Fadden by-election, 2023

Cause of by-election
Sitting Liberal National MP Stuart Robert announced his retirement in May 2023.

Margin – LNP 10.6%

Fadden covers northern parts of the Gold Coast. The seat stretches as far south as Ernest, Labrador and Biggera Waters, and extends north to the Logan River.

Fadden was created for the 1977 election as a seat straddling the southern fringe of Brisbane and the northern Gold Coast as a marginal Liberal seat. It has been won by the Liberal Party or the LNP at every election bar one, and became much safer through the 1990s as it contracted into the Gold Coast.

Fadden was first won in 1977 by Liberal MP Donald Cameron. Cameron had previously won the marginal seat of Griffith in 1966, and held it until Fadden’s creation in 1977. Cameron held Fadden for two terms, losing it in 1983 to Labor candidate David Beddall. Cameron won the neighbouring seat of Moreton at a by-election eight months later and held it until his defeat in 1990.

Beddall moved to the new seat of Rankin in 1984, which he held until his retirement in 1998. Fadden returned to the Liberal Party, electing David Jull, who had previously held Bowman from 1975 to 1983. Jull was appointed to John Howard’s first ministry in 1996, but was forced to resign as a minister in 1997 due to his failure to prevent travel rorts by other MPs. He remained  on the backbenches for the remainder of the Howard government, and retired in 2007.

The seat of Fadden was won in 2007 by Liberal candidate Stuart Robert, who has held the seat ever since.


  • Letitia Del Fabbro (Labor)
  • Scott Turner (Greens)
  • Chris Simpson (Democrats)
  • Sandy Roach (One Nation)
  • Marnie Laree Davis (Indigenous – Aboriginal Party)
  • Suzette Luyken (Legalise Cannabis)
  • Quentin Bye (Sustainable Australia)
  • Kevin Young (Independent)
  • Belinda Jones (Independent)
  • Stewart Brooker (Independent)
  • Jan Pukallus (Citizens Party)
  • Cameron Caldwell (Liberal National)
  • James Tayler (Federation Party)

Fadden will probably remain in LNP hands. The seat would be a much more ambitious ask for Labor to win than Aston, although the electorate could be vulnerable to the right independent.

2022 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Stuart Robert Liberal National 47,190 44.6 -4.1
Letitia Del Fabbro Labor 23,638 22.3 -0.2
Sally Spain Greens 11,353 10.7 +1.7
Sandy Roach One Nation 9,177 8.7 +0.1
Nathan O’Brien United Australia 7,014 6.6 +1.5
Stewart Brooker Independent 4,407 4.2 +4.2
Alex Forbes Liberal Democrats 2,992 2.8 -1.7
Informal 4,760 4.3 -0.6

2022 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Stuart Robert Liberal National 64,126 60.6 -3.6
Letitia Del Fabbro Labor 41,645 39.4 +3.6

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into four areas: central, north, south and west.

The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 52.6% in the south to 62.9% in the centre.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 10.7% in the centre to 15% in the south.

One Nation came fourth, with a vote ranging from 8.2% in the south to almost 12% in the north and west.

Voter group GRN prim % ON prim % LNP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
North 13.5 11.8 54.3 11,160 13.4
Central 10.7 8.6 62.9 8,751 10.5
West 12.6 11.7 55.8 8,483 10.2
South 15.0 8.2 52.6 6,946 8.4
Pre-poll 8.6 7.7 63.7 44,361 53.4
Other votes 18.5 11.7 50.4 3,429 4.1

Election results in Fadden at the 2022 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal National Party, Labor, the Greens and One Nation.

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  1. Pre-poll voting numbers as of wednesday morning;

    so far 19,261 votoed with 2,963 voting tuesday 11/7.

    Booth totals:

    Beenleigh (open since 10/7) – 124
    Pimpama (open since 10/7) – 1,228
    Helensvale (open since 3/7) – 7,153
    Labrador (open since 10/7) – 1,016
    Runaway Bay (open since 3/7) – 9,457
    Southport (open since 10/7) – 283

    Out of disclosure, I am the campaign director for Jan Pukallus’ campaign (Australian Citizens Party).

    there was a candidates forum on Tuesday night in Paradise Point. Was quite good.

  2. i think the people who are talking about robodebt are already labor/greens voters and the people who are talking about the voice are already liberal voters. the cost of living fact will work against the govt and the retiring members personal vote against the libs. in all id say a neutral swing either way dont expect it to go further then 3% in either direction

  3. @Sam, I was going off the only figure I could find on the AEC website relating to the end of May (130,912). AEC have since mentioned a more recent figure of 131,340 in their media communications relating to the by-election that I have picked up. The figure implies that AEC picked up around 400+ net enrolments between the end of May and the enrolment deadline for this by-election.

  4. Thanks Max, do you have much to report from on the ground? I’ve been curious about how much interest and attention Pukallus and her fellow micro-party & independent candidates have been receiving at the pre-polls.

  5. As of 6am this morning:

    Early voting:
    All PPVCs – 26,692 votes
    Postal Votes – 10,269 votes (of 19,348 applicants)
    Total – 36,961

    Total electors – 131,340
    Turnout in 2022 – 110,531 (of 127,812 – 86.54%)

  6. final prediction is a 2% swing to labor, with larger swings in the coomera-pimpama growth corridor.

  7. “Polling analyst Kevin Bonham points out that in byelections in federal opposition seats the historic average swing is only about 1% to the opposition.” – Michelle Grattan.

    I wonder if there’ll be a live coverage on the ABC. It’s not as high-stakes or potentially history-making as Aston was. Antony Green is in Europe doing his cycling. Sky News will have one for sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Sky News host or panelist ties in a swing from the LNP (if there is one) with Gerard Rennick’s senate preselection loss.

  8. @Votante won’t be a stretch if that happens, SkyNews did blame the loss in Aston on Moira Deeming’s suspension and claimed that voters voted for Labor because the Libs are “anti-Christian”. You surely can’t get anymore delusional than that.

  9. Initially when the resignation was announced, I was expecting a larger swing of over 5% to Labor. This was recognising that Albanese is relatively popular in Queensland (as far as Federal Labor leaders go), and given his post-election honeymoon.

    I have since softened my swing expectations down in line to around 2% for a variety of reasons.

    Firstly, the shine on this aforementioned honeymoon is starting to wane now that is beyond 12 months since the election and now that different political issues are entering the public consciousness.

    Secondly the lack of awareness of this by-election and the expected sunken turnout will also soften Labor support. Anecdotally, it seems community awareness is still relatively low for this election, with a lot of voters only realising they have to vote in the last 48 hours, if at all. Much of the official campaign taking place during school holidays hasn’t helped people’s recognition of the election.

    A lot of LNP advertising material has barely called-out the election, to not draw too much attention to it. They’ve instead been going for broad Queensland-wide anti-Labor campaign messaging incorporating Albanese and Palasczuk and laying the ground work for their State election campaign early. In contrast, much of Labor’s messaging, particularly on social media, has been to simply try and reach voters to inform them that there is an election on and why.

    I expect Albanese and Labor to be quite popular amongst these cohorts of voters that will be difficult to reach, difficult to get out to vote and likely will not vote. This includes young people, low-information voters and disadvantaged community-members that rely on public transport.

    Finally, I think One Nation and the large field of other candidates are well positioned to absorb the votes from disaffected Coalition voters instead of Labor. This will soften the potential two-party preferred swing and might even in some rare circumstance, lead to unusual 3CP and 2CP outcomes. Also I think it’s being lost by punters in other states just how Coalition true-believer territory the Gold Coast is.

  10. Early voting:
    All PPVCs – 35,571 votes
    Postal Votes – 10,269 votes (of 19,348 applicants) (no new updates since yesterday)
    Total – 45,840

    Total electors – 131,340
    Turnout in 2022 – 110,531 (of 127,812 – 86.54%)

    This implies an early-vote (+postal) rate of 41% on previous turnout. Although this should be treated tentatively as we haven’t had a new update on received postals since yesterday and expectations are turnout will be down from last year.

  11. Another point regarding turnout at this by-election. I don’t think it has been helpful as part of this campaign so early on, having Labor figures break kayfabe and concede that they are very unlikely to win the by-election. This includes Del Fabbro. They should at least be maintaining the illusion until polls close before breaking kayfabe and disclosing their real expectations to the public. Yes it is okay to announce that you are an underdog to rally support. But to outright invalidate your chances and announcing your sheer unlikeliness to win is just a self-fulfilling prophecy. People will just not show up all together, contributing to a lower turnout. Even in a compulsory voting environment, if people believe that their vote will not be effective to the outcome, they will be happy to not show up or to at least make an informal vote. After all, there are a lot of voters in Australia still unfortunately operating under the misconception that a vote “that is unlikely to get up” is a vote wasted.

  12. Total amount of votes looks like it will arrive at just over 90,000 mayber close to 100,000 if all the postal votes that punters applied for turn up next week after being returned. Given the turnout was 110,531 last time, and the population of Fadden has grown since last year, a pretty poor result on turnout.

  13. Excellence result for Australia. Australia is moving back in the right direction.

    So much copium from Labor and the Greens justifying such a poor results. You’d have to imagine the greens losing their three QLD seats after getting outpolled by informal votes.

  14. Stew Rockdale, I wouldn’t discount the Greens automatically losing their seats based on this by-election result.

    I believe the Gold Coast region doesn’t have the same sort of demographics as inner Brisbane suburbs. This area is more like the Mornington Peninsula (Victoria) or Sutherland Shire (Greater Sydney) areas being characterised as a mortgage or commuter belt region known for having families and swing voters. Districts covered by these communities generally have poor support for the Greens (often under 5%) so are not a good comparison compared to the three seats currently held by them.

  15. Interesting wash up. As of today, LNP absolute primary vote has fallen by 6.700 and absolute TPP by 11,700. Surprisingly Caldwell’s record didn’t even bring out the “swinging” voters? Come back Stu Roberts! Yet surely LNP voters had everything to gain by turning out and delivering a message to Albo & showing the love to Dutton? Or is the LNP self declared cost of living crisis so great on the Gold Coast that LNP voter can’t afford shoes to walk or petrol to drive to polling booths? But maybe fringe LNP voters had no message they wanted to deliver to Albo and no love to show Dutton? What now for LNP & Dutton? If ever there was an electorate where the No Voice message was going to move the earth it was Gold Coast? Yet the earth did not move for fringe LNP voters (or Dutton) at all?

  16. Didn’t know where to post this but there is an error on the federal election 2025 main page, if you click Fadden in says Stuart Robert is the MP when it is now Cameron Caldwell.


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