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Electoral district of Colton

Colton is a single-member electoral district for the South Australian House of Assembly. It is a 26.2 km² suburban electorate on Adelaide's western beaches, taking in the suburbs of Adelaide Airport, Fulham, Fulham Gardens, Glenelg North, Henley Beach, Henley Beach South, Kidman Park, West Beach and part of Lockleys.

South AustraliaHouse of Assembly
Map of Adelaide, South Australia with the electoral district of Colton highlighted
Electoral district of Colton (green) in the Greater Adelaide area
StateSouth Australia
MPMatt Cowdrey
PartyLiberal Party (SA)
NamesakeMary Colton
Electors27,600 (2018)
Area26.22 km2 (10.1 sq mi)
Coordinates34°54′48″S 138°30′40″E / 34.91333°S 138.51111°E / -34.91333; 138.51111Coordinates: 34°54′48″S 138°30′40″E / 34.91333°S 138.51111°E / -34.91333; 138.51111
Electorates around Colton:
Gulf St Vincent Lee Cheltenham
Gulf St Vincent Colton West Torrens Badcoe Morphett
Gulf St Vincent Morphett Morphett
Electoral District map[1]


The electoral district is named after Mary Colton, who arrived in Adelaide in 1839 and worked for the welfare of women and children. She was the President of the Women's Suffrage League, and lived to see the introduction of equal voting rights for women in 1895.

Colton was created to replace the abolished seat of Henley Beach in the 1991 electoral redistribution as a notionally marginal Liberal seat. It was first contested at the 1993 election, where it was won in a large swing to the Liberals by former Adelaide City Council Lord Mayor Steve Condous, recording a 60.5 percent two-party vote from a 9.5 percent two-party swing. This was reduced at the 1997 election to 54 percent, and upon Condous' retirement at the 2002 election, it was won by Paul Caica for Labor with a 54.6 percent two-party vote, which increased to 66.3 percent at the 2006 election. This was reduced to 54 percent at the 2010 election and 51.5 percent at the 2014 election.

Caica announced in February 2017 that he would be retiring from parliament as of the 2018 election.[2]

Bellwether electorateEdit

Colton could be considered South Australia's state bellwether seat as it is the only current lower house seat in parliament to have been consistently won by the party to form government.[citation needed] Only Colton and Adelaide changed from Liberal to Labor at the 2002 election when Labor won government from the Liberals, with Adelaide won by the Liberals in 2010. On 2014 election results and a uniform swing, Colton would have been the Liberal's 24th seat to form majority government. The previous, abolished seat of Henley Beach was also won by the government of the day since its creation at the 1970 election. Colton/Henley Beach as the bellwether for decades of elections also concurrently decided the result in the one-seat parliamentary majority outcomes of 1975, 1989, 2002 and 2014.[citation needed]

Despite the long bellwether history, the 2016 redistribution ahead of the 2018 election changed Colton from a 1.5 percent Labor seat to a notional 3.7 percent Liberal seat.[3]

Members for ColtonEdit

Member Party Term
  Steve Condous Liberal 1993–2002
  Paul Caica Labor 2002–2018
  Matt Cowdrey Liberal 2018–present

Election resultsEdit

2018 South Australian state election: Colton[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Matt Cowdrey 11,685 47.6 −2.4
Labor Angela Vaughan 7,733 31.5 −7.7
SA-Best Jassmine Wood 3,459 14.1 +14.1
Greens Paul Petherick 1,404 5.7 −1.7
Dignity Ted Evans 271 1.1 +1.1
Total formal votes 24,552 96.8 −0.6
Informal votes 808 3.2 +0.6
Turnout 25,360 91.9 +3.2
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Matt Cowdrey 14,211 57.9 +4.0
Labor Angela Vaughan 10,341 42.1 −4.0
Liberal hold Swing +4.0


  1. ^ Electoral District of Colton (Map). Electoral Commission of South Australia. 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  2. ^ Paul Caica to retire: ABC 8 February 2017
  3. ^ Final Report (PDF): Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission 8 December 2016
  4. ^ State Election Results – District Results for Colton, ECSA.