Electorate analysis: The electorate of Hervey Bay includes the urban area of Hervey Bay and its immediate surrounds, together with uninhabited Fraser Island. Rapid development over the past three decades has transformed the area from a series of fishing villages into a tourism centre and a magnet for retirees, leading to the creation of the electorate at the 1992 election. The seat was won narrowly for Labor on that occasion by Bill Nunn, who had gained the predecessor seat of Isis for his party in 1989. Nunn did very well to hold on in 1995 after picking up a small swing against the overall trend, but in 1998 the seat became one of 11 to fall to One Nation, whose candidate David Dalgleish relegated the Nationals to third place and coasted past Nunn on their preferences.
Dalgleish ended up on the City-Country Alliance side of the ensuing One Nation split, and the two camps spoiled each other’s chances when they both ran at the 2001 election. With the anti-Labor vote splitting evenly between Dalgleish, One Nation and the Nationals, Labor’s Andrew McNamara gained the seat with a comfortable 7.6 per cent margin. The Nationals vote was almost back to normal in 2004 (up from 17.2 per cent to 35.9 per cent), despite Dalgleish polling 12.6 per cent as an independent, and the seat returned to the marginal zone even though McNamara’s primary vote increased slightly. A 2.2 per cent swing in 2006 further cut the margin to 1.8 per cent. McNamara was promoted to cabinet as Sustainability, Climate Cange and Innovation Minister after Peter Beattie’s departure in September 2007, but this was of little help to him a the 2009 election when he was soundly defeated on the back of an 8.6 per cent swing.
The new LNP member was Ted Sorensen, whose 14 years on the recently abolished Hervey Bay City Council included eight years as mayor.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Please direct corrections or comments to pollbludger-AT-crikey.com.au. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.