Electoral district of Colton

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South AustraliaHouse of Assembly
Map of Adelaide, South Australia with the electoral district of Colton highlighted
Electoral district of Colton (green) in the Greater Adelaide area
State South Australia
Created 1993
MP Paul Caica
Party Australian Labor Party (SA)
Namesake Mary Colton
Electors 25,512 (2014)
Area 15.5 km2 (6.0 sq mi)
Demographic Metropolitan
Coordinates 34°54′48″S 138°30′40″E / 34.91333°S 138.51111°E / -34.91333; 138.51111Coordinates: 34°54′48″S 138°30′40″E / 34.91333°S 138.51111°E / -34.91333; 138.51111

Colton is an electoral district of the House of Assembly in the Australian state of South Australia. It is a 15.5 km² urban electorate on Adelaide's western beaches, taking in the suburbs of Fulham, Fulham Gardens, Henley Beach, Henley Beach South, Kidman Park as well as parts of Grange, Lockleys and Seaton.


The electoral district is named after Mary Colton, who arrived in Adelaide in 1839 and worked for the welfare of women and children. She was the President of the Women's Suffrage League, and lived to see the introduction of equal voting rights for women in 1895.

Colton was created to replace the abolished seat of Henley Beach in the 1991 electoral distribution as a notionally marginal Liberal seat. It was first contested at the 1993 election, where it was won in a large swing to the Liberals by former Adelaide City Council Lord Mayor Steve Condous, recording a 60.5 percent two-party vote from a 9.5 percent two-party swing. This was reduced at the 1997 election to 54 percent, and upon Condous' retirement at the 2002 election, it was won by Paul Caica for Labor with a 54.6 percent two-party vote, which increased to 66.3 percent at the 2006 election. This was reduced to 54 percent at the 2010 election and 51.5 percent at the 2014 election.

Caica announced in February 2017 that he would be retiring from parliament as of the 2018 election.[1]

Bellwether electorate[edit]

Colton could be considered South Australia's state bellwether seat as it is the only current lower house seat in parliament to have been consistently won by the party to form government. Only Colton and Adelaide changed from Liberal to Labor at the 2002 election when Labor won government from the Liberals, with Adelaide won by the Liberals in 2010. On 2014 election results and a uniform swing, Colton would have been the Liberal's 24th seat to form majority government. The previous, abolished seat of Henley Beach was also won by the government of the day since its creation at the 1970 election. Colton/Henley Beach as the bellwether for decades of elections also concurrently decided the result in the one-seat parliamentary majority outcomes of 1975, 1989, 2002 and 2014.

Despite the long bellwether history, the 2016 redistribution ahead of the 2018 election redistributed Colton from a 1.5 percent Labor seat to a notional 3.7 percent Liberal seat.[2]

Members for Colton[edit]

Member Party Term
  Steve Condous Liberal 1993–2002
  Paul Caica Labor 2002–present

Election results[edit]

South Australian state election, 2014: Colton[3][4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labor Paul Caica 10,394 44.8 −1.5
Liberal Joe Barry 10,363 44.7 +4.7
Greens Andrew Payne 1,584 6.8 −1.4
Family First Kym McKay 859 3.7 +0.2
Total formal votes 23,200 97.3 +1.0
Informal votes 656 2.7 −1.0
Turnout 23,856 93.5 −0.1
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Paul Caica 11,938 51.5 −2.2
Liberal Joe Barry 11,262 48.5 +2.2
Labor hold Swing −2.2