Wright – Australia 2022

LNP 14.6%

Incumbent MP
Scott Buchholz, since 2010.

Geography
Wright covers rural parts of South-East Queensland. Wright covers sparsely populated parts of the Gold Coast hinterland, rural parts of the City of Logan, and the entirety of Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim council areas. Wright covers the towns of Boonah, Beaudesert, Gatton and Laidley, and comes close to the major centres of Logan, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Toowoomba.

History
Wright was created in the 2010 election, out of parts of the seats of Forde and Blair. Both seats were Labor seats in 2007, but Wright was created as a notional Liberal National seat, and neither sitting Labor MP ran in Wright.

In 2010, Wright was created with a 53.8% majority for the LNP. The LNP’s Scott Buchholz won the seat with a 6% swing, and has been re-elected three times.

Candidates

Assessment
Wright is a safe LNP seat.

2019 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Scott Buchholz Liberal National 43,52244.9+3.1
Pam McCreadie Labor 18,15518.7-4.0
Chris O’CallaghanOne Nation13,57614.0-6.9
Shannon Girard Greens 6,9517.2-0.5
Innes LarkinIndependent5,1655.3+5.3
David WrightUnited Australia Party4,7474.9+4.9
Matthew TomlinsonKatter’s Australian Party2,6132.7+2.7
Rod SmithConservative National Party2,1642.2+2.2
Informal6,2696.1+1.8

2019 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Scott Buchholz Liberal National 62,57164.6+5.0
Pam McCreadie Labor 34,32235.4-5.0

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas. Wright covers parts of four local government areas, and polling places have been divided into these four areas.

The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 56.9% in Logan to 66.4% in Scenic Rim.

The One Nation primary vote ranged from 7.8% on the Gold Coast to 20.4% in the Lockyer Valley.

Voter groupON prim %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Logan14.756.914,63930.4
Scenic Rim10.866.414,50530.2
Lockyer Valley20.464.511,48623.9
Gold Coast7.864.68,15917.0
Pre-poll14.666.529,09660.5
Other votes13.966.219,00839.5

Election results in Wright at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal National Party, Labor and One Nation.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. This might be the one of top contenders for worst drawn boundaries for a division. It has a contorted wing shape that combines the two disparate communities of Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley. Demographically, these sides of the electorates aren’t very different from one another, both representing outer-suburban fringes. However, each side is not significantly connected via road to one another besides a few backroads.

    With future redistributions, there might be some positive opportunities here. Jimboomba, part of the Logan City Council area, which sits in the North East corner of this electorate, is having some of the largest population-growth in QLD. Appearing in most recent ABS Regional Migration reports. This has helped Wright exceed the deviation of the average divisional enrolment by 5.8%. Despite being recently being absorbed into the Logan City Council, the town of Jimboomba historically has a deep connection to other parts of the Scenic Rim, once part of the now defunct Beaudesert shire (Abolished in 2008).

    Conveniently, Blair, a neighbouring division centered around Ipswich is also well beyond the average divisional enrolment at 7.82%. The population growth in Blair has been within Ipswich itself, especially the new developments in its South Western corner.

    I would argue that Blair could stand on its own as a completely Ipswich-centric electorate, losing its Northern horn encompassing the Somerset council. I would also submit that Wright could potentially lose its Western wing encompassing the Lockyer Valley to focus on being a division focused on the Scenic Rim and the outer-suburban growth corridors of Logan and the Gold Coast that were once a part of the Beaudesert Shire.

    PART 1

  2. Both the Lockyer Valley and Somerset regions are more analagous with one another than Scenic Rim is with the Lockyer Valley but wouldn’t together qualify for enough registered voters for their own division. Fortunately other neighbouring electorates which include communities of interest for these specific regional LGAs are dealing with a deficit in enrolments. Groom (encompassing Toowoomba) could potentially lose its western periphery to Maranoa (which is equally starved for enrolments) and instead have an extended Eastern periphery absorbing parts of the Lockyer Valley which and potentially Somerset. Blair could eat up the rest of the Lockyer Valley by being reoriented as East-West instead of North-South. With parts of Brisbane’s West including Dickson, Ryan, Lilley and Oxley facing softer deficits, redistribution could extend these divisions further westward with Dickson and/or Ryan taking in parts of the Somerset region.

    The interesting part of this puzzle is how this will all fit in with the big elephant in the room: Fadden. It is 9.04% over the average divisional enrolment and is perhaps the fastest growing division in the country. I will write some more notes on Fadden on its page over the weekend. I propose that Fadden should be flattened, losing its communities above Coomera and absorbing Upper Coomera from Forde.

    Moreton and Rankin on the southern edge of Brisbane are facing down the largest deficits in average divisional enrolment in Queensland and would benefit from a southwards migration. Bonner could be included in this with similar enrolment numbers. You would first extend Moreton to the edge of the Brisbane City LGA through Algester, Calamvale and Parkinson, or down the Pacific Motorway into Underwood & Springwood. Bonner would also benefit from extending further along the edge of the Pacific Motorway to Springwood and/or Daisy Hill.

    Following this southward extension of Bonner and Moreton you would shift Rankin South to being centered primarily on the Logan City LGA as a community of interest, adsorbing the majority of the top “handle” of Forde.

    Forde would then best benefit being re-oriented at the top corner of the Gold Coast, including Yatala, Jacobs Well, Ormeau and some parts of Coomera and Pimpama. Thus Providing the Gold Coast with 4 dedicated divisions instead of 3, stacked on top of each other down the coast.

    Some squishing could be done to each of Moncrieff, Fadden and Forde extending them further West instead of North to South, allowing Fadden & Moncrieff especially to give up some of its enrolments to take on some of the less dense neighbourhoods in the Hinterland that are a part of Wright. In a similar vein to McPherson which takes on the Hinterland suburbs of Tallebudgera Valley and Currumbin Valley.

    This would be beneficial to Wright if it loses the Gold Coast Hinterland suburbs that are primarily serviced by the Gold Coast and might not have a significant connection to the Scenic Rim.

  3. McPherson is very slightly over quota and won’t need to change much, however both Moncrieff and Fadden are quite a bit over quota. You can’t really push Moncrieff any further north than it already is and losing its southern part would not stack up in terms of enrolment. However, Fadden simply can’t keep being pushed further and further south to the point where it’s next to Southport. Southport should stay in Moncrieff no matter what.

  4. Seq observer, I see that the Ipswich and south Logan areas are analogous to Western and South west Sydney, two areas which are experiencing population growth and where federal districts are also above quota.

    Agree with your point that Somerset and Ipswich are probably not a good match for each other. The Sydney equivalent may be like trying to combine Penrith with the Blue Mountains, mixing an urban area with a semi rural component.

  5. Actually a mix of Somerset and Lockyer Valley would form a district like Macquarie, NSW

    This would combine two semi rural areas together, which in the case of Macquarie is the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury regions.

  6. Correct RE: Ipswich and South Logan are analogous to Western Sydney and South West Sydney based on my assessments. Northern Gold Coast as well.

    The new developments feature the same dwelling-types being: detached homes on a small block-size. The demographics in each generally skews towards young aspirational families with mortgages.

    I incorrectly mentioned the ABS Regional Migration Report in my earlier comments but I meant the Regional Population Report. This interactive map tells the story for the growth in these areas.

    https://absstats.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=c5ceb84b6e34459a8b2baa397f3624ea

    Note: the Red ribbon of growth extending out to Toowoomba extending along the southern fringes of Ipswich, Logan, Brisbane and the top end of the Gold Coast.

    I see this as a new “mortgage-belt” over the next 10 years. The communities in this mortgage-belt will be sensitive to interest-rate rises and general economic discomfort. They will also be sensitive to house-price policy changes.

    A lot of the places are highlighted here: https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/regional-population/2019-20

    Interesting tidbit in that report: Jimboomba, (Wright division) had the highest natural population increase of any statistical-area in Queensland 2019 – 2020. In other words, it had the most babies born.

  7. Excuse my ignorance as I am not from Queensland.

    All of the areas in this division seem very similar. They are all semi-rural acreage suburbs on the periphery of the metropolitan area. Demography is all very similar. So it would appear that transport connections is all that is lacking. Is that so egregious? What am I missing?

    Again, I am not from Queensland and I assume that I am wrong about something here.

  8. Nicholas, I am new to Brisbane and the federal district of Wright would be like trying to combine the Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains regions into one seat. Both are similar in character but each ‘exurban’ region has its own base eg Blue Mountains is connected better with Penrith and the Southern Highlands flows through to Campbelltown and Camden.

  9. In the case of Wright, the Lockyer Valley connects better with Ipswich and the Scenic Rim region (including Beaudesert) flows neatly into Logan City Council.

    A good comparison would be the district of Whitlam, which is mostly based in the Illawarra region south of Wollongong but also stretches out over the Great Dividing Range to include a few Southern Highlands townships such as Mittagong and Bowral. That configuration is not ideal because there is not really a lot of overlap between the two ends of the district.

  10. I honestly don’t think there are any easy answers for fixing Wright. At the very least let’s wait until the census results before floating, for example, uniting Kilcoy in the same electorate with Auchenflower and Toowong (not to pick on SEQ Observer)

    Most of SE Queensland is a mess, and whatever else you can say about Wright, at least it represents crossburner country well enough by reliably returning a safe little LNP tribune.

  11. @Furtive, I’ll definitely concede that Kilcoy in the same electorate as Toowong, Auchenflower is a stretch to the say the least. Each community is as disparate from each other as it gets. A place like Kilcoy would be better served by Longman but I understand that Longman is also one of those divisions which is bursting at the seams as far as enrolled voters go.

    I would only raise one point to argue that Somerset Region communities (perhaps not Kilcoy, but instead a town like Esk) would be better served by a the division encompassing the Western edge of Brisbane (Ryan). This point is: water resources. Somerset Region houses the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams which are a critical piece of infrastructure for SEQ, particularly Brisbane. Considering that they contain the significant majority of the city’s water supply, it could be considered that this landmark is of significance to the communities of Brisbane.

    I concur that the census results coming this year will be a great starting point for reviewing and reworking the SE QLD’s divisions given how much change there has been to the corner in the recent decade. Perhaps the best outcome possible will be another division allocated to Queensland.

  12. Agree SEQ observer, even the current district of Ryan isn’t the ideal configuration as it contains both inner city suburbs (swing type, may be slightly Labor leaning) and the leafy outer suburbs around Moggill (strongly conservative leaning).

    I believe the size of Federal districts (currently >100k) is probably too large, especially for urban seats in the smaller state capitals. With large enrolment required, it is getting quite difficult to draw boundaries that maintain good community of interest and have suburbs with similar political leanings.

  13. @ Yoh An, agree community of interest is getting more difficult. I wonder when the next significant expansion in the size of parliament would be. My view would when the population hits 30 million which means our population would have doubled since the last expansion in 1984

  14. The next expansion in the size of Parliament, that isn`t just the fluctuations of state and/or territory populations is most likely to be a doubling of the number of Territory Senators (with the introduction of staggered 6-year terms). It has the least partisan effect (half-Senate elections would be the same partisan balance, double dissolutions would have a significantly increased chance of electing a Green instead of a Liberal in the ACT and an increased possibility of electing a crossbencher from the NT), is the smallest legislatable expansion (less backlash from voters) and has some population justification in that both territories have a significant bigger proportion of than when the Whitlam Government introduced territory Senators. That may then end up the the High Court where the 1977 decision that the parliamentarians and populations of the territories cannot be included in the nexus for determining the size of the House of Reps would be reviewed and if overturned to the extent of their inclusion being compulsory, would expand the House of Reps by ~11 (and therefore Queensland`s entitlement by ~2). With the increased gap between the include the territories nexus and the exclude the territories nexus results and decades of (mostly) formula based allocation of House of Reps seats to the territories, the High Court could have grounds to reverse the precedent to protect joint sitting numbers.

    An expansion of the Number of Senators per state would I estimate most likely be as a result of a deal between One Nation and a Coalition Government because One Nation would be the main beneficiaries because they would have significantly increased chances of electing Senators in half-Senate elections outside Queensland. The Coalition are likely to be out of power for at least 2 terms, the calculous for the ALP is different and One Nation probably has a limited shelf life (i.e. until Hanson is out of politics through age or falling out with voters) that might not last until the Coalition is back in power.

  15. Tom –

    The Territories, currently, are more-or-less correctly represented in the House, are over-represented in the Senate by nexus standards, and the legislation already provides for a 3rd Senator at 6 MHRs, a 4th Senator at 8 MHRs, etc. So I’m not sure where the justification for change comes from.

  16. Alex J, I think Tom is comparing the relative population of ACT in particular with Tasmania. ACT is already approx 400k (at least 70% of Tasmania’s population of 500-600k) and yet only gets 2 vs 12 Senators.

  17. SEQ Observor. In 2019 I manned Woodford Booth for DLP and there were lots of Kilroy voters coming through. at the Cojncil election similar problem.

    However Redistribution Commission can not comply with all principles in every electorate . They need some freedom to vary weighting of principles.

  18. The YouGov MRP poll has the highest first-preference vote expectation for ONP in the country (19%). Interestingly it also puts UAP at 9%, LNP’s vote collapsing from 45% to 35%. The combined ONP + UAP vote probably won’t be enough to eclipse the combined ALP (22%) + GRN (10%) vote to put ONP in front of ALP to participate in the 2CP contest vs LNP.

  19. Crazy that any part of the Gold Coast is in Wright.

    The wright electorate should have its eastern boundary at Mt Tamborine/Springbrook. I doubt if the sitting Liberal member has been to the Gold Coast more than a couple of times since the re-distribution, when the western part of the Gold Coast (lower hinterland area/suburbs) were removed from McPherson and Moncrieff and added to Wright.

    Even nearly all of the newsletters put out by the current member are matters pertaining to the areas west of the Hinterland range.

    If placing the Gold Coast’s lower hinterland suburbs, takes the resident numbers over the normal maximum number, then a new electorate should be established by combining parts of Wright, McPherson and Moncrieff.

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