Margin: Liberal 10.4%
Location: Brisbane-Gold Coast Corridor, Queensland
In a nutshell: The last time Labor held Fadden was from 1983 to 1984, when it was scarcely recognisable as the seat which today covers the northern part of the Gold Coast. Stuart Robert succeeded veteran David Jull as Liberal member in 2007.
Fadden covers the northern part of Gold Coast City, from Gaven and Labrador in the south through Coomera, Pimpama and Ormeau to Logan River, with the Pacific Motorway forming most of its western boundary. The massive population explosion of this area required it to shed nearly 14,000 in its western areas, including 9300 around Upper Coomera in the north (to Forde) and 4600 around Maudsland in the south (to the new seat of Wright), along with 1250 voters at Nerang to its southern neighbour Moncrieff). The seat has migrated entirely from its original location in southern Brisbane and the rural interior in 1977 (the 1984 redistribution drew it into Brisbane, leaving the Logan River as its southern boundary), turning it in the process from a marginal to a safe conservative seat. It was won for the Liberals on its debut by Don Cameron, who had been member for Griffith since 1966. Cameron was defeated by Labor’s David Beddall when the Hawke government came to power in 1983, and returned to parliament later in the year at a by-election in Moreton.
Fadden was recovered for the Liberals at the 1984 election by David Jull, who had lost Bowman the previous year. It remained in the marginal seat range until 1996, when the famous Queensland baseball bat hit Labor to the tune of 12.5 per cent. The creation of Bonner at the 2004 election had a dramatic impact on the electorate, pushing it southwards along the Gold Coast as far as Nerang. David Jull retiring after 32 years in politics at the 2007 election, and was succeeded as Liberal member by former army intelligence officer Stuart Robert. Robert was said to have played a role in “rounding up support” for Tony Abbott during the December 2009 leadership contest, and was promoted after the event to parliamentary secretary in the well-chosen defence portfolio.
Analysis written by William Bowe. Read Bowe’s blog, The Poll Bludger.