Division of Boothby

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Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of BOOTHBY 2016.png
Division of Boothby in South Australia, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1903
MP Nicolle Flint
Party Liberal
Namesake William Boothby
Electors 107,323 (2016)
Area 130 km2 (50.2 sq mi)
Demographic Outer Metropolitan

The Division of Boothby is an Australian electoral division in South Australia. The division was one of the seven established when the former Division of South Australia was redistributed on 2 October 1903 and is named for William Boothby (1829–1903), the Returning Officer for the first federal election.[1]

The 130 km² seat currently extends from Clarence Gardens and Urrbrae in the north to Marino and part of Happy Valley in the south, including the suburbs of Aberfoyle Park, Belair, Blackwood, Brighton, Daw Park, Eden Hills, Flagstaff Hill, Marion, Mitcham, Seacliff, St Marys and Panorama.


Before 1949 and the creation of the Division of Sturt, Boothby covered most of the southern and eastern suburbs of Adelaide, and changed hands several times between the Liberal Party of Australia (and its predecessors) and the Australian Labor Party. The 1949 expansion of parliament saw parts of the southern portion transferred to the newly created Division of Kingston and parts of the eastern portion transferred to the newly created Division of Sturt. The redistribution prior to the 1949 election saw Boothby change from a marginal Labor seat on a 1.8 percent two-party margin to a marginal Liberal seat on a two percent two-party margin. However, as part of the massive Liberal victory in the 1949 election, the Liberals picked up a 9.3 percent two-party swing, turning it into a safe seat in one stroke, and has been a fairly safe to safe Liberal seat ever since.

There was only one substantial redistribution in the past few decades, when Boothby absorbed parts of the abolished Division of Hawker prior to the 1993 election. This cut the Liberal margin by more than half, from a safe 10.7 two-party margin to a marginal notional 4.5 percent two-party margin. However, the Liberals won the seat on a fairly safe 7.8 percent two-party margin. Today Boothby extends from Mitcham and Belair in the east to Brighton and Seacliff in the west.[2]

At the 2004 election, despite a solid national two-party swing and vote to the Liberals, Boothby became a marginal Liberal seat for the first time in over half a century, with Labor's Chloë Fox reducing the Liberals to a marginal 5.4 percent two-party margin. Labor's Nicole Cornes reduced the Liberals to a marginal 2.9 percent two-party margin at the 2007 election, while at the 2010 election Labor's Annabel Digance reduced the Liberals to just a 0.75 percent two-party margin (638 votes), which made Boothby the most marginal seat in South Australia. However, Boothby became a fairly safe Liberal seat again at the 2013 election.

Boothby's most prominent members were Sir John McLeay, who was Speaker 1956-66, his son John, Jr., a minister in the Fraser government, and former state premier Steele Hall.

Boothby has been held by backbencher Andrew Southcott since the 1996 election. In 2015, Southcott announced his retirement from parliament to take effect at the 2016 federal election. The Liberals preselected doctoral student and newspaper columnist Nicolle Flint.[3] Labor preselected 2015 Davenport state by-election candidate Mark Ward.[4] The Nick Xenophon Team announced Mitcham councillor Karen Hockley as their candidate.[5] ABC psephologist Antony Green's 2016 federal election guide for South Australia states NXT has a "strong chance of winning lower house seats and three or four Senate seats".[6] Flint won the contest.[7]


Member Party Term
  Lee Batchelor Labour 1903–1911
  David Gordon Commonwealth Liberal 1911–1913
  George Dankel Labor 1913–1916
  National Labor 1916–1917
  Nationalist 1917–1917
  William Story Nationalist 1917–1922
  Jack Duncan-Hughes Liberal Union 1922–1925
  Nationalist 1925–1928
  John Price Labor 1928–1931
  United Australia 1931–1941
  Grenfell Price United Australia 1941–1943
  Thomas Sheehy Labor 1943–1949
  (Sir) John McLeay Liberal 1949–1966
  John McLeay Liberal 1966–1981
  Steele Hall Liberal 1981–1996
  Andrew Southcott Liberal 1996–2016
  Nicolle Flint Liberal 2016–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2016: Boothby
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Nicolle Flint 38,776 41.37 -8.98
Labor Mark Ward 22,956 24.49 −6.28
Xenophon Karen Hockley 19,357 20.65 +20.65
Greens Jane Bange 7,803 8.32 −3.65
Family First Gary Wheatcroft 2,425 2.59 -1.32
Animal Justice Evelyn Carroll 1,323 1.41 +1.41
Independent Jamie Armfield 662 0.71 +0.71
Independent Robert De Jonge 431 0.46 +0.46
Total formal votes 93,733 95.64 -0.88
Informal votes 4,270 4.36 +0.88
Turnout 98,003
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Andrew Southcott 50,260 53.62 -3.50
Labor Mark Ward 43,473 46.38 +3.50
Liberal hold Swing -3.50

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Coordinates: 35°00′43″S 138°35′46″E / 35.012°S 138.596°E / -35.012; 138.596