Sturt – Australia 2022

LIB 6.9%

Incumbent MP
James Stevens, since 2019.

Sturt lies in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide. The southern part of the seat covers most of Burnside LGA, while Campbelltown and Norwood Payneham and St Peters LGAs cover the centre of the seat, and parts of the Port Adelaide Enfield and Tea Tree Gully LGAs cover the north of the seat.

Sturt stretches north to Grand Junction Road, and key suburbs include Glen Osmond, Burnside, Magill, Felixstow, Campbelltown, Klemzig, Gilles Plains, Rostrevor, Newton, Norwood, Stepney, Paradise, Athelstone and Highbury.

Sturt was created for the 1949 election, and has almost always been held by the Liberal Party. Indeed, except for two terms when it was held by the ALP, the seat was held by the same family from its creation until 1993.

The seat was first won by Keith Wilson in 1949. He lost the seat in 1954 to Norman Makin. Makin had served in the House of Representatives from 1919 to 1946, during which time he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives and a Minister in the Curtin and Chifley governments, before becoming Ambassador to the United States.

Makin abandoned the seat in 1955 for the safer Bonython, and Wilson returned to the seat. Wilson retired in 1966 and was succeeded by his son Ian. Ian served as a junior minister in the last term of the Fraser government before going to the backbench after the election of the Hawke government.

Wilson was challenged for preselection in 1993 by 25-year-old Christopher Pyne. Pyne held the seat for the next 26 years, serving as a minister in the Howard government and as a senior minister in the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government, before retiring in 2019.

Liberal candidate James Stevens won the seat in 2019.


  • Inty Elham (Democratic Alliance)
  • Katie McCusker (Greens)
  • James Stevens (Liberal)
  • Assessment
    Sturt is the second-most marginal Liberal seat in South Australia but has become more conservative and would require a substantial swing to flip.

    2019 result

    James Stevens Liberal 55,49050.6+6.2
    Cressida O’Hanlon Labor 32,76629.9+6.6
    Paul Boundy Greens 12,26311.2+3.6
    Nick LarcombeIndependent2,9062.6+2.7
    Hedley HardingUnited Australia Party2,6572.4+2.4
    Harbinda RobertsAnimal Justice1,8661.7+0.4
    Colin ThomasChild Protection Party1,2191.1+1.1
    Angela FulcoProgressives5650.5+0.5

    2019 two-party-preferred result

    James Stevens Liberal 62,40456.9+1.5
    Cressida O’Hanlon Labor 47,32843.1-1.5

    Booth breakdown

    Booths have been divided into three areas: central, north and south.

    The Liberal Party won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas but there was some variation in that vote from the north, where they polled 50.3%, down to the south, where they polled 58.2%.

    Voter groupGRN prim %LIB 2PP %Total votes% of votes
    Other votes11.059.719,22617.5

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

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    1. The seat of missed opportunities

      In 2016, it seemed like there was enough Nick Xenophon Team vote to get rid of Pyne, but Labor did slightly too well (especially after Green preferences which favoured Labor) so there was no Liberal vs NXT runoff. It could have been another Mayo.

      This also seems like a “Turnbull Liberal” seat. That means Labor could have made a serious play for it in 2019, especially with Pyne retiring. It’s clear they didn’t and the results show it. The end result was “Safe Liberal Seat” yet again.

      I don’t think it’s a real prospect in 2022, though there might be some interesting interactions with the SA state election.

    2. Liberal hold. I agree with John there was a chance of pulling this off the liberal party in 2016 to the NXT. Labor & the Greens should have directed there preferences to unseat Pyne.

    3. This almost looks like the inverse of Boothby and trending towards the liberals…… in 2007….. Pyne almost lost….. now the libs seem secure….. this looks similar to how Dunstan is changing at the state level

    4. Why did Labor lose this in 1972 despite winning government? This along with Forrest and a few others switched to the coalition in 72′ and bucked the trend. Did McMahon have some sort of appeal here or were there demographic changes that happened back then?

    5. Daniel
      The 1972 election was a nation in two parts. NSW, Victoria, SE QLD and southern Tasmania swung to the ALP. North Queensland, SA, WA and Northern Tasmania swung to the coalition. There had been very big swings to the ALP in SA and WA in 1969. Both from what I can gather being driven by state issues. In SA it was a swing back from a huge liberal swing in 1966. In Forrest, Gordon Freeth was Foreign Affairs minister and apparently made comments in 1969 that made it seem he was soft on the Cold War. And Forrest reverted to type in 1972. 1972 was not the Labor sweep that historical legend has invested it with.

    6. Redistributed, finally someone says it! I hate it when the media paints 1972 as some huge landslide. The Coalition were just 5 seats away from majority government!


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