Hinchinbrook – QLD 2020

KAP 7.6% vs LNP

Incumbent MP
Nick Dametto, since 2017.

North Queensland. Covers the Queensland coastline north of Townsville. The seat covers southern parts of Cassoway Coast council area, all of Hinchinbrook, and northern parts of Townsville LGA. The seat covers Ingham, Cardwell, Alice River, and some of the northern beaches of Townsville.

The seat of Hinchinbrook was first created in 1950, and has been held by the Country/National/Liberal National Party since 1960.

Marc Rowell won the seat for the National Party in 1989. He briefly served as a minister in the final months of the Borbidge coalition government in 1998.

Rowell retired in 2006, and was succeeded by Andrew Cripps. Cripps was re-elected in 2009, 2012 and 2015.

Cripps was defeated in 2017 by Katter’s Australian Party’s Nick Dametto, who came third with less than 21% of the primary vote, but won thanks to Labor and One Nation preferences.


Hinchinbrook was a complex and close race in 2017. The KAP will be hoping that they have built up a personal vote here which will unite conservative voters behind Dametto, but we’ll have to wait for the election results to judge.

2017 result

Andrew Cripps Liberal National 8,52330.1-7.6
Margaret BellOne Nation6,23222.0+16.2
Nick DamettoKatter’s Australian Party5,92920.9+8.1
Paul Jacob Labor 5,38419.0-8.4
Peter RafflesIndependent1,3164.7+4.7
Lyle Burness Greens 9173.2+0.1

2017 two-candidate-preferred result

Nick DamettoKatter’s Australian Party16,28857.6+57.6
Andrew Cripps Liberal National12,01342.4-11.0

Booth breakdown

Booths in Hinchinbrook have been divided into three areas: central, north and south. Each area aligns with one of the three local government areas in the seat. A majority of ordinary votes were cast in the south.

Katter’s Australian Party won a large 65.2% majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote in the south, and a smaller 52.6% majority in the north. The LNP polled 51.3% in the centre.

Voter groupON primALP primKAP 2CPTotal votes% of votes
Other votes22.819.353.74,17914.8

Election results in Hinchinbrook at the 2017 QLD state election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (KAP vs LNP) and primary votes for One Nation and Labor.

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  1. I admit this seat caught me by surprise in 2017, but looking back now, it makes more sense. Hinchinbrook pre-2017 distribution in 2012 was LNP vs KAP with under a 4% margin for LNP to hold one (KAP ran Jeff Knuth, former One Nation MP, brother of Shane Knuth KAP MP Hill). It borders both Hill and Traeger, the other two KAP seats and this was one of four electorates the KAP ran in 2012, 2015 and 2017 (the other 3 being Mt Isa/Traeger, Dalrymple/Hill and Cook). Also to note the KAP vote held quite well in 2015.

    Nick Dametto has proved to be one effective MP and very popular among the locals. He lead the charge on AnnaPal and Labor on the restrictions on firearms licensing with the reasoning of ‘COVID’, which got a back down from AnnaPal and played well to the electorate. (It was a bit of an incoherent policy from Labor, which may cost it votes in strong farming seats.)

    I really can’t see Nick loosing here and it’s just another example of a strong local independent/minor party MP holding a regional seat that the majors won’t get back for a while.

    Prediction (August 2020): KAP Retain

    It’s because of this seat last election I seriously rate the KAP to gain at least one seat in the Townsville region in similar fashion (Mundingburra most likely) although further south I consider KAP the dark horse in Whitsunday.

  2. This seat did cause a big surprise. The redistribution did send warning signals to Andrew Cripps that One Nation could be a threat in this seat. It turned out to be Katter Australia Party that took the prize on a count back on preferences. Really hard to see the LNP winning this seat back. As mentioned above the minor party/independent incumbency makes it harder to snatch the seat off them then it does with Labor.

    I see there is no One Nation candidate listed here. I’m suspecting there may be a gentlemen’s agreement between KAP and One Nation they won’t contest each other’s seat. I don’t see a Katter Australia Party candidate listed in One Nation’s seat of Mirani. One Nation also ruled out contesting contesting KAP’s seats of Hill and Traeger at the last QLD state election.

    Katter Australia Party to likely to hold. Nick Dametto probably will solidify the 22% of the vote One Nation received in 2017 that will boost his primary vote. However, the only concern for him is some of that vote may be vulnerable if it heads to the major parties because of the pandemic.

  3. Dametto’s worked really hard in this seat, I expect a significant increase to his primary vote this time, and should be tough to beat

  4. @Political Nightwatchman
    Just goes to show you can’t trust any agreement whether it may be a gentleman’s or not with One Nation.
    Yes KAP seems to have stayed away from Mirani but One Nation at the death has nominated here and in Warrego which would exclude KAP from having any official arrangement with the Ashby-Hansen Party.

  5. Tony Z.
    Political Nightwatchman’s assertion that there was a Gentleman’s agreement between Ashby-Hanson and KAP has one very big problem. No one in their right mind would treat One Nation as a gentleman. Anyone with a smidgen of political skill would want a written agreement if for no other reason that person doing negotiating might be acting in good faith but the Memsahib can overrule them after negotiations have been finalised.

    Both you and I have been involved with negotiations with a wide variety of parties on behalf of DLP, Katter and Country Party and the only party that I would enter a Gentleman’s agreement with would be ALP.

    I am not a member of any political party at moment and was not involved in any negotiations. I remember you and I meeting with a rep from Auden McLindons QUeensland Party and the first Question I asked was what are you authorised to negotiate on and got the answer “nothing I am just here to get your preferences.” You will remember me telling Qld party rep” “ well there Is nothing to talk about” Same question to ALP resulted in “ Senate agreement is out of our hands but we can negotiate on House Seats” whilst this was not the answer we wanted to hear we knew where we stood.
    I personally would tell One Nation do whatever you like with your preferences we do not negotiate with the likes of you any more than we negotiate with CPA, Anning, Australia First or NAZI party. We will submit two or three HTV for registration but hand out only one on day.


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