Key seats – Queensland 2012

Most statewide polls have had the ALP on 39-41% of the two-party vote, with the LNP on 59-61%, although the most recent poll had the ALP on 44%.

This suggests that there will be a substantial swing to the LNP, with a number of very marginal Labor seats expected to easily fall.

The LNP now hold 31 seats (after three of their MPs defected to become independents or to join Katter’s Australian Party). To win a majority of 45 seats, the LNP will need to gain 14 seats. Assuming that the party neither gains any seats off the crossbenches or loses any to an independent or Katter, the LNP will require 14 Labor seats to form a majority.

On a uniform swing, the 14th Labor seat to fall will be Kallangur, on 4.6%. Even the worst polling for the LNP has them on track for much more than a 4.6% swing.

The ALP holds 17 seats by less than 5%, and are expected to lose most of these seats, which would give the LNP a majority. These seats are:

Beyond these seats, there will be a further belt of seats between 5% and 12% which could be within the reach of the LNP. 39 of Labor’s 51 seats have margins of 10.8% or less. These are two numerous to name individually, and the swing will likely vary widely in these seats. The one seat worth watching is Ashgrove, held by former minister Kate Jones and being contested by LNP leader Campbell Newman. The seat is held by 7.1%, which presents a scenario where the LNP could gain a uniform swing that is sufficient to win a majority of seats, but not enough to win Ashgrove. Having said that, polling indicates the swing in Ashgrove will be enough to elect Newman.

There are also indications that some safer ALP seats may also be in danger, with seat-by-seat polling indicating huge swings of over 20% in the safer Labor seats of Ipswich, Bundamba, Stretton and Lytton.

There are also three seats where the MP was elected as a Liberal National but has since left the party. Shane Knuth in Dalrymple and Aidan McLindon in Beaudesert are now members of Katter’s Australian Party, and it will be a test of the new party as to whether they can defend their seats from the LNP. Interestingly these were the two seats in 2009 where the remnants of One Nation made their presence known: with the last remaining One Nation MP, Rosa Lee Long, contesting Dalrymple, and the former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson contesting Beaudesert. Rob Messenger also left the LNP under similar circumstances and now holds Burnett as an independent.

Katter’s Australian Party will also be aiming to win further seats. These seats are hard to pinpoint, but the party is expected to perform well in North Queensland seats where One Nation polled strongly in 1998 and 2001. Amongst their targets will be Mount Isa, a Labor seat in the heart of Bob Katter’s federal electorate, and where Katter’s son Rob Katter is running. Other seats to watch are Burdekin, Hinchinbrook and Nanango.