Hartley – SA 2014

ALP 0.1%

Incumbent MP
Grace Portolesi, since 2006.

Geography
Eastern Adelaide. Hartley covers the suburbs of Campbelltown, Felixstow, Glynde, Hectorville, Kensington Gardens, Rosslyn Park, Auldana and Tranmere, and parts of Magill and Payneham.

Map of Hartley's 2010 and 2014 boundaries. 2010 boundaries marked as red lines, 2014 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.
Map of Hartley’s 2010 and 2014 boundaries. 2010 boundaries marked as red lines, 2014 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.

Redistribution
Changes were made to the southern boundary of Hartley, losing Kensington Park to Bragg and gaining the remainder of Kensington Gardens, Rosslyn Park and Auldana from Bragg and Morialta. This reduced the Labor margin from 2.4% to 0.1%.

History
Hartley was created for the 1977 election. The seat was Labor-held up until the early 1990s, and then Liberal-held until the 2006 election when it was won back by the ALP.

The seat was first won in 1977 by Des Corcoran, then Deputy Premier in the Labor government. Corcoran had held the seat of Millicent since 1962, when he replaced his father in the seat. Corcoran had served as deputy leader since 1968 and Deputy Premier since the Dunstan government won power in 1970.

Corcoran replaced Dunstan as Premier in 1979, and called a snap election which the Labor government lost. Corcoran retired from Hartley in 1982.

Terry Groom replaced Corcoran in 1982, and won re-election in 1985 and 1989. In 1991, an unfavourable redistribution made Hartley much less winnable for Labor, and Groom sought preselection elsewhere. After he failed to find a new seat, Groom resigned from the ALP and finished his term as an independent.

Joe Scalzi won Hartley for the Liberal Party in 1993. He was returned in 1997 after a large swing left him with a 0.7% margin. In 2002, he managed to increase his margin despite the Liberal Party losing power.

In 2006, Grace Portolesi defeated Scalzi with a 5.9% swing. In 2010, she retained her seat after a swing of 3.9% to the Liberal Party. Portolesi was appointed as a parliamentary secretary immediately after the 2006 election, and she was promoted to the ministry after the 2010 election. She now serves as Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills and Minister for Science and Information Economy.

Candidates
Sitting Labor MP Grace Portolesi is running for re-election. The Liberal Party is running Vincent Tarzia. The Greens are running Paul Birkwood. Family First are running David Maegraith.

Assessment
Hartley is the most marginal Labor seat in the state, and Portolesi will have a lot of trouble defending the seat in an environment where the ALP is expected to lose ground. She managed to keep the swing to a minimum in 2010, but that may mean there is more potential for voters to swing in Hartley in 2014.

2010 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Grace PortolesiALP8,56043.3-3.3
Joe ScalziLIB8,10441.0+3.1
Keith OehmeGRN1,4517.3+1.0
Suzanne NealFF6223.1-1.3
Robert WalthamRAH5002.5+2.5
Mark FreerDLP3261.7+1.7
Natasha MaronaFLT1870.9+0.9

2010 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Grace PortolesiALP10,32252.3-3.9
Joe ScalziLIB9,42847.7+3.9
Booths in Hartley at the 2010 state election. Central in orange, North in green, South in blue. Click to enlarge.
Booths in Hartley at the 2010 state election. Central in orange, North in green, South in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into three areas: north, central and south. The ALP won solid majorities of 55% to 56% in the centre and the north. The Liberal Party won over 55% in the south, which formed the largest proportion of the population.

The Greens polled 8.8% in the south, compared to just under 6% in the centre and the north.

Voter groupGRN %ALP 2PP %Total votes% of ordinary votes
South8.7544.727,01943.60
Central5.9655.475,84136.28
North5.9056.053,23820.11
Other votes8.3049.024,761
Two-party-preferred votes in Hartley at the 2010 state election.
Two-party-preferred votes in Hartley at the 2010 state election.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Her oversight of the education department throughout the child abuse scandal will be fresh in voters mind. I would expect one of the larger swings against Portolesi.

  2. Actually, in fairness to Portolesi she was cleared of any stuffing up by the Royal Commissioner, Bruce Debelle. In my view she was made the scape goat – Premier Weatherill had to look like he was taking ‘action’, especially given his reluctance to remove his chief of staff, who was criticised by Debelle for not passing on the email that would have alerted Weatherill [who at the time was Education Minister] of the sex abuse at the Primary School.

    As for biggest swing, I doubt it will be in Hartley as incumbency will play a role for a grass roots politician such as Portolesi. The big swings are more likely where the incumbent has departed, so I’m thinking Elder [ex Conlon] – but really it is too far out from polling day to have a clue!

    Who knows how well Marshall will travel in this his first campaign as Liberal leader, and how on earth does one judge the mood of the electorate post the election of the Abbott government and the Holden’s demise. Labor are not without a chance but I do figure the Libs will win in their own right.

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