Leichhardt – Australia 2019

LNP 3.9%

Incumbent MP
Warren Entsch, since 2010. Previously Member for Leichhardt 1996-2007.

Far North Queensland. Leichhardt covers the Cape York Peninsula and the east coast of Australia as far south as Cairns. While the seat covers a vast area, most of the population is in the area around Cairns.

Leichhardt lost the suburb of Bentley Park at the southern end of Cairns to Kennedy, which slightly reduced the LNP margin.

Leichhardt was first created at the 1949 election. Apart from the 2010 election, the seat has been won by the party of government at every election since 1972.

The seat was first won in 1949 by Tom Gilmore of the Country Party, who was defeated by the ALP’s Henry Bruce in 1951. Bruce held the seat until his death shortly before the 1958 election, when he was succeeded by Bill Fulton.

Fulton held the seat until his retirement at the 1975 election. David Thomson won the seat for the National Country Party in 1975, and served as a minister in the Fraser government from 1979 until his defeat at the 1983 election, when John Gayler (ALP) won the seat.

Gaylor held the seat until his retirement in 1993, and the ALP’s Peter Dodd held the seat for one term before he was defeated by Warren Entsch (LIB) in 1996.

Entsch held the seat for eleven years before retiring in 2007, when a swing of over 14% gave the seat to the ALP’s Jim Turnour.

In 2010, Entsch returned to politics and won his seat back off Turnour with a swing of 8.6%, and he was re-elected again in 2013 and 2016.


Leichhardt is a marginal seat, and could be vulnerable to Labor, but Entsch running for re-election will make it easier for his party.

2016 result

Warren Entsch Liberal National 35,06639.5-5.839.5
Sharryn Howes Labor 24,93928.1-4.528.1
Kurt Pudniks Greens 7,7028.7+2.18.8
Peter Leonard RogersOne Nation6,7757.6+7.67.5
Daniel MccarthyIndependent6,0966.9+6.96.9
Brad TassellKatter’s Australian Party3,8404.3+0.04.3
Ned Kelly GebadiFamily First2,2572.5+0.42.5
John KellyRise Up Australia1,4391.6+1.11.6
Michael NewieIndependent6940.8+0.80.8

2016 two-party-preferred result

Warren Entsch Liberal National 47,91554.0-1.753.9
Sharryn Howes Labor 40,89346.0+1.746.1

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five areas. Polling places in the Cairns council area have been split into north, central and south Cairns. Polling places in the Douglas council area have been grouped, and the remainder have been grouped as Cape York. Most of the population is in Cairns.

The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all but one areas, with a vote ranging from 50.9% in central Cairns to 57.5% in the Douglas area.

Labor polled 56.6% in Cape York.

Voter groupLNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Cairns North52.315,10817.8
Cairns Central50.913,11415.4
Cairns South51.69,23210.9
Cape York43.45,1496.1
Other votes58.111,65913.7

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

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  1. It is hard to see anyone dislodging Entsch. He appears to be one of those rare politicians who is almost universally liked

  2. Chad Anderson, the Independent will be the one to watch. He is confident he will win the majority of votes and be elected the First Independent Leader of Leichhardt.

  3. I have a lot of respect for Entsch and one would expect him to have an easy time being re-elected but given the recent situation of the party and Chad Anderson I really wonder how safe he really is.

    I don’t know enough about this region to make a say just yet but I’m thinking a 1-1.5% TPP swing to Labor.

  4. Entsch signed the petition for the spill, in what looks like revenge for Brendan Nelson. He may have lose some lustre over that.

  5. He won’t win, Hes one of those politicians that isn’t exactly honest with his constituents, He refuses to reveal who he voted for in the leadership spills, Likely because he doesn’t want people knowing he voted for Dutton this time around. I think he voted for Morrison, but 1 cannot say for sure. He is definitely not a Small L liberal, I think he falls because i think the people of this electorate will have had enough of him, They have had him for almost 20 non consecutive years

  6. Look’s like Labor has a serious chance of picking this one up, This morning the LNP are on $1.80 on Sportsbet ahead of the ALP’s $2.00. The LNP should be worried

  7. Liberal margins since 2010 are not as good as those prior to Warren Entsch’s earlier retirement…. Does this mean he will lose? I don’t know. But does any one know how long he has committed to stay for……. what happens if he is elected as a member of the opposition? I estimate Warren will be 70 if he stands again after 2019

  8. Labor are now favorites on Sportsbet but only by a fraction. Bill Shorten has made regular trips to this seat. Warren Entsch may be popular but this is the only election he has stood where he will be tested. He didn’t stand in 2007 and LNP were comprehensively beaten in this seat when he didn’t stand. He did win it back in 2010 mind you but that was largely driven by the backlash from QLD after Labor dumped Kevin Rudd. This one will be close.

  9. The fact that Entsch wasn’t in parliament during the 2007-2010 term makes his “for Brendon Nelson” scribbling all the more bizarre.

  10. OK, so in 2007 Queensland as a whole swung rather strongly to Labor – 7.5%. Meanwhile, Leichhardt swung by about 14.3%.

    In 2010 Queensland as a whole swung back to the Coalition by 5.6%. Meanwhile Leichhardt swung by 8.6%.

    There are a few conclusions one could draw from this. The most defensible one IMHO is that Entsch is good for at least 3% in personal vote.

  11. Sportsbet is now producing stronger odds for Labor in this seat Labor $1.70 LNP $2.50.

    Warren Entsch hasn’t ruled out doing a prefernce deal with One Nation either suggesting he would wait to see who the candidate is.

    One seat to keep an eye on.

  12. this is Mr Entsch’s last hurrah….. he has a personal vote…. is it enough to stop labor winning here? even if he wins what happens next election when he does not stand? if he wins and is in opposition will he cause a byelection?

  13. Warren Entsch had a pivotal role in Turnbull’s demise, being the final signature needed to spill the leadership on his last day. I am not seeing much evidence since the marriage equality vote that he’s “one of the good ones” (as far as progressives are concerned). I think he’s been ruled out preference deals with PHON since he’s in the Liberal party room, but he hasn’t been very vocal about that personally.

    The election will be a test of his personal popularity rather than him being a moderate Liberal. Given how strongly this area votes Labor at state level, you’d have to think Labor are at least in with a chance.

    Liberal pork barrel spending in the budget on Cairns ring road would also suggest that they don’t count this one as safe.

  14. Daniel McCarthy KAP now coming in at $4.50 after starting at around the $30.00 mark. Storming ahead around the outside and does he have the legs to bring it home. McCarthy is a great protest vote for Labor who do not like Greens and Shorten. And a great protest vote for LNP who are over Entsch. Entsch has been reported in the news involved in granting large sums of monies paid to “Reef Protection Groups” who have then contributed large sums of monies for his election campaigns.

  15. @Jill

    I still think you have missed the big story is Labors odds are improving in Leichhardt significantly. Labor is now $1.60 and LNP have blown out to $3.00. Warren Entsch is popular but his length of time in the seat may make his popularity fading and plays into the narrative of time for a change.

    KAP is likely only going to be a factor in where preferences are directed.

  16. Just a general comment, although I’ll place it in my local electorate comment thread.

    It appears that the Anning Party are running candidates in most seats, at least the ones in Queensland that I have quickly looked at.

    For the first time ever, I will not be putting One Nation last.

    The wonders of democracy.

  17. Entsch is yesterday’s man. He relys on the old school modus operandi of bullshit and bluster to gain credit for promises that he and the Liberals do not deliver. The rumor mill has it that he now has limited support from LNP party members in Liechardt and that he will retire at the end of this term if LNP wins. However conjecture is, that should LNP lose Government, he will suddenly find family or health reasons to retire early.
    As a direct comparison, Daniel McCarthy (KatterParty ) is a young bussiness man who has the energy and enthusiasm to represent us and will be an asset in the likelyhood of a hung Parliament regardless of a Labor or LNP win.

  18. Sportsbet numbers are absurd, i do not trust sportsbet, It has Labor way ahead here, But behind in Herbert and Capricornia. If the coalition wins those 2, Then they win this too, I just don’t understand sportsbet, This seat could be a Liberal hold but Labor holds herbert and gains capricornia is more likely than vice versa

  19. @Daniel

    I would tend to agree with you. I have read in the AFR though from a Labor source Libs maybe struggling more here then Capricornia, Herbert, Dawson, and Flynn because the Adani issue is not getting the same traction and therefore the cuts and chaos messege is getting more of a response from voters.

  20. Sportsbets odds reflect betting .. I’d expect that only a relatively small bet eg. $100 would change odds significantly .. Mind you, most betting agencies would not accept large bets at odds offered. Bookmakers base their odds on initial info then odds fluctuate on the amount of money wagered.

  21. Glad to see the back of Entsch frankly all b/s and bluster. That steel pole is still waiting for the electricity to be connected. Warren your sir, are very good at blaming the state Labour government for this issue however while some of your criticism of them is founded, your party is much more culpable than them on this one.

  22. Very interesting to see signs out on the road saying something to the effect of “LNP: Busting Congestion Along The Captain Cook Highway”.

    Clearly they think this is an issue that will work in their favour. But let’s examine some things closer.

    What is proposed is an upgrade of the highway to six lanes from Sheridan Street to Smithfield. Also the removal of roundabouts for Machans Beach Road, Holloways Beach Road and Yorkeys Knob Road. The length of the road is around 10km in total.

    The corridor for the road narrows significantly as it snakes past the Cairns Airport. There is a junction at Aeroglen/General aviation which needs to be upgraded (if not completely reimagined).

    There are a total of four bridges over two river crossings which only have capacity for two lanes each way. These will need to be replaced – not upgraded, replaced. This will take time and add – not bust – congestion even more. Possibly this will involve a realignment of the highway while new bridges are built, but again the corridor at the Barron River bridge is an issue.

    The upgrade is badly needed, but congestion has not been an issue just since the writs were dropped for this election – it has been an issue for the past 25 years or so.

    Entsch has been the local member for 20 of the last 23 years. He could have done something – anything – to go towards solving the issue before now. He has not, and I doubt his ability as an opposition member beyond May 18 to deliver on any promise.

    The fact that the LNP are claiming they are “busting congestion” when in fact they have done nothing of substance (beyond making promises) while holding the seat is rather cynical and should be remembered by every voter on the northern beaches when they visit the booth.

  23. This seat is mainly Cairns based… are forces here different to Flynn, Capricornia and Dawson? Has Warren got a personal vote? if so how much? has he passed his use by date? will he stay after alp win? if yes? will he recontest in 2022?

  24. @mick

    Main difference between Leichhardt and seats further south is that it’s not a mining seat (it’s a tourism seat, largely reliant on the Great Barrier Reef) so the Adani issue doesn’t work the same in Cairns as it does in Townsville etc.

    As for Entsch – yes, he does have a significant personal vote (or at least, he did). No idea as to the rest of the questions.

  25. Entsch is campaigning like a green so wonder if he can expect UAP/ONP preferences to flow as strongly

  26. Mick
    From my experience in a number of elections it is obvious that Warren Entsch has some personal vote but he also has a substantial negative voter base who objected strongly to his campaigning for SSM. Remember most of those who campaigned for SSM will not vote LNP anyway.
    He would not get my preference.

  27. Would be interested in hearing how things might be looking for the KAP candidate up there. The KAP did fairly well in the Cook part of this electorate, only falling around 2% of the primary vote short.

  28. Haven’t seen any polling Shazzadude….even if he kept added all of the voters he got in 2016 (as an independent) to the KAP’s total last time round he would be around 10%. Could be decisive in preferences though. The KAP website has two ‘how-to-vote’ cards for McCarthy, depending on whether the voter wanted to preference Labor or Liberal, but have put One Notion second and Greens last on both cards.

    My gut feeling one week out is that Entsch will hold on despite a swing of around 3%. As referenced elsewhere in this thread, I would not expect him to serve a full term in opposition.

  29. Shorten has been to this seat quite a bit, so it must be looking close. Think the climate change issue would be biting up here near the reef.

    I’ll be bold and predict an ALP gain

  30. Sorry re-reading my post I don’t think I was very clear. In the Queensland state election, the KAP did very well in the state electorate of Cook. Another 2% of the primary and the KAP would have won the seat on preferences from ON and the Libs.

    Of course that only makes up a small part (population wise) of the federal division of Leichhardt, but something to watch.

  31. Odds have shortened massively for the Coalition in the last couple of days, with Entsch at $1.36. Is there a specific reason why?

  32. ^^ Labor went on a scare campaign regarding LNP cutting funding for hospitals, schools up here etc. but it’s come out in the last few days that there’s absolutely no substance behind the numbers, and trust has dropped dramatically. Entsch is still quite popular on his own, and a few projects have come to completion now – that always helps. Plus he seems to have focused his efforts further north in the last couple of months, assumedly to sure up the votes he didn’t get last time around. But didn’t do it close enough to the election to be considered as a political play.

  33. Galaxy seat poll has this at Lib 51 ALP 49 which seems about right. A swing but not quite enough. Still could surprise though….Entsch deserves support for his progressive stances.


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