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. I read Pilger often in many journals and I can’t recall him having much to say on the churches.

    ..but then who needs too as they are condemned in many cases out of the mouths of their leaders ,of which Pell is surely the worst example
    He must be the most hated man in modern Australian history…even ahead of Abbott..which says something

    Happily once he is settled in Rome we may hear little of him …though one fears for the Pope’s millions if he still has such a bad memory !

  2. Could the Essendon board really call Tania Hird to question her?

    Wouldn’t she just repeat her accusations and force them to take a position on something they presumably don’t want to know about?

  3. [zoidlord
    Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm | PERMALINK
    Morgan Polling:

    http://m.afr.com/p/national/labor_storms_ahead_in_latest_poll_D7r8VHuWmSwOVyfzvyequL

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/22135237/roy-morgan-result-excludes-cannabis-party/
    ]

    The second link is actually to Morgan’s NZ polling where the cannabis party wants be listed separately instead of under “others”.

    Incidentally the latest Morgan NZ says National 45.5, Labour 31.5, Green 14, NZ First 3.5, Maori 2, Mana under 0.5, ACT NZ 0.5, United Future 0.5, Conservative 1.5, Internet under 0.5, Others 1.

    Does anyone know what this suggests for the election in September?

  4. poroti:

    I’ve got clouds building here to the north and to the west, but the forecast doesn’t give much hope.

    I hope you get some rain tonight. I can’t believe how dry this summer has been.

  5. 7.30 report

    AS – what an indictment against this government. And they will get away with it. I hope that when Labor get into power we have a RC into this.

  6. ESJ,

    I’m so pleased to see you so passionate and committed to a political cause. Perhaps another catharsis is sweeping over you. I hope to see you waving your tambourine at the next victims meeting.

    It makes a change from the dreary cynic you usually have on display.

  7. [Does anyone know what this suggests for the election in September?]

    There was an article somewhere today stating the Hemp party could sneak in in WA. Their chances were improved by pointing out the Greens did not follow through on an agreement for preferences.

    Norty Greens.

  8. 1208 I think his catharis is sweeping over him/her as he tries to see if he is male or female…remember that story..even for him…it’s not lot hard to work out !

  9. GG, am i cynical – yes,guilty as charged, but I can still see injustice and abuse of the weak for what it is.

    If you want to trivialise it by your tart references to tambourines go right ahead.

  10. Domus Hotel in Rome
    ___________________

    http://www.domusaustralia.org/

    Pell’s crowning achievement,,,,it looks great too,,in a splendid old building and not too costly

    but then Pell’s father was a publican in Ballarat
    (I think I like Rome better..and it’s warmer than Ballarat too )

  11. ESJ

    From the little I have read on Francis… I doubt Pell is being rewarded for services rendered in relation to Towards Healing.
    More likely they will have Pell look after the photo copier in Rome.

  12. Milenko – its not the Pope , its the culture and values of the organisation that supports the perps and banishes the victims.

  13. Speaking with friends who are active in the Catholic Church it is widely known that Pell is disliked and mistrusted and considered to be the antithesis of arrogance and the worst of the worst in terms of excesses within the Church. The sooner he gets shunted to Rome and out of harms way the better. Pope Francis will keep a very close eye on him and his ‘ways’ … a liability in every way

  14. As in his ‘ways’ = deny, delay, delay and deny etc and so forth. I hate to see what might be eventually be revealed under his watch.

  15. Labor was right in banning Huawei:

    http://www.cso.com.au/article/541176/huawei_nbn_happened_three_years_after_it_hacked_by_nsa/

    “The networking giant was hacked by the NSA as part of “Shotgiant”, an operation that by 2009 had given the agency more information on the company than it knew what to do with, according to a report by Der Spiegel that’s based on documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.”

    “The attack on Huawei was part of Shotgiant’s larger ambition to target China’s top brass in politics, finance and technology industries. “

  16. If you had to rely on News Ltd you would never have heard this.

    [An industry expert has told the royal commission into the Rudd government’s home insulation scheme the program should not have been terminated.

    Technical consultant James Fricker advised the federal Environment Department on home insulation for the national roll-out of the scheme five years ago.

    An inquiry in Brisbane is examining whether the Labor government and its staff failed to heed safety warnings before four workers died on the job in 2009 and 2010.

    In a written statement tendered at today’s hearing, Mr Fricker said the early termination of the program was unwarranted as “teething problems, training, insulation sourcing, and safety issues, were largely overcome”.

    “The stimulus was achieving most of its goals with positive results, and most insulation companies were now geared up for rapid installations over the remainder of the two-year period,” he said.

    Mr Fricker also advised departmental staff involved in the scheme’s design on the effectiveness of various insulation materials.

    He said he supported the use of foil, but he knew the use of metal staples with foil could be deadly.]

  17. [Speaking with friends who are active in the Catholic Church it is widely known that Pell is disliked and mistrusted and considered to be the antithesis of arrogance ]

    They think Pell is humble?! 😮

    Fark, things are worse in the church than I thought! Pell is the absolute embodiment of arrogance, it’s written all over everything he says and does.

  18. ESJ

    I don’t support any religion, just there may be hope that Francis is a decent human being genuinely trying to clean up the institution that is the Church.

    Maybe the Pope believes in keeping his ( the Churches) “enemies ” close to him .. very close.
    I have read that Pell supported elevation of Francis.

  19. Steven Grant Haby@1219

    Speaking with friends who are active in the Catholic Church it is widely known that Pell is disliked and mistrusted and considered to be the antithesis of arrogance and the worst of the worst in terms of excesses within the Church. The sooner he gets shunted to Rome and out of harms way the better. Pope Francis will keep a very close eye on him and his ‘ways’ … a liability in every way

    Antithesis = direct opposite.

    Is that what you meant?

  20. [Curious also that the vatican would appoint a man with such an allegedly faulty memory to run its finances.]

    Pell has clearly been ordered to cave on the Abuse question.

    He seems to have faltered just a little today, but will be aware that the Pope is watching.

    The new job is his penance, strange as that may seem. He’s in charge of Vatican finances. And most likely Vatican finances will be paying the bills for the poor bastards who trusted their church.

  21. [deblonay
    Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 at 8:09 pm | PERMALINK
    Domus Hotel in Rome
    ___________________

    http://www.domusaustralia.org/

    Pell’s crowning achievement,,,,it looks great too,,in a splendid old building and not too costly]

    Actually it looks like quite a good place to stay. Non-RCs accepted, a central location and a “hearty Aussie breakfast” included in the tariff. A real little kangaroo valley.

    I wonder if Pell’s counterparts in other countries have set up similar accommodation for expats visiting Rome?

  22. Bushfire Bill

    I had a similar thought. The pope appointing a guy who did so much to say “No” appointed to a position where he will have to sign so many cheques that say “Yes” .

  23. Essendon have got off really lightly and their current don’t rock the boat attitude shows they know it. Seems they picked the wrong man.

    But in great news how is west coasts wellingham or whatever he is called getting of with a wrist slap for his trip last evening – gold!

  24. GG

    There are times when the best thing you can do to support the church is shut up. Unfortunatly Edwina StJohm has hit the nail on the head. Pell has to defend the idefensible; and the churches actions, you don’t.

  25. rua,
    [Yep the Church will need a new Primate.]
    There is a Primate in Canberra who once wanted to be a priest, maybe he would like to switch?

  26. [There are times when the best thing you can do to support the church is shut up. Unfortunatly Edwina StJohm has hit the nail on the head. Pell has to defend the idefensible; and the churches actions, you don’t.
    ]

    And the RC needs to consider in an intelligent and thoughtful way all the evidence of the complex interactions of legal, institutional and personal relationships without the benefit of the handy self righteous but largely ignorant ‘execute them now’ world view.

  27. I heard the term “environmental depression” used today. Apparently this results from reading or viewing any report of the Coalitions environmental agenda.

  28. [
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    …..

    And the RC needs to consider in an intelligent and thoughtful way all the evidence of the complex interactions of legal, institutional and personal relationships without the benefit of the handy self righteous but largely ignorant ‘execute them now’ world view.
    ]
    Given what has happened and the lives destroyed I would have thought the anger was pretty easy to understand.

  29. The RC into institutional sexual abuse should mainly be about revealing the truth. We know it happened, we need to stop it ever happening again.

    The duty of care can no longer be ignored.

  30. Citizen 1228 e Domus Autralia in Rome
    _____________

    No I rather gather from several comments I have read that it is unique,,and very well run??

    In fairness to Pell…and who wants that.???..I suspect that he is a fairly capable administrator,and may be the Papal choice for a clean out of the Vatican’s finances and the working of the notorious
    Vatican Bank..of.which it was said that Benedict,the last Pope was at loss to understand it workings despite his wish for reforms

    Pell …for all his sins…doesn’t strike me as corrupt and hemay be free of the villians in the Vatican who are the target of the current Pope and his hopes for honest reforms

  31. For what it’s worth, I think that Cardinal Pell is much better suited to the role of technocrat / bureaucrat than he is to pastoral duties.

  32. [Given what has happened and the lives destroyed I would have thought the anger was pretty easy to understand.]

    Yeah I understand the anger from personal experience. Yeah the anger is easy to understand but it doesn’t make the things angry people say any less stupid. And fwiw my view is a lot of people are saying stupid things based on prejudice rather than hate borne in personal experience – but it doesn’t matter either way they are still stupid things to say.

  33. Interesting to hear Pyne, Marshall, Xenephon and others whinging about Mr Brock’s decision to support JWeatherill.

    Whatever the specifics of the system, there will always be mathematical anomalies.

    The fact is though, that the SA electoral system is based on 47 electorates electing 47 MPs, the majority vote of whom will determine the government/premier.

    Party X could have 100% of voters in 23 electorates with the Party Y gaining 50.1% of the vote in 24 electorates.

    This would roughly mean that X gaining nearly 75% of the total vote yet not winning the majority of seats. Such would be a mathematical anomaly.

    As some pseph pointed out last week, there are 10 or so rural seats which always elect a conservo by a very large majority ….. and all those votes in excess of 51% are wasted as far as contributing to the number of conservo MPs elected.

    The only remedy would be to have more such rural electorates by cutting these ones in half and having only half the current number of electors in each electorate. This begs three comments:

    1) the electoral rules in SA require 23k voters in each electorate, plus or minus 10%. (approx figures)

    2) this would value those rural votes as 2x the value of voters in other electorates

    3) such a remedy would be replicating Joe’s “scheme” in Queensland for a couple of decades 30 years back, and that was widely seen as an unfair arrangement.

    IMHO the current SA system of tweaking the electorates every 4 years is by far the lesser of 2 evils

  34. frednk,

    Let me put it in language you might understand.

    I have opinions and am not afraid to use them.

    Get used to it!

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