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Seats of the week: Mayo and Sturt

After going through a lax period, Seat of the Week plays catch-up with a double-header featuring two Liberal seats in South Australia.

Mayo

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.

Based around the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, Mayo was created with the expansion of parliament in 1984 from territory which had mostly been covered by Barker, which was compensated for its losses by absorbing the Riverland from the abolished seat of Angas. All areas concerned are strongly conservative, with Labor never having held Mayo, Barker or Angas. It presently extends southwards from Kersbrook, 22 kilometres to the north-east of Adelaide, through Mount Barker and McLaren Vale to Goolwa at the mouth of the Murray River, and westwards to the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

Alexander Downer entered parliament as the seat’s inaugural member in 1984, his father Sir Alec Downer having been member for Angas from 1949 to 1963. The only threat to Downer’s hold on the seat over the next 24 years was the strength of the Australian Democrats in the Adelaide Hills, which became a live concern in 1998 when John Schumann, former lead singer of folk group Redgum (of “I Was Only Nineteen” fame), increased the Democrats vote from 12.4% to 22.4% to overtake the Labor candidate and fall 1.7% short of victory after the distribution of their preferences. The Democrats polled a more typical 14.8% in 2001, before collapsing to 1.8% in 2004. As well as bringing an end his 11-year career as Foreign Minister, the November 2007 election reduced Downer’s margin against Labor to single figures for the first time, following a swing of 6.5%. Downer stepped down from the front bench after the election defeat and announced his resignation from parliament the following July, initiating a by-election held in September.

The Liberal preselection was won by Jamie Briggs, who had worked in the Prime Minister’s Office as chief adviser on industrial relations, giving him a politically uncomfortable association with the unpopular WorkChoices policies. With the backing of Downer and John Howard, Briggs won the preselection vote in the seventh round by 157 to 111 over the party’s recently ousted state leader Iain Evans, who remains a senior figure in the state parliamentary party as member for Davenport. Among the preselection also-rans was housing mogul Bob Day, who reacted to his defeat by running as the candidate of Family First, for which he would eventually be elected a Senator in 2013. Labor did not contest the by-election, but Briggs was given a run for his money by Lynton Vonow of the Greens and independent Di Bell, a local anthropologist who had the backing of Nick Xenophon. With the Liberal vote falling from 51.1% to 41.3%, most of the non-Liberal vote split between the Greens (21.4%), Di Bell (16.3%) and Bob Day (11.4%). The distribution of preferences from Day and others left Vonow leading Bell 28.2% to 24.1% at the second-last count, with Briggs finishing 3.0% clear of Vonow after distribution of Bell’s preferences.

Briggs had no difficulties winning re-election in 2010, when he prevailed with a near-identical margin to Downer’s in 2007, or in 2010, when the margin returned to double-digit territory after a 5.2% swing. He won promotion to shadow parliamentary secretary in September 2012, emerging the beneficiary of the one minor reshuffle of the term occasioned by Senator Cory Bernardi’s resignation. After the 2013 election victory he was promoted to the outer ministry as Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Sturt

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.

Christopher Pyne’s electorate of Sturt covers the inner eastern suburbs of Adelaide, including Payneham, Kensington, Tranmere and Skye east of the city, Klemzig, Campbelltown, Paradise and Highbury to the north, and Glenunga, Glen Osmond and Beaumont to the south. When created in 1949 it also covered northern Adelaide, which after 1955 formed the basis of the new electorate of Bonython (eventually to be abolished in 2004). The loss of this territory made Sturt notionally Liberal, prompting Labor member Norman Makin – who had gained Sturt from the Liberals at the 1954 election – to contest the new seat, which was very safe for Labor. Sturt has since been won by Labor only at the 1969 election, when a 15.0% swing secured a narrow victory for Norman Foster. South Australia bucked the national trend of the 1972 election in swinging slightly to the Liberals, enabling Ian Wilson to recover the seat he had lost at the previous election.

Wilson thereafter retained the seat by margins of between 2.0% and 10.3% until the 1993 election, when he was defeated for preselection by Christopher Pyne, a 25-year-old former staffer to Senator Amanda Vanstone. Pyne was already emerging as a powerbroker in the party’s moderate faction, and won promotion to shadow parliamentary secretary a year after entering parliament. However, he would have to wait until the Howard government’s final year in office to achieve ministerial rank, which was widely put down to his closeness to Peter Costello. Following the November 2007 election defeat he ran for the deputy leadership, finishing in third place with 18 votes behind Julie Bishop on 44 and Andrew Robb on 25. He served in high-profile positions on the opposition front bench over the next few years, first in justice and border protection under Brendan Nelson, then in education, apprenticeships and training under Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott. In February 2009 he further gained the important role of manager of opposition business, to the chagrin of the party’s Right.

Pyne’s hold on Sturt came under serious threat at Labor’s electoral high-water mark in 2007 and 2010, his margin being cut on the former occasion from 6.8% to 0.9%. He did well on the latter to secure the seat with a swing of 2.5%, going against the trend of a statewide swing to Labor of 0.8%, and was safely re-elected with a further swing of 6.5% in 2013. Since the election of the Abbott government he has served as Education Minister and Leader of the House.

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  • 51
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Hewson and Gallop are doing a reasonable discussion on Agenda.

    PvO’s efforts during the week on ICAC left looking like a bit of a cranky man.

  • 52
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Fran

    Your approach to dog breeding is draconian and nanny statish in the extreme.

    Dog danger is NOT related to size. it is related to temperament and breed.

    Look at the attacks on people and they will almost all be related to pit bulls or rottweilers. Either ban pit bulls or strictly control them. With rottweilers and some German Shepherd it may be the owner not the dog that has the problem.

    The other group that cause harm sometimes to children are the terriers that can be possessive and jealous. However generally these are small dogs and do limited damage.

  • 53
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Gallop just gave an excoriating attack on the Coalition’s efforts on the environment over the first seven months.

  • 54
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    More lies from Liberals, this time in WA. Perhaps the Min didn’t get his bottle of Grange which caused a change

    Dr Hames and the private contractor have both published documents saying Serco would manage patient administration and records management functions at the delayed hospital.

    In July 2011, Dr Hames released a media statement which said Serco’s record $4.3 billion facilities management contract would include services such as “health records management”.

    Yet, last Sunday Dr Hames told a media pack a report by The Sunday Times that Serco had been stripped of roles such as health records and patient billing was wrong.

    “The Sunday Times and the Opposition are trying to sell this as something being taken away from Serco that they had,” he said. “That is not true.

  • 55
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Kelly ignores the environmental outcomes of the Coalition Government and reckons the real test will be the budget.

    ‘They must keep their nerve.’

  • 56
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 8:49 am | PERMALINK
    There is no Insiders today.

    Long weekend:
    Publicly funded broadcaster’s political show is off
    Commercial station’s political show is on (Bolt)

    Says it all really, doesn’t it?*

    *I actually don’t know what this says, but was hoping to get away with a wink and a knowing nod…..

  • 57
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 8:49 am | PERMALINK
    There is no Insiders today.

    Long weekend:
    Publicly funded broadcaster’s political show is off
    Commercial station’s political show is on (Bolt)

    Says it all really, doesn’t it?*

    *I actually don’t know what this says, but was hoping to get away with a wink and a knowing nod…..

  • 58
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    DTT

    It’s a complete mystery to me. I carried OH’s oxygen tank and my handbag out to the car – had keys then and put them in my pocket “for safety”. Went back along the verandah and collected OH, put him in the car, went to start the engine – no keys in pocket. No one else involved :mad:

  • 59
    Erasmus
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    BW, which channel is Agenda on? New to Foxtel.

  • 60
    Erasmus
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Found Skynews

  • 61
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    lizzie

    In preparation for my extreme dotage I have developed, and use, a rigid set of rules about where I put stuff like keys, books, glasses and wallet when I walk into or out of the house.

    For example, when I leave the house and take the car key, it always goes into the right pocket of my trousers.

    It is already saving an enormous amount of time and stress.

  • 62
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Boerwar:

    I don’t think there’s much equivalence between the lollies sold in pharmacies and homeopathic stuff presented as having health benefits, but I take your point on what people believe.

    Homeopathy to me, is akin to the anti-vaccers group, which from memory were forced by law in NSW to change their name to something not as misleading about their purpose. Along the same lines I’d be quite happy to see all homeopathic stuff come with labelling declaring it has no proven scientific effect, and that by using it people may be risking their health.

  • 63
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:13 am | PERMALINK
    DTT

    It’s a complete mystery to me. I carried OH’s oxygen tank and my handbag out to the car – had keys then and put them in my pocket “for safety”. Went back along the verandah and collected OH, put him in the car, went to start the engine – no keys in pocket. No one else involved

    Alzheimers is when you forget you have an OH, not when you lose the keys taking him to the car! :devil:

  • 64
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    E

    601

    BTW, I have been told by tradition that the mother of Erasmus was a distant acestor of mine.

  • 65
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    DTT

    Many years ago I was secretary of a Kennel Control Branch when we were asked to vote on the importation of American Pitbulls, which were already known to be dangerous. We voted against.

    It seems that the people with the money who can afford to import “rare breeds” eventually got their way.

    Just like casinos, really.

  • 66
    psyclaw
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Confessions

    Cassidy is off writing a book…… probably called “Questions I Shoulda Arksed!”

  • 67
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I actually don’t know what this says

    Neither do I other than perhaps the ABC is using the long weekend and school holidays to save some money.

  • 68
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    c

    I really don’t mind too much how people self medicate. I use alcohol. Sometimes people die younger as a consequence of self-mdication. Sometimes they achieve good placebo outcomes

    I don’t really care where stuff is sold. These days, with online, you can buy cheaper from o/s anything and everything you might buy in an Australia pharmacy.

    I would be happy for pharmacies to sell petrol and for petrol station shops to sell drugs.

    Up to individuals, I reckon.

  • 69
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Everything

    That’s a genuine funny :D

  • 70
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Zoomster

    I’ve NEVER heard of anyone being mauled by a Great Dane or a Newfoundland (that would require actual brain cells),

    The problem here is that these dogs, and even the much loved labrador, can do serious injuries to the frail and children and even other dogs as, untrained, they are rather unaware of their space.

    Another problem lies in breed specification. If you try ruling out certain breeds, it’s possible to argue that this or that dog doesn’t fit the control category. I’d favour a threshhold high enough to capture pitbulls, tozers, rotties etc but allow labradors through, since these are often used as guide dogs and are well trained and cared for.

    It’s worth noting too that the dogs you mention often have serious physiological problems (hip dysplasia for example) associated with inbreeding and I will admit that I wouldn’t at all mind putting the whole pedigree dog thing out of business. They generally don’t live much past 10 years and often their last years are very low quality of life. Newfoundlands require a lot of care, and are unsuited to out climate and while they are not common here, when they wind up in shelters, it isn’t a pretty thing to see.

    whereas I have both heard of and know of several cases involving pit bulls, bull terriers (both quite compact animals) and small dogs like Aussie terriers (in our grocery delivery days, a common scene was a little old lady shrieking at my husband, “Don’t kick my dog, he doesn’t bite” and my husband saying, “I’m not kicking it, I’m trying to shake it off my leg..”)

    Some years ago, in response to a claim that the little dogs can also be vicious by someone arguing against banning pitbulls, I did a search if the net and found virtually zero instances of reported attacks on people by small dogs. This doesn’t mean they don’t occur of course — much as you have, I’ve witnessed them too. It’s just that their consequences are far less serious for people. Getting nipped by a westie or pomeranian is horrible but not life-altering. It’s easy for someone to fend one off.

    It’s far easier to train owners to the skill needed to control such dogs, and to house them since they require smaller fences and less provision. I am working with someone who has a X rough collie at the moment and that dog has clearly been out of control for some time. He’s an older man and the dog is far too robust, wilful and reactive for him. With training, I’ve managed to get him to a state where he can walk the dog and avoid it getting into mischief but he still can’t take it into the car, which makes the vet a huge issue. Ideally, he would have a far smaller dog and this one would go back to whoever bred it.

  • 71
    kevjohnno
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    When questioned on apparent memory lapses I insist I have a great memory, just a poor filing system.

  • 72
    Erasmus
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    My land of birth and recognise your connection by your ‘handle’ . Have followed your posts for years , since before Rudd’s election. Am happy just lurking .

  • 73
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Boerwar

    a rigid set of rules about where I put stuff like keys, books, glasses and wallet

    That’s why I’m so cross with myself. Keys always in outer pocket of handbag. Wallet inside it. Always check before I go out of the door. Fiddling around with the heavy (to me) oxygen tank, I must have dropped them, but have searched the drive and surrounds.

    If only I could blame a passing raven…

  • 74
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    From BK’s dawn patrol links:

    Thousands of disability pensioners would be examined by independent doctors to see whether they are still entitled to their pensions, under dramatic changes being considered by Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews.

    But then:

    Under Mr Andrews' mooted change, disability pensioners who were assessed by their family doctors – before Labor tightened the system in 2011 – would be re-examined by medical experts at the Department of Human Services.

  • 75
    Pegasus
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Lizzie,

    There is always hope that you will find your car keys. Three months ago I lost my sunglasses. Yesterday they turned up in the most unlikely place.

    Every day something is misplaced in our household. I have learnt to spend no longer than 30 minutes searching for missing items then I move on. Life is too short.

    ‘Serendipity’ is one of my favourite words :-)

  • 76
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    There is a good environmental argument for breeding up, and mandating with legislation, blunt-toothed, short-lived toothless dogs weighing about a kilogram which grow long hair for winter, slough it and grow short hair in summer.

    They would eat less, shit less, piss less, cost less to heat and/or to keep cool, and there would be no bite damage. Plus, they would be ideal cheap companion dogs for all our used-up and discarded elderly people living alone in hole-in-the wall bedsits when they turn 70.

  • 77
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    lizzie

    oh oh…

  • 78
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Boerwar:

    You’re far too lucid to rely on alcohol for self medication!

  • 79
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    My retort when asked a question that I cannot answer is to advise people that between my two brothers and myself we know everything there is to know. And it must be one of my two brothers that knows the answer

  • 80
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I think I will call my proposed new breed ‘Abbotts Schulzers’.

  • 81
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    There are 3 ways to improve your memory. But, I can’t remeber what they are.

  • 82
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    c
    Thank you. Consider it a placebo effect.

  • 83
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    fran

    The problem here is that these dogs, and even the much loved labrador, can do serious injuries to the frail and children and even other dogs as, untrained, they are rather unaware of their space.

    I doubt if you CAN train a Newfie, given their brain capacity, but I had toddlers and a Newfie without even a hint of a problem (although my son’s first sentence was “Move, dog!”)

    Surely in the cases you describe it’s owners making unsuitable choices, not any problem with the breed itself.

    You do seem to be coming at this from a purely urban perspective. Perhaps what should be looked at is control at a local council level, which could cater for local conditions. As all dogs (should) be registered with the local council, this would also mean monitoring the regulations would be easier.

  • 84
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Disclaimer: I have only owned large dogs.

  • 85
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    DTT

    Dog danger is NOT related to size. it is related to temperament and breed.

    Size is proportionate to the gravity of risk and moreover, is correlated with the temperament in the case of fighting dogs.

    Look at the attacks on people and they will almost all be related to pit bulls or rottweilers. Either ban pit bulls or strictly control them.

    I would agree, but then definitional problems arise.

    With rottweilers and some German Shepherd it may be the owner not the dog that has the problem.

    Well yes, that’s certainly true, but once a dog has got past the age of about nine months it is very hard to deprogram them from fear-aggression and even if you do, until you test them under stress, you can’t be sure. Mostly, you would have to rehome them with a well-resourced and expert handler, and as someone who has done a fair bit of work in this area, I can tell you that such dogs are very hard to place appropriately. I really hate euthanasia, but regrettably, that’s often the least unkind option.

  • 86
    Socrates
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Morning all. Some wonderful news from England over night, with schardenfreud breaking out all over Liverpool :)
    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/19/chelsea-sunderland-premier-league-match-report

  • 87
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    How our education system completely fails the kids.

    There was some sort of mass kids hunting for easter eggs event on the telly. Each kid had a bucket of a certain size that they could fill with easter eggs. There were thousands of eggs. Each quickly filled their buckets brimful. Then I noticed that some kids were adding extra eggs but that the eggs were rolling off.

    Not one kid crushed the eggs already in the bucket so that they could add more chocolate to their buckets.

    FAIL

  • 88
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Pegasus

    I’m still hoping that serendipity will turn up the keys to my old car, even though I have since traded it in! Came home exhausted from work 10 years ago, put them down somewhere near the house, and never saw those keys again. There’s a black hole near the carport, methinks. Maybe a metal detector???

  • 89
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I think the bite stats for hospital events pretty well say that half of them are by pitbulls, that male pitbulls are worse than female pitbulls and that entire pitbulls are worse than desexed pitbulls.

    In order words, half of this debate is about an extremely small subset of Australian dogdom.

  • 90
    Pegasus
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Everything

    Alzheimers is when you forget you have an OH...

    :lol: The other day I and my OH made arrangements to meet at the local Bunnings store. I drove, OH walked. While driving there I changed my mind and went to Masters instead then drove home. An hour later OH returned. “Oh yeah, oops, sorry, forgot to pick you up.”

  • 91
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Confessions #74

    I’ve not had anything to do with Disability Services but wouldn’t people be subject to regular review any way?

    If the intention is to change the “standard” then I would expect an honest Government to say so. But this Govt has proven that it lies about everything so what they are seeking to achieve will be written in invisible ink on the back of the last page of any promise.

  • 92
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Boer

    One of my ex students worked at the local post office. When I was in there one day, he said I’d failed him as a teacher.

    When I asked why, he said it was because I’d never taught him how to wrap a parcel…

  • 93
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The good thing is that, while there is some collateral damage, most of the people taken apart by pitbulls are either their owners or known to their owners.

  • 94
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    z
    At least his humour survied the ‘education effect’ of schools!

  • 95
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Good Morning

    I am with Fran on the dog issue. Especially the license to own dogs aspects. Training should be mandatory and will be a money spinner for dog training schools.

    If an owner cannot afford training school and to learn how to handle a dog they should not own that dog.

    For those cases where for medical reasons dogs are recommended for companion animals it would be up to the doctor to make sure the dog was suited to the person.

    Remember it is the end of the age of entitlement.

  • 96
    Socrates
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Hearing stories about the memory lapses of others makes me feel better about my forgetting the hot cross buns in the oven this morning until Xanthippe rescued them.

    Lizzie

    Thanks for the link to the John Menadue article on undesirable corporate lobbying. It is a world wide problem. Again, Piketty deals with it in his book as one of the mechanisms by which corporate executives are derailing capitalism. First you buy influence, then you use the influence to get tax laws changed so that you save far more than the influence cost to buy. Net result: profit, even if you are lousy at actually running the company.

  • 97
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    lizzie

    as a last resort, a prayer to St Anthony might work (although he was desainted by the Catholic church, my Proddie family have kept him around for utilitarian reasons…)

    I also find throwing a tantrum helps, dating from the time I picked up a cushion to throw it across the room and found what I was looking for underneath…

  • 98
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Boer

    there was always a lot of laughter in my classes….not always at me, either.

  • 99
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Someone was pointing out how an unrepresentative set of catholics infests the Coalition Cabinet.

    I should point out a qualitative issue with the catholic subset of Coalition government ministers: most of them belong to the extremely conservative, right wing, fundamentalist type of catcholicism: they are Pellsters.

  • 100
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    l
    You will find the key next to the missing halves of around five pairs of my socks.

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