Terri Butler, since 2014.
Southern Brisbane. Griffith covers the suburbs of Brisbane on the south side of the Brisbane river across the river from the Brisbane CBD, including South Brisbane itself, as well as Greenslopes, Holland Park, Kangaroo Point, East Brisbane, Coorparoo, Carina, Seven Hills, Morningside, Balmoral and Bulimba.
Griffith was created for the 1934 election, replacing the original seat of Oxley which was abolished at that election. Both Oxley and Griffith have been marginal seats, with Griffith swinging back and forth regularly between the Liberal Party and the ALP since 1949, although this has not usually coincided with national changes. The seat had become relatively safe for the ALP since it was won by Kevin Rudd in 1998, but has since become more marginal.
The seat was first won in 1934 by Labor MP Francis Baker, who had previously won the seat of Oxley off the United Australia Party, ironically at an election when the UAP swept away the federal Labor government.
Baker was re-elected in 1937, but was killed in a car accident in 1939 at the age of 36. Ironically his father was elected to federal parliament in Maranoa in 1940, after his son’s term in Parliament.
The 1939 Griffith by-election was won by Labor candidate William Conelan. Conelan held the seat until he lost Griffith to Liberal candidate Douglas Berry in 1949.
Berry was re-elected in 1951 but lost to the ALP’s Wilfred Coutts. Coutts held on in 1955 but failed to win re-election in 1958, losing to the Liberal Party’s Arthur Chresby, and winning it back in 1961.
Coutts lost the seat once again in 1966, when the seat was won by Liberal candidate Donald Cameron. Cameron held the seat for eleven years, moving to the new seat of Fadden in 1977. He held Fadden until his defeat in 1983, and returned to Parliament at the 1983 Moreton by-election, which he held until his retirement in 1990.
The ALP regained Griffith in 1977, with Ben Humphreys winning the seat. Humphreys served as a minister in the Hawke/Keating government from 1987 until 1993, and retired at the 1996 election.
The ALP preselected Kevin Rudd, but he lost to Graeme McDougall (LIB). McDougall only held on for one term, losing to Rudd in 1998. Rudd joined the ALP shadow ministry in 2001 as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, a role he held for five years.
Rudd’s profile rose as Shadow Foreign Minister, and he was considered a contender for the ALP leadership when Simon Crean resigned in 2003 and when Mark Latham resigned in 2005, but he waited until late 2006 when he challenged Kim Beazley, and was elected leader, and then proceeded to win the 2007 federal election, becoming Prime Minister.
Kevin Rudd was removed as Labor leader and Prime Minister in June 2010, and was re-elected in Griffith as a Labor backbencher. He returned to the ministry as Foreign Minister following the election. He returned to the backbench as part of a failed challenge to Julia Gillard’s leadership in February 2012. Kevin Rudd again challenged for the Labor leadership in June 2013, and returned to the Prime Ministership.
Rudd led Labor to defeat at the 2013 election – he was re-elected in Griffith with a 3% margin, but resigned shortly after. The seat was won at an early 2014 by-election by Labor’s Terri Butler, in the face of a 1.25% swing to the Liberal National Party. Butler was re-elected in 2016 and 2019.
This electorate is a marginal contest between Labor and the LNP, and it is not hard to imagine Labor losing to the LNP, although Labor’s vote is close to a low point in Queensland. Labor also outpolled the Greens by 7% at the key exclusion point in 2019. If the Greens can close that gap, Labor would lose and the Greens would likely win on Labor preferences. That gap is still quite substantial but remains one of the Greens’ most appealing prospects.
|Olivia Roberts||Liberal National||40,816||41.0||-0.2|
|Julie Darlington||One Nation||2,109||2.1||+2.1|
|Christian John Julius||United Australia Party||1,444||1.4||+1.5|
|Tony Murray||Conservative National Party||850||0.9||+0.9|
2019 two-party-preferred result
|Olivia Roberts||Liberal National||46,958||47.1||-1.4|
Booths have been divided into four areas: Bulimba in the north, Greenslopes in the south, South Brisbane in the west and a series of booths along the eastern boundary.
Labor won the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 50.2% in Bulimba to 63.6% in South Brisbane. The LNP managed to narrowly win the pre-poll vote despite a significant deficit on election day.
But Labor is competing here not just against the LNP but also against the Greens, who are hoping to overtake Labor. If you look at the relative strength of Labor on the primary vote, the pattern is very different.
The Labor vote is lowest in South Brisbane, where they polled the best on the two-party-preferred vote, and best in the east, where they barely defeated the LNP. The Greens vote varies from 17.8% to 36.1%. The Greens vote is a threat to Labor, but if they fail to overtake Labor their preferences become crucial to Labor’s two-party-preferred majority.
|Voter group||GRN prim||ALP prim||ALP 2PP||Total votes||% of votes|