Callide by-election, 2022

Cause of by-election
Sitting Liberal National MP Colin Boyce resigned in March 2022 to run successfully for the federal seat of Flynn.

MarginLNP 15.8%

Geography
Central Queensland. Callide covers regional areas inland from the central Queensland coast. The seat covers Biloela, Moura, Monto, Eidsvold, Mundubbera, Gayndah, Theodore, Taroom, Chinchilla, Calliope and Wandoan.

History
Callide was created at the 1950 election, and apart from a short period in the 1980s has always been dominated by the Country/National/Liberal National parties.

Vincent Jones held the seat for the Country Party from 1950 to 1971.

At the 1972 election the seat was won by the Country Party’s Lindsay Hartwig. Hartwig won further terms in 1974, 1977 and 1980. In 1981 Hartwig was expelled from the National Country Party. He won re-election in 1983 as an independent and retired in 1986.

Di McCauley held Callide for the National Party from 1986 until 1998.

In 1998, McCauley was succeeded by Jeff Seeney.

Seeney won re-election in 2001, 2004 and 2006, and after the 2006 election became Leader of the National Party.

In 2008, Seeney was replaced by his predecessor Lawrence Springborg, who led the Nationals into a merger with the Liberal Party later that year.

Seeney won re-election as a Liberal National candidate in 2009, 2012 and 2015.

In March 2011, Campbell Newman replaced John-Paul Langbroek as leader of the LNP. As Newman did not hold a seat in the Parliament, Seeney was appointed as interim parliamentary leader.

Jeff Seeney served as deputy premier in the Newman government, and moved to the backbench after the 2015 election.

Seeney retired in 2017, and was succeeded by LNP candidate Colin Boyce.

Boyce was re-elected in 2020, and held the seat until he resigned in March 2022 to run successfully for the federal seat of Flynn at the 2022 federal election.

Candidates

Assessment
Callide will likely remain in LNP hands. If it is vulnerable, it would probably be to one of the minor right-wing parties like One Nation or KAP. One Nation came within 6% of winning in 2017 before not running in 2020.

2020 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Colin Boyce Liberal National 16,60857.2+23.8
Gordon Earnshaw Labor 7,46325.7+3.6
Adam BurlingIndependent2,4448.4+8.4
Loris DoesselIndependent1,3714.7+4.7
Anthony WalshGreens 1,1474.0+0.5
Informal8873.0

2020 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Colin Boyce Liberal National 19,11265.8
Gordon Earnshaw Labor 9,92134.2

Booth breakdown

Booths in Callide have been divided into three areas: east, north-west and south.

The LNP won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 60.5% in the east to 73.8% in the south.

Voter groupLNP 2PPTotal votes% of votes
East60.53,47912.0
North-West64.92,4908.6
South73.82,0517.1
Postal72.38,56129.5
Pre-poll64.98,33828.7
Other votes55.24,08914.1

Election results in Callide at the 2020 Queensland state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal National Party, Labor and independent candidate Adam Burling.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting that in 2020 (state):
    Biloela: 50.7% ALP
    Calliope: 52.3% ALP
    But in 2022 (federal):
    Biloela: 52.6% LNP
    Biloela PPVC: 57.0% LNP
    Calliope: 55.2% ALP

    I should have checked the state results from 2020 before being so confident about a small swing in Biloela. Especially given that this is a by-election I would now expect Labor to win there. If they can drag the margin down a bit in the Chinchilla area and get better results like the federal election in Calliope they have a shot at knocking the LNP margin into low double digits.

    (P.S. Thanks for making this page Ben. Apologies for commenting on the old page but I figured it was the next best place to do so.)

  2. I was surprised that this by-election was being held so early, even before the first sitting of the 47th Parliament. I believe the Toowoomba South (QLD) state by election was also held quite early in July 2016 only a few weeks after the federal election.

    In contrast the Canterbury and Orange by elections for NSW were held after the first sitting of the 45th Parliament, in November 2016. Although the timing for these by-elections could also have been to avoid clashing with local government elections.

  3. Picking up where I left off in the Callide (2020) thread (thanks for making this guide Ben). The Labor candidate for this by-election was one of the co-founders of the “Home to Bilo” campaign. Just in case it wasn’t any more obvious that Labor are adamant in making the “Biloela family” one of the central talking-points of this by-election.

  4. @Ben I echo @Laine’s PS comment, thanks for the thread as the old seat profile was the only best place online to comment on about this by-election.

    @Yoh An interesting observation, Bragg (SA) by-election is only being held a couple of weeks after this one, so I think Fed was the main factor in timing.

    @Laine that’s an interesting look at the vote. Biloela will be interesting as Burling got 31.6% of the vote there and not much elsewhere, so Labor choosing a candidate from there in a health related field I think will garner some swing towards them. Biloela being like Calliope, the only two booths LNP fell below 40% primary in 2020. PHON running will definitely take some shine off the LNP, but I really don’t expect it to be that much.

    Callide borders a small part in the north with Mirani, which is the only PHON held seat in QLD’s Parliament. Although it seems proximity to this won’t really effect PHON’s vote. (Looking at PHON’s 2017 vote, it was pretty even across the electorate with a couple of 30%+ primary in the south.)

    Some points to note:
    The Senate vote across Flynn broke:
    33.59% LNP, ALP 26.04%, 12.41% PHON, 6.76% LCQ, Greens 4.54% AJP 1%, KAP 0.14% (*KAP was ungrouped) (I didn’t include % for the rest, only interested in those making an impact here.)
    The HOR vote across Flynn broke:
    36.88% LNP, ALP 33.53%, 12.23% PHON, 4.34% Greens (UAP 6.79%, GAP 2.18%, IND 4.06%).

    I was surprised at the PHON vote holding up, considering the downward trend the past few years. (And the fact at the 2020 Election there were -10%+ swings in neighbouring seats, except Mirani.)

    When looking at 2012-2015-2017 election results, the trend was for LNP to keep loosing primary vote share until 2020 when no KAP/PHON/UAP ran. Interestingly, there was a rough 25% of the electorate during those three elections of 2012-2015-2017 that voted for the 3rd party of KAP/UAP/PHON respectively at the elections. That corresponded almost equally the 23% primary swing to LNP at the 2020 election.

    A quick look at Biloela and Biloela PPVC and it seems the PHON drop mostly went to UAP, very simplistic but a chance those votes come back to PHON (although Calliope shows it went mostly to ALP instead).

    Summary:
    Despite recent downwards trend of PHON, I wouldn’t write them off completely getting into the 2CP but would consider Labor the highest chance there. LNP is still in the box seat but the margin is inflated and will come down significantly. I still consider this a LNP Retain.
    I have starting votes of KAP 8%, PHON 13%, LCQ 4%, AJP 1%, LNP 40%, ALP 31% with the 3% remainder I’ll call informal to round off nicely. (I might be generous in those splits, but feel free to disagree and offer other thoughts.)

    Addition: Interestingly, the HTV’s show that ALP and PHON have shot themselves in the foot if the voters follow the HTV card 100%. If ALP finishes second, PHON has put LNP above ALP on their HTV and vice versa, if PHON finishes second, ALP has put LNP above PHON on their HTV card. If it doesn’t end up being a LNP retain, it would be an upset!

  5. PO – I feel that the HTV’s for Labor and One Nation generally make sense. Labor would prefer an LNP member elected rather than One Nation and vice versa, basically the LNP as a party is the middle compromise between both, even if the LNP candidate does have more right wing views.

  6. Since the dust from the federal election hasn’t fully settled, I wonder if federal factors, rather than state factors, will affect the by-election vote here. The federal election is still fresh in voters’ minds though I would prefer it as a contest based on candidate competence and state politics.

    Most likely a hold by the LNP here.

  7. I do wonder the extent in which One Nation will do well/get into the 2CP here. One of the takeaways of the federal election is that One Nation is continuing to have difficulty having a meaningful and competitive presence in lower house seats. If what Votante hypothesises is true, in that federal factors fresh in the minds of voters will play a larger role in the by-election, it could very well be that the One Nation vote simply tops out to about 13–14%, with a positive preference flow from the KAP but failing to make it into the 2CP count.

  8. Despite the TPP swing to them, the LNP can’t claim this is a big win for them because they lost votes on the primaries to Katter and One Nation.

    Still no TPP results in Biloela.

  9. @Daniel One Nation and the KAP didn’t even run here in 2020 lol. Of course they were going to lose votes to them in the by-election. It’s literally just returning to form as in 2017 and earlier, except the LNP is doing better because One Nation has died off again in the past two years.

    It is a good result for the LNP. They boost their margin in a Nat heartland seat, and they can rest a bit knowing One Nation is a joke again and the Katter’s can’t win outside state electorates contained within Kennedy’s boundaries.

  10. Quite a large discrepancy between pre-poll and election day booth swings here. The latter swung to Labor, and the former to LNP. The Biloela family made a lot of headlines in the week leading up to election day so it’s a possibility that attention might have caused some of the difference.

    Alternatively, 2020 QLD has been the election with the least election day votes of all time thanks to the consciousness over COVID at the time. It could be that it is a left-skewed group of voters who did early or special votes in 2020 and now moved back to election day (some evidence of COVID-conscious voters being skewed with the COVID voting results).

  11. Now it’s become clear that election day is either nil or slight swing to LNP – not all booths counted but 1.7% swing to LNP on election day, 9.6% to LNP on pre=poll.

  12. Have a close look at the 5 largest booths in the electrate to perhaps acquire a appreciation of the breakdown of the result.

    # Calliope, which saw a result of 12 % swing to the LNP (and 15% on the Federal Election;
    # Chinchilla (4.9% State and 3.7% Federal)
    # Biloea (no 2PP for this booth, but the Katter candidate polled some 26%);
    # Miles (1.3% State and 3.8% Federal); and
    # Moura (1.8% to the ALP State and 1.8% Federal).

    The one thing that is noted is this – a large minor party vote and for the most part there is a swing back to the LNP.

  13. Based off preference flows the LNP are set to have a swing to them on 2PP in Biloela, suggesting the irrelevant Biloela family had little impact given they shouldn’t be in Australia in the first place.

  14. Ben, why shouldn’t they be in Australia? And this is a by-election so as a Labor voter I shrug it off and say this is normal for a by-election. Always swings against the state government.

  15. Won’t argue about political points here, but interesting to note the swing in Biloela Pre-poll was the highest out of the 4 pre-poll centres at 11.6% and the swing in Biloela on polling day was the second highest of election day polling places at 9.0%. As expected, the Biloela family was irrelevant outside of inner city lefties and had no impact in Callide.

  16. Even if a uniform swing of 6.5% was replicated, It wouldn’t be enough for a majority LNP government. (They aren’t winning Cook as that is really a question of LAB vs KAT so the LNP 2nd place there is inflated)

    By-elections typically see massive swings and almost never replicate at the state level to the same extent. (Lakemba and Ryde 2008, Stafford and Redcliffe 2014, Penrith 2010, etc) The only examples of seats bucking the trend in living memory is Fisher SA 2014, and Eden Monaro 2020, The massive swing to Labor in Bega is likely to narrow significantly at the next years state election.

    I suspect this seat will narrow in 2024 but nowhere near enough to consider it anything but ”safe” One Nation could come 2nd place in 2024 if they re-surge. We still don’t know yet if the LNP will fall just short of the 50% primary here as they are currently on 49.9%, more counting to do. I suspect they will just get over the line making the distribution of preferences useless.

    Where did the 4% Green vote from 2020 go this time?

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