Grey – Australia 2019

LIB 1.9% vs NXT

Incumbent MP
Rowan Ramsey, since 2007.

Geography
Grey covers the vast majority of the geographical expanse of South Australia. Grey covers South Australia’s borders with Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. It covers most of the coast of South Australia, including everything west of the Yorke Peninsula. Main towns include Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Coober Pedy and Roxby Downs.

Redistribution
Grey expanded to take in the northern rural end of Wakefield, including Auburn, Balaklava, Clare, Dublin, Hamley Bridge, Owen, Pinery, Riverton and Saddleworth.

History
Grey is an original electorate, having been created in 1903. The seat was first won by the ALP’s Alexander Poynton, who had been elected as a Free Trade MP in 1901, when South Australia elected its parliamentary delegation at large.

Poynton strongly supported conscription and followed Billy Hughes into the Nationalist Party in 1916.

Poynton was defeated by Andrew Lacey in 1922. Lacey held the seat until his defeat by Philip McBride (UAP) in 1931. Lacey went on to win a seat in the South Australian House of Assembly in 1933 and became Leader of the Opposition until 1938.

McBride held Grey for the UAP from 1931 until 1937, when he made a swap with Country Party senator Albert Badman, with Badman winning Grey and McBride taking Badman’s seat in the Senate. McBride held the Senate seat until his defeat in 1943, and then served as Member for Wakefield from 1946 to 1958, serving as a minister in the Menzies government.

Badman held the seat of Grey until 1943, effectively serving as a member of the UAP for his final years after the collapse of the Country Party in South Australia.

In 1943, Badman was defeated by Edgar Russell (ALP). Russell began a 50-year period of the ALP holding Grey except for a single election, and he served as a backbencher until his death in 1963. Jack Mortimer won the seat for the ALP in 1963, but was defeated by Liberal Don Jessop in 1966. Jessop only held the seat for one term, losing to Laurie Wallis in 1969. Jessop then won a seat in the Senate in 1970 and served there until 1987.

Wallis held Grey from 1969 to 1983, when he retired. He was succeeded by Lloyd O’Neil, who held the seat for the ALP from 1983 until his retirement in 1993.

The redistribution before the 1993 had expanded Grey to include rural areas to the west of Port Pirie and Port Augusta, after the seat had been limited to the immediate coastal strip for decades. This improved the position of the Liberal Party, and Barry Wakelin won the seat off the ALP at the 1993 election.

Wakelin held the seat until 2007, when he retired and was succeeded by Rowan Ramsey. Ramsey was re-elected in 2010, 2013 and 2016.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
The Nick Xenophon Team performed very strongly in this seat in 2016. It’s not clear if Centre Alliance (the new name for NXT) will be running a big campaign in this seat, or how they would perform without Xenophon’s leadership. So it’s possible this seat could be a close race, or that it will revert to being a Liberal safe seat.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Rowan Ramsey Liberal 38,40942.7-12.942.2
Andrea BroadfootNick Xenophon Team24,93627.7+27.726.7
Scott Martin Labor 19,37321.6-5.722.6
Cheryl KaminskiFamily First3,7104.1-1.44.3
Jillian Kay Marsh Greens 2,3042.6-1.22.7
Phillip GourlayIndependent1,1441.3+1.31.1
Others0.5
Informal3,6193.9

2016 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Redist
Rowan Ramsey Liberal 46,69252.051.9
Andrea BroadfootNick Xenophon Team43,18448.048.1

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Rowan Ramsey Liberal 52,69658.6-4.957.8
Scott Martin Labor 37,18041.4+4.942.2

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into eight areas. There are four major towns in the electorate: Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie and Port Augusta. Polling places in these towns have been grouped together.

The remainder of the electorate has been split between:

  • Central – Barunga West, Copper Coast, Mallala, Wakefield and Yorke Peninsula council areas.
  • East – Clare and Gilbert Valleys, Flinders Ranges, Goyder, Light, Mount Remarkable, Northern Areas, Orroroo Carrieton, Peterborough council areas, and those parts of Port Pirie council area outside of the Port Pirie urban area.
  • Outback – Polling places in northern parts of the seat, including Coober Pedy, Roxby Downs and Woomera.
  • West – Those polling places in the south of the electorate to the west of Whyalla.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote in most areas, ranging from 53.7% in the outback to 68% in the west. The Nick Xenophon Team won a majority in three of the larger towns, ranging from 58.7% in Port Pirie to 68.5% in Whyalla.

The Labor primary vote ranged from 8.9% in the west to 42.4% in Whyalla.

Voter groupALP prim %LIB 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Central20.154.922,58821.5
East18.158.715,35414.6
Whyalla42.431.59,5879.1
West8.968.09,1518.7
Port Pirie31.241.36,3636.0
Port Lincoln14.754.25,9885.7
Port Augusta30.239.34,5014.3
Outback22.453.71,8501.8
Other votes22.954.914,93414.2
Pre-poll23.348.914,96414.2

Election results in Grey at the 2016 federal election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes (LNP vs NXT) and Labor primary votes.


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