Thuringowa – QLD 2020

ALP 4.1% vs ON

Incumbent MP
Aaron Harper, since 2015.

Far North Queensland. Thuringowa covers southern and western suburbs of Townsville, including Thuringowa Central, Condon, Rasmussen, Kelso and Kirwan.

The seat of Thuringowa has existed since 1986. The seat has been won by the ALP at all but two elections, with One Nation interrupting the Labor hold on the seat in 1998 and the LNP winning in 2012.

Thuringowa was won in 1986 by Labor MP Ken McElligott, who had been first elected in Townsville in 1983. He served as a minister in the Goss government from 1989 to 1991 and again from 1995 to 1996.

At the 1998 election, McElligott was defeated by One Nation’s Ken Turner. Turner, like every other One Nation MP elected at the 1998 election, soon left the party, becoming an independent in 1999.

Labor candidate Anita Phillips defeated Turner in 2001. She served one term before stepping down in 2004 to run for the federal seat of Herbert, unsuccessfully.

Craig Wallace retained the seat for Labor in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2009. Wallace served as a minister from 2006 to 2012.

In 2012, Wallace was defeated by LNP candidate Sam Cox. Labor suffered a 22% swing on primary votes, and dropped to third place behind Katter’s Australian Party.

Labor came back in 2015, with Labor candidate Aaron Harper defeating Cox with a 12% swing. Harper won a second term in 2017.


Thuringowa would be an attractive target for the LNP or One Nation.

2017 result

Aaron Harper Labor 9,39432.2-8.9
Nick Martinez Liberal National 6,19121.2-13.0
Mark ThorntonOne Nation5,87820.2+14.3
Terry FoxKatter’s Australian Party4,54615.6+15.6
Mike Rubenach Greens 1,6335.6+1.3
Stephen LaneIndependent1,5275.2+5.2

2017 two-candidate-preferred result

Aaron Harper Labor 15,79554.1-2.4
Mark ThorntonOne Nation13,37445.9+45.9

Booth breakdown

Booths in Thuringowa have been divided into three areas: central, north and south.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote against the LNP in all three areas, with 55% in the north and south and 58% in the centre.

One Nation came third on the primary vote, with a primary vote ranging from 17.8% in the north to 21.1% in the south.

Voter groupON primKAP primALP 2PPTotal votes% of votes
Other votes19.414.452.23,98913.7

Election results in Thuringowa at the 2017 QLD state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for One Nation and Katter’s Australian Party.

Become a Patron!


  1. Labor apparently would have lost this seat to One Nation last election. But the controversy around the One Nation candidate, made the LNP decide during the campaign to preference Labor instead. It was the only seat that the LNP directed preferences to Labor over One Nation in the regions and it saved Labor the seat.

    Apparently Law and Order are big issues in this seat. One Nation have announced their candidate but I am suspecting this will be more likely a Labor vs LNP contest. I think the pandemic is going to cause problems with the minor parties vote with voters returning to the major parties.

    This seat will be one to keep an eye on.

  2. Yes IIRC Labor would have only held on by a tiny margin if it came down to Labor vs LNP (the on the night 2PP), and in most regional seats going to Labor vs PHON would have given PHON enough of a boost to win (but didn’t here due to LNP preferences). Labor probably would have also lost Mundingburra if PHON wasn’t excluded before LNP. (And thst possibility made the result only known at the last moment)

    Without a big announcement. and maybe even with one, Labor will start the election at -3 from Townsville alone.

  3. @John I’m with you that Labor really is feeling the swing in Townsville and quite rightly could loose all 3 seats (this one, Townsville, Mundingburra). KAP, ONP and to a lesser extend LNP have been hitting this seat hard. ALP had a couple of ministers come up in the past month to announce a couple of projects and visit the region, but it was really tokenism. Julianne (KAP) has been in the news a bit with Bob about their Kajabbi crime solution, which if you haven’t guessed already, crime is a huge talking point in Townsville and the main reason why ALP is seriously on the nose here. I genuinely had this one as a 4-way split between ALP/LNP/ONP/KAP but from what I’ve been hearing on the ground… I just can’t see ALP holding unless there is a seriously bad split between the LNP/ONP/KAP and those preferences flow to ALP above the others. I still think Mundingburra is KAP’s best bet with the MP retiring there, but Bob Katter has been very visible in Townsville the past 3 weeks.

    Prediction (August 2020): TOSS-UP (No idea/no lean)

  4. Every second Facebook post by Aaron Harper seems to be about law and order or a fervent condemnation of a crime in his electorate.

    I have family who live in this district. I only hope that if Labor must lose, then it’ll be the KAP who gains it and not One Nation.

  5. Seat polls, via Poll Bludger:

    Ipswich: Labor 44 (-4), LNP 29 (+16), ONP 5 (-22), GRN 12 (+3).
    Keppel: Labor 34 (-9), LNP 40 (+15), ONP 10 (-16), GRN 7 (+1).
    Mackay: Labor 36 (-7), LNP 37 (+12), ONP 7 (-16), GRN 6 (+1).
    Thuringowa: Labor 33 (+1), LNP 40 (+19), ONP 4 (-16), GRN 7 (+1), KAP 7 (-9).

    If that’s true, the bottom’s fallen out of One Nation, and the LNP would probably win Thuringowa and Keppel.

    Polls were commissioned by a coal mining company and reported in the Australian, so make of that what you will.

  6. @Bird of Paradox – copious grains of salt as always with seat polls but at least it’s something to start with, as polls have been a bit lacking recently. I find it more interesting for the trends, ALP down in regions but maybe not as much as thought, but echoes comments on other seat profiles about a pandemic affecting minor votes (ONP,KAP) and benefiting major parties (this case LNP). I also think this was done after recent qld parliament vote [Edit: ‘Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Bill’] and discussion on coal, especially around Colinsville Power Plant. I think that KAP vote should hold in Thuringowa as they’ve been quite visible, but can definitely see the ONP vote going to LNP, by how much, I don’t know.

  7. That poll lines up with my prediction. PHON are no longer a force (though I think they’ll hold Mirani) but those voters who left Labor for PHON aren’t coming back. On the plus side that firms up seats like Rockhampton for Labor, but it also means their seats in danger like this one will go straight to the LNP column.

    Of course seat polls are notoriously unreliable but I am predicting an LNP gain in all 3 ALP held Townsville seats.

  8. Wrong, LNP won’t win all 3. One Nation has a better shot at this one. And it us silly to assume PHON will lose votes thus time around. They will only strengthen their vote in the regions. I reckon if the ALP don’t win this seat. PHON will. And a hung parliament is likely

  9. Pauline Hanson is nothing but a loud mouthed Liberal in a wooly coat. She votes with Liberals on every important issue. She takes policy from anyone but her own members who are mainly so retarded that policy is beyond them.
    The only times she voted differently to libs is when she framed motion or she is supporting a motion by another minor party.

  10. Daniel – you seem very sure. At 8.,15pm on the night of the Brisbane Council election you were predicting a change in town hall. In the end the LNP did not lose a single seat. So lots of grains of salt here….

  11. Moderate, I suggest you check out the comments policy, specifically the clause asking that you “Play the ball, not the man”.

    Repeatedly bringing up someone else’s previous predictions as something to discredit their arguments is verging on breaching this point. I suggest finding something else to use to make your point.

  12. @ Daniel, a poll released in The Australian the other day on Thuringowa had the PHON primary down almost 16 percent and LNP up almost 20, KAP was down too.

  13. FTB
    Mate you have put me in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Daniel !!.

    No one ought to believe the PHON vote is going any where but North. Heard of the “shy Tory factor”. Most ON voters don’t promote the fact. Most of my Labor/ Green voting friends IMMEDIATELY dismiss ON voters as racists, rednecks, morons, etc, etc,. Unless you are someone ( like me for instance), why would you want the argument, projection, condemnation ??
    cheers WD

  14. Ben
    You are so right. Moderate is so wrong to restrict himself in such a way. Daniel provides such rich, & varied opportunities for comment !!. His predictions have been very entertaining, but the subject of predictions can become a little tedious.
    After all we are about to have one of the most fascinating state elections for decades.
    cheers WD

  15. Ok sure Ben. Bit of a stretch having looked at the policy but its your blog, you run it the way you want.
    I was just pointing out that Daniel has a fair bit of form…

  16. With Troy Thompson having pulled out of the race, this changes the balance here. Pauline has mentioned ONP will replace him with another candidate, but that really has hurt their chances here. (Townsville Bulletin by the way – pay-walled so haven’t linked here.)

    Deb Frecklington (LNP) visiting recently and the announcement about supporting Glencore Copper Smelter and Refinery (ALP) which affects the Townsville 3 seats and Mount Isa. Interesting play there from ALP, but KAP is claiming credit as they have been pushing for this issue. It does reek a little of desperation from the ALP. Based on the campaign materials out [yes that eyesore of a Palmer billboard in the CBD] and from talking with others I’m going with…

    Prediction (September 2020): TOSS-UP (LNP or KAP Gain)

    I know that’s my strongest prediction of all the seats (bar Pumicestone and Maiwar) but I really can’t see ALP holding on, even with a flurry of recent announcements.

  17. @ Winediamond, I do apologise for that mate lol. It’s going to be a fascinating election. I will say though, most Pauline Hanson supporters I know personally (and I have great debates with them as a Labor man) are usually pretty vocal in their support for PHON.

  18. FTB
    Hope you saw my apology on another thread.
    That is interesting about your experience of PHON voters. Could it be a state thing ?. I’m in NSW so Pauline is seen as at best “polarising”, & low brow. Consequently i tend to focus on Latham, & ignore the QLD influence.
    My experience is of a quiet confessions, only received when there is no perception of condemnation. This is almost without exception. I do think i’d enjoy being a fly on the wall during some of your debates
    cheers WD

  19. Hanson is polarising and to call her low brow is an understatement.
    Her voters are ignorant over opinionated bufoons who rely solely on shock jock radio, TV and Facebook for their opinionated views.
    Hanson attracts candidates who would be rejected by any orther party but she is skilled like a Sheep dog in herding this mass into a position that maximised her profit and publicity. She herds her MP’s into total support for Liberal governments by allowing their extremism to bubble over in motions of their own which all other parties reject. She is skilled in picking up policy that will appeal to her base from other minor parties but has no policy development Process.
    She rules with an iron fist and micro
    Manages everything.
    The part of her base that do not interact with her remain loyal but those that have contact with her resign , are expelled or fade away.

    Policy is flexible providing it ensures her publicity and electoral commission funding.
    The major parties are gutless in dealing with her. They should have entered into an agreement with each other to destroy her influence by
    🟠refusing to accept her votes on anything.
    🟠tightening up Party Registration procedures to ensure thst party internal structured are democratic
    🟠ensuring that Electoral Commission funding goes into a bank account which Party executive controls. Same corporate governance rules that once applied to Unions of employers and employees should apply to political parties. Salary limits should apply with no more than SES level 1 public sector salaries paid to anyone by any political party. This will not be a problem to Major parties to Palmer or all parties other than Hanson but it would have created havoc for the Ashby-Hanson Party.
    Major Parties need to agree that any person insisting on being able to Direct MP’s votes should be guilty of Sedition and barred from public office for life.
    Pauline Hanson was jailed contrary to
    Law but law should have been changed to ensure that any attempt to limit the rights of political party members or to have a hierarchy of members should result
    In jailing of leaders. Hanson should have been released but law should have been changed so that any repetitiom of the shenanigans in
    Original one nation structure should carry same Jail Sentence as she got.
    Palmer may get caught up in this but political freedom
    Should not include freedom
    To dictate to elected MP’s.

  20. Andrew Jackson
    Let’s say everything you have said is correct & true in QLD. So what ? I could do a similar rant on the Greens. To what end ? 99% of humans live in illusion, misery, & are fundamentally asleep. No doubt we would like to change the world. However if there is change it will likely be incremental, not revolutionary.
    Revolutionaries (“REFORMER Type 1’s ) such as Hanson, & most of the Greens are often dangerous, extreme, & hypocritical. Historical examples Robespierre, Ayatollah Khomeini, Lenin. Mate that is the world we live in. FFS deal with it.

    If you are trying to tell me that Hanson controls governs, moderates or directs Mark Latham……!? That is just truly incomprehensible. Like Latham has EVER been a good little boy who does what he is told, works well in a team (that he doesn’t control), is quiet & respectful (to her or any other authority) !?. Do you comprehend what you are suggesting !? The man (Latham) would need (to have) a total “fixation transplant” or some kind of lobotomy !.

    Latham is such a Challenger personality Type 8 (fixation) just show me ONE, just ONE INSTANCE of when he has ever been obedient, submissive, or servile ? Type 8’s will rather die than feel controlled . WD SENIOR was an 8 SO is WD junior, so is Russel Crowe, Liam Neeson, John Wayne, De Niro, Nicholson, Duval, Richards Harris & Burton & Sigourney Weaver Want to try & control any of them !? Good luck with that !!

  21. I dislike onp…….. so I am quite happy Mark Latham is there…… because as wd says he aims to be king of the castle…. and will never do as he is told…….. so lots of arguments to come.

  22. Does KAP win if they get into third place? The advantage KAP has is that Labor, LNP, and ON voters tend to prefer KAP over each other. This phenomenon is exactly what led to a KAP win in Hinchinbrook at the last election. If KAP gets into third, I would imagine that ON preferences will see them overtake the LNP, and LNP preferences will elect KAP over Labor. Same goes for other seats where KAP is vying for third place on primaries and all three of Labor, LNP, and ON are polling in or close to double digits.

  23. Mick
    As i illustrated Tyrants don’t have arguments…..!. And they don’t start fights, they finish them ……! Keating used to reduce other MP’S to tears, all the time. Legend.

  24. WInd DiAmond
    I am no fan of Greens ideologically they Are most prone to centralization of any party in Australia. However structurally they are the most decentralized party in Australia. By all means tear them to shreds but on the issue of an internal party dictatorship they are squeaky clean.

  25. Andrew Jackson
    I’m not sure i understand why i should be impressed with Green Internal Party democracy ?. Why is this important ?. They are still a bunch of intolerant, prejudicial, delusional fanatics. What exactly am i supposed to admire, & respect !? So they all treat each other with respect, & listen to each other ?. Big deal !!.
    Maybe when they develop an interest in the views of others that don’t drink their coolaid..?

  26. WD
    I am not suggesting you should be impressed by anything Greens say or do. I am just warning of dangers of over simplification. We should be taking steps to ensure that Green eco-fascism is resisted and that their campaigns to indoctrinate school students is resisted.

  27. Andrew Jackson
    “” dangers of Over simplification “. Perhaps that is what politicians illustrate, & embody best !??
    Most have the intellectual capacity, & emotional depth, of a shallow muddy puddle !!.

  28. WD having just watched the Trump -Biden debate over simplification in Australian politics seems insignificant . Simpletons I’mn politics is a much bigger problem.

  29. What does this have to do with the Thuringowa campaign? I’m sure Greens and One Nation voters think you suck too.

  30. Interestingly the LNP think there a better chance in Thuringowa with a 4.1% margin. Then they do in the seat of Townsville with 0.4% margin it was reported to the ABC. Due to the fact Thuringowa strong presence of minor parties in this outer suburban and semi-rural seat.

    Its been reported Labor was keen to do a preference deal with Katter Australia Party in all their Townsville seats. But the Katter Australia Party and One Nation are likely to run split tickets. Where the KAP and One Nation preferences go is likely going to decide who wins the seat. However, KAP probably will take most of the minor party votes. Due to One Nation candidate having to pull out and there still hasn’t been a replacement announced at such a late stage. I still think the pandemic will blount some of their vote this time around though.

    Labor sitting on $2.25 on Sportsbet, LNP $2.95 KAP $4.00 and One Nation $6.00.

  31. @PN there’s absolutely no way surely Labor can hold the seat of Townsville, even if Labor retains gov? There’s an inevitable swing coming against Labor in the north and it will be big in some seats, Scott Stewart would have to be Bob Hawke level popular to withstand that. Agree Thuringowa will be intriguing though.

  32. I’ve had a long look at this seat. The LNP have chosen well but coming off a 21% primary last election seems very unlikely to me. Maybe the Labor vote collapses, but I think plenty of that goes to Katter. If the One Nation vote has also dropped, then I think Katter again is the main beneficiary here.

    Yes I am talking myself into a Katter victory here.

  33. KAP and PHON have made a preference deal and whichever of them comes third in the 4PPC could potentially wind up in the top 2, if not winning the seat.

  34. I advised my contact in KAP that because of
    1) Robbie Katter’s infantile comments about putting Brisbane last and
    2) the decision to place Ashby-Hanson above two major parties
    I was no longer available to assist in Pre poll or Election Day.
    I had intended to travel to Dalby and spend a few days on prepoll but if KAP becomes a friend of Hanson I want nothing to do with them.
    This is a position that I made clear to Senior members of KAP much earlier in year.

  35. In a worrying sign for the LNP they have slipped back in the betting. Labor on sportsbet are now $2.00, KAP are $2.75, and LNP $3.50. While betting is not the means and ends all it can still point to some warning signs. IF the the LNP grip is loosening here in this seat, then it would likely be doing the same in seats of Townsville and Mundingburra.

    Labor are still not out of the woods as the LNP, KAP, and One Nation can gang up together and cost Labor the seat on preferences. The key for Aaron Harper is if he can get a big primary vote to be able to withstand the onslaught.

  36. I was reading Antony Green’s guide apparently LNP preferenced Labor above One Nation last time. He states if they preferenced One Nation the seat would have changed hands.

  37. Last Week Prediction – I don’t really have a good handle on this seat, except to say that with ONP’s vote declining, the main beneficiaries should be the LNP and KAP. As Political Nightwatchman said above, unless the ALP somehow increases their primary vote, they will be swamped on preferences. My gut feeling is that the LNP may yet win this one.

  38. Firstly before talking about being swamped by preferences . Which parties are manning pre-polls. If party not manning booths their preferences are likely to go all over the place.

  39. True three way contest here. The LNP really need to lift their vote and I think they might not get enough to stop Katter from leapfrogging them.

    I’m going with this being a Katter gain

  40. ABC Matters of State podcast released today stated “KAP in with a good chance and may actually take this seat”. I’m calling KAP gain.

  41. Going to follow the crowd above me and on a limb I’m saying this’ll be a Katter gain. Earlier in the year I was thinking the same thing but I largely forgot about it until I began to look at the numbers earlier today and decided I’d ultimately stick with that prediction.

  42. I live in this seat. The volume of crime is absolutely ridiculous. No candidate has realistically offered a sustainable and realistic approach to this issue, beyond vague offerings. Where I grew up, we were lucky to see a police car in our area once every few months. Here in Thuringowa, I have them driving past looking for people at least once every 30 minutes. Words can’t really describe a police chase ending in your own driveway, let alone stolen goods being dumped on your property (cars and bikes), as well as multiple break in attempts – all these over the past two weeks. LNP’s suggestion of a curfew just isn’t going to fix this without additional police, court and detention resources. From what I’ve heard, no party is really addressing what is happening in my electorate.

  43. HH
    i FEEL FOR YOU. My old school mate Sammy the frog lives near Townville & is a police dept contractor . He says the biggest problem is the judges not handing out custodial sentences. =REPEAT OFFENDERS continuing to offend –on bail !!. Just a joke. Maybe Townsville is done joking ?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here