Margin: Labor 10.5%
Region: Outer Southern Suburbs
Outgoing member: Gay Thompson (Labor)
Click to download SA Electoral Commission boundaries map
To be vacated at the coming election with the retirement of Gay Thompson, the southern Adelaide seat of Reynell covers the coast from the Port Stanvac industrial area south through O’Sullivan Beach and Christies Beach, extending inland through Christie Downs to Morphett Vale. The redistribution sees it exchange 1500 voters in Onkaparinga Hills in the south-east, who go to Mawson, for the 2600 voters in Christies Beach, formerly in Kaurna.
Reynell was created at the 1993 election, at which it delivered Labor one of its most depressing defeats in the context of a result that left it without any seats south of the Torrens. The defeated Labor candidate was Arnold government Education Minister Susan Lenehan, who had come seeking refuge from certain defeat in Mawson. The successful Liberal candidate, Julie Greig, was inevitably unable to defend her 1.2% margin at the 1997 election, when Public Secretary Union state secretary Gay Thompson gained the seat for Labor with a 6.2% swing. Thompson strongly consolidated her position over consecutive elections, picking up swings of 5.1% in 2002 (when Greig again stood for the Liberals) and 11.6% in 2006, before the pendulum swung backwards by 7.7% in 2010. She remained on the back bench throughout her parliamentary career, although she served as Deputy Speaker for a term after the 2006 election.
Thompson’s successor as Labor candidate is Katrine Hildyard, state secretary of the Left faction Australian Services Union. The Liberal candidate is Heidi Greaves, who represents Knox ward on Onkaparinga City Council and unsuccessfully contested the seat of Elder in 2006.
In the first week of the campaign, Daniel Wills of The Advertiser reported that local residents had received multiple “sorry I missed you” notes in very different styles of handwriting, all purporting to be from Katrine Hildyard.
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.