|Member of the Legislative Council|
2 May 2006
Wade was a ministerial adviser to former state minister Dr Michael Armitage before working in the water industry. Having decided to make a move into politics himself, he nominated for the party's Legislative Council ticket for the 2006 state election with the support of the party's moderate faction. It had been predicted that as a moderate he would only receive the distinctly unwinnable seventh position, but in an upset result, he instead took the theoretically winnable fifth position. However, the party suffered a particularly bad defeat at the election, and the party was only able to win three seats.
Wade received a second chance soon after the election, however, when the Liberal Party opened nominations for a casual vacancy that had occurred prior to the election when former shadow minister Angus Redford resigned in order to make an unsuccessful bid to shift to the House of Assembly to contest the electoral district of Bright after Wayne Matthew resigned prior to the 2006 election. He emerged as the leading moderate contender for the position, challenging conservative Tim Keynes, who had occupied the fourth position on the ticket at the election and Joe Scalzi, a defeated Member of the House of Assembly. Keynes was widely seen as the favourite, particularly after the victory of conservative Cory Bernardi in a vote to fill a Senate vacancy in March, but in an upset result, Wade won 112-84-32 respectively in the first round of balloting, and 134-96 in the second. He was subsequently appointed to the vacancy on May 2, the first sitting day of the new parliament, and served out the remaining four years of Redford's term.
On 18 April 2007, within a year of the election, Wade was appointed to the Shadow Ministry. Following a reshuffle in July 2009, Wade served as Shadow Minister for Disability Services, Housing, Families and Communities, Social Inclusion and Assisting the Shadow Attorney-General.
Wade was elected from second position on the Liberal ticket at the 2010 state election. A law graduate who has never practiced law, Wade was appointed Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Justice in April 2010.