Division of Mayo

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Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Mayo 2013.png
Mayo (dark green) in the state of South Australia
Created 1984
MP Jamie Briggs
Party Liberal
Namesake Helen Mayo
Electors 100,519 (2013)
Area 9,315 km2 (3,596.5 sq mi)
Demographic Rural

The Division of Mayo is an Australian electoral division located in the East, South, South-East and South-West of Adelaide, South Australia. Established in South Australian redistribution of 3 September 1984, the division is named for Helen Mayo, a social activist and the first woman elected to an Australian University Council. The 9,315 km² seat covers an area from Springton in the North to Goolwa in the South and as far west as the outer eastern suburbs of Adelaide. It takes in the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, including the towns of Bridgewater, Crafers, Echunga, Gumeracha, Hahndorf, Langhorne Creek, Lobethal, Macclesfield, Mount Barker, Myponga, Oakbank, Stirling, Strathalbyn, Victor Harbor, Woodside, Yankalilla, and part of Birdwood.

At its creation, Mayo was a rural based electorate that stretched from the seaside town of Victor Harbor to the Adelaide Hills. Mayo was created as a Liberal seat on a notionally safe 12.3 percent two-party margin. Liberal Alexander Downer, fifth and last of the Downer family dynasty, won Mayo for the Liberals at the inaugural 1984 election and would hold the seat for 24 years before retiring from politics. Mayo was then held thereafter by Jamie Briggs since the 2008 Mayo by-election.

At the 1990 election, the Australian Democrats, who traditionally polled better in the area covered by Mayo than anywhere else in Australia, first revealed themselves as a real contender in that seat, polling a primary vote of 21.3 percent from an increase of 11.7 percent, coming third by just two percent of the primary vote less than Labor. Then-Democrats leader Janine Haines chose to contest the neighbouring Division of Kingston at the 1990 election, obtaining a 26.4 percent primary vote, but came third well behind the Liberals, with sitting Labor member Gordon Bilney retaining the seat. It was speculated at the time that if the high-profile Haines had contested Mayo instead, she may have won enough of the vote to win the seat.

A redistribution following the 1990 election shifted Mayo to an exclusively Hills based seat, reducing the Liberal hold by two percent to a notionally fairly safe 9.6 two-party margin, but was won at forthcoming elections on safe margins. At the 1998 election however, high-profile Democrats candidate John Schumann polled a primary vote of 22.4 percent. While less than Labor by one percent, the Democrats overtook them with preferences from four lower-placed candidates to take second place, ending up with a two-candidate vote of 48.3 percent, just 1.7 percent short of taking the seat, transforming Mayo in to a marginal seat for the first time, though edging a fairly safe to safe Liberal seat on two-party terms.

Another redistribution following the 1998 election made Mayo a notionally safe two-party Liberal seat with an extra one percent added to the two-party margin. Downer would be comfortably returned in Mayo until his political retirement. At the 2001 election, Labor returned to second place after preferences. At the 2004 election, independent candidate Brian Deegan polled a 15 percent primary vote, overtook Labor after preferences, and polled a 38.2 percent two-candidate vote. On two-party terms, Downer recorded his worst result at the 2007 election with a 7.1 percent two-party margin from a 6.5 percent two-party swing, transforming Mayo in to a fairly safe two-party seat for the first time.

Downer retired from politics triggering a 2008 Mayo by-election. Labor opted not to run a candidate. The seat was retained by Liberal candidate Jamie Briggs on a three percent two-candidate margin against the Greens, once again transforming Mayo in to a marginal seat. At the 2010 election, the seat was won by the Liberals on a fairly safe two-party margin for only the second time, before once again becoming a safe Liberal seat at the 2013 election.

South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon confirmed in December 2014 that by mid-2015 the Nick Xenophon Team party would announce candidates in the South Australian Liberal seats of Hindmarsh, Sturt and Mayo, along with seats in all states and territories, and preference against the government in the upper house, at the next federal election, with Xenophon citing the government's ambiguity on the Collins class submarine replacement project as motivation.[1]


Member Party Term
  Alexander Downer Liberal 1984–2008
  Jamie Briggs Liberal 2008–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2013: Mayo
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Jamie Briggs 49,195 53.82 +6.94
Labor Norah Fahy 19,325 21.14 −4.05
Greens Ian Grosser 12,931 14.15 −2.86
Family First Bruce Hicks 6,525 7.14 +1.39
Palmer United Bikkar Singh Brar 3,434 3.76 +3.76
Total formal votes 91,410 96.13 +0.56
Informal votes 3,684 3.87 −0.56
Turnout 95,094 94.60 +0.14
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Jamie Briggs 57,141 62.51 +5.22
Labor Norah Fahy 34,269 37.49 −5.22
Liberal hold Swing +5.22



External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°31′16″S 138°01′44″E / 35.521°S 138.029°E / -35.521; 138.029