Keppel – QLD 2020

ALP 3.1% vs ON

Incumbent MP
Brittany Lauga, since 2015.

North Queensland. Keppel covers regional areas along the coast to the north of Rockhampton, including Yeppoon, northern suburbs of Rockhampton, and the Keppel islands.

Keppel was first contested at the 1992 election. A former seat with the same name had existed from 1912 to 1960. The current incarnation was held by the National Party until 2004 and then was held by Labor until 2012. The seat has alternated since then.

The seat was first won in 1992 by National Party MP Vince Lester. He had previously held the seats of Belyando and Peak Downs, having first been elected in 1974. Lester had served as a minister in the National Party government from 1983 until 1989.

Lester retired in 2004, and Keppel was won by ALP candidate Paul Hoolihan. Hoolihan won re-election in 2006 and 2009.

In 2012, Hoolihan was defeated by LNP candidate Bruce Young. Young held the seat for one term, and lost in 2015 to Labor’s Brittany Lauga. Lauga was re-elected in 2017.


Keppel is a marginal seat, and could be a target for either One Nation or the LNP.

2017 result

Brittany Lauga Labor 13,30443.1-0.8
Matt LothOne Nation7,86525.5+25.5
Peter Blundell Liberal National 7,69124.9-15.0
Clancy Mullbrick Greens 2,0396.6+1.8

2017 two-party-preferred result

Brittany Lauga Labor 16,41953.1-1.0
Matt LothOne Nation14,48046.9+46.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in Keppel have been divided into three areas. Polling places in the Rockhampton urban area have been grouped together, with the remainder split into central and north.

Labor won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote (against One Nation) in all three areas, ranging from 52.3% in the centre to 60.8% in the Rockhampton area. One Nation polled 51.2% in the pre-poll vote.

The LNP came third, with a primary vote ranging from 20.3% in the centre to 27.1% in the north.

Voter groupLNP primALP 2CPTotal votes% of votes
Other votes23.654.13,54811.5

Election results in Keppel at the 2017 QLD state election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes between Labor and One Nation, and LNP primary votes.

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  1. I was in Keppel for a few weeks in July and One Nation and Libs has Billboards and Corlutes up early. The closure of two local newspapers Rocky Morning Bulletin and Capricorn News makes it difficult for candidates to make themselves known. There remains a small local A4 monthly News magazine bit this doe not have a huge circulation. Morning bulletin still available on line but locals I spoke to were not happy.
    I do not see much chance of change.
    Vince Lester was without shadow of doubt the best country politician I saw operating. He was my local MLA in Peak Downs for 7 years. His commitment to community meant everyone knew him and he knew everyone and everyone knew him. He carried this on into his new seat of Keppell. My prediction no change unless a big swing against Palaszczuk which I do not think will happen.

  2. Keppel is in my too close to call category. I know we don’t like looking at corresponding results Federally, but the LNP did exceptionally well in the booths that make up Keppel in Capricornia.

    I think Lauga has somewhat of a personal vote but has had her fair share of gaffes. The One Nation vote will be roughly the same, the question will be whether the LNP falls into second on primaries, or if One Nation holds on. If One Nation finishes third, I can see a path to victory for the LNP.

  3. I had this originally as an ALP retain but have moved it to the Toss-up category, with expecting ALP vote going down in the regions but depends on ONP or LNP coming second that really could push this one. However, agree that I think Lauga has done enough despite as @PRP mentions her gaffes. I’ll see how more of the campaign folds before changing a call.

    Prediction (August 2020): TOSS-UP – Lean ALP

  4. Terrible poll for Labor in the CQ papers today. Horrific almost, Lauga’s support has plummeted. I originally though Labor may hold here by my September prediction now is: PHON gain. Rothery is a recognised candidate.

  5. I’ve flipped on this one, I now have the LNP winning, but it will come right down to the wire. I think the swing in the regions will be to the LNP – particularly in the greater Rockhampton/Mackay region.

    I can’t see Labor withstanding the LNP/PHON vote here.

  6. was was the federal vote in this seat? seems the pattern without Mr lester was a labor inclined marginal…… seat based polls seem to be inaccurate.

  7. Am local, think ALP will retain as Lauga is largely seen as effective. Same with Michelle Landry at the federal level – effective member so plenty of people I know voted LNP at federal, ALP at state. Rockhampton is one of those areas that has had basically no coronavirus cases and the border closure is popular here. I’ve not seen Yeppoon and Great Keppel Island as busy as they are since the resorts were in their heyday – my business sales for the sept school holidays were up 20% year on year. The area is really benefiting from intraQueensland tourists that would otherwise go interstate or overseas so the federal LNP constantly criticising the border situation might hurt them.

    One Nation is going ham on advertisements though.

  8. Decided to have a look at the betting pools (via Ladbrokes), to see which seats are currently looking like changing according to the punters. This is one of the ones with a party other than the incumbent ahead in betting pools (the below show just the most notable parties for the seat)…

    LNP – 1.8
    Labor – 2.1
    ONP – 4.0

  9. Both Sportsbet and Ladbrokes have LNP ahead here ($1.65 LNP to $2.35 ALP and $1.80 LNP to $2.10 ALP). Labor currently holds on a small margin. It wouldn’t take much for Labor to lose this one. Meanwhile One Nation is behind ($4.00 and $8.00). A couple of the local newspapers there are calling it close and important for the LNP if their campaign is slowing in places like Mundingburra and Thuringowa.

    Brisbane Times reported that:
    “The LNP campaign was expected to zero in on central Queensland electorates Keppel, Mirani, Maryborough and the Townsville-based Mundingburra. Internal party polling revealed Keppel was within the grasp of the LNP, sources with knowledge of the campaign said. It was a two-way race between Labor and One Nation at the 2017 election but One Nation’s significance has been shrinking during this campaign. One Nation has dropped from 13.7 per cent of the primary vote at the 2017 election down to 9 per cent, the Newspoll found”.

    Capricorn Coast seats like Whitsunday, Mirani and Keppel are likely to play and important role and LNP’s job to form government becomes much harder if they can’t win at least 2 of these. Poll found GKI infrastructure and development that hot button issues followed by law and order and reducing youth crime.

  10. Final Prediction: Labor loss but I’m torn on who picks it up, I originally though PHON but their numbers don’t seem to be strong enough, their prefs though could very well swing it to the LNP.

  11. Prediction: Too Close to Call – Lean LNP. I think ON will drop into 3rd place with preferences helping LNP get over the line.


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