2015 Queensland state election: an overview

17 Sep 2015

Executive summary

  • This paper provides an overview of the issues and outcomes for the January 2015 election for the Queensland Legislative Assembly. Where appropriate, it draws on the Library’s earlier publication on the 2012 Queensland state election.
  • The 2015 Queensland state election result surprised many observers with the dramatic shift in the fortunes of the two major parties. The Australian Labor Party (ALP), having lost government at the 2012 election and retaining just seven seats, emerged with 44 of the 89 seats with a swing of 10.8 per cent. The Liberal National Party (LNP), which had won a record majority of 78 of the 89 seats at the 2012 state election, experienced a swing of 8.3 per cent against it with its seats reduced to 42. Of the remaining seats, two were won by Katter’s Australian Party and one by Independent Peter Wellington.
  • The election outcome was initially unclear when it was revealed that a Palmer United Party candidate was ineligible as a result of being an undischarged bankrupt. Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) indicated that it would refer the Ferny Grove election result to the Court of Disputed Returns but subsequently decided not to proceed based on legal advice, paving the way for the ALP to form minority government with the support of an Independent.
  • Several key issues emerged during the election campaign including political financing, privatisation and asset sales, the impact of mining on the Great Barrier Reef and anti-association laws. Other events also overshadowed the election, including two defamation cases involving Premier Campbell Newman, a Senate Select Committee into the Queensland Government’s administration of Commonwealth funds, and leadership issues in the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments.
  • The incoming ALP minority government led by Annastacia Palaszczuk features several milestones in Australian and Queensland political history, including:
    • the first Australian ministry with a majority of women
    • the first female state opposition leader to lead her party to victory
    • the second all-female elected leadership team in Australia
    • Queensland’s first female Attorney-General and
    • the first Indigenous woman MP in the Queensland Parliament and Queensland’s first Indigenous minister.
Publication Details
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Subject Areas
Geographic Coverage