Electoral district of Stuart

Stuart is a single-member electoral district for the South Australian House of Assembly. At 330,656 km², it covers the northeast part of the state extending from just north of the Barossa Valley all the way to the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales borders. The seat's main population centre is Port Augusta, however the seat spans from Kapunda, 80 km north of Adelaide, up to the state borders, and includes the agricultural areas of Orroroo, Peterborough, Jamestown, Burra and Leigh Creek. Stuart is the second-largest electorate by area in South Australia.

South AustraliaHouse of Assembly
Map of South Australia with electoral district of Stuart highlighted
Electoral district of Stuart (green) in South Australia
StateSouth Australia
Dates current1938–1993, 1997–present
MPDan van Holst Pellekaan
PartyLiberal Party of Australia (SA)
NamesakeJohn McDouall Stuart
Electors23,420 (2018)
Area330,656 km2 (127,667.0 sq mi)
Coordinates30°14′S 137°53′E / 30.233°S 137.883°E / -30.233; 137.883Coordinates: 30°14′S 137°53′E / 30.233°S 137.883°E / -30.233; 137.883
Electorates around Stuart:
N. T. N. T. Queensland
Giles Stuart N. S. W.
Frome Chaffey N. S. W.
Electoral District map[1]

The electorate is named after John McDouall Stuart, who pioneered a route across through this area from the settled areas in the south to the port of Darwin in the north. This route later became the path of the overland telegraph and then The Ghan railway.

The electorate was created in the 1936 redistribution—taking effect at the 1938 election. It was one of the few country areas where the Labor Party did well, and for most of its existence was a comfortably safe Labor seat. It became even safer in 1977, when it absorbed Port Pirie. It was abolished in 1993. Most of its territory, including Port Augusta, was merged with the neighbouring seat of Eyre, while Port Pirie was transferred to the revived Frome.

The seat was revived ahead of the 1997 election. While the old Stuart had been a relatively compact district centred around Port Augusta and Port Pirie, the recreated Stuart was a vast electorate that stretched from Port Augusta to the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales borders. It took in the eastern half of the abolished seat of Eyre, with the western half going to the Whyalla-based seat of Giles. On these boundaries, it was notionally a safe Liberal seat.

Graham Gunn, the longtime member for Eyre, transferred to Stuart, but saw his margin dwindle over the next three elections, culminating in 2006 when he won by just 233 votes after distribution of preferences. He retired at the 2010 election. His successor, former basketball player Dan van Holst Pellekaan, gained a large swing at the 2010 election, making it a safe Liberal seat in one stroke. He actually won an outright majority on the first count.

Pellekaan consolidated his hold on the seat in 2014 and 2018 (in the former contest, picking up the largest swing in the state), and now sits on a majority of 23.1 percent, the third-safest in the state. While Port Augusta still tilts toward Labor, as it has for more than a century, it is not enough to overcome the increasingly conservative bent of the rest of the seat.

Members for StuartEdit

First incarnation (1938–1993)
Member Party Term
  Lindsay Riches Labor 1938–1970
  Gavin Keneally Labor 1970–1989
  Colleen Hutchison Labor 1989–1993
Second incarnation (1997–present)
Member Party Term
  Graham Gunn Liberal 1997–2010
  Dan van Holst Pellekaan Liberal 2010–present

Election resultsEdit

2018 South Australian state election: Stuart[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Dan van Holst Pellekaan 14,157 69.7 +5.5
Labor Khatija Thomas 4,698 23.1 +0.0
Greens Brendan Fitzgerald 1,460 7.2 +2.4
Total formal votes 20,315 96.9 −0.6
Informal votes 646 3.1 +0.6
Turnout 20,961 89.5 −2.1
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Dan van Holst Pellekaan 14,847 73.1 +3.0
Labor Khatija Thomas 5,468 26.9 −3.0
Liberal hold Swing +3.0


  1. ^ Electoral District of Stuart (Map). Electoral Commission of South Australia. 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  2. ^ State Election Results – District Results for Stuart, ECSA.