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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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  • 51
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    zoomster:

    I had a similar thought last night when I first read the story.

  • 52
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    The delightful Savva sinks the knife into O’Farrell.

    Not a squeak about him from this master journalist while O’Farrell was a Liberal premier.

    Now that he has gone, he is fair game, he was no good and Baird is a remarkable premier by way of contrast.

    Savva debases herself further.

  • 53
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    g
    Poor Greens. All excuses.

  • 54
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    bw

    Facts are not excuses. Numbers is Numbers.

  • 55
    frednk
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    60% availability means that only 40% can crash at any one time.

    I think it is the other way around, 40% are safe as they are on the gorund. It’s the 60% they think they can get in the air that are the issue.

  • 56
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    LOL. Savva reckons that a lot of heat has come out of the ‘climate debate’.

    El Nino might change her mind.

  • 57
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    lizzie

    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I’m merely musing that Tony and Mirabella are ‘besties’.

    Did you misspell? Meaning to say “beasties”?

  • 58
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    frednk
    You are right.

  • 59
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Boer

    I am terribly relieved to learn that all we needed to do to stop climate change was to stop worrying about it.

  • 60
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Savva is in for a shock. There is no dictionary definition under which you can call an ETS a tax.

  • 61
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    With the Coalition firmly entrenched in the hard right sphere, the PUP filling the moderate right space along with a union free ALP, I think the Greens Party (if they embrace common sense and pragmatism) could be the big electoral winners of the future by taking the centre left.

  • 62
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Mr Palmer has told conservative politicians being dragged to the right there is an alternative to being an independent if they get to stage of thinking of leaving.

    Could get interesting.

  • 63
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Rex

    firstly, giving unions less say in the party does not make Labor ‘union free’. If unions really want control and this is threatened by the rank and file vote, they can encourage their members to join their local branch.

    secondly, the Greens aren’t pragmatic, so there goes that idea.

  • 64
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Deficit Levy???

    This from a Government that when in Opposition was prepared to abandon Queensland with its anti levy rants.

    OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott is urging rural independent MPs to ditch their support for Prime Minister Julia Gillard, accusing her of using the floods to mask her government’s spending addiction.

    In a speech to the Young Liberals convention on the Gold Coast today, Mr Abbott ramped up his criticism of the federal government’s flood levy to rebuild Queensland’s infrastructure.

    Well I say this debt levy is to mask the Liberal incompetence in managing the budget.

  • 65
    Boerwar
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    One of the more interesting asides in Insiders was that Hunt’s White Paper is what he thinks he can get away with, consider the opposition inside the Coalition to doing anything about AGW at all. The default position is essentially yet another government subsidy to their mates at the top end of town and their farmer mates in the bush.

    They care about the climate. They really do.

    IMHO:

    (1) the policy is based on picking winners. I thought that was an automatic Liberal policy ‘FAIL’.

    (2) no-one knows what the price per tonne is going to be

    (3) no-one knows whether there will be enough takers

    (4) some companies will get free money to close down non-performing assets

    (5) no one is convinced of the soil sequestration science in terms of what sequestration you actually get over time

    (6) some companies will get a free ride in terms of being able to hasten AGW

    (7) taxpayers are on the never never

    (8) it is not scaleable

    (9) it comes with a package that includes the destruction of multiple approaches to abatement

    (10) it is absent any policy linkages (for example, taxpayers are forking out a billion plus to drought stricken farmers)

    (11) it avoids a price signal to users, wacking all taxpayers instead.

  • 66
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    “@political_alert: The Prime Minister is in Brisbane today and will hold a joint press conference with Queensland Premier, 11:00am #auspol”

  • 67
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    “@political_alert: Shadow Treasurer @Bowenchris will hold a press conference, 11:15am, Sydney #auspol”

  • 68
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    And where are all of Malcolm Turnbull’s demands for CBAs on these government thought bubbles?

  • 69
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Clive Palmer was very effective in Insiders. He said what needed to be said by an opposition.

    Sure it might be wacky, and economically impossible BUT he looked and sounded like an opposition party. Both Shorten and Abbott and even the Greens need to watch him. he is moving past being a one seat/election wonder.

  • 70
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    While reducing revenue by their own actions the Abbott Liberals are going to impose more burden on lo income workers, pensioners etc, while reducing taxes on the wealthy.

  • 71
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Re the death caps. From this description of where and how they grow it doesn’t sound like they would grow in commercial mushroom farms.

    It is ectomycorrhizally associated with several tree species and is symbiotic with them. In Europe, these include hardwood and, less frequently, conifer species. It appears most commonly under oaks, but also under beeches, chestnuts, horse-chestnuts, birches, filberts, hornbeams, pines, and spruces

    Ectomycorrhizas, or EcM, are typically formed between the roots of around 10% of plant families, mostly woody plants including the birch, dipterocarp, eucalyptus, oak, pine, and rose

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_phalloides

  • 72
    zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    @Zoomster/68

    Mr Fraudband will give the go ahead, before a CBA is even completed..

  • 73
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I am actually looking forward to the Budget Reply Speech. Mr Shorten in Parliament does perform well as some of his SSO speeches have shown.

    He has plenty of material to work with. It should be good.

  • 74
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    From over the road a nice find, an Abbott impersonator. Does it pretty well. Got the walk for sure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrCiJIW6NLE

  • 75
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Clive Palmer on Insiders speaks too fast, doesn’t finish all his sentences and his messages jump about too much to be comprehensible. If he were Opp Leader, I’d have little idea what PUP stands for.

  • 76
    dave
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Sadly – doing exactly what Putin wants ?

    Satellite Images Reveal Massing Of 15,000 Ukraine Troops, Hundreds Of Tanks Around Slavyansk

    Russian RIA Novosti reports that it has received satellite photos, "which clearly show the accumulation of a large number of Ukrainian military equipment and weapons on the border with the Russian Federation and in the vicinity of Slavyasnk." RIA cites a source in the Russian Defense Ministry, who commented that the pictures show a military formation designed "to wipe out the city and all its inhabitants from the face of the earth."

    According to source, the group has more than 15,000 troops from the Ukraine army and national guard, about 160 tanks, 230 infantry fighting vehicles and APCs, and as much as 150 mortars, howitzers and multiple launch rocket systems

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-26/satellite-images-reveal-massing-15000-ukraine-troops-hundreds-tanks-around-slavyansk

  • 77
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I’m not liking this flip flopping and all over the shopness from him.

    I’m loving it – hoping he’ll be as bad as the greens are.

  • 78
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    lizzie

    ......his messages jump about too much to be comprehensible. If he were Opp Leader, I’d have little idea what PUP stands for.

    That may be just how he wants it.

  • 79
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    MORE lies from Hockey. This man is proving the adage “you know he’s lying, his lips are moving”.

    “Now I want to emphasise my electorate of North Sydney has one of the highest bulk-billing rates in Australia and I have one of the wealthiest electorates in Australia,” Mr Hockey told ABC Radio. “To me there is something wrong with that.”

    In fact, Mr Hockey’s electorate had Sydney’s fifth-lowest bulk-billing rate, 70.2 per cent, according to 2010-2011 Department of Health data, the most recent available. This is below both the NSW and national averages.

    Mr Hockey declined to provide any data to support the Treasurer’s comments, saying only: “The electorate has a high rate of bulk billing for affluent areas.”

  • 80
    dave
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    guytaur@62

    Mr Palmer has told conservative politicians being dragged to the right there is an alternative to being an independent if they get to stage of thinking of leaving.

    Could get interesting.

    I’ll be amazed if clive ever amounts to anything more than being a big mouth in politics.

    May well be wrong, but he doesn’t impress me at all from what I’ve seen of him.

    Not that he needs to impress me, of course.

  • 81
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    There’s always about 8% from the right of politics who will vote for a populist leader, just as a similar number from the left look for a party left of the ALP.

    And it’s fair, in a democracy, that they should have proportional numbers in Parliament.

    Given that the Senate is proportionally elected, that’s where they’re most likely to end up.

  • 82
    poroti
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    This article and video from the Jerusalem Post reminds of another hot spot we should keep in mind.

    WATCH: Al-Qaida branch, other Islamist groups take Syrian army post near Golan

    “It is indeed the first time that they (Islamist groups) took over an outpost of such importance and at this proximity to the Israeli border,” Rafael Green, director of the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/WATCH-Al-Qaida-branch-other-Islamist-groups-take-Syrian-army-post-near-Golan-350406

  • 83
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Lizzie
    Voters like passion MORE than coherence – hence the whole One nation, palmer, Katter phenomenon. There is about 10% of the population who will always respond to that kind of message. They are mostly drawn from the conservative site of politics ans well as many who might have been labor in the years before Howard.

    BUT Palmer by making clear promises not to raise the pension age is set to gain votes from just about everyone aged 50-65 ie those who are starting to thing about and plan for their retirement. In other words about 25% of the electorate.

  • 84
    dave
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Clive’s BS called very easily -

    Palmer: we wanted to assure them that we'd do all we could to make the Northern Territory a better place and more accountable for Territorian's.

    Well, the deal is that we'll all stick together and we all think we want to do what's the right thing for Australia. There's nothing else. History is our only judge and Alison Anderson, it will be the first parliamentary leader of the - of any parliamentary party, an indigenous person in Australia.

    Fran Kelly : Except for Adam Giles who is the Chief Minister there in the Northern Territory, he's the leader of the CLP.

    Palmer : Well, I think she'll be the chief minister after the next election, that's for sure. That Government's falling apart and it's not really got a good future.

  • 85
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    dtt #83

    I agree, the public will eat up Palmers committment to retain the current pension age.

  • 86
    sprocket_
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    For those wondering how Peter Costello, and the man he is replacing, climate sceptic and Liberal Party fundraiser David Murray celebrate their perks at Xmas time, well, wonder no more.

    Your taxpayers dollars at work…

    FORMER treasurer Peter Costello’s Future Fund spent $8000 of taxpayers’ money on a Christmas party at a venue called La Di Da that offers burlesque evenings; but it insists there were “absolutely not’’ any strippers.

    A catalogue of extraordinary spending at the fund reveals the end-of-year bacchanalia was small change compared to the $8 million in cash bonuses last year to some of the organisation’s 92 staff.

    There were also 88 credit cards issued for 92 staff with spending limits of between $2000 and $15,000.

    Mr Costello, Australia’s longest-serving treasurer, established the sovereign wealth fund in 2006 and was appointed as chairman by Joe Hockey in February.

    No other candidates were considered for the $198,000-a-year part-time job. According to documents tabled in Parliament, a second Christmas party was then organised for the fund’s seven board members and 75 staff at an extra catering cost of $4000.

    Since Tony Abbott was elected the Future Fund has spent nearly $5000 a day on airfares, $900,000 on ­recruitment costs and $15,500 for “human chemistry” consultancies.

    Future Fund spokesman Will Hetherton said the $8 million performance bonuses were justified and ­reflected the strong man-agement of the $107 billion in investments.

    The fund said the La Di Da Christmas Party package included “venue hire, food and drink as well as music from a DJ but there was “absolutely not” any burlesque dancing.

    La Di Da’s website boasts of all male strip ­revenues and burlesque routines and features ­dozens of photographs of a woman’s bottom clad in a G-string.

    From #NewsCorpse, so no link

  • 87
    zoomster
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Voters like passion MORE than coherence – hence the whole One nation, palmer, Katter phenomenon. There is about 10% of the population who will always respond to that kind of message.

    Spot the contradiction there.

  • 88
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    What really makes the difference in a new party is the ability to transform from the first initial person or group who set it up into a more the years we have solid structure.

    The Labor party emerged as one such solid base back in 1900 or so and the Liberals survived after Menzies, although in recent years it is showing signs of illness. So that makes two.

    However The liberal Reform Movement failed after the departure of Barton, and the Democrats did not long survive Chipp. The DLP did not long survive once the power of Santamaria failed. One nation collapsed. So that makes newly emerged parties that failed to survive .

    Currently we have PUP, Katter, Family First and the Greens as viable minor parties. Now the Greens seem to have made the jump from personality (Bob Brown) to long term party status, although not quite home and hosed yet.

    Family First may survive as a long term minor party but never as a major.

    PUP and Katter will unite. Katter will fade. PUP will probably fade away especially Clive disappears along with his money, however it is possible that PUP will actually seize some middle ground and survive. Most likely scenario is that PUP will grab enough middle ground Lib voters to drag the LNP from its current far right position. Alternatively you MIGHT see an LNP split with the moderates joining PUP. Stranger things have happened.

  • 89
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    PUP + KAP –> UAP….

  • 90
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Palmer should change the party name and be elected party room leader. He doesn’t have to have a platform he just has to pick smart fights to make the LNP look bad and make sure he gets the credit and labor and the greens don’t. If labor backs Abbott to defeat Palmer it will be political gold.

    He probably won’t but he has a very fertile field to grow in. Picking the growing selfish older guys to fight for is politics and demographics 101.

    Rudd / Gillard did a lot for pensioners but did get any credit for it.

  • 91
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Zoomster

    You might gain from reading the whole post

    There is 10% who love a populist Palmer, Katter, Hansen etc, What I actually said was that Palmer may add to this number by his strong line on pensions. There are about 25% of voters approaching pension age. The pension age is a pretty big ticket item to many of these (say half) and about 95% of those over 60. PUP may well grab a goodly share of the 50-65 year old voters.

    Now speaking personally I think that if Hockey delays MY access to the pension by one or two years, PUP and the greens promise not to and Labor stays silent, then the direct loss of $6-$18,000 per year will be enough to swing my vote and I assume that of many others.

  • 92
    MTBW
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    poroti

    Just loved that Abbott impersonator have sent it on thanks!

  • 93
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    WWP

    In the American tradition, party and lobby group names always imply the opposite to what they are. So Palmer Uunited Party is situation normal. They are not united.

  • 94
    gloryconsequence
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Abbott asked about new family tax.

    “Fiscal disaster, school halls on steroids, pink batts, worst Government ever”

  • 95
    daretotread
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Now Palmer made one very effective ant true point today. He called a spade a spade.

    He pointed out that as a business man he would not be employing 69 year olds, since the training costs were not worth the investment. Now this is obvious but very few call a spade a spade.

    We need to get real. If you are over 60 you are not going to get a job in a NEW field, although you may in an industry with which you are already familiar ie no training needed. Cut the platitudes and retraining cr*p and accept that if older workers are to get jobs then the government will have to pay employers to take them.

  • 96
    BK
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    How long before Abbott calls the proposed new tax the “Labor Levy”?

  • 97
    lizzie
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Watch Abbott’s words carefully?

    wtte We are an adult government … unlike the previous government we will nor promise one things and do the opposite immediately afterwards.

    Not the careful “immediately”.

  • 98
    gloryconsequence
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Newman accusing Palmer of offering cash to the LNP members from NT.

  • 99
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Abbott Feb23,2011″Mates help each other; they don’t tax each other”

    And hasn’t he stood by that, by reducing the taxes for his wealthy mates while increasing taxes for people that aren’t his mates.

    Low paid, pensioners etc.

  • 100
    gloryconsequence
    Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Bowen: the biggest broken promise of all – Abbott’s Deceit Tax

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