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Seat of the week: Makin

Labor enjoyed blowout majorities in traditionally marginal Adelaide seats at the 2010 election, but the Liberals are expressing optimism that what went up might be about to come down.

The north-eastern Adelaide seat of Makin extends from Pooraka near the city to Tea Tree Gully and Greenwith at the limits of the metropolitan area. Labor is especially strong in the areas nearer the city, from Walkley Heights north to Salibsury East, beyond which are generally newer suburbs with more mortgage payers and families, who have helped keep the Liberals competitive or better for most of the seat’s history. The redistribution has added around 6000 voters from Port Adelaide in the west, including a newly developed Liberal-leaning area around the University of South Australia campus at Mawson Lakes along with strongly Labor Salisbury further north. The combined effect has been to shave the Labor margin from 12.2% to 11.8%.

Makin is one of three seats which went from being Liberal seats in the final term of the Howard government to Labor seats with double-digit margins after the 2010 election, together with Kingston in the south of the city and Wakefield in its outer north. It was created with the expansion of parliament in 1984 from an area that had mostly formed the southern end of safe Labor Bonython, the majority of which was in turn absorbed by Wakefield when it was abolished in 2004. Makin was held for Labor by uncomfortable margins from 1984 to 1996 by Peter Duncan, a former Attorney-General in Don Dunstan’s state government. A 4.8% swing put Duncan on the Keating government casualty list in 1996, and he returned to the headlines in 2007 after being charged with fraudulently obtaining government grants for his plastics recycling company.

Duncan’s Liberal successor was former nurse Trish Draper, who emerged as a prime ministerial favourite after strong performances at the next two elections. The swing against Draper at the 1998 election was just 0.2% compared with a statewide swing to Labor of 4.2%, and in 2001 she bettered her 1996 margin after picking up a swing of 3.0%. Draper went on to hit serious trouble in the lead-up to the 2004 election when it emerged she had taken a boyfriend on a study trip to Europe at taxpayers’ expense, in breach of rules limiting the benefit to spouses. She nonetheless survived by 0.9% at the 2004 election, despite suffering a swing which was not reflected in neighbouring seats. Draper retired at the 2007 election citing an illness in the family, before unsuccessfully attempting a comeback in the state seat of Newland at the March 2010 election.

Tony Zappia won Makin for Labor on his second attempt in 2007, and handsomely increased his margin to 12.2% in 2010. He had been the mayor of Salisbury since 1997, a councillor for many years beforehand, and at one time a weightlifting champion. Zappia was widely reckoned to have been victim of his own factional non-alignment when the Right’s Julie Woodman defeated him for preselection in 2001, and a repeat performance appeared on the cards when a factional deal ahead of the 2004 election reserved the seat for Dana Wortley of the “hard Left”. The arrangement displeased local branches as well as party hard-heads concerned that a crucial marginal seat should be contested by the most appealing candidate, and Premier Mike Rann prevailed upon Wortley’s backers to throw their weight behind Zappia.

The move appeared a dead end for Zappia in the short term, as he was unable to win the seat in 2004 whereas Wortley was elected from the Senate position she was offered as consolation. However, he performed considerably better with the electoral breeze at his back in 2007, demolishing the 0.9% Liberal margin with a swing of 8.6%. This was achieved in the face of a high-impact publicity campaign by Liberal candidate Bob Day, housing tycoon and national president of the Housing Industry Association who has since run for election with Family First.

The once non-aligned Zappia is now a member of the Left, and is believed to have backed Kevin Rudd during his February 2012 leadership challenge. His Liberal opponent is Sue Lawrie, who has variously run flower sales businesses and worked on the staff of various Liberal MPs. Lawrie has run several times at state level, most recently as an independent Liberal at the Port Adelaide by-election of February 2012.

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  • 101
    Gecko
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Andrew

    Good post with excellent points.

  • 102
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Good Morning

    I see people are missing the point on the surplus promise. Bemused is correct up until the arrival of John Howard. He then introduced Core and Non Core promises.

    Now the public expects this standard. So Labor had no choice but to make a promise they knew had to be broken. Otherwise they would have been attached for being weak. Its all part of Howard dumbing down the debate.

    Now the Liberals of course are screaming see its “trust”.

    Beazley tried that tactic and failed. So too will Abbott.

  • 103
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Boerwar:

    Yes, Mega was absolutely spot on with the leadership stuff. The PM is therefore fighting two oppositions: the coalition and the whiteanters in her own party.

  • 104
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Mod Lib@80


    victoria:

    I completely agree with you that the Opposition have offered nothing substantial to argue for election, just plenty of evidence to vote against the government.

    I would not argue with you, or anyone else arguing the deficiencies of LNP policy work. However, that is completely normal for Oppositions at this stage.

    Why I find some posts here absolutely amazing is the rose coloured glasses when it comes to Gillard. She can make mistake after mistake and some here spin furiously to try and convince us she has never done anything wrong.

    HINT: This is why you have no cut through with the public!

    To quote the PM, stop writing crap

    It saddens me that a supporter of my Tory foes can write a post that makes much more sense than those of my supposed allies.

    The opposition has worked hard to craft a message of ‘bad government’. incompetent government’, ‘wasteful govt’ etc. Not much substance to any of them, but they have taken hold and not been properly countered by the Govt.

    And, despite those rose coloured glasses on PB, Gillard and Swan make repeated unforced errors and own goals which must have the opposition chortling with delight at their good fortune.

    Rudd may or may not be the answer, but sure as hell Gillard isn’t.

  • 105
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Stephen C ‏@2FBS
    We need a new bumper sticker... "Old Liberal Staffers Never Die... @abcmarkscott just gives them a gig on the ABC."

    Or in OM more generally.

  • 106
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    bemused

    Rudd is not the answer

  • 107
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    confessions

    Mega is running the media meme. Barry Jones on News 24 made clear the nervous nellies on the backbench are doing what nervous nellies always do. They get undisciplined.

    Howards team did the same at this for his government ib the cycle.

    OM is just stirring the pot to get reaction.
    The real action with Rudd is the Federal Police leak inquiry.

  • 108
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    confessions@89


    Excellent. A policy debate on IR – the coalition’s weakness.

    Yes, it would be terrific if the public were listening and the opposition engaged at that level.
    But that won’t happen.
    The public is not paying much attention and the opposition will counter with FUD about competence etc.

  • 109
    mimhoff
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I see people are missing the point on the surplus promise. Bemused is correct up until the arrival of John Howard. He then introduced Core and Non Core promises.

    Now the public expects this standard. So Labor had no choice but to make a promise they knew had to be broken. Otherwise they would have been attached for being weak. Its all part of Howard dumbing down the debate.

    It is dumb. Especially the way every press conference and interview goes straight for the cheap gotcha questions.

    “Will you rule out kicking puppies to achieve a surplus?”

    “But can you *guarantee* that no puppies will be kicked?”

    It’s just lazy, with no thought put into the questions. And they don’t even get answered!

  • 110
    Gary
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    You watch. If Tone gets in and stuffs up the place Mod Lib will be on here spinning like a top making all the excuses about the place for their mess ups.

  • 111
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    confessions@100


    Boerwar:

    Yes, Mega was absolutely spot on with the leadership stuff. The PM is therefore fighting two oppositions: the coalition and the whiteanters in her own party.

    Yes, Rudds mere presence is a perpetual reminder of certain disgraceful events.

    But if you really want to know the identity of who does most damage to the Govt, I will let you in on the (non)secret.

    Gillard and Swan.

  • 112
    Gary
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Gee, the blame game has started early.

  • 113
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    This is a good move IMO as long as it’s monitored and implemented well. There are quite a few routine things doctors do which nurses can be trained to do.

    NURSES are being trained to perform an increasing number of doctors' tasks in public hospitals as governments try to cut costs, reduce waiting lists and get more out of their workforce

    Sadly, the ANF is highly hypocritical about it. They are happy to take on doctors roles but they won’t let in nurses assistants to feed and wash the patients. You don’t need three years of nursing training to do that.

    Assistant secretary of the Victorian branch of the Australian Nursing Federation Paul Gilbert said although some nurses were keen to take on more complex tasks, the union was concerned about any suggestion registered nurses were doing tasks that could be performed by less trained and unregistered assistants.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/nurses-take-on-doctors-tasks-20130209-2e5oy.html

  • 114
    Gary
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    What is really disapponting is that someone who claims to support the leader no matter who he/she is gets on here and blames he/she for every ill the Labor party has.

  • 115
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    bemused

    I guess you think John Mendoza is talking crap

    Rudd not fit to be PM, says former advisor John Mendoza | The …
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/…john-mendoza/story-e6freoof-12262803...
    Feb 24, 2012 – A SENIOR advisor to Kevin Rudd during his prime ministership has revealed he resigned in part because of the “utterly dysfunctional and …

  • 116
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Gary:

    If Abbott gets in ML will disappear.

  • 117
    davidwh
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Gary that’s a big part of Labor’s problem all the internal finger-pointing and navel-gazing. If you want to know why Abbott can get away with a small target strategy Labor needs to look no further than within. Sure Labor has to deal with an biased media but they need to stop giving them bullets to fire.

  • 118
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    And I guess Rudd’s latest conduct is not bizarre at all.

  • 119
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    davidwh:

    A commenter suggested elsewhere that Rudd be offered a diplomatic post as soon as parliament is dissolved, and shipped off overseas. It would get him out of the partyroom and hence resolve the leadership tensions and whiteanting virtually overnight.

    A win win all round.

  • 120
    davidwh
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Rudd is part of Labor so of course he is part of the problem.

  • 121
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Recommended Listening

    I didn’t hear it all, but this morning’s Background Briefing was highly topical given the ICAC hearings with Obeid et al and the likely fate awaiting the ALP in NSW, particularly Western Sydney seats.

    The NSW (Labor) disease

    My views on the need for Federal Intervention are well known so I won’t go over them again.

    I cannot imagine the depth of anger and despair that must be felt by honest ALP members in NSW. I certainly feel that way and I am in Victoria.

  • 122
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Gary@111


    What is really disapponting is that someone who claims to support the leader no matter who he/she is gets on here and blames he/she for every ill the Labor party has.

    No Gary, not support a particular person as leader, support the party and what it wishes to achieve for the country.

    I am not into cults of personality.

  • 123
    bemused
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    victoria@112


    bemused

    I guess you think John Mendoza is talking crap

    Rudd not fit to be PM, says former advisor John Mendoza | The …
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/…john-mendoza/story-e6freoof-12262803...
    Feb 24, 2012 – A SENIOR advisor to Kevin Rudd during his prime ministership has revealed he resigned in part because of the “utterly dysfunctional and …

    I have not listened to that recently, but I have met John Mendoza and certainly don’t agree with all he says on issues outside of politics.

    I have it bookmarked to watch later.

  • 124
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    bemused:

    I cannot imagine the depth of anger and despair that must be felt by honest ALP members in NSW. I certainly feel that way and I am in Victoria.

    This is what can happen when your party becomes about the ambition of its officers rather than the importance of the principles that are the rationale for its existence. The party can win victories, but these will come at a serious cost to its identity.

    It’s also what happens when the system relies on a passive public to function.

  • 125
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Andrew Elder’s latest:
    http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/enduring-ideas.html

  • 126
    Gecko
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Bemused

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so it is with political perception. Your argument that Gillard and Swan do the most damage is moot. Had there not been a promise for a surplus (still unresolved I might add) the media would have gone to town on that omission and we would have arrived at the same result. Had Gillard announced the election after two ministers retired the media would also have questioned that and we would have the same result. Gillard and Swan are your obvious patsies because they are the Pm and Deputy PM/Treasurer and singled out for the most treatment for obvious reasons. A campaign of this nature against the government will not be deterred by changing the occupants of the roles… they are merely collateral damage… and your falling into the meme merely identifies that you also have been sucked in.

  • 127
    muttleymcgee
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    And, despite those rose coloured glasses on PB, Gillard and Swan make repeated unforced errors and own goals which must have the opposition chortling with delight at their good fortune.

    Rudd may or may not be the answer, but sure as hell Gillard isn’t.

    And a bitter old troll like yourself would know!

    I have never heard such two-faced, Quisling bullshit from someone who professes to be a Labor supporter, but who takes every opportunity to whiteant the current, successful leadership.

    All the while pontificating about a narcissitic twit who is, like you, incapable of shutting up.

    Rudd didn’t do shit! The Labor party did and still does despite the little Worm’s consistent undermining with your nasty childish help.

    Have a look at yourself!

  • 128
    muttleymcgee
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I am not into cults of personality.

    What rubbish!! You are a Ruddista through and through.

  • 129
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    bemused

    Perhaps you should listen to what Mr Mendoza had to say in this audio. Then reflect on what Rudd has done with respect to leaking his own FOI letters to the AFP.

    http://youtu.be/ThEo_1mcbNM

  • 130
    Mod Lib
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Gary
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:25 am | PERMALINK
    You watch. If Tone gets in and stuffs up the place Mod Lib will be on here spinning like a top making all the excuses about the place for their mess ups.

    Ah….have you not noticed I have been calling Abbott a schmuck since he assumed the leadership?

    You and confessions don’t seem to get the concept that it is actually possible to criticise someone from your “team”.

    This team supporting childishness has no bounds with you guys does it? If a poster does not confirm to your world view, just make stuff up!

  • 131
    The Finnigans
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Spot the difference. I was invited by @vanOnselenP to appear on his show, i kindly declined. @TonyAbbottMHR has been ordered NOT to by Peta

  • 132
    The Finnigans
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I was invited by @vanOnselenP to appear on his show, i kindly declined. But if I am running to be OZ PM, i’d jump to explain my policies

  • 133
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    You and confessions don’t seem to get the concept that it is actually possible to criticise someone from your “team”.

    Laughable given I am a consistent critic of Kevin Rudd’s behaviour.

    You really do choose to see only what you want to see.

  • 134
    Mod Lib
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Have you ever criticised anything Gillard has every done confessions?

  • 135
    Mod Lib
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Would you vote for the ALP candidate if Rudd resumed the ALP leadership, confessions?

  • 136
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    bemused

    @ChrisOgilvieSnr: MSM audiences aren’t told Labor delivered low inflation & interest rates,labour productivity rise,low unemployment,record investment #Rupert

    This is NOT the fault of Gillard and Swan. Mr Rudd as PM would have same problem.
    The media is campaigning for the LNP and never forget it.

  • 137
    davidwh
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Victoria Labor may struggle to win Griffith if Rudd doesn’t run and Labor can’t afford to put a seat like that at risk. If it happens it will be after the election and only is either side has a clear majority.

  • 138
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    ML:

    I am very critical of the PM’s stance on same sex marriage. She is clearly beholden to the SDA (as Rudd was before), but unlike Rudd doesn’t have belief in religious fairy tales to fall back on as an excuse.

  • 139
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    See Mod, you just never asked the right questions before!

  • 140
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    fess

    But would you vote for Rudd Labor?

  • 141
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Would you vote for the ALP candidate if Rudd resumed the ALP leadership, confessions?

    That depends on what a Rudd leadership would do policy-wise. In the lead up to his failed leadership ballot he was making noises about weakening carbon pricing and handing control over front bench choice back to the factions.

  • 142
    Gecko
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Fran

    This is what can happen when your party becomes about the ambition of its officers rather than the importance of the principles that are the rationale for its existence. The party can win victories, but these will come at a serious cost to its identity.

    Ambition for a party officer is a reflection of ambition for the party and vice versa. The principles of the Labor movement have been rock solid for more than a hundred years and we do what needs to be done in order to achieve them. What the pontificating but ineffectual Greens need to do before pointing the finger at others is get some time up.

  • 143
    Mod Lib
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    DN:

    Actually, confessions has been asked several times whether she would support the ALP candidate if Rudd took the leadership again, and I still haven’t seen a straight answer.

    I am glad to see she can criticise Gillard for something!

    It is a start, I guess :)

  • 144
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Who would we have to pit against TA for people here to vote for TA?

  • 145
    Mod Lib
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Swan :devil: for sure!

  • 146
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Display

    Osama Bin Ladan, Stalin, Hitler.

  • 147
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Actually, confessions has been asked several times whether she would support the ALP candidate

    I’ve only been asked that by Rudd zombies looking to score some cheap gotcha points.

  • 148
    davidwh
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    DN Craig Thomson if he was still in the party. Definitely Swan and perhaps Albanese.

  • 149
    muttleymcgee
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    ML

    Gillard has more ability in her little finger than TA has ever had.

    TA failed with the Independents, failed with the Carbon Pricing legislation (and everything else), is overcome with brainfarts, is too much of a sook and a coward to be interviewed, and you prefer him to Gillard.

    Like bemused, you’re not rational

  • 150
    DisplayName
    Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Ok, then who (in an Australian political party) could we pit against KR such that people here wouldn’t vote for KR?

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