Barker – Australia 2022

LIB 18.9%

Incumbent MP
Tony Pasin, since 2013.

Barker covers southeastern parts of South Australia. It stretches from Mount Gambier in the southeastern corner of the state up to the Murray River and the Barossa Valley.

The seat of Barker was first created for the 1903 election, and has been a seat that has consistently voted for Conservative parties. Apart from two terms of the Country Party, the seat has been held by the main non-Labor party since its creation.

It was first won in 1903 by John Langdon Bonython, a Protectionist MP first elected as a member for South Australia at-large in 1901. Bonython retired in 1906 and was replaced by Anti-Socialist candidate John Livingston. Livingston held the seat as a member of the Liberal Party and Nationalist Party before his retirement in 1922.

The seat was won in 1922 by Malcolm Cameron, who was elected as a member of the breakaway Liberal Party, who opposed the leadership of Billy Hughes, but returned to the Nationalists after Hughes deposition. He held the seat until 1934.

The seat was won in 1934 by the Country Party’s Archie Cameron. He served as a minister in the Lyons government from 1937 until Lyons’ death in 1939. After Earle Page refused to serve in government with Robert Menzies, the Country Party replaced Page with Cameron as their leader, and Cameron led the party back into government.

Cameron, however, was replaced by Arthur Fadden as Country Party leader in 1940, and Cameron resigned from the Country Party and joined the United Australia Party. Cameron joined Menzies’ new Liberal Party in 1945 and was elected Speaker of the House in 1949. Cameron remained Speaker and Member for Barker until his death in 1956.

The ensuing by-election was won by Liberal candidate Jim Forbes. He served as a minister in the Liberal government from 1963 until the election of the Whitlam government in 1972.

Forbes retired at the 1975 election, and was replaced by James Porter, who held the seat for fifteen years. He was replaced in 1990 by Ian McLachlan, a former president of the National Farmers Federation. McLachlan served as Minister for Defence for the first term of the Howard government, retiring in 1998.

The seat was won in 1998 by the Liberal Party’s Patrick Secker. He held Barker for the next five terms, retiring in 2013.

Liberal candidate Tony Pasin won Barker in 2013, and was re-elected in 2016 and 2019.


Barker is a safe Liberal seat.

2019 result

Tony Pasin Liberal 61,15557.9+12.4
Mat O’Brien Labor 22,20521.0+4.7
Rosa Hillam Greens 7,2296.8+3.2
Bert BacherUnited Australia Party6,2595.9+5.9
Kelly GladigauCentre Alliance3,0822.9-25.7
Karen EckermannAnimal Justice2,9402.8+2.8
Miles Hannemann Nationals 2,7962.6+2.7

2019 two-party-preferred result

Tony Pasin Liberal 72,85168.9+5.1
Mat O’Brien Labor 32,81531.1-5.1

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into five areas. Polling places in the southern city of Mount Gambier have been grouped together. The remainder of the seat has been split into four strips that stretch across the electorate. From north to south, these are North, Murray Mallee, Upper South East and Lower South East.

The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all five areas, ranging from 62.2% in Mount Gambier to 79.8% in the upper south-east.

Voter groupLIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
Lower South-East70.29,0888.6
Murray Mallee68.78,9598.5
Upper South-East79.87,4787.1
Mount Gambier62.26,9806.6
Other votes70.812,90912.2

Election results in Barker at the 2019 federal election
Toggle between two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party and Labor.

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  1. In the absence of a strong Independent challenger then this is a Liberal hold.

    Troy Bell would make this interesting if he jumped ship to federal politics.

  2. Obviously a Liberal retain but I wonder if the nonexistent SA Nats can improve their vote share even a minuscule amount. The history of the relationship between the Liberals and Nationals in each state has always interested me quite a bit.

  3. Can someone bring me up to speed on the Federation Party? I have no awareness of the history or set up.

  4. @LNP Insider

    The AFP is an agrarianist and developmentalist party, formerly the Country Alliance. Most active in Victoria I believe.

  5. Jonathan Pietzsch polled 4.7.% for the Nationals in the corresponding state seat of MacKillop in the SA state election just over a month ago. Will be interesting to see if he can build on that performance in Barker.


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