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Federal Election 2016

Apr 20, 2014

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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1368 comments

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Lynchpin
Guest

[So stop talking out of your arse you unpleasant grub.]

Gotta love our sense of solidarity in the ALP!!!

😆

Fran Barlow
Guest

Interesting article on innovations in harnessing and commercialising wind energy …

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/21/real-innovation-wind-energy/

bemused
Guest

Rex Douglas@1357

Never thought I’d see the day the ALP would aid and abet the campaign of tearing down the union movement.

Have I missed something?

When is that happening?

bemused
Guest
Player One@1353 bemused@1326 spur212@1319 Bemused Yes! Symbolism! It’s a perceived barrier to entry. Bill’s just removing it from the “brand” A mis-perception aided and abetted by people like Shorten continually referring to it. So he has built up a great big straw man and now successfully demolished it! What a surprise. I hate to rain on your one man anti-Shorten crusade, but section 5.3.4 of the ALP membership rules (http://www.viclabor.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Final-Rules-April-2013.pdf) says: Any person who is not a member of any union at the time of his/her application who is eligible to belong to a Union which is affiliated with the… Read more »
ajm
Guest

guytaur
[Palmer predicting a Labor Government in Queensland after next election]
I think he was actually predicting a PUP government by his subsequent comments!

Just Me
Guest

[“@AustralianLabor: “If you don’t engage in politics, you’ll be governed by vested interests…” @billshortenmp #rebuildlabor #auspol”]

Echoes of Plato:

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

zoomster
Guest

Rex

given in the past, membership numbers have been far higher than they are at present, there’s a fair way to go before this becomes a problem.

Rex Douglas
Guest

zoomster #1350

Is there a possibility the ALP church becomes too broad and thus dysfunctional ?

CTar1
Guest

bemused

You can do whatever you like.

I’ll not be waiting.

bemused
Guest

zoomster@1350

GG

I just wish that Labor would stop talking about itself and focus more strongly on the issues that concern voters.


But these are not mutually incompatible.

If Labor opens its membership up to cater for a wider group of people, then there are a wider number of viewpoints taken on board as part of the policy process, meaning that policies formulated and adopted are more likely to tackle issues which concern voters, in ways which voters like to see.

There are some who prefer to be big frogs in small ponds and share the spoils of opposition.

Rex Douglas
Guest

Never thought I’d see the day the ALP would aid and abet the campaign of tearing down the union movement.

bemused
Guest

CTar1@1348

bemused

So what are you doing to fix it?

Joining and speaking up is a start.


It has nothing to do with ‘Joining Up’ and such bull shit.

If the average voter is not engaged you are rooted.

The others offer Minties while tearing off your gonads.

The ALP needs to grow up. Shearer’s are long gone.

I surrender to your brilliance and await your prescription for success.

Libertarian Unionist
Guest

[Six Dollar Dutton.]

That much?

Boerwar
Guest

Six years of silence as Shadow spokesperson for Health. No questions in QT. No policy announcements.

Now, as Minister for Health, he strikes:

Six Dollar Dutton.

Player One
Guest
bemused@1326 spur212@1319 Bemused Yes! Symbolism! It’s a perceived barrier to entry. Bill’s just removing it from the “brand” A mis-perception aided and abetted by people like Shorten continually referring to it. So he has built up a great big straw man and now successfully demolished it! What a surprise. I hate to rain on your one man anti-Shorten crusade, but section 5.3.4 of the ALP membership rules (http://www.viclabor.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Final-Rules-April-2013.pdf) says: [ Any person who is not a member of any union at the time of his/her application who is eligible to belong to a Union which is affiliated with the Party… Read more »
spur212
Guest

Guytaur @1346

Palmer usually says a lot of outlandish things but on this particular one, he’s dead right! 🙂

guytaur
Guest

“@wardlejon: Interesting point I’d not considered before MT @cyenne40 If it’ll cost $6 a jab to get your child vaccinated, expect a drop in the vax rate.”

zoomster
Guest
GG [I just wish that Labor would stop talking about itself and focus more strongly on the issues that concern voters.] But these are not mutually incompatible. If Labor opens its membership up to cater for a wider group of people, then there are a wider number of viewpoints taken on board as part of the policy process, meaning that policies formulated and adopted are more likely to tackle issues which concern voters, in ways which voters like to see. If it opens up the selection processes for candidates, so that it’s not necessarily the one with the most factional… Read more »
CTar1
Guest

bemused

[So what are you doing to fix it?

Joining and speaking up is a start.]

It has nothing to do with ‘Joining Up’ and such bull shit.

If the average voter is not engaged you are rooted.

The others offer Minties while tearing off your gonads.

The ALP needs to grow up. Shearer’s are long gone.

lizzie
Guest

[Malcolm Farr ‏@farrm51 10m
my understanding national office rule requires union m’ship but state branches implement varying ways. Q whether Nat exec can change rule]

guytaur
Guest

Palmer predicting a Labor Government in Queensland after next election

briefly
Guest

[1342
zoomster

I’m finding it interesting how snarky some Greens are being on my twitter timeline about Shorten’s speech…suggests that they’re a bit worried about what might happen if the ALP reforms itself!]

It’s especially pleasing to see Shorten pay some attention to WA. Preselections at all levels, but most notably for the Senate and Legislative Council, should be radically reformed.

This will certainly help arrest the flow of votes to the Greens in the suburbs of Perth.

bemused
Guest

Rex Douglas@1329

bemused #1326

A means to an end…

You may be right.

bemused
Guest
spur212@1328 Bemused Think I should clarify as this can easily get misinterpreted: it’s not about being anti union, it’s about being open to people who aren’t in a union who feel/believe the ALP’s not open to them. Any Labor Party that abandons a collective group of people is no Labor Party at all but that doesn’t mean Labor should be puppets for the AWU, SDA, TWU etc etc etc the way Gillard and Swan were. What I’m skeptical about is whether this is just another way for Shorten to maintain factional power, but that’s mostly due to his history. This… Read more »
zoomster
Guest

I’m finding it interesting how snarky some Greens are being on my twitter timeline about Shorten’s speech…suggests that they’re a bit worried about what might happen if the ALP reforms itself!

briefly
Guest

[1323
Greensborough Growler

I just wish that Labor would stop talking about itself and focus more strongly on the issues that concern voters.]

I think it’s possible that the democratic, representative, connected and inclusive character of the ALP is something that does concern voters, particularly when as currently constituted it selects and promotes such shockers as Joe Bullock.

spur212
Guest

Bemused

The “straw man” was built up by the Liberals.

A lot of the problem mainly comes from the fact Beazley and co who all wanted to go back to the base after 1996 and he was so hopeless for that first six years of the Howard government in countering all the lies they threw at the ALP.

Libertarian Unionist
Guest

sprocket_,
You might also like this: Big off-grid prospects for small 24/7 solar thermal plant

guytaur
Guest

“@ABCNews24: Palmer: Our policy on climate change is to have an inquiry into climate change and examine the science and public opinion #auspol”

bemused
Guest

CTar1@1324

bemused

ou make a lot of comments like this one which leave me wondering if you agree or disagree


I’m in full agreement that the current G’ovt should be F#ck Off.

The current make up of the ALP makes me wonder some what.

So what are you doing to fix it?

Joining and speaking up is a start.

guytaur
Guest

“@ABCNews24: Palmer: We might not pass the carbon tax and we might not pass the mining tax #auspol”

Hah now Palmer wants an inquiry into climate change policy

bemused
Guest

Rex Douglas@1322

wave goodbye to the centre-left ALP of the past

The one you were never a member of?

What bollocks! 😡

guytaur
Guest

“@ABCNews24: Palmer: I am concerned about Direct Action for a number of reasons, it looks like a big slush fund #auspol”

CTar1
Guest

ABC24 has Clive:

I can see ‘Bringing’.

Is the end of the banner ‘the Pork’?

Libertarian Unionist
Guest

[In a biological construct, individuals have very limited capacity to “adapt”, though species adapt across generations. Within an economy, adaptation by individuals is a pre-condition for their survival and reproduction…]

Capital assets can’t adapt (for free).

[I will look onto the Cambridge controversy and report back 🙂 ]

I’m pretty sure the argument is still going 😉

[In this respect, perhaps the single best defining characteristic of an economy is that before anything else it consists of knowledge.]

On this point, I cannot find a flaw 😉

guytaur
Guest

“@ABCNews24: Palmer United Party leader, Clive Palmer is speaking about climate change policy and the federal budget http://t.co/TTkTJ5G5Ba”

“@ABCNews24: Palmer: I can say today that the majority of cross-benches won’t vote for Direct Action #auspol”

briefly
Guest

1321
sprocket_
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

I was reading about this technology on the weekend. It’s tremendously exciting…. great post too!

Rex Douglas
Guest

bemused #1326

A means to an end…

spur212
Guest
Bemused Think I should clarify as this can easily get misinterpreted: it’s not about being anti union, it’s about being open to people who aren’t in a union who feel/believe the ALP’s not open to them. Any Labor Party that abandons a collective group of people is no Labor Party at all but that doesn’t mean Labor should be puppets for the AWU, SDA, TWU etc etc etc the way Gillard and Swan were. What I’m skeptical about is whether this is just another way for Shorten to maintain factional power, but that’s mostly due to his history. This would… Read more »
lizzie
Guest

“But what do centre, left and right mean? asked Alice.

bemused
Guest

spur212@1319

Bemused

Yes! Symbolism! It’s a perceived barrier to entry. Bill’s just removing it from the “brand”

A mis-perception aided and abetted by people like Shorten continually referring to it.

So he has built up a great big straw man and now successfully demolished it!

What a surprise.

briefly
Guest
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/ [El Niño likely in 2014 Issued on Tuesday 22 April 2014 | Product Code IDCKGEWWOO The likelihood of El Niño remains high, with all climate models surveyed by the Bureau now indicating El Niño is likely to occur in 2014. Six of the seven models suggest El Niño thresholds may be exceeded as early as July. The Pacific Ocean has been warming along the equator over recent weeks, with continued warming in the central Pacific likely in coming months. Another burst of westerly winds is presently occurring in the western Pacific, and is likely to cause further warming of… Read more »
CTar1
Guest

bemused

[ou make a lot of comments like this one which leave me wondering if you agree or disagree]

I’m in full agreement that the current G’ovt should be F#ck Off.

The current make up of the ALP makes me wonder some what.

Greensborough Growler
Guest
Greensborough Growler

I just wish that Labor would stop talking about itself and focus more strongly on the issues that concern voters.

Rex Douglas
Guest

wave goodbye to the centre-left ALP of the past

sprocket_
Guest
From today’s Crikey newsletter. [Halfway through April this year, scientists at Harvard and MIT announced something extraordinary: they had found a way to create solar cells that can store accumulated energy from sunlight, and then — with no more than a burst of a few photons — release that energy in a steady and continuous form. These new types of solar cells — called photoswitches — are made from a form of carbon nanotube called azobenzene, which can exist in two different configurations. One collects energy from the photons that hit it and stores it, another releases it. Because they… Read more »
guytaur
Guest

Clive Palmer speaking in next hour.

spur212
Guest

Bemused

Yes! Symbolism! It’s a perceived barrier to entry. Bill’s just removing it from the “brand”

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