Ipswich West by-election, 2024

Cause of by-election
Sitting Labor MP Jim Madden resigned from parliament in January 2024 to contest the Ipswich City Council election.

Margin – ALP 14.3%

Incumbent MP
Jim Madden, since 2015.

South-East Queensland. Ipswich West covers the western Ipswich suburbs of North Ipswich, Brassall, Leichhardt, Yamanto and Karalee, as well as rural areas to the west of Ipswich including Pine Mountain, Marburg and Rosewood.

Ipswich West has existed since 1960. In that time it has been won by the Labor Party at all but three elections.

The ALP held the seat from 1960 to 1974, when it was lost to the National Party at a landslide election. Labor recovered the seat in 1977.

David Underwood held the seat from 1977 until 1989, when he was replaced by Don Livingstone.

Livingstone held the seat from 1989 until 1998, when he lost to One Nation’s Jack Paff. Paff helped form the new City Country Alliance in 1999, and lost to Livingstone in 2001. Livingstone served two more terms, retiring in 2006.

The ALP’s Wayne Wendt was elected in Ipswich West in 2006 and he won a second term in 2009.

In 2012, Wendt was defeated by LNP candidate Sean Choat. Choat lost in 2015 to Labor candidate Jim Madden. Madden was re-elected in 2017 and 2020.

Madden had faced allegations of mistreatment of staff members and had announced plans to retire at the 2024 election, but instead resigned early to contest the Ipswich City Council election.


  • Melody Lindsay (Legalise Cannabis)
  • Darren Zanow (Liberal National)
  • Mark Bone (One Nation)
  • Wendy Bourne (Labor)

Ipswich West is a safe Labor seat, but this by-election could be most interesting for testing support for One Nation in one of their heartland areas.

2020 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Jim Madden Labor 15,033 50.1 +2.9
Chris Green Liberal National 6,328 21.1 +4.6
Gary Duffy One Nation 4,412 14.7 -13.4
Raven Wolf Greens 1,957 6.5 -1.5
Anthony Hopkins Legalise Cannabis 1,361 4.5 +4.5
Clem Grieger Civil Liberties & Motorists 565 1.9 +1.9
Karakan Karoly Kochardy Independent 321 1.1 +1.1
Informal 1,252 4.0

2020 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Jim Madden Labor 19,289 64.3
Chris Green Liberal National 10,688 35.7

Booth breakdown

Booths in Ipswich West have been divided into three areas: north-east, south-east and west.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 59.6% in the west to 68.6% in the south-east.

One Nation came third, with a primary vote ranging from 13.7% in the north-east to 18.8% in the west.

Voter group ON prim % ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
North-East 13.7 63.6 5,979 19.9
West 18.8 59.6 2,882 9.6
South-East 15.5 68.6 2,076 6.9
Pre-poll 15.1 65.5 10,380 34.6
Other votes 13.5 64.0 8,660 28.9

Election results in Ipswich West at the 2020 Queensland state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal National Party and One Nation.

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  1. Spacefish, by elections often see larger than average swings compared to a general election. But you are right, these results indicate Labor is headed for defeat at the upcoming state elections.

  2. As of 10:02 pm AEDT, the first preferences as shown on the ABC site are LNP 39.0%, Labor 34.9%, LCP 15.3% and PHON 10.8%. Indicate preference count has LNP leading on 51.8% 2PP. LCP preferences need to flow very strongly to Labor for Labor to retain the seat. Since the LCP candidate issued an open ticket and did not recommend preferences, and LNP is higher on the ballot paper than Labor, LCP preferences is not likely to flow very strongly to Labor for Labor to retain the seat. Therefore LNP is likely to gain the seat.

    The preference count is still very incomplete, which means it can be several days before the winner can be known for certain. A previously safe heartland seat held by Labor on a 14.35% margin is now down to the wire. A dreadful result for Labor which possibly seals the fate of a bad defeat for Labor in the October state election.

  3. The by-election does not mean the lnp will win the next state election. I remember Labor losing seats in the Beatie years then recovering those seats at the subsequent general election. The results are a reason for concern however.

  4. @thr state election is all but a foregone loss. The stare govt is deeply unpopular with youth crime out of control a the newxpremier worse then the last Labor will not win. They lose most of their regional seats . To the lnp coupled with the fact that kap and ono control 4 seats Labor wo t win.

  5. I agree with the various comments that Labor will lose the state election, but I doubt the statewide swing will hit the double digits. I don’t see shades of 2012.

    In NSW, the Penrith by-election of 2010, a similar end-of-life or final year by-election, recorded a massive 26% to the Liberals.

  6. Miles may be able to pull off a 2009 instead of a 2012, but if swings this large are happening it’s going to be hard to know what seats can turn and where to focus sandbagging. At the time of writing the ABC is projecting a tighter margin in Inala than after the 2012 election.

  7. I think a double digit swing against the government is on the cards but Labor will only lose 25-30 seats and not the massive 45 seats they did in 2012.

    A 10% swing would give the LNP around 57% on the TPP which is around what I see happening if things don’t improve for Labor.

    Hopefully Labor now starts on solving the youth crime crisis or at least not get in the way of a party that is more likely to.

    I wouldn’t rule out a narrow LNP hold in Ipswich West at the general election. If Labor is focused on defending its other seats and if the LNP can’t make huge breakthroughs in Brisbane, Holding this seat at the general would be key to a decent sized majority.

    I think the LNP will hold this at the general unless Miles makes this a 50-50 hung parliament territory election.

  8. @john doubt it the premier in addition to state problems has his own personal controversies
    @daniel t If they could solve it in 3 terms what makes you think they can solve in 6 months?

  9. John, That is exactly my point, They can’t really, so It’s going to be either a landslide defeat or a respectable loss.

    But when I say landslide I don’t mean anything like 2012 or NSW 2011. Probably more like 1988 NSW ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1988_New_South_Wales_state_election ) A big swing, and a heavy defeat. but not enough to call it a massive landslide but more a comfortable loss. I think the 1988 NSW election will Mimic QLD 2024 quite a bit.

  10. A few days ago, I wrote that I’d be interested in One Nation’s performance. This is their former seat and it’s part of their heartland.

    At present, the primary vote swing away from ON is 4%. It might’ve because they ran dead or because they weren’t running for Council and therefore had less brand exposure. If there was a genuine decline in popularity and is consistent in their heartland, then there’ll be less vote splitting at the general election. It will make the LNP more competitive in outer suburban and regional, working-class Queensland with less interference from ON than in 2017 and 2020.

  11. @votante There are some shades of 2012 in the Inala and Ipswich West by-election results. On current figures Labor’s 2PP in Inala is only 0.26% better than in 2012, and Labor’s 2PP in Ipswich West is only 4.23% better than in 2012. However, such swings were inflated by the loss of personal votes of the previous members and which are not going to be repeated statewide in October.

    Current polling points to a modest but decisive LNP victory rather than a massive landslide like in 2012. A Newspoll published this week recorded a 54% LNP 2PP, or a 7.2% 2PP swing towards the LNP, which will give the LNP 52 seats of swings were uniform, the same as what Labor won in 2020. This is not landslide territory. No one has called QLD Labor’s 2020 victory a landslide. The LNP is likely to win a comfortably majority in October, but it won’t be a landslide or 2012 repeat. More like NSW 1988.

    However, Labor’s defeat in Ipswich West, which has happened only three times before since 1960, means Labor has to start defend seats like Ipswich West which it once considered unloseable barring a 2012 repeat. Seats like Cairns, which the LP/NP/LNP has won only once since 1904 and has the wife of the popular local federal MP Warren Entsch as the LNP candidate; Townsville, which the LP/NP/LNP has won only twice since 1983; and even Rockhampton, which the LP/NP/LNP has never won but has a retiring Labor MP, are now more at risk considering the Ipswich West result.

  12. “On current figures Labor’s 2PP in Inala is only 0.26% better than in 2012, and Labor’s 2PP in Ipswich West is only 4.23% better than in 2012.” Should be 2% for Inala and 3.5% for Ipswich West now.

  13. Since 1989…have the lnp won 2 elections on a row here. I am pretty sure the answer is no. Why? Fair boundaries

  14. @Joseph What would be concerning to the ALP is the number of Members who have decided to retire. Whatever people may say about politicians, they’re not dumb. They can read the tea leaves better than most people, especially when it comes to their own seat. In 2012 the resignation count was 10 ALP, 1 LNP and 1 IND. You can argue whether it was a case of jumping before they were pushed, or whether leaving early critically impaired the campaign in the seat.

    So far the count is 5 ALP, 3 LNP. Some of those resignations are obvious, like Colin Boyce going Federal and Jim Madden going to Council after some *difficult* office problems. Palaszczuck had no real option to step down after resigning the leadership. Mark Robinson wanted to be able to hand off the seat while he could. Yvette D’Ath, the poster child for failing upwards, no longer had the Premier to protect her. I believe Lachlan Miller and Michael Hart just got tired of the job.

    Which leaves Stirling Hinchliffe and Barry O’Rourke. Barry says he’s got health problems, which he may well have, but Labor is on the nose once you get north of Gympie. Stirling is more interesting, having lost Stafford in 2012 and crossed over to the much safer seat of Sandgate at the next election. Stirling’s been an ALP insider since his Young Labor days but he also knows that it’s a choice of being in Opposition or having to be in a subordinate position to people he regards as his intellectual inferiors. Or both.

  15. yea i heard about this sky news in particular Paul Murray have been pushing this. this is the other issue noones mentioned. labor campaign finincing laws they want to introduce limiting how much can be spent on a seat. the laws mean that the labor party which is the political arm of the unions can effectively outspend everyone else 26:1 as the laws mean that each individual union has that cap not just the labor party. so this disadvantages everyone else whether your liberal, national, teal, independant, green, onp you name it.

  16. @votante One Nation definitely ran dead in this seat. Next to no campaigning. Which is surprising given I thought they had a genuine chance at replicating their Bundamba performance, as Sharon Bell campaigned hard and achieved a strong swing. Honestly not sure why One Nation didn’t campaign harder, was a missed opportunity.

  17. @AA my wild speculation, probably baseless, is that One Nation are probably too busy organizing themselves in preparation for the retirement of Hanson.

  18. @Mark @Ben Raue If you’re bored, take a look at the Cannabis Party vote difference in Ipswich West and Inala. Might be worth looking at whether the dodgy cards may have ended up stripping votes off the ALP in Ipswich West.

  19. @SEQ Observer That’s probably the reason behind Ashby running in Keppel, to build his profile and eventually replace Hanson in the senate. However that would be after the state election, so I see no reason why they didn’t allocate more resources here.


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