Mayo – Australia 2019

CA 5.0%

Incumbent MP
Rebekha Sharkie, since 2016.

Geography
Parts of South Australia to the south and east of Adelaide. Mayo covers the Adelaide Hills and the coast of South Australia from Lake Alexandrina to the southern edge of Adelaide, as well as Kangaroo Island.

Redistribution
Mayo expanded further into the Adelaide urban area, taking in Aldinga Beach, Port Willunga and Sellicks Beach from Kingston, and also taking in Craigburn Farm and Hawthorndene from Boothby. Mayo lost Mount Pleasant and Springton to Barker, and some other small changes were made to its western boundary.

History
Mayo was first created in 1984 as part of the expansion of the House of Representatives. The seat has always been held by the Liberal Party, although it has always been a high-profile target for minor parties.

The seat was won in 1984 by Alexander Downer, son of former cabinet minister Alec Downer and grandson of former premier Sir John Downer. He retained the seat safely in 1987 but was challenged by the Democrats in 1990, with the minor party polling over 20%. Downer retained the seat with a 6% margin.

A redistribution and a fall in the Democrats vote saw him retain the seat easily in 1993 and 1996. In 1998, the Democrats ran John Schumann, best known as lead singer of the band Redgum. Schumann achieved over 22% of the primary vote and reduced Downer’s two-party margin to 1.7%, the closest the Democrats ever came to winning a House of Representatives seat.

Another favourable redistribution in 2001 helped Downer win re-election, and he was untroubled at the 2004 and 2007 elections. Downer had served a disastrous year as Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 1995 and served as Foreign Minister for the entirety of the Howard government from 1996 until 2007. After the defeat of the Howard government in 2007, Downer moved to the backbench and retired in 2008 to serve as United Nations envoy to Cyprus.

The ensuing by-election was contested between Liberal candidate Jamie Briggs and Greens candidate Lynton Vonow, as the ALP did not stand a candidate. The Greens polled 21%, and the Liberal vote dropped to 40%. After preferences, Briggs won 53% of the vote, and retained the seat by a slim margin.

Jamie Briggs was re-elected in 2010 and 2013.

Briggs lost Mayo in 2016 to Nick Xenophon Team candidate Rebekha Sharkie.

Sharkie was forced to resign from parliament in early 2018 due to her late citizenship renunciation in 2016, but she was re-elected at the resulting by-election as a representative of the renamed Centre Alliance.

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Mayo was considered a difficult seat to pick before the by-election. It wasn’t clear how much of a personal vote Rebekha Sharkie would have built up, and whether Nick Xenophon’s departure from the party which previously bore his name would hurt her chances. The by-election suggests she’s in a strong position and should win a second full term at the next general election.

2016 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Jamie Briggs Liberal 35,91537.8-16.136.6
Rebekha SharkieNick Xenophon Team33,15834.9+34.932.9
Glen Dallimore Labor 12,85913.5-7.616.7
Nathan Daniell Greens 7,6618.1-6.18.2
Bruce HicksFamily First4,3754.6-2.54.5
Luke DzivinskiLiberal Democrats1,1481.2+1.21.0
Others0.1
Informal2,8282.9

2016 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%
Rebekha SharkieNick Xenophon Team52,28355.0
Jamie Briggs Liberal 42,83345.0

2016 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Glen Dallimore Labor 42,46644.6+7.246.7
Jamie Briggs Liberal 52,65055.4-7.253.3

2018 by-election result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Rebekha SharkieCentre Alliance39,38244.4+9.5
Georgina Downer Liberal 33,21237.4-0.3
Major Moogy Sumner Greens 7,8988.9+0.9
Reg Coutts Labor 5,3706.1-7.5
Tracey-Lee CaneChristian Democrats1,3481.5+1.5
Stephen HumbleLiberal Democrats8090.9-0.3
Kelsie HarfouchePeople’s Party7160.8+0.8
Informal3,2403.5

2018 by-election two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Georgina Downer Liberal 37,68042.5-2.6
Rebekha SharkieCentre Alliance51,05557.5+2.6

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five areas, primarily based on local government boundaries. three groups cover all of the polling booths in a single council area: Kangaroo Island, Mount Barker and Onkaparinga (although the latter also covers a small part of Mitcham council area).

Polling places in the Adelaide Hills and Barossa council areas have been grouped as “Adelaide Hills”, while those in Alexandrina, Victor Harbour and Yankalilla council areas have been grouped together as ‘South’.

The Nick Xenophon Team won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote in all areas at the 2016 election, ranging from 51.1% on Kangaroo Island to 58.5% in Mount Barker. This doesn’t include areas redistributed into Mayo in Onkaparinga.

Labor came third, with a primary vote ranging from 10.9% in the Adelaide Hills to 16.6% in Onkaparinga.

At the 2018 by-election, the Centre Alliance won a majority of the two-candidate-preferred vote in all five areas, ranging from 52.7% in Onkaparinga to 63.7% in Mount Barker.

2016 booth breakdown

Voter groupALP prim %LIB prim %NXT prim %NXT 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Adelaide Hills10.937.136.656.820,56419.4
South14.337.435.754.419,50018.4
Onkaparinga28.133.225.054.0*18,26017.2
Mount Barker13.734.236.858.513,71912.9
Kangaroo Island11.041.434.751.12,1262.0
Other votes19.936.330.453.0*14,46913.6
Pre-poll14.840.532.552.9*17,51816.5

2018 by-election booth breakdown

Voter groupCA 2CP %Total votes% of votes
Adelaide Hills58.921,92424.7
South58.415,36917.3
Mount Barker63.712,83114.5
Onkaparinga52.77,5808.5
Kangaroo Island55.21,9522.2
Other votes49.19,71210.9
Pre-poll57.619,37621.8

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

Two-candidate-preferred (Centre Alliance vs Liberal) votes in Mayo at the 2016 federal election

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