Electoral district of Giles

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South AustraliaHouse of Assembly
Map of South Australia with electoral district of Giles highlighted
Electoral district of Giles (green) in South Australia
State South Australia
Created 1993
MP Eddie Hughes
Party Australian Labor Party (SA)
Namesake Ernest Giles
Electors 22,712 (2014)
Area 493,365 km2 (190,489.3 sq mi)
Demographic Rural
Coordinates 29°39′S 133°52′E / 29.650°S 133.867°E / -29.650; 133.867Coordinates: 29°39′S 133°52′E / 29.650°S 133.867°E / -29.650; 133.867

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.

Breuer made the seat fairly secure for Labor at subsequent elections before retiring from politics at the 2014 election, with Labor candidate Eddie Hughes retaining the seat.

Members for Giles[edit]

Member Party Term
  Frank Blevins Labor 1993–1997
  Lyn Breuer Labor 1997–2014
  Eddie Hughes Labor 2014–present

Election results[edit]

South Australian state election, 2014: Giles[1][2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labor Eddie Hughes 9,800 51.4 −1.2
Liberal Bernadette Abraham 7,134 37.4 +8.1
Family First Cheryl Kaminski 1,196 6.3 +0.3
Greens Alison Sentance 942 4.9 −7.2
Total formal votes 19,072 97.0 +0.6
Informal votes 581 3.0 −0.6
Turnout 19,653 86.5 −1.6
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Eddie Hughes 10,877 57.0 −4.9
Liberal Bernadette Abraham 8,195 43.0 +4.9
Labor hold Swing −4.9