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. [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.]

    Definitely. He has appeared to approach this whole RC from a position of detached managerialist fixer, than someone more concerned with the welfare of those within the church’s care.

    I find the whole thing appalling given he has felt free to offer morals advice to Australians on any number of subjects in the past.

  2. Frodo Baggins

    [
    Bill Shorten never pulls off sincerity effectively.]
    I know, so utterly unlike the incandescent sincerity that Abbott has shown his whole life. Just ask his girlfriend.

  3. Re former Cardinal/Arch-Bishops of Sydney
    _________________________
    just after WW2,Arch-Bish Gilroy of Sydney was made the first Australian Cardinal..and all such since then have been Cardinals
    The Gilroy appointment was to have a major effect on the split in the ASLP in the mid-I950ies

    Whereas in Melbourne the ageing Arch-B Mannix..a most poltical prelate of Irish descent…became in his dotage the virtual prisoner of a rising Santamaria…in Sydney Gilroy would not have a bar of Santamaria ,or his his”Movement” and doors were closed to him
    The result was that when the ALP split in Victoria…and the Santamaria-soon to be DLP… people were expelled from the party…no such event occured in Sydney..where the right-wing of the ALP kept Santamaria at arms length..with the “blessing” of Gilroy

    In Melbourne Santamaria remained a force even after the split with the DLP and operated actually inside Mannix residence at “Raheen”…a splendid home bought for Mannix by the criminal John Wren(see “Power without Glory”)

    Indeed as Mannix lay dying…Arthur Calwell then LOTO went to see the old man…whom he had know for a lifetime,and there was a confrontation at the door with Santmaria..which Calwell won and entered the house and spoke with Mannix on his deathbed..what drama!!!

    Within days of Mannix death,the new Arch-Bishop Simmons…never a lover of Santamaria,had kicked him out along with a coterie of his supporters,some priests who were sent back to parish works,and the Movement was virtually closed down…having milked great sums of Church money for the DLP in it’s early stages

    Sadly some of their ilk are back in the ALP in many places

  4. [
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    frednk,

    Let me put it in language you might understand.

    I have opinions and am not afraid to use them.

    Get used to it!
    ]
    Brandis informed us today it’s ok to be a bigot; it’s my view it’s ok for you to open yourself to ridicule. Why be surprised that people take you up on the offer?

  5. [
    Frodo Baggins
    Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Bill Shorten never pulls off sincerity effectively.

    He’s about as convincing as a can of snakes
    ]
    Given todays Morgan the quesitons to ask, is it because of Shorten’s ability or Abbott’s inability?

    Clearly you voting that Abbott is a total fool and a drovers dog could make him look thus.

  6. Frodo Baggins,

    [Bill Shorten never pulls off sincerity effectively.

    He’s about as convincing as a can of snakes]

    Stop having a hissy fit.

  7. frednk@1258


    Brandis informed us today it’s ok to be a bigot; it’s my view it’s ok for you to open yourself to ridicule. Why be surprised that people take you up on the offer?

    Perfect!

    👿

  8. frednk,

    Being ridiculed by self serving bigots as they serve up their daily measure of tripe is not something I need get overly concerned about.

  9. Confessions
    [Definitely. He has appeared to approach this whole RC from a position of detached managerialist fixer, than someone more concerned with the welfare of those within the church’s care.

    I find the whole thing appalling given he has felt free to offer morals advice to Australians on any number of subjects in the past.]
    In my experience this pattern of thinking is typical of a high proportion of senior catholic clergy in managerial roles. They leave the nice ones running parishes. The internal politics of the catholic church is pretty ugly. Only the ruthless and hard get to the top. I saw some of it in two different dioceses for several years before that and a few other disillusioning experiences started me on the path to becoming an atheist. The monsignors and above are obsessed with keeping the show on the road and collection revenue rolling in. That end justifies almost any means, including destroying individual persons. They do it for “god”, and coincidentally get to enjoy a lot of prestige, power and live in usually a very nice bishop’s house, with housekeeping and meals thrown in.

    GG

    My objections to Pell are separate and additional to any concerns I have with the nature of the catholic church. Pell has to answer for his own personal conduct and decisions, not the policy some distant institution. As a responsible adult, he does not get a free pass from morality, or the law of the land.

    Catholics are free to believe whatever they imagine. But if a person breaks the law, they should be subject to the consequences whether they are religious or not. If they conspire to pervert the course of justice in the crimes of friends they should be tried for it and jailed, whether they are a cardinal or not. Clergy should not be exempt from obeying the criminal law, which has nothing to do with freedom to practice religeon.

    Sadly, getting catholic bishops into court for their crimes has been difficult for a long time, and in more than one country, as this notorious case shows.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alois_Hudal

    All unfettered powers end up getting abused by fallible human beings, in churches, just like every other social institution.

  10. [Given todays Morgan the quesitons to ask, is it because of Shorten’s ability or Abbott’s inability? ]

    Looking at Bludgertrack on the side, Bill has peaked about 3 Years too early

  11. poroti,

    [After Pyne’s effort today it is more a “Prissy fit”]

    I missed that. I presume he broke the idiotometer again.

  12. @Frodo/1267

    Abbott isn’t doing much better.

    I think you are reading Bludgertracker, I don’t see Coalition Party having a great lead.

  13. Hello youse cricket fans. Most amazing never seen before dismissal. Saffa batsman Amla slogs the kiwi bowler straight back at him like a laser. Ball hits the non striker’s bat, bounces up in the air and the bowler takes the cutch.

  14. [
    Frodo Baggins
    Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Given todays Morgan the quesitons to ask, is it because of Shorten’s ability or Abbott’s inability?

    Looking at Bludgertrack on the side, Bill has peaked about 3 Years too early
    ]

    No doubt you are praying it is a peak; it very much looks to me as if the first 100 days is unravelling in the second 100; even without the unravelling all the Liberals could manage was even pegging.

    This is the first Liberal Government that went out to destroy the Labor Legacy, previous have attempted to claim it and offer competent management as the value add.

    The new strategy doesn’t seem to be working out; for decades the Liberals have offered very little new; now we can’t even trust them to manage Labor polices.

  15. [They leave the nice ones running parishes. ]

    They may well do that now, but as the objective evidence suggests, they haven’t always done that in the past, or even the very recent past.

    The ones running the parishes were equally culpable IMO in abusing the vulnerable and weak, and then trying to cover up the evidence of their abuse.

    What really makes my blood boil is that religious institutions position themselves as being fighters for the vulnerable, the weak and the oppressed. The reality in terms of child abuse is far from this, yet their spokespeople continue to give morals lectures to the rest of us. Just look at that ghastly ex Labor MP you have in SA on child porn charges.

  16. Socrates,

    Another banal contribution.

    Seriously, much of the commentary today re Pell and the Church could and has been written before without Pell’s appearance before the RC. It is so dreary, repetitive and sanctimonious to be laughable. Most of the comments have been posted hundreds and thousands of times before.

    So, the fact that Pell appeared today has been nothing more than an excuse for the usual parties to say the usual things in the usual boring way.

  17. I heard recently of a story…of a child telling his parents that he had worked out what politics was about…He said”Labor gives you things and the Liberals come along and take them away ”
    not bad really

  18. GG

    I will drop it when I see the catholic church voluntarily drop the uniquely privileged legal status it uses to evade legal accountability for the crimes of its officers. Until it does, the catholic church and it’s leaders are people who talk piously, but act as materialistically as any corporate CEO.

    I do not think the average person in the pews is a materialistic hypocrite, but I have experienced several senior clergy to be exactly that.

  19. Unforunately…and it applies to all parties…Australian PMs feel that they have to comment on anything that happens in the world and offern all goivts their advice
    ______________________

    Menzies couldn’t stay away from London
    Gough was olways on the move and loved China and the UN
    Hawke was quick to fix all problems,and he solved those of the Middle East didn’t he ????

    Fraser was actually pretty good re Sth Africaand Apartheid
    and achieved much there…
    Howard loved Washington and Bush and Thatcher and the Gueen

    Rudd was the epitome of all the above..spoke Mandarin too
    Julia Gillard seemed to go all girly when she ,met Obama..love at first sight ??

    I suspect the reason is that being PM in Canberra turn out to be a piss ant job..and the wider world and the State Visits are great fun…remember Keating said the best way to see Darwin was from the window of a plane on the way to Paris,,who would argue with that wisdom

  20. Regarding the poll, Abbott and Shorten, I do not think it is flattering to either leader. Shorten has not done much; Abbott has not done much right.

    Abbott has not troughed yet. He has yet to face a difficult budget short on revenue and with lots of undeliverable promises. If it is not a tough budget the next ones will only get harder. If it is tough his promises will be exposed as lies. His jobs target was little more than what natural growth would achieve. Yet on current data he will not achieve that either. Good evening all.

  21. Rupert Pell: “This is the most unwitting day of my life”

    To purloin someone’s joke from a week or so back, I’ve heard some people comparing Pell to Murdoch. I mean, yes, he’s an old scoundrel, but he’s not in the same league as Pell.

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