Jul 1, 2016

Seats to watch: Petrie, the bellwether Labor has to clinch

If Labor is to pull off the Queensland swing it needs, it has to clinch Petrie.

Sophie Benjamin — Former <em>Crikey</em> engagement editor

Sophie Benjamin

Former Crikey engagement editor

An LNP ad lights up the North Lakes food court
An LNP ad lights up the North Lakes food court

If you’re looking for Queensland’s most important electorate, you’ll find it just off the Bruce Highway in the suburban sprawl between the iconic old wooden houses and skyscrapers of Brisbane proper and the brilliant beaches of the Sunshine Coast. Welcome to Petrie, the Sunshine State’s most marginal seat.

If you’ve never heard of it it before, it’s probably because Petrie and its representatives have been overshadowed by the shenanigans and media profiles of MPs in neighbouring seats — Peter Slipper and Clive Palmer in Fairfax, Wyatt Roy in Longman and Peter Dutton in Dickson. It might also be because it is the least glamorous part of a state most southerners dismiss as the place where characters from Neighbours move to when they are written out of the show. Petrie is an electorate full of young families and retirees — the former keen to settle down into a place where they can buy a brand-new home for less than half a million dollars, the latter ready to ease into a quiet life on the Redcliffe Peninsula.

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