Hinkler – Australia 2022

LNP 14.5%

Incumbent MP
Keith Pitt, since 2013.

Central Queensland. Hinkler covers the city of Bundaberg and rural areas south of the city.


Hinkler was created in 1984. It has been held by the National Party for most of the last quarter-century. The seat was originally considered notionally Labor when it was created in 1984.

Hinkler was won in 1984 by the Nationals’ Bryan Conquest, who only held the seat until 1987, when Labor’s Brian Courtice won Hinkler. Paul Neville won the seat in 1993 and held the seat for the next twenty years.

Neville’s margin was cut to less than 2% in 2007, but a swing of 8.9% in 2010 strengthened his hold on the seat.

Neville retired in 2013, and the LNP’s Keith Pitt held onto the seat despite a small 1.3% swing back to Labor. Pitt was re-elected in 2016 and 2019.


  • Keith Pitt (Liberal National)
  • Kristie Nash (United Australia)
  • Zak Menhennett (One Nation)
  • Jason Scanes (Labor)
  • Andrew McLean (Greens)
  • Jack Dempsey (Independent)
  • Assessment
    Hinkler is a safe LNP seat.

    2019 result

    Keith Pitt Liberal National 42,37446.0+2.2
    Richard Pascoe Labor 21,11022.9-3.8
    Damian HuxhamOne Nation13,62514.8-4.4
    Joseph EllulUnited Australia Party4,0294.4+4.4
    Anne Jackson Greens 3,4223.7-0.2
    Moe TuragaIndependent2,5832.8+2.8
    Aaron ErskineConservative National Party1,4711.6+1.6
    Amy ByrnesAnimal Justice1,3911.5+1.5
    David NormanIndependent1,3271.4+1.4
    Adrian WoneIndependent7350.8+0.8

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    Keith Pitt Liberal National 59,38464.5+6.1
    Richard Pascoe Labor 32,68335.5-6.1

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into four areas. Hinkler covers parts of Bundaberg and Fraser Coast council areas. Those in the Fraser Coast council area, including Hervey Bay, have been grouped together. Those in Bundaberg Region have been split between those in the Bundaberg urban area, those rural booths near Bundaberg as Woongarra, and those to the south of Bundaberg as Isis (the name of the former council).

    More than half of the total vote was cast through pre-poll voting, so the geographic breakdown only covers a minority of votes.

    The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all four areas, ranging from 56.8% in Bundaberg to 67.3% in Isis.

    The One Nation primary vote ranged from 12.2% in Woongarra to 17.6% on the Fraser Coast.

    Voter groupON prim %LNP 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Fraser Coast17.662.714,16415.4
    Other votes13.166.410,71711.6

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

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    1. Would be interested to know how the state election figures would have looked here, I suspect if my numbers are right Labor would have barely won Hinckley based on Maryborough,Hervey Bay,Bundaberg and Burnett state seats

    2. Labor do have a lot more to work with now. Pitt is getting a little more negative media attention than in the last election cycle, though I don’t think that will count for much.

      Bundaberg and Hervey Bay seem like COVID specials. The older voters in the latter who were grateful to Palaszczuk for keeping them safe from COVID probably aren’t extending that to Albo.

      With Maryborough (which is mostly in Wide Bay), I think it’s safe to put Bruce Saunders into the political prodigy category.

    3. Any particular reason why Fraser Island is in Wide Bay which doesn’t include Hervey Bay yet on the state boundaries Fraser Island is in the same electorate as Hervey Bay? I don’t even think there are any voting booths in Fraser Island but how are islands with litt,e to no population decided by the AEC as to what electorate they get placed in?

    4. It’s an odd decision as all the ferry departure points appear to be in Hinkler. The split of Hervey Bay from Maryborough goes back to the 2005 redistribution when was Flynn created. I suspect Fraser Island was retained so that Wide Bay could still lay claim to the wide bay.

    5. interesting changes to wide bay used to be Maryborough and Bundaberg Gympie…… When ALp held till 1974 ……. in recent times Bundaberg has been in a separate Electorate to Maryborough…….. The cross voting is high compared to the state election…… Hinkler is an outside Chance for the alp based on issues such as aging population and the indue card

    6. 22.9% is the vote Labor got last election here. It’s a very small base to work off. Note it’s been over a decade (four elections back) since Labor got more than 30% of the vote.

      I expect an improvement but Labor won’t win this seat.

      The last four elections have seen significant Hanson, Katter, Palmer votes in this seat. About one in five or one in four voters once you count other minor right parties.

      I’ve heard the Palmer candidate will be a yonger woman linked to agriculture who is presentable the electorate. I am also aware very significant National Party types have left the local branch to support the Palmer candidate including key members of the local LNP campaign team.

      I don’t believe the Palmer candidate has any chance of winning, but they could slice off a bit more of the vote the LNP than expected and if the Hanson candidate is a dud the Palmer candidate might drag a bit off Hanson. That said the Hanson TV ads are running in regional Qld. As Hinkler is Hanson heartland I expect ads are running there.

      None of this is enough to knock Pitt off. But if Labor’s vote doesn’t lift we could see this as LNP vs Hanson. Again the LNP would win.

      The path to an LNP loss is a high profile independent who can cut across both sides of politics to attract voters. Then they would need to hoover up Labor and Hanson/Palmer preferences. I think this candidate would have to be Hervey Bay based as that would hurt the stronger LNP booths. That said the only candidates that have the profile are the two local mayors and I don’t believe either will run based off intel in Hinkler.

    7. It was reported in the Courier Mail there is a rumour former LNP minster and Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey could run as an independent in Hinkler. Dempsey recently slammed the Morrison’s government cashless welfare card. Labor has denied a suggestion that it offered not running a candidate for Dempsey to get a clear run. Labor doesn’t have a candidate as of yet but there were reports that tipped former Fraser council candidate Alicia Wade would be frontrunner to be preselected. But there still has been no endorsed candidate announced for Labor at this point.

    8. Like Lyons, the cashless debit card is a big issue here. Of all the electorates this is the one where it could bite the Coalition the worst.

    9. It is interesting that Dempsey is going to run and that he has come out swinging against the Nats as the party of coal.
      Which leads to my next point..

      Has the Queensland LNP put itself into a self perpetuating death spiral?

      The original modus operandi for the LNP was that the Conservatives could not win in Queensland because they could not run against each other with optional preferential voting – that was introduced by the ALP. That is no longer the case as the ALP have (for totally self interested reasons that we won’t go into here) reintroduced full preferential voting. But take the Queensland dynamic – the LNP are losing votes to the KAP and On because they don’t represent “them” and are beholden to “big city” folks. The Libs are losing votes in Brisbane because people feel they are voting for the National Party. And of course, the Libs in the rest of the country are suffering also through the association? Would they both be better off if there were separate Liberal and National Parties in Queensland?

    10. Agree with you redistributed, I originally thought a merged LNP would be good but now I realise it is just like the Republicans in USA with too many warring factions.

      The original idea behind the LNP merger in Queensland was because historically the Nats were the stronger of the two parties so it would be seen as a rebalancing act. Now with urban growth in Brisbane and wider SEQ, the Liberals are now the stronger partner and a split of the two parties would be no different to NSW or Victoria.

    11. The real reason for the lnp merger was that in opposition the leader picked was a nat but to win govt the liberals needed to win extra seats which would have given the libs more seats…
      The liberal leader could not answer the obvious question… this stunt only worked once at a state level..
      Co Newman who won at a state election where Labor could not win.

    12. Mick, current LNP leader David Crisafulli, who holds a gold coast seat might qualify as a Liberal rather than National aligned member, although he was raised in rural Queensland so not sure what his views are whether he is a moderate or more conservative leaning person.

    13. Jack Dempsey has a serious chance seat is roughly half Bundaberg and half Hervey Bay. He was a state mp for Bundaberg before defeated. Unexpectedly Labor won Hervey Bay and Bundaberg at the last state election. Indue card is an issue

    14. Former Army Captain Jason Scanes is the Labor canidate for Hinkler. Scanes ran for Labor in Wide Bay in 2019.

      I would be suprised if Jack Dempsey won. Still think LNP will hold.

    15. Probably one of these seats where Labor will waste some of their Qld bounce back after 2019 debacle? Might be easy for Dempsey to get ahead of Labor but a lot of minor right votes out there to bolster Nats.

    16. @ Yoh An Given Crisafulli started out as an advisor to then Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald and that he was elected LNP leader following Frecklington’s defeat I have always assumed he is Liberal aligned.
      LNP MPs in QLD tend to be aligned with whichever party last represented their seat prior to the merger as well.

      Interestingly, I’ve just now noticed that the new deputy leader of the LNP represents a formerly Liberal seat, so if my assumption about Crisafulli is correct the (newly) traditional act of a Liberal leader and National deputy (or vice versa) has been broken. I wonder if they’re trying to shake the association of Nationals having more influence than they should.

    17. @Yoh An @Laine

      Crisafulli is much more sympathetic to the Nationals than you’d expect of conventional Gold Coast LNP leadership. He was kind of parachuted down to the safe-seat of Broadwater on the Gold Coast and formerly represented the state district of Mundingburra in North QLD. As you’d expect, the regions up North are generally more aligned to the Nationals party-room than the Liberals. However in QLD they are one in the same and you are generally free to exercise your alignment.

      Since flying-down, Crisafulli has always emphasised his connections with the regions and the North as one of his strengths, but also mentions that he has also come to understand South-East Queensland. As part of his bid for leadership of the party, he purported to be a thread which bound together both SE QLD and the regions up north but also a uniting figure between both of the party rooms. I am not trying to sell him, just going off my basic recollection of some of his media appearances where he talked about his alignments in detail.

      So you could argue that he leans both ways, but that is usually what the leader of the LNP usually has to maintain as the leader if they are pro-merger.

    18. Pitt seems to be in trouble judging by his How to Vote card which has put Labor ahead of Dempsey. That signals that he sees Dempsey as a problem. Labor’s Scanes is a strong candidate who has been campaigning hard. Seems like whoever finishes highest out of Dempsey and Scanes will win.

    19. This area can swing….
      Bundaberg council I think voted 70% Dempsey last time. At a state level Labor holds both Bundaberg and Hervey Bay..this is reminding me of Maryborough at the state level

    20. I would now be surprised if Dempsey wins

      Hanson and Palmer are prefeencing Pitt above Dempsey. The Palmer campaign in particular is well organised and I suspect they will have most polling booths manned. Preference flow is going to make this difficult for Dempsey.

      If Labor finishes third Dempsey will need to still be close enough to catch back up to Pitt. If Labor is fourth then he needs to be in front. He also needs to hope Hanson and Palmer voters disobey the HTV at a high rate aka 40%. If it’s closer to 25% the I can’t see the win.

    21. Dempsey could win….Pitt is a product of the qld new and more in the Canavan mould. Dempsey is popular in the Greater Bundaberg which is about half of the seat.Pitt seems to be very pro the indue card which is opposed by Dempsey and labor. I don’t know who will win.but I think the nats are very worried

    22. @LNP Insider

      Dempsey is right side of politics he will steal significant numbers of votes from Pitt, PHON & UAP. The left vote will remain similar to what it always is & if that happens Dempsey will win unless Pitt comes 3rd after PHON/UAP preferences then the ALP will win. Pitt can’t win but a vote for Jack Dempsey is a vote for the LNP anyway. I’d bet he will sign up to be LNP shortly after sitting.

      Pits vote will likely drop to under 35k
      ALP remains 21k or improves slightly
      PHON will likely drop to 6k or less it did this the last time a good but still less knnowne independent ran in Hinkler.
      Green vote will go up to 5k with no AJP running
      PUP will likely drop to 2k & be eliminated first.
      Independent vote will go to Jack Dempsey 5k on top of the rest.

      This would give possible Jack Dempsey 46k – 43k win with some head room. I’m also likely under estimating the popularity of Dempsey he got 39k votes in Bundaberg alone as Mayor that is massive it makes him more popular then any previous mayor. Pitts primary vote could drop even more. If a area is to swing back away from Pitt it will be the traditionally more ALP favoring Bundaberg. Pit won every booth last time it’s very unlikely to happen this time.

      This is probably a best case for Keith Pitt given the situation where many are pissed off theres large projected swings against the LNP caused by what happend with COVID vaccines in many seats. This is the COVID election.

      Then the question will remain will Keith Pitt try to run for Mayor of Bundaberg? He’d probably still have a really good chance.

    23. YouGov MRP claims:
      LNP 44%
      ALP 27%
      Greens 7%
      One Nation 14%
      UAP 3%
      Others 5%
      And a TPP of 60-40 in favor of the LNP. I’m very doubtful of well almost every figure mentioned and how they are distributing preferences/underestimating Dempsey *a lot*. It’ll be put to the test a week or so from now but I am quite confident in my own thoughts to be honest.

    24. This shows what a joke the YouGov MRP is … there is no way that Dempsey would be getting as low as 5% of the vote. Maybe they conducted their poll before Dempsey declared his candidacy which would make it an even bigger joke.

    25. The rumours I have heard on blogs is he has an excellent chance to win. Suspect he will.poll in at least low 30%

    26. You have to remember that Dempsey did not announce his candidacy until very late. The Yougov MRP polling has been done over a period of time – as far as I am aware. Even if some was done after he announced, the polling could probably not be changed or it would skew the outcome.

    27. @redistributed I had failed to consider that but even so I am not particularly trusting of the MRP polling regardless. I’ve also expressed my doubts regarding their methods on other electorate pages such as Parkes.

    28. The whole idea of MRP is that you can run a poll that is both national and seat-level by extrapolating along demographic lines to fill in and shore up small samples at the seat level. This methodology has obvious limits when it comes to independents, and Dempsey seems much more in the traditional mold of a rural independent than the teals who are getting most of the hype elsewhere – it’s easy to believe the model doesn’t have any demographically comparable pools of independent support to work from.

      Like Laine I remain sceptical about the MRP poll in general until it can be compared with the actual results, but this candidate in this seat seems a very likely failure point for it even in the best of circumstances.

    29. If you are pushing the Dempsey is a right candidate who will rejoin the LNP then you have not paid any attention to the campaign up in Hinkler. He is running heavy on climate change. He is attacking the LNP member heavily. Palmer and Hanson have been attacking Dempsey plus they are prefencing Pitt.

      Dempsey and Pitt have been going after each other for years (since 2015). Pitt and other LNP hierarchy run dummy candidates against Jack candidates at council elections.

    30. LNP Insider … Dempsey’s ‘running on climate change’ is obviously a matter of expedience – he knows the issue was gaining traction and saw the opportunity to harvest votes. A former Minister in the Newman State Govt does not suddenly switch allegiance and side with the Left. He has stated that he would support a Morrison government. His main aim is to oust Pitt as the two clearly don’t like each other.

    31. Peter Knopke
      An independent who waits till a month before the election to announce his candidacy is not serious about winning. Anycsmdodstd who wants to win should have been campaigning 12 months ago.
      If Dempsey wanted to win he would have door knocked every house in Bundaberg Personally. Somehow I think his motives are not a three year parliamentary term but something else.
      I agree he will get more than 5% but if Dempsey was not on the list of candidates you can hardly regard the results of the MRP poll as a joke becsyuse they under represent the result he received.

    32. Of course you see the accuracy of Mrp by the actual results. Despite plausible macro results.. I don’t see this method as being accurate on an individual seat level.I picked Hinkler because 5% does not equal 30% plus. Also Corangamite is picked as a liberal win taken off Labor.One point is Sarah Henderson was a good candidate for the seat in 2019 is now in the senate.This by itself will generate a pro Labor swing.

    33. Andrew .. I concur that in usual circumstances a “Johnny come lately” independent would have little chance … Dempsey has a high profile as the Mayor Of Bundaberg receiving 64% of the vote in the last election. Additionally, he receives huge coverage on the popular Channel 7 local news which also is seen in Hervey Bay.
      As you have stated, there is probably an ulterior motive in his decision to run. I suspect it is because the Labor candidate Jason Scanes was/is garnering a lot of support and the anti-Pitt feeling is high. He and his fellow travellers probably wanted to diffuse the potential for Scanes victory and also gain a lot of disaffected Pitt voters whose votes will primarily go straight back to Pitt if Dempsey runs third even though Dempsey is not directing preferences.

    34. Don’t know Dempsey ‘s motives but he is well known and polls well in half the electorate including the greater Bundaberg

    35. I speak regularly to LNP members in Hinkler and the surrounding area as well as LNP hierarchy figures. I also speak with ex members and other people in the political space let’s say with knowledge.

      Peter Knopke is just incorrect. Dempsey has no affiliation with the LNP these days and the minor right parties are prefencing Pitt over Dempsey. Pitt is completely antagonistic towards the local council as well. Anyone close to Denpsey has been seen as the enemy for years. That has even extended to the preselection for Bundaberg a few years back.

      As for supporting a Morrison government, that is not what has been reported at all. Dempsey said he will negotiate first with whoever has the most seats and see if they support his main issues which includes climate change action. Does not sound like Morrison support at all.

      Anyway back on the topic of the poll. I’m told the feel on the ground is a roughly equal split of a quarter of the vote each between Dempsey, Pitt, Scanes and the minor right (quarter between Nash and Zac) of people they can identify but the bulk of people are very hard to tell.

      I’m also told there are a chunk of traditional major party voters who are keeping cards close to chest, they may be voting Dempsey but do not want to declare that due to previous loyalties.

      All that said it is really speculation from experienced political people, who usually have good judgement, but they seem more uncertain then normal.

      Lastly, Courier Mail ran local exit polls. I’m told the results are very dodgy as it was only 100 Bundaberg and 100 Hervey Bay voters. I’m informed for every person willing to be polled another 40 refused. I’d take those results with a grain of salt.

    36. LNP Insider … Peter Knopke is 100% correct … Dempsey has stated publicly on his website that he supports the Morrison Govt … end of story.

      As for the vote, if Pitt doesn’t finish 1st or 2nd, Scanes will win on his preferences.

    37. Point Of Clarification .. In my previous Post, “Website” refers to his Facebook site where he interacts with the public, NOT his publicity blurb page.

    38. Lol Peter. You mean this post https://fb.watch/cZLKHq1RBL/ where he states:

      “There’s a lot of nonsense being said about “fake” independents. It’s a baseless claim by those who don’t want to change the political status quo. I’m not directing preferences. If I’m elected, I’ll work constructively with whoever forms government to get a fair go for the Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Childers areas.”

      There’s also this post:
      https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=431969838930599&id=100063527592457/ where he states:

      🗳️ I’ve said all along that I’m not directing preferences at this election, and I’ll offer confidence and supply to the major party in the first instance if there’s a hung Parliament and if they agree to my key policies.”

      Which is exactly as I stated above in am earlier post.

      As I mentioned key policies include climate change which he features in the page, including signing a pledge with the Greens candidate.

      Can you not claim your personal conspiracy theories as something that the candidate has said.

    39. No conspiracy theory from me … Dempsey has stated on a Facebook post that he would back the LNP government. You can believe everything Dempsey says on his publicity blurbs, that’s up to you .. I don’t.

    40. It is a waste of time even talking to conspiracy theorists. As soon as you disagree with thenm on a minor point you become part of conspiracy. LNP insider don’t make the mistake of thinking that Peter Knopke is a conspiracy theorists merely because he thinks Dempsey would behave differently to how you think Dempsey would behave, Dempsey ( as is his right) is remaining coy about his position. He naturally wants to keep his powder dry. A hung parliament with Dempsey holding the balance of power would be far more beneficial for Bundaberg than either an ALP or a Liberal member.

    41. I haven’t seen Dempsey explain his evolution from being a Newman government minister to his current views, though it’s possible he was simply narrowly focused on policing (his former career, ministry, and not a federal issue). Still, lefties and Queensland cops don’t typically see eye to eye.

      It’s not clear he’s running a progressive council as Mayor.

      Interestingly Labor put Greens above Dempsey, but Greens put Dempsey above Labor. As the Greens candidate isn’t local (ran for Glass House in 2020), I suspect the Greens took Dempsey’s policies at face value.

      I don’t think Labor have a chance here anyway (despite winning Bundaberg and Hervey Bay in 2020), so no harm to the left if Dempsey takes the seat.

    42. I provided Facebook links to back what I was saying, can Peter please link to this Facebook post he claims exists as well?

      John – I’m aware of issues back when Pitt first was elected and Dempsey was a Newman minister. When Dempsey lost his seat Pift moved very quickly against him to ensure David Batt would be preselected. Dempsey also didn’t engage with the LNP membership and the state leadership so was set adrift pretty quickly. This is maybe not surprising as Dempsey was more of a local.champion candidate in a traditional Labor seat rather than an ideologically based type with longer links to the party.

      That said when he ran independently as Mayor he still had alot good will from older membership who supported that first campaign.

      During his first term he went very hard on green waste, creating a local biohub and was outspoken about the lack of funding from the Feds including the failed Hinkler deal where Bundaberg has not received money. He also was willing to engage with the state Labor government and the LNP figures locally started tying him to the Premier.

      Anyway last Council election the alternative mayoral candidate was very LNP linked through family, social connections and business networks. It was pretty openly known in political circles Pitt was supporting her. There were also several candidates linked to them as a ticket.

      So it has been building for years really. From my observation point it’s a big split of the LNP that has damaged its membership in that area if the state.

    43. LNP must be getting worried. One of their volunteers at the Hervey Bay Pre-Poll today abused Labor candidate Jason Scanes’ mother who was handing out water bottles to his volunteers. The LNP hero told her that “He (Jason) is a disgrace to Veterans and to those currently serving.”


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