1986 Queensland state election
Elections were held in the Australian state of Queensland on 1 November 1986 to elect the 89 members of the state's Legislative Assembly. It followed a redistribution which increased the number of seats in the Assembly from 82 to 89.
All 89 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland
45 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
The election resulted in a seventh consecutive term for the National Party under Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. It was the 11th consecutive term for the National Party in Queensland since it first came to office in 1957. The Nationals secured a majority in their own right, with 49 seats. It is the only time that the Nationals have ever won enough seats to govern alone in an election at any level. They had come up one seat short of an outright majority in 1983, but picked up a majority after persuading two Liberals to cross the floor.
This was the last time that a non-Labor Government was elected at a Queensland state election until 2012, although the Coalition briefly held government from 1996 to 1998 following the Mundingburra by-election.
|30 September 1986||Writs were issued by the Governor to proceed with an election.|
|9 October 1986||Close of nominations.|
|1 November 1986||Polling day, between the hours of 8am and 6pm.|
|1 December 1986||The Bjelke-Petersen Ministry was reconstituted.|
|8 January 1987||The writ was returned and the results formally declared.|
All three parties had high hopes for the election. The Nationals knew that they needed to increase their number of seats in order to hang onto Government (they had held a majority of one in the last Parliament, which had been increased from 82 seats to 89 for the 1986 election). The Liberals desperately needed to win back some of their losses from their disastrous performance in 1983, and Labor hoped to exploit disunity between the conservative parties to make gains.
The Bjelke-Petersen Government won a commanding victory, winning an extra eight seats and thus increasing its majority. The Liberals gained two seats, but were still nowhere near making up for their 1983 losses. Labor lost two seats.
|Summary of votes by party|
Seats changing handsEdit
|Ashgrove||Labor||Tom Veivers||2.6||-4.6||2.0||Alan Sherlock||Liberal|
|Caboolture||National||Bill Newton||-2.3||-1.0||3.7||Ken Hayward||Labor|
|Callide||Independent||Lindsay Hartwig||9.3||-22.5||13.2||Di McCauley||National|
|Merthyr||Liberal||Don Lane||2.2||N/A||6.0||Don Lane||National|
|Mount Isa||Labor||Bill Price||1.7||-4.4||2.7||Peter Beard||Liberal|
|Toowong||National||Earle Bailey||2.8||-21.2||18.4||Denver Beanland||Liberal|
|Townsville||Labor||Ken McElligott||-0.5||-3.9||4.4||Tony Burreket||National|
The 1986 election is significant for a number of reasons. It saw the National Party retain a majority of seats in the Parliament, and it was only the second election in Australian history (the other being the 1983 Queensland election) in which the National Party won enough seats to form Government in its own right.
More importantly, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen's victory gave him the confidence to launch the 'Joh for Canberra' campaign, which would play a major part in the 1987 federal election, and would later be a major factor in his undoing.
- Queensland Legislative Assembly (17 March 1987). Details of polling at general election held on 1 November 1986. p. 8.
- "Australian Political Chronicle: January–June 1986". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 32 (3): 468–469. December 1986. ISSN 0004-9522.
- Australian Government and Politics Database. "Parliament of Queensland, Assembly election, 1 November 1986". Retrieved 22 February 2009.
- Hughes, Colin A. (2002). A handbook of Australian government and politics, 1985-1999. Federation Press. p. 324. ISBN 978-1-86287-434-3.