Division of Wakefield
Australian House of Representatives Division
|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 rural 6,407 km² seat is really a hybrid rural-urban electorate that stretches from Salisbury in the outer northern suburbs of Adelaide at the south of the seat right through to the Clare Valley at the north of the seat, 135 km from Adelaide. It includes the suburbs of Elizabeth, Craigmore, Munno Para, and part of Salisbury, and the towns of Balaklava, Clare, Freeling, Gawler, Kapunda, Mallala, Riverton, Tarlee, Virginia, Williamstown, and part 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 on very different boundaries. Two of the seat's former members of particular note have been the inaugural Speaker of the House and two-time Premier of South Australia, Frederick Holder, and Howard government two-term Speaker Neil Andrew.
The redistribution for the 2004 election reduced the number of seats in South Australia by one, abolishing the Division of Bonython which had been in the outer northern suburbs of Adelaide. Before then, Wakefield was a rural seat that was held by the Liberal Party and its predecessors for all but five years from 1903 to 2004. For most of that time, it was a safely conservative seat. Labor only succeeded in winning it twice, at a a 1938 by-election and the 1943 federal election.
Prior to 2004, it stretched from the Yorke Peninsula in the west to the New South Wales border in the east, encompassing much of the eastern rural area of the state, including much of the Riverland. It covered the towns of Angaston, Balaklava, Barmera Berri, Gawler, Gumeracha, Kadina, Kapunda, Loxton, Minlaton, Moonta, Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Nuriootpa, Renmark, Tanunda, Waikerie, Wallaroo and Yorketown.
The seat's character was dramatically altered by the redistribution prior to 2004. It was pushed well to the south, losing much of its vast rural territory and absorbing some outer northern Adelaide suburbs that had previously been in the abolished comfortably safe Labor seat of Bonython. Most of the rural area went to Grey and Barker. Wakefield's current area of 6,407 km² is roughly a fifth of its pre-2004 extent of 31,841 km².
While Neil Andrew held the old rural Wakefield with a comfortably safe majority of 14.6 percent, the new hybrid urban-rural (though classed rural) Wakefield became a marginal Labor seat with a notional 1.3 percent two-party margin. 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 0.7 percent two-party margin, defeating the former member for Bonython, Martyn Evans. At the 2007 election, Nick Champion became only the third Labor member ever to win Wakefield, with a 6.6 percent two-party margin. At the 2010 election, Champion made it a safe Labor seat on paper by winning a 12 percent two-party margin. He became first Labor member to be re-elected to Wakefield, and the second to be elected for a full term. 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 at the 2013 election on a 3.4 percent two-party margin even as Labor lost government, marking the first time the non-Labor parties won government at an election without winning Wakefield. Champion increased his two-party margin at the 2016 election to 11 percent, again making Wakefield a safe Labor seat on paper.
|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|
|Family First||Marilyn Phillips||5,396||5.62||−0.36|
|Christian Democrats||Ralph Anderson||619||0.65||+0.65|
|Total formal votes||95,933||94.61||+0.30|
- Australian federal election, 2016
- Results of the Australian federal election, 2016 (South Australia)
- ABC profile for Wakefield: 2016
- Poll Bludger profile for Wakefield: 2016
- AEC profile for Wakefield: 2016
- SA boundary map, 2001: AEC
- SA boundary map, 1984: Atlas SA
- "Profile of the electoral division of Wakefield (SA)". Australian Electoral Commission. 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2015. (includes link to 2011 map)