Jobless rate concerns put swag of federal LNP seats in danger

A seat by seat analysis of Queensland state election results and electorate unemployment rates reveals job creation policies will have a major influence at the next federal election.

Recent federal government figures show state Labor captured seven electorates out of the 10 worst electorates for unemployment at the recent state election (see following table).

Jobless rates and state election results

The ten state electorates with the highest jobless rates are:

Seat (2015 result)

1. Woodridge (ALP hold)

Swing #

20.2 % swing to ALP

Jobless rate*

14.6 %

2. Pumicestone (ALP win)

14.2 % swing to ALP

12.0 %

3. Hervey Bay (LNP hold)

15.1 % swing to ALP

11.1 %

4. Inala (ALP hold)

18.2 % swing to ALP

11.1 %

5. Bundaberg (ALP win)

19.8 % swing to ALP

10.7 %

6. Townsville (ALP win)

10.5 % swing to ALP

10.7 %

7. Cairns (ALP win)

17.3 % swing to ALP

10.4 %

8. Ipswich (ALP win)

20.1 % swing to ALP

10.0 %

9. Maryborough (ALP win)

19.2 % swing to ALP^

10.0 %

10. Cook (ALP win)

10.2 % swing to ALP

9.8 %


*Excerpt from Unemployment and labour force by State Electoral District, Dec qtr 2014 (released March 2015), Australian Government Department of Employment, quarterly Small Area Labour Markets, Queensland Treasurer, QGSO

#'�Changing Seats', Queensland Election 2015, ABC, 2015/results/changing-seats/ (accessed 13/06/2015),

^Pre-election swing required for Labor win was 19.2% (Queensland Election 2015, 'Maryborough', (accessed 13/06/2015)


Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams said community concern over Liberal National inaction on job creation had triggered upsets across Queensland.

He said unions would campaign in the federal election, replicating the state election strategy that snared 15 of 16 target seats.

He highlighted that even federal Coalition Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss is at risk in nominally “safe” Wide Bay as jobless rate concerns generate massive voting swings.

Truss holds Wide Bay with a 13.2 per cent margin, which puts this seat well in reach.

“The LNP will lose seats that it never dreamed of because of its treatment of regional areas,” Mr Battams said.

There was a swing against the LNP of almost 20 per cent in Maryborough, a significant part of the federal electorate of Wide Bay.

 “Queenslanders are disillusioned with the LNP’s constant focus on cutting jobs and services,” Mr Battams said.

Recent Galaxy polling on budget priorities indicates Australians see job creation as more important than debt reduction.

“More than 58 per cent believe developing programs to create employment was the most important priority for the next federal budget,” Mr Battams said.

“Queensland needs members of Parliament who will stand up for jobs and industry in their electorates, rather than watching on as jobs disappear or go elsewhere.

“The state LNP has tried to pin their election loss on Campbell Newman but this analysis shows that their policies of job destruction played a huge part in their demise,” he said.

 “On these figures, regional federal seats like Leichhardt around Cairns, Herbert around Townsville, Wide Bay and Hinkler around Maryborough and Bundaberg, Forde and Longman in south-east Queensland are well within reach,” Mr Battams said.

“Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the LNP cannot continue to ignore jobless concerns and continue to unjustifiably attack living standards.

“Queenslanders will deliver their verdict on their performance on jobs at the next federal election,” Mr Battams said.

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