Seat of the week: Makin

Held by the Liberals throughout the Howard years, the north-eastern Adelaide seat of Makin swung heavily to Labor in 2007 and 2010, and remains firmly in the party fold despite the 2013 election defeat.

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.

The north-eastern Adelaide seat of Makin extends from Pooraka near the city to Tea Tree Gully and Greenwith at the limits of the metropolitan area. Labor is especially strong in the areas nearer the city, from Walkley Heights north to Salibsury East, beyond which are generally newer suburbs with more mortgage payers and families, who have helped keep the Liberals competitive or better for most of the seat’s history. Together with Kingston in the south of the city and Wakefield in its outer north, Makin is one of three Adelaide seats which the Liberals held in the final term of the Howard government before blowing out to double-digit Labor margins at the 2010 election, and which remain securely in the Labor fold despite the 2013 election defeat. In Makin’s case the Labor margin reached 12.0% in 2010, before the 2013 swing reduced it to 5.1%.

Makin was created with the expansion of parliament in 1984 from an area that had mostly formed the southern end of the safe Labor seat of Bonython, the majority of which was in turn absorbed by Wakefield when it was abolished in 2004. It was held for Labor by uncomfortable margins from 1984 to 1996 by Peter Duncan, a former Attorney-General in Don Dunstan’s state government. A 4.8% swing put Duncan on the Keating government casualty list in 1996, and he returned to the headlines in 2007 after being charged with fraudulently obtaining government grants for his plastics recycling company. The seat was then held for the Liberals by Trish Draper, who emerged as a prime ministerial favourite after strong performances at the next two elections. A swing against Draper of 0.2% in 1998 compared with a statewide swing of 4.2%, and she consolidated her margin by 3.0% in 2001. Draper hit trouble in the lead-up to the 2004 election when it emerged she had breached parliamentary rules by taking a boyfriend on a study trip to Europe at taxpayers’ expense, but she survived by 0.9% in the face of a swing that was not reflected in neighbouring seats. Draper retired at the 2007 election citing an illness in the family, before unsuccessfully attempting a comeback in the state seat of Newland at the March 2010 election.

The seat was then won for Labor on the second attempt by Tony Zappia, who had been the mayor of Salisbury since 1997, a councillor for many years beforehand, and was at one time a weightlifting champion. Zappia was widely thought to have been a victim of his factional non-alignment when the Right’s Julie Woodman defeated him for preselection in 2001, and a repeat performance appeared on the cards when a deal ahead of the 2004 election reserved the seat for Dana Wortley of the “hard Left”. The arrangement displeased local branches as well as party hard-heads concerned that a crucial marginal seat should be contested by the most appealing candidate, and Premier Mike Rann successfully prevailed upon Wortley’s backers to throw their weight behind Zappia. The move appeared a dead end for Zappia in the short term as he proved unable to win the seat, whereas Wortley was elected from the number three Senate position she was offered as consolation. However, Zappia performed considerably better with the electoral breeze at his back in 2007, demolishing the 0.9% Liberal margin with a swing of 8.6%. This was achieved in the face of a high-impact publicity campaign by Liberal candidate Bob Day, housing tycoon and national president of the Housing Industry Association who has since been elected as a Senator for Family First.

The once non-aligned Zappia is now a member of the Left, and is believed to have been a backer of Kevin Rudd’s leadership challenges, and of Anthony Albanese over Bill Shorten in the post-election leadership contest. After spending the period in government on the back bench, he won promotion after the election defeat to shadow parliamentary secretary for manufacturing.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,400 comments on “Seat of the week: Makin”

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  1. Guytaur

    India now has huge problems with the corruption that started in the socialist era. Yet it has made far more progress in the two decades since abandoning socialism than it did in the five previous decades.

    I would agree that the term socialism can be applied to a range of systems. The water has become muddied since the death of communism by many former communists rebranding themselves as socialists. But whatever you call it, the idea that government should run industries that produce things other than social services and essential infrastructure has been a proven failure.

  2. Andrews is on 24 now

    “@latikambourke: Kevin Andrews says welfare reform is not about removing anyone on payments already off them – but looking at sustainability into the future.”

    “@latikambourke: Kevin Andrews on @BreakfastNews says the disability pension is a ‘set and forget system’ where people qualify and rarely reassessed.”

  3. Socrates

    When government owns the means of production etc we call that marxism or as a variant communism. That is not socialism.

  4. Shellbell @ 1234: I suspect you are right: that must be why Mr Callinan was appointed. But it suggests that Senator Brandis also cannot count, since only three of the fifteen permanent judges come from major cricketing nations (UK, India, NZ).

  5. Psephos@1228

    But what I wanted to say mostly is, WHAT a pity it was that Fran and Deblonay and Swamprat and various others here couldn’t come to Burma with me. They would have loved to see the fine fruits of 60 years of socialism, in which the heroic Burmese workers and peasants lived on rationed rice and anti-imperialist slogans, and not much else. Lucky Burmese, spared the horrors of capitalism all these years!

    On the other hand, they could visit Norway.

  6. I am not sure that a corrupt military dictatorship which looted its own economy, which had a leaders with quasi divine status (by ritual if not by fact), which dispensed with the rule of law, wich spent a vast disproportion of the country’s revenue on slaughtering various minorities in a rather ramshackle mix of genocide/ethnic cleansing, might actually be called ‘socialist’.

    Whatever it is to be called, and whatever the plan was, it did not work.

    Thai/Burma comparisons must, of course, take into account that Burma existed as a British colony where its economy was essentially, and to the extent possible, an oil and teak commodity-exporting rump the Empire economy. Thailand had the great advantage of never having had its economy, society and polity damaged or destroyed by having been a colony.

  7. THE world’s 85 richest individuals now own as much as the poorest half of the 7 billion global population, according to a report released by Oxfam.

    The world’s elite have rigged laws in their own favour undermining democracy and creating a chasm of inequality across the globe, the charity says.

    The report exposes the “pernicious impact” of growing inequality that helps “the richest undermine democratic processes and drive policies that promote their interests at the expense of everyone else”, the statement said.

  8. In the report, Oxfam said that “since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 of the 30 countries for which data are available, meaning that in many places the rich not only get more money but also pay less tax on it.”

  9. Morning all.

    More news on the WA Senate ballot stuff up.

    [In a submission to the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, the AEC also argues there is nothing that can be done to overcome the impact of the loss of the ballot papers.

    The case resumes today with a directions hearing before Justice Kenneth Hayne in Melbourne.

    It is understood the Palmer United Party will use the hearing to try to have the Greens’ petition, which also endorses the need for a fresh poll, struck out.]

  10. Commentary on the ICJ hearing last night …

    Lauterpacht said he regretted appearing in a case against Australia as he had served as the principal legal adviser of the Department of Foreign Affairs between 1975 and 1977.

    “During that time I conceived a deep affection and a high regard for that country, so it is saddening for me that in this case I’m obliged to confront Australia in respect of conduct which inexplicably falls so far short of the high standards that prevailed in my time,” he said.

  11. The right wing having demonised refugees in order to justify their military actions against desperate people in leaky wooden boats, demonised and blamed low income workers getting paid penalty rates for trashing the economy are now setting out to demonise people with disabilities and the very unemployed they created through their poor policies.

  12. Psephos, Socrates

    I find you “evil commies” passion quaintly old fashioned and also I am sorry to say a little ignorant.

    Firstly as Guytaur and others have pointed out, you confuse communism,and socialism but also concepts of tyranny and democracy with ideas of socialism or more importantly the way the economy is organised. The two are not the same, despite the fact that the fear mongers of the right equate them.

    Secondly what most observers of “communism” “socialism” or indeed capitalism and dictatorships fail to grasp is that political and economic systems grow organically, each building on the fouindations of the fast, often stretching back to preh

  13. confessions

    By surprising, you mean that the polling indicates that the Libs likely to win the seat of Griffth, or that Abbott will be campaigning there?

  14. “@Thefinnigans: Bill @billshortenmp STOP ABBOTT REGIME ripping off & mugging the:

    * Jobless
    * Disabled
    * Aged
    * Pensioners”

  15. Rossmore

    I had intended on watching the hearing last night, but had ofher commitments.

    After Australia makes its submission and both countries make their closing arguments, what timeline dan we expect for a decision to be brought down.

  16. vic

    [Apparently Abbott is going to campaign in the seat of Griffith]

    Two utubes that the candidate can run himself for audiences?

  17. ausdavo@1235

    Regarding one punch deaths get 8 years minimum in NSW! Will it be a deterrent? Otherwise simply paying the price for damage which cannot be reversed.

    It amounts to ‘Look over there’ to try and get the focus away from the AHA.

    Murdoch via DT is also trying to run interference for BOF.

    But given the revulsion in Sydney to the unending violence on our streets, I don’t this it will work. The Hotel industry’s power has to be curtained as well.

    The coppers are not to blame they are doing their utmost – its down to the so called ‘right’ to make money, rules supreme and everything comes streets after that.

  18. The Abbott government is preparing Australians for an overhaul of the welfare system, with Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews indicating too many depend on the government for their incomes.

    “More than five million people now are in receipt of one form of welfare or another,” Mr Andrews told ABC radio on Tuesday.

    To mount his case for tough changes to welfare, Mr Andrews is using a new “10-year review” given to the government by the Department of Human Services. Mr Andrews said the review shows that more than five million Australians, or about one in five, now receive income support payments

  19. For those who did not watch the presseer Mr Shorten actually used the line of: I do not know what they are drinking in the cabinet room.

  20. Sorry accidentaly posted mid sentance

    Secondly what most observers of “communism” “socialism” or indeed capitalism and dictatorships fail to grasp is that political and economic systems grow organically, each building on the foundations of the fast, often stretching back to prehistory. A society which has NEVER experienced democracy in any form and is used to military strong men, will revert to that form of government over time, whether they claim to be communist, socialist, capitalist or fascist.

    We in the West often wax lyrical about “democracy” failing to grasp the fact that our embrace of this form of government draws on deep roots from our Anglosaxon (Nordic) past and also from the even deeper Celtic roots of Western Europe. Societies which never had elections for the Chieftan (Celtic) or the counsel of the Witans (AngloSaxon) will struggle to follow the principles of democracy and checks and balances inherent in our form of government. Ignorami look at failures of government in Russia, Burma, Africa etc and blame the so called principles of government (usually communist or socialist) failing to recognise that WHATEVER the avowed philosophy of the revolutionary leadership, over quite a short time the form of government will revert to type, usually to some form of quasi monarchy. this will focus economic and military power in the hands of a few and will rapidly lead to suppression of free speech and minority rights.

    Now I do not wish to appear TOO pessimistic, because gradually over time there will be absorption of principles of fairness and democracy, but it will be slow with many a backward step. Egypt anyone

  21. confessions

    It would the voters in the seat of Griffth arent perturbed by the Abbott govt.

    This is indeed surprising. I guess Abbott feels brave enough to venture there as he will be welcome.

    What can one say. For me the mere thought of Abbott and his govt induces vomititis!!

  22. “@BreakfastNews: Bill Shorten says the Abbott Govt should get rid of the “gold-plated” paid-parental leave scheme if it wants to start cutting costs”

  23. [ “More than five million people now are in receipt of one form of welfare or another,” Mr Andrews told ABC radio on Tuesday. ]

    Then axe the Rolls Royce PPL scheme for starters. Then the medical insurance subsidy to millionaires, then tax millionaires super after a reasonable level, cut the diesel rebate to big miners, abolish negative gearing and vehicle FBT concessions etc etc.

    But no – kicking battlers in the nuts is a lot easier.

  24. In answer to Pedant at 1214 from last night. Australia will be represented at the ICJ by Professor James Crawford QC, an Adelaide Uni alumnus (taught constitutional and international law there when I was a lad!). Ironically he is a past director of the Lauetrpacht Centre for Intrnational Law at Cambridge, so no doubt he and Sir Eli know each other well!! Professor Crawford continues to hold the Chair in International Law at Cambridge. In his student days he was a protege of the late, great, New Zealand international legal scholar and historian, Professor Daniel O’Connell QC, who taught in Adelaide for many years and acted for Australia alongside Sir Eli in the Muroroa case against France. Those elite international lawyers occupy a small and rarified world!!! Brandiis SC would fit in well. Not.

  25. You may have seen the YouTube clip that Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin put together the other day, before they headed off, for the last time, to hob-knob with foreign dignitaries, on this occasion at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland (thanks to Leone for forwarding the following link):

    Why, “for the last time”, you might ask? Well, because, like it or not, that particular YouTube clip is the start of a whole new way of governing in Australia. From now on, Tones and Peta will no longer need to physically get on a plane to go and tell these foreigners their countries are shit. In future, Tones is going to put a YouTube clip together, send it over to whichever tinpot joint he wants to insult, thereby giving him lots more time to gallivant around the countryside on his bike or alarm teenage girls when he’s swanning around the beach in his budgie smugglers.

    Similarly for occasions when he has been invited to open an event. The Gay Mardi Gras, for example. Instead of having to front up himself and punch holes in their floats, he can put a YouTube clip together, saying he might turn up and be nice to them next year, but only if they stop being so threatening to him.

    And he won’t have to spend all his time on the boatphone to the Torres Strait, or go up there personally to prosecute the new war he’s declared agin the towel-heads. Again, he can kit out the new lifeboats with a flat-screen TV, so that a new YouTube clip can be shown to them, making it clear that they better piss off or else.

    But this is only scratching the surface of his plan to do a make-over of Prime Ministerial protocol and decorum:

    [- no need to visit bushfire disaster areas and offer sympathy on behalf of the nation – just get into the studio, don his volunteer fire-fighting gear, crank up the smoke machine, and pretend he’s there, just like those fake astronauts who pretended they landed on the moon]

    [- CHOGM will be forgotten! – he can send out a clip of himself dressed in one of those kinky shirts, and won’t have to front up and shake hands with all of those dirty ex-terrorists]

    [- and he won’t have to send out any of those corny Prime Ministerial Christmas cards – he could make a YouTube of him serving turkey and ham at a homeless shelter for over-taxed mining magnates and media proprietors]

    And there is one person in particular who is mighty glad all the traipsing around after Tones is over at long last – Peta Credlin herself!

    She is really looking forward to getting into the studio and being the Producer of all these new YouTube clips that will revolutionise the way governments operate. Sing along with her as she intones her alternative lyrics to the Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show classic, “The Cover Of The Rolling Stone”.

    Well, we’ve been Convoy addressers
    Walked outta pressers
    Were loved in any place you name
    We didn’t verbal Jesus but we charged up our Visas
    For ten-thousand dollars a claim (right)
    :- )
    But it will take all kinds of pills to keep up this dreary drill
    For the sake of my weary bones
    A lighter work-load will be nectar, when I’m operating the projector
    Under cover with ol’ YouTube Tones
    :- )
    (YouTube Tones) Sure would rather be under-cover
    (Tones) Than off on the road being his mother (nooo)
    (Tones) Won’t have to do his ironing
    Under-cover with ol’ YouTube Tones (that’s a very, very, good idea)
    :- )
    Used to attend Cabinet meetings, minute all their bleatings
    Practically had to wipe their bums
    No-one’s ever seen such a crew as
    Tones and his whacky chums
    :- )
    Now, it’s all designed to blow their minds
    If their tiny minds you can actually find
    They’ll see themselves as empty suits, when I’m the digital dude
    Under-cover with ol’ YouTube Tones
    :- )
    (YouTube Tones) Sure would rather be under-cover
    (Tones) Than off on the road being his mother (nooo)
    (Tones) Won’t have to do his ironing
    Under-cover with ol’ YouTube Tones
    :- )
    Played the part of a little teenage blue-eyed groupie
    Who’d do anything he’d say
    No more handin’ ‘em answers at Question Time
    These clips are a much better way
    :- )
    Now when Electric Bill gets up to ask
    A question in his usual drones
    We’ll leave with the Speaker, a lap-top for him to have a peek in
    With courtesy of ol’ YouTube Tones
    :- )
    (YouTube Tones) Sure would rather be under-cover
    (Tones) Than off on the road being his mother (nooo)
    (Tones) Won’t have to do his ironing
    Under-cover with ol’ YouTube Tones

  26. “More than five million people now are in receipt of one form of welfare or another,” Mr Andrews told ABC radio on Tuesday.

    Does this include the mining companies and the $2-4billion a year in subsidies?

    Does this include the FBT rorts condoned an supported by Abbott?

    Does this include the tax benefit to wealthy people who pay less tax on their superannuation earnings than on the weekly salary?

    Does this include the condoned and supported travel/expense claims to attend footy games and weddings by politicians?

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