Electoral district of Giles
South Australia—House of Assembly
Electoral district of Giles (green) in South Australia
|Party||Australian Labor Party (SA)|
|Area||493,365 km2 (190,489.3 sq mi)|
Giles is an electoral district of the House of Assembly in the Australian state of South Australia. The largest electorate in the state, named after explorer Ernest Giles, covers a 493,365 km² swathe of South Australian outback. Its main population centre is the industrial town of Whyalla on the far south-east border of the seat which represents half of the seat's voters. The remaining half covers significant areas of pastoral leases and Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal land stretching to the Western Australian and Northern Territory borders, taking in the remote towns of Andamooka, Coober Pedy, Hawker, Iron Knob, Kimba, Quorn, Roxby Downs and Woomera. Giles also has a far north mobile booth.
Giles was created at the 1991 electoral redistribution to replace the abolished seat of Whyalla. It covered an area that had traditionally been one of the few country areas where Labor consistently did well. Support for the party was particularly strong in the city of Whyalla, which had been a Labor bastion for the better part of the 20th century. Labor also had longstanding support in remote mining towns and indigenous communities. Sitting Labor MP for Whyalla and incumbent government minister Frank Blevins won his seat at the 1989 election with a safe 10.9 percent two-party margin.
However, upon the creation of Giles, Labor's two-party margin was halved to a notionally marginal 5.2 percent. The seat became even more marginal at the 1993 election landslide, as Blevins saw his margin cut in half to 2.4 percent. Giles was the only rural seat retained by Labor in an election that not only saw Labor cut down to only 10 seats total, but also saw permanent swings away from Labor in most of country South Australia. Giles would be the only rural Labor-held seat until Labor took Light off the Liberals at the 2006 election landslide; Light has been in Labor hands ever since.
At the 1997 election Giles was massively expanded beyond just Whyalla, stretching to the Western Australia and Northern Territory borders, taking in the western half of the abolished seat of Eyre, with the eastern half going to the Port Augusta-based seat of Stuart. At this election, Blevins retired, and his successor, Lyn Breuer, picked up a large swing, turning Giles into a safe Labor seat once again.
Members for Giles
|Family First||Cheryl Kaminski||1,196||6.3||+0.3|
|Total formal votes||19,072||97.0||+0.6|