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Federal Election 2016

Feb 23, 2014

Seat of the week: Boothby

Another trip through a South Australian federal electorate to mark the looming state election – this time the southern coastal suburbs seat of Boothby, a nut Labor is never quite able to crack.

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Blue and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

The southern Adelaide electorate of Boothby covers coastal suburbs from Brighton south to Marino, extending inland to the edge of the coastal plain at Myrtle Bank and the hills at Belair, Eden Hills, Bellevue Heights and Flagstaff Hill. The seat’s Liberal lean is softened by the area around the defunct Tonsley Park Mitsubishi plant, the only part of the electorate with below average incomes and above average ethnic diversity. It has existed without interruption since South Australia was first divided into electorates in 1903, at which time it was landlocked and extended north into the eastern suburbs. Coastal areas were acquired when the neighbouring electorate of Hawker was abolished in 1993.

Boothby was held by Labor for the first eight years of its existence, and it remained a contested seat until the Menzies government came to power in 1949. This began a long-term trend to the Liberals which peaked in the 1970s, when margins were consistently in double digits. The seat’s member from 1981 until 1996 was Steele Hall, former Premier and figurehead of the early 1970s breakaway Liberal Movement. A trend to Labor became evident after the election of the Howard government in 1996, with successive swings recorded over the next five elections. The swing that occurred amid the otherwise poor result of the 2004 election was particularly encouraging for Labor, and raised their hopes at both the 2007 and 2010 elections. On the former occasion, Right powerbrokers recruited what they imagined to be a star candidate in Nicole Cornes, a minor Adelaide celebrity and wife of local football legend Graham Cornes. However, Cornes was damaged by a series of disastrous and heavily publicised media performances, and was only able to manage a swing of 2.4% compared with a statewide result of 6.8%. Perhaps reflecting a suppressed vote for Labor, the seat swung 2.2% in their favour at the 2010 election, compared with a statewide result of 0.8%. However, that still Labor 0.8% short of a win they had desperately hoped for to buttress losses in Queensland and New South Wales. With the seat off Labor’s target list in 2013, Southcott enjoyed a comfortable victory on the back of a 6.5% swing, which was 1.0% above the statewide par. Labor’s candidate in both 2010 and 2013 was Annabel Digance, who is now running in the seat of Elder for the March 15 state election.

Boothby has been held since 1996 by Andrew Southcott, who first won preselection at the age of 26 ahead of Robert Hill, the leading factional moderate in the Senate. The Right had reportedly built up strength in local branches with a view to unseating its bitter rival Steele Hall, and turned its guns on Hill as a “surrogate” when denied by Hall’s retirement. Unlike Hill, who went on to become government leader in the Senate, Southcott has led a fairly low-key parliamentary career, taking until after the 2007 election defeat to win promotion to Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Apprenticeships and Training. After standing by Malcolm Turnbull in the December 2009 leadership vote, Southcott was demoted by a victorious Tony Abbott to parliamentary secretary, a position he has retained in government. Southcott’s preselection at the 2010 election was challenged by former state party president Chris Moriarty, following disquiet in the party over his fundraising record. However, Moriarty was heavily defeated, his challenge reported losing steam when Kevin Rudd’s first bid to return to the Labor leadership came to a head in February 2012.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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1687 comments

1,687 thoughts on “Seat of the week: Boothby

  1. Everything

    Ha ha 🙂 Are we supposed to know who she is?

    What did she say?

  2. zoomster

    ModLib

    I will also point out that the cultures of the parties are different.

    One says you can say what you like up until the caucus votes, and then you must accept the majority decision. MPs accept those rules on preselection.

    Another one claims to be the party of individual conscience, where MPs can speak out without fear or favour and can cross the floor with impunity.

    Huge difference.

  3. guytaur

    “@GreenJ: indeed gerard, our prisons are routinely overrun by locals … inmates clubbed to death.”

  4. zoomster

    Melissa Parkes.

    Notice how the party promoted her, not punished her.

  5. victoria

    2327
    BK
    Posted Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 7:49 am | PERMALINK
    And from the Land of the Free –

    A Tea Party nutter joins in the Kentucky Senate race.
    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2014/02/22/pack-babies-grab-old-ladies-everyones-longer-safe-kentucky/
    All of the Repugs’ Obamacare “horror stories” seem to get debunked.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/21/1279312/-Are-there-any-real-Obamacare-horror-nbsp-stories
    Bill Maher on “personalised news” that is becoming more prevalent on the internet.
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/mahers-new-rule-hearing-stories-that-confirm-your-beliefs-isnt-news-its-fox-news/
    Bill Maher with some funny masturbation pamphlets.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/22/bill-maher-overcoming-masturbation_n_4838140.html

  6. victoria

    Morning

    As posted by BK at other thread

    2321
    BK
    Posted Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 7:33 am | PERMALINK
    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    These clowns should never have been let near public schoolchildren!
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-23/biblezine-complaint-sparks-probe-into-religious-educator/5277766
    Morriscum late on Saturday night admits he is a misleading flake!
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-admits–information-he-gave-on-manus-riot-was-wrong-20140222-339hs.html
    Here’s Bianca Hall’s take on it.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/disquiet-at-aid-without-liability-20140222-338l7.html
    Turnbull puts his foot down and this is what hapens!
    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/travellers-to-pay-telstra-up-to-500-more-20140222-3398x.html
    I hope Hadley has a nice week off.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ray-hadley-off-air-for-a-week-after-application-for-avo-20140222-338zg.html
    What a surprise.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/modelling-finds-gp-fee-no-moneysaver-20140222-338zd.html
    Abbott has subjugated all vestiges of decency and moderation in his party.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/liberal-partys-moderate-voice-goes-silent-under-tony-abbotts-leadership-20140222-3391c.html
    Sinodinis is playing with fire here.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/beware-of-getting-burnt-in-the-financial-services-boilerroom-culture-20140221-337kc.html
    This is what Cathy Wilcox thinks it has all come to.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/cathy-wilcox-20090909-fhd6.html

  7. guytaur

    @tveedercom: Now, follow the live transcript of this mornings #Insiders http://t.co/eJAGxs1qo0 (via @ABCNews24)

  8. guytaur

    “@danielhurstbne: Pyne tells Sky #Redcliffe voters sent message “you’re not immune from the democratic processes..we the ppl are still sovereign” #qldpol”

  9. guytaur

    himi

    The answer to your small sample size. Tasmania. Works there.

  10. himi

    Fran Barlow@19

    Himi


    That result was a serious indictment of the electoral system in Queensland. Getting 8% of the seats having received (from memory) about 26% of the two party preferred vote is a major fairness issue.


    If ever there were a case for proportional representation, QLD would be it.

    I don’t know – proportional representation always seems to me to be somewhat dependant on having a nice big sample size, and having enough seats to apportion representation widely. It might work at a national level, but at a state level it seems like it’d be pulling from a little too small a pool.

    Maybe that’s not really an issue, but it does make me a bit uncomfortable.

    himi

  11. Everything

    I see I have had a dramatic effect on you with my comments zoomster! :devil:

    You have names a small number of Liberal moderates and argued that they are few in number and fewer now than in the past.

    Can you name a single ALP MP that has stood up to defend refugee and asylum seekers?

    One?

    Did ALP MPs call for an end to offshore processing when they were in government and there were riots?

  12. frednk

    Oops lost the context
    [
    TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 ‏@Thefinnigans 39m

    Laurie Oakes: LET’s not beat about the bush. Tony Abbott tells lies – & LET’s not beat about the bush. SS Morriscum tells bigger lies
    ]

  13. guytaur

    So given my post @ 12 does Manus closing strike a blow to Abbott’s AS policy as bad as the drownings off Christmas Island did to Labor’s?

  14. frednk

    Laurie Oakes: LET’s not beat about the bush. Tony Abbott tells lies – & LET’s not beat about the bush. SS Morriscum tells bigger lies

  15. Fran Barlow

    Zoomster

    [I hope the guy’s American, so I can blame their education system.]

    Cognitive dissonance can blot out the impact of even good education. People who fear change — particularly in cases where it is seen as existential — often reach for CD as the most potent salve.

  16. poroti

    Zoomster @20

    That is weapons grade Stoopid.

  17. frednk

    [ CO2 ‏@MyFirstCousin 9h

    Taxpayers are footing a more-than $73,400 nightly bill for detention centre staff. http://www.smh.com.au/national/133-million-hotel-bill-for-manus-island-staff-20140222-338wn.html … Better up the pension age then.
    ]

    Someone has noticed, this madness is costing gold as well as lives.

  18. zoomster

    Sometimes I despair…

    This is a tweet I received as part of a climate change debate —

    [ Re: hottest 10 years argument. I was the tallest in all 10 of my last 10 years!]

    When I asked what that analogy had to do with — well, anything really — I got this response:

    [Shows how meaningless the ‘330 straight months of above avg temp’ stat is.]

    I hope the guy’s American, so I can blame their education system.

  19. Fran Barlow

    Himi

    [That result was a serious indictment of the electoral system in Queensland. Getting 8% of the seats having received (from memory) about 26% of the two party preferred vote is a major fairness issue.]

    If ever there were a case for proportional representation, QLD would be it.

  20. zoomster

    himi

    [That result was a serious indictment of the electoral system in Queensland. ]

    Exactly. Which is why it is (a) wrong of people to use the number of seats Labor holds in Queensland as an indicator of anything to do with Labor’s popularity or otherwise (they can use the primary vote, of course) and (b) perfectly possible that the next election could produce another disproportionate result (for one party or the other).

  21. dave

    [ Acerbic Conehead
    Posted Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Conditions will soon apply where labour will be glad to accept reduced remuneration and lowered conditions at the employers’ whim. ]

    Yep – without unions too, thats what abbott wants,

  22. zoomster

    Oh, this article will make ModLib very sad…

    Broadbent admits he’s the only moderate Liberal left.

    [”I’m not silent,” he said. ”There may be only one left, but I’m not silent. The government knows where I stand…]

    However, Fraser thinks Broadbent isn’t even that —

    [Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, however, has little sympathy for MPs who do not speak out on matters of conscience.

    Of Broadbent’s reticence to speak out against events on Manus, Fraser says: ”Well, he doesn’t therefore think the principle is worth supporting.”]

    Troeth says:

    [”And I just think people are not willing to jeopardise their future career for an issue that isn’t in your face here in the electorate…]

    So much for the lion-hearted moderates willing to put their careers on the line for principle.

    As with so much of ModLib’s rosy view of the Liberals, her judgements are made on the basis of what was, not what is or will be.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/liberal-partys-moderate-voice-goes-silent-under-tony-abbotts-leadership-20140222-3391c.html#ixzz2u5YK3kGA

  23. daretotread

    Gary and everything

    I think that Qld is VERY volatile and could swing just as harshly against the Libs as they did Labor. These are the issues that I think are affecting voters:

    1. Hospitals – remember that under JOH Qld still had a first hospital system PUBLIC system. There is real fear about its loss

    2. Bikie laws – 10% in Redcliffe for the bikie guy. That is actually pretty bloody huge for a single issue candidate, given we can assume that 80% of the greens (civil liberty issue) and 50% of the Labor voters hate the laws

    3. The economy is in trouble since mining is in trouble

    4. Electricity princes have gone up and it is not being sheeted home to the Carbon Tax

    6. Public Transport is barely affordable and indeed prohibitive if you are part time on a low wage – ie PT might cost you $15.50 or your first hour or more of your shift.

    7. Public service cuts have made many small businesses fail in inner city areas

  24. cud chewer

    OMFG… This vacuuos waffle from Hockey in his presser about the G20 is sickening and embarrasing.

    And I nearly choked when he mentioned ‘digitisation’ whilst his mate Turnbull is screwing our communication future.

  25. himi

    Everything@6


    ruawake
    ….Bet you can’t Mr 5.7% Premier


    If you are calling him Mr 5.7% Premier because his opposition only won 5.7% of the seats at the last election, you are wrong…..it was 7.9% (7/89).

    That result was a serious indictment of the electoral system in Queensland. Getting 8% of the seats having received (from memory) about 26% of the two party preferred vote is a major fairness issue.

    himi

  26. mari

    Think William you had better tell people about this thread , people are still posting on the old one, including me himi alertd me

  27. Gary

    His own constituents may very well do that.

  28. Acerbic Conehead

    With all this facilitation of downsizing the manufacturing side of the economy, there is a method to the madness of the Abbott Government.

    Conditions will soon apply where labour will be glad to accept reduced remuneration and lowered conditions at the employers’ whim. As Tony Abbott has said, “a bad boss is better than no boss!”

    Sing along with Tones as he points out the reality of a carpet-bagger economy.

    http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/carpetbagger

    Cue: “The Carpet Crawlers”, by Phil Collins and Genesis.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr_Y6Gjmm3Q

    The baggers brew up their schemes in their blue bedecked boardrooms
    The sweet scent of seduction stimulating their m.o.
    They’re moving in time to the chance of a killing
    Where their practiced eyes are twinkling, eyeing the big dough
    :- (
    The carpet baggers heed their calling:
    “We’ve got to get in to pig out
    We’ve got to get in to pig out
    We’ve got to get in to pig out”
    :- (
    There’s only one direction in the faces that I see
    It’s inward to their wallets, where their hearts care to be
    Like in the Merchant of Venice, Shylocks one, two and three
    They’re drawn by my magnet, guided democracy
    :- (
    The carpet baggers heed their calling:
    “We’ve got to get in to pig out
    We’ve got to get in to pig out
    We’ve got to get in to pig out”
    :- (
    Well-manicured conmen are waiting for their chance
    To take advantage of the day, when making things goes down the spout
    Opportunity beckons, their profits will enhance
    It’s the bottom of a staircase that spirals out of sight
    :- (
    The carpet baggers heed their calling:
    “We’ve got to get in to pig out
    We’ve got to get in to pig out
    We’ve got to get in to pig out”
    :- (
    Farewell to Ford n’ Holden, and alas to Ardmona
    We’ll see you on the other side, when the fire sale really starts
    The unions will be crushed, no workers will be donors
    It’ll be like an Ol’ Dixieland slave-mart
    :- (
    The carpet baggers heed their calling:
    “We’ve got to get in to pig out
    We’ve got to get in to pig out
    We’ve got to get in to pig out”

  29. Everything

    Agreed….but not likely to change enough to change the Premier.

  30. Gary

    That will change Mod in a big way at the next Qld election.

  31. Everything

    [ruawake
    ….Bet you can’t Mr 5.7% Premier]

    If you are calling him Mr 5.7% Premier because his opposition only won 5.7% of the seats at the last election, you are wrong…..it was 7.9% (7/89).

  32. Fran Barlow

    Interesting (albeit very small scale) use of pumped storage plus wind with diesel as backup on El Hierro in the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain.

    http://ow.ly/tMj0q

    The pumped storage makes use of a volcanic crater for its lower reservoir and should come online on El Hierro this year.

    Apparently El Hierro started off with the idea of self-sufficiency — they import and burn a lot of dries to run their desal plants — but now they are going to cut this very sharply and aim for full energy self-sufficiency. Their fleet of vehicles will go electric and get charged from the near carbon-neutral grid and they are going the PVand solar water heating route.

  33. Socrates

    Morning all. Further to Ruawake, Campbell Newman cannot distance himself from the Redcliffe byelection thrashing. He campaigned personally in the seat,, and got this reception.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-22/campbell-newman-set-upon-by-protesters-at-redcliffe-poll-booth/5277326

  34. himi

    ugh . . . too early in the morning for a seat that’s mostly painted blue.

  35. spur212

    Boothby: a seat the ALP could have easily won in 2007 and 2010 had they been better organised!

  36. ruawake

    [“But I want to say as well that I take responsibility for other factors this evening as the LNP Leader and as Premier.

    “We understand that many of you feel that we perhaps haven’t listened enough, that we have perhaps moved too quickly, that we haven’t consulted you.

    “I pledge this evening to listen to that message – we hear it.

    “We will observe it, and we will do things differently as we go forward.]

    Bet you can’t Mr 5.7% Premier