Division of Leichhardt

The Division of Leichhardt is an Australian Electoral Division in Queensland.

Leichhardt
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Leichhardt in Queensland, as of the 2019 federal election.
Created1949
MPWarren Entsch
PartyLiberal National
NamesakeLudwig Leichhardt
Electors109,455 (2019)
DemographicRural

History

The division was first contested in 1949 after the expansion of seats in the Parliament of Australia. It is one of Australia's largest electorates, covering an area stretching from Cairns to Cape York and the Torres Strait, including the Torres Strait Islands.

The division is named after Ludwig Leichhardt, an explorer and scientist. The area was first covered by the seat of Herbert from 1901 to 1934 and then by the seat of Kennedy until 1949.

Most of the electorate is almost uninhabited except for small Aboriginal communities, but the extreme southeast, consisting of the northern half of the Wet Tropics, with rich volcanic soils instead of the extraordinarily infertile lateritic sands and gravels of Cape York proper, is quite densely populated and includes urban Cairns. There are small, intensive sugar cane, banana and mango farms in this region, though they are prone to damage from droughts and cyclones.

A safe Labor seat from the late 1950s to the 1970s, it has been marginal for most of the time since then. While Cairns has historically tilted toward Labor, the more rural areas tilt toward the Liberals and Nationals.

It was a bellwether seat held by the party of government from the 1972 election until the 2010 election. When Warren Entsch, who held the seat from 1996 to 2007, won it back for the LNP in 2010, he became the seat's first opposition member in four decades. It also marked the first time Labor had been in government without holding Leichhardt.

Ahead of the 2016 federal election, ABC psephologist Antony Green listed the seat in his election guide as one of eleven which he classed as "bellwether" electorates.[1]

Members

Image Member Party Term Notes
  Tom Gilmore
(1908–1994)
Country 10 December 1949
28 April 1951
Lost seat. Later elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland seat of Tablelands in 1957
  Harry Bruce
(1884–1958)
Labor 28 April 1951
11 October 1958
Previously held the Legislative Assembly of Queensland seat of The Tableland. Died in office
  Bill Fulton
(1909–1988)
Labor 22 November 1958
11 November 1975
Retired
  David Thomson
(1924–2013)
National Country 13 December 1975
16 October 1982
Served as minister under Fraser. Lost seat
  Nationals 16 October 1982 –
5 March 1983
  John Gayler
(1943–)
Labor 5 March 1983
8 February 1993
Retired
  Peter Dodd
(1953–)
Labor 13 March 1993
2 March 1996
Lost seat
  Warren Entsch
(1950–)
Liberal 2 March 1996
17 October 2007
Retired
  Jim Turnour
(1966–)
Labor 24 November 2007
21 August 2010
Lost seat
  Warren Entsch
(1950–)
Liberal Nationals 21 August 2010
present
Incumbent

Election results

2019 Australian federal election: Leichhardt[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National Warren Entsch 33,753 37.59 −1.94
Labor Elida Faith 25,846 28.79 +0.71
Greens Gary Oliver 9,340 10.40 +1.62
Katter's Australian Daniel McCarthy 7,318 8.15 +3.87
One Nation Ross Macdonald 5,428 6.05 −1.48
United Australia Jen Sackley 3,562 3.97 +3.97
Independent Chad Anderson 2,562 2.85 +2.85
Conservative National Jo Ashby 1,976 2.20 +2.20
Total formal votes 89,785 93.58 +0.88
Informal votes 6,160 6.42 −0.88
Turnout 95,945 87.65 −0.14
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal National Warren Entsch 48,638 54.17 +0.22
Labor Elida Faith 41,147 45.83 −0.22
Liberal National hold Swing +0.22

References

  1. The Bellwether Contests: Antony Green ABC
  2. Leichhardt, QLD, Tally Room 2019, Australian Electoral Commission.

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