Seat of the week: Adelaide

Seat of the week returns after a few weeks on the back burner, with the focus remaining on South Australia.

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 electorate of Adelaide has existed without fundamental change since South Australia was first divided into electorates in 1903, currently stretching from the city centre to the Labor strongholds of Prospect, Enfield and Brompton to the north and an electorally mixed bag of areas to the east and south. There are sources of Liberal strength in Walkerville to the north-east of the city, Toorak Gardens to the east and Malvern to the south. Labor first won Adelaide in 1908, and it was usually held by them from then until 1988. It was lost in that year at a by-election caused by the resignation of Chris Hurford, falling to Liberal candidate Mike Pratt with an 8.4% swing. Labor recovered the seat at the 1990 election, but an unfavourable redistribution together with a swing fuelled by hostility to the state government delivered it to Liberal candidate Trish Worth in 1993. Worth’s margin never rose above 3.5% in her 11 years as member, and she survived by just 343 votes in 2001. Labor finally toppled her in 2004 when inner-city seats across the land bucked the national shift to the Coalition, a decisive 1.9% swing delivering Adelaide to Kate Ellis. In keeping with statewide trends, the seat moved solidly to Labor in 2007 (by 7.2%), recorded little change in 2010 (a 0.8% Liberal swing), and swung to the Liberals in 2013 (reducing the margin from 7.5% to 3.6%).

Kate Ellis is associated with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association and its attendant “Catholic Right” faction, and is close to its powerful state figurehead, outgoing Senator Don Farrell. After serving her apprenticeship as an adviser to state Industry Minister Rory McEwen and Treasurer Kevin Foley, Ellis won preselection for Adelaide at the age of 27 in 2004, following the late withdrawal of Tim Stanley, an industrial lawyer and later Supreme Court justice. Her path was smoothed by a three-way factional deal that secured Hindmarsh for Steve Georganas of the “soft Left” and Makin for Dana Wortley of the “hard Left” (who nevertheless lost the preselection to Tony Zappia, but was compensated with a Senate seat).

Ellis was promoted to the outer ministry at the age of 30 following the 2007 election victory, beating Paul Keating’s record as Labor’s youngest ever minister. Following the 2010 election she was reassigned from her portfolios of youth and sport to employment participation, childcare and the status of women, exchanging the latter for early childhood and youth when Kevin Rudd resumed the leadership in June 2013. In common with the rest of her faction, Ellis was a strong supporter of Julia Gillard’s leadership, making headlines shortly before Rudd’s February 2012 challenge by claiming Rudd had asked her and other SDA figures how they could reconcile their “conservative brand of Catholicism” with “a childless, atheist ex-communist as Labor leader”. Following the 2013 election defeat she received a substantial promotion to shadow cabinet in the education portfolio.

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.

1,361 comments on “Seat of the week: Adelaide”

  1. poroti/jeffemu

    The amazing thing is that Pyne raised points of order that were blatantly frivolous in opposition all the time!

    Hypocrites!

  2. [A South Australian MP’s child pornography case has been adjourned again, while his trial may not take place until next year.]

    Finnigans has to be spinning this out to get his entitlements.

    How can this case take four years from the time he was arrested?

  3. jeffemu

    ‘Twas indeed. I expected Bronnie to explode over that comment but sfa happened. To suggest the speaker is bringing the house in to disrepute must surely rate near the top of the “must not say to speaker” list.

  4. I’ve just watched Spiers speaking with Howes.

    Doesn’t sound as tho he’s going to do a Mundine but if he does study, as he says he wants to, and then comes back to work for a progressive, inclusive Labor Party, he’ll do me.

    A bit of growing up will help.

  5. [ Frodo Baggins

    Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Speaker Bishop is doing a sterling job keeping order in the house
    ]
    ——————————————————–

    I wonder if clouds ever look down and say ” Look, a real f#$%ing dickhead “

  6. “@latikambourke: Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen says Govt shouldn’t be freezing Arthur Sinodinos’ FOFA reforms but ‘dropping them.’ @abcnews”

  7. [#ICAC hears Australian Water may have billed Sydney Water for Bruce Springsteen tickets]

    Bugger the Bruce Springsteen tickets.

    I want to hear about the hookers they billed for.

    From what I’ve heard about some of the spivs involved in AWH (from people who knew them fairly well), the “hooker” aspect is a no-brainer. Part of the life-style, as they say.

    And not your cheap variety, either.

  8. The interesting thing about the FOFA changes was that they were on a tight deadline because the original FOFA was due to kick in on 1 July (as I vaguely recall), so they were trying to get their changes in before the whole thing came into effect.

    If they delay their rollback does that mean that the original FOFA in its entirety will start on 1 July? I know the ACCC was making statements about not enforcing FOFA properly … what are they going to do now?

  9. BH
    Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm | PERMALINK
    I’ve just watched Spiers speaking with Howes.

    Doesn’t sound as tho he’s going to do a Mundine but if he does study, as he says he wants to, and then comes back to work for a progressive, inclusive Labor Party, he’ll do me.

    A bit of growing up will help.

    No BH, he’s evil and bad.

    Don’t ask why he’s evil and bad because no-one knows why he’s evil and bad.

    Evil.

    Bad.

  10. It’s not a good sign for Howes that the majority of people sticking up for him are embittered dimwitted union thugs who want to see one of their own do good.

    There are a lot less embittered dimwitted union thugs in the general population than on PB.

  11. [He said to Kero…

    “you are casting this house into disrepute when you allow [Pyne] to carry on [like that]“.]

    Thems is suuuuurely fightin words. 🙂

    [To suggest the speaker is bringing the house in to disrepute must surely rate near the top of the “must not say to speaker” list.]

    Very true. But that assumes conventions hold and that the parliament WILL move on a speaker who is obviously incompetent and biased.

    Albo particularly, seems to be making the point whenever possible of this speakers decisions being contrary to established precedent, such assertions now being part of the Hansard and easily fact checked.

    Setting something up maybe???

    Is there a procedure for taking down a Speaker (apart from the Ashby gambit) that is obviously, blatantly, and in OTT fashion a creature of the Govt rather than the Parliament??? Joint Sitting??

  12. rua

    [She really is a disgrace. Leo McLeay was better and thats saying something.]

    You are right about both of them 😆

    Had to deal with McLeay a couple of times.

    Charisma charm and pleasant to not apply to him.

  13. Rex D Only thing that cheeses me is that I may not be around to see Howes mature. He’s an interesting character.

    Jason clare is still my next preferred PM 🙂

  14. [Is there a procedure for taking down a Speaker ]

    Yep move a motion of no confidence, which will be lost. The Govt will back Bronnie so she is there as long as Abbott needs her.

  15. ru

    [Australia’s highest profile unionist, Paul Howes, has broken ranks with his own union and now supports Labor and unions severing their historic link.]

    This might explain why the AWU gave Howes the boot.

  16. ru

    [ Is there a procedure for taking down a Speaker

    Yep move a motion of no confidence, which will be lost. The Govt will back Bronnie so she is there as long as Abbott needs her.]

    And there sure as hell won’t be anyone volunteering to be a Bronnie honeytrap a la Ashby. 😉

  17. okay ruawake.

    How does the opps handle this situation. Should regular walk outs be on the cards or should they just keep lodging motions of no confidence with the speaker.

    There appears to be a slight groundswell of dislike from some of the media of how Brommie is handling the job.

    There also appears that a lot of ridicule is surfacing too.

  18. RU @ 1028

    Perhaps one strategy would be to filerbust like TA used to do almost every QT when in Opposition. The motion to suspend SO would be obviously defeated but it would make the point that the Speaker is incompetent, etc.

    Or get Clive to do it?

  19. To get rid of the speaker she has to be made into a public laughing stock.

    Peter Van Onselen fired the first media salvo with his circus article

  20. [How does the opps handle this situation.]

    Like every other Opposition bar Abbott (the indies would not back the Speaker), they cop it sweet and keep plugging away. Its a drudge but its our system.

  21. Perhaps one strategy would be to filerbust like TA used to do almost every QT when in Opposition.

    The previous parliament was hamstrung by the fact that the Indies insisted that everything should be open to debate, so there was nothing to stop Abbott.

    The provisions that allowed Abbott to do what he did have been removed or curtailed, so it’s probably not possible to do what Abbott did.

  22. BH

    I can’t see Howes running for a Federal seat for a quite a while, if at all…. can’t blame him with all the modern day ALP dithering and policy confusion

  23. Bolt might be underwhelmed by Brandis’ defense of him

    [”People do have a right to be bigots, you know,” Senator Brandis said.]

    Brandis has to be almost the worst Minister in the government.

  24. [There are a lot less embittered dimwitted union thugs in the general population than on PB.
    ]

    Given the dominant Gillard faction on PB am finding his support surprisingly low and weak. Which I think says a lot about him. I can’t image how any of his self indulgent media excursions won him any fans anywhere but on lib HQ

  25. [ And there sure as hell won’t be anyone volunteering to be a Bronnie honeytrap a la Ashby. 😉 ]

    Dio, it takes a VERY sick mind to even have that though occur in it. I suspect you are now officially beyond help. 🙁

    Now excuse me while i go and discretely lose my lunch.

  26. Apple is in talks with Comcast on content delivery for its Apple Tv

    Big worry for Murdoch. That will be worldwide Apple Comcast Netflix content

  27. WWP

    He’s not feeling the love on The Age poll, with 28% wanting him to move to Federal parliament and 64% against after 8800 votes.

    I bet those numbers would have been a lot better if it was The Australian.

  28. [shellbell
    Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink
    Centre

    Rees, at the time of his deposal, said his successor would be the puppet of Obeid/Tripodi
    ]

    Keneally said “I’m nobody’s puppet, I’m nobody’s girl”.

    She may have been in over her head, but I agree with her.

  29. sprocket

    Her actions proved it. Keneally won me over as most female leaders who took the hospital pass have done. I think Labors disaster of a loss would have been calamitous if not for holding the line.

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