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ALP Wins Queensland Stafford By-Election With 18.6% Swing

The Queensland ALP has won the Stafford by-election with a swing of 18.6%, regaining a seat lost in the LNP landslide of 2012 and propelling a Royal Brisbane Hospital surgeon into parliament.

Lynham

Dr. Anthony Lynham, a maxillofacial surgeon, will become the new member for Stafford, replacing Chris Davis, the LNP member who resigned after a series of disputes with the Newman government, which included his dismissal as Assistant Minister for Health. Davis was also a medical specialist before his election, working as the Director of Medicine at the Prince Charles Hospital.

Situated in the inner-north of Brisbane, Stafford is an electorate once-abolished and recreated in 2001. It was held by the ALP between 2001 and 2012. There was a 14.4% swing against the ALP in 2012.

The LNP’s primary vote has fallen 16.9% to 33.4%, whilst the ALP’s primary has risen 17.2% to 50.7%.

The ALP’s two-party-preferred vote is 61.5%, a swing of 18.6%. The LNP margin before the by-election was 7.1%.

There were two other candidates in the election. The Greens polled 11.9%, an increase of 0.6%. The Family First Party, which did not contest the seat at the last election, polled 4.0%. The Palmer United Party did not contest the election, making it difficult to assess how well the by-election reflects the broader political mood.

The voter turnout figure is in the vicinity of 78% but is likely to increase when all votes have been counted.

The ALP was reduced to 7 seats in the 2012 election. It won the Redcliffe by-election in February 2014 with a 17.3% swing. The win in Stafford increases the ALP’s representation to 9 in the 89-seat Legislative Assembly.

The next state election is due around March next year. The by-election result is in line with recent polls which show a significant swing against the Newman government. However, the ALP needs to win another 35 seats to win the election.

The by-election was also the first test of the Newman government’s new electoral laws which required voters to provide some form of identification before being issued with a ballot paper.

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