Brisbane – Australia 2022

LNP 4.9%

Incumbent MP
Trevor Evans, since 2016.

Central Brisbane. Brisbane covers the Brisbane CBD and inner suburbs north of the Brisbane River including Fortitude Valley, Paddington, Ashgrove, Kelvin Grove, Newmarket, Clayfield and Hendra.

Brisbane is an original federation electorate. It had been held by the ALP for most of its history interrupted by short periods of conservative MPs, up until the last decade.

The seat was first won by Thomas Macdonald-Paterson, who joined the Protectionists when Parliament first sat. Macdonald-Paterson was not endorsed by the local Protectionists for the 1903 election, and the split in the protectionist vote gave the seat to the ALP’s Millice Culpin.

Culpin was himself defeated after one term by Justin Foxton of the Anti-Socialist Party (formerly the Free Traders). Foxton served as a minister from 1909 until his defeat at the 1910 election by the ALP’s William Finlayson.

Finlayson held the seat until 1919, when he was defeated by Donald Charles Cameron of the Nationalist Party. Cameron held the seat until 1931, when he lost the seat against the tide of conservative gains against the Scullin Government. Cameron returned to serve one term in the neighbouring seat of Lilley from 1934 to 1937.

The ALP held the seat continuously for the next fourty-four years, with only two MPs holding the seat from 1931 until 1975. George Lawson won the seat in 1931 and held it until 1961. He served as Minister for Transport from 1941 until the 1943 election. The seat was then held by Manfred Cross until his defeat by Liberal Peter Johnson in 1975. Johnson defeated Cross again in 1977 before Cross won the seat back in 1980.

Cross held the seat until his retirement in 1990, when the ALP chose Arch Bevis, who held the seat for the next twenty years. While Brisbane has never been held by a large margin, it came closest to being lost to the Liberals in 1996, when Bevis’ margin was cut to 0.36%.

In 2010, the Liberal National Party ran former MP Teresa Gambaro. Gambaro had served as member for the marginal seat of Petrie from 1996 until she was defeated in 2007.

Gambaro won the seat in 2010 with a 5.7% swing, and was re-elected with a further 3.2% swing in 2013.

Gambaro retired in 2016, and the LNP’s Trevor Evans won. Evans was re-elected in 2019.


  • Stephen Bates (Greens)
  • Trevor Evans (Liberal National)
  • Madonna Jarrett (Labor)
  • Assessment
    Brisbane had been held by Labor for decades, and consistently leaned substantially to the left relative to the rest of Queensland, but the seat has swung to the right since 2007. Despite this trend, the seat remains marginal and could fall to Labor or the Greens. There is a gap of just 2.1% on primary votes (1.6% at the key point of elimination) between Labor and the Greens, so either party could be the main opposition to the LNP.

    2019 result

    Trevor Evans Liberal National 48,77747.8-2.1
    Paul Newbury Labor 24,97024.5-1.4
    Andrew Bartlett Greens 22,80722.4+2.9
    Anne PerryOne Nation2,5372.5+2.5
    Aaron WhittakerUnited Australia Party1,4201.4+1.4
    Rod JeanneretConservative National Party7320.7+0.7
    Kamala EmanuelSocialist Alliance7140.7+0.7

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Trevor Evans Liberal National 55,99554.9-1.1
    Paul Newbury Labor 45,96245.1+1.1

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three areas:

    • Central – Brisbane, Fortitude Valley, New Farm, Spring Hill, Windsor.
    • North East – Ascot, Clayfield, Hendra, Stafford
    • West – Alderley, Ashgrove, Ithaca, Kelvin Grove, Newmarket, Paddington, Red Hill

    The LNP won a large 59.2% majority in the north-east, while Labor won much slimmer majorities in the other parts of the seat. The LNP also won a 55.9% majority on the pre-poll.

    The Greens vote was over 25% in the west and centre, and just 18.8% in the north-east.

    Voter groupGRN prim %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    North East18.859.221,17420.8
    Other votes20.558.419,79219.4

    Election results in Brisbane at the 2019 federal election
    Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal National Party, Labor and the Greens.

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    1. Eminently winnable seat for Labor/Greens if they work for it. Just about everywhere west of the inner city bypass is now decisively left-leaning territory at the state level, including places like the Grange, Lutwyche, Ashgrove, etc etc. The amount of medium/high density development over the last few years is ridiculous. There are massive amounts of new, young renters, the sorts of people that should never vote for the Coalition if the Opposition makes even half an overture. New Farm and Teneriffe might be trending more conservative, presumably because only the very rich can afford to live there anymore, but it’s not nearly enough to offset the general dynamic. Even parts of the blue ribbon east (Clayfield, Hamilton, etc) have had similar sorts of demographic changes, if not nearly to the same extent.

      The problem is that Labor might decide they don’t want to splash a lot of cash here, either because they’re more worried about sandbagging places like Lilley, they’re worried that the Greens might ultimately benefit rather than Labor, or they’re thinking that, say, Dickson is due for a Labor member instead (very wishful thinking imo despite the margin on paper).

      Far too early to make predictions yet

    2. Fl
      Those “massive amounts of new, young renters, the sorts of people that should never vote for the Coalition if the Opposition makes even half an overture”
      Pray tell what that “half an overture” might be composed of, or look like ? Those ignorant, or naughty young voters who might see things differently ?

      Albo is unelectable. He is not a leader. Neither is the PM.. however he is ( perceived as) a better manager.
      Steven Conroy has said repeatedly “that 42 % of voters voted for greater climate action. 58% did not. Therefore there is not one more vote to be gained from (a RET of) 50% nett zero, & labor will continue to lose elections pursuing these policies ”
      I’m sure that you don’t have much regard for my opinions. Perhaps those of Troy, Bramston, Richo, Conroy, & many others so far silent, may have some weight.

      If those Young voters had any sense they ought to be incensed at the legacy of debt that will be bequeathed to them, BY OUR GENERATIONS. With the connivance of every govt of the last 15 years. And accordingly vote against all politicians.

    3. Early prediction: the Greens vote isn’t going to change significantly here this time around.

      General prediction: in addition to no real change this time, they’ll never get out of third here until they can properly lay the groundwork in the northeast.

    4. Alex J How much did Bartlett enhance the Green vote. Agree with everything else. This seat seems to be one of the seats drifting to the left over “progressive” causes, but without much impetus or pattern.

      This seat looks like it will be altered in the next redistribution moving north or east +or – 20000 voters

    5. winediamond – as you can read in the table in Ben’s post, the Greens got a +2.9% swing last time. How much of that is due to Bartlett you ask? Well, we can’t know for sure but I can compare Senate 4PP and House Primary swings statewide on the theory that the Senate vote isn’t subject to the same candidate effects (which is true for the majors, but less so for the Greens and not at all so for Hanson – but at least they’re fairly consistent statewide.)

      Statewide, I calculate that the Greens got a +2.54% swing on Senate 4PP and the AEC says they got a +1.49% primary vote swing in the House statewide. So we might expect the Senate swing to be about 1 point more than the House swing.

      The Greens’ Senate 4PP swing for Brisbane specifically was +3.96% and would you look at that, it’s pretty much a one-point difference.

      Is any of this proper statistical analysis? Not really, no. But I hope it paints a picture

    6. As for Brisbane drifting substantially further northeast, I don’t see it. Enrolment at the election was 115K for Brisbane and Petrie, 108K for Lilley and Dickson, 106K for Ryan. If those trends continue then they’re fairly easily resolvable with Dickson and Lilley nibbling at the southern end of Petrie and then Ryan nibbling at the western edge of Brisbane. There’s no need IMHO for Brisbane to pick up more voters from Lilley.

    7. Alex J
      I really Appreciate you taking the trouble for such a thorough reply. Its really difficult to see where Brisbane (seat) is heading infall respects. Given the noise & effort with Bartlett was the result a vindication ?
      After all the noise about the Bob Brown caravan, it extremely ironic that as you have demonstrated, everyone missed that the Green vote INCRASED ! How did that happen !?

      With Brisbane i think you need to factor in 10000 voters from Longman, & 7000 from Fisher. so grazing, or nibbling won’t cut it mate ! The AEC will need to serve UP a proper meal !
      cheers WD

    8. I don’t think you should be surprised that the Green vote went up statewide. Sure, the Bob Brown caravan wasn’t well received in Central or Northern Queensland, but there just aren’t that many Green votes to lose outside SEQ, and in any event regardless of where you live, if you were offended by it you probably don’t vote Greens anyway.


      I discovered today that the AEC do quarterly enrolment reports by district. Repeating the June 2019 through March 2021 population changes forward to March 2025 (when the next Qld redistribution is due to start) shows that the Sunshine Coast, MBRC and Brisbane Northside districts will collectively be 29% of an electorate above quota, that the rest of SEQ will collectively be 18% of an electorate above quota, Groom + Maranoa 19% below, and the rest of the state 28% below.

      At least Kennedy and Leichhardt almost cancel out. Hinkler and Wide Bay are also basically within tolerance but we still need to move a third of an electorate through them.

      The west’s problems might be surprisingly solvable: put the Somerset Regional Council (the rural part of Blair) in Maranoa and let Groom expand back into Maranoa as needed. (And Blair into Oxley, etc.) There might even be a bit left over to give some of the Winton/Longreach/Barcaldine LGAs away!

      As we expected, on the Greater Northside there’s relative decline in Ryan, Lilley and Dickson, and growth in the rest.

      The real challenge, as you say, will be in shedding people from Longman in a way that’s only mostly awful.

      I don’t see how it’ll be possible to avoid crossing the forest and putting Toorbul and Bribie in Fisher. That lets us finish turning Wide Bay into a mostly-Sunshine-Coast district (taking Kenilworth, Yandina, maybe Coolum…); for Flynn to get Maryborough and Tiaro; and then we’ve finally got enough surplus for Capricornia and Dawson to each come south a bit. Back in Brisbane this leaves the Northside’s cupboard pretty bare – one of Brisbane or Ryan might have to cross the river (because of where the bridges are it’s generally easier for the North to borrow a peninsula from the South).

    9. Alexj
      Perhaps we see the the magnitude of population movements a little differently. We just don’t know how many Victorians will feel compelled flee !!. “” but we still need to move a third of an electorate through them.””
      Is it that much ? IT didn’t appears so to me.

      You raise many fascinating possibilities. Ryan pinching the CUB suburbs on the CENTENARY Hwy. was particularly alluring. Haven’t the AEC sworn never again !? The Brisbane River inviolate forever !?

      Have you considered the possibility that Wright could easily cede the Lockyer Valley to Groom & hence Maranoa ? The Gold Coast in already way over quota, & lots of Victorians are on their way !!. BTW we don’t want them in NSW either !.

      Actually it’s not actually the Green’s that i mind. or their antics, & somber/clownish grandstanding. I can cope with the lecturing, & preaching, & the holy devotion to purity. What gets me is the hypocrisy, & the inability to acknowledge wrongs mistakes,& faults that i can’t handle . I know that it’s my issue & a hangover from being married to a reformer/ perfectionist Type i for 16 years. The Greens, & most Greens Reps are the same personality type, so it does grate. i sometimes darkly remark, that the biggest downside of having a disabled child, is that one can only achieve a divorce in name only !!
      As Sam Crosby says so precisely” the Greens reject the good to demand the pure” .
      Resisting imperfection leads to misery (me)

    10. winediamond

      My figures are only estimates, but if current trends hold, Herbert+Dawson+Capricornia+Flynn will collectively be between a quarter and a third of an electorate under quota by the next redistribution; Flynn in particular will be more than 10% under.

      The cleanest large part of northern Longman to transfer is the section east of the Bruce Highway, and that’s a bit over a third of an electorate (not a bad thing; it’d give the northern seats a small cushion).

      As for putting the Lockyer Valley in Groom: I did consider it but it is apparently over 40,000 people, much more than needed. So Maranoa would presumably have to take actual Toowoomba suburbia to make up its deficit, which seems silly. Thirdly, the mood with the last Qld redistribution was that Wright should not encroach further on the Gold Coast, so I’m loath to remove people from Wright if I can avoid it.

      I don’t expect to *need* to cross the river, but I am trying to avoid drawing the Brisbane Northside + Sunshine Coast systemically under and everywhere else systemically at or over. Giving Ryan everything down to Corinda, or Brisbane the KP peninsula (esp. given they’re getting a pedestrian bridge to the CBD now) might well be the most straightforward way to balance the numbers.

    11. AlexJ
      Always find your views interesting. I guess i just don’t trust population estimates. Also i can see a huge exodus of Victorians to QLD. The assumptions drawn thus may well be wrong. Your methodology seems more detailed, & exacting than mine.
      Have you ever considered a future mandate limiting maximum size of electorates ?. Say along the lines of amalgamating Maranoa, & Groom & then splitting them into 2 roughly equal halves. I believe there was a Labor proposal to do something similar in the NT RECENTLY ?.
      Whatever happens it appears that difficult decisions will have to be made. WRT to Wright i can’t see how big changes won’t happen, as it’s such an invention of convenience in the second place.
      What is the “KP peninsular”?
      cheers WD

    12. I think Labor would have loved to get the popular former state MP Kate Jones to stand in this seat. There were rumor’s that she was considering a run in this seat, but she didn’t nominate. I think it’s likely she doesn’t think it’s Labor’s time this election. And she may be gearing up for a run as Brisbane City Lord Mayor which has also been rumored.

      The seat of Brisbane is different to when Arch Bevis held the seat. The change of demographics and redistribution has made it more tinged with blue. I will wait closer to the election for a prediction but I still think the LNP are favorites. But it is certainly a seat Labor can win when they get into government though.

    13. Winediamond – KP refers to the Kangaroo Point Peninsula, the area reached after crossing the Story Bridge from Fortitude Valley.

    14. Being retired at 42 on a parliamentary pension is just too much fun I guess. It’s a shame because I agree, she could absolutely win it.

    15. Yeah, KP’s about 8000 people, which isn’t that much but it is handy when looking to equilibrate.

      Brisbane does indeed look different to in the Arch Bevis era. Back then it went up into the mid northwest suburbs along the Ferny Grove train line. Now it goes northeast. It’s rotated!

      Kate Jones going for Lord Mayor would be very interesting. Certainly a change from Labor’s run of non-government candidates in the last decade:
      2008: Greg Rowell, cricketer
      2012: Ray Smith, TV exec
      2016: Rod Harding, Macquarie manager
      2020: Pat Condren, journalist

      I guess this isn’t too surprising though. With Qld Labor being so dominant at a state level I don’t think they put that much effort into winning BCC, and Opposition Councillors basically never run for Mayor, because they have to give up their ward to do so.

    16. Labor have selected a strong candidate and while the north east of this electorate is strongly conservative this seat could be a player if there is a general city wide swing to labor in Queensland. Green vote and preferences will be important in this seat as a younger rental demographic is moving to western areas of this seat.


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