Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Lesson from the Queensland election: incumbency counts!



Download PDFDownload PDF

Senator John Cherry Australian Democrats Senator for Queensland

th

8 February 2004 MEDIA RELEASE 04/052

Lesson from the Queensland election: incumbency counts! The key lesson from the Queensland State Election is that incumbency counts, with only 7 seats changing hands and with many sitting Labor, Coalition and Independent members increasing their margins, according to Democrat Senator John Cherry.

Senator Cherry, who was an electoral analyst for the Democrats for many years, said the collapse in the One Nation vote made the Coalition competitive in many rural seats as predicted.

“But the bigger factor was incumbency. Where sitting members retired, such as Keppel and Cook, there were big swings against the incumbent party. But in other electorates like Warrego, Noosa, Toowoomba North and Gympie, sitting members improved their position,” Senator Cherry said.

“This was the same trend we saw at the 2001 Federal Election, where Labor and Coalition sitting members both increased their votes and only 5 out of 150 seats changed hands.

“I congratulate Naomi Johns, our candidate for Keppel, who recorded the best ever Democrat result in a central Queensland seat, double the result when we last contested the seat in 1998.

“I also congratulate the indigenous Independent candidate for Cook, Bruce Gibson, on his 16.4% vote in a seat where one in three voters is indigenous. Clearly, the Labor party can no longer take the indigenous vote for granted, and must act to reverse unfair decisions such as its inadequate compensation for stolen wages.

“Across the State, the total vote for the non-major parties fell 5% from 2001, with the Coalition’s vote rising by almost 7%.

“One Nation received less than half the votes it received in 2001, averaging 8.7% in the 51 seats it contested, compared with 20.2% in 2001 and 25% in 1998.

“The Greens vote improved slightly at this election, averaging 8% in the seats it contested, up from 7% in 2001 and 4.4% in 1998, but below their best result of 8.7% in 1995.

“Much of the increase in the Greens votes has come because of the fewer number of Democrat and prominent Independents contesting this election. This accounted for 8.5% of the 12% rise in Mt Coottha (70%), 8.4% of the 11.4% rise in South Brisbane (74%), 9.1% of the 10% rise in Ashgrove (90%) and all of the rise in Moggill (+5.5%) and Indooroopilly (+4%).

“I congratulate the Greens on their results, particularly Andrew Carroll on achieving a 24% vote in Mt Coottha and Juanita Wheeler on her 20% vote in South Brisbane.

“I agree with Mr Carroll that this result has little relevance to the Greens Senate prospects.

“In 2001, the Greens averaged 7% in State seats in Queensland only to record a 3.3% result (to the Democrats’ 6.7%) in the Senate in the same year. Even following their best ever result of 8.7% in 1995, their Senate result eight months later was just 2.5% (to the Democrats 13.5%).

“This election shows that Queensland voters will reward hard work, and the challenge for the Democrats is to show to Queensland voters that we have worked hard for Queensland,” he said.

For further information Pam Hose 0408 752 750

Senator John Cherry Australian Democrats Senator for Queensland

8th February 2004 MEDIA RELEASE 04/052

SUMMARY OF NON-MAJOR PARTIES

GREENS

2004 2001 1998 1995

No. seats contested 72 31 46 27

% vote, seats contested 8.1% 7.0% 4.4% 8.7%

% vote, Senate election n.a. 3.3% 2.1% 2.4%

DEMOCRATS

2004 2001 1998 1995

No. seats contested 1 6 41 28

% vote, seats contested 4.2% 4.8% 3.5% 6.4%

% vote, Senate election n.a. 6.7% 7.8% 13.5%

ONE NATION

2004 2001 1998 1995

No. seats contested 51 39 78 n.a.

% vote, seats contested 8.8% 20.2% 25.2% n.a.

% vote, Senate election n.a. 10.0% 14.4% n.a.

TOP 12 GREEN SEATS

Seat Green vote Ind. vote Dem vote Major vote

Mt Coottha# 23.87% (+12%) -4.2% -4.3% -3.5%

South Brisbane# 20.02% (+11.4%) -4.3% -4.1% -3.0%

Ashgrove# 16.13% (+10.2%) -3.8% -5.3% -1.1%

Indooroopilly# 14.54% (+4.4%) -6.2% -4.0% +5.8%

Sandgate* 13.4% (+13.4%) -9.9% n.a. -3.5%

Townsville* 13.36% (+13.36%) -8.8% n.a. -4.6%

Yeerongpilly 13.04% (+5.3%) -6.1% n.a. +0.8%

Brisbane Cent. 12.06% (+5.2%) -3.7% n.a. -1.5%

Moggill# 11.98% (+5.5%) -9.3% -5.5% +9.3%

Woodridge* 11.41% +(11.41%) -15.9% n.a. +4.5%

Stafford 11.26% (+0.7%) n.a. n.a. -0.7%

Ferny Grove 11.26% (+0.5%) n.a. n..a -0.5%

(* No Green candidate in 2001, #No Democrat candidate in 2004)