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The (Former?) Liberal Party Stronghold of Ryan

The Queensland electorate of Ryan was created at the redistribution of 1948.

The first election for Ryan was held in 1949 and resulted in the election of Nigel Drury of the Liberal Party. Drury held the seat until the 1975 election when John Moore, also from the Liberal Party, was returned.


The seat has never been held by the Australian Labor Party.

The ALP has never polled more than 42.37% of the primary vote in Ryan, a performance it achieved in the large swing to Labor in the 1969 Federal election.

The Liberal Party has consistently polled between 50% and 60% of the primary vote, except on those occasions when there was a three-cornered contest with the National Party, or the Democratic Labor Party. [Read more…]

By-Election: Day Of Reckoning In Ryan

A seminal moment in the life of the Howard government will come today with voting in the by-election for Ryan in Brisbane’s western suburbs.

TelegraphOpinion polls continue to predict a large swing against the Liberal Party, enough to deliver the seat to the ALP for the first time in its history.

Most polls put the swing around the 13% mark. The government needs to lose only 9.5% to be defeated.

The by-election is being compared to those in Bass in 1975 and Canberra in 1995. In each case, safe Labor electorates recorded large swings to the Liberals and heralded the demise of the Whitlam and Keating governments.

In a week which has seen the value of the Australian dollar fall below 50 U.S. cents and unemployment increase to 6.9%, the government has also been battling the growing belief that Australia is headed for an economic recession. Last week, the December quarter economic growth figures showed a decline of 0.6%. [Read more…]

Isaacs By-Election To Be Held On August 12

The voters of the Melbourne electorate of Isaacs will go to the polls on Saturday 12 August to elect a replacement for the former Labor member, Greg Wilton.

AndrewThe date was announced by the House of Representatives Speaker, Neil Andrew, before Question Time commenced today.

The ALP holds the seat with a margin of over 6%. Recent speculation suggests that the Liberal Party will not field a candidate in the election.

The Speaker of the House is given responsibility under Section 33 of the Constitution to issue writs to fill vacancies in the lower house.

This will be the first by-election held during this Parliament.

The timetable for the by-election is:

  • Fri 30 June – Issue of Writ
  • Fri 11 July – Close of Rolls
  • Thu 13 July – Close of Nominations
  • Sat 12 August – Polling Day
  • Sun 08 October – Return of Writ on or before this date

Queensland Government’s Future Hangs In The Balance

The survival of the Queensland Labor Government led by Peter Beattie depends on its ability to retain two usually safe seats in by-elections next weekend.

Following the 1998 State Election, Beattie held 44 seats in the 89-seat parliament. He was able to form government with the support of Independent member, Peter Wellington. At that election Pauline Hanson’s One Nation won 11 seats. Since then One Nation has split and 4 members sit as independents and five more as members of the City-Country Alliance. The ALP won back one seat at a by-election.

The by-elections are being held in Bundamba, vacant following the retirement of former minister Bob Gibbs, and Woodridge, vacant due to the resignation of Bill D’Arcy. D’Arcy has since been charged with a number of sex offences. The controversy over this and the large superannuation payout ($660,000) collected by D’Arcy two days after he resigned threatens to upset the ALP’s chances of victory. Bundamba is not believed to be in danger.

If Beattie loses either by-election next Saturday he will be forced to rely again on the support of Wellington. An independent candidate, Russell Lutton, is polling strongly in Woodridge and if elected has pledged to support Beattie.

Queensland Parliament
Party 1995 1998 Now
One Nation
City-Country Alliance

Post-War By-Election Swings to Labour Greater Than 10%

The table belows shows swings to the UK Labour Party greater than 10% since 1945.

Date Constituency Swing %
15/12/94 Dudley West -29.12
9/6/94 Dagenham -23.06
9/6/94 Barking -21.96
22/3/90 Mid Staffordshire -21.33
9/6/94 Eastleigh -16.68
17/6/71 Hayes and Harlington -16.54
9/6/94 Newham North East -16.30
8/11/90 Bradford North -15.78
4/7/85 Brecon and Radnor -14.93
9/6/94 Bradford South -14.12
12/2/58 Rochdale -13.96
15/8/63 Stratford -13.74
4/5/61 Bristol South East -13.23
13/3/80 Southend East -12.87
6/6/62 Middlesbrough West -12.70
16/5/91 Monmouth -12.59
6/5/93 Newbury -12.53
11/6/64 Liverpool Scotland -12.50
4/5/89 Vale of Glamorgan -12.35
7/3/57 Warwick and Leamington -12.22
13/3/62 Blackpool North -12.21
23/9/71 Widnes -11.46
14/3/62 Middlesbrough East -11.37
29/7/93 Christchurch -11.37
8/11/90 Bootle -11.18
13/4/72 Merthyr Tydfil -11.15
4/5/72 Southwark -11.05
15/12/88 Epping Forest -10.93
10/4/86 Fulham -10.80
17/4/62 Derby North -10.68
12/9/57 Gloucester -10.48
15/11/45 Bournemouth -10.29
4/7/63 West Bromwich -10.15
27/5/71 Bromsgrove -10.08


Wills By-Election Campaign Begins

Bob Hawke was the Labor member for the Melbourne electorate of Wills from 1980 until his resignation on February 20, 1992.

In this ABC News report on February 23, we can see that the major political parties were quick to begin their campaigns for the by-election.

The by-election was held on April 11, 1992. It was won by Phil Cleary, an independent. Cleary is the only non-Labor member to have held the Coburg-based seat since it was created in 1949.

Cleary’s election was declared void by the High Court on November 25, 1992 on the grounds that he was still an employee of the Victorian Education Department at the time of his election, in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution. He was re-elected at the 1993 Federal Election but was defeated in 1996.

The video features Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe and Opposition Leader John Hewson.