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Super Saturday Special Part 1: Longman By-election

A handful of key seats are up for grabs as part of the Super Saturday by-elections in July. Part 1 of our series looks at Longman.

Longman is the most marginal of all the seats on a wafer thin 0.8%. It's located to the North of Brisbane in the Moreton Bay region. The demographics include a mix of families, sea-change commuters and retirees.

The seat has changed hands a number of times between the LNP and Labor. At the 2016 election, Labor won the seat with preferences from One Nation. However, with Labor castigating Pauline Hanson for backing the Government's recent personal income tax cuts, including actively campaigning against her in Longman, it's the LNP who may benefit from One Nation preferences on 28 July.

The Longman election is also taking place in the context of a State Labor Government coping it from rural and regional communities over unpopular land clearing laws.

So who are the candidates?

Susan Lamb, ALP

Susan Lamb was born in Mackay and moved to the area covered by the electorate of Longman as a young adult. Lamb's primary background is in public education having worked as a teacher's aide for 13 years.

Continuing with her passion for education, Lamb became an organiser and campaign manager for one of Australia's largest unions, United Voice, which counts among its members early childhood educators.

Controversy has followed Lamb since her eligibility to sit in the House of Representatives came into question. In February this year she gave an emotional address to Parliament outlining her life history, including her mother leaving home when Lamb was six years old.

Her mother and step-mother later contradicted this version of the story.

Trevor Ruthenberg, LNP

Ironic in the context of the reason for the Longman by-election, Trevor Ruthenberg was born in Papua New Guinea.

As Member for the Queensland State seat of Kallangur between 2012 and 2015, Ruthenberg was known as 'Big Trev', with a personality to match his name.

'Big' could also be used to describe Ruthenberg's professional career. After working for a fibreglass manufacturer, he joined the RAAF and completed a trade as an airframe fitter.

His career has spanned the project services industry, the aged care and education arms of the Lutheran Church in Australia, the property sector and of course, politics.

His term as a State MP came to an end as part of the voter backlash against Premier Campbell Newman in 2015, a link Labor has been keen to exploit during the current battle for Longman.

Advoc8's prediction: Too close to call.

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