Electorate analysis: Capalaba covers the northern inland suburbs of Redlands Shire about 15 kilometres south-east of central Brisbane, from Capalaba north to Thorneside, east to Alexandra Hills and south to Burwood Heights. The electorate was created when the Goss government’s one-vote one-value reforms increased the number of metropolitan electorates at the 1992 election, and was won for Labor upon its creation by Jim Elder, previously member for the abolished seat of Manly. The seat has been safe for Labor ever since, with the two-party margin only falling below 10 per cent in 1995 and 2009.
Elder fell victim to branch stacking revelations unearthed by the Shepherdson inquiry in late 2000, and was succeeded at the 2001 election by Michael Choi, who had been hand-picked by Peter Beattie without a preselection ballot. Labor’s primary vote fell by 10.5 per cent on Choi’s debut, in large part due to a strong field of independent candidates and an entry by One Nation, who had not contested the seat in 1998. Choi nonetheless won the seat easily and was untroubled in 2004 and 2006, before a 5.1 per cent swing to the LNP in 2009 returned the margin to single digits. A member of the Labor Forum/AWU faction, Choi was promoted to parliamentary secretary after the 2006 election and has remained in that position ever since, currently serving in trade and multicultural affairs.
The LNP’s candidate is Steve Davies, owner-operator of a Bank of Queensland franchise at Coorparoo.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.