Queensland state election, 1998

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Queensland state election, 1998
Queensland
1995 ←
13 June 1998 (1998-06-13)
→ 2001

All 89 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland
  First party Second party Third party
  Peter Beattie, BYCC, August 2013 (cropped).jpg
Leader Peter Beattie Rob Borbidge Heather Hill
Party Labor National/Liberal coalition One Nation
Leader since 20 February 1996 (1996-02-20) 10 December 1991 1998
Leader's seat Brisbane Central Surfers Paradise Contested Ipswich[1] (lost)
Last election 45 seats 43 seats
Seats won 44 seats 32 seats 11 seats
Seat change Decrease1 Decrease11 Increase11
Percentage 38.86% 31.26% 22.68%
Swing Decrease4.03 Decrease17.73 Increase22.68

Premier before election

Rob Borbidge
National/Liberal coalition

Resulting Premier

Peter Beattie
Labor

Elections were held in the Australian state of Queensland on 13 June 1998 to elect the 89 members of the state's Legislative Assembly.

The result of the election was a second consecutive hung parliament, with the Australian Labor Party forming minority government after receiving the support of independent Peter Wellington. This election was the first in which One Nation Party supporters were elected into state Parliament, with the controversial party winning 11 seats. With nearly 23% of the vote, One Nation gained a higher percentage of the vote than any other third party (non-Labor or Coalition) in any State or Territory since Federation. This was also the only election where a third party has gained more votes than both the Liberal and National parties (considered separately). As a result of the high One Nation vote, any 2PP result would have been virtually meaningless and was not counted.

A few months after the election, the One Nation member for Mulgrave Charles Rappolt resigned, and the Australian Labor Party candidate won the subsequent by-election, resulting in the ALP holding a majority in the Legislative Assembly.

The fact that the Coalition Government came to office as a direct result of the 1996 Mundingburra by-election instead of the general election the previous year and that it was not elected in its own right at the 1998 election meant that the 1998 election was fourth consecutive election victory for the ALP having won every general election since 1989.

Background[edit]

The previous state election had resulted in one of the narrowest margins of any Australian election. The Goss government briefly clung to life by a single seat; however, the Court of Disputed Returns ordered a new election in the disputed seat of Mundingburra. This by-election was won by the Liberal Party; Independent MLA Liz Cunningham announced her support for a National-Liberal coalition government, and Rob Borbidge was appointed as Premier.

The Borbidge government's popularity suffered in the later part of its term due to the federal Howard government's GST plans. Seeking to create a more definite majority, Borbidge called a new election on 19 May 1998.[2] Although early polling showed the government to be strongly competitive with Labor, led by Peter Beattie, later polls saw Labor gain a substantial lead.[2]

However, the debate between the two parties was rapidly sidelined by One Nation's emerging support. Formed in 1997 by federal Independent MP for Oxley Pauline Hanson, One Nation gained significant support on a platform of economic nationalism, anti-immigration sentiments and opposition to native title. One Nation stood candidates in 79 seats, all largely political novices. The issue of preference allocations to One Nation, under Queensland's optional preferential voting (OPV) system, became a major campaign issue, with eventual poor results for the Liberals attributed to opposition from many of their traditional voters over their decision not to put One Nation last on preferences.

Key dates[edit]

Date Event
19 May 1998 Writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.[3]
23 May 1998 Close of electoral rolls.
26 May 1998 Close of nominations.
13 June 1998 Polling day, between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
25 June 1998 Peter Wellington announced that he would support a minority Labor government.
26 June 1998 The Borbidge Ministry resigned and an interim ministry was sworn in.[4]
29 June 1998 The Beattie Ministry was sworn in.
27 July 1998 The writ was returned and the results formally declared.

Results[edit]

One Nation won 11 seats, and came second (after preferences) in 23 seats.

Queensland state election, 13 June 1998[5][6]
Legislative Assembly
<< 19952001 >>

Enrolled Voters 2,115,977
Votes Cast 1,964,778 Turnout 92.85 +1.42
Informal Votes 28,438 Informal 1.45 –0.30
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 773,585 38.86 –4.03 44 ± 0
  One Nation 439,121 22.68 +22.68 11 +11
  Liberal 311,514 16.09 –6.65 9 – 5
  National 293,839 15.17 –11.08 23 – 7
  Greens 45,709 2.36 –0.51 0 ± 0
  Democrats 31,119 1.61 +0.36 0 ± 0
  Australia First 9,560 0.49 +0.49 0 ± 0
  Reform 7,658 0.40 +0.40 0 ± 0
  Christian Democrats 2,098 0.11 0 ± 0
  Shooters 1,058 0.05 +0.05 0 ± 0
  Women's Party 299 0.01 +0.01 0 ± 0
  Independent 41,991 2.17 –1.30 2 + 1
Total 1,936,340     89  

Seats changing hands[edit]

Seat Pre-1998 Swing Post-1998
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Barambah   National Trevor Perrett 24.4 -30.3 5.9 Dorothy Pratt One Nation  
Barron River   Liberal Lyn Warwick 0.4 -1.0 0.6 Lesley Clark Labor  
Burdekin   National Mark Stoneman 10.6 -20.0 9.4 Jeff Knuth One Nation  
Caboolture   Labor Jon Sullivan 2.3 -5.0 2.7 Bill Feldman One Nation  
Greenslopes   Liberal Ted Radke 0.1 -5.3 5.2 Gary Fenlon Labor  
Hervey Bay   Labor Bill Nunn 1.9 -7.2 5.3 David Dalgleish One Nation  
Ipswich West   Labor Don Livingstone 5.5 -7.3 1.9 Jack Paff One Nation  
Lockyer   National Tony Fitzgerald 20.8 -24.5 3.7 Peter Prenzler One Nation  
Mansfield   Liberal Frank Carroll 6.7 -6.9 0.2 Phil Reeves Labor  
Maryborough   Labor Bob Dollin 0.4 -8.7 8.3 John Kingston One Nation  
Mount Ommaney   Liberal Bob Harper 1.7 -3.6 1.9 Julie Attwood Labor  
Mulgrave   National Naomi Wilson 0.5 -4.6 4.1 Charles Rappolt One Nation  
Mundingburra   Liberal Frank Tanti 2.8 -6.6 3.8 Lindy Nelson-Carr Labor  
Nicklin   National Neil Turner 12.8 -18.5 5.7 Peter Wellington Independent  
Springwood   Liberal Luke Woolmer 10.8 -11.4 0.6 Grant Musgrove Labor  
Tablelands   National Tom Gilmore 23.0 -23.3 0.3 Shaun Nelson One Nation  
Thuringowa   Labor Ken McElligott 1.4 -8.0 6.6 Ken Turner One Nation  
Whitsunday   Labor Lorraine Bird 0.1 -1.8 1.7 Harry Black One Nation  
  • ¶ Results for Mundingburra based on 1996 by-election.
  • Members in italics did not recontest their seats.

Polling[edit]

Although the Coalition Government initially enjoyed strong levels of support subsequent to assuming office in 1996, support was quickly lost. From 1997, Labor opened a consistent, albeit narrow, lead in the polls and by 1998 Labor was enjoying a commanding lead. The Coalition was eventually disadvantaged by what was commonly deemed to be poor government performance and the rapid rise of One Nation support, which under the state's optional preferential voting, fractured the Conservative vote. The Coalition vote significantly plummeted, whilst Labor essentially withstood the swing to One Nation.

Legislative Assembly opinion polling
Primary vote
Date ALP L/NP ONP OTH
1998 election 38.9% 31.3% 22.7% 7.1%
10–11 Jun 1998 41.5% 33% 18.5% 7%
29–31 May 1998 44% 34% 15% 7%
Apr–May 1998 41% 39% 10% 10%
Jan–Mar 1998 41% 39% 5% 15%
Oct–Dec 1997 43% 38% 19%
Jul–Sep 1997 40% 41% 19%
Apr–Jun 1997 41% 41% 18%
Jan–Mar 1997 44% 41% 15%
Oct–Dec 1996 41% 46% 13%
Jul–Sep 1996 42% 49% 9%


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2009 Queensland Election - ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  2. ^ a b "1998 Queensland Election (Current Issues Brief 2 1998-99)". Aph.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  3. ^ Electoral Commission of Queensland (1998). Queensland Election 1998: Statistical Returns. p. 8. ISBN 0-7242-5023-9. 
  4. ^ Queensland Parliamentary Library (2009). Queensland Parliamentary Record: the 52nd parliament. pp. 114–115. ISSN 1449-2083. 
  5. ^ Wanna, John (December 1998). "Australian Political Chronicle: January–June 1998". Australian Journal of Politics and History 44 (4): 593. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  6. ^ Hughes, Colin A. (2002). A handbook of Australian government and politics, 1985-1999. Federation Press. p. 329. ISBN 978-1-86287-434-3.