Aspley – QLD 2020

ALP 1.2%

Incumbent MP
Bart Mellish, since 2017.

South-East Queensland. Aspley covers the northern Brisbane suburbs of Bridgeman Downs, Carseldine, Aspley and parts of Bald Hills, McDowall and Chermside West.

The seat of Aspley has existed since 1960. For most of that period the seat was contested between the Liberal Party and the National Party, although Labor has won the seat at a number of elections over the last two decades.

Fred Campbell held the seat for the Liberal Party from 1960 to 1980. He was succeeded in 1980 by Beryce Nelson, who won the seat for the Liberal Party.

In 1983, Nelson lost to the National Party’s candidate, former newsreader Brian Cahill.

After losing the seat, Nelson switched to the National Party, and was elected again as Member for Aspley in 1986. In 1989, Nelson was again defeated, losing to the Liberal Party’s John Goss.

Goss helped the seat throughout the 1990s, twice serving as a shadow minister in National-Liberal coalitions.

In 2001, Goss was defeated by the ALP’s Bonny Barry. Barry won successive terms in 2004 and 2006, and in 2009 was defeated by the Liberal National Party’s Tracy Davis.

Davis was re-elected in 2012 and 2015, but lost in 2017 to Labor’s Bart Mellish.


Aspley is a very marginal Labor seat.

2017 result

Tracy Davis Liberal National 12,75739.7-10.3
Bart Mellish Labor 12,04637.5-1.8
Shaun ByrneOne Nation3,0819.6+9.6
James Hansen Greens 3,0379.5-0.1
Zachary KingIndependent4941.5+1.5
Neil SkilbeckConsumer Rights4581.4+1.4
Steve RossIndependent2350.7+0.7

2017 two-party-preferred result

Bart Mellish Labor 16,43051.2+4.3
Tracy Davis Liberal National15,67848.8-4.3

Booth breakdown

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

Labor won solid majorities of the two-party-preferred vote in the north (60.9%) and the south-east (59.7%), while the LNP narrowly won in the south-west (50.9%).

Voter groupGRN primALP 2PPTotal votes% of votes
Other votes8.946.66,65220.7

Two-party-preferred votes in Aspley at the 2017 QLD state election

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  1. I can see the LNP winning without this seat if they gain almost all seats outside SEQLD including the Rockhampton,Townsville,Cairns and one of the Katter seats. They would win without this. Especially if the regional/suburban divide is bigger than last time which it likely will be. I would like to see id there are any other candidates before making a call on this one. I expect a 2-way contest narrowly would benefit Labor, but i think the Greens will announce a candidate and so will One Nation later this month.

  2. I would love LNP to sweep everything outside SEQ but I do not expect that to happen.

    LNP should not have lost this seat last time. Bouncing back in SEQ without regaining Aspley I would think is unlikely.

    It does not make sense for LNP not to generally bounce back in SEQ. Whether its enough for a majority or being the bigger party, hopefully so but to expect swings generally to Labor (particularly in current LNP seats, like Burleigh) does not make sense.

  3. Surrounded by a sea of red seats, except Everton, Aspley helped the ALP get to majority govt. This one is line-ball, but I have it down as staying ALP. I think the COVID response will help Labor here, unless it goes pear shaped.

    Prediction (August 2020): Labor Retain

  4. This seat will be very close. Amanda Cooper probably has better name recognition amongst voters in the electorate expecially being a councillor for 12 years in the Bald Hills part of the electorate – which could help her in those areas of the vote as Bald Hills and surrounding usually swing heavily ALP. Bart isn’t well recognised partly because he’s only been there for a term and also because he just hasnt been recognised or made known to most voters – most voters i think wont even know who he is. LNP started their campaign for this seat almost a year ago now which would help them and both parties are compaigning heavily on Saturdays with roadsiding. Big issues for this seat would be infrastructure definitely expecially around Beams Rd and recently the development proposed around Carseldine which has many residents there annoyed.

  5. @ Daniel. LNP are not winning the seat of Rockhampton or Mackay under any circumstances but otherwise yes I agree, LNP will do quite well up north. I think they’ll win all 3 Townsville seats off Labor and definitely Barron River. They won’t win Cairns and probably not Cook, won’t get near Curtis in Mulgrave. Keppel will be a big one. Could be a decider. Aspley I have a dead set certainty to go back to LNP. I’m a Labor supporter but I still laugh to think they won Aspley, talk about a fluke.

  6. The redistribution before last election really helped Labor here – it knocked 2% off the LNP margin by adding in those strong Labor booths around Geebung. Minus that, it’d still be a LNP seat.

  7. Feel the Bern
    ALP won Aspley for one reason that they have still
    Not addressed Newman who will be as bought a millstone around LNP as Whitlam
    Is around ALP’s nationally. Not a single one of us who relied on Newman’s word in 2012 will ever forget that not a single LNP MP was prepared to stand up to Newman in public. Newman should have been given a formal warning by Parliamentary party honour your promises or we will dump you. If they had dumped Newman in late 2012 there would have been no ALP government. Aspley has not been a safe seat since Joh Days. No one has ever explained why Bonnie Barry lost the seat mainly because to explain would open a can of worms that would make the explanation a poisoned chalice for both major parties.

  8. Living in the seat I think the result will come down to whether people are thinking of covid when they vote.
    Palaszczuk isn’t super popular but she’s more trusted than Frecklington and most people have a favourable view of covid management.

  9. LNP would’ve held on last time had the PHON candidate not preferenced Labor above the LNP. I think this will be a fairly easy gain for the LNP given the personal support for Cooper as a former Councillor and the lack of name recognition for Bart.

    The LNP also do much better at a Federal and Council level in this area.

  10. September Prediction: LNP gain, it was an anti Davis factor last time. Amanda Cooper has built up support from her time in council. Bart has been active on Facebook but I don’t think it will matter.

  11. It’s important to remember that last election One Nation preferenced all sitting members last – which means Bart was preferenced higher than Tracy Davis. LNP last election suffered about a 10% swing away in primary votes and ON got about this amount in their first votes. So I think it’s pretty safe to assume that most of the voters who swung away from the LNP went and voted One Nation. The preference flow last election from ON to LNP was only 50% with the rest going to Labor and the Greens. So that means One Nation took around or just under 10% off of the LNP vote and only delivered around 50% of these back in preferences. So if One Nation don’t do the same thing as last time (which I don’t think they will- ON voters seem to be the most angry group in the state about the border conditions) and they decide to run a candidate, LNP could expect a lot more of their preferences this time and could make the result closer.

  12. I would’ve thought that the LNP would be running away with this seat but as the election gets closer Amanda Cooper’s campaign seems to be shrinking. I’ve seen more signs for Bart, a month ago I was getting a lot of LNP flyers in the mail but none for weeks. I saw more campaigning at council which makes me wonder what’s going on.
    Are the LNP giving up on Brisbane? If they aren’t fighting hard for this one then where are they fighting?

  13. Adrian
    I have noticed a lack of LNP party campaigning everywhere. Possible exception Glasshouse where they seem to be active. Frecklington is on TV each night with the exact same message. Palaszczuk said …. Today she is wrong. However so far in terms of activity I would put Hanson at top then ALP, (then KAP on line reporting only) then Greens, then Palmer with Libs getting the wooden spoon. Do not assume they not planning something.

  14. When I drove through yesterday down Gympie Rd, I thought that Amanda Cooper was winning the sign game: two billboards to one, and more prominent. No corflutes to speak of on the main road.

  15. The most signs I’ve seen are down Maundrell Terrace. I think I counted 8 Bart to 2 Amanda households. The Labor signs were larger and more prominent. Also the LNP seemed to take a day or two longer to get them up.
    I assume they have a plan, maybe a tonne of ad spending in the final couple of weeks. TV spending is a very limited strategy, not many people under 40 consistently watch the major free networks. I’ll keep waiting and see what happens.

  16. It is true that Maundrell Tce is packed with Bart signs however this is the only place i’ve seen them I think although i’ve only really been around the McDowall/Cherm West/Aspley areas lately and probably missed some. Amanda does have heaps in the small backstreets surrounding the Maundrell Tce area as well as a few along Albany Creek Rd.
    It’s important to remember that more signs doesn’t necessary mean more candidate support. I learnt this by observing Albany Creek last fed election. Albany Creek is in Dickson and obviously there was big speculation that Dutton was on track to lose the seat to Ali France as his margin was only around 1.5% and polls had LNP losing. Albany Creek usually votes around 60% LNP TPP in both state and fed but observing Albany Creek there were so many Ali France signs around and barely any Dutton signs (only about 1 I think around area I looked) and I though this isn’t the best sign for Dutton, however come election once again LNP held its vote there quite strongly around 60% with maybe small LNP swings in certain booths.

    Also Neil Skilbeck is running again this time for the Motorists Party and got 1.7% in 2017. His preferences last time mainly went to Greens who still haven’t preselected (22%), then Labor (20.5%), the independent (20.3%), then ONP who havent preselected (19.9%) and finally LNP (17%). So his preferences are pretty even across each party.

  17. It is common across the board that generally LNP supporters all live in “cul-de-sacs” and Labor voters live on the main roads 🙂

    Last weekend I saw Bart was being rotated through an electronic billboard on Sandgate Road, Virginia – that’s not in this electorate, which his “base” of Geebung may form a fraction of those passing every day but the rest of this electorate would not be using Sandgate Road daily, particularly Bridgeman Downs.

    This seat has a bit of an east vs west vibe.

  18. BJA from Ryan
    Did you really mean to say that Libs live in dead end roads and ALP live on arterial Roads. Sorry could not resist that one.

  19. If you judged Lilley (which is also northern Brisbane) by signs during the federal campaign then Labor was super safe. It swung huge, signs mean little.

  20. Qld Observor
    Corflutes location and quantity is not an indicator of vote quantity but rather of campaign supporters. If supporter base have courage to front up to a strangers door and say please can I put a sign in a persons garden or on their footpath the volunteer is committed. Even placing a sign in own yard requires commitment.

  21. 1 of 11 seats Motorists/No Tolls are running a candidate in, with PUP here too. This seat really is closer than I gave it credit for. Amanda has the name recognition, but Bert has the brand. Too close to call.

    Prediction (September): TOSS-UP (Lean LNP) [change from ALP Retain]

  22. Daniel is probably right that Aspley is a must win seat for LNP. In yesterday’s Weekend Australian Jamie Walker listed 4 seats that are essential gains for LNP
    🟠Mt Ommaney and
    🟠Redlands. I see the first three as being naturally LNP and Redlands as being naturally a swing seat. Aspley has swung backwards and forwards over the years but it is solid family suburban.
    Bonny Barrie’s loss in 2009 as a lesson to all politicians not to get out of step with her electorate. The campaign to oust Barry was not managed by LNP but rather by non political forces.
    This is a seat to watch. My impression is that LNP will recapture seat.
    I see electorate as a little different to Ben. Basically it straddles two roads Gympie Rd in East and Sandgate Rd in West.
    It is too far out of city for much inner city wealth but the Western Corridor is new wealth and the eastern corridor a mixture of Housing Commission houses War Service Homes closely linked to Industrial areas associated with Brisbane Airport. Geebung is mainly light industrial and mainly non residential these days.Most of this area is just outside of electorate therefore the Western fringe predominates.
    Remember Aspley was the upmarket
    New development in early 1960’s.
    There are bits of housing commission houses around the old Huttons meat works. But many of these have become leafy suburbs although Zillmere remains run down. Queensland first Housing Commission house is on the Eastern fringe of electorate. I think it was called Frenchman’s estate. Something to do with the prefabricated houses that Hanlon Government bought from France post WWII.

    I worked on old Huttons site for 10 years when it was Government store.
    My barber at Zillmere for what it is worth thinks that majority of his clients dislike
    Both government and opposition.

  23. I am inclined to think that the border closure will go down well in Aspley. My prediction is that it will be held on to by ALP. There does not seem to be mood of hostility.

  24. Hmm, I just can’t see the 10% that voted for PHON last time mostly going back to Labor. That was clearly a vote switch from LNP -> PHON. Labor’s vote even went backwards.

    I suspect at least 7% of that will go back to the LNP and the rest Labor and any other minor parties.

    Labor would need the Greens to do really well here, to hold on via their preferences. I still think the LNP are the favourites.

  25. A third of this electorate’s population isn’t in Bracken Ridge ward. You’d have to think that the normal 2PP sophomore effects would help Labor there a bit, even if they’ve been neutralised elsewhere?

  26. Labor winning this seat in 2017 I wouldn’t consider so much of a ‘fluke’. It was won for three terms during the Peter Beattie years. However I’m willing to concede ground that some of those seats in Beattie’s terms of government were not the usual norm. But I would put those seats in the ‘fluke’ column such as Noosa, Burnett, Kawana, Burdekin (before redistribution), and Mudgeeraba.

    Aspley isn’t in that realm of LNP safeness in my opinion. In fact when the Labor party won Aspley in 2001 it was reported some in the party always felt they should have had Aspley in the Labor column.

    I have heard the pro-life movement was a factor in Bonnie Barry losing the seat in 2009. Combined with the LNP improving their vote in Brisbane during that election.

    The seat is at level pegging on Sportsbet at Labor $1.85 and LNP $1.85 each so this seat will be tight. However, with sophomore surge and the fact the LNP leader is not based in South East Queensland I’m tipping Labor will be slight favorites to retain this seat.

  27. Reported in papers that a LNP insider said that “If we can’t win Aspley, it’s game over.” Right now Sportsbet has ALP $1.85 and LNP $1.90. Ladbroke’s had ALP $1.80 and LNP $1.90. Close race and could be ‘tipping point’ seat in the election. Both candidates will have some name recognition. Mellish will likely get a sophomore surge, however LNP has Cooper as their candidate who held Bracken Ridge ward for 12 years till last year. However this ward only covers the Carseldine and Bald Hills suburbs. Mellish is also ahead of Cooper on the ballot paper, and although this may only influence 1-2% of the vote, in a seat like this, every bit counts.

  28. Montau, good points. Though I could have sworn parts of Geebung were part of that ward as well.

    Don’t discount McDowall either, and I think without the PHON factor in play it could be interesting.

    You’re 100% right though, if the LNP can’t win Aspley they really should pack up & go home.

  29. Montau
    Correct 1-2% will be vital in a lot of seats. If Aspley has a 2% 2PPV that is an insignificant swing to LNP.they will need at least a 4% swing Statewide to guarantee majority government and probably 6%. I have yet to talk to anyone who voted ALP in 2017 who is voting LNP this time. I have met many who voted LNP in 2017 who are more enthusiastic in 2020. LNP vote is stronger but not larger. There only hope is Townsville and bluntly they are as on the nose in Townsville as ALP.

  30. One Nation got over 9% of the vote in 2017and directed their preferences to Labor. A split ticket this time plus increased postal pre poll should see preferences break more the LNP way.

    On top of that a drop in One Nation primary should go back to the LNP lifting its primary.

    Now this could be counter balanced by a swing to Labor from LNP, but tat swing needs to be substantial enough to civer the One Nation to LNP shift on primary and preferences.

    That said the insider is right. LNP can win this without getting to majority, but they won’t get to majority without it.

    Yet the LNP is targetting the low hanging Townsville seats and the pipe dream if Maryborough and Keppel – which makes no sense.

    They need to trust Barron River, at least two Townsville seats, Mirani, Whitsundays break their way and instead focus on and target Pumicestone, Aspley, Mansfield, Springwood, Redlands, Gaven and even Redcliffe and Ferny Grove.

  31. getting hard to identify certain lnp wins from Labor….. Pumicestone already lnp held……. except for Whitsunday….. most of the cross bench will be re elected. I also question if kap can win seats outside the boundaries of Kennedy federal electorate.

  32. Mick
    Kennedy Federal Division is rather large and once extended even further than it does now. Therefore Katter country extend from :South Australia to Torres Strait and from Northern Territory to Magnetic Island.

  33. I’m fairly confident that the KAP are able to win in electorates outside the federal division of Kennedy. Bob is certainly still the central figure within the party but they’re perfectly capable with him in a more relaxed role and they certainly don’t revolve around his entire being anymore. The Katter’s have an effective internal party structure that gives them the opportunity to succeed in the long term where One Nation fails (which is always at least partially the result of Hanson’s micromanaging and childish erratic & behavior).

  34. Andrew I intended to mention seats which were wholly or to a large extent in Kennedys boundaries…. eg the old mount Isa seat….. hill, hinchinbrook which they currently hold

  35. My understanding is that in 2009 Labor suffered through a controversy about hospital restructuring? Overall this looks like a state Labor seat in normal times & despite Covid this is shaping up to be a normal election.

  36. Probably my final comments on this seat before the results:

    1) After driving through the electorate regularly over the past few months the LNP definitely have more signs up in front of houses than Labor (at least where I drove).

    2) A major factor in the results will come down to how well the Greens and One Nation do. In 2017, while ON finished ahead of Greens in primary, they were excluded before Greens once preferences were distributed. This meant that ON preferences were spit between 3 parties – LNP, Labor and Greens – with 50% going to LNP and the rest to ALP and Greens. If ON were excluded after the greens then their preferences would have only had to split between LNP and ALP and so I think LNP would of got more preferences and won the seat. So for the LNP to have a comfortable win they need ONP and I guess UAP to do well and better than the Greens (which I don’t think they will). However I see the Greens vote dropping too in this seat.

    3) It’s been interesting watching this seat on social media especially Facebook. The Save our Carseldine group is a group aimed to protect the bushland and wildlife at the proposed Carseldine development – so naturally you’d assume that these people are ALP/Greens leaning voters. However, reading through the comments there seems to be a lot of anger towards the ALP and Bart Mellish for going through with the development and lots of support for Amanda Cooper. I’ve always said on my comments about this seat that this could be a crucial issue and could be a deciding factor for many voters.

  37. Kieran your 2nd point is not true, order of exclusion only matters in single member elections if it changes who makes it to the final 2. Any vote that traversed from PHON to Green and then onward would have ended up in the same place if the Greens were not in the count at that point.

    In multimember districts like the federal senate the process you describe can matter. I recall the 2013 WA senate result where ~10 votes exchanged between I think the Christian Democrats and Sports Party would have altered the future outcome (the election ended up being annulled and rerun with a much clearer result).

  38. Bennee
    I agree fully with paragraph 1. Preferences are allocated by voter and flow from Excluded Party to next highest preferred candidate.
    They do NOT flow from Primary Vote to 2nd Preference and then flow as 2nd Preference party votes would flow. They continue to be allocated as voter allocated them.

    Your Second Paragraph is a bit wrong.
    Even under the old ticket voting now superseded Preferences were determined on individual ballot paper. In above the line voting and a candidate booted above the line for party A the preference flowed as Party A directed from first candidate to candidate 170. As far as I am aware preferences have never flowed from from Party A to Party B and then followed Party B Preferred order. If candidate followed Party A How to vote the preferences may have flowed to Party B but when B distributed Party A preference order took over not Party B’s. Ultimately Voter decided the exact order they wanted preferences to flow. I do not think I have ever followed a Senate HTV and have always found some Party’s individual candidates more preferable than others in same party so order zip vote for LNP has always been to put all Nats above Liberals.
    Under new Senate voting system those voting above the line allow Party Group to determine order of candidates within that Group but then select 2nd preferrred Group and allow that Group to determine order of candidates. Only those voting below the line determine exact order of candidates.

  39. Sorry everyone I understand my mistake now.
    I guess a better point from me would have been noting the fact that ON preferenced Labor ahead of LNP here in 2017 so this election will most likely see more preferences flowing from ON to LNP.


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