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Division of Leichhardt

Australian House of Representatives Division
Interactive map of boundaries
MPWarren Entsch
PartyLiberal National
NamesakeLudwig Leichhardt
Electors117,262 (2022)
DemographicRural and provincial
Electorates around Leichhardt:
Gulf of Carpentaria Torres Strait Coral Sea
Gulf of Carpentaria Leichhardt Coral Sea
Kennedy Kennedy Kennedy

The Division of Leichhardt is an Australian electoral division in Queensland.

Leichhardt is located in Far North Queensland. It is a very mixed electorate, with its classification ranging from provincial in the south and rural and remote elsewhere. It includes the city of Cairns, as well as many towns such as Cooktown, Port Douglas and Weipa, and several Indigenous communities on the Cape York Peninsula and in the Torres Strait Islands.


Since 1984, federal electoral division boundaries in Australia have been determined at redistributions by a redistribution committee appointed by the Australian Electoral Commission. Redistributions occur for the boundaries of divisions in a particular state, and they occur every seven years, or sooner if a state's representation entitlement changes or when divisions of a state are malapportioned.[1]

It is located in Far North Queensland and includes the Torres Strait Islands. It includes the local government areas of Cairns, Cook, Douglas, Torres and Wujal Wujal.


As of the 2021 Australian census, Leichhardt had a total of 175,620 residents (including those who are not on the electoral roll).[2] 50.4% of the population is female, and 49.6% is male.[2] This reflects a trend across northern Australia where the male population tends to be above average. The median age is 39, compared to the state and national average of 38.[2]

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 16.3% of the total population, significantly above the state average of 4.6% and national average of 3.2%.[2]

44.8% of people in Leichhardt are unmarried, significantly higher than the national and state averages. 38.3% of residents have a registered marriage, while 16.9% are in a de facto marriage.[2]

Leichhardt is somewhat multicultural. 31.8% of the population has English ancestry, 26.9% have Australian ancestry, 10.9% have Aboriginal ancestry, 9.7% have Irish ancestry and 8.7% have Scottish ancestry.[2]


Ludwig Leichhardt, the division's namesake

The division was first contested in 1949 after the expansion of seats in the Parliament of Australia. It is one of Australia's largest electorates, covering an area stretching from Cairns to Cape York and the Torres Strait, including the Torres Strait Islands.

The division is named after Ludwig Leichhardt, an explorer and scientist. The area was first covered by the seat of Herbert from 1901 to 1934 and then by the seat of Kennedy until 1949.

Most of the electorate is almost uninhabited except for small Aboriginal communities, but the extreme southeast, consisting of the northern half of the Wet Tropics, with rich volcanic soils instead of the extraordinarily infertile lateritic sands and gravels of Cape York proper, is quite densely populated and includes urban Cairns. There are small, intensive sugar cane, banana and mango farms in this region, though they are prone to damage from droughts and cyclones.

A safe Labor seat from the late 1950s to the 1970s, it has been marginal for most of the time since then. While Cairns has historically tilted toward Labor, the more rural areas tilt toward the Liberals and Nationals.

It was a bellwether seat held by the party of government from the 1972 election until the 2010 election. When Warren Entsch, who held the seat from 1996 to 2007, won it back for the LNP in 2010, he became the seat's first opposition member in four decades. It also marked the first time Labor had been in government without holding Leichhardt.

Ahead of the 2016 federal election, ABC psephologist Antony Green listed the seat in his election guide as one of eleven which he classed as bellwether electorates.[3]


Image Member Party Term Notes
  Tom Gilmore
Country 10 December 1949
28 April 1951
Lost seat. Later elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland seat of Tablelands in 1957
  Harry Bruce
Labor 28 April 1951
11 October 1958
Previously held the Legislative Assembly of Queensland seat of The Tableland. Died in office
  Bill Fulton
22 November 1958
11 November 1975
  David Thomson
National Country 13 December 1975
16 October 1982
Served as minister under Fraser. Lost seat
  Nationals 16 October 1982 –
5 March 1983
  John Gayler
Labor 5 March 1983
8 February 1993
  Peter Dodd
13 March 1993
2 March 1996
Lost seat
  Warren Entsch
Liberal 2 March 1996
17 October 2007
  Jim Turnour
Labor 24 November 2007
21 August 2010
Lost seat
  Warren Entsch
Liberal National 21 August 2010

Election results

2022 Australian federal election: Leichhardt[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal National Warren Entsch 33,652 36.70 −0.89
Labor Elida Faith 25,312 27.60 −1.19
Greens Phillip Musumeci 9,143 9.97 −0.43
One Nation Geena Court 6,822 7.44 +1.39
Katter's Australian Rod Jensen 5,166 5.63 −2.52
Socialist Alliance Pat O'Shane 3,729 4.07 +4.07
United Australia Daniel Hannagan 3,593 3.92 −0.05
Informed Medical Options Silvia Mogorovich 1,641 1.79 +1.79
Animal Justice Susanne Bayly 1,253 1.37 +1.37
Fusion Adam Cropp 930 1.01 +1.01
Australian Federation Paul Roe 466 0.51 +0.51
Total formal votes 91,707 93.18 −0.40
Informal votes 6,715 6.82 +0.40
Turnout 98,422 83.97 −3.68
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal National Warren Entsch 49,010 53.44 −0.73
Labor Elida Faith 42,697 46.56 +0.73
Liberal National hold Swing −0.73


  1. ^ Muller, Damon (14 November 2017). "The process of federal redistributions: a quick guide". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f
  3. ^ The Bellwether Contests: Antony Green ABC
  4. ^ Leichhardt, QLD, 2022 Tally Room, Australian Electoral Commission.

14°21′25″S 143°07′16″E / 14.357°S 143.121°E / -14.357; 143.121

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Division of Leichhardt
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