Kennedy – Election 2010

IND 16.3%

Incumbent MP
Bob Katter, since 1993, member of the National Party until 2001.

Geography
Far North Queensland and northwestern Queensland. Kennedy covers a large part of Queensland’s land mass, stretching from the Queensland coast between Cairns and Townsville (although containing neither, and stretching inland to the Northern Territory boundary, covering the inland towns of Mount Isa and Charters Towers. Other major towns include Innisfail, Ingham, Tully, Mareeba and Gordonvale.

Redistribution
Kennedy gained territory from Leichhardt to the west of Cairns. It also gained territory from Dawson to the south of Townsville. In exchange it lost rural parts of Townsville council area to Herbert.

History
Kennedy is an original federation electorate. It was mainly held by the ALP until 1966, and since then it has mainly been held by members of the Katter family, first for the Country/National Party and latterly as an independent.

The seat was first won in 1901 by Charles McDonald of the ALP in 1901. McDonald was elected as the first Labor Speaker in 1910 when the ALP won a majority in Parliament for the first time, and served in the role for the entirety of the Labor governments of 1910-1913 and 1914-1917, although he went to the backbench when the Labor government split over conscription in 1917. He held the seat until his death in 1925.

The ensuing by-election was won by Nationalist candidate Grosvenor Francis. Francis won re-election in 1928 but lost Kennedy to the ALP’s Darby Riordan.

Riordan held Kennedy until his death in 1936, when he was succeeded by his nephew Bill Riordan. Riordan held the seat for thirty years, and retired in 1966.

The 1966 election saw Kennedy won by the Country Party’s Bob Katter Sr. Katter was a former member of the ALP who left the party in 1957 when the Queensland Labor Party split from the federal party, and ended up in the Country Party. He briefly served as a minister in the McMahon government for ten months in 1972 before the election of the Whitlam government.

Katter Sr died in 1990 shortly before the federal election, and the seat was won by the ALP’s Rob Hulls, who ran a business in Mount Isa. Hulls held the seat for one term, losing to Bob Katter Jr, a former state MP, at the 1993 election. Hulls moved to Victoria and was elected to the Victorian state parliament in 1996. He is now Deputy Premier and has served as a minister for the entirety of the Bracks/Brumby government since 1999.

Katter Jr was a strong supporter of Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s state government, and found himself at odds with the federal Liberal/National coalition. He resigned from the Nationals in 2001 and easily won re-election as an independent in 2001, 2004 and 2007.

Candidates

Political situation
While the ALP is notionally in second place in this seat, you would have to think that most Katter voters would normally vote National, and thus if Katter was to lose the seat it would probably be to the Nationals. Yet if Katter runs for re-election he should have no trouble retaining the seat.

2007 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Bob KatterIND32,53739.53-0.23
Alan NeilanALP23,12228.09+4.13
Ed MorrisonNAT20,29224.65+1.17
Frank ReillyGRN2,6493.22-0.31
Keith DouglasFF1,6742.03-1.12
Bill HankinON1,4411.75-2.71
Nigel AsplinDEM6040.73+0.03

2007 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Bob KatterIND54,57166.29-2.54
Alan NeilanALP27,74833.71+2.54

Results do not take into account effects of the redistribution.

Booth breakdown
There are a large number of local government areas in Kennedy. I have treated those LGAs near the coast differently than those inland. Out of all inland booths, I have grouped those booths in the towns of Mount Isa and Charters Towers, with the remainder grouped as “West”.

Booths in Tabllands and Cassowary Coast LGAs have been grouped by their council names. Those booths in the southern parts of the Cairns LGA have been grouped as “Mulgrave”, the former name of the local government area to the south of Cairns. Hinchinbrook covers booths in that LGA and those further south near Townsville.

 

Booths in Kennedy. Mount Isa in yellow, Charters Towers in orange, West in light blue, Hinchinbrook in dark blue, Cassowary Coast in purple, Musgrave in green, Tablelands in red.
Voter groupIND %ALP %NAT %Total votes% of ordinary votes
Tablelands38.2524.1627.3318,89028.02
Cassowary Coast42.5428.2223.9914,34421.28
Mulgrave22.2439.2229.489,44114.01
Hinchinbrook39.0730.3226.517,87311.68
Mount Isa30.7236.7622.187,86211.66
Charters Towers49.0727.5619.624,6086.84
West41.9525.9424.624,3916.51
Other votes39.2824.2927.8313,616

Kennedy is a massive electorate with sparsely populated areas in the west and densely populated areas along the east coast. With three parties polling well over 20%, it is also essential to produce maps shows primary votes for those three parties, not just a two-party preferred figure. This has required over 20 maps, so they are all shown below. Click on each map to enlarge it.

Votes for Bob Katter at the 2007 federal election in Kennedy.
Votes for the ALP at the 2007 federal election in Kennedy.
Votes for the Nationals at the 2007 federal election in Kennedy.
Votes for Bob Katter at the 2007 federal election in Mount Isa.
Votes for the ALP at the 2007 federal election in Mount Isa.
Votes for the Nationals at the 2007 federal election in Mount Isa.
Votes for Bob Katter at the 2007 federal election along the North Queensland coast.
Votes for the ALP at the 2007 federal election along the North Queensland coast.
Votes for the Nationals at the 2007 federal election along the North Queensland coast.
Votes for Bob Katter at the 2007 federal election south of Cairns.
Votes for the ALP at the 2007 federal election south of Cairns.
Votes for the Nationals at the 2007 federal election south of Cairns.
Votes for Bob Katter at the 2007 federal election north of Townsville.
Votes for the ALP at the 2007 federal election north of Townsville.
Votes for the Nationals at the 2007 federal election north of Townsville.
Votes for Bob Katter at the 2007 federal election around Innisfail.
Votes for the ALP at the 2007 federal election around Innisfail.
Votes for the Nationals at the 2007 federal election around Innisfail.
Votes for Bob Katter at the 2007 federal election in Charters Towers.
Votes for the ALP at the 2007 federal election in Charters Towers.
Votes for the Nationals at the 2007 federal election in Charters Towers.

5 COMMENTS

  1. My prediction: Obviously an independent retain. I believe Katter’s vote has actually dropped at each election, so i’ll tip the pattern to continue, with another small swing away from him.

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