Electorate analysis: One of eight seats the LNP gained from Labor at the 2009 election, Aspley is located in Brisbane’s northern suburbs, extending north from Aspley itself to Pine River. Labor is strongest around Bald Hills in the north and on the eastern side of the Gympie Arterial Road, while the southern suburbs of McDowall and especially Bridgeman Downs are strongly conservative. Aspley has usually been held by the Liberals since its creation in 1960, although it was lost during the Nationals’ incursion into Brisbane in 1983 and 1986. The Liberals recovered the seat in 1989 and withstood strong Labor challenges in 1992 and 1998, before Labor’s Veronica Barry leapt over the line in the 2001 landslide. After suffering essentially no swing in either 2004 and 2006, the redistribution before the 2009 election cut Barry’s margin from 4.6 per cent to 3.1 per cent by reorienting the electorate southwards. She was subsequently toppled by a 7.5 per cent swing, part of a solid shift against Labor in Brisbane’s north which was widely linked to the government’s merger of the Royal Children’s and Mater hospitals.
The incoming LNP member was Tracy Davis, who had previously run a Brendale kitchen manufacturing business. Davis had earlier worked for Senator Sue Boyce, who has been associated with the western suburbs faction of coalition merger sceptics which also included former leader Bruce Flegg and Liberal state presidents Bob Tucker and Bob Carroll. Davis was promoted to front bench in the November 2010 reshuffle as Shadow Public Transport Minister, moving to the child safety, disabilities and mental health portfolios when Campbell Newman became leader in April 2011.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.