Electoral district of Mount Gambier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mount Gambier
South AustraliaHouse of Assembly
Map of South Australia with electoral district of Mount Gambier highlighted
Electoral district of Mount Gambier (green) in South Australia
StateSouth Australia
Dates current1938–1993, 2002–present
MPTroy Bell
NamesakeMount Gambier, South Australia
Electors24,768 (2018)
Area1,940 km2 (749.0 sq mi)
Coordinates37°48′37″S 140°38′4″E / 37.81028°S 140.63444°E / -37.81028; 140.63444Coordinates: 37°48′37″S 140°38′4″E / 37.81028°S 140.63444°E / -37.81028; 140.63444
Electorates around Mount Gambier:
MacKillop MacKillop Victoria
Southern Ocean Mount Gambier Victoria
Southern Ocean Southern Ocean Southern Ocean
Electoral District map[1]

Mount Gambier is a single-member electoral district for the South Australian House of Assembly. It covers the far south-east corner of the state containing the City of Mount Gambier and District Council of Grant local government areas. It is centred on the city and extinct volcano of Mount Gambier.


The electorate was created in the 1936 redistribution, taking effect at the 1938 election,[2] but the name was not used between the 1993 and 2002 elections – the area was covered by the electoral district of Gordon during that time. It was one of the few country electoral districts that had never been held by the Liberal and Country League during the Playmander era. It was held by long-serving independent John Fletcher for the first two decades of its existence. Labor took the electorate at a 1958 by-election, and it was usually a marginal to fairly safe Labor electorate from then until the Liberals won it at the 1975 election on a 15.5 percent swing. Mount Gambier was one of several rural electorates where Labor suffered large swings in that election–notably 13.5 percent in Chaffey and 16.4 percent in Millicent. Labor has only come reasonably close to retaking the seat once since then, in 1982.

The electorate, both in its current incarnation and as Gordon, has a recent history of electing independent MPs. It was held between 2002 and 2010 by Rory McEwen, a former Liberal who won as an independent in Gordon at the 1997 election after losing a preselection battle to succeed longtime Liberal member Harold Allison. While he did not put Labor into office after the 2002 election, he held various ministerial portfolios in the Rann Labor government from nine months after the election until his retirement at the 2010 election.

McEwen was succeeded by another independent, Don Pegler, who narrowly defeated the Liberal candidate on a 0.4 percent two-candidate preferred margin. Pegler was defeated by Liberal candidate Troy Bell at the 2014 election, who also became an independent in 2017.

In the lead up to the 2018 election, a ReachTEL poll of 655 voters in the electorate was conducted on 13 February 2018, a month before the election. The results of the poll unexpectedly showed that Bell, who was running as an independent candidate, would easily retain the electorate after preferences, and was strongly leading with 36 percent of the primary vote. The Liberals were on 28.5 percent (−23.3), Labor was on 13 percent (+2.1), new SA Best was on 11 percent, others were collectively on 6 percent, with the remaining 5 percent undecided.[3] The election results reflected the poll, and Bell was comfortably returned as the member.[4]

Members for Mount Gambier[edit]

First incarnation (1938–1993)
Member Party Term
  John Fletcher Independent 1938–1958
  Ron Ralston Labor 1958–1962
  Allan Burdon Labor 1962–1975
  Harold Allison Liberal 1975–1993
Second incarnation (2002–present)
Member Party Term
  Rory McEwen Independent 2002–2010
  Don Pegler Independent 2010–2014
  Troy Bell Liberal 2014–2017
  Independent 2017–present

Election results[edit]

2018 South Australian state election: Mount Gambier[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Troy Bell 8,314 38.7 +38.7
Liberal Craig Marsh 5,163 24.0 −27.7
SA-Best Kate Amoroso 3,385 15.8 +15.8
Labor Isabel Scriven 2,118 9.9 −1.0
Independent Richard Sage 1,250 5.8 +5.8
Greens Gavin Clarke 665 3.1 −1.7
Conservatives Gregg Bisset 464 2.2 −2.9
Dignity Lance Jones 121 0.6 +0.6
Total formal votes 21,480 94.4 −2.8
Informal votes 1,266 5.6 +2.8
Turnout 22,746 91.8 +2.5
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Craig Marsh 14,705 68.5 −2.9
Labor Isabel Scriven 6,775 31.5 +2.9
Two-candidate-preferred result
Independent Troy Bell 12,946 60.3 +60.3
Liberal Craig Marsh 8,534 39.7 −31.7
Independent gain from Liberal Swing N/A


  1. ^ Electoral District of Mount Gambier (Map). Electoral Commission of South Australia. 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Statistical Record of the Legislature, 1836 – 2007" (PDF). Parliament of South Australia. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  3. ^ Poll shows ex-Liberal MP Troy Bell facing a fraud charges will win Mount Gambier seat at March election: The Advertiser 14 February 2018
  4. ^ a b State Election Results – District Results for Mount Gambier, ECSA.