Electorate: Little Para
Margin: Labor 11.5%
Region: Outer Northern Suburbs
Click to download SA Electoral Commission boundaries map
Little Para was known prior to the 2006 election as Elizabeth, the name change reflecting a shift in its centre of gravity to the east. It consists of three distinct parts: low-income Elizabeth in the north, where the Labor two-party vote in 2010 was around 65%; Salisbury Heights and Salisbury Park across the Little Para river immediately to the south, where incomes are almost double those in Elizabeth, and which leaned only slightly to Labor in 2010; and mostly undeveloped territory around the Little Para Reservoir further to the east. It has been substantially redrawn in the redistribution, which has added 7000 voters around Elizabeth from Napier and Taylor together with 450 in Salisbury Heights from Wright, while detaching two distinct areas south of the reservoir: a part of Greenwith accounting for 2100 voters, who are transferred to Wright; and Surrey Downs and Fairview Park, located some distance to the south-east at the far end of Golden Grove’s quarries, whose 5300 voters are now in Newland, a much more natural fit for them. This results in a substantial 4.8% boost to a Labor margin that was pared back from 17.3% to 6.6% at the 2010 election.
Elizabeth was created with the electoral redistribution that resulted upon the electoral reform of 1970 and held for Labor by John Clark until 1973, and then by Peter Duncan until 1984, when he entered federal politics as the inaugural member for the new seat of Makin. It was then won at a by-election by independent Labor candidate Martyn Evans, who despite his independent status served as Health Minister in Lynn Arnold’s government, and went on to win Labor preselection for the federal seat of Bonython in 1994. Elizabeth was then held for Labor at a by-election by Lea Stevens, who served as member for Elizabeth and then Little Para until 2010, and as Health Minister for most of the Rann government’s first term.
With Stevens’ retirement at the 2010 election, Little Para passed on to Lee Odenwalder, a staffer for federal Wakefield MP Nick Champion who had worked for Stevens from 2003 to 2006. Odenwalder is linked with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, which dominates the Right. His Liberal opponent at the election will be Damien Pilkington, the Salisbury Heights-based co-owner of a family business that produces engine coolant.
All post-redistribution margins are as calculated by Jenni Newton-Farrelly of the South Australian Parliamentary Library. Corrections, complaints and feedback to William Bowe at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.