Sturt – Australia 2019

LIB 5.4%

Incumbent MP
Christopher Pyne, since 1993.

Sturt lies in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide. The southern part of the seat covers most of Burnside LGA, while Campbelltown and Norwood Payneham and St Peters LGAs cover the centre of the seat, and parts of the Port Adelaide Enfield and Tea Tree Gully LGAs cover the north of the seat. Sturt stretches north to Grand Junction Road, and key suburbs include Glen Osmond, Burnside, Magill, Felixstow, Campbelltown, Klemzig, Gilles Plains, Rostrevor, Newton, Norwood, Stepney, Paradise, Athelstone and Highbury.

Sturt expanded slightly to both the east and west, taking in Woodforde from Mayo and taking in Dulwich, Hackney, Joslin, Maylands, Norwood, St Peters and Stepney from Adelaide.

Sturt was created for the 1949 election, and has almost always been held by the Liberal Party. Indeed, except for two terms when it was held by the ALP, the seat was held by the same family from its creation until Pyne was elected in 1993.

The seat was first won by Keith Wilson in 1949. He lost the seat in 1954 to Norman Makin. Makin had served in the House of Representatives from 1919 to 1946, during which time he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives and a Minister in the Curtin and Chifley governments, before becoming Ambassador to the United States.

Makin abandoned the seat in 1955 for the safer Bonython, and Wilson returned to the seat. Wilson retired in 1966 and was succeeded by his son Ian. Ian served as a junior minister in the last term of the Fraser government before going to the backbench after the election of the Hawke government.

Wilson was challenged for preselection in 1993 by 25-year-old Christopher Pyne. Pyne has been re-elected eight times. He was appointed to the outer ministry in the last months of the Howard government in 2007, and has served in a senior frontbench role since the 2007 election, including as a cabinet minister since 2013.

Sitting Liberal MP Christopher Pyne is not running for re-election.

Sturt is a marginal seat and will likely be more vulnerable to a change of party in the absence of the sitting MP.

2016 result

Christopher Pyne Liberal 41,35144.4-10.044.4
Matt Loader Labor 20,65322.2-6.723.3
Matthew WrightNick Xenophon Team19,68421.2+21.219.9
Rebecca Galdies Greens 6,5757.1-2.77.6
Craig BowyerFamily First2,9123.1-0.82.9
Geoff RussellAnimal Justice1,2201.3+1.31.3
Neil AitchisonIndependent6370.7+0.70.6

2016 two-party-preferred result

Matt Loader Labor 41,03444.1+4.244.6
Christopher Pyne Liberal 51,99855.9-4.255.4

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three areas: central, north and south.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in two areas, with a narrow 50.6% majority in the centre and a large 60.8% majority in the south. Labor won 52% in the north.

The Nick Xenophon Team came third, with a primary vote ranging from 15.8% in the south to 23% in the north.

Voter groupNXT prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Other votes21.054.318,26916.7

Election results in Sturt at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and Nick Xenophon Team primary votes.

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  1. Pyne might have lost this in 2016 if the Greens preferenced NXT over Labor (instead of the other way around), and Labor preferenced NXT over Libs instead of running open tickets. A rare case where tactical voting could have made the difference.

    However this incarnation of the seat I don’t see Centre Alliance being a factor. It will be a conventional Liberal vs Labor seat. Labor has a chance but I think Pyne will hold on like he usually does unless Marshall’s honeymoon ends at the wrong time.

  2. Hard to see Pyne losing this despite recent events even if the Labor/Greens/NXT collective outnumbers him again. In fact if NXT are on the wane he may get a swing back his way even with Labor improving their primary.

  3. Narrow Liberal hold 51-49, Recent polling in SA shows Labor leading 58-42, Although that polling should make this seat go Labor, even Gray will likely fall (Prob not to Labor but NXT/CA) It is too early and the polling is likely to narrow a little by election day, Pyne’s High profile and him just being a Popular local member will narrowly put him over, If Labor do gain this, The Labor will likely crack 100 seats

  4. I Predict, This could be the Portillo moment on election night. I think looking at the SA polling 58-42 to Labour. That is like a 9% swing from 2016. It won’t be uniform. But its silly to assume he wins re-election just because hes a minister, It did not stop John Howard from losing in 2007 did it. And he was PM. Other ministers have lost their seats before. If the Liberal’s ignore this seat and assume its bagged in. They could lose it, And a Portillo moment happens

  5. As much as I hate to say so 2007 was a big shock to Pyne and he has in a better enviroment proved good at scrambling …………… but assuming he wins narrowly …. how would the seat fare in a prompt by election caused by a change of govt?

  6. One question that should be put to every candidate is Barring currently unknown medical and family emergencies do you agree to serve your full term if elected regardless of which party forms Government.

  7. It would be hard to see a Coalition 3rd term, The Coalition never ever get swing’s towards them nationally after a 2nd term. There is always a swing against the GOV on the 3rd election. Although some seats can swing either way. i calculated 147 Lower house seats will swing Labour, and i believe there is just 4 seats that will swing towards the coalition slightly, and 3 of them are held by Labour

  8. Yes elections tend to be even in Australia ….. normally a new govt does not win but the previous govt loses. The new govt most times especially at a federal level tends to be reelected…. Then 3rd election tends to be very close. from 1972….. alp elected, 1974 alp re elected, 1975 lib, 1977 lib reflected, 1980 narrow libs re elected. 1983 alp 1984 alp re elected 1987 alp 1990 alp 1993 alp, 1996 lib , 1998 lib, 2001 lib 2004 lib…2007 alp 2010 alp 2013 lib 2016 lib……………
    1975 change govt 1980 close 1987 close 1996 change 2001? 2013 change of govt

  9. Daniel

    The Liberals scored a positive swing in 2004.

    But Morrison is no Howard and Shorten is no Latham so its not likely to happen in 2019.

    I am curious as to what seats you think might swing towards the Liberals because I cannot think of any although there are always variables between seats.

    Sturt will be interesting because its been on the ALP’s radar for sometime but Pyne has been able to hold.

  10. seems 2001 and 2004 are outside the pattern…….pencil….. I would be surprised if any seats swung to the libs…. if alp govt in nt has more problems maybe both seats there….. but big maybe

  11. 2001 doesnt count, because 9/11 happend, that strengthened the coalition. If that had not happend i recokon it would have been a hung parliament. 2004 doesnt count because latham was basically a bad Labour leader. 1954 didnt count because of the Labour split, on all other occasions a Centre right goverment here and the UK there has been a swing against it after its 2nd term, whether it was enough to change goverment

  12. The seat might become more interesting if Christopher Pyne does not recontest it. Peter Van Olsen has written an article suggesting there is speculation this week Pyne is considering retiring at the next election. Labor had a great canidate against Pyne in 2007 but even then it was considered a long shot Labor winning Sturt.

    Labor should benefit on a bigger primary vote now Xenophon/Centre Alliance are considered a ‘flash in the pan’ and their hey day is now over. Labor should pick up most of that soft vote with swinging voters now turning off the Liberals.

  13. Pyne is done, He would need to get As many SA Best preferences as he did last time, the Sa best will likely not do preference deals with them and i see Labour getting their prefs in this toxic envirenvironment, only way i see pyne holding is if he has over 40% of the primary vote

  14. Pyne might be popular, but ignore the internal poll showing 59-41 in this seat, there is no way in hell, Pyne gets a swing towards him, this is an election where the coalition will lose ground, more than the last election, if pyne holds on, this becomes even more marginal. Never trust internal polls, they are biased in their own favour

  15. Be curious to watch this seat if Pyne does retire as some are speculating. 26 years is a very long time to be a local member and he must have a significant personal vote.

    On the back of the loss of a long serving member, plus a nation wide anti-LNP swing (especially in this type of small l liberal seat) it’s plausible that Sturt could be lost if Pyne retires.

  16. Daniel, whilst Pyne’s “desertion” is certainly a plus given he’s proven a wily electoral survivor, there is a reason for why Sturt hasn’t changed hands for the best part of 50 years. Namely, the southern half of the seat is fairly rock sold Lib turf and whilst much of the northern half of the seat is far more Lab friendly, it would be fairer to describe it as marginal/swingy rather than strong Lab. Yes, this is probably the best chance for LAB to snag Sturt in ages but it’s still probably an Adv Libs unless we’re looking at something like a “whitewash” election where we see a lot of “anomlies” in the results.

  17. Woah woah there, not easily, they will win it but not “easily” the libs still have a chance but i say this is 50-50 at best, I agree that Marshall advisor will not win because hes advising the most unpopular SA goverment in modern history (i forgot his name but abc mentioned him) Just a thought, What if Jay weatherill decided to run here? Or maybe for the loberals Isabel redmond, even though they are retires, they havent said they are permanently done with politics, unlikely that they will run its just a ‘maybe’

  18. @Daniel

    Jay Weatherill ruled out going into federal politics after his election defeat at the last state election.

  19. I know little about Sturt other than it only being held by a very narrow margin (<2%) at the 2007 election. Now with no incumbent member in an election 2 months away, where the Liberals are likely to perform even more poorly, it's hard to see the Liberals holding this seat.

  20. Daniel’s comment 21 Feb that internal polling is biased in own party’s favour is wrong. No party will pay for polling they know is biased.
    The bias is not in the polling but in the leakage. Internal polls are leaked to achieve political goals.
    I have seen leaked ALP polls that were designed to get me to argue for their desired preference deals.
    The question that should be asked is why are they leaking the poll results.
    Are they leaking all polling or just those bits that support the case they are arguing for.

  21. Paul Mateo
    Because you want them to?
    In seats such as this I read to be informed. What has your comment done to inform me?

  22. Dead heat on sportbet, Liberal $1.80, Labor $1.90, Will be very close. If this goes Labor i bet Pyne will regret not recontesting, because if he had retired last election instead, They would have held it last election but also the fact that it would have had an Incumbent Liberal MP this time had that been the case, It would have been more likely to stay with them, (Its not a wise idea to retire on a year you know your government is going to lose) Its best to stay on and hold as many seats as you can.

  23. Gambling is evil and corrupt and should be banned in Australia. Is there any candidate that will do something about it? Particularly mindless internet and mobile phone betting.

  24. Adrian Jackson, The intelligent people on this site quoting Sportsbet are trying to give an indication of what is happening in the market place!
    Odds are indicative of probability $2 or Even money means a 50% chance.
    People making mindless comments should be banned!

  25. Jason – I understand about that odds stuff. I see these sports bet types outside the lotto shop or in the hotel with looks of desperation on their faces when they loose the shirt if their back..

  26. It was reported in the Australian Labor will announce trained mediator Cressida O’Hanlon as its candidate for Sturt.

  27. Steven Marshall’s former CoS, James Martin has been on the ground now in Sturt as the Liberal candidate for a few weeks now.

    This is lineball, I would put the Libs only slightly favourite to retain Sturt, but good choice by Labor of candidate.

  28. Marshall is the worst premier since Playford, i say this is 50/50, He will damage Stevens chances due to him being his staff.

  29. Payne survived in 2007 where another mp would not…. since his political near death experience then ….. he has managed to improve his position…. now gone wha5 happens? 5% odd is a big margin….. the last time labor won was in the as federal near landslide in 1969………… the seat is a liberal inclined marginal……….

  30. I reckon the Libs have a chance here. Even though Pyne is retiring, he has already been active in campaigning for the new candidate. Yes the Marshall government is unpopular, yes a resigning Incumbent is not good, but you also have to look at what has happened in other states with similar votes. NSW saw a near nothing swing towards the ALP, however, their state result is expected to see -6 seats lost to the ALP. The point is that state issues do not always translate to federal issues. You also have to remember that seats in this area did not swing to the ALP in 2018. Bragg swung +0.3% towards the Libs, Dunstan +2.5% towards the Libs, Hartley swung on a TPP basis almost 5% towards the Libs and Torrens swung only slightly towards the ALP. This seat is not as vulnerable to swings as I think is being said, so I would make a bet that this seat would be retained.

  31. @Bryson, on what basis is the Marshall Government unpopular?

    The most recent poll in SA have the Libs ahead 52-48?

    I think Pyne is taking with him about 3-4% of the vote, coupled with a swing against the government of a further 2-3% makes Sturt lineball or Labor starting slight favourites. It’s one to watch for sure.

  32. Bryson
    Agree everybody is getting very excited about Sturt. I doubt Pyne’s personal vote was that significant. If he were my MP i’d be profoundly embarrassed !!. This is a fundamentally lib voting seat, ^& it won’t even be close.

    How about Wetherill ?? Do you seriously think history will be kind to him ?

  33. yes agree this is a liberal inclined Marginal to fairly safe seat,,,,,,,,,,, alp only won once in 1969 in recent history. Payne was good at scrambling… this is now gone…. but an alp win is a big ask
    or did Pyne suspect he would lose?

  34. Having lived in the electorate for the past two decades, I find it hard to believe it’ll be anything other than a comfortable Lib win. The seat is full of negative gearers who will have bought in to the Libs’ scare campaign that house prices will plummet and all their negative gearing will be taken away under Labor. Neither is true, of course, but I’ve already heard several people claim they’ll be forced to sell an investment property if Labor win.


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