The Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) made an impressive first performance for a minor party at the Queensland state election on March 24 beating 10% of the primary vote. In this post and other, we are going to look a bit deeper at the structure and features of the KAP vote. Today we are going to look at the geographic spread of the KAP vote.
We will start by reviewing the KAP target seat pool we constructed prior to the Queensland election. The construction of the pool was discussed in this post.
We are using the figures from the ECQ, current from the close of the count on Friday, but these are not the complete figures with postal votes still eligible to be received and counted by close of business on Tuesday. However with the bulk of the vote counted we should have clear idea of how the pool fared.
The KAP primary votes in each of the target seats are listed below with the seat’s rank in the order of the size of the KAP primary vote.
As you can see the target pool fared well. The pool contained 8 of the 10 highest KAP primary vote shares across the state. The average of primary votes in the target pool seats was 24.64% compared to the average across the 76 KAP contested seats of 13.71%.
The pool also gave us an indication of where the KAP vote spread across the state differed from other previous right-wing minor parties (i.e One Nation in 1998). The vote in the 3 urban South East Queensland seats contained within the pool was nearer to the state wide average than in previous elections and none of these seats ranked 20th or higher for their KAP primary vote. This was evidence of the KAP’s more regional focus and possibly the reduced appeal it has in urban areas.
The pool also missed out on the excellent performance KAP pulled in Townsville, nearly winning Thuringowa after preferences after coming in second with 30% of the primary vote. The KAP also had significant third places, scoring 23.4% in Mundingburra and 21.9% in Townsville.
So what can be said about geographic spread of support for the KAP? A few points:
- It is more regionally focused than One Nation’s 1998 performance.
- The best performances were in inland North Queensland where the KAP won its only two seats, Mount Isa and Dalrymple.
- Coastal North Queensland, was an important beachhead for the KAP with most seats north of the Tropic of Capricorn, on or near the coast, gaining primary votes of 18% or more. The exception was Barron River with 15.76%. Townsville is an important hub of support. Other hubs that performed to a lesser extent are Mackay and Cairns.
- Once we head down the coast past the Tropic of Capricorn, the party support drops off. Hervey Bay only scored a primary vote of 12.45%, which is disappointing considering that One Nation won the seat in 1998. The KAP only scored primary votes of 12.47% and 15.88% in Rockhampton and Keppel respectively. Bundaberg and Burnett were not much better. The best KAP effort in this region was in Maryborough with a 19.49% primary vote, earned against a sitting Independent MP. It is only when get to Gympie, that the KAP primary vote beats 20%.
- However, below the Tropic of Capricorn, heading inland the KAP vote holds up above 20% in Callide, Nanango, Lockyer, Beaudesert and Condamine. This area was a rich in support for One Nation in 1998 and this still holds up today for the KAP. This bedrock area of support adjoins fringe metropolitan seats such as Ipswich West, Ipswich which performed the best for the KAP out of the metropolitan seats.
- In urban South East Queensland itself, the KAP does comparatively better in outer metropolitan Brisbane and the northern Gold Coast than the rest. The KAP vote broke 10% in the following urban SEQ seats, Ipswich West, Ipswich, Logan, Inala, Pine Rivers, Kallangur, Albert, Glass House, Morayfield, Pumicestone and Coomera.
So, we have traversed the geographic spread of support for the KAP. But what type of voter does the KAP attract and which major party suffers the most from this new force in Queensland politics? We shall look at this in the next few days.