,58737.6+3.6
Sally Spain Greens 5,3936.4+2.3
David WilksIndependent5,2426.2+6.3
Annelise HellbergFamily First4,6875.6+3.4
Shaun Charles SpainLiberty Alliance2,9053.5+3.5

2016 two-party-preferred result

Bert van Manen Liberal National 42,48650.6-3.8
Des Hardman Labor 41,42449.4+3.8

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five parts. Booths in the Gold Coast council area are grouped as ‘South’. The remainder have been grouped as Central, North, East and West.

The Liberal National Party won a slim majority of the two-party-preferred vote, but actually lost the vote in three out of five areas on election day. They won 54% in the south and 56% in the north. Labor won a majority ranging from 54.9% in the west to 57.8% in the centre.

The LNP achieved its win primarily due to a massive 55% majority in the pre-poll.

Voter groupLNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes52.716,18919.3

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

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  1. Should be an easy win for Labor this time, van Manen has been so lucky to win this three times in a row.

    The tide should wash him out this time though.

  2. Nah I doubt One Nation will be a deciding factor in this seat. I expect the Labor vote to be too strong that One Nation preferences won’t be a deciding factor in the outcome. Unless something miraculous happens this will be one of the low hanging fruit that Labor picks ups at the next election.

    One Nation are prefernces are more decisive in seats that are further out of reach for Labor (Dawson???). I just think Forde will be called before preferences become vital.

    Party officials and volunteers were scathing of Bruce Hawkers decision to dump canidate Des Hardman for Peter Beattie in the 2013 election. Good to see Hardman is running again. Hardman is a radiologist by trade, good see someone from a broad background rather then the usual (Lawyer, electoral officer, chief of staff) type canidate.

  3. Maybe we should listen to the voters, taken for granted in this electorate ,sick of the usual claptrap from the two parties. . For the future voters are prepared to think before they vote. This will be a very interesting election

  4. This race just got a lot more difficult to predict with the entry of Clive Palmer and his money. Preference deals with Liberals? Maybe the polar fringes will vote the far ends of right and left and give their preferences to the centre, or the major party most closely leaning in their direction? But I do agree with Political Nightwatchman in his/her views about Des Hardman. I admire his resilience and his genuine commitment to the people of Forde. As for Bert Van Manen, I think 3 terms is enough to have demonstrated what he can or will do for Forde. In the end I believe the choice has to be for the person who will be the best for Forde.

  5. At least with Labour you know who your getting unlike The national liberal party who knows who your getting.Why would you vote for rich, racist,womanisers?Another decade of this disgusting abuse of power,Hell No.Your gone Scotty beam yourself out of here.

  6. The LNP is definitely worried about Forde. This is the seat I used to live in, where my parents still live, and I’ve never seen so many Van Manen campaign trailers (or any candidate’s campaign trailers, really) parked around.

    There’s really no doubt, in my mind – Van Manen will not hold Forde.

  7. Glen
    Brave call after the Courier Mail Poll today. Are you so sure that Forde will even be called on the night ?
    Are you equally sure that UAP, & PHON preferences won’t just lift Bert over the line ? Preferences decided this last time with far less impetus.

  8. WD

    The CM poll still has a 3% swing on since 2016 (it also had the LNP support higher amongst women which makes the numbers a bit fishy but that’s a different story).

    If we are going on the assumption that Central QLD won’t swing as much due to Adani, I think it makes it likely that SE QLD is the area that will be swinging to the ALP. That puts this seat and others like Bonner, Dickson, Petrie and perhaps even Brisbane in trouble. I don’t think ON and especially UAP will have much impact in SE Queensland.

    This is a likely ALP gain imo, but only 6 days to go to see which of us is right!

  9. WD

    the courier mail poll still had it at a 3% swing away from the LNP since 2016. If we’re assuming that the swing probably will be blunted in CQ due to Adani, that makes me think it’s likely SE QLD will swing to labor. That makes seats like this, Dickson, Petrie and Bonner vulnerable. Don’t think ON and UAP will get much of a vote here.

    This is a likely ALP gain, 0.6% is too small to hang on against a strong candidate

  10. Whoops sorry for the double post, internet has been playing up and thought it didn’t post.

  11. boatswain’s point on the maths is correct. The CM poll had LNP leading 51-49, but that’s a 3% Labor swing from the 2016 election where the LNP won Qld 54-46. So they’d be worrying about any Qld seats they hold on less than 3%.

    Further to that though – I would offer two further bits of information. First is that it was suggested the statewide swing of 3% is not evenly distributed across the whole of Queensland, and is estimated to actually about 5% to Labor in SEQ, but under 1% in the bush. However, as Labor doesn’t have any seats to lose in the bush except Herbert, this may not matter too much to them, except that it means Capricornia and Flynn and whatnot aren’t realistic gains. A 5% swing to Labor from 2016 in the Brisbane area though would see Forde, Petrie, Dickson etc all fall to Labor.

    Second FWIW is anecdotal evidence from a Labor volunteer in Forde, who said the other day they were increasingly optimistic and handing out a lot more HTVs than their Lib counterparts were.

    Or I could be completely wrong, but numbers are numbers and conjecture is fun.

  12. winediamond – are you referring to the poll that said that, in Queensland, the LNP were 51-49 on 2pp, with Labor at 33% primary? If so, note that in 2016, it was 54-46 on 2pp with Labor on 31% primary. So we’re still looking at around a 3% swing. Forde’s margin is only 0.6%.

    What’s more, it has the LNP’s primary vote down 5% on 2016. The LNP won 22 of the

    And all of that is based on a poll with a margin of error of 3% (at 95% confidence).

    Let’s simplify a little, shall we? Des Hardman got 37.64% of the primary vote in 2016. If the 2% primary swing applies, we’re looking at maybe 40% (using round numbers). Van Manen got 40.63%, so it would end up being 36% (again, round numbers). Greens holding steady would be on about 6.5%, leaving 17.5% unaccounted for. If we assume, as a simple approximation, that these split between UAP and PHON proportionally to the expected QLD vote, then we’re talking maybe 12% to PHON and 5.5% to UAP (but I expect it to go differently to this – I suspect Forde will see stronger labor/lnp/green vote numbers).

    Greens typically see a 65-75% flow to Labor, so let’s split the difference and assume 70% to ALP. Last time PUP ran in Forde was 2013, and it saw 55% to LNP (note: PUP preferenced LNP above ALP in Forde in 2013, too). So let’s assume 55% to LNP here, too.

    So without distributing PHON, Labor is at 47% “3pp”. In other words, it would take more than 75% flow to LNP from PHON to get Van Manen over the line.

    Last time ONP ran in Forde, it saw almost a 50/50 flow ALP and LNP (in 2007). In the election before that, it was 67% to Libs. A 75% flow to LNP is a tough ask.

    In the last six elections, Labor got, 2pp in QLD,
    2001 – 45.30%
    2004 – 42.91%
    2007 – 50.44%
    2010 – 44.86%
    2013 – 43.02%
    2016 – 45.90%

    If Labor’s on 49% 2pp, it’s going to do very well. 2007 was the last time Labor held Forde, and it held it with a nearly 3% margin.

    So yeah, I don’t think it’s a brave call, I think it’s a pretty obvious one. It might not be solidly called on the night, but only because it had 13% postal votes in 2016, and so it’ll be too close to officially call on the night (but it’ll be in the “Likely Gain” for Labor by the end of the night).

  13. Boaty 1025
    Your reasoning is sound. Your proposition about relative swings is reasonable.
    I’m waiting for news poll tonight. That will point to momentum. I’d forgotten that 2016 was 54% in QLD, however that was WITH PHON preferencing against sitting members which hurt the LNP, theoretically this could exacerbate the LNP’s problems, however it could go the other way. I just don’t agree with you at all about the UAP. Going on 2013 there will be quite an effect. Seeing as the LDP HAVEN’T a candidate in N Sydney I’m intending to give my $3.85 to the UAP. The upper house will be a different story.

    Looking at all in a different way. There seems to be a broad consensus, if not a complete political orthodoxy that Labor will achieve a 4% swing in Victoria (I’d bet it will be stronger) !!. If so, then would there not be a compensating 2+% swing elsewhere ?. Assuming that TAS is as insignificant as it always is, NT, & SA likewise !!. WA will do it’s own thing as it always does, that leaves NSW, & QLD. If this equation were to hold true Labor gains 5 seats in Victoria, & loses 3+ in NSW, & QLD. Thats why i have the very very tentative prediction of a hung parliament. I’m expecting to feel more decisive by tomorrow !!.

  14. Boatswain
    I hope you are correct about Pauline Hanson.

    Queenslanders need to read history to find that complicated problems can not be solved by simple solutions. PH and her candidates have not a clue about complex problems. Ask them specific questions to check if they what they actually know not what they have an opinion on. Try asking them economics questions or foreign affairs question what is capital city of country x. They will be over opinionated about Arabs but will not be able to tell you where Baghdad is.
    I am not saying other candidates are perfect but ask them same questions and I will bet that PHON and Anning candidates will be bottom of the class.

  15. From memory, PHON voters in Queensland (and everywhere for that matter) were pretty unreliable in whether they actually followed HTVs. Ended up not too far off 50-50 to Labor and LNP, regardless which seat. Highest about 60-40 to LNP.

  16. Glen
    Thanks for taking the trouble for such an exhaustive, & thorough analysis. You have succeeded in a compelling argument. It may seem like splitting hairs however :
    I don’t believe the Green vote will increase quite the contrary.(in QLD)
    UAP will mostly take votes from Labor & deliver some preferences back to the LNP.
    pHON preferences will flow stronger
    Momentum is running to the govt, & the real swing is 1- 2% & falling, combined with above differences preferences point to a similar overall result to 2016.
    My gut says THE LNP have a chance of holding either Longman, or Forde in the end, + Herbert, with no other changes.
    FWIW thats what i see
    cheers WD

  17. I accept the proposition that the swing to Labor will be greater in SE QLD. However, the good thing for the government is that most seats down there (other than Forde and Dickson which can be pretty much written off) are held on larger margins and/or have much better incumbents. I think that the LNP will probably hold on in Bonner and Brisbane; Petrie is a coin-flip.

  18. winediamond – I didn’t say the Green vote will increase, but that it would hold steady, since the state-wide Green vote appears to be holding steady relative to 2016, if the polling is to be believed.

    Of course, it’s ignoring an important detail: in 2016, the Independent (David Wilks) was a “climate action, invest in education, overhaul the tax system to be fairer” candidate, and he got over 6% of the vote (some of which would be a donkey vote, since he was position 1 on the ballot). It is likely that some of the Wilks vote would have come off the Greens (I’d guess 30%, since some would come from “no Labor, LNP or Greens” voters, and some would be “EnviroLiberal” voters). The Greens got 12% of the vote in 2010, so I could definitely see them getting 8-9% in Forde this time.

    Of course, judging likely 2019 equivalent of the Wilks vote is difficult, as the Greens were knocked out before Wilks, so we can’t see how preferences would have flowed.

    And UAP probably will take more from the LNP, since the LNP is the one in power and much hay is being made about the LNP and UAP having a preference deal. But it doesn’t matter much, since we’ve got data to work from.

    As for PHON, we can get a rough idea of likely flow by looking at 2016 in seats in QLD for which they had candidates. In Fadden (which is right next to Forde), it was about 53/47 to LNP. The biggest split in favour of LNP was 54.5% in Leichhardt. In Longman, it went 56.5/43.5… to ALP. Note: I can’t judge Maranoa, as PHON was in the 2CP.

    It seems rather unlikely that it will be the required 75/25 or higher at this election.

  19. Terrible Galaxy Poll for Labor released just now for this seat….it’s 50-50 on 2PP. A seat this marginal, if Labor were headed for victory, they should be 51-49 at least. I’m starting to think we’re in for a big shock election night.

  20. I’d have expected Labor to be up at least 53-47 here given the state-wide swing and weak incumbent. Oh how I’d love to see Bill Shorten squirm at an unexpected defeat…

    Regardless, it’s just one poll. I think that Labor will probably win this seat along with most of the tossups they’ve been polling too. No need for ALP supporters to get disheartened.

  21. Glen
    Well done again. Your attention to the detail is impressive. i really have no idea where the Green vote will go in QLD. Intuitively this election feels like a divisive, polarising event. Perhaps all the results will reflect this ?
    In the end ?

    I think there is are interesting questions that will arise from the results. What issues created the win ? Particularly on a seat, by seat basis. Say cost of living vs climate change. This sort of seat is the coalface, or litmus test

  22. @wreathy I’m mixed on this election, I’m a Labor supporter but I’ve always thought Shorten is a dud. A Labor loss at this election would see the end of Bill and set up a fresh start for Labor with hopefully a decent leader and it would be a tough election for the Libs to win in 2022. At the same time though, I don’t want the current government rewarded for their in fighting. I think Qld is going to throw up some very disheartening surprises for Labor on Saturday night.

  23. uap and onp will take votes mainly off the lnp………… the galaxy polls assume roughly 60/40 split of their preference assume the primaries are correct for arguements sake .,,,….. then if the split was even 55/45 then the result differs … this would change the 50/50 result here

  24. I’m obviously not a Labor supporter. Indeed, I used to be a card-carrying member of the Young Liberals. The disgusting infighting, behaviour of the moderates and policies of Turnbull drove me right out of the party. Nevertheless, I still loathe Shorten and Labor at a fundamental level.

    But an election is an election. In all likelihood the Coalition will be defeated on Saturday. There’s no point in allowing partisan biases to cloud psephological analysis. I think some of the more optimistic projections for Labor on this site (pretty much anything into the mid 80s and above) are doing just that. Obviously you keep a more open mind and good on you for that.

  25. The ALP don’t need to win this seat to win govt, but if they can’t win here then the options to get to a majority elsewhere are a bit tighter. It states the obvious to say that unlike WA or VIC, QLD seats will have wildly different swings.

  26. Even with the caveat that seat polls suck, I doubt labor would lose this seat on the primaries of the poll. Labor were only 1 behind on 41 with the LNP on 42, in a seat where ON is preferencing labor I believe. Labor should be easily able to win on preferences with 5 with the Greens and probably a weaker flow from the UAP and ON to the LNP than galaxy assume.

    I also seriously doubt the LNP primary is up a point when state polls are predicting a significant swing against them on the primaries (e.g -7 by Newspoll).

  27. FTB
    Clearly i’d like to echo what Wreathy wrote to you. I have a different view of “infighting” than both of you. Because politicians have so many dumb, & self-serving ideas they ought to be fighting MORE (with each other) not less!!!. Rather than just going along with the usual bovine stupidly, & messing up the country !!.

    As i’ve referred to elsewhere Paul Kelly’s book was all about how Labor thought they were a “good govt let down by disunity”. Therefore there was no impetus to change policy direction. As leader did BS empower this, or was he driven by it ??.
    Your POV would BE VERY INTERESTING especially as you are NOT a BS fan, but still an ALP voter.

  28. Boaty
    Where did you hear that PHON was preferencing Labor– anywhere ??. Hanson was going off just last night about Labor on PML.

  29. WD

    I just checked their website, it looks like they are running a split ticket with 2 HTV cards on their website, 1 preferencing each of the two majors 2nd.

  30. With the recent sacking of LNP Logan council by Qld State Minister Hinchcliffe, a clean slate promised for the ratepayers of Logan/Forde. Let’s hope the people of Forde come to their senses and oust the inept Bert Van Mannen. A clean slate is what is needed….


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