Analysis: Did the NBN rollout plan win seats?

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Analysis: Did the NBN rollout plan win seats?

Yes in Tassie, a resounding no on the mainland.

Voters in seats named as first and second release sites for Australia's National Broadband Network appear to have focused on issues beyond the NBN during the 2010 Federal Election, with the ALP gaining additional votes in only a handful of these electorates.

An iTnews' analysis (see in full below) reveals that the ALP gained in two-party preferred votes in nine of the 24 sites named to get connected to the NBN before the rest of Australia.

In four of the five mainland seats in which the ALP made gains on a two-party preferred basis, the gains came predominantly from preference votes as a greater share of the electorate swung to the Greens.

In Tasmania, by contrast, the ALP made significant gains in four of the five first release sites, with a fifth seat hanging in the balance. The ALP's gains were most pronounced in the three towns (Midway Point, Scottsdale and Smithton) that are already connecting to live NBN services.

The stats reveal that voting behaviour varied state to state, with otherwise little uniform approach by voters in areas earmarked for an early NBN rollout.

In Queensland and the Northern Territory, voters swung away from the ALP in all sites earmarked for an early NBN, with the ALP losing the seats of Brisbane (QLD), Herbert (QLD) and Solomon (NT).  Analysts suggest that dissatisfaction with the Queensland State ALP Government and with the ungraceful usurping of former Prime Minister Rudd would have played a strong role in this swing.

First and second release sites in New South Wales also remained in Coalition hands.

In Western Australia, the ALP kept one of its three NBN site seats, but made no gains with voters.

In Julia Gillard's power base of Victoria, the ALP won a single NBN-earmarked seat from the Coalition (McEwan) and retained two others. The ALP also retained Fraser in the ACT.

In South Australia, the ALP kept its NBN site seats, attracting more votes in two of the three seats.

Do NBN seats swing? (two party preferred votes)


  • Bacchus Marsh (Ballarat) 
  • Election results 2010: 61.94% (ALP), 38.06% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 58.15% (ALP), 41.85% (LP/NP)
  • Remains a fairly safe ALP seat - strong swing to ALP on two-party preferred, driven by Greens preferences (Greens candidate enjoyed a 2.98 percent swing).

  • South Morang (McEwen) 
  • Election results 2010: 55.60% (ALP), 44.4% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 49.98% (ALP), 50.02% (LP/NP)
  • Key Liberal marginal swings by a whopping 5.62 percent to the ALP on two-party preferred. Local ALP member had a 3.67 percent increase in the first preference vote, whilst Greens candidate Steve Meacher attracted an additional 2.85 percent.

  • Brunswick (Wills)
  • Election results 2010: 72.99% (ALP), 27.01% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 72.40% (ALP), 27.60% (LP/NP)
  • A swing in favour of the ALP, thanks largely to Greens preferences (Greens enjoyed 5.54 percent swing).


  • Brisbane (Brisbane) 
  • Election results 2010: 49.32% (ALP), 50.68% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 56.76% (ALP), 43.24% (LP/NP)
  • A 5.28 percent swing to the Coalition. ALP member Arch Bevis loses his seat, down 12.4 percent on the first preference vote and despite Andrew Bartlett boosting the Greens vote by 9.74 percent.

  • Springfield Lakes (Oxley)
  • Election results 2010: 56.22% (ALP), 43.78% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 61.34% (ALP), 38.66% (LP/NP)
  • A 5.2 percent swing to the Coalition, with ALP MP Bernie Ripoll's first preference vote down by over ten percent, a 6.1 percent boost to the Greens and around three percent each to the Coalition and Family First. The ALP still hold this seat.

  • Toowoomba (Groom) 
  • Election results 2010: 31.85% (ALP), 68.15% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 41.78% (ALP), 58.22% (LP/NP)
  • Local Coalition MP Ian McFarlane storms home with a 9.93 percent swing on two party preferred and 7.94 percent on first preference. A fairly safe Liberal seat made safer.

  • Townsville (Herbert)
  • Election results 2010: 47.84% (ALP), 52.14% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 50.03% (ALP), 49.97% (LP/NP)
  • ALP candidate has conceded defeat after boosts to both Liberal Party and Family First candidates.

New South Wales

  • Riverstone (Greenway) STILL IN PLAY
  • Election results 2010: 50.82% (ALP), 49.18% (LP/NP)*
  • Election results 2007: 55.67% (ALP), 44.33% (LP/NP)
  • A 4.8 percent swing to the Coalition after ALP member Michele Rowland's first preference vote dropped 7.1 percent. Will the ALP hang on?

  • Coffs Harbour (Cowper)
  • Election results 2010: 41.02% (ALP), 58.98% (NP)
  • Election results 2007: 48.77% (ALP), 51.23% (NP)
  • A 7.7 percent swing to the Nationals turns a marginal Coalition seat into a safer one.

  • Armidale (New England)
  • Election results 2010: 71.61% (IND), 28.39% (NAT)
  • Election results 2008: 74.41% (IND), 25.59% (NAT) 
  • Won decisively by Independent Tony Windsor, with 71.61 percent of the two party preferred vote. The Nationals a distant second, Country Labor not even in the race.

  • Minnamurra (Gilmore)
  • Election results 2010: 45.04% (ALP), 54.96% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 50.41% (ALP), 49.59% (LP/NP)
  • A 5.37 percent swing away from the ALP on two party preferred, seat in the hands of the Coalition.

South Australia

  • Modbury (Makin)
  • Election results 2010: 62.16% (ALP), 37.84% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 57.70% (ALP), 42.30% (LP/NP)
  • The ALP gained a 4.46 percent swing on two-party preferred, with the Greens up 5.4 percent on first preference and the Liberal candidate down 7.92 percent.

  • Prospect (Adelaide)
  • Election results 2010: 58.23% (ALP), 41.77% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 58.53% (ALP), 41.47% (LP/NP)
  • Slight swing to the Coalition, but ALP seat remains safe.

  • Willunga (Kingston)
  • Election results 2010: 64.41% (ALP), 35.59% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 54.42% (ALP), 45.58% (LP/NP)
  • A 9.9 percent swing to the ALP on two-party preferred, with the ALP candidate up 5.5 percent and the Greens candidate up 6.52 percent. Now a firm ALP seat.

Western Australia

  • Victoria Park (Swan)
  • Election results 2010: 47.75% (ALP), 52.25% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 50.27% (ALP), 49.73% (LP/NP)
  • Remains a Liberal seat.

  • Geraldton (O'Connor)
  • Election results 2010: 45.79% (LP), 54.21% (NP)
  • Liberal candidate Wilson Tuckey loses his seat to the National Party. ALP candidate's first preference vote down 9 percent and barely in the race.

  • Mandurah (Brand)
  • Election results 2010: 53.76% (ALP), 46.24% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 55.98% (ALP), 44.02 (LP/NP)
  • ALP member Gary Gray keeps his seat, despite a 5.04 percent swing away from his first preference vote. The Greens candidate enjoyed a 5.72 percent boost.

Northern Territory

  • Casuarina (Solomon)
  • Election results 2010: 47.34% (ALP), 52.66% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 50.19% (ALP), 49.81% (LP/NP)
  • Country Liberals win this seat from the ALP.


  • Gungahlin (Fraser)
  • Election results 2010: 64.69% (ALP), 35.31% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 65.07% (ALP), 34.93% (LP/NP)
  • Remains a safe ALP seat.


  • Midway Point, Sorell, Triabunna, Deloraine, St Helens (Lyons)
  • Election results 2010: 62.67% (ALP), 37.33% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 58.34% (ALP), 41.66% (LP/NP)
  • A 4.33 percent swing to the ALP on two-party preferred. The local ALP candidate also enjoyed a 6.09 percent boost as first preferred. A safe ALP seat.
  • Scottsdale, George Town (Bass)
  • Election results 2010: 57.04% (ALP), 42.96% (LP/NP)
  • Election results 2007: 51.03% (ALP), 48.97% (LP/NP)
  • ALP takes a firm hold on an otherwise marginal seat. A 6.01 percent swing to the ALP on two-party preferred and 6.74 percent swing on first preferred.

  • South Hobart, (Denison) STILL IN PLAY*
  • Election results 2010: 53.19% (ALP), 46.81% (IND)* 
  • Independent Andrew Wilkie attracts huge votes - the ALP first preference vote down 12.17 percent. But the ALP might still hang on and win this seat.

  • Kingston Beach, (Franklin)
  • Election results 2010: 60.71% (ALP), 39.29% (LP/NP) 
  • Election results 2007: 54.03% (ALP), 45.97% (LP/NP)
  • A 6.68 percent swing to the ALP on two-party preferred, with a 2.58 percent boost in the first preferred vote and a 6.02 percent boost for the Greens. Safe seat made safer.

  • Smithton (Braddon)
  • Election results 2010: 57.96% (ALP), 42.04% (LP/NP) 
  • Election results 2007: 52.32% (ALP), 47.68% (LP/NP)
  • The ALP further secures this seat with a 5.18 percent boost to the ALP's first preferred and a 5.64 percent boost to its two-party preferred vote.

What do you think? Did the NBN impact your vote? Comment below...

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