If polls are right then Longman may be only the second seat to be taken from an opposition by a government since Federation.
Longman is typical of the outer-ring suburban seats that decide the fate of governments in Australia: full of new families, and retirees, a feeder suburb where people leave home to go to work, trading mortgage payments against miles in the car.
These are aspirational voters, with realism. They take modest steps towards their goals and tend to be frugal and careful.
Nestled between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast it has two major population centres – Caboolture/Morayfield and Bribie Island - and a swathe of hinterland.
Caboolture was a dairying centre with some small cropping and farming. Today most of Queensland’s strawberries, for example, are still grown in the area.
Morayfield was tacked under it, and is an urban area threaded by ribbon industrial and retail development along the major roads.
Bribie Island is a rapidly-developing, economy, beachside retirement area. You can buy a new house and land there for $349,900, or for $386,000 you’ll get waterfront and a marina berth.
The area is swing territory, home to two of the rising stars of the state Labor Party – Mark Ryan and Steven Miles, although since its inception it has been won more times by the Libs.
So what makes this a possible win for the LNP now?
First there is the margin - just 0.79%. It wouldn’t take too much to change that, a low turnout might be enough, without any change in underlying voter sentiment.
And that margin was achieved after a 7.71% swing – the largest in Queensland. That suggests that there may have been dissatisfaction with the previous member, and there was.
Electors thought he was too young, too aloof, too cocky, and they didn’t like him being key plotter in toppling Tony Abbott. And there were morality issues, like his stance on gay marriage, all of which culminated in One Nation directing preferences against him.
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