Fairfax – Australia 2022

LNP 13.4%

Incumbent MP
Ted O’Brien, since 2016.

Sunshine Coast of Queensland. Fairfax covers the central part of Sunshine Coast Regional Council. It covers the towns of Buderim, Maroochydore and Nambour, as well as following the coast from Maroochydore to Coolum Beach.

Fairfax was first created in 1984 when the House of Representatives was expanded, and has always been held by conservative parties. The seat was first won by Evan Adermann of the National Party, who had previously held Fisher since the 1972 election and served as a minister in the Fraser government.

Adermann retired at the 1990 election, and the seat was fought as a three-cornered contest in 1990. The ALP came first on primaries, with the Nationals leading the Liberals by 0.7% on primary votes. A high Democrats vote pushed the Liberals ahead of Nationals candidate John Stone, who had resigned from the Senate to contest the seat, and Liberal candidate Alex Somlyay won the seat on National preferences.

Somlyay held the seat by varying margins, most recently having a margin of over 62% following the redistribution before the 2007 election. A 9.4% swing to the ALP made Fairfax a marginal seat following the 2007 election. A 4% swing back to the LNP strengthened Somlyay’s position in 2010.

In 2013, Alex Somlyay retired, and the seat was won by Clive Palmer, running for his newly founded Palmer United Party. The race was extremely close, only being decided after weeks of counting. Palmer won by only 57 votes.

Palmer did not run for re-election in 2016, and the seat was won easily by LNP candidate Ted O’Brien, who was re-elected in 2019.


  • Ted O’Brien (Liberal National)
  • Wendy Hazelton (Informed Medical Options)
  • Tash Poole (Animal Justice)
  • Barry Smith (Independent)
  • Sue Etheridge (Greens)
  • Sinim Australie (Independent)
  • Lisa Khoury (United Australia)
  • Sue Ferguson (Labor)
  • Craig White (Great Australian Party)
  • Nikki Civitarese (One Nation)
  • Assessment
    Fairfax is a safe LNP seat.

    2019 result

    Ted O’Brien Liberal National 48,45149.6+1.1
    Julie McGlone Labor 20,97621.5+0.9
    Sue Etheridge Greens 12,29112.6-0.1
    Paul HenselinOne Nation7,6617.8-1.8
    Kylie CowlingUnited Australia Party2,9873.1+3.1
    Jake RyanConservative National Party1,5021.5+1.5
    Richard BelcherSustainable Australia1,4101.4+1.4
    Sinim AustralieIndependent1,3181.3+1.4
    Bertrand CadartLiberal Democrats1,0441.1+1.1

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Ted O’Brien Liberal National 61,94463.4+2.6
    Julie McGlone Labor 35,69636.6-2.6

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into four areas. Those booths near the coast have been split into “North-East” and “South-East”. The south-east is the most populous part of the seat, including Maroochydore and Buderim. The north-east includes seats close to the coast.

    Booths away from the coast have been split into those near the town of Nambour, and the other booths grouped as “West”.

    The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 57.5% in the west to 62.6% in the south-east.

    The Greens primary vote ranged from 13.4% in Nambour and the south-west to 17.6% in the west.

    Voter groupGRN prim %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Other votes13.364.611,63711.9

    Election results in Fairfax 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. Real potential for an independent candidate – someone to the left of the Liberals (to get Labor and Greens preferences) but with enough anti government flair to get the preferences of right wing micro voters. Clive Palmer actually won here in 2013 with Labor preferences, so the Liberal vote isn’t all that rusted on. Liberals could be brought to the low 40s without much trouble and lose after preferences.

    2. Rob Harris of the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that former PM Kevin Rudd wanted to contest Fairfax for Labor in 2022, but was knocked back as his candidacy would have been an “unwelcome distraction”.

    3. The conceit of Kevin Rudd knows no bounds. He has too much time and if the reports of commissioning his own polling is to believed, too much money as well. Should Labor win, one hopes that Penny Wong will not give him a diplomatic posting. He would be a nightmare for a Foreign Minister to manage.


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