Margin: Labor 2.6%
Region: North-Eastern Suburbs
Click here for electoral boundaries map
Newland covers outer north-eastern Adelaide suburbs from Highbury north through St Agnes and Tea Tree Gully to Surrey Downs and Fairview Park, and further extends eastwards through semi-rural territory to Kersbrook and Inglewood. The area conforms closely with the national average on most major census indicators, excepting those pointing to its low level of ethnic diversity, and usually shows a slight Liberal lean relative to the average. Despite its location on the suburban fringe, this is not a growth area as it abuts the natural metropolitan boundary of the Adelaide Hills. The redistribution has shifted the electorate northwards, adding the suburbs of Surrey Downs and Fairview Park and their 5300 voters from Little Para, while transferring suburban Highbury plus Adelaide Hills territory beyond the metropolitan limits to Morialta, accounting for 4000 voters. The changes go against the grain of the electoral fairness principle somewhat by giving the over-represented Labor Party a 0.5% boost in a key marginal seat.
Newland was created at the 1977 election and went the way of the winning party in its first four elections, changing from Labor to Liberal in 1979 and back again in 1982. Dorothy Kotz won the seat for the Liberals a term ahead of schedule in 1989 and retained it until her retirement at the 2006 election, when it fell to Labor’s Tom Kenyon with a resounding 12.3% swing. Kenyon did extremely well to defend his 5.5% margin at the 2010 election, the swing against him of 3.0% comparing with double-digit swings in many seats elsewhere in Adelaide. His Liberal opponent was Trish Draper, who had held the federal seat of Makin from 1996 until her retirement in 2007. Draper was encumbered by the baggage of a 2004 episode in which she was accompanied at taxpayers’ expense by her then boyfriend Derick Sands on a study trip to Europe. This made an inconvenient return to the spotlight in 2009 when Sands suffered a heavily publicised defeat in a defamation case against Channel Seven and the ABC over reports he had been identified as a suspect in a murder investigation.
Kenyon was an adviser to upper house front-bencher Paul Holloway and an organiser for the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association prior to entering politics, and is associated with the party’s Catholic Right tendency. He was promoted to cabinet in the reshuffle that followed Kevin Foley’s departure in February 2011, taking on sport and recreation, road safety, veterans affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier with South Australia’s Strategic Plan. He shifted to science, employment and sport and recreation when Jay Weatherill took over as leader the following October, and then to manufacturing and small business in the January 2013 reshuffle.
The Liberals have endorsed Glenn Docherty, a registered nurse who has served on Playford City Council since 2003, becoming the state’s youngest ever mayor with his election in 2010 at the age of 26.
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.