Lord Mayor – Brisbane 2020

LNP 9.5%

Incumbent Lord Mayor
Adrian Schrinner, since 2019.

The City of Brisbane has had a popularly elected mayor for most of its history, including from 1934 to 1975.

The popularly elected mayoralty was restored in 1982, when Labor’s Roy Harvey was elected. Labor had been in power since 1961.

In 1985, Harvey lost to Liberal candidate Sallyanne Atkinson, the first Liberal to win the Brisbane lord mayoralty.

Atkinson held the mayoralty for two terms, losing to Labor’s Jim Soorley in 1991.

Soorley held office for four terms, being re-elected in 1994, 1997 and 2000.

In 2003, Soorley resigned and was replaced by Labor councillor Tim Quinn.

In 2004, Quinn was defeated by Liberal candidate Campbell Newman. Labor suffered a 15.6% drop in their primary vote. Newman was re-elected with a Liberal council majority in 2008.

In 2011, Newman resigned when he was elected state leader of the Liberal National Party. He went on to win the 2012 election and serve one term as Premier of Queensland before losing the election, and his own seat of Ashgrove, in 2015.

LNP deputy mayor Graham Quirk was appointed to finish Newman’s term, and he was re-elected in his own right in 2012 and 2016.

Quirk retired in 2019 and was succeeded by Adrian Schrinner. Schrinner had previously served as deputy mayor since 2011 and as the councillor for Chandler ward since 2005.


The ALP would need a swing of 9.5% to win the lord mayoralty but Brisbane is known for large swings, and the retirement of the longstanding lord mayor could create an opening.

2016 mayoral result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Graham Quirk Liberal National 326,685 53.5 -8.4
Rod Harding Labor 195,075 32.0 +6.8
Ben Pennings Greens 63,490 10.4 -0.3
Jeffrey Hodges Independent 12,961 2.1 +2.1
Karel Boele People Decide 5,195 0.9 +0.9
Jim Eldridge Independent 3,808 0.6 +0.6
Jarrod Wirth Independent 3,063 0.5 +0.5
Informal 15,287 2.4

2016 mayoral two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Graham Quirk Liberal National 337,233 59.5 -9.0
Rod Harding Labor 229,475 40.5 +9.0
Exhausted 43,569 7.1

Ward breakdown
At the 2016 election, the LNP won a majority of the mayoral two-party-preferred vote in 23 wards, with Labor winning only three: Forest Lake, Moorooka and The Gabba.

Labor gained a swing towards them in all 26 wards, ranging from a 2.7% swing in Doboy to 13.8% in the Gap. The swings tended to be bigger north of the river.

The following map shows the swings to the ALP by ward (based on 2016 wards).

Election results at the 2016 Brisbane City Council election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes for lord mayor and council.

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  1. Liberal Mayor and majority of Councillors.
    Brisbane voters have been able to distinguish between council and state elections.
    For whole of my high school years local MHR and MLA were Liberal and Council Alderman ALP.
    When every Government In Australia was ALP Brisbane had a Liberal
    Mayor and Council.

  2. I would suggest that the Liberals are heading to significant losses in the 2020 Brisbane City Council elections. They have a large number of seats where incumbents are not standing. They have a potential loss of one of their safest seats to an Independent. They no longer have Graham Quirk on the ticket and he always attracted more support than any other Liberal official. Most importantly however they have been in power since 2004 and many voters will vote for a change.

  3. ALP put very effective Ads on TV last two nights showing Pat Condren ( I have learnt his name) sweeping away LNP Council junk mail and LNP Rorts. An implication that Lord Mayor has a slush Fund payed for by ratepayers May cut deep into LNP territory. LNP would be unwise to just ignore Council Junk mail is viewed as a waste of money by great majority of voters.

    Campaigning still low level I suspect the parties are holding back funds for forthcoming State Election.


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