Campbell Newman hops off his plane which was originally bound for Townsville.
Campbell Newman hops off his plane which was originally bound for Townsville.

The seats where the state election will be won and lost

THE likely defeat of Premier Campbell Newman in his Brisbane seat of Ashgrove will deliver a powerful blow to the morale of the LNP Government in Queensland, but it is not the only seat to watch.

After its incredible victory in 2012 against the decomposing Bligh Labor government, the LNP picked up a stack of seats by a nose. With the tables now appearing to turn against the government, they are likely to be the first to fall to the ALP, independents or minor parties.

These are the battlegrounds that will be closely watched by expert election callers, including the bookies.

Already a Galaxy exit poll commissioned by Nine suggests a possible swing of 17% against the LNP, which if accurate, would return Labor to power just three years after voters sent the party into the political wilderness

Maryborough (0.3% LNP)

The Maryborough seat is a tale of vengeance for independent Chris Foley who lost this seat to the LNP's Anne Maddern.

Now he's back to battle it out. Something of a bellweather seat, it has been picked up by five different political parties and two independents over the past 30 years.

A serious turn against the LNP could mean the bell will toll for Ms Maddern.

 

Ipswich (4.2% LNP)

 

Member for Ipswich Ian Berry next to the billboard at the intersection of Mining Street and Brisbane Road paid for the by the electrical division of the CEPU. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times
Member for Ipswich Ian Berry next to the billboard at the intersection of Mining Street and Brisbane Road paid for the by the electrical division of the CEPU. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times Claudia Baxter

 

The LNP has a far more comfortable grip on this south-east Queensland seat, compared to Maryborough, but its history is far less checkered.

This was a seat staunchly held by Labor from 1983, with the LNP's Ian Berry yanking it from the LNP.

Ms Berry is now facing the ALP's Jennifer Howard. 


Ipswich West (7.2% LNP)

 

Another traditional Labor seat taken from the ALP by the LNP's Sean Choat -- his third attempt at stealing the seat. Not as marginal as some others, but old habits die hard.

If there is a tide against the LNP, this will washed back to into the pocket of the ALP.


Toowoomba North (9.6% LNP)

 

Toowoomba North Labor candidate Kerry Shine kicks off his election campaign saying
Toowoomba North Labor candidate Kerry Shine kicks off his election campaign saying "It's time to Shine". Photo Andrew Backhouse / The Chronicle Andrew Backhouse

 

Kerry Shine is back, the former Labor Attorney-General was dumped at the 2012 election but has now come back to challenge LNP's Trevor Watts with the corny slogan "It's time to Shine".

Although the LNP holds this seat with an almost-10% margin, Shine has a long standing in Toowoomba after holding it for 11 years.  

 

Whitsunday (10.7% LNP)

 

Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan is confident he will be re-elected to the Queensland Parliament on January 31.
Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan is confident he will be re-elected to the Queensland Parliament on January 31. Andrea Davy

 

A classic swinging seat, this has been a marginal Central Queensland seat since 1989, always Labor except when it was taken by One Nation in 1998.

Jason Costigan from the LNP took it in 2012.

Through almost no fault of his own, Costigan has had to battle a public campaign against the government's decision to continue with the ALP's 100% Fly-in Fly-out policies for major coal mines.

The 10.7% margin could mean he holds on unless it's a particularly big swing.
 

Mirani (11.2%)

Unlike the others above, Mirani has long been held by the LNP's Ted Malone -- now retiring.

Malone is respected and trusted in the Central Queensland seat but that may not translate to an LNP win.

Former Labor MP Jim Pearce will take on the seat, with LNP fielding John Kerslake, a candidate who failed to win Mackay even with the massive 2012 swing.

 

LABOR


Mackay (ALP 0.5%)

 

Queensland Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mulherin, retiring at this election
Queensland Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mulherin, retiring at this election Lee Constable

 

Like Mirani, this seat is held by a long-term MP now retiring.

Tim Mulherin has held the seat since 1995, even overcoming the enormous swing towards the LNP in 2012.

Unfortunately his margin was firmly eroded, keeping it with just 0.5%.

Goodwill to Mulherin should be enough to hold the ALP seat, even against LNP's local businessman Deon Attard.

But the seat could fall a third way, with former Mackay mayor Julie Boyd going for the seat as an independent.

 

INDEPENDENT

Gladstone (IND 14%)

 

Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham will not run in the state election on January 31.
Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham will not run in the state election on January 31. Paul Braven GLA060115MEBR

 

Beloved Gladstone independent Liz Cunningham is retiring at this election, anointing former local councillor Craig Butler to replace her.

But that may not be enough to protect the seat from the ALP's Glenn Butcher who is picked to win the seat.

 

The current tally:


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