Division of Boothby

The Division of Boothby is an Australian electoral division in South Australia. The division was one of the seven established when the former Division of South Australia was redistributed on 2 October 1903 and is named after William Boothby (1829–1903), the Returning Officer for the first federal election.[1]

Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Boothby 2019.png
Division of Boothby in South Australia, as of the 2019 federal election.
MPNicolle Flint
NamesakeWilliam Boothby
Electors123,969 (2019)
Area130 km2 (50.2 sq mi)
DemographicOuter Metropolitan

At the 2016 federal election, the seat covered 130 km², extending from Clarence Gardens and Urrbrae in the north to Marino and part of Happy Valley in the south, including the suburbs of Belair, Blackwood, Brighton, Daw Park, Eden Hills, Marion, Mitcham, Seacliff, St Marys and Panorama.


William Boothby, the division's namesake

Before 1949 and the creation of the Division of Sturt, Boothby covered most of the southern and eastern suburbs of Adelaide. For much of the first half-century after Federation, it was one of only three seats based on the capital, the others being Adelaide and Hindmarsh. The mostly rural seat of Barker was then considered a "hybrid urban-rural" seat, stretching all the way from the southern tip of South Australia at least as far as Glenelg and the Holdfast Bay area, and at times even stretched as far as the western metropolitan suburbs of Keswick and Henley Beach.

For most of the first half-century after Federation, Boothby was a marginal seat that changed hands several times between the Liberal Party of Australia (and its predecessors) and the Australian Labor Party. The 1949 expansion of parliament saw parts of the southern portion transferred to the newly created Division of Kingston and parts of the eastern portion transferred to the newly created Sturt. This saw Boothby change from a marginal Labor seat on a 1.8 percent two-party margin to a marginal Liberal seat on a two percent two-party margin. However, as part of the massive Liberal victory in the 1949 election, the Liberals picked up a 9.3 percent two-party swing, turning it into a safe Liberal seat in one stroke. The Liberals have held the seat ever since, and for much of the next half-century it was a fairly safe to safe Liberal seat.

There was only one substantial redistribution in the past few decades, when Boothby absorbed parts of the abolished Division of Hawker prior to the 1993 election. This cut the Liberal margin by more than half, from a safe 10.7 two-party margin to a marginal notional 4.5 percent two-party margin. However, the Liberals won the seat on a fairly safe 7.8 percent two-party margin. As of 2007, Boothby extended from Mitcham and Belair in the east to Brighton and Seacliff in the west.[2]

Boothby's most prominent members were Sir John McLeay, who was Speaker 1956-66, his son John, Jr., a minister in the Fraser government, and former state premier Steele Hall. Hall retired before at the 1996 election and the seat was held from 1996-2016 by Andrew Southcott.

At the 2004 election, despite a solid national two-party swing and vote to the Liberals, Boothby became a marginal Liberal seat for the first time in over half a century, with Labor's Chloë Fox reducing the Liberal margin to 5.4 percent even as incumbent Andrew Southcott narrowly won enough primary votes to retain the seat without the need for preferences. Labor's Nicole Cornes reduced Southcott's margin even further to 2.9 percent at the 2007 election. At the 2010 election Labor's Annabel Digance came within 638 votes of ending the long Liberal run in the seat. At 0.75 percent Boothby was the most marginal seat in South Australia. However, Boothby became a fairly safe Liberal seat again at the 2013 election.

In 2015, Southcott announced his retirement from parliament to take effect at the 2016 federal election. The Liberals preselected doctoral student and newspaper columnist Nicolle Flint.[3] Labor preselected 2015 Davenport state by-election candidate Mark Ward.[4] The Nick Xenophon Team announced Mitcham councillor Karen Hockley as their candidate.[5] ABC psephologist Antony Green's 2016 federal election guide for South Australia stated NXT had a "strong chance of winning lower house seats and three or four Senate seats".[6] Flint won the contest.[7] Flint held on narrowly on 53.5 percent of the two-party vote on a swing of 3.6 percent, making the seat marginal once again.

A redistribution ahead of the 2019 federal election pared back the Liberal margin further, to 2.7 percent. This came even as Boothby absorbed Glenelg and much of the Holdfast Bay area from neighbouring Hindmarsh.[8] Flint won reelection again, despite suffering a swing of 1.3 percent. With a margin of 1.3 percent, Boothby is the most marginal seat in South Australia, and one of the most marginal metropolitan Coalition seats in Australia.


Image Member Party Term Notes
    Lee Batchelor
Labour 16 December 1903
8 October 1911
Previously held the Division of South Australia. Served as minister under Watson and Fisher. Died in office
    David Gordon
Commonwealth Liberal 11 November 1911
31 May 1913
Lost seat. Later elected to the South Australian Legislative Council in 1913
    George Dankel
Labor 31 May 1913
14 November 1916
Previously held the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Torrens. Retired
  National Labor 14 November 1916
17 February 1917
  Nationalist 17 February 1917 –
26 March 1917
    William Story
Nationalist 5 May 1917
16 December 1922
Previously a member of the Senate. Served as Chief Government Whip in the House under Hughes. Lost seat
    Jack Duncan-Hughes
Liberal Union 16 December 1922
Lost seat. Later elected to the Senate in 1931
  Nationalist 1925 –
17 November 1928
    John Price
Labor 17 November 1928
March 1931
Previously held the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Port Adelaide. Served as Chief Government Whip in the House under Lyons. Died in office
  Independent March 1931
7 May 1931
  United Australia 7 May 1931 –
23 April 1941
    Grenfell Price
United Australia 24 May 1941
21 August 1943
Lost seat
    Thomas Sheehy
Labor 21 August 1943
10 December 1949
Did not contest in 1949. Failed to win the Division of Kingston
    (Sir) John McLeay Sr.
Liberal 10 December 1949
31 October 1966
Previously held the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Unley. Served as Speaker during the Menzies and Holt Governments. Retired. Son was John McLeay Jr.
    John McLeay Jr.
Liberal 26 November 1966
22 January 1981
Served as minister under Fraser. Resigned in order to retire from politics. Father was John McLeay Sr.
    Steele Hall
Liberal 21 February 1981
29 January 1996
Previously Premier of South Australia from 1968 to 1970, and a member of the Senate (1974–77). Retired
    Andrew Southcott
Liberal 2 March 1996
9 May 2016
    Nicolle Flint
Liberal 2 July 2016

Election resultsEdit

2019 Australian federal election: Boothby[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Nicolle Flint 49,973 45.19 +3.50
Labor Nadia Clancy 38,297 34.63 +7.70
Greens Stef Rozitis 13,224 11.96 +3.78
Independent Trevor Jones 2,843 2.57 +2.57
Animal Justice Geoff Russell 2,675 2.42 +0.99
United Australia Peter Salerno 2,094 1.89 +1.89
Conservative National Adrian Cheok 868 0.79 +0.78
Rise Up Australia Carol Wong 603 0.55 +0.55
Total formal votes 110,577 95.30 −0.55
Informal votes 5,453 4.70 +0.55
Turnout 116,030 93.61 +1.14
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Nicolle Flint 56,812 51.38 −1.33
Labor Nadia Clancy 53,765 48.62 +1.33
Liberal hold Swing −1.33

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Profile of the Electoral Division of Boothby, 4 January 2011, Australian Electoral Commission.
  2. ^ Map of the Commonwealth Electoral Division of Boothby, 2004, reprinted 2007, Australian Electoral Commission.
  3. ^ Liberals announce Nicolle Flint as Boothby candidate in SA to replace veteran Andrew Southcott: ABC 1 November 2015
  4. ^ Steve Georganas, former Labor MP, faces contest for Labor preselection for Hindmarsh: ABC 31 July 2015
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Election Guide (SA) - 2016 federal election guide: Antony Green ABC
  7. ^ Paula Matthewson (3 July 2016). "Australian election still too close to call". Australian Women's Weekly. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  8. ^ "2017-18 Federal Redistribution - South Australia". ABC Elections. 26 June 2018.
  9. ^ Boothby, SA, Tally Room 2019, Australian Electoral Commission.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°00′43″S 138°35′46″E / 35.012°S 138.596°E / -35.012; 138.596