Davenport by-election, 2015

January 31, 2015

Cause of by-election
Sitting Liberal MP and former Liberal leader Iain Evans resigned on 30 October 2014.

Margin – LIB 8.1%

Geography
Southern Adelaide. Davenport covers Bellevue Heights, Blackwood, Craigburn Farm, Coromandel Valley, Eden Hills, Glenalta and Hawthorndene, and parts of Bedford Park, Coromandel East, Darlington, Flagstaff Hill, O’Halloran Hill, Panorama and St Marys.

History
The electorate of Davenport has existed since the 1970 election, and has always been won by the Liberal Party.

The seat was first held in 1970 by Liberal and Country League MP Joyce Steele. Steele had been elected as the first woman in the House of Assembly in 1959, winning the seat of Burnside. She served as Minister for Education from 1968 to 1969, and shifted to the new seat of Davenport in 1970.

In 1973, Steele announced her retirement in the face of an impending preselection threat from Dean Brown. Brown won the seat.

Brown held Davenport throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, until the 1985 election. Brown served as a minister from 1979 to 1982, and in 1982 was unsuccessful in a bid to serve as Liberal leader after the party lost power, losing to John Olsen.

Prior to the 1985 election, the neighbouring seat of Fisher shifted, and the member for Fisher, Stan Evans, challenged Brown for preselection in Davenport. Brown won preselection, but lost the election to Evans, running as an independent.

Brown returned to politics at the 1992 Alexandra by-election, in a bid by the Liberal Party to bring both himself and his rival Olsen back into the state parliament. Brown was elected Liberal leader shortly afterwards, and led the Liberal Party to victory in 1993, winning the new seat of Finniss.

Brown served as Premier from 1993 until his deposition by Olsen in 1996. He later served as Deputy Premier from 2001 to 2002, and then as Deputy Leader of the Opposition until 2005, retiring in 2006.

Stan Evans rejoined the Liberal Party shortly after the 1985 election, and won re-election in 1989. He retired in 1993.

Stan Evans was succeeded in 1993 by his son, Iain Evans. Evans served as a minister in the Olsen and Kerin governments from 1997 to 2002. He then served as deputy leader of the opposition from 2005 until the 2006 state election. He was elected Liberal leader following the party’s landslide defeat in 2006, but barely lasted a year before losing the job in April 2007.

Evans was re-elected in 2010, after a failed bid to win preselection for the federal seat of Mayo for the 2008 by-election. He was re-elected again in 2014, and retired in late 2014.

Candidates

Assessment
Davenport is a reasonably safe Liberal seat, and should be retained by the Liberal Party.

2014 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Iain EvansLiberal11,58151.0+1.5
Lucie Lock-WeirLabor6,49828.6+4.1
Stephen ThomasGreens3,46815.3+1.6
Natasha EdmondsFamily First1,1585.1+1.1

2014 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Iain EvansLiberal13,19258.1-2.8
Lucie Lock-WeirLabor9,51341.9+2.8
Polling places in Davenport at the 2014 South Australian state election. North-East in blue, North-West in green, South in orange. Click to enlarge.

Polling places in Davenport at the 2014 South Australian state election. North-East in blue, North-West in green, South in orange. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three parts: north-east, north-west and south. Most of the electorate’s population lies within Mitcham council area, and these polling places have been split into north-west and north-east. Polling places in Onkaparinga council area have been grouped as south.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, winning 61% in the south and 56-57% in the other two areas.

The Greens came third, with a vote ranging from 11.8% in the south to 18.2% in the north.

Voter groupGRN primLIB 2PPTotal votes% of votes
North-East18.1556.278,38136.91
South11.7660.896,94530.59
North-West15.5856.742,32310.23
Other votes15.1957.935,05622.27
Two-party-preferred votes in Davenport at the 2014 South Australian state election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Davenport at the 2014 South Australian state election.

Greens primary votes in Davenport at the 2014 South Australian state election.

Greens primary votes in Davenport at the 2014 South Australian state election.

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room.

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