Seat of the week: Hindmarsh

Maintaining the recent South Australian focus ahead of the looming state election, the latest instalment of Seat of the Week takes us to the only electorate in the state to change hands at the September federal election.

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.

Covering coastal Adelaide directly to the west of the city centre, Hindmarsh was the Liberals’ only South Australian gain of the 2013 election, at which Matthew Williams unseated Labor’s member of nine years, Steve Georganas. The electorate was one of seven created when South Australian electoral boundaries were first drawn in 1903, its traditional orientation around the working-class suburbs of north-western Adelaide making it a Labor stronghold for much of its history. The creation of the electorate of Port Adelaide in 1949 made it somewhat less secure, pushing it southwards into more conservative Henley Beach, but only with the 1966 landslide was long-term Labor member Clyde Cameron seriously threatened. The watershed in its progress from safe Labor to marginal came with the abolition of Hawker in 1993, which drew Hindmarsh still further south into Liberal-voting Glenelg. Currently the electorate covers the coast from Semaphore Park south to Glenelg South, from which it extends inland to mostly Labor-voting suburbs including Kidman Park and Torrensville in the north and Morphettville and Ascot Park in the south.

The Liberals’ first ever win in the seat followed the aforementioned redistribution at the 1993 election, which cut the Labor margin by 1.2% concurrently with the retirement of John Scott, who had held the seat since 1980. The Liberal candidate was Christine Gallus, who had become the first Liberal ever to win Hawker in 1990, a feat she duly followed by becoming the first Liberal ever to win Hindmarsh. This was achieved on the back of a 2.8% swing, the losing Labor candidate being John Rau, who has since emerged as a senior figure in the state government. Liberal hard-heads rated Gallus’s vote-pulling power very highly, and were duly dismayed when she decided to retire at the 2004 election. Her departure created an expectation that the seat would fall to Labor’s Steve Georganas, a former taxi driver who won preselection for the 2004 election with backing from the “soft Left” faction. So it proved, but the 1.2% swing to Labor was only enough to secure the deal by 108 votes. The unsuccessful Liberal candidate was Simon Birmingham, who went on to enter the Senate in 2007.

Georganas’s margin increased by 5.0% in 2007 and 0.7% in 2010, but these were modest gains by the standards of Labor’s performance in South Australia, leaving him on a weaker margin than Labor colleagues in Makin, Kingston and Wakefield, which unlike Hindmarsh had stayed with the Liberals in 2004. The margin going into the 2013 election was nonetheless a solid 6.1%, having been boosted slightly by redistribution, but this was accounted for by a forceful swing to the Liberals of 8.0%, the largest in the state. The seat is now held by Matt Williams, who had previously been national business development manager with law firm Piper Alderman.

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.

448 comments on “Seat of the week: Hindmarsh”

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  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Can I have some too?
    Hmm. Focus groups on expensive steroids.
    Abbott’s priorities on display.
    There’s a smell here.
    Who do they think they are, Microsoft?
    Fairfax revisits Abbott’s carbon tax disaster claims. One has to wonder at the business acumen of many of the companies that hosted his stunts.
    Fiona, where are you?
    Peter FitzSimons’ weekly column.
    Cathy Wilcox looks at our priorities.
    Pat Campbell gives us his interpretation of Channel 7’s approach to Corby.

  2. Good Morning

    As usual I watch 7 at this time to keep in touch with what the masses are watching. Tony Abbott is doing so well not one political story on their news.

    Thats right not one.

  3. And from the Land of the Free –

    A Valentine’s Day flash mob visit s a shopping centre.
    Here’s a good cartoon for the CC deniers.

    The Tea Party hosts bigotry and sexism.
    Bill Maher would like to see the right wing crazies to run in 2016.
    Justice LA style.
    From Bill Maher’s latest show. Scientific illiteracy Chris Christie’s problems

  4. guy

    [As usual I watch 7 at this time to keep in touch with what the masses are watching. Tony Abbott is doing so well not one political story on their news.]

    Suffer, sucker!

  5. For cricket fanciers, interesting bit of info re the test match from the UK Telegraph:

    “A TV graphic showed that one of Johnson’s short balls, delivered at 149kph, was only 1kph faster out of his hand than Morne Morkel’s short ball. But Johnson’s delivery reached the batsman 5kph faster because it skidded off the pitch.”

  6. After recent weeks of heat this may be a surprise for BK and other South Australians. Note, temps are in Fahrenheit

    [In South Australia, average daily winter temperatures hover around a minimum of 46 degrees. The area’s mild winters inspire tourism agencies to advertise it as “the perfect place to escape the chill.” And yet, South Australia has higher rates of death by hypothermia than Sweden, a country whose dark winter temperatures regularly plummet to -8 degrees. ]

  7. sohar

    The Arctic has been warming faster than anywhere. Perhaps now they will take notice. The poms may have to get used to being up to their necks in snow then up to their necks in flood waters.

    [The ribbon of strong winds has become wavier over the past two decades or so

    The jet stream, as its name suggests, is a high-speed air current in the atmosphere that brings with it the weather.

    It is fuelled partly by the temperature differential between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes.

    If the temperature differential reduces because of a warming Arctic then the jet stream weakens and, again, like a river on a flat bed, it will meander every time it comes across an obstacle.

    This results in weather patterns tending to becoming stuck over areas for weeks on end. It also drives cold weather further south and warm weather further north]

  8. frednk
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Four billion lost because the price on carbon is going, mining tax gone.

    On the other side of the ledger, direct action, paid perental leave for the rich and reducing revenue as they tank the economy.

    These clowns sure know haw to create a budget emergency. A six dollar charge on all doctor visits isn’t going to pay for it.

    Abbott the lost years.

  9. @23

    Looks from some of the comments to that Jakarta post article that it’s readership otherwise enjoys the likes of Jones & Hadley.

  10. “@MrPinkCarpet: why bother interviewing @ScottMorrisonMP you know he. Ant/won’t answer any questions. You know operation sovereign borders #insiders”

  11. I reckon Senator Nash should videoconference into Question Time from a Sydney Ferry……then she will be spared any need to answer questions, being “on water” and all.

  12. [confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:09 am | PERMALINK
    Mod Lib:

    You could always post on Bolt’s blog]


  13. [confessions
    Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:09 am | PERMALINK
    Mod Lib:

    You could always post on Bolt’s blog]

    I have always preferred left wing nut jobs to right wing nut jobs.

    I really don’t know why, but I have a soft spot for left wing nut jobs for some reason….. 😉

  14. Abbott on his rural tour.

    [This afternoon he will meet Longreach grazier John Milne, whose sheep and cattle property has been in his family for a century.

    Mr Milne hopes the Abbott Government will deliver policy certainty to farmers and the rural communities they support.

    “I’m hoping at the end of it he’ll basically think we’re worth persevering with and work with us to get agriculture right,” he said.

    “I think Australia needs to decide whether they want agriculture in Australia or not.

    “It’s a boom and bust sort of cycle with seasons out here.

    “We’re not going to change that.” ]

    Clearly farmers are not going to be given the same treatment as manufacturing industries even though many of these properties should’ve closed down production years ago, and are unlikely to ever be viable again.

  15. Andrew Elder’s latest.

    [The Federal Department of Health and Ageing put up a website that ranked processed food products for their nutritional, sugar, and other health-related properties, and took it down soon afterwards. The journalist who noticed this was Amy Corderoy, Health Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald. It was she who investigated the chain or events up to the office of Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash; and to the person of her then Chief of Staff, Alistair Furnival, bawling out the mid-level public servant responsible for the site. As recently as Thursday she was doing the heavy lifting required to get the story out and explain why it mattered.]

    Corderoy isn’t in the parliamentary press gallery.

  16. “@joeobrien24: Morrison declines to answer at this stage publicly how many Aust ships strayed into Indon waters. On @abcnews24 now.”

  17. Mod would naturally be bored to tears on a conservative, right-wing forum like Bolt’s, finding so little to disagree with.

  18. [Some think that Nash should have resigned. If Scott Morrison can send warships into another nation’s territory and then mug and girn his way through a non-press-conference, why should any minister resign for any reason at all? If a minister actually punched Bill Shorten in the face, on camera and in a marginal seat, Abbott might have a quiet word with them but that would be it. This government is so bad that it cannot be embarrassed.]

    How true.

  19. [Fairfax revisits Abbott’s carbon tax disaster claims. One has to wonder at the business acumen of many of the companies that hosted his stunts. ]

    The guy from at least one of these businesses is bullshitting.

    This is the report the company lodged with the ASX for the 12 months 2012-2013.

    They made a 97% profit.

    Either they are lying to the ASX or lying to the media. Either way, the guy’s a liar. I guess that’s why he’s a paid-up member of the Liberal Party.

  20. CTar1

    Some archive “excitement” over in the UK.

    [Around 20 firefighters were today battling to stop a fire from setting light to thousands of historic documents after a blaze broke out close to the National Archives.

    The fire started close to the centre in Richmond-upon-Thames, south west London, which houses records of national importance covering more than 1,000 years of history.

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