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”

Comments Page 28 of 28
1 27 28
  1. The current result of Shorten from members+caucus is not the same as Shorten from caucus only. It is now possible for Shorten to lose the leadership if some number of members change their minds. We have a Shorten who has to take something new into consideration.

  2. psyclaw

    [In the alcohol fuelled violence discussions in the media, government circles, and here, the elephant in the room and the easiest solution is never mentioned (as far as NSW is concerned). This is the enforcement of the existing Responsible Service of Alcohol law.]

    In principle, RSA is fine but in practice it fails technical, operationally or schedule feasibiluty and whether one busts non-compliant venues or not, compliance action won’t work. In a situation in which alcohol is being served during peak time, nobody will have time to make an assessment of someone’s fitness for more alcohol in real time, much less decline to supply on that basis. Bear in mind too, that the bartender may be serving ‘the designated driver’ rather than those he or she would want to evaluate. At end of term drinks at the bowling club, that’s how we do it. I tend to have one or perhaps a second cider and then say goodbye and head off. I hear that some of the others can get pretty inebriated.

    Of course, someone who has ‘pre-loaded’may not be fit when they walk in. You aren’t necessarily going to know.

    It seems to me that restricting service of alcohol hours far more severely than we do (say last drinks at 10pm and all bottle shops to cease serving at the same time) may be the single best measure.

  3. poroti
    Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 11:02 am | PERMALINK

    The poor thing had been promised a connection months ago .But for some reason since ,about the last election time 🙂 , she can’t get anything from them.

    Assume somehow or other as it is Ray Hadley all ALP’s fault (not winning the election?)

  4. MTBW@1344


    Shorten was intimately involved in the overthrow of 2 leaders and hence carries baggage.

    Some unfortunately ‘maintain the rage’.

    Indeed like some on here rage against Rudd.

    I was careful not to mention any names.
    The people you refer to are idiots.

  5. “@abcnews: O’Farrell: The measures … include not just the introduction of three strikes regime, but also increasing police numbers and powers”

  6. “@ABCNews24: .@barryofarrell “We will seek to introduce one-punch laws that will introduce mandatory minimum sentences” #nswpol”

  7. “@ABCNews24: .@barryofarrell “There will be a 1:30am lock-out of licensed premises across a new expanded Sydney CBD precinct” #nswpol”

  8. Guytaur

    Sounds like typical tory response. Stricter sentences deal with the aftermath, surely it would be better to do something to stop people getting to the state of inebriation where they commit these offences, but that would no doing not please the alcohol industry

  9. [Of course, the greater concern is that, by not uniting behind the leader, we let the Liberals win the next election.]

    Here Farquin Here

  10. davidwh

    I am not a drinker never have been but we all went out to hotels and there was music we all danced and the atmosphere was great.

    Like you it was a 10pm lock down on the service of grog and none of us ever had to worry about driving home safely.

  11. [This bloke sounds pretty good if he’s made Prospect come alive. OH and parents lived at Prospect.

    O’Loughlin should run federally at some stage.]

    Many observers think that, even if the Libs win the election, he might take Adelaide back for Labor.

    Three reasons:

    1. Good, popular candidate.
    2. Adelaide acted roguishly last time, big swing due to anger over a local issue that’s not there this time.
    3. The current Lib MP has been quite inept and clueless. Many in that electorate are extremely disappointed with her.

  12. CTar1

    As Sir Edward Grey may have said.

    [“The welcome matts are being taken in all over the region ,we shall not see them again in the life time of this government.”]

  13. [ davidwh

    Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Back in the Good Ol’days we drank until 10pm got in our cars and drove home. So much safer.

    Reminds me of :

    A cop is staking out a bar for drunk drivers. At closing time, he sees a guy stumble out of the bar, trip on the curb, and fumble for his keys for five minutes. When he finally gets in, it takes him another five minutes to get the key in the ignition. Meanwhile, everybody else leaves the bar and drives off. When he finally pulls away, the cop is waiting for him, pulls him over, and gives him a breathalyser test. The test shows he has a blood alcohol level of 0.0%.

    The cop says, “What’s going on?”

    The guy says, “Tonight I’m the designated decoy.”

  14. Having spent some time in Nui after the plan it was still a scary place late…but significantly safer in terms of brains on footpaths

  15. “@ABCNews24: The parents of one-punch victim Thomas Kelly to speak on NSW Govt’s new alcohol measures. Watch live on #ABCNews24 at 2pm AEDT #nswpol”

  16. Kinkajou@1390

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism it’s exactly the other way around

    what? man doesn’t exploit man?

    Keynes – Capitalism is “the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds.”

    Its a bit like Adam Smith who is almost always quoted on “The invisible hand of the market” but he also wrote strongly against monopolies and people who avoid taxes etc.

    While he supported capitalism and free markets he also believed in checks and balances, not open slather. His first book “On Moral Sentiments” rarely gets a mention these days.

    But his approach was a bit like in the early years of the 20th century when Republicans like Theodore Roosevelt were doing their utmost to ban the various monopoly trusts which controlled many US Industries.

    William Howard Taft continued that approach successfully as well.

Comments Page 28 of 28
1 27 28

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *