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.
- Tony Mooney (Labor)
- Ewen Jones (Liberal National)
- Michael Punshon (Family First)
- Mike Rubenach (Greens)
This seat is effectively a dead heat on the new boundaries.
2007 two-candidate-preferred result
Results do not take into consideration effects of the redistribution.
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.
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