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Seat of the week: Wakefield

Seat of the week visits South Australia one last time to cover Wakefield on the northern fringe of Adelaide, held for Labor since 2007 by Nick Champion.

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

Wakefield extends from outer northern Adelaide to rural territory as far as Clare 100 kilometres to the north, with overwhelming Labor strength around Elizabeth and Salisbury partly balanced by support for the Liberals in the Clare Valley. It has existed in name since South Australia was first divided into electorates in 1903, but its complexion changed dramatically when its southern neighbour Bonython was abolished when the state’s representation was reduced from 12 seats to 11 in 2004. Previously a conservative rural and outskirts seat encompassing the Murray Valley and Yorke Peninsula, it came to absorb the outer suburban industrial centre of Elizabeth while retaining the satellite town of Gawler, the Clare Valley wine-growing district, and the Gulf St Vincent coast from Two Wells north to Port Wakefield.

Prior to 2004, Wakefield was won by the major conservative party of the day at every election except 1938 and 1943, when it was won by Labor, and 1928, when it was won by the Country Party. The Liberal member from 1983 to 2004 was Neil Andrew, who spent the last six years of his parliamentary career serving as Speaker. Andrew at first considered challenging Patrick Secker for preselection in Barker after the 2004 redistribution turned Wakefield’s 14.7% margin into a notional Labor margin of 1.5%, but instead opted to retire. Wakefield was nonetheless retained for the Liberals at the ensuing election by David Fawcett, who picked up a 2.2% swing off a subdued Labor vote around Elizabeth to unseat Martyn Evans, who had held Bonython for Labor since 1994. Fawcett’s slender margin was demolished by a 7.3% swing in 2007, but he would return to parliament as a Senator after the 2010 election.

Wakefield has since been held for Labor by Nick Champion, a former state party president, Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association official and staffer for state Industrial Relations Minister Michael Wright. The SDA link identifies him with the potentate of the South Australian Right, outgoing Senator Don Farrell. He nonetheless went against Farrell by coming out in support of Kevin Rudd in the days before his unsuccessful February 2012 leadership challenge, resigning as caucus secretary to do so. As with Labor’s other South Australian newcomers from the 2007 election, Champion had no trouble retaining his seat at the 2010 election, a 5.4% swing boosting his margin to 12.0%. However, the seat has since returned to the marginal zone following a redistribution in which it traded an area around Salisbury for Lydoch and Williamstown east of Gawler, reducing the margin to 10.3%, and a 7.1% swing to the Liberals at the 2013 election, which has left it at 3.4%.

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  • 801
    Jolyon Wagg
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Rex…

    My brain and my conscience says ENOUGH !

    Will the rottenness of the majors still be affecting the lives of the next generations ??
    Will YOU be responsible for that ???

    By the time the minors become majors they will have been subject to the same forces that have led to a degree of corruption in the current majors. I suspect they will then be similarly corrupt.

    In my opinion, the chaos that would ensue from a parliament of independents would be more damaging that the current level of corruption.

    If you are that concerned about it, join a major and support the decent people within it. It will be more productive than whining.

  • 802
    ruawake
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    oh dear.

    Mr Baird said he had told newly appointed NSW Liberal state director Tony Nutt...

    Now where have we heard that name before?

  • 803
    sprocket_
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I reckon Ms Macnamara will be toast before the Budget. She is right in the thick of the 3 who resigned, in fact they put her in the job. Maybe not the real Terrigals, maybe the Gosfords?

    Rua, she bragged about the $100k she raised for the campaign, but Liberal HQ (read Bill Heffernan, enforcer for Howard and now Abbott) knew nothing about it.

    Given the Heff’s fingerprints all over this grubby mess (eg calling Ray Carter a “pooftah”), surely ICAC will need to call him to testify.

    Maybe they could ask Heff who gave him the falsified Comcar driver docket he tried to bone Justice Michael Kirby with?

  • 804
    Thomas. Paine.
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Yep, A parliament full of wide-eyed, untried, untested independents. What could possible go wrong?

    Grow a brain!

    Yeh, an a parliament full of faction-ally owned, corporate owned suck-holes, and equally incompetents in safe seats – HOR and Senate…and always with a nod to the religious and Israel sects…with secret messages to the USA that they can be trusted…..

    We knew the Libs to be the part of Corporate Australia and rich set, and Labor not to be out done, stabbed a first term PM after 5 minutes…because it suite their power plays…..proves there needs to be somethin else…maybe that will help get the majors into some sort of order.

    AND it is never a good time to start…but it has to be started sometime.

  • 805
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    jackol #796

    You’re a smart cookie, but don’t you see the real issue behind what you’ve written there ?

    Both majors are so rotten, the politics is just laughable.

  • 806
    dave
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    deep down both majors need to be told in no uncertain terms

    Dream on. Labor owe you nothing and you will get even less than nothing from the tories.

    Belly aching and stamping your feet will get you nowhere.

    Looking on the bright side – thankfully you are not a Labor supporter.

  • 807
    ruawake
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry move him to NSW

    THE secret tapes that expose confidential dealings and payouts behind the police command crisis will be referred to the Government's new anti-corruption body.

    Premier Ted Baillieu said he would write to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and ask it to assess the four hours of taped material revealed by the Herald Sun.

    But the premier has refused to sack his chief of staff, Tony Nutt, who was heard on the tapes criticising the Office of Police Integrity and offering to help former government adviser Tristan Weston a job.

  • 808
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Jolyon Wagg#801

    That’s a copout,… and I think you know it.

  • 809
    lizzie
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Left Justice ‏@TurnLeft2016 1h
    I can see those tough donation laws that were designed to stop unions funding the ALP have worked out well for the LNP

  • 810
    Thomas. Paine.
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    This budget should be a major opportunity for Labor to rip Abbott and Hokey a few new ones…IT is also opportunity for Palmer to increase the popularity of his lot by jumping on the Labor bandwangon…since there is large demographic involved (votes)..

    So wouldn’t be surprised to see Palmer’s lot blocking if the can some of Abbott’s crap to do with Pensioners, aging, superannuation….

  • 811
    B.C.
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    dave Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 6:15 pm @

    When the cost to the budget overall on tax foregone in giving tax benefits on super is $20 B plus, that 30% of is a hell of a lot to be going EACH YEAR to 5% of those with super – already wealthy people – while the bottom 20%, ie the poor get a bums rush – yet again.

    It’s even worse. The bottom earners are penalized by having to pay more tax on the money they put into superannuation than on the rest of their income.

  • 812
    gloryconsequence
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    PvO scathing of the proposal of a debt tax, and suggesting that if it is introduced but the Abbott’s PPL remains on the table then marginal Coalition backbenchers will start a riot.

  • 813
    Jackol
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Rex – I’m very sympathetic to the idea of having a greater number of viable parties in Australian politics and have said so in the past. If there were serious alternatives then we could vote against badly behaving parties without necessarily voting directly against our political values.

    However, at the moment there aren’t serious alternatives. Vote for the Greens if you feel so strongly about it. Otherwise PUP? Random independents who stand for random unknown issues? FF? LDP? At least we kind of know what FF and LDP stand for.

    As far as it goes the ALP have been severely punished for their (combined) corruption, tolerance of corruption and internal shambles. If the ALP can seriously tackle the reform that is necessary then maybe they will be worthy of a vote at the next Federal and State elections.

    The system will never be perfect. There will always be bad apples attempting to get their corrupt slice of the pie. The question becomes how the parties and the system organize themselves to limit the damage the bad apples can do.

  • 814
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    dave

    I’m not supporting either of the 2 rotten major parties at state and fed levels – I can’t and I won’t.

    I won’t stamp my feet, I’ll use them to walk into the polling booth and do what my conscience is telling me is the right thing to do.

  • 815
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Newspoll tonight should be “interesting”.

  • 816
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    jackol #813

    The ALP have learnt nothing

    #Bullock

  • 817
    zoidlord
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    @BB/815

    Define “interesting” ?

  • 818
    Jackol
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    The ALP have learnt nothing

    The ALP have only just begun to have a serious debate about what they should do.

  • 819
    B.C.
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    gloryconsequence Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm @ 812

    PvO scathing of the proposal of a debt tax, and suggesting that if it is introduced but the Abbott’s PPL remains on the table then marginal Coalition backbenchers will start a riot.

    Let’s be honest, the federal budget is in deficit mostly because of the unsustainable tax cuts (income and superannuation) given out by Howard and Costello and matched by Rudd and Swan. If we want the budget to return to surplus, and we want the Government to continue to provide the services it does, then we need to be pay more taxes.

  • 820
    BK
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Define “interesting” ?

    I’m sure Shanahan will think of something!

  • 821
    dave
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Rex Douglas@814

    dave

    I’m not supporting either of the 2 rotten major parties at state and fed levels – I can’t and I won’t.

    I won’t stamp my feet, I’ll use them to walk into the polling booth and do what my conscience is telling me is the right thing to do.

    Fine then do that – thats what most voters do.

    You will be doing something positive – the opposite of your ongoing bellyaching at every daily political matter that shakes your tree.

  • 822
    BK
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    B.C.
    Can’t argue with that.

  • 823
    B.C.
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Bushfire Bill Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm @ 815

    Newspoll tonight should be “interesting”.

    It’s a shame it won’t fully reflect the impact of todays’ ICAC events.

  • 824
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    dave #821

    Sorry, but you’ll have to put up with my thoughts from time to time.
    If it makes you uncomfortable, just scroll past.

  • 825
    ruawake
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    My guess is that on the 13th May Hockey will dodge the hard decisions, he will say what needs to be done after the next election.

    He will tinker around the edges and say he has a lot. Oh and a return to surplus in a decade or so, two elections away.

  • 826
    dave
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Rex Douglas@824

    dave #821

    Sorry, but you’ll have to put up with my thoughts from time to time.

    Little doubt that your belly aching will prove the point being made.

  • 827
    DisplayName
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Rex, you’re hardly being consistent. You’re the same person who has criticised the ALP for navel gazing whenever they talk of reform.

  • 828
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    A bit off topic, but why did the Clippers players take to the court wearing that disgusting owners’ uniform ?

    They should’ve donned an alternative plain uniform in protest and demanded he leave and sell the club.

  • 829
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    DisplayName #827

    All they need is a dose of common sense and clear thinking.

  • 830
    DisplayName
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Well they obviously don’t have it, so instead they’ll have to settle for laborious processes instead, won’t they?

  • 831
    DisplayName
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    subtract 1 instead

  • 832
    guytaur
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    “@political_alert: The Prime Minister is in Sydney tonight and will address The Sydney Institute’s Annual Dinner 2014, 9pm #auspol”

  • 833
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Oh Dear. Baird says no running commentary, as opposed to the running commentary when Labor figures were in the firing line.

    Liberal is thy politics – Hypocrisy is thy game

    Two NSW Liberal MP’s have now stood aside in the #ICAC investigation that will “sink Labor for a generation”.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/icac-hears-chris-hartcher-corruption-claims-as-liberal-mp-marie-ficarra-steps-aside-20140428-zr0np.html

  • 834
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    The Premier’s millionaire mate http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/the-premiers-millionaire-mate-20140427-zr0ea.html … #Auspol pic.twitter.com/kNLO78yHqB

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BmTF5U1CIAAsI07.jpg

  • 835
    ruawake
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Oh Dear. Baird says no running commentary, as opposed to the running commentary when Labor figures were in the firing line.

    I think Baird will realise it doesn’t matter what commentary he cares to make, others will make more than enough for him.

  • 836
    BK
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s the self-righteousness of the Liberals named in ICAC that gets me. They have no peer.

  • 837
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has issued a JFK-style appeal to Australians urging them to not think of themselves and what they might lose in next month’s budget but instead what they will do for the country.

    That’s easy to say when you and your mates are still getting better off through reduced taxes

  • 838
    B.C.
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    An interesting article about the “looming energy crisis”: The Gross Society: We’re Entering an Age of Energy Impoverishment

    It’s hard to overstate just how serious a threat our energy crisis is to every aspect of our current way of life. But the problem is hidden from view by oil and natural gas production numbers that look and feel just fine.

  • 839
    frednk
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Shorton will be judged on how well he tidies up Labor, not on how well he points to the Liberals while their mad right suffers the same fate.

  • 840
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Abbott – EVERYONE NEEDS TO CONTRIBUTE TO NATION-BUILDING BUDGET

    That’s why Abbott reduced tax on wealthy with super earning $100k+ a year ($16bn)

    Supported the theft of taxpayer money through FBT rorts ($1.9bn)

  • 841
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Remember when that scum bucket Abbott did this?

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BmTJ54wCYAAafev.png

  • 842
    dave
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    AussieAchmed
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:45 pm | PERMALINK
    PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has issued a JFK-style appeal to Australians urging them to not think of themselves and what they might lose in next month’s budget but instead what they will do for the country.

    That’s easy to say when you and your mates are still getting better off through reduced taxes

    Particularly when he did the opposite himself.

  • 843
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    BC

    I see no reason for us to want the budget to be in surplus. Fiscal contraction may be necessary from time to time but independent of circumstances it’s no more something to want than fiscal expansion. We should want adequate public goods delivered widely on the basis of need, and do whatever is necessary to achieve that.

  • 844
    Edwina StJohn
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    What’s with the sexual imagery tp 810 it’s a theme in your posts and I posit a repression of desires on your part ?

  • 845
    mimhoff
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has issued a JFK-style appeal to Australians urging them to not think of themselves and what they might lose in next month’s budget but instead what they will do for the country.

    And just what will we be doing for the country? A surplus as an end in itself is not the point of the country’s leadership…

  • 846
    poroti
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    AussieAchmed

    “And so, my fellow Australians: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’s spivs.”

  • 847
    confessions
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s the self-righteousness of the Liberals named in ICAC that gets me. They have no peer.

    The photo the ABC is using of Ficarra is especially so.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-28/new-icac-hearing-begins-liberal-party-nsw-eightbyfive/5414892?section=nsw

  • 848
    Centre
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    I see no reason for us to want the budget to be in surplus.

    No of course not, the Greens stand for governments spending more than the revenue they receive.

    Full moon must be nearing in the night sky!

  • 849
    BK
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has issued a JFK-style appeal to Australians urging them to not think of themselves and what they might lose in next month’s budget but instead what they will do for the country.

    If Abbott thinks he’s talking to all Australians by having a speaking gig at Gerard Henreson’s Sydney institute he’s got another think coming!

  • 850
    The Big Ship
    Posted Monday, April 28, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Is there a confirmation of a Newspoll tonight? Anzac Day on Friday may have forced a delay until later this week for their fieldwork.

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