Division of Port Adelaide

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Port Adelaide
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of PORT ADELAIDE 2016.png
Division of Port Adelaide in South Australia, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1949
MP Mark Butler
Party Labor
Namesake Port Adelaide
Electors 113,342 (2016)
Area 181 km2 (69.9 sq mi)
Demographic Inner Metropolitan

The Division of Port Adelaide is an Australian electoral division in the state of South Australia. The 181 km² seat extends from St Kilda in the north to Grange Road and Findon in the south with part of Salisbury to the east. Suburbs include Alberton, Beverley, Birkenhead, Cheltenham, Findon, Kilkenny, Largs Bay, Mansfield Park, North Haven, Ottoway, Parafield Gardens, Paralowie, Pennington, Port Adelaide, Queenstown, Rosewater, Salisbury Downs, Semaphore, Woodville, West Croydon, and part of Seaton. The seat also includes Torrens Island and Garden Island.

The seat was named after the suburb of Port Adelaide, the working port of Adelaide. Before 1949, most of the seat had been part of Hindmarsh, which moved south as a result of Port Adelaide's creation. The seat was proclaimed at the redistribution of 11 May 1949, and was first contested at the 1949 federal election. For most of its history, it has been a comfortably safe Labor seat. The closest Labor has ever come to losing it was at the 1988 by-election, where Labor candidate Rod Sawford won on a 5.2 percent two-party margin. The two-party margin currently stands, after the 2016 vote, at 20.72 percent, making it the safest Labor seat in the state and one of the safest Labor seats in the nation. Port Adelaide remains the only electorate in South Australia to have voted Labor at every federal election in its existence.

The seat was pushed slightly northward in 2004 with the abolition of the other safe Labor seat in northern Adelaide, Bonython. A few southern portions of Bonython transferred to Port Adelaide, however the majority of Bonython was transferred to Wakefield which contributed to Wakefield's change from a rural safe Liberal seat to a hybrid urban-rural notional marginal Labor seat.

A notable curiosity in recent years was that in the 1998 and 2001 federal elections, the seat was the only one in Australia where a Communist Party candidate, Michael Perth, stood for election. This was the only occasion when the Liberal Party did not preference the One Nation Party last. He achieved about one percent of the vote on each occasion.

Sawford retired at the 2007 election, which saw South Australian Labor's historically safe seat easily won by the newly endorsed Labor candidate, unionist and former head of the Left state Labor faction Mark Butler.

At the 2016 election, as a result of the emergence of the Nick Xenophon Team, Butler became the first Labor candidate in 20 years, and only the second ever, to come up short of a majority on the primary vote. He easily won after preferences, with NXT pushing the Liberals into third place. While Port Adelaide remains the safest Labor seat in South Australia on two-party terms, Butler's primary vote was actually one percent lower than that of Amanda Rishworth in Kingston. Despite also falling short of a majority on the primary vote, Rishworth received the highest primary vote of South Australia's 11 seats, but remained the second safest Labor seat in South Australia on two-party terms. The presence of NXT candidates in all eleven state seats resulted in a suppressed major party primary vote.


Member Party Term
  Albert Thompson Labor 1949–1963
  Fred Birrell Labor 1963–1974
  Mick Young Labor 1974–1988
  Rod Sawford Labor 1988–2007
  Mark Butler Labor 2007–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2016: Port Adelaide[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labor Mark Butler 46,314 48.24 −2.34
Xenophon Michael Slattery 17,970 18.72 +18.72
Liberal Emma Flowerdew 17,884 18.63 −7.69
Greens Matthew Carey 6,683 6.96 −1.65
Family First Bruce Hambour 4,483 4.67 −2.85
Animal Justice Janine Clipstone 2,078 2.16 +2.16
Christian Democrats Jenalie Salt 597 0.62 +0.62
Total formal votes 96,009 94.19 +0.39
Informal votes 5,927 5.81 −0.39
Turnout 101,936 89.94 −2.23
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Mark Butler 67,119 69.91 +5.89
Liberal Emma Flowerdew 28,890 30.09 −5.89
Two-candidate-preferred result
Labor Mark Butler 62,274 64.86 +0.84
Xenophon Michael Slattery 33,735 35.14 +35.14
Labor hold Swing N/A

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Port Adelaide, SA, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°46′37″S 138°32′46″E / 34.777°S 138.546°E / -34.777; 138.546