Electoral district of Frome
South Australia—House of Assembly
Electoral district of Frome (green) in South Australia
|Namesake||Edward Charles Frome|
|Area||8,266 km2 (3,191.5 sq mi)|
Frome is an electoral district of the House of Assembly in the Australian state of South Australia. It is named after Edward Charles Frome, the third surveyor-general of South Australia. The electorate is seated in the industrial city of Port Pirie and the agriculture areas of Clare and Gilbert Valleys. It covers a total of 8,266 km² and takes in the towns of Auburn, Clare, Crystal Brook, Mintaro, Port Broughton, Port Pirie, Saddleworth, Snowtown and Riverton.
Frome has existed in three incarnations throughout the history of the House of Assembly: as a multi-member marginal electorate from 1884 to 1902, as a single member electorate from 1938 to 1977, and as a marginal to moderately safe seat for the Liberal Party of Australia since 1993.
The first incarnation was, like the rest of the state, independent-held until the development of the party system until in the 1890s. The two seats were split evenly with a conservative and a liberal member from 1890 until the seat's abolition in 1902.
The second incarnation began in 1938 after the introduction of the Playmander. It was based around the area north of Port Pirie, and was originally a Labor stronghold. The seat was won by Mick O'Halloran, who served as Opposition Leader from 1949 until his death in 1960. After the Playmander was significantly diluted by the 1970 electoral reforms, Frome was pushed into more conservative-leaning rural areas around Port Pirie, turning it into a notional Liberal and Country League seat. O'Halloran's successor, Tom Casey, believed this made Frome impossible to hold and successfully transferred to the Legislative Council. The LCL, which later became the South Australia division of the Liberal Party, won the seat at the 1970 state election, and went on to hold Frome until the abolition of the seat in 1977.
The third and current incarnation was created at the 1991 redistribution as a marginal Liberal seat based on Port Pirie. The seat was first contested at the 1993 election. Despite the presence of Port Pirie, a Labor stronghold for more than a century, Labor has never won this incarnation due to the heavy Liberal tilt of the surrounding rural area. Labor did however win 50.1 percent of the two-party vote at the 2010 election, but the seat was retained by incumbent independent Geoff Brock.
The seat's first member, Rob Kerin, was elected in the massive Liberal landslide of 1993. Kerin went on to become Premier of South Australia in 2001, and became Leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2005 after the Liberals narrowly lost the 2002 state election. Kerin chose to retire in November 2008, which triggered a January 2009 by-election. The seat was won by independent Geoff Brock, the popular mayor of Port Pirie Regional Council, after a very close preference contest in which Brock narrowly edged the Labor candidate for second place behind the Liberals. Brock received sufficient preferences from the eliminated Labor candidate to prevail over the Liberal candidate by over 600 votes, or 51.7 percent of the two-candidate vote. He increased his primary and two-candidate vote significantly at the 2010 election. Labor won 50.1 percent of the "traditional" two-party vote at this election.
The 2012 redistribution saw the traditional two-party-preferred margin in Frome go from 0.1 percent Labor to 1.7 percent Liberal. Brock retained the seat at the 2014 election with a slight uptick in his margin, while the Liberals won 60.8 percent of the "traditional" two-party vote. His decision to back a Labor minority government allowed Labor to win a record fourth consecutive four-year term in government.
Members for Frome
|First incarnation (1884–1902, two members)|
|Ebenezer Ward||1884–1890||William Copley||1884–1887|
|Laurence O'Loughlin||1890–1891||Clement Giles||1887–1891|
|Defence League||1891–1896||Defence League||1891–1896|
|Second incarnation (1938–1977)|
|Ernest Allen||Liberal and Country||1970–1974|
|Third incarnation (1993–present)|
|Family First||Wendy Joyce||1,156||5.1||+1.9|
|Total formal votes||22,891||97.6||+0.3|
- "Statistical Record of the Legislature 1836 to 2009" (PDF). Parliament of South Australia.
- "Final redistribution report". Electoral Commission of South Australia.
- 2014 State Election Results – Frome, ECSA.
- 2014 State Election Results – Frome, ABC.
- 2014 SA election pendulum: Antony Green ABC