McConnel – Queensland 2024

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  1. potatqes, the 2022 federal election showed us that the LNP is on the way down in this area. If Grace x2 loses here, I predict it will be to the Greens. Issues like law and order that the LNP want to campaign on won’t play well in the inner city, where housing is a much bigger concern. And if I were the LNP, I’d be focusing hard on regional and suburban electorates. Whereas if I were the Greens, McConnel would be my single biggest target seat in the state, alongside Cooper.

  2. Brisbane rent increases are some of the most brutal out of all capital cities, and 2/3 of households in McConnel rent, which is double the state average and, I believe, more than any other state constituency. If Labor are still refusing to freeze or at least cap rent increases by the time the election rolls around then the Greens really don’t have any good excuse not to win here, even if Labor do everything to protect Grace Grace (which they will). But of course the North Brisbane branch has a history of underperforming compared to branches on the west and south side.

  3. McConnel is probably going to be a weird electorate in reaction to rent increases because parts of are also the highest incomes in Brisbane (as distinct from wealth which is mostly a couple of the neighbouring electorates (though I think the north eastern edge probably gets some of that)). There’s also parts that aren’t anywhere near that well off.

  4. McConnel has demographics very typical of Greens seats but also typical of inner-city divisions more generally.

    High education attainment:
    #1 highest High School Completion in Queensland: 72.64%

    Very young population (lots of Gen Z and Millennials)
    #1 highest Age 25 – 34 in Queensland: 31.50%
    #3 highest Age 20 – 24 in Queensland: 12.83%
    #3 highest Age 35 – 44 in Queensland: 16.55%

    #2 highest No Religion in Queensland: 49.60%

    On demographic metrics, McConnel seems like a shoe-in for the Greens. However Grace Grace has established herself as a high-profile MP (as far as state MPs go) within her Education portfolio. Greens might have difficulties overcoming the name-recognition of Grace Grace here, much like they do in the Federal divisions like Grayndler (held by Albanese) and Sydney (Plibersek). Conversely, some would argue though that Jackie Trad was a high-profile MP and was overcome by the Greens.

  5. If Grace Grace ends up high profile for the wrong reasons like Jackie Trad then the Greens could score a victory, especially if the Libs preference them like in South Brisbane. Interesting that the Libs do very well in the overlapping council seat of Central but not at all on a state level, probably reflecting the decentralised nature of QLD state politics which does favour a Trump-style LNP.

  6. I don’t put a lot of stock in Grace’s ‘name recognition’ tbh. She’s not in the same league as Albo and Plibersek, probably not even some on the Qld front bench. I’m more worried about the local Greens themselves, as I’ve mentioned (although they’ve basically solved their factional problems and actually did really well in lots of McConnel booths in 2022), the fact that Labor will throw everything at stopping them, and, very likely, the Libs running third and directing preferences. Still, if the Greens can win South Brisbane then they can win McConnel.

    Interesting stats tho SEQ. p cool website. Yours?

  7. Other thing to note glancing at the stats for McConnel again with fresh eyes is:

    #1 lowest Ages 0 – 4 in Queensland: 2.81%

    Divisions that are young, with large cohorts of millennials and gen Z while at the same time having a vacuum of children (and by extension families) are generally receptive Greens divisions.

    I point to this distinction because there are parts of the great emerging mortgage belt that have a similar “median-age” to some parts of inner-city Brisbane but are largely composed of young children and their parents rather than millennial and gen z renters. Each cohort has differing political attitudes and leanings.

  8. I see people talking about the Greens winning here. Here are the seats in Queensland where the Greens finished with over 20% of the primary vote in 2020:
    Cooper (29.63%)
    Greenslopes (23.43%)
    Maiwar (41.32%)
    McConnel (28.15%)
    Miller (20.64%)
    Moggill (20.58%)
    South Brisbane (37.89%)

    All of these seats are in Brisbane and in most of them the Greens finished third. In all of them, both Labor and the LNP also had primaries of over 20%.

    Seats where the Greens got 15-20% primary:
    Clayfield (17.61%)
    Ferny Grove (15.19%)
    Stafford (16.43%)

    Seats where the Greens got 10-15% primary:
    Barron River (13.17%)
    Buderim (10.82%)
    Bulimba (13.42%)
    Bundamba (10.28%)
    Caloundra (10.11%)
    Glass House (12.93%)
    Jordan (10.74%)
    Lytton (10.55%)
    Maroochydore (11.07%)
    Mount Ommaney (11.03%)
    Nicklin (12.49%)
    Ninderry (12.52%)
    Nudgee (13.23%)
    Sandgate (11.75%)
    Toohey (12.56%)

  9. Nether Portal, a caveat is that there could be a surge in vote for the Greens vote this cycle, just like the federal election which saw vote for Greens in key districts (Ryan, Brisbane and Griffith) all increase by 10% or more.

    Even if the swing isn’t too great statewide given the expected turn to the LNP, just a few percent more in the principal target seats (Cooper and McConnel) is enough for the Greens to surpass Labor and exceed 30%, which is the level they can expect to win from.

  10. Qld Green targets (in order)
    Maiwar (41.32%) (2020 hold)
    South Brisbane (37.89%) (2020 won)

    Cooper (29.63%) (2024 target)
    McConnel (28.15%) (2024 target)

    Greenslopes (23.43%) (2028 target)
    Miller (20.64%) (2028 target)
    Moggill (20.58%) (2028 target)

    Clayfield (17.61%) (2032 target)
    Stafford (16.43%) (2032 target)
    Ferny Grove (15.19%) (2032 target)

    Bulimba (13.42%)
    Nudgee (13.23%)
    Barron River (13.17%)
    Glass House (12.93%)
    Toohey (12.56%)
    Ninderry (12.52%)
    Nicklin (12.49%)
    Sandgate (11.75%)
    Maroochydore (11.07%)
    Mount Ommaney (11.03%)
    Buderim (10.82%)
    Jordan (10.74%)
    Lytton (10.55%)
    Bundamba (10.28%)
    Caloundra (10.11%)

  11. Greens heavily targeted McConnell in 2017 and 2020, it just didn’t work out. Same with Central ward in 2020 and the federal seat of Brisbane in 2016 and 2019.

    With the list above all the seats from Stafford up are credible for the upcoming election based on the efforts required for Greens to hold their 2022 federal gains. Greens have never really campaigned in Ferny Grove or Stafford but now they can’t afford not to – though interestingly Stephen Bates ran for Stafford in 2020.

    Miller is an important beach head if they want to try for Moreton in 2025.

    Bulimba entirely overlaps with Griffith and Greens will need to be active there but it’s hard to see which major party they’d overtake to win.

    Despite not being in the above list there’s some small overlaps with Everton and as an LNP held seat it would be important for Greens to put it in the mix. Chatsworth same but it only has the tiniest overlap. Labor should target those seats and Greens can help get them out of the blue column. Same with Glass House though that’s a different kind of Green voter there.

  12. John, I agree the Greens had better be running a strong campaign in Ferny Grove and Stafford. I wonder if the mere fact that the Greens were able to win seats in 2022 has convinced some people who previously thought the party wasn’t a credible chance at victory that they’re worth giving their first preference to.

    As to how the Greens can win a seat like Bulimba, in an election where the narrative may be against Labor, their best chance is to make it as close to a 33-33-33 contest as possible and either hope Labor fall into third, or the LNP HTVs preference them ahead of Labor. I would have previously considered this a very unlikely outcome, but the victory in Griffith last year means anything is possible. It does remain to be seen whether there’s a state issue the Greens can use to connect with the residents of Bulimba, who as I understand it are wealthier than the rest of Griffith on average.

  13. Grace Grace has her longevity and personal vote but aren’t as effective as they are for regional or suburban MPs because in McConnel, most people are renters and/or aged under 40. This means that many are newly enrolled in the area and/or won’t stay there long so she has the need to reintroduce herself all the time.

    Cooper seems like an easier Greens target. In 2020, Labor fell behind the Greens in the eastern part of Cooper (Milton, Paddington, Red Hill). Also, the primary gap between Labor/LNP/Greens is much tighter.

    LNP preferencing the Greens can cause internal outrage, especially from the conservative and religious right, and often backfires. It might remove just a single Labor MP (e.g. South Brisbane in 2020) but that’s about it.

  14. @Votante I am not quite referring to a personal vote per se for Grace Grace. Grace has established a profile even outside of her division as part of her Education Minister portfolio. A state education minister is a fairly public facing position that is prominent within schools and education more broadly. Think the many teachers and educators employed in Queensland and the many parents who send their children to a State School. A state education minister thus has many tangible touch points for people all over Queensland. This includes transient, newly enrolled, renting communities like those you are referring to living in McConnel. Even if she hasn’t established a “personal vote” within her local community, she will still be a familiar face to those voters who happen to have moved recently to the community.

  15. @SEQ Observer, I might’ve misworded my first post. I agree that Grace Grace has established her name from her time as the Minister for Education as well as Industrial Relations. You make some valid points about the public-facing nature of her role in the education system. There may be high-school graduates
    who have seen/heard of Grace Grace (her name is so, so easy to remember) from school award ceremonies or photo ops etc. and are now voting age in McConnel.

    As people in inner Brisbane are more transient and younger, they may have less of a personal attachment to her as their local MP, even though they may know her as a state minister. Do you think that an inner city MP has less of a local, personal MP than say a regional MP from outside SEQ?

  16. It was reported in the Courier Mail there is speculation Grace Grace won’t recontest McConnell. Labor would have a very hard time withstanding the Greens onslaught in McConnell without the incumbency of Grace. The Greens already have federal resources with the seat of Brisbane in the area. Grace was quoted in the article though that she wanted to continue.

  17. In the Australian reported last month that polling for the Together public sector union showed Labor on track to lose the inner Brisbane seats of Bulimba, Cooper and McConnel to the Greens. I know even some Greens on the blogs are skeptical of Bulimba, but Paul Williams did mention of potential two Greens seat gains in his commentary on the ABC. My guess is Cooper and McConnel are the ones under the pump. Steven Miles environment announcement, Queensland will set in law a new emissions reductions target of 75 per cent by 2035. Suggests Labor must be concerned of the Greens threat by their internal polling.

  18. I personally feel that McConnel is more under threat there are a lot of younger people moving more apartments while in Cooper is more suburban and Jonty Bush could have built a personal vote in the last 3 years. I think Labor undeperformed in Cooper in 2020 due to the retirement of Kate Jones.

  19. @Political Nightwatchman I would even go further to suggest that this is why Labor have selected Miles, a fresh-faced and well-know young leader as Premier, going into the election. Part of a strategy to attempt to be more appealing to these inner-City divisions being targeted by the Greens.

    This might not matter though for McConnell. On every significant demographic indicator, McConnell is on paper, the most typical look-a-like division for the Greens. If Grace Grace is not recontesting as some rumours have been suggesting, this will be an even easier gain for Greens. Her high profile portfolio is one of the main contributors to Labor’s elated first preference votes in this division. While this was a classic contest in 2020 (not by much), this could even end up being a Greens vs LNP contest in 2024.

  20. “If Grace Grace is not recontesting as some rumours have been suggesting, this will be an even easier gain for Greens.”

    @SEQ Observer

    I’d be now surprised if Grace Grace doesn’t recontest. Labor set MP’s a deadline by the end of October if they intended to go which former cabinet member Stirling Hinchliffe advised the party. Grace Grace is continuing in cabinet and has indicated she will recontest McConnell. Unless for some unforeseen circumstances, I think that speculation whether she will stay or go has now been put to rest.

  21. @Political Nightwatchman I expect a few more Labor MPs to announce their retirement regardless of that deadline just as Barry O’Rourke (the member for Rockhampton) did. Don’t think Grace will be among them though.

    Even with her as an incumbent I would currently expect The Greens to win McConnel and Cooper but I’m skeptical of Bulimba. There’s a number of seats in Brisbane that I’m interested in seeing their performance in as well, such as Greenslopes, Miller, Moggill, Clayfield. etc.

  22. I think it would be a big challenge to win LNP-held seats like Clayfield and Moggill in an election that seems to be going against Labor broadly. But not impossible. We need only look at 2022 when they gained a seat from Labor despite the election broadly going against the LNP.

  23. Wilson, I don’t think Moggill will be in play because it covers the more conservative leaning parts of Ryan where the LNP vote was still >45%, too high for the leading candidate to lose even under full preferential voting.

    As for Clayfield, that is a longer shot target and is probably the one LNP seat that may still remain marginal after this election.

  24. @ Wilson
    From a purely demographic perspective i would expect the Greens to make the 2CP in Mogill and longer term in Clayfield

  25. Agree Nimalan that the Greens will probably make the final count for both Clayfield and Moggill (similar to what happens for North Shore/Eastern Suburbs seats of Sydney where the ALP vote is suppressed, resulting in Liberal vs Greens contests for the 2CP count).

  26. The Greens will likely make the TCP count in Clayfield and Moggill, plus maybe some other seats. But they won’t necessarily win the seats.

    Although the federal seat of Ryan includes the state seat of Moggill and the Brisbane ward of Pullenvale (and they are all very similar in shape), Ryan stretches from the outer suburbs where the LNP vote is still high to the inner-city where the Greens vote is increasingly high. Moggill includes the western parts of Ryan (and Pullenvale includes the western parts of Moggill), which are the outer suburbs.

    As for Clayfield, which is a marginal seat (currently held by former LNP leader Tim Nicholls): it and several LNP-held Brisbane City Council wards overlap with a few federal electorates (and the wards overlap with a few state electorates). The suburb of Clayfield itself is in the federal seat of Brisbane but the booth in Clayfield recorded an LNP majority in 2022 (though nevertheless the Greens vote in Clayfield was higher than the Labor vote). Clayfield is in the state seat of the same name and the BCC ward of Hamilton, both LNP-held seats.

    The seat of Clayfield overlaps with the federal seats of Brisbane (Greens) and Lilley (Labor). Yet on the state level it’s an LNP seat.

  27. Yoh An, I would describe Moggill and Clayfield as both unlikely to flip, but as I said before, not impossible. That would only happen with a strong ground campaign though, and I believe there are multiple targets for the Greens that are more likely to fall than either of those two (McConnel, Cooper, Greenslopes, maybe even Bulimba or Miller in a very good election for them). So I don’t expect either of the two to flip this time.

  28. Cooper and McConnel are both marginal Labor/Greens seats on the 3CP count – Cooper requires a Labor-to-Greens swing of ~2%, McConnel requires a Labor-to-Greens swing of ~3%. They’re by far the most likely gains for the Greens.

    Next most likely are Greenslopes & Miller which need about 9% and 10% 3CP Labor-to-Greens swings, respectively. Those are relatively large swings but we did see those sort of swings to the Green happen against an unpopular government at the federal election, so they seem to be within the realm of possibility.

    Bulimba is an unusual case because the Greens had a strong result there in the federal election but were nowhere to be seen last state election, unlike the previous seats. If they can manage to convert federal Greens voters into state Greens voters, it could genuinely be winnable despite the ridiculous swing required on paper but it’s very hard to say how likely that is. There has been some seat polling claiming the Greens are in a winning position though.

    Clayfield and Moggill just don’t seem very possible in an election where there is expected to be some general Labor to LNP swing, but I expect the Greens to make it into second in Moggill at the very least. The area covered by the seat of Clayfield is mostly the part of the seat of Brisbane that still strongly voted for the LNP at the federal election (there’s a little bit that favoured the Greens). Not much of the population actually overlaps with Lilley, that part is nearly entirely the airport.

    A key thing for many of these seats will be who the LNP preferences on their HTV cards, as that’s likely to be decisive for any seats that end up with Labor/Greens as the top 2. Past elections have shown that LNP preferences tend to flow 2/3rds to whoever out of Labor/Greens are highest on the HTV in Labor/Greens contests. If the LNP preference the Greens, that makes Greenslopes/Miller/Bulimba substantially easier to win for the Greens.

  29. Most of the booths in Clayfield, had Labor outpolling the Greens. It was the one area where this consistently happened. So I’m not entirely sure the Greens will finish 2nd here

    Whoever the Libs preference is kind of irrelevant. In all the Greens target seats, except for South Brisbane, the Libs will make the final 2 and their preferences won’t be distributed.

    For what it’s worth on federal election figures Greens would win: South Brisbane, Cooper, Maiwar, McConnel, Greenslopes and maybe Bulimba (Labor barely outpolled the Greens, but they could of overtaken them on preferences). Labor outpoll the Greens in Clayfield (Libs still win) and Moggill is LNP vs Green (LNP wins).

    But people vote differently on state and fed figures so these numbers have a lot of asterisk next to them. Labor is not currently polling as badly as they did in the 2022 fed election in QLD as well. Their primary vote is quite a bit higher.

  30. Any of Greenslopes, Miller and Bulimba ending up as Labor/Greens 2CP contests is very possible, given Labor’s high primary vote in those seats, in which case LNP preferences would be crucial.

    I also doubt the Greens will make the final two in Clayfield this election.

  31. The 3CP of the Liberals at the last state election

    Cooper: 34.9%
    McConnel: 33.05%
    Greenslopes: 33.2%
    Miller: 33.02%
    Bulimba: 35.97%

    Given you need >33.34% to automatically make the 2CP count, and last election was a particular bad election for the LNP, especially in the inner city, it seems extremely likely they’ll make the 2CP in all of the seats. If they don’t, then it would suggest they are having a large amount of trouble in the inner city and that Moggill and Clayfield would be potentially in play.

  32. Grace has been moved out of the education portfolio and given the responsibility for the 2032 Olympics. Given all the controversies around the Olympics and redevelopment of the Gabba, has she just been handed a hospital pass that will subtract from her good reputation?

  33. Greens gain with Labor slipping into third, just. Grace Grace is an exceptionally popular MP with a huge local profile, but I just see this flipping this time.

    LNP vote will hover around the 30% mark, with Greens on 35% and Labor 28%.

    Once this seat is gone Green, that’s it. Like South Brisbane, it won’t return to Labor.

  34. I think this will be a tight ALP retain, given Grace’s recognition. It’s fairly difficult to doorknock and letterbox all the apartments and complexes that make up the majority of this electorate, so Grace has the advantage of being well known in the community. Once Grace Grace retires, Labor faces a lot more trouble. The only way they could retain this would be to have a candidate who is already well known in the community, and run a strong social media campaign.

  35. If Labor loses government but Grace Grace holds on here, a by-election happening here would not surprise me.

  36. @BJA if Labor holds this and Grace Grace resigns I would be sure the Greens would win the by-election.

  37. If Labor holds on in inner-city seats like this then they could gain back Brisbane on LNP preferences.

  38. I put this as a tossup as I’m not as bullish on the Greens as some are.

    The anti-Labor swings and pro-LNP swings will be more pronounced in outer suburbia and regional and rural electorates than the inner city. The Greens marginally beat Labor in 3CP at the last fed election in Brisbane and won with Labor preferences.

    There might be a personal vote for Grace Grace. An MP may be rewarded if voters see them as supportive and sticking with them through floods etc. An example is Janelle Saffin from Lismore, whose city got flooded. She got massive swings at the last NSW state election. I’m not sure if Grace Grace would be in the same league.

    The Greens flipped South Brisbane in 2020. Given their growing vote and gentrification, it was going to happen sooner or later, like what happened in Griffith federally. What made it happen sooner was the ex-Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad, who resigned from her job in a cloud of controversy and the LNP preferencing the Greens ahead of Labor. Neither factors are present in McConnel.

  39. It was reported in the Courier Mail there is debate in the LNP. That the LNP should preference the Greens ahead of Labor in this seat (ala Jackie Trad South Brisbane in 2020). Their other strategists who suggested that even if Labor retained McConnel. They still would have to commit resources in the seat to fend off the Greens in the future. I don’t think it will happen. I read the mining resources industry ruled out campaigning for the LNP last election. After they preferenced the Greens in 2020.


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