Bonner – Australia 2025

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  1. I’m probably overhyping the Greens chances here so it’d be good to hear a dose of reality, but I do think the Greens chances are a bit better than what the raw numbers might suggest.

    Firstly, the primary vote numbers here are quite similar to the BCC Lord Mayor contest – roughly 45% Lib, 30% ALP, 15% Green, and the Greens seem to be prepared to give that contest a solid crack. I think what happens in the Lord Mayor race might determine how much effort the Greens put into a seat like this, but if they can manage to get ahead of Labor and reduce Schrinner’s margin in the Lord Mayor race, given the scale and effort required to do something like that, it might indicate potential for a seat like this where pulling off something similar is presumably an easier task given the smaller number of votes that need to be shifted.

    In terms of the Green vote here, the Greens seem strongest in the south-eastern end bordering Griffith (e.g. Mt Gravatt) with votes nearly cracking 30% and they’re managing to poll around 20% in the north-eastern part (Wynnum, Manly) which seems promising given the latter areas don’t seem to have typical Green demographics – according to Census, Wynnum/Manly is slightly above the QLD avg in terms of mortgages and slightly below avg for renter numbers – that said, the Greens are still around 10 points away from overtaking Labor in most booths at that end.
    The really weak area for both Labor and Greens is the centre – Belmont and Gumdale – probably where Ross Vasta runs up his margins – they seem to be areas with a very low proportion of renters and high proportions of mortgaged homes and houses owned outright, and they’re also around 8 points below the QLD avg for “no religion” and 8 points above avg for those identifying as Catholic, so perhaps more socially conservative than the rest of the electorate.

    One final point I’d note is that Labor’s primary vote here has gone backwards at every election since 2010. It last peaked at 48.8% in 2007 and is now sitting at 29.6%.

  2. This is perhaps within striking distance for Labor but will be unlikely. It’s the LNP’s 2nd most marginal seat in QLD. Like Dickson, it’s been mostly marginal LNP (<55% 2PP) going back to the 2000s and Bonner was only lost in 2007 when the Ruddslide happened.

    Labor missed their chance in 2016 and 2022 to reverse their declining primary vote and even win this seat. Dutton has improved his appeal and LNP favourability in Queensland, whilst Labor still hasn't recovered much since the 2019 Morrison Miracle. This means that the middle parts of Bonner could hold up for the LNP in 2025. Labor could use this seat to test their Queensland strategy, albeit this is in Greater Brisbane.

    Wynnum, Manly and Lota are quite teal suburbs in my view. A teal could win Bonner if they can bring Green and Labor voters to vote tactically and win over small-l liberals or disaffected LNP voters.

    Moreton and Lilley had higher Greens primary votes in 2022. I still see Bonner as an ALP vs LNP contest. Moreton will more likely go Green before Bonner does, pending future redistributions. Moreton has polling booths where the Greens polled in the 30s whilst Bonner doesn't.

  3. @votante i highly doubt labor will pickup any seats in qld next election. the qld i going down next year and federal labor arent anywhere near popular enough to win any seats. albo couldnt even pickup seats coming from opposition. he even lost one to the greens

  4. I agree with Votante, this is an LNP seat and will remain one after the next election. Labor haven’t gone anywhere but down here in 15 years, and they can’t win without a serious reversal in their electoral black hole of Gumdale and Belmont. The Greens are coming from a long way back and have better targets in Moreton and Lilley (not to mention ensuring they hold on to their gains from 2022).

    For any real change, Bonner would either need a serious shift in demographics, a change in the pattern of development to move Gumdale and Belmont away from acreage land, or for the environment to become the #1 issue in the electorate. I don’t see any of those happening before Vasta decides to call it quits.

  5. I’m pretty sure this is the only seat Labor won in 2007 and not 2022 that had an above average yes vote in the ref (ignoring those lost to independents/greens). Deakin doesn’t count as Labor wouldn’t have won in 2007 or 2010 on current boundaries.

    This seat seems to at least be demographically the kind of seat that should be swinging towards the left. Above average amount of people who have a university degree, close to the inner city, relatively socially progressive. All the other parts of Brisbane around it (Lilley, Brisbane, Griffith, Ryan, Bonner, Moreton, Oxley) are all much more pro-ALP compared to 2016. But for some reason, despite similar trends, this area doesn’t want to budge.

    This seat was 49.5% on current boundaries in 2004. What is happening here? Is this the rare area federally where gentrification is helping the Libs? Is Ross Vasta just really popular?

  6. Drake, I’m unsure what gentrification you’re referring to. It’s the inner city that’s gentrifying, not the outer suburbs that make up Bonner. The only new development in the area I’m familiar with is a couple of apartment blocks going up in Upper Mount Gravatt, an area that votes Labor on 2PP.

    I would say what has happened to make the area Liberal voting is that Gumdale and Belmont remain much like they did 30 years ago, very white, isolated and with big property sizes. The population there and in Wynnum may have aged quite a bit, since Wynnum is full of retirement communities and young people can’t afford to buy the sorts of properties that exist in Gumdale/Belmont.

  7. @Drake, you might be overstating the “gentrification” of this division. While “gentrification” is a hard metric to quantify, I would argue it would not have seen as much gentrification as other parts of Brisbane LGA. It has two quite disparate halves. Much of the suburbs (by area size) within Bonner are established, acreage, green-belt suburbs that have not seen much demographic change or development in 20 years. The exceptions here of course are the dense corners of the division closest to Griffith University and Garden City. I would also agree with some of the commenters here that this is a considerable Labor target for the next election. Another comment I would add is that Bonner’s boundaries might change considerably in future redistributions. A change to either corner could make an impact to the 2CP. So one to watch in the next couple of elections.

  8. Yeah I’m not super familiar with the area as someone not from Queensland but I was under the impression this area used to be quite working class which explained why it used to be very pro-ALP (for Queensland standards) but has become richer lately. This seat, and before that most of it was in Bowman which still voted Labor in quite bad QLD election results like 2001.

    @john yes they won Leichardt, as well as a bunch of other Queensland seat, even Dickson and Herbert if you adjust for redistributions. But none of those places had a higher yes vote than the national average. Using Ben’s estimates for current margins, I get 15 seats voting Labor in 2007 but Lib in 2022, Bonner being the only one with a higher yes vote than the national average. So Bonner does stand out a bit.

  9. @ SEQ Observer
    what would you say the demographics of the Coastal suburbs here are? The Redlands LGA coastal suburbs are more liberal leaning while the bayside suburbs in Brisbane LGA north of the river are Labor leaning

  10. @drake adjusting for redistribution doesn’t count those weren’t the boundaries at the time. And they lost them just as easily when Rudd fell

  11. @Nimalam, it might seem unusual if one is using the quite basic arithmetic that coastal/waterfront = affluent and inland = poorer. This basic arithmetic doesn’t quite align very nicely with Brisbane due to the fact that the bayside does not resemble the pristine beaches or coast-line someone not familiar with the area might imagine. In fact the bayside is quite soggy, marshy, mangrovey, low-lying, subject to tidal flooding and plagued by midgies. These points are probably most applicable to the Northern parts of the Bayside – from the airport right up the North Pine River. So for these reasons it has typically been a fairly unappealing place to live. This has meant that the bayside has been a relatively more affordable area for much of its history and remains true today. Especially as far as “coastal” suburbs go. This has meant that the bayside has historically attracted quite poor and working class communities which has given the area a strong Labor leaning base. It is also important to note that sites of heavy industry like the airport, factories, ports, warehouses and depots lie within close proximity to the bayside communities on either sides of the river. These types of industry have typically been favourable to Labor. The most fitting analog is probably Melbourne’s portside coast and Geelong.

    Now to the Redlands, it is probably more Coalition leaning because it is has a few pockets which does not share the same amount unappealing qualities that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. It has localities of affluence and established canals ie. Raby Bay. Up on the Northern bayside, there is an exception here too – Redcliffe. Redcliffe is another area with established canal waterfront dwellings.

    Another factor that I would that I would highlight as important and relevant to both Redcliffe and Redlands is retirement. Both communities are popular retirement havens. When drilling down to state divisions, Oodgeroo and Redcliffe are 6th and 8th for divisions with the most people Aged 85 & Over in Queensland. Both also feature high proportions of residents over 45. As you would all know, these older voters deliver quite considerable support to the LNP. Manly is probably identified by some other commenters here as transforming into a popular retirement destination akin to Redcliffe and Redlands.

    Conversely, the state divisions like Sandgate, Nudgee, Murrumba and Bancroft have demographics that are much younger than Redcliffe and Redlands, and much more diverse (which is mostly just representative of the high proportion of millennials in this area). It stands out for residents Aged 0 – 4 too. This makes it seemingly an area popular with millennial families due to its relative affordability of family homes. There is a notable amount of South Asians – which aligns generally with the current wave of migration to Australia ie. typically South Asian families, seeking to live in large extended families where-ever it is affordable to do so (the outer suburbs). Highlighting again the relative dwelling affordability of the Bayside (especially its north).

    For some of the reasons I have listed here, I would rate both Redcliffe and Redlands as likely LNP pick ups at the next State Election. I think there will be a winding back of the elated support Labor received from much older Queenslanders at the previous election. Many older Queenslanders were animated in the last election by Covid-19 and were thankful to the government for their strong protective stance. Whereas at 2024 there will likely be a reversion in divisions with high populations of Queenslanders over 65 back to the LNP. Caloundra, Nicklin, Hervey Bay and Bundaberg all likely pick ups too.


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