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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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  • 101
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    On my hols, I started reading “Titan”, an autobiography of Rockefeller.

    It raised some interesting questions in my mind about the role of monopolies in delivering lower prices, but it also demonstrated – yet again – that buying political influence is nothing new.

  • 102
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Zoomster

    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.

    I actually have no problem with local councils shouldering most of the compliance, but not all councils will be well equipped in practice. I am also coming at this from a humanity to animals perspective. I am concerned with dog attacks. I shudder every time I read one of these stories. Yet I also see the other side of this which is about ‘dogs as accessories’ and what happens after their appeal has diminished. It is an ugly thing. There isn’t a month that passes where I don’t come across maltreatment of dogs that presumably were once companion animals or turned into cash cows by unscrupulous breeders and cannot avoid a tear. One sees disgusting ads on ebay by people seeking undesexed chihuahuas presumably for breeding purposes.

    So IMO, the whole area needs reform rather than mere kneejerk responses.

  • 103
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    AA:

    I’m not sure what the current rules are, but it seems the govt intends introducing more frequent reviews, and to push back the period for which people are assessed as having a disability.

  • 104
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    fran

    it seems a pretty knee jerk reaction to ban whole categories of dogs because of the irresponsibility of some owners!

  • 105
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    fran

    Unlike you to use argument by mere kneejerk response straw dogs.

  • 106
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    zoomster

    We had a slightly more serious case of “lost” yesterday. I had put tablets for my mother’s dog on her little “webster pack” so that she wouldn’t forget to give them to her. Went to check a couple of hours later. “Where are the blue tablets?” “I haven’t seen any blue tablets, dear.” “Have you take your own tablets?” “Oh, yes.”

    Searched the floor and found 2 of the 3 for the dog. Phew! At least that meant mother hadn’t swallowed them.

  • 107
    Socrates
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Zoom

    Piketty deals with past influence peddling too. He goes through the economic history of the west for hundreds of years, and says it is the norm. The fifties to seventies were an aberation. We will return to the norm (executives as an aristocracy) unless we fundamentally reform politics and corporate law soon.

  • 108
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    lizzie,

    If your mum had taken them you’d know because her nose would be wet and she would have an uncontrollable urge to lick your ear.

  • 109
    Helen Sykes
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Lizzie, I had a bad moment with keys recently. I was babysitting my four-year-old grandson, at my daughter’s place, so I had TWO sets of keys in my hand. I was struggling to get a tired child out of the car, always mindful of the need to keep him close to me in the carpark, when I realised that my daughter’s keys were no longer in my hand. The carpark is dark – and of course the emergency torch in my glove box was dead. I was scrambling to find where I had dropped them, assuming that perhaps I had kicked them under the car. After ten panicky minutes, which included unpacking two bags of groceries I had over one arm, I discovered I’d dropped them in my open handbag.
    I hope that yours turn up very soon.

  • 110
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    lizzie

    We used to give our dog heartworm tablets inserted in a lump of cheese. On one very memorable occasion, my toddler grabbed the cheese from his father’s hand and swallowed it before anyone could intervene…(no harm done…)

  • 111
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Soc

    there was a joke going around during the GFC that some American companies were hit so badly that they’d had to lay off Congressmen.

  • 112
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    BW,

    Pell’s gone. Labor had just as many Catholics in the Cabinet when they were in Government.

    If Rudd becomes head of the UN he’ll be a Roaming Catholic.

  • 113
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The chat this morning is an excellent substitute for Insiders. :lol:

  • 114
    Acerbic Conehead
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    boerwar,

    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.

    Yes, Castle Catholics.

    Traitors, turncoats and knaves the lot of them.

  • 115
    spur212
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I reckon Sturt is vulnerable if the ALP put up Jo Chapley (state candidate for Dunstan who took a bit of Marshall’s 2PP margin) as their candidate

  • 116
    Socrates
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Zoom

    there was a joke going around during the GFC that some American companies were hit so badly that they’d had to lay off Congressmen.

    I hadn’t heard it but it is painfully accurate. Not sure whether to laugh or cry. It applies to some Labor and many Liberal MPs too.

  • 117
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    spur,

    A comment relevant to William’s narrative?

    How quaint.

  • 118
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    It’s a shame on the media for their lack of comment on the lies Abbott has told.

  • 119
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Zoomster

    it seems a pretty knee jerk reaction to ban whole categories of dogs because of the irresponsibility of some owners!

    Actually I think you will find I’m proposing banning dogs by physical attribute rather than category. ;-)

    Sadly, we can’t realistically ban irresponsible dog owners because by definition, to qualify they must first behave irresponsibly to meet the test.

    If 90% of companion dogs were aptly cared for and the other 10% could be swiftly and aptly rehomed I’d not believe reform was needed, but that’s clearly not the case.

  • 120
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Morning and a Happy easter bludgers

  • 121
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    fran

    I thought physical attributes were a category. Otherwise I would have said ‘breeds’.

  • 122
    dave
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    BW -

    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

    Speaking of Pell – he must be in Rome now.

    Went very quietly out of Sydney after the RC appearances.

  • 123
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Economist Receives Rock Star Treatment

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/19/books/thomas-piketty-tours-us-for-his-new-book.html?_r=0

  • 124
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    spur212
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:02 am | PERMALINK
    I reckon Sturt is vulnerable if the ALP put up Jo Chapley (state candidate for Dunstan who took a bit of Marshall’s 2PP margin) as their candidate

    The SA State result probably means SA won’t be a source of ALP gains in 2016/7 federally.

    The good news for the ALP, is there aint many seats they would lose there either!

  • 125
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    BB’s summary this morning as to the state of play is worth reposting.

    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 6:38 am | PERMALINK
    I do love the way that Liberals and their sleeve tuggers suddenly think ICAC is over-reaching itself.

    Sure, it’s fine when it’s raking in Labor types, but when it starts ensnaring Kiberals, well, that’s going a bit too far.

    But think of it this way… if the Libs being bagged are the “good” Liberals, the honest ones, “men of integrity” etc., how bad must the actual crooks be?

    All Barry O’Farrell – a self-proclaimed ethical reformer and corruption fighter – did was omit to declare an expensive bottle of wine on the parliamentary register, seek to establish that he didn’t know a particular spiv (and then be proved wrong, they even swapped personal phone numbers) and then mislead the ICAC.

    Arthur Sinodinos, again in charge of an ethical area – this time of the financial industry and the rules surrounding it, as Assistant Treasurer of the Commonwealth – was unable to recall seeing or hearing of large cash donations going on right under his nose. The only donation – an what else can it be called for 20 hours work? – he homed in on was the $200,000 he was paid seemingly to peddle his company’s dodgy rackets to the state government.

    Breaking disclosure rules (while preaching honesty), misleading evidence under oath, seemingly terminal memory lapses and egregious inattention to detail… these are the standards to which our new lords and masters adhere. NSW, indeed Australia, is safe in their hands.

    The common thread between the two is that they are associated with spivs, shonks and lurk merchants, all of whom are seeking to make easy pickings of a gullible public, if only pesky regulations governing probity, ethics and fair dealing are repealed or, in some cases, completely overlooked. The Mums and Dads will be thrilled to know these are the people they elected to clean up the “mess” Labor left behind.

    I can hardly wait for the investigation into the Barangaroo deal. What a sweet way to work! Set up an elaborate book of rules and regulations to deal with tender processes – planning, ethics, fairness, even playing field and so on – and then skip around the lot by having one of your mates dream up an idea all by himself, thus making it not subject to all that public process red tape… because it’s a private project with, by definition, no competition possible.

    And what a prize at the end of it! Yet another casino. Just what Sydney needs. And on an ikonic, absolute Harbour frontage site, all without any serious oversight at all. Niiiiice!

    Poor Barry, he’s well out of it. Arthur, who is, despite his “fearsome”reputation, really not much more than another gofer for the Libs (he came from the wrong stock, unfortunately, wrong school, he’s not Catholic and he’s not even from Sydney), must be puzzled by his sudden fall from grace. In both cases Tony swore undying friendship and admiration. They don’t realise that a pledge of eternal loyalty from Tony Abbott is a Judas kiss.

    And where’s that bloody plane Tony was personally searching for (according to Mark Simkin, anyway)? I thought they found it three weeks ago when Tony was in China?

  • 126
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Zoomster

    One can argue the semantics. I’d say not, but I did use an emoticon wink. “Breeds” are just collections of physical attributes with a designated name, whereas there is as yet no name for the attribute list I’d design. Of course, it would shortly get a name if it were codified, so at that point I’d be banning by category.

    ;-)

    In any event I reject the claim that my response is knee jerk. The response is designed to deal with a much broader problem, and for me at least, of long standing.

  • 127
    Socrates
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Guytaur

    Piketty is the author of the book I referred to in 107. It is sold out in just about every english language bookstore on the internet, and all sources in Australia I tried. I finally got a pre-order in on Powell’s online (highly recommended store for those aware of Amazon’s labour practices) and it has just shipped.

  • 128
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    It looks like Baird has his orders to privatise NSW. How unsurprisement

  • 129
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    dave,

    A man of such great humilty doesn’t need a fanfare.

  • 130
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    fran

    If 90% of companion dogs were aptly cared for and the other 10% could be swiftly and aptly rehomed I’d not believe reform was needed, but that’s clearly not the case.

    Er, what?

    There are approximately 3.4 million dogs in Australia.

    The RSPCA receives 55,000 dogs a year, over 60% of which are either reclaimed or rehomed. It puts down around 25%.

    http://www.rspca.org.au/sites/default/files/website/The-facts/Statistics/RSPCA%20Australia%20National%20Statistics%202011-2012.pdf

    Let’s assume – being very generous – that the RSPCA figure only represents 10% of the reject dog population. That’s half a million dogs per year, of which (using the RSPCA figures again) 33% are simply lost.

    So the evidence suggests that – using a very exaggerated figure – around 330,000 dogs out of 3.4 billion end up rejected every year (and I would say, using the RSPCA numbers, that the figure is actually below 100,000).

    That’s nowhere near 10% of the dog population needing rehoming, and a number far greater than 90% living happy and contented lives.

  • 131
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Fran,

    “One can argue the semantics”.

    Your whole life is sematics, champ.

  • 132
    dave
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@129

    dave,

    A man of such great humilty doesn’t need a fanfare.

    Many are delighted to see the back of him.

    Hopefully he will stay in Rome.

  • 133
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    …and while I’m googling, there is an estimated (so more than the number officially reported) 100,000 dog attacks in Australia each year.

    http://www.acac.org.au/pdf/dog_bite_incidence_prevention.pdf

    12-14,000 people seek hospital treatment for dog bites each year.

  • 134
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    BB

    All Barry O’Farrell – a self-proclaimed ethical reformer and corruption fighter – did was omit to declare an expensive bottle of wine on the parliamentary register, seek to establish that he didn’t know a particular spiv (and then be proved wrong, they even swapped personal phone numbers) and then mislead the ICAC.

    In fairness to BOF, he didn’t try to run down ICAC when he resigned and reiterated his full support for what they were doing.

  • 135
    dave
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Economist Receives Rock Star Treatment

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/19/books/thomas-piketty-tours-us-for-his-new-book.html?_r=0

    More here 36 page pdf with exerts and charts etc from, Inequality & Capitalism in the Long-Run -

    http://www.yjs.fi/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Thomas-Piketty-pres..pdf

  • 136
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I’ve operated on dozens of people who were attacked by dogs.

    Shitty owners choose shitty breeds and own shitty dogs.

  • 137
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    dave,

    I’m sure the Pope will encourage George to visit his grandchildren back in his home country.

  • 138
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    On the basis of injuries i think if we ban dogs- effectively what Fran wants, then we should ban fishing. golf, squash, rugby, boating of all kinds, surfing, walking and driving.

    Now personally I distrust people who dislike dogs. Dogs have an uncanny sense of knowing trustworthy people.

    I do however loath pitbulls and other dogs BRED for there capacity to kill in a dog fight.

  • 139
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    victoria:

    Baird seems to be setting up his govt with a second term mandate to privatise state assets.

  • 140
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Diogs,

    Do they choose shitty doctors?

  • 141
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Diog

    Whilst glorying in the whole hoist on his own petard thing with O’Farrell, I’m also reluctant to endorse the view that a politician couldn’t possibly just be upholding a principle..

  • 142
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Shitty owners choose shitty breeds and own shitty dogs.

    As someone who has rescued several dogs over the years from abusive homes, none of which were shitty breeds, or turned out to be shitty dogs, they just had shitty owners.

  • 143
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    GG

    Diogs,

    Do they choose shitty doctors?

    They get the very best doctors in the world. There’s something very sad about a little girl who’s face has been mauled by the family dog.

  • 144
    dave
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@137

    dave,

    I’m sure the Pope will encourage George to visit his grandchildren back in his home country.

    To distribute child abuse compensation…..

  • 145
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    fess

    The dogs become shitty because they are maltreated by their shitty owners.

  • 146
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Diogenes
    ....They get the very best doctors in the world.

    You transfer all of them to NSW?

  • 147
    Acerbic Conehead
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Victoria,

    Happy Easter to you and yours.

    I hope I wasn’t the only one to pig out on chocolate for breakfast.

  • 148
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    …so 0.1% of dogs end up ‘rejected’, and 0.025% end up being put down, leaving 99.9%.

    I’m willing to concede that some of the 99.9% are not adequately cared for, but even if that figure is 10%, that leaves over 90% living very happy lives.

    (Just had my son do the figures!)

  • 149
    Everything
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Dogs have a much more honourable demographic distribution than humans then! :devil:

  • 150
    Socrates
    Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Dave 135

    Thanks for the link. Have a good day all.

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