Division of Blair
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Blair (green) within Queensland
|Party||Australia Labor Party|
|Area||6,409 km2 (2,474.5 sq mi)|
The Division of Blair is an Australian Electoral Division in Queensland. The division was created in 1998 and is named after Harold Blair, an Aboriginal singer and civil rights campaigner. The Division is based in the rural areas west of Brisbane and includes parts of Ipswich and the Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley regions.
The founder of One Nation, Pauline Hanson, contested Blair in 1998. Her previous seat, Oxley, had been essentially split in half in the redistribution ahead of the election. Oxley was reconfigured into an exclusively Brisbane-based seat that tilted strongly toward Labor, while most of the rural area near Ipswich shifted to Blair. Although it was a very safe Liberal seat on paper, it contained most of Hanson's base, so it was a natural choice for Hanson to attempt to transfer. The Liberals, Nationals and Labor preferenced each other ahead of Hanson, allowing Liberal challenger Cameron Thompson to win on the eighth count. Thompson overtook the Labor candidate on National preferences, then defeated Hanson on Labor preferences.
Thompson held the seat without serious difficulty in the next two elections, and it was widely considered as a safe Liberal seat. In the 2006 redistribution, the 2004 Liberal margin of 11.2% was reduced to 5.7%, as Esk, Nanango and Kingaroy were removed and more of Ipswich and Boonah were added. Blair had been rated as having received more funding promises from the Howard Government than any other electorate in the country. This pushed Blair just outside the range of seats Labor needed to win government. In the 2007 election, Thompson was defeated by Labor challenger Shayne Neumann, with a 10.2 percent swing to Labor.
|Australian federal election, 2013: Blair|
|Liberal National||Teresa Harding||26,734||33.85||−3.65|
|Palmer United||Anthony Stanton||9,805||12.41||+12.41|
|Katter's Australian||Dale Chorley||2,491||3.15||+3.15|
|Family First||Elwyn Denman||2,257||2.86||−2.05|
|Aust. Independents||Shannon Deguara||1,011||1.28||+1.28|
|Rise Up Australia||Anthony Mackin||504||0.64||+0.64|
|Total formal votes||78,979||94.33||+0.21|
|Liberal National||Teresa Harding||35,337||44.74||−1.02|