Barron River – Queensland 2024

ALP 3.1%

Incumbent MP
Craig Crawford, since 2015.

Far North Queensland. Barron River covers the northern suburbs of Cairns, including Smithfield, Redlynch and Kuranda. Most of the electorate lies in the Cairns local government area, with small parts contained in Douglas Shire.

The electorate of Barron River was first created for the 1972 election. At most elections this seat has been won by one of the parties who won the election.

Bill Wood won the seat for the ALP in 1972. He had previously sat as Member for Cook since 1969. He lost Barron River in 1974. He later served as a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly from 1989 to 2004.

Martin Tenni won Barron River for the National Party in 1974. He held the seat until 1989, when the seat was won by Lesley Clark of the ALP, as part of the Labor Party’s return to government after decades of conservative rule.

Clark lost to Lyn Warwick of the Liberal Party in 1995 before returning to the seat in 1998. She retired in 2006.

Steve Wettenhall was elected for the ALP in 2006. He was re-elected in 2009, and served as a parliamentary secretary from 2009 to 2012.

In 2012, LNP candidate Michael Trout defeated Wettenhall. Trout was felled in 2015 by Labor candidate Craig Crawford. Crawford was re-elected in 2017 and 2020.


Barron River is a marginal Labor seat.

2020 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Craig Crawford Labor 12,385 39.5 +6.0
Linda Cooper Liberal National 12,092 38.5 +7.9
Aaron Mcdonald Greens 4,134 13.2 +0.7
Susan Andrews One Nation 1,852 5.9 -10.9
Adam Rowe Informed Medical Options 575 1.8 +1.8
Jenny Brown United Australia 345 1.1 +1.1
Informal 1,059 3.3

2020 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Craig Crawford Labor 16,653 53.1 +1.2
Linda Cooper Liberal National 14,730 46.9 -1.2

Booth breakdown

Booths in Barron River have been divided into three areas: centre, north and south.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two out of three areas, with 58.8% in the centre and 59% in the north. The LNP polled 52.1% in the south.

The Greens came third, with a primary vote ranging from 12.3% in the south to 17.6% in the north.

Voter group GRN prim % ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
North 17.6 59.0 5,866 18.7
South 12.3 47.9 2,641 8.4
Central 17.0 58.8 1,851 5.9
Pre-poll 11.1 50.2 13,668 43.6
Other votes 12.8 54.1 7,357 23.4

Election results in Barron River at the 2020 Queensland state election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for Labor, the Liberal National Party and the Greens.

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  1. This has voted for a government MP since 1974 (if you count 1995 as a Coalition victory), I can’t see this changing in 2024.

    Whoever wins here should be sitting on the government benches, as to which party, ask me in a year.

  2. Crawford should have built up a good profile now as a minister, and (since Pitt’s absence of leave) the most senior ALP figure in Far North Queensland. Having said that, Barron River is historically a bellweather and if the LNP can find the right candidate, this will be one to watch.

  3. @NQ View
    Surely him retiring makes it harder for Labor to retain the seat?
    This seat is a bellwether, so if Labor does not hold, they are likely losing 13 other seats!

  4. Massive prepoll here last time which is why the LNP only won in the south and at Clifton Beach. The LNP came close to winning the prepolls.

  5. LNP TPP in Barron River/Leichhardt, federal vs state:

    Caravonica: 51.06% vs 48.94%
    Clifton Beach: 59.30% vs 52.20%
    Freshwater: 48.70% vs 50.21%
    Holloways Beach: 48.29% vs 35.86%
    Kewarra Beach: 56.98% vs 43.31%
    Kuranda: 42.60% vs 28.79%
    Machans Beach: 37.43% 32.22%
    Redlynch: 50.45% vs 53.91%
    Smithfield: 42.75% vs 41.89%
    Stratford: 45.88% vs 49.24%
    Trinity Beach: 49.81% vs 43.63%
    Yorkeys Knob: 47.30% vs 38.14%

    So the LNP performed better at the 2022 federal election than at the 2022 state election in all but three booths in this seat. Those three booths were located in the suburbs of Freshwater, Redlynch and Stratford.

    The federal LNP won two booths that state Labor won (Caravonica and Kewarra Beach), while the state LNP won one booth that federal Labor won (Freshwater). However, although there is a gap between federal/state TPP (with the size of the gap varying by booth), every other booth was won by the same party on the federal and state level.

  6. Bree James is running a very effective social media campaign and is the exact person the LNP would need to win and defend a seat like Barron River. As a bellwether seat, I can’t see how Labor holds onto it this time.

    Craig seems to have been a good local MP, but when the tide turns, this seat falls quickly.

  7. Agree with PRP and Nether Portal about this. Bree is a star in the making but will most likely have to focus on holding this rather than Ministerial work. Maybe she gets an assistant Ministry.

  8. @LNP CRH honestly I think it will be something like 60% LNP TPP or at least like 57% LNP TPP. Labor risks being reduced to just 12 seats.

    My prediction is that 2024 won’t be a massive landslide reducing the opposition to less than a full soccer/cricket team but then loses power to the same opposition after just one term (even though Labor only won a minority in 2015 and the LNP had the highest primary vote, Labor still had a higher TPP and a higher seat total than any other party). I think it’ll be more like NSW in 2011: a long-serving Labor government finally loses to a Coalition opposition in a landslide with a massive swing statewide endangering many seats that were once safe and potentially changing the electoral landscape. Think about it: NSW Labor won’t ever get Bathurst back, the Liberals still hold Drummoyne, Ryde and Winston Hills, albeit marginally (the former was usually a safe Labor seat), and Western Sydney changed from being a Labor heartland to the number-one battleground region (more so than the Central Coast).


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