Division of Wakefield

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Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Wakefield 2013.png
Wakefield (dark green) in the state of South Australia
Created 1903
MP Nick Champion
Party Labor
Namesake Edward Gibbon Wakefield
Electors 103,458 (2013)
Area 6,407 km2 (2,473.8 sq mi)
Demographic Rural

The Division of Wakefield is an Australian electoral division in the state of South Australia. The hybrid rural-urban 6,407 km² seat stretches from Salisbury in the northern suburbs of Adelaide to Clare in the Clare Valley, 135 km north of Adelaide, including the suburbs of Elizabeth, Craigmore, Munno Para, Virginia, and part of Salisbury, and the towns of Gawler, Balaklava, Clare, Kapunda, Riverton, Mallala, Freeling, Tarlee, Williamstown, and parts of Port Wakefield.

The Division was named after Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who promoted colonisation as a tool for social engineering, plans which formed the basis for settlements in South Australia, Western Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The division was one of the seven established when the former Division of South Australia was redistributed on 2 October 1903. It was first contested at the 1903 federal election. Two of the seat's former members of particular note have been the inaugural Speaker of the House and two-time Premier of South Australia, Frederick Holder, and Howard government two-term Speaker Neil Andrew.

Before the redistribution for the 2004 election, Wakefield was a rural seat that was usually safe for the Liberal Party and its successors for all but five years from 1903 to 2004. Labor only succeeded in winning it twice, once at the 1938 Wakefield by-election, and once at the 1943 election.

The seat's character was dramatically altered by the redistribution prior to 2004 when it absorbed the outer northern Adelaide suburbs with vast rural areas removed. Much of this area had been part of the abolished safe Labor seat of Bonython. Most of the rural area went to Grey and Barker, transferring Wakefield from a rural seat to a hybrid urban-rural seat. The seat underwent such dramatic change – the current size of 6,407 km² in Wakefield is a fraction of the 31,841 km² prior to the pre-2004 redistribution. It had previously stretched from the entire Yorke Peninsula in the west of the seat, to the New South Wales border in the east of the seat, covering the towns of Angaston, Balaklava, Barmera Berri, Gawler, Gumeracha, Kadina, Kapunda, Loxton, Minlaton, Moonta, Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Nuriootpa, Renmark, Tanunda, Waikerie, Wallaroo and Yorketown.

While the old rural Wakefield was a comfortably safe Liberal seat with a majority of 14.6 percent, the new hybrid urban-rural Wakefield became a marginal Labor seat with a notional 1.3 percent two-party margin. Andrew, the seat's member since 1983, believed this made Wakefield impossible to hold and retired. However, David Fawcett retained it for the Liberals in 2004 with a 0.7 percent two-party margin, defeating the former member for Bonython, Martyn Evans. At the 2007 election, Nick Champion became only the third Labor member ever to win Wakefield, with a 6.6 percent two-party margin. At the 2010 election, Champion technically made it a safe Labor seat by winning a 12 percent two-party margin, and became the first Labor member to be re-elected to Wakefield. The South Australian federal redistribution in 2011 had the greatest impact on Wakefield where the Labor margin declined by 1.5 percent. Champion retained it at the 2013 election on a 3.4 percent two-party margin even as Labor lost government, marking only the second time the non-Labor parties have been in government without holding Wakefield.


Member Party Term
  Sir Frederick Holder Independent 1903–1909
  Richard Foster Commonwealth Liberal 1909–1917
  Nationalist 1917–1922
  Liberal Union 1922–1925
  Nationalist 1925–1928
  Maurice Collins Country 1928–1929
  Charles Hawker Nationalist 1929–1931
  United Australia 1931–1938
  Sydney McHugh Labor 1938–1940
  Jack Duncan-Hughes United Australia 1940–1943
  Albert Smith Labor 1943–1946
  (Sir) Philip McBride Liberal 1946–1958
  Bert Kelly Liberal 1958–1977
  Geoffrey Giles Liberal 1977–1983
  Neil Andrew Liberal 1983–2004
  David Fawcett Liberal 2004–2007
  Nick Champion Labor 2007–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2013: Wakefield
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Nick Champion 37,723 41.52 −6.35
Liberal Tom Zorich 34,425 37.89 +5.12
Family First Paul Coombe 5,436 5.98 −0.70
Greens Sherree Clay 4,683 5.15 −6.18
Palmer United Dino Musolino 3,890 4.28 +4.28
Independent Mark Aldridge 3,729 4.10 +4.10
Katter's Australian Tony Musolino 964 1.06 +1.06
Total formal votes 90,850 94.31 +0.38
Informal votes 5,479 5.69 −0.38
Turnout 96,329 93.11 −0.33
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Nick Champion 48,510 53.40 −7.13
Liberal Tom Zorich 42,340 46.60 +7.13
Labor hold Swing −7.13


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°14′53″S 138°37′05″E / 34.248°S 138.618°E / -34.248; 138.618