Division of Adelaide

The Division of Adelaide is an Australian electoral division in South Australia and is named for the city of Adelaide, South Australia's capital.

Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Adelaide 2019.png
Division of Adelaide in South Australia, as of the 2019 federal election.
MPSteve Georganas
Electors121,606 (2019)
Area76 km2 (29.3 sq mi)
DemographicInner Metropolitan

At the 2016 federal election, the electorate covered 76 km², is centred on the Adelaide city centre and spanning from Grand Junction Road in the north to Cross Road in the south and from Portrush Road in the east to Marion and Holbrooks Road in the west, taking in suburbs including Ashford, Enfield, Goodwood, Kent Town, Keswick, Kilburn, Mansfield Park, Maylands, Northgate, Norwood, Parkside, Prospect, Rose Park, St Peters, Toorak Gardens, Torrensville, Thebarton, Unley and Walkerville.


The city of Adelaide, the division's namesake

The division of Adelaide was one of seven single-member seats established when the seven-member statewide Division of South Australia was abolished following the inaugural 1901 election. For the first 40 years after Federation, it was one of the few Federation seats in the state that regularly changed hands between the Australian Labor Party and the conservative parties. Despite the bellwether-like swinging tendency, unusually the only time Adelaide was obtained by an incoming government was in 1931.

However, Labor held it for all but six years from 1943 to 1993, including a 23-year Labor hold during the Robert Menzies era. For most of the time from 1943 to 1987, it was a fairly safe Labor seat. Labor's hold on the seat loosened slightly in the late 1980s due to pro-Liberal demographic change; it was briefly lost to the Liberals at a 1988 by-election, but regained in 1990.

Very similar to the modern-day state-level electoral district of Adelaide, historically the federal-level Division of Adelaide covered only the Adelaide city centre and a few nearby inner north suburbs up to Regency Road in Prospect for most of its first century.[1][2]

Later yearsEdit

A pre-1993 boundary redistribution pushed the seat to the south,[1][2] adding Liberal-friendly suburbs to the south of the Adelaide city centre for the first time while removing Labor suburbs in the north-east, resulting in Liberal Trish Worth holding the seat for eleven years, albeit on slender margins.

Kate Ellis regained Adelaide for Labor in 2004 on a 1.3 percent margin from a two percent two-party swing. Ellis increased her margin to 8.5 percent in 2007, before falling to 7.7 percent in 2010 and to 4.0 percent in 2013, before increasing to 4.7 percent in 2016.

In 2016, the major party vote was suppressed in all eleven state seats in the presence of Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) candidates in all eleven South Australian seats. Though Labor picked up a two-party swing in all eleven, the NXT presence produced a result where Kingston ended up as the only South Australian seat to record an increase, however small, to the primary vote of a particular major party. Additionally, Adelaide was the only seat of the state's eleven where the Greens vote increased, while also producing both the highest Green vote and the lowest NXT vote in the state. This is in contrast to 2007 where the Xenophon Senate ticket polled higher in Adelaide than in most other seats.[3]

2018 redistribution and next electionEdit

Labor incumbent Kate Ellis announced in March 2017 that she would step down from the Labor shadow cabinet in the following months and would not re-contest her seat at the end of the parliamentary term.[4] The 2018 South Australian federal redistribution saw the seat of Adelaide lose all of its inner-eastern suburbs and a couple of its southern suburbs, while gaining a long strip of western suburbs spanning the entire north-south length of the seat. These changes saw the Labor margin increase significantly from 4.7 percent to a notional 9.0 percent.[5] In July 2018, Steve Georganas, the Labor member for neighbouring Hindmarsh, sought and won preselection for Adelaide at the 2019 election, yielding his former seat to fellow Labor MP Mark Butler, the member for abolished Port Adelaide.[6]


Image Member Party Term Notes
    Charles Kingston
Protectionist 16 December 1903
11 May 1908
Previously held the Division of South Australia. Died in office
    Ernest Roberts
Labor 13 June 1908
2 December 1913
Previously held the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Gladstone. Served as minister under Fisher. Died in office
    George Edwin Yates
Labor 10 January 1914
13 December 1919
Lost seat
    Reginald Blundell
Nationalist 13 December 1919
16 December 1922
Previously held the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Adelaide. Lost seat
    George Edwin Yates
Labor 16 December 1922
19 December 1931
Lost seat
    Fred Stacey
United Australia 19 December 1931
21 August 1943
Lost seat
    Cyril Chambers
Labor 21 August 1943
19 September 1957
Served as minister under Chifley. Retired
  Independent 19 September 1957 –
16 June 1958
  Labor 16 June 1958 –
14 October 1958
    Joe Sexton
Labor 22 November 1958
26 November 1966
Lost seat
    Andrew Jones
Liberal 26 November 1966
25 October 1969
Lost seat
    Chris Hurford
Labor 25 October 1969
31 December 1987
Served as minister under Hawke. Resigned in order to become Australian Consul-General in New York
    Mike Pratt
Liberal 6 February 1988
24 March 1990
Lost seat
    Bob Catley
Labor 24 March 1990
13 March 1993
Lost seat
    Trish Worth
Liberal 13 March 1993
9 October 2004
Lost seat
    Kate Ellis
Labor 9 October 2004
11 April 2019
Served as minister under Rudd and Gillard. Retired
    Steve Georganas
Labor 18 May 2019
Previously held the Division of Hindmarsh. Incumbent

Election resultsEdit

2019 Australian federal election: Adelaide[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Steve Georganas 43,163 40.27 +1.20
Liberal Shaun Osborn 38,753 36.16 +3.60
Greens Barbara Pocock 16,853 15.72 +5.75
United Australia Antonio Rea 3,479 3.25 +3.25
Animal Justice Deanna Kangas 2,894 2.70 +1.23
Democrats Chris James 2,039 1.90 +1.90
Total formal votes 107,181 96.30 +0.18
Informal votes 4,118 3.70 −0.18
Turnout 111,299 91.52 +1.73
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Steve Georganas 62,362 58.18 −0.12
Liberal Shaun Osborn 44,819 41.82 +0.12
Labor hold Swing −0.12



  1. ^ a b ABC profile for Adelaide: 2013
  2. ^ a b Historic electoral maps: Australian election statistics - compiled by multiple sources
  3. ^ 2007 SA Senate vote by seat: AEC
  4. ^ "Kate Ellis, Labor frontbencher, to quit politics at next federal election". ABC News. Australia. 9 March 2017.
  5. ^ Green, Antony. "2017-18 Federal Redistribution - South Australia". ABC News. Australia.
  6. ^ "Steve Georganas and Mark Butler composite". ABC News. Australia. 18 July 2018.
  7. ^ Adelaide, SA, Tally Room 2019, Australian Electoral Commission.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 34°54′25″S 138°36′07″E / 34.907°S 138.602°E / -34.907; 138.602