Electoral district of Frome

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South AustraliaHouse of Assembly
Map of South Australia with electoral district of Frome highlighted
Electoral district of Frome (green) in South Australia
State South Australia
Dates current 1884–1902,
MP Geoff Brock
Party Independent
Namesake Edward Charles Frome
Electors 25,228 (2014)
Area 8,266 km2 (3,191.5 sq mi)
Demographic Rural
Coordinates 33°44′16″S 138°20′18″E / 33.73778°S 138.33833°E / -33.73778; 138.33833Coordinates: 33°44′16″S 138°20′18″E / 33.73778°S 138.33833°E / -33.73778; 138.33833

Frome is an electoral district of the House of Assembly in the Australian state of South Australia.[1] 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 seats of Pirie and Port Pirie have also historically existed.

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.[2] 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[edit]

First incarnation (1884–1902, two members)
Member1 Party Term Member2 Party Term
  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
  1896–1902   National League 1896–1902
Second incarnation (1938–1977)
Member Party Term
  Mick O'Halloran Labor 1938–1960
  Tom Casey Labor 1960–1970
  Ernest Allen Liberal and Country 1970–1974
  Liberal 1974–1977
Third incarnation (1993–present)
Member Party Term
  Rob Kerin Liberal 1993–2008
  Geoff Brock Independent 2009–present

Election results[edit]

South Australian state election, 2014: Frome[3][4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Geoff Brock 10,342 45.2 +10.1
Liberal Kendall Jackson 8,217 35.9 −2.7
Labor Marcus Connelly 2,598 11.3 −7.1
Family First Wendy Joyce 1,156 5.1 +1.9
Greens Rob Scott 578 2.5 −0.6
Total formal votes 22,891 97.6 +0.3
Informal votes 566 2.4 −0.3
Turnout 23,457 93.0 −1.8
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Kendall Jackson 60.8 +9.1
Labor Marcus Connelly 39.2 −9.1
Two-candidate-preferred result
Independent Geoff Brock 13,451 58.8 +2.1
Liberal Kendall Jackson 9,440 41.2 −2.1
Independent hold Swing +2.1