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Seat of the week: Brisbane

With the change in the state's political breeze recently, Labor is hungrily eyeing Queensland as a potential source of seats to counterbalance anticipated losses in Sydney. An inner-city seat with the LNP's lowest margin represents an obvious target.

The electorate of Brisbane has existed without interruption since federation, and presently covers the north shore of the Brisbane River from Milton through the CBD to Eagle Farm, extending northwards to Stafford at its western end and Hendra in the east. It was the most surprising of the Liberal National Party’s eight gains in Queensland at the 2010 election, as Labor had held the seat since 1931 outside of the interruption of 1975 to 1980, holding on even in the face of the 1996 disaster which reduced Labor to two Queensland seats. The defeated Labor member was Arch Bevis, who had held the seat since 1990 when he succeeded Manfred Cross, whose tenure went back to 1961. Peter Johnson held the seat for the Liberals from 1975 until 1980, when Cross recovered his old seat on the second attempt.

Brisbane’s complexion was changed somewhat by redistributions in 2004 and 2010, the more recent of which cut the margin from 6.8% to 3.8% by adding 26,500 voters at the eastern end of the electorate at the expense of territory out to Ferny Grove and Upper Kedron in the west and Stafford in the north. The former area included Clayfield and its highly affluent surrounds, which have contributed to the electorate’s current status as the highest-income electorate in Queensland. This proved doubly damaging for Labor as the swings around Clayfield were especially strong, in keeping with a national trend in which the air went out of the Howard-era “doctors’ wives” balloon. The effect was to counterbalance a relatively static result in the inner city, contributing to a decisive 5.7% swing to the LNP. The result was also notable for the 21.3% vote for the Greens (compared with a Labor primary vote of 30.4%), whose candidate was former Democrats Senator and party leader Andrew Bartlett.

The LNP victory facilitated a return to parliament for Teresa Gambaro, who had held the northern Brisbane seat of Petrie from 1996 until her defeat in 2007. Gambaro is a member of a family famous in Brisbane for its seafood business, its restaurant being located in the electorate at Petrie Terrace. Nonetheless, Brisbane did not seem an especially strong prospect for her at the time of preselection, which occurred at the peak of the Rudd government’s fortunes in the opinion polls. Gambaro held parliamentary secretary and assistant minister positions in the final term of the Howard government, and has served as shadow parliamentary secretary for international development assistance and citizenship and settlement throughout the current term. She made headlines in January 2012 when she called for migrants to be given hygiene lessons, for which she subsequently apologised.

Labor has preselected Fiona McNamara, an organiser with the Queensland Teachers Union, of which Arch Bevis was also an official before entering parliament. The union is not affiliated with the ALP, but is said to wield influence in the Labor Unity faction. McNamara has been twice unsuccessful as candidate for Peter Dutton’s northern Brisbane seat of Dickson, falling short by 0.1% in 2007 and 5.1% in 2010.

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2333 comments

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Steve777
Guest

others have pointed out, I am very curious to know who is paying for all this.

Probably a shelf company whose registered address is a post office box in a tax haven. Hopefully a judicial enquiry or royal commission could find out more.

The Finnigans
Guest

herr doktor, them #ruddstoration painful doggys will keep on barking until the cow comes home

Psephos
Guest

[That means the ALP backbench have an uncomfortable Xmas and New Year period coming up when they will be wondering whether they made the right decision earlier in the year!]

No it doesn’t. If Rudd had been restored in February, he would by now be once again in full Captain Queeg mode and Labor would be back in the disaster zone. Plotting would be well advanced to depose him again in the new year. Whatever Labor’s troubles, the large majority of Caucus will not, under any circumstances, have Rudd back. If Gillard’s polling crashes and Caucus decides she has to go (which I don’t think will happen, but it might), they will turn to Shorten or Combet or Smith or Crean or Dick Adams or Beelzebub and all his hounds from Hell before they turn to Rudd. Rudd is finished. He is an ex-parrot. Can we get that through our heads?

Kinkajou
Guest

more work to do

Dee
Guest

Well dog help us all!
Coalition rewarded for their smear.
It will be smear all the way up to 2013.

shellbell
Guest

The state breakdowns when next out will be interesting as to what role NSW is playing.

Utopia
Guest

[James J
Posted Monday, December 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm | PERMALINK
I can confirm that this is the last newspoll for the year.]

Thanks.

That means the ALP backbench have an uncomfortable Xmas and New Year period coming up when they will be wondering whether they made the right decision earlier in the year!

Swing Required
Guest

Great result.

1 It ensures Abbott stays.

2 It’s a snapshot after a smear campaign.

3 There’s plenty to come to easily get back the last fortnight’s waverers.

4 It ensures Abbott stays:)

Utopia
Guest

Update:
54 Newspoll
54 Essential,
54 Galaxy,
53 Nielsen,
52.5 from Morgan phone poll.

Kevin Bonham
Guest

Dee@2313


Was there a correlation between Rabbott’s wall punching revelations and the move Labor’s way?

Looks to me like that does fit the time scale – though the hit was on the Coalition primary and not immediately Abbott’s rating.

CO
Guest

Clearly a disappointing if expected result. The News Ltd rags & the shockjocks have been working themselves into an absolute fever pitch about boats & this is likely to be a key factor in these numbers.

James J
Guest

I can confirm that this is the last newspoll for the year.

Confessions
Guest

Thanks James J, btw. As always appreciate your efforts. 🙂

Confessions
Guest

RUDDSTORATION/ELECTION NOW!

Take your pick, depending on your sensitivities.

Psephos
Guest

“Within market expactations” I believe is the phrase.

BK
Guest

Oh well, they still reckon Abbott’s on the nose!
Night all.

Greensborough Growler
Guest
Greensborough Growler

Diogs,

Ah, that would be management.

Utopia
Guest

Thanks James J

U R a star as always

James J
Guest

Newspoll

54-46 2PP to the coalition

Primaries: Coalition 46, ALP 32 , Greens 11

Better PM: Gillard 43, Abbott 34

Gillard: Satisfied 36, Dissatisfied 52

Abbott: Satisfied 28, Dissatisfied 59

7-9 December . Sample 1173

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