Division of Wakefield
Australian House of Representatives Division
Wakefield (dark green) in the state of South Australia
|Namesake||Edward Gibbon Wakefield|
|Area||6,407 km2 (2,473.8 sq mi)|
The Division of Wakefield is an Australian electoral division in the state of South Australia. The 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 have been Speaker of the House, Neil Andrew (1998–2004) and the seat's first member Hon Sir Frederick Holder, who was the inaugural speaker as well as two time Premier of South Australia.
Before the redistribution for the 2004 election, Wakefield was a mostly rural seat that was usually safe for the Liberal Party and its successors. At the turn of the century, it stretched from Yorke Peninsula in the west to the state border in the east, including the Barossa Valley and Gawler areas, as well as much of the Riverland. On these boundaries, it was in the hands of a conservative party for all but five years from 1903 to 2004. Labor only succeeded in winning it twice, and only once in a general election.
The seat's character was dramatically altered by the 2004 redistribution, when it absorbed the outer northern Adelaide suburbs. Much of this area had been part of the safe Labor seat of Bonython, which had been abolished. Most of the rural area went to Grey and Barker. While the old Wakefield was a comfortably safe Liberal seat with a majority of 14.6 percent, the new Wakefield was notionally a marginal Labor seat with a majority of 1.3 percent. 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 two-party vote of 50.7 percent, defeating the former member for Bonython, Martyn Evans. In 2007 Nick Champion became only the third Labor member ever to win Wakefield, with a 56.6 percent two-party vote. In 2010, Champion technically made it a safe Labor seat by winning 62 percent of the two-party vote, 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 in 2013 on a 53.4 percent two-party vote even as Labor lost government, marking only the second time the non-Labor parties have been in government without holding Wakefield.
|Sir Frederick Holder||Independent||1903–1909|
|Richard Foster||Commonwealth Liberal||1909–1917|
|Jack Duncan-Hughes||United Australia||1940–1943|
|(Sir) Philip McBride||Liberal||1946–1958|
|Australian federal election, 2013: Wakefield|
|Family First||Paul Coombe||5,436||5.98||−0.70|
|Palmer United||Dino Musolino||3,890||4.28||+4.28|
|Katter's Australian||Tony Musolino||964||1.06||+1.06|
|Total formal votes||90,850||94.31||+0.38|
- ABC profile for Wakefield: 2013
- AEC profile for Wakefield: 2013
- Poll Bludger profile for Wakefield: 2013