Stuart – SA 2022

IND 15.6% vs LIB

Incumbent MP

  • Dan van Holst Pellekaan (LIB), since 2010.
  • Geoff Brock (IND), member for Frome since 2009.

Geography
Northern parts of South Australia. Stuart stretches from the Upper Spencer Gulf to the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales borders, and west to Port Augusta. The largest city in the electorate is Port Pirie, and it also covers the eastern half of Port Augusta.

Redistribution
Stuart expanded to the south to take in Port Pirie from Frome, and lost the Goyder council area and some nearby areas to Frome. Stuart also lost western parts of Port Augusta to Giles. These changes reduced the Liberal two-party-preferred margin from 23.1% to 11.9%.

51.2% of the electorate’s enrolment was previously included in the independent seat of Frome in the city of Port Pirie. Geoff Brock won Frome with an 8.2% margin in 2018, but did much better in the Port Pirie area, polling 75.4% in the area transferred to Stuart. The remainder of Stuart is much stronger for the Liberal Party than Port Pirie (72.2% 2PP compared to 52.1%). If I assume a Brock 2CP of 55.3% in the remainder of Stuart, that results in a margin of 15.6%.

History
The electorate of Stuart was first created for the 1938 election. The seat was abolished in 1993 and restored in 1997. The seat was always held by Labor prior to 1993, and has been Liberal-held since 1997.

Stuart was held by two Labor MPs over a 51-year period until 1989, when the seat was won by Labor MP Colleen Hutchison.

In 1993, Stuart was abolished and merged into the neighbouring seat of Eyre, and Hutchison lost to the sitting Liberal MP, Graham Gunn.

Gunn had won Eyre at the 1970 state election. He served as Speaker of the House of Assembly from 1993 to 1996.

In 1997, Eyre was renamed back to Stuart, and Gunn shifted to the newly-named seat.

Gunn held Stuart at the 2002 election, and narrowly held on in 2006.

At the 2010 election, Gunn retired and he was replaced by the Liberal Party’s Dan van Holst Pellekaan. van Holst Pellekaan was re-elected in 2014 and 2018.

Candidates
Sitting indpeendent MP Geoff Brock is following the voters of Port Pirie from his previous seat of Frome to contest Stuart.

Assessment
This seat is hard to analyse. Brock is very strong in Port Pirie, which makes up a majority of the new seat. That area gives him a two-candidate-preferred vote of 38.9% without a single vote from the other half of the seat. If Brock’s vote holds up in Port Pirie it’s hard to see him losing, but he will likely be running against another sitting MP.

2018 result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Dan Van Holst PellekaanLiberal14,15769.7+5.544.8
Khatija ThomasLabor4,69823.10.015.7
Brendan FitzgeraldGreens1,4607.2+2.44.1
Geoff BrockIndependent33.7
DIgnity1.6
Informal6463.1

2018 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedist
Dan Van Holst PellekaanLiberal14,84773.1+3.061.9
Khatija ThomasLabor5,46826.9-3.038.1

Booth breakdown

Booths in Stuart have been divided into three parts. Polling places in Port Pirie and Port Augusta have been grouped together, with the remainder of rural booths grouped together.

The Liberal Party won the two-party-preferred vote (against Labor) in all three areas, but it ranged widely from just 50.2% in Port Pirie to 73.9% in rural areas. Brock polled 79.4% of the two-candidate-preferred vote in election day booths in Port Pirie, as well as 15.4% in the rural booths that had been in Brock’s electorate.

This means that three-fifths of those who preferenced Liberal over Labor in Port Pirie preferenced Brock over the Liberal. If this trend were to apply in other areas it would suggest that a lot of Liberal voters are open to voting for Brock.

Voter groupLIB 2PPLIB 2CPIND 2CPTotal votes% of votes
Port Pirie50.220.679.46,31028.4
Rural73.968.315.44,89822.1
Port Augusta65.765.70.02,95113.3
Other votes61.549.635.48,05036.2

Election results in Stuart at the 2018 South Australian state election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes, two-party-preferred votes and primary votes for the Liberal Party, independent candidate Geoff Brock and Labor.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. now all of Port Pirie and most of Port Augusta are united in the same seat……. given Brock’s support in Port Pirie and the loss of some rural areas…. I suggest he is likely to win. In The Long run Port Augusta is not 65% Liberal suggest Labor may be competitive here pos Mr Brock

  2. Considering how overwhelming Brock’s margins are in Port Pirie, I’m shocked anyone even thought this race was going to be even remotely competitive.

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