Barambah state by-election, 1988

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The Barambah state by-election, 1988 was a by-election held on 16 April 1988 for the Queensland Legislative Assembly seat of Barambah, based in the town of Kingaroy. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of National MP and former Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Until the by-election, the seat had been considered the Nationals' safest seat in Queensland.


The candidates were:[1]


The result was a shock to most observers, and came about largely because 89% of Labor voters' preferences went to the CEC. It was seen by contemporary observers as a clear setback to new party leader Mike Ahern in his efforts to stabilise the party ahead of the 1989 election.

Barambah state by-election, 1988[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Warren Truss 4,754 41.27 −36.20
CEC Trevor Perrett 3,639 31.59 +31.59
Labor John Lang 2,033 17.65 −4.88
New Country Party Kevin Polzin 1,092 9.48 +9.48
Total formal votes 11,518 98.15 +0.88
Informal votes 216 1.85 −0.88
Turnout 11,734 84.90 −8.63
Two-candidate-preferred result
CEC Trevor Perrett 6,232 54.11 +54.11
National Warren Truss 5,286 45.89 −31.58
CEC gain from National Swing N/A


Though elected as a Citizens Electoral Council candidate, Trevor Perrett defected to the National Party in December 1988, and was re-elected as a National candidate at the 1989 state election. Perrett became a minister in the Coalition government of Rob Borbidge and held the seat of Barambah until his defeat at the 1998 state election.

Defeated National Party candidate Warren Truss was elected as the member for the division of Wide Bay at the 1990 Australian federal election. He served as a minister in the government of John Howard and afterward became federal leader of the National Party in 2007 and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia in 2013.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Australian Political Chronicle: January–June 1988". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 34 (3): 418–419. December 1988. ISSN 0004-9522. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.1988.tb01188.x. 
  2. ^ "Vote for Libs, says Joh, the Nats are lost", The Courier-Mail, 15 March 1988, pg 2.
  3. ^ Queensland Legislative Assembly (6 March 1990). Details of polling at general election held on 2 December 1989. p. 70.