Queensland election 2015

Southport

Margin: Liberal National 14.7%
Region: Gold Coast
Federal: Fadden/Moncrieff

Candidates in ballot paper order

southport-lnp

southport-alp

ROWAN HOLZBERGER
Labor (bottom)

NICOLE STANTON
Palmer United Party

PETRINA MAIZEY
Greens

MATTHEW MACKECHNIE
Independent

ROB MOLHOEK
Liberal National (top)

ELECTORATE MAP

2012 ELECTION RESULTS

DEMOGRAPHICS

Electorate boundary outline courtesy of
Ben Raue of The Tally Room.

Perhaps Labor’s biggest electoral achievement of its glory years from 2001 and 2009 was its success on the traditionally hostile turf of the Gold Coast, exemplified by its hold throughout this period on the electorate of Southport. However, Labor’s unusually strong vote ended up being reflected in particularly savage swings when the backlash struck in 2012, which in Southport’s case saw a 3.5% margin from the 2009 election demolished by a swing of 18.2%.

The suburb that bears the electorate’s name encompasses the region’s business district immediately north of Surfers Paradise, from which the electorate extends eastwards beyond the Pacific Highway to Molendinar and Arundel. The Liberals won the seat on its creation in 1977, but a Labor decision to favour the Nationals on preferences in Gold Coast seats caused it to flip to the Nationals in 1980. It then remained in Nationals hands until 2001, although Labor’s position was greatly improved by the 1992 redistribution, and margins remained narrow through the rest of the decade.

The 2001 landslide delivered Labor a 13.9% swing and a double-digit margin for their candidate Peter Lawlor, a former solicitor and Gold Coast councillor who was successful on his fourth attempt. Lawlor attained a ministerial position after the 2009 election but stepped down in February 2011, with the intention of devoting his energies to his increasingly endangered electorate. This appeared a forlorn gesture by the time of the 2012 election, which delivered a huge winning margin to Liberal National Party candidate Rob Molhoek, a former Gold Coast councillor and unsuccessful candidate for the mayoralty in 2008. Molhoek was immediately promoted to the outer ministry as Assistant Minister for Planning Reform.

Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.

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