What key places should I watch in ‘battleground Queensland’ this federal election?

The Sunshine State was a key factor in bringing about the Morrison miracle in 2019 – a blue tide over Queensland saw the LNP win 23 out of 30 seats.

Labor has only six seats in the state and none outside the southeast corner.

The ALP hopes to make up for some of its losses last time, while the Coalition will be eager to hold onto as many seats as possible.

Glenn Kefford of the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland said Queensland’s electoral battlefield was crucial to the overall outcome.

“Queensland is always critical. It is the jewel in the crown of the coalition and any seats the government loses in Queensland will make it difficult for them to stay in power,” he said.

dr. Kefford said the race has tightened in the days after the election – and both leaders will be nervous about their fortunes.

So which seats should we be looking at? Here’s a quick guide to the key seats to watch in Queensland this federal election.

You can jump forward to an electorate here:


a group of people queuing along a footpath to vote, surrounded by volunteers with voting cards
Brisbane’s main seat is a fringe LNP seat.AAP: Darren England

The fringe seat in Brisbane’s inner city has been heralded as one of the most important in this election.

dr. Kefford pointed to the Brisbane inner city triumvirate, Griffith and Ryan as the seats to watch.

All three are in the hands of the major parties – Brisbane by the LNPs Trevor EvansRyan through the LNPs Julian Simmondsand Griffith by Labor’s Terri Butler — but face an excessive challenge from Greens candidates.

The Greens and their affiliations could have an important input.

“My feeling is that Labor is likely to pick up Brisbane,” said Dr. kefford.

Brisbane, in possession of a marginal 4.9 percentcovers the city’s CBD and the downtown suburbs on the river and north sides.


A coal-fired power station in a haze.
With power stations in Gladstone, Biloela and Stanwell, coal is central to parts of the Flynn electorate.ABC News: Christoper Gillette

Outside the southeastern corner, Queensland’s central seat, Flynn, has attracted attention during the campaign.

The outgoing member of the LNP Ken O’Dowd hold the chair a safe margin of 8.7 percent.


voters line up to vote
Griffith’s seat includes inner cities on the south side of the Brisbane River.ABC News: Aryana Mohmood

Griffith’s fringe Labor seat is in Labour’s hands Terri Butler since the 2014 by-election on a margin of 2.9 percent.

dr. Kefford said he supported Labor to keep the seat.

“I think it is likely that Butler will be sent back and that despite all the work the Greens have done and a likely increase in their primaries, I think the Labor primaries will increase as well,” he said.


Bright yellow flowers in front of a monumental building.  Dark storm clouds kill the sky
An electoral storm is brewing in Queensland’s seat of Hinkler. ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos

The entry of wildcard candidate, Jack Dempsey in the very safe LNP seat of Hinkler also made it an interesting match.

Griffith University political scientist Anne Tiernan doubted Dempsey’s chances in the race.

Mr Pitt, the Secretary of State for Resources and Water, sits on a generous margin of 14.5%.


families waiting to vote in Cairns.
The marginal seat of Leichhardt is dominated by the Cairns people.AAP: Brian Casey

The vast fringe seat of Leichhardt stretches from Cairns to Cape York in far north Queensland.

This federal electorate, which has been in the hands of the LNPs Warren December since 2010 has received a lot of attention during the campaign, with climate change, cost of living and damage to tourism for voters.

The LNP keeps the seat on a 4.2 percent margin.


colorful tents on a gloomy day when people vote.
Lilley’s fringe Labor seat is in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. ABC News: Aryana Mohmood

Professor Tiernan said Lilley’s ultra-marginal seat would no longer change hands.

The prediction comes after LNP candidate Vivian Lobo’s campaign was disrupted by allegations that he provided false information to the Australian Election Commission.

“They just had problems with candidates in Lilley, which is disappointing for” [the LNP’s] campaign and has some kind of links [Labor incumbent] Anika Wells probably pretty safe in that seat, I think,” Professor Tiernan said.

Labor keeps the chair on a margin of 0.6 percent.

tall man

An aerial view of cars on a highway
Road access is a major concern for South East Queensland’s Longman voters.ABC News: Stuart Bryce

Professor Tiernan said another fringe chair to look at is Longman’s rocking chair, which includes the Sunshine Coast and Caboolture.

“The other one that everyone has had their eyes on is Longman — it’s really, really hard to know,” she said.

The predominantly urban electorate, which margin of 3.3 percentis in possession of the LNPs Terry Young since 2019.

Professor Tiernan said preferential flows from small parties such as the United Australian Party will be decisive.


Corflute signs political candidates for Ryan's federal seat at Brisbane pre-polling booth
Ryan’s main seat is in Brisbane’s leafy western suburbs on the north side of the Brisbane River.ABC News: Lexy Hamilton-Smith

Ryan’s blue ribbon chair, stretching west of Brisbane’s CBD, is ostensibly safe on a margin of 6.0 percent — but it was one of the few LNP seats where the vote slipped in 2019.

The seat is currently in the hands of the LNPs Julian Simmonds.

dr. Kefford said the election race in Ryan was “a bit of a cliffhanger”.

“I think Ryan is a very difficult seat to call because I think we will see both the Labor and Green primaries increase and the LNP primaries decrease,” said Dr. kefford.

“That’s a very difficult electorate to call. I think Julian Simmonds would be quite nervous.”

The Senate

There are several high profile candidates vying for a seat in the Queensland Senate.

While there are six seats for the election, it is widely believed that only three are in the game – with the LNP sure to keep two and Labor at least one.

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