Division of Sturt
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Sturt (green) in South Australia
|Area||85 km2 (32.8 sq mi)|
The Division of Sturt is an Australian electoral division in South Australia. It was proclaimed at the South Australian redistribution of 11 May 1949, and was first contested at the 1949 federal election. Sturt was named for Captain Charles Sturt, nineteenth century explorer and the first European to discover the Murray River.
Currently stretching from Adelaide's mortgage belt suburbs in the centre-east to the wealthy south-eastern suburbs, boundaries at the seat's creation saw it take in suburbs as far west as Port Adelaide and as far north as Virginia until 1955, after which it began to occupy solely the eastern area of Adelaide. Sturt has traditionally been a Liberal Party constituency and has been home to the Wilson political dynasty of father Keith and son Ian. Five MPs have held the seat since creation.
The 1954 election saw Labor candidate Norman Makin capture the marginal seat from Keith Wilson. However, before the 1955 election Makin shifted to the new, safe neighbouring seat of Bonython in the northern areas of Adelaide previously represented by Sturt. Keith Wilson regained the seat at that election, handing it to Ian in 1966. The 1969 election saw Ian Wilson temporarily unseated after he suffered a 16-point swing, but he was returned at the 1972 election against the flow of Gough Whitlam's federal victory. Wilson was a key early member of the progressive Liberal Movement faction within the Liberal Party. However, he remained with the Liberals when the Liberal Movement became a separate party, and eventually served as a minister in the last term of the Fraser government. The Liberal Movement ran a candidate in Sturt in the 1974 election, polling 7.2 percent, much of which derived from Wilson’s vote. The Wilson dynasty ended in 1993, when Ian Wilson was defeated for preselection by sitting member Christopher Pyne.
The Liberal Movement's successor party, the Australian Democrats, have traditionally polled well in Sturt, highlighted by 13.5 percent at their first showing in the 1977 election and 15 percent in the 1990 election, the best result by a minor party in Sturt. The Democrats vote has dropped sharply in recent years, they gained only 2.26 percent in the 2004 election. Additionally, an independent Liberal contested Sturt at the 1993 election, polling a respectable 14.6 percent.
At the 2007 federal election, Pyne suffered a two party preferred swing of 5.86 percent but retained the seat on 50.94 percent, against Labor candidate Mia Handshin, making Sturt the most marginal seat in South Australia. Prior to the pre-selection of Handshin, No Pokies MP Nick Xenophon had been considering running in the seat as an independent, before deciding to run for the Senate instead. At the 2010 federal election, Pyne increased his majority and neighbouring Boothby became South Australia's most marginal seat. Pyne gained a 6.5 percent two-party swing in the 2013 election and is now Minister of Education and House Leader in the Abbott government.
|(Sir) Keith Wilson||Liberal||1955–1966|
|Australian federal election, 2013: Sturt|
|Family First||Kylie Barnes||3,565||3.92||+0.16|
|Palmer United||Gabriella Scali||2,713||2.99||+2.99|
|Total formal votes||90,867||95.48||+0.79|