Gaven state by-election, 2006

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A by-election was held for the Legislative Assembly of Queensland district of Gaven on 1 April 2006. It was triggered by the resignation of sitting Labor member Robert Poole.

The by-election resulted in the Labor Party losing the seat to National Party candidate Alex Douglas.


Robert Poole first came to parliament at the 2001 state election by winning the newly created seat of Gaven. He was subsequently re-elected at the 2004 state election. During his second term, Poole attracted criticism for the amount of time he spent in Thailand, where his wife and children lived. Things came to a head in February 2006 when Poole announced that he'd be spending three months in Thailand to recover from knee surgery.[1] The Opposition demanded a by-election, but Premier Peter Beattie said he was prepared to wait until the beginning of April for Poole to return home.[2] Poole, not prepared to return home early from his trip, announced his decision to resign his seat on 28 February 2006.[3]


Labor preselected Phil Gray as their candidate to defend the seat. Gray had previously been campaign manager to outgoing member Robert Poole.[4]

The Liberal Party—who had been the Labor Party's chief opponent in Gaven at the 2004 election—did not contest the by-election, instead deferring to the National Party due to the coalition agreement that the two parties not stand candidates against each other in the same seat. This attracted criticism from some from commentators who believed the Liberal Party was better placed to win the suburban seat than the rural-centric Nationals. The National Party endorsed general practitioner Alex Douglas as its candidate.


National Party candidate Alex Douglas won the seat from Labor Party. It marked the third by-election loss for Labor during this parliamentary term, following on from the 2005 losses in Chatsworth and Redcliffe.

Gaven state by-election, 2006[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Alex Douglas 11,012 42.51 +42.51
Labor Phil Gray 9,517 36.74 −10.59
Greens Glen Ryman 2,036 7.86 −0.33
Daren Riley 1,982 7.65 +7.65
Phil Connolly 683 2.64 −3.14
One Nation Steve Moir 672 2.59 +2.59
Total formal votes 25,902 96.44 +0.66
Informal votes 956 3.56 −0.66
Turnout 26,858 83.55 −7.14
Two-party-preferred result
National Alex Douglas 11,807 53.35 +53.35
Labor Phil Gray 10,324 46.65 −8.31
National gain from Labor Swing N/A


Alex Douglas's stint in parliament would prove to be a short one. A general election was called by Premier Peter Beattie later that year where Labor recouped the seat of Gaven, with Phil Gray once again their candidate.

However, the tables turned again at 2009 state election when Alex Douglas, running as a candidate for the newly formed Liberal National Party, defeated Gray in their third contest against one another.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gaven MP urged to get on with job". ABC. 20 February 2006. 
  2. ^ "Call Gaven by-election now, Beattie told". ABC. 27 February 2006. 
  3. ^ "Qld Labor faces by-election following controversial resignation". The World Today. 
  4. ^ "MP cloud despite 'sorry' letter". The Gold Coast Bulletin. 6 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "2006 Gaven by-election". Electoral Commission of Queensland. 
  6. ^ "2004 general election: Gaven". Electoral Commission of Queensland.