Because nothing says Merry Christmas like a review of a safe-ish conservative seat in south-eastern Queensland.
Wright was created at the 2010 election as the latest new seat to be gained by Queensland as part of its ongoing population boom, taking on territory from the Gold Coast electorates of McPherson, Moncrieff and Fadden together with rural areas out to the New South Wales border, which had previously been in Forde and to a smaller extent Rankin. The Gold Coast area had historically been covered by Moreton and later by McPherson and Moncrieff, which were respectively created with the enlargements of parliament in 1949 and 1984, while the north-western areas were covered by Darling Downs and its successor Groom after 1984.
The electorate is lacking a clear centre, combining the inland edge of the Gold Coast and Brisbane’s southern hinterland, Warrego Highway towns to the east of Toowoomba, and rural territory in between. All of its component areas have traditionally been solid for the conservatives, but double-digit swings in Forde and Blair at the 2007 election gave the seat a relatively modest notional Liberal/Nationals margin of 4.8% going into the 2010 election. This has since been boosted by successive swings of 6.4% and 1.7% at the 2010 and 2013 elections.
Wright has been held since its inception by Scott Buchholz, who had previously been chief-of-staff to Barnaby Joyce. Although his background was with the Nationals, the seat had been reserved for the Liberals under the terms of Liberal National Party merger and he sits in the Liberal party room in Canberra. The LNP’s original choice for the seat had been Hajnal Ban, a Logan City councillor who ran for the Nationals in for Forde at the 2007 election. However, Ban was dumped for failing to disclose Civil and Administrative Tribunal action against her over her use of power-of-attorney over the finances of an elderly former council colleague, for which a conviction was recorded against her in 2012. An unsuccessful contender at both preselections was Cameron Thompson, who held Blair for the Liberals from 1998 until his defeat in 2007. Buchholz attained the position of government whip following the election of the Abbott government in September 2013.