Noosa – Queensland 2024

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  1. Current Noosa mayor Clare Stewart has officially been endorsed as the LNP’s candidate for Noosa at next year’s state election. I don’t know much about Noosa local issues, or how much of following Stewart has but I can’t see the LNP dislodging independent Sandy Bolton. It seems once a independent has got a seat they have got it and it’s very difficult to dislodge them from either major party. Peter Wellington the former state MP for Nicklin being a classic example.

    Its a year to the next Queensland state election, but my tip is Bolton retains.

  2. Not sure if she’s a sure bet considering independents here in Victoria were dislodged by mayors. Yes this is different to country Victoria however I see no reason how Suzanna Sheed and Ali Cupper were unpopular. It’s obvious the sandbagging politics by the coalition my making loads of promises and putting high profile candidates (mayors of areas that represent a large portion of the seat thus instant name recognition. and those who voted for the candidates as mayor might be open to voting for them as MP especially if they were a popular mayor)

    Considering the Noosa mayor probably represents almost the entire electorate as mayor (even more than the National party MP’s in Victoria do) you would have to think they are confident of at least making this close.

    However on the flip side, the LNP might be worried they can’t win marginal Labor seats (much like the coalition in Victoria) so they just try to defend their turf and dislodge the independents instead hoping that they won’t be in play in the election after that which would help them win majority government. the LNP see Bolton as an obstruction to their hopes of winning so making this an LNP seat could save them in 2028 especially if Bolton keeps running.

    I’m not sure how to read it, but Bolton should be worried and at the same time the LNP should be worried if they can’t win Labor marginals.

  3. Daniel, Noosa is probably different compared to the rural Victorian seats that the Nationals managed to win because it is known for being a ‘hipster’ or alternative lifestyle area similar to the NSW seat of Ballina. As a result, voters may prefer to continue backing a left leaning/progressive MP instead of switching to one from the conservative parties.

    In Ballina the Nationals ran Ben Franklin, but he failed to make headway against incumbent MP Tamara Smith.

  4. @yoh an that’s because the nationals usually represent rural and regional areas. Given the urbanization of ballina a liberal candidate would have failed better. The lnp will need to select a more moderate candidate or centre right. In all other jurisdictions other then NSW they would run both candidates but given OPV in NSW they don’t want to split the vote so they have agreed upon divisions to run.

  5. Back in 2015 the Greens were the Runner up in this seat trailing the LNP by an 8.6% Margin, it would’ve been interesting to see what would have happened if Sandy Bolton decided not to run in this seat, the Greens winning Noosa may have been a possibility in 2024 at the earliest if that was the case.

  6. Even a brilliant LNP Candidate would have a hard time dislodging Sandy Bolton. She was essentially a ‘Teal’ long before it was cool. Noosa seems to be prime teal territory too – a lot of wealthy residents, and a strong anti-development, pro-environment local sentiment. From memory the 2020 LNP Candidate James Blevin was running a strong, environment-oriented campaign, and the vibe was that everyone was running a very ‘clean’ campaign free of mud-slinging on all sides in Noosa last time; despite this, the LNP Vote went backwards.

    When Bolton won the seat, she was a Deputy Mayor of the Noosa Shire Council. Clearly that gave her some recognition, but I’d argue it’s fair to say most people don’t know who the Deputy Mayor is in their local Council anywhere in Australia. The LNP running an incumbent Mayor is probably the best shot they’ve got, but I just don’t think it will be nearly enough. If Mayor Clare Stewart ran as an alternative Teal option to Bolton, she’d have a better chance, even if she made it known that she’d support a LNP Minority Gov if no one wins a Majority in the Legislative Assembly. Bolton seems to be a prime example of the inherent advantages that prominent independents have over the Libs in these blue-turned-teal seats; it really seems that they benefit from the LNP performing poorly, but don’t see their brand suffer when Labor performs poorly. The LNP running the local Mayor is a smart move, but even then it just seems like there’s a fundamental failure on their part to understand that the appeal of a prominent local politician running as their candidate isn’t inherently because of their track record in local government – this is only politically ‘useful’ for name recognition locally. Instead, the appeal of a semi-prominent local independent MP option is that they’re perceived to be working solely in the interest of the local area, rather than having this as a secondary priority to the agenda of a party room. That being said, the result in Noosa 2024 will really be worth delving into, because it will provide a pretty useful gauge what sort of chance the LNP have of clawing back seats lost to the Teals nationally. If they can’t win, or at least see a significant swing, in a cycle where they’ve got a well-liked local mayor running against a teal incumbent MP, amidst the backdrop of an increasingly unpopular incumbent Labor Government, then I’d argue there’s no hope for the LNP in teal seats in Metro Areas anywhere in Australia, and they’ll need to start thinking seriously about how they can loosely bring the Teals into the Coalition in order to be able to have a serious chance at forming Government at a Federal Level. I’d go so far as to say that if Bolton wins and doesn’t see a significant negative swing, it points to a Menzies-style period of extended political dominance for Labor at a Federal Level (even with the Greens’ continued rise).

    For what it’s worth, Bolton does seem like a decent candidate who has a good track record as the Noosa MP. The comments I’ve made here don’t really acknowledge that on a personal level she seems to be quite sincere, hard working and dedicated to the ‘Duty’ aspect of the job; something you could say is sometimes hard to find in candidates running under a major party’s banner.

  7. Bolton is a very well-liked, respected and hardworking ‘Tealish’ independent and the LNP have selected a formidable candidate in Clare Stewart, who from all accounts is equally, if not more popular. This will be a fascinating contest, but unless Clare’s primary vote lifts to at least 47%, I see Sandy holding on.

    Sandy will receive Labor + Green preferences and if her vote stays relatively strong (anywhere above 35%) she should be fine.

    I believe Mark Denham is running again for Labor – having run a few times now.

  8. this will probably be an indpendant hold unless she is somehow tied to the labor govt i cant see the libs taking away enough of her vote and the labor vote probably cant shirnk any more

  9. Agree PRP, Bolton is probably like Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith who whilst having progressive leanings isn’t really in the mould of the inner-city Greens who hold more socialist type views. As a more teal like Independent she should be able to retain the seat even in an anti-Labor environment.

  10. Could Labor ever make the 2CP again in Noosa or will the Greens outpoll Labor one Sandy Bolton retires?

  11. Nimalan, I think Noosa once Sandy Bolton retires may end up being a Greens vs LNP seat similar to Ballina. Both have a dominant alternative lifestyle or ‘hippie’ culture so voters would prefer to back the Greens rather than Labor.

  12. Noosa has less of an alternative culture than the seat of Ballina. Without an independent, it would be a safe LNP vs green contest.

  13. labor are facing the same threats from the greens in seats like these as the coalition are facing with the teals the only difference is that when a green retires another is there to take its place as its a party whereas when the teals retire their is no party perse to put up another candidate sure they can have the same resources and movement but its not as effective as a party vote

  14. @ Yoh An
    I tend to agree with you that it is not really a seat i see Labor having any future. Labor held it during the Beattie years and the old seat of Cooroora helped Wayne Goss form government in 1989.

  15. @ John
    I would say it is slightly different to what Labor is facing from the Greens. I think a better analogy is the threat Labor faces from a Dai Le Style independent as both Dai Le and the Teals rely on tactical voting from the other party. The threat the Labor party faces from the Greens is mostly due to gentrification which is not the case in Fowler. Liberal voters dont tactically vote for the Greens so they make the 2CP while they did that in Fowler. For the Coalition to defeat the Teals they need to get around 45% of the primary vote but Labor probably only needs 40% primary to win Fowler as they get a better preference flow.


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