Herbert – Election 2010

ALP 0.03%

Incumbent MP
Peter Lindsay (Liberal Party), since 1996.

Herbert covers the vast majority of the urban area in Townsville. It also covers rural areas to the west of Townsville which are contained in Townsville LGAs.

A number of suburbs on the eastern side of Townsville, namely Annandale and Wulguru, were transferred from Herbert into the neighbouring seat of Dawson. In exchange, Herbert gained a larger rural area to the west of Townsville from Kennedy. This change shifted the seat’s margin from a 0.2% margin for the Liberal Party to a 0.03% margin for the ALP.

Herbert is an original federation seat. The seat originally covered most of North Queensland, from Mackay to the Torres Strait, but now is almost entirely based in Townsville. The seat has long been a marginal seat, and only three former MPs have managed to retire on their own terms.

The seat was first held by Fred Bamford, who held the seat for a quarter of a century. He was first elected as a Labor member and was expelled from the ALP over conscription in 1916. He served briefly as a minister under Billy Hughes and represented the Nationalists under his retirement in 1925.

At the 1925 election, Premier of Queensland Ted Theodore resigned from office in order to run for Herbert, but was surprisingly defeated by Lewis Nott of the Nationalists, who held the seat for one term. Nott later emerged as the first member for the Australian Capital Territory as an independent from 1949 to 1951.

George Martens won the seat for the ALP in 1928 and held it until his retirement in 1946. The seat was then held by Labor’s William Edmonds until 1958.

Edmonds was defeated that year by John Murray of the Liberal Party, who was defeated himself by the ALP’s  Ted Harding in 1961. Harding was defeated in 1966 by Robert Bonnett. The seat was then held solidly by the Liberal Party for a long period. Bonnett retired in 1977 and Arthur Dean held on to the seat for the Liberals from 1977 to 1983.

In 1983, Dean was defeated by the ALP’s Ted Lindsay, as part of Bob Hawke’s election win over Malcolm Fraser. Lindsay held the seat for the entirety of the Hawke/Keating government before being defeated in 1996 by Liberal candidate Peter Lindsay (no relation). Lindsay has held the seat ever since.


Political situation
This seat is effectively a dead heat on the new boundaries.

2007 result

Peter LindsayLIB37,39745.70-2.68
George ColbranALP35,83843.79+7.81
Jenny StirlingGRN4,2015.13+0.17
Michael PunshonFF1,2831.57-2.33
Billy BrennanIND9001.10+1.10
Francis PaulerON7480.91-2.43
Ben ThompsonLDP5050.62+0.62
Garrie LynchIND4870.60+0.60
Sharon SheridanDEM4760.58-0.73

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

Peter LindsayLIB41,08950.21-6.03
George ColbranALP40,74649.79+6.03

Results do not take into consideration effects of the redistribution.

Booth breakdown
I have divided the booths into five areas. The four booths on Palm Island and Magnetic Island have been grouped together as ‘Islands’. Those booths in the rural part of the seat have also been grouped together. I have divided the booths in urban Townsville into three areas: those near the centre of Townsville, those near Mundingburra and those in the south of the urban area, particularly around Thuringowa.

Polling booths in Herbert. "Townsville" in red, "Mundingburra" in green, "Thuringowa" in yellow, "Rural" in blue, "Islands" in orange. Palm Island not shownn.
Polling booths in Herbert. “Townsville” in red, “Mundingburra” in green, “Thuringowa” in yellow, “Rural” in blue, “Islands” in orange. Palm Island not shown.
Voter groupGRN %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Other votes5.4546.5013,223
Polling booths in Herbert. Palm Island not shown.
Polling booths in Herbert. Palm Island not shown.
Polling booths in the southern part of urban Townsville. Includes Thurinigowa and Mundingburra.
Polling booths in the southern part of urban Townsville. Includes Thurinigowa and Mundingburra.
Polling booths in the centre of Townsville.
Polling booths in the centre of Townsville.


  1. A couple of more recent media reports I’ve found. Former Townsville Mayor Tony Mooney also in the running, though curiously these two reports with the same date and by the same author give slightly different assessments of his chances:

    Another noteworthy thing about Herbert is that it was one of two seats, Macarthur being the other, won by the Coalition in 2007 where Labor’s Senate vote was higher than the Coalition’s Senate vote. Does that imply a strong personal vote for Peter Lindsay?

  2. I thought I’d read somewhere that Lindsay was retiring, or at least considering retirement. Basically, jumping before he was pushed.

    I’d suggest the Liberals would have zero chance of holding the seat without him.

  3. From the Herald article:

    “Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce says he won’t be standing as a candidate, as party rules prevent it.”

    Lol. No kidding. Probably 60/40 Labor now.

  4. Thought Mooney was unelectable until I realised that Ewen Jones was the LNP candidate…Drovers dog could win easily over Ewen…The LNP has a problem with quality of selection process based on this call…

  5. Given the general increase in Defence presence across the Townsville region – and the Labour instigated Strategic Reform Program which has seen massive budget cuts across Defence expenditure – I tend to think that Ewen Jones might have a shot (even with the redistribution).
    Peter Lyndsay would have been a shoe in.

  6. This site is now continuously causing my browser (Firefox) to crash – at least 20 times as I’ve been going through these seats.

    My prediction here: Again I’m going out on a limb and saying Labor win, very very narrowly.

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