Braddon – Australia 2022

LIB 3.1%

Incumbent MP
Gavin Pearce, since 2019.

Braddon covers the west coast and north-west of Tasmania, including the islands to Tasmania’s north-west. The seat covers West Coast, Burnie, Central Coast, Circular Head, Devonport, Latrobe and Waratah/Wynyard councils. It also covers King Island. The seat’s largest centres are the towns of Devonport and Burnie.

The seat of Braddon was created in 1955 when the existing Divison of Darwin was renamed. The seat of Darwin was created in 1903 for the first election with single-member electorates in Tasmania, and has always been a northwestern electorate. The seat of Darwin/Braddon had been largely dominated by conservative parties, but has tended to alternate between the major parties in recent years.

The seat was first won by the ALP’s King O’Malley, who held the seat until 1917. O’Malley is best-known for his service as Minister for Home Affairs under Andrew Fisher which saw him take responsibility for choosing the site and town plan for Caberra. He was also largely responsible for the Americanised spelling of the name of the Australian Labor Party. He was strongly anti-conscriptionist and his term as a minister ended when the ALP split, with Billy Hughes joining with the Liberals to form the new Nationalist government. At the 1917 election, O’Malley was narrowly defeated by a Nationalist candidate, and the Nationalist parties and its successors held the seat for the next forty years, with the exception of a single term in 1922 when the seat was held by the nascent Country Party.

The most prominent MP to represent Darwin during this period was Enid Lyons, widow of former Prime Minister Joseph Lyons, who was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives in 1943 and held the seat until the 1951 election.

After the seat was renamed Braddon in 1955, the ALP won the seat back in 1958. Ron Davies held the seat for the ALP up to the post-dismissal election in 1975, when he was defeated by the Liberal Party’s Ray Groom, who held the seat until 1984. He went on to enter state politics and was Premier from 1992 to 1996. Chris Miles succeeded Groom in Braddon and held the seat for the Liberal Party up to the 1998 election, when he was defeated by Sid Sidebottom.

Sidebottom held the seat for the ALP from 1998 to 2004, when he lost the seat to Liberal Mark Baker in a backlash against Mark Latham’s forestry policies.

Sidebottom regained the seat in 2007, and was re-elected in 2010.

In 2013, Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley defeated Sidebottom with a 10% swing, but he lost in 2016 to Labor’s Justine Keay.

Justine Keay was forced to resign from parliament in early 2018 due to her late citizenship renunciation in 2016, but she was re-elected at the resulting by-election.

Keay was defeated in 2019 by Liberal candidate Gavin Pearce.


Braddon is a very marginal seat with a recent history of flipping back and forth between Labor and Liberal.

2019 result

Gavin Pearce Liberal 26,51337.9-4.1
Justine Keay Labor 22,43432.1-7.5
Craig BrakeyIndependent7,61910.9+10.9
Graham GallaherOne Nation3,8795.5+5.5
Phill Parsons Greens 3,3844.8-2.0
Karen Wendy SpauldingUnited Australia Party2,5753.7+3.7
Sally Milbourne Nationals 1,6542.4+2.4
Brett Michael SmithIndependent1,2031.7+1.7
Shane AllanConservative National Party7121.0+1.0

2019 two-party-preferred result

Gavin Pearce Liberal 37,15153.1+4.8
Justine Keay Labor 32,82246.9-4.8

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into six areas. Polling places in the Circular Head, Waratah/Wynyard and West Coast LGAs were divided into North West and South West. Polling places in Devonport and Latrobe council areas have been grouped into one group. Polling places in Burnie and Central Coast council areas have been grouped together separately.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in four areas, ranging from 53.6% in Devonport-Latrobe to 60.3% on King Island

Labor won 53% in Burnie and 55.1% in the south-west.

The map paints a clear picture of Labor winning the major cities while the Liberal Party wins the rural booths in between (with Labor also winning some remote booths at the southern end of the seat).

The combined vote for the two independents ranged from 5.7% on King Island to 20% in Burnie.

Voter groupIND prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Central Coast12.555.510,00614.3
King Island5.760.37741.1
Other votes9.952.37,07010.1

Election results in Braddon at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, Labor and independent candidate Craig Brakey.

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  1. There is virtually nothing to see here. Nothing of any importance, or consequence likely. Likely sophomore surge, & increased lib vote.
    Lib hold.

  2. Liberal hold, the liberals have performed really well in northern Tasmania & I see no evidence of this seat or Bass changing hands.

  3. Do we know where a majority of Craig Brakey’s preferences went last federal election? Will be interesting to see where his sizeable 10% goes.

  4. Barclay
    According to AEC website they went 58:42 to the Libs. From what I can find, he did not direct preferences. The split is hardly surprising as he had run previously for Liberal preselection and there were UAP, One Nation and the Nats running as well.
    Is he likely to run again?

  5. Labor has more chance of winning Bass than Braddon. Both are in play for Labor. Gavin Pearce is an uninspiring member.

  6. The Coalition are very slightly favoured here on Sportsbet, paying $1.85 to Labor’s $1.90. This will probably be one of tightest races in the nation. If the anti-federal government sentiment over the Covid response permeates Tasmania too, we could see a fourth successive change of hands in Braddon.

  7. Got a good man running in Braddon 2022 that being Ludo Mineur (The Alpaca Man from Sheffield & Tassie Barrel Heater Maker) candidate for One Nation…Old school common sense type man…
    His Alpaca alone would have more brains than the rest of the field…
    But seriously a good man check him out…

  8. While the margin in Braddon is substantially larger for the Liberal Party than in Bass, I think the chances of a Labor pickup are only marginally worse here than in Bass. This is due to Bridget Archer’s moderate streak, going against the government on multiple occasions. However, I do still see Bass as being more likely to flip, and ultimately believe both seats will stay with the Liberal Party. Could very easily see them both falling Labor too though! We’ll just have to wait and see.

  9. The on the street buzz in all areas of Braddon is they are over the major Parties and will be using their votes to support the only independent running Craig Garland. The little Red Campaign bus of Craig Garland is everywhere. He cant promise funding but if he was to win the amount of money to flow into Braddon would bring all our dreams to reality

  10. That’s interesting to hear, James. Media coverage of much of Australia outside of the 2 big cities has been fairly poor (although the Guardian has a “beyond Canberra” series running. My point is, I appreciate hearing your views on the ground there.

  11. I’d be surprised if Garland got many votes. He’s gone from anti-Salmon farming revel to full public conspiracy theorist, which has knocked the shine off him somewhat. At most he’d be competing for the UAP vote.

  12. The Liberals did really well here moving this into a safe liberal seat, wonder if this is an outlier or a trend?

  13. According to Kevin Bonham, the Labor candidate had some controversy about a past arrest.

    Not sure if it was that or demographics (maybe a bit of both?) that drove the swing here.

  14. I would have thought no Nationals candidate and the inclusion of the Lambke candidate influenced how the vote split here which hurt Labor and helped the Liberals.


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