State Election 2020 : The Key Seats to Watch
Townsville - ALP 0.4%
The electorate of Townsville covers the central business district and inner suburbs of Townsville around Castle Hill and Townsville Airport, as well as Magnetic Island and the more distant Aboriginal community on Palm Island. As with neighbouring Mundingburra and Thuringowa, Townsville fell the LNP in 2012 but was won back by Labor in 2015. Labor's Scott Stewart was narrowly re-elected in 2017 and will again face a tough challenge in 2020. The LNP candidate is John Hathaway, who won the seat in 2012 but was defeated by Stewart in 2015. The seat will attract one of the largest fields at the election, including Joshua Schwarz from Katter's Australian Party and former Rugby League player Greg Dowling for the United Australia Party. Dowling contested the local seat of Herbert for the UAP at the 2019 Federal election, and also ran for Townsville Mayor in March this year.
Gaven - ALP 0.7%
Gaven is a hinterland electorate in the northern Gold Coast covering the suburbs of Gaven, Nerang, Mount Nathan, Highland Park, most of Pacific Pines and Carrara, and parts of Worongary. Gaven was won at the 2017 election by Labor's Meaghan Scanlon, the first Labor victory on the Gold Coast since the 2009 election. The LNP candidate is Kirsten Jackson.
Mundingburra - ALP 1.1%
Aspley - ALP 1.2%
The electorate of Aspley covers outer northern parts of Brisbane City Council. It includes the suburbs of Bridgeman Downs, Carseldine, Aspley and parts of Bald Hills, McDowall, Chermside West, Zillmere and Geebung. It covers some of the stronger Liberal voting parts of Brisbane and has been won by the Liberal Party at six of the 10 elections since the introduction of one vote one value electoral boundaries in 1992. Aspley was a surprise gain by Labor's Bart Mellish in 2017, and he will defend the seat in 2020 against the LNP's Amanda Cooper, who represented much of the seat on Brisbane City Council between 2007 and 2019.
Mansfield - ALP 1.6%
The electorate of Mansfield covers the outer south-east Brisbane suburbs of Mansfield, Wishart, Upper Mount Gravatt, Mount Gravatt East, Mackenzie, Rochedale, parts of Mount Gravatt and Carindale. It was one of the few Brisbane seats retained by the LNP in 2015 before being nudged into the Labor column by the 2016 redistribution, a result confirmed when Labor's Corrine McMillan was elected in 2017. The LNP candidate in 2020 is Janet Wishart.
Barron River - ALP 1.9%
The electorate of Barron River covers the northern parts of Cairns and areas along the coast from Cairns Airport to Palm Cove. It also includes Stratford, Smithfield, Redlynch and Kuranda. It has been won by Labor at nine of the 11 elections since 1989, the two losses in 1995 and 2012 occurring at elections that produced Coalition/LNP governments. Almost always a marginal seat, and one where Labor usually relies on preferences to win, Labor's Craig Crawford will defend the seat against the LNP's Linda Cooper, who served on Cairns Region 2008-12 and is a former local FM radio host.
Maryborough - ALP 2.5% v ONP
The electorate of Maryborough covers the City of Maryborough and surrounding rural areas, also stretching north to take in western parts of Hervey Bay between Burrum Heads and Toogoom. The victory of Labor's Bruce Saunders at the 2015 election was one of the unexpected Labor gains that helped put the Palaszczuk government in office. Saunders was re-elected in 2017 in the face of a strong challenge from One Nation. Saunders' opponents in 2020 are Denis Chapman for the LNP and Sharon Lohse for One Nation.
Keppel - ALP 3.1% v ONP
Keppel is based on Yeppoon, Emu Park and the northern suburbs of Rockhampton. Re-created as a seat in 1992, Keppel was won at its first four contests by the National Party's popular Vince Lester, but has been won by the Labor Party at five of the six elections since. Current Labor MP Brittany Lauga gained Keppel for Labor at the 2015 election, and she survived a strong challenge from One Nation at the 2017 election. One Nation will again be a major competitor in 2017, its candidate Wade Rothery having finished second in neighbouring Rockhampton in 2017. The new LNP candidate is Adrian de Groot.
Redlands - ALP 3.1%
In the Redlands Council area to the east and south-east of Brisbane, the electorate of Redlands includes the suburbs of Victoria Point, Redland Bay and part of Thornlands, as well as the populated islands of Moreton Bay. Redlands was one of the seats the LNP retained at the 2015 election but then lost in 2017. Labor MLA Kim Richards will defend the seat against the LNP's Henry Pike.
South Brisbane - ALP 3.6% v GRN
South Brisbane covers the inner southern suburbs of Brisbane directly opposite the Brisbane CBD, including West End, Highgate Hill, Kangaroo Point, East Brisbane, South Brisbane, Woolloongabba, Dutton Park and parts of Annerley. The seat has been held by Labor's Jackie Trad since succeeding former Premier Anna Bligh at a 2012 by-election. The decision of the LNP to recommend preferences to Trad ahead of Green candidate Amy MacMahon allowed Trad to retain the seat in 2017, but the LNP has stated it will put Labor last in 2020. Trad has been lower profile since losing the Deputy Premiership and will have a tough fight trying to hold South Brisbane. Amy MacMahon is again the Green's candidate, while the LNP has nominated Clem Grehan, who previously contested South Brisbane at the state election and by-election in 2012.
Thuringowa - ALP 4.1% v ONP
Thuringowa is a Townsville based electorate that covers the Townsville suburbs of Heatley, Kirwan, Thuringowa Central, Condon, Rasmussen, Kelso and parts of Bohle Plains. Labor's Aaron Harper was first elected in 2015, and his re-election from a very low first preference vote of 32.2% in 2017 was helped by the LNP's decision to recommend preference to him ahead of the One Nation candidate who finished second. The LNP candidate is Natalie Marr, the Katter's Australian Party candidate is Julianne Wood.
McConnel - ALP 7.9%
Known as Brisbane Central until 2017, the electorate of McConnel includes the Brisbane CBD and the suburbs of New Farm, Teneriffe, Newstead, Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Herston, Spring Hill, Petrie Terrace and parts of Kelvin Grove. It is held by Education and Industrial Relations minister Grace Grace, who faces a two pronged challenge in 2020. Her LNP opponent is Pinky Singh, but the bigger threat for Labor is if Green candidate Kirsten Lovejoy reaches second place, in which case LNP preferences would probably elect Lovejoy. Or McConnel could see a repeat of Maiwar at the 2017 election when Labor slipped to third place and saw its preferences elect the Greens.
Whitsunday (*) - LNP 0.7%
Covers the stretch of coast running north from the northern suburbs of Mackay along the Bruce Highway to Proserpine, and includes the offshore islands of the Whitsunday Passage. Other main centres include Cannonvale, Airlie Beach and Calen. Whitsunday has been held by Jason Costigan since 2012, but he was expelled from the LNP in 2019 and will re-contest for his new party, North Queensland First. The Labor candidate is Angie Kelly, LNP candidate Amanda Camm, One Nation will nominate Deb Lawson and the Katter's Australian Party candidate is Ciaron Patterson.
Burdekin - LNP 0.8%
Burdekin is a mixed north Queensland electorate that stretches along the Bruce Highway and the Pacific Ocean coast from Bowen to just south of Townsville, but also extends south into mining and agricultural districts as far as Moranbah and Clermont. The electorate is the state's fifth largest at 78,681 square kilometres. It was won by the LNP's Dale Last at the 2015 election, and he notionally won it back from Labor in 2017 after the addition of more mining towns in the redistribution had overturned the LNP majority. As in 2017 his Labor opponent will be Whitsunday Councillor and former minier Mike Brunker.
Pumicestone - LNP 0.8%
The most northern of the Moreton Bay Regional Council electorate, Pumicestone has two distinct ends, covering Bribie Island and the nearby mainland in the east, and parts of Caboolture north of the D'Aguilar Highway in the west. It was taken back from Labor in 2017 by the LNP's Simone Wilson, but she has chosen to retire for family reasons after one term. The new LNP candidate is Fiona Gaske, opposed by Labor's Ali King.
Bonney - LNP 1.7%
Bonney includes the northern Gold Coast suburbs of Arundel, Parkwood, Labrador and parts of Biggera Waters and Southport. It was a new seat first contested at the 2017 election, a marginal seat that combined the Labor leaning end of Broadwater seat with northern parts of Southport. It was won at its first contest by the LNP's Sam O'Connor and he will be opposed at the 2020 election by Labor's Ash Borg.
Clayfield - LNP 2.4%
Clayfield runs along the northern bank of the Brisbane River and includes the suburbs of Gordon Park, Lutwyche, Windsor, Wooloowin, Albion, Clayfield, Hendra, Ascot, Hamilton, Eagle Farm and Pinkenba. It is one of Brisbane's traditional Liberal voting seats and has been won by the Liberal Party/LNP at eight of the 10 elections since 1992. Labor's only victories were at the 2001 and 2004 Beattie landslides before current LNP member Tim Nicholls was first elected in 2006. Nicholls suffered a 4% swing against him in 2017, reducing his margin to just 2.4% for the 2020 election. Nicholls was LNP Leader at the 2017 election so will have more time to devote to Clayfield in 2020. The Labor candidate will again be Philip Anthony.
Chatsworth - LNP 2.9%
Covers the Brisbane south-east suburbs of Belmont, Carindale, Carina Heights, Gumdale, Chandler and Walkerley, as well as parts of Camp Hill, Carina and Tingalpa. The seat was first won by Labor's Terry Mackenroth in 1977, and he went on to serve as a senior minister and Deputy Premier. He resigned from Parliament in 2005 and the Liberal Party won Chatsworth at a by-election. Labor won the seat back narrowly in 2006, and won again by just 74 votes in 2009. Current LNP MP Steve Minnikin was easily elected at the 2012 election and re-elected at both the 2015 and 2017 election. He is currently Shadow Minister for Transport and Roads. His Labor opponent in 2020 is Lisa O'Donnell.
Currumbin - LNP 3.3%
Currumbin is the southernmost Gold Coast electorate, hugging the New South Wales border and including the suburbs of Coolangatta, Bilinga, Tugun, Currumbin, Currumbin Waters, Elanora and parts of Tallebudgera. Currumbin was held by the LNP's Jann Stuckey from 2004 until resigning in early 2020. This created a by-election, held in conjunction with the local government elections in March, where current MLA Laura Gerber was first elected. There was a swing to Labor at the by-election reducing the LNP margin to 1.2%. As at the by-election, the Labor candidate is Kaylee Campradt.
Caloundra - LNP 3.4%
Caloundra is a southern Sunshine Coast electorate that covers parts of Currumundi and Caloundra as well as the Caloundra headland beaches, Golden Beach, Pelican Waters and parts of Little Mountain and Caloundra West south of Caloundra Road. West of the Bruce Highway it also includes Glenview, Landsborough and Beerwah. It has been won by the Liberal Party/LNP at every elections since its first contest in 1992 but has rarely been a safe seat. In 2020 the LNP is losing the advantage of incumbency with the retirement of former Liberal Leader Mark McArdle. The new LNP candidate is Stewart Coward, opposed by Labor's Jason Hunt.
Glass House - LNP 3.4%
Glass House is a mixed rural-urban electorate north of Caboolture and covers most of the inland parts of the southern Sunshine Coast. It includes Upper Caboolture, Mount Mee, Elimbah, Beerburrum, Glass House Mountains, Peachester, Mooloolah, Eudlo, Montville, Maleny and Conondale. It was won by Labor during the decade of Beattie landslides, but a redistribution and return to more normal levels of Labor vote saw it won by the LNP's Andrew Powell in 2009. His margin blew out in 2012, but Powell was only narrowly re-elected in 2015 before boosting his margin in 2017. For the third election in a row the Labor candidate is Brent Hampstead.
Theodore - LNP 3.7%
Theodore covers rapidly growing parts of the northern Gold Coast hinterland including Oxenford, Maudsland and parts of Upper Coomera, Helensvale and Pacific Pines. It was one of the new marginal Gold Coast seats created by the redistribution ahead of the 2017 election and was won narrowly by the LNP's Mark Boothman, switching from his abolished seat of Albert. The Labor candidate in 2020 is Tracey Bell.
Burleigh - LNP 4.9%
Burleigh is a southern Gold Coast electorate that includes the suburbs of Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads and most of Burleigh Waters and Varsity Lakes. It has always been a marginal seat, normally National or LNP held, but was held by Labor's Christine Smith 2001-12. It has been held by the LNP's Michael Hart since 2012, and the contest will attract more attention than normal because Labor has nominated former world surfing champion Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew as its candidate. With Burleigh lying just a few kilometres north of the NSW border, the politics of Covid-19 border closures are likely to play strongly in this electorate.
Maiwar - GRN 1.6% v LNP
Maiwar lies in Brisbane Western suburbs and includes the suburbs of Fig Tree Pocket, St Lucia, Taringa, Toowong, Auchenflower and parts of Indooroopilly, Bardon and Paddington. It is a new seat created by the 2016 redistribution from the LNP seat of Indooroopilly augmented by voters from the abolished Labor seat of Mt Coot-tha. It produced one of the boilovers of the election when LNP MLA Scott Emerson was defeated, Green candidate Michael Berkman narrowly outpolling the Labor candidate and then winning election on Labor preferences. The new LNP candidate in 2020 is Lauren Day, Labor's candidate Palani Thevar.
Mirani - ONP 4.8% v ALP
Mirani covers the coast and stretch of Bruce Highway between Rockhampton and Mackay. It includes the sugar growing districts in the Pioneer Valley west of Mackay, the old gold mining centre of Mount Morgan to the south of Rockhampton, and numerous communities in between. This had long been a National/LNP seat until won by Labor's Jim Pearce at the 2015 election. He was defeated in 2017 when the LNP slipped to third place, One Nation's Stephen Andrew then elected on LNP preferences. The order candidates finish in Mirani will have a huge bearing on how preferences flow and who is elected. The LNP candidate in 2020 is Tracie Newitt, Labor's candidate Shane Hamilton.
Hinchinbrook - KAP 7.6% v LNP
Hinchinbrook runs north along the state's coast from the Bohle River in Townsville to just south of Tully. It includes some outer suburbs of Townsville west of the Bohle River, as well as Ingham and Cardwell further north. Hinchinbrook was a National/LNP seat for several decades, rarely under threat from Labor, but regularly challenged by third parties and Independents. Those challenges came to a head in 2017 when the LNP first preference vote fell to 30.1%, Katter's Australian Party candidate Nick Dametto leap frogging from third place on 20.9% to win on first Labor and then One Nation preferences. The new LNP candidate in 2020 is Scott Piper.
Noosa - IND 11.5% v LNP
The northernmost Sunshine Coast electorate, the electorate of Noosa includes most of the Noosa local government area including Peregian Beach, Noosa, Noosaville, Tewantin, Pomona, Kin Kin and Boreen Point. Noosa created a boilover in 2017 when Independent Sandy Bolton easily defeated sitting LNP member Glen Elmes. The LNP's James Blevin will attempt to win Noosa back in 2020.