Aspley – Queensland 2024

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  1. Mellish is the new Transport Minister. I wonder if his relatively slim margin compared to other South East Queensland Labor-held electorates was a factor, as elevating him to the ministry is a serious profile boost. He does have some background in transport policy though.

  2. I know it was reported in November in the Australian, the Together public sector union polling showed Labor holding leads in Aspley and Mansfield. And while it was a union poll, it wasn’t a poll that showed all good news for Labor suggesting losses in seats in Townsville to the LNP and seats to the Greens in Brisbane’s inner city.

    Former Brisbane city councilor Amanda Cooper was the LNP’s candidate last state election. But there is no mention if she is going to recontest despite Cooper still sitting on the LNP executive.

  3. I agree that Aspley and Mansfield are both divisions that are likely to remain Labor held at the election. I would put this down to mostly demographic changes that have progressed in both divisions over the last decade. While I expect classic 2PP swings towards LNP throughout much of the state, I think that this will be relatively muted and negligible within Brisbane City’s sphere of influence, while up to 10% elsewhere.

    The demographic changes that have progressed in Aspley and Mansfield has been the growth of South Asian populations observable in statistics like Indian Ancestry and Hinduism.

    Aspley is interesting though in that it is a Top 5 division in Queensland for people Aged Over 85, which might make it slightly more favourable to the LNP than Mansfield. Mansfield remains younger by median age.

    Mansfield is also now significantly more culturally and linguistically diverse. It is increasingly influenced by the presence of Griffith University and dense apartments in its Eastern corner. Mansfield is composed of significant populations of Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese and a notable Islamic community.

    Mansfield has historically been regarded as one of the more Christian parts of Queensland, constituting Brisbane’s Bible Belt. But today its Christianity (as observed in the ABS data) is not particularly significant when compared to the rest of Queensland. I would make the caveat here that while Mansfield no longer remarkably stands out with its proportion of Christianity, it is still notable as far as “urban” or “capital-city” divisions are concerned. I would also caveat that there are some notable congregations within these boundaries that residents in surrounding divisions would attend. This perpetuates the notion that Mansfield is a part of Brisbane’s Bible Belt. Neighbouring Chatsworth and Springwood are still notably quite Christian for example.

  4. Agree seq observer, Mansfield may be similar to what areas like epping and carlingford in Sydney were like 10-15 years ago, with a declining share of the ethnically white population and more migrants from Asian background moving in.

  5. Former councilor Amanda Cooper will be recontesting the seat of Aspley for the LNP it was reported in the Courier Mail.

  6. As in 2020, Aspley will be really interesting to watch. It will be a Mellish v Cooper 2020 rematch, and I think it’s the 10th (?) most Marginal Seat Labor-held in Queensland, and by far and away the most marginal Labor-held seat in Brisbane itself (the others all have 10%+ margins, but correct me if I’ve got that all wrong). Lydia Lynch’s article in The Australian today suggests that the LNP are presently on track for a 54-46 2PP, which would mean an 18-seat swing; it’s very hard to see the LNP’s pathway to Majority, or even Minority Government without winning this Aspley.

    Bart Mellish’s elevation to Minister for Transport and Main Roads following the change in Premier might work in his favour (although it’s worth noting that being a former Newman Govt Minister, Tim Nicholls’ Shadow Education Minister, and a LNP frontbencher for 6 years didn’t seem to work in Tracy Davis’ favour when she lost Aspley to Mellish in 2017). Mellish’s 3.99% TPP positive swing in 2020 was on par with the State average, which he probably consolidated to a degree for being a far more polished and present State Rep than his predecessor (in my opinion). However, his promotion to the TMR portfolio could also mean he is now the Minister responsible for explaining conjestion on Gympie Road, and he’ll also likely go into the campaign touting the Beams Road Overpass Project for the third election in a row, with construction only have started in January 2024.

    Cooper is a strong candidate; from memory there was speculation about her possible elevation to the frontbench if she was successful in Aspley 2020, given her tenure in the Council Civic Cabinet. She has been elected as a State LNP Vice President since 2020, and was also appointed to the Board of Infrastructure Australia for a few years after her loss in 2020 – not an insignificant feat for a local gov rep. However, it will have been approx 5 years since she held elected office as Councillor for Bracken Ridge Ward (which only has two suburbs which overlap with the Aspley State Electorate; Bald Hills and Carseldine – I think?) by the time voting starts later in 2024.

    What is interesting about her as a candidate is that, as far as I can tell, she’s the only candidate in Aspley and the overlapping (and quite possibly surrounding) State and Council seats who has actually had a primary vote swing towards them since the LNP electorate high-point of 2012 (albeit a moderate primary swing of 0.77%). In constrast, from the 2016 BCC election onwards all of the other LNP incumbents in Bracken Ridge, McDowall, and Marchant Wards, and in Aspley 2017, had negative primary and 2PP swings.

    The 2020 live video electorate debate series (can’t remember if it was a Courier-Mail or ABC live-steam) got pretty heated between Cooper and Mellish during the Aspley portion – my personal impression watching it was that was a higher-than-average level of animosity between these two candidates, and one can imagine that’s only going to intensified the second time around.

    It is hard to say what issues will affect how this seat falls, but it does seem that crime, particularly car theft, is something of a local issue in LNP-leaning suburbs like Bridgeman Downs and McDowall. On the flip-side there’s a pretty strong anti-development sentiment in those suburbs, so it will be interesting to see the results in the overlapping LNP-held BCC Ward of McDowall (Tracy Davis’ name pops up once again here).

    Aspley is likely too far from the ‘inner city’ to face much of a swing to the Greens; all in all it seems like it is once-again a must-win for a change in Government, so both major parties will be targeting it heavily.

  7. I think Cooper wins this time and I also wouldn’t be surprised if she’s elevated straight into Cabinet. She’s well regarded in the LNP and had a successful career on council. Definitely a strong contender.

  8. Very probable LNP gain. Remember that Aspley was super marginal before the 2020 election. Most of the swing towards Labor in the last election was purely down to COVID.


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