Federal By-elections Super-Saturday:
Date: July 28, 2018.
The Division of Mayo is located to the east, south, south-east and south-west of Adelaide. It covers the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island and includes the towns of of Bridgewater, Crafers, Echunga, Gumeracha, Hahndorf, Kingscote, Langhorne Creek, Lobethal, Macclesfield, Mount Barker, Myponga, Oakbank, Stirling, Strathalbyn, Victor Harbor, Woodside, Yankalilla, and part of Birdwood.
Mayo was established prior to the 1984 Federal Election and had always been held by the Liberal Party up until the 2016 Federal Election, usually by very large margins. For a safe Liberal seat, it has had a rather turbulent history. Though Labor have never come close to winning the seat; the Democrats managed to finish in second place and came very close to gaining it, during their peak, at the 1998 Federal Election. Independent candidate, Brian Deegan, also finished second at the 2004 Federal Election. In absence of a Labor candidate, the Greens came close to taking the seat at the 2008 Mayo by-election. Nick Xenophon Team's Rebekha Sharkie was able to gain the seat at the 2016 Federal Election, ending the Liberal Party's hold on the seat.
The demographics of the electorate are pretty standard, roughly matching the state and national averages for education obtainment, employment and ethnicity. People tend to however be less religious compared to the state and national average.
Rebekha Sharkie, since 2016. She resigned due to a court ruling indicating that her citizenship status at election was deemed have made her ineligible to sit in parliament.
|Liberal||Jamie Briggs X||35,915%||37.76%||−16.06%|
|Xenophon||Rebekha Sharkie ✓||31,248||34.86%||+34.86%|
|Family First||Bruce Hicks||4,375||4.60%||−2.54%|
|Liberal Democrats||Luke Dzivinski||1,148||1.21%||+1.21%|
|Two Party Preferred Result|
|Xenophon||Rebekha Sharkie ✓||52,283||54.97%||+54.97%|
|Liberal||Jamie Briggs X||42,833||45.03%||−17.18%|
The numbers on the map below represent the two party preferred vote percentages at each polling place at the 2016 Federal Election. Orange numbers represent the Nick Xenophon Team, blue numbers represent the Liberals. Note: You will need to zoom in on the map to view all individual numbers.
Political Party: Christian Democrats.
Political Party: Australian People's Party
Major "Moogy" Sumner
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Political Party: Greens.
Major “Moogy” Sumner is a high-profile Ngarrindjeri elder known throughout SA for his community work, his smoking and welcome ceremonies, and his fight to repatriate the remains of Aboriginal people from overseas.
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Political Party: Liberal.
Georgina Downer is a researcher with the Institute of Public Affairs and is also the daughter of former Liberal MP for Mayo and Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer.
Political Party: Centre Alliance
Rebekha Sharkie had been the incumbent MP for Mayo since the 2016 Federal Election. Before her election, she worked as a staffer the South Australian Liberal Party leader (then-Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond), as well as an electorate officer for former Mayo MP Jamie Briggs. Before this, she was involved with the Australian Democrats. She left the Liberal Party in 2012 when she was appointed the national Executive Officer Youth Connections. She later became Senior Manager and Head of Donor relations at Helping Young People Achieve (HYPA).
Political Party: Liberal Democrats
Political Party: Labor.
Reg Coutts is a telecommunications expert and academic and has been involved in the telco sector for more than 35 years, and was professor of telecommunications at the University of Adelaide from 1993 to 2003. He currently runs his own consultancy firm Coutts Communications and has held technical positions at Telstra. He served as one of six members of the Federal Government's expert panel on the NBN from 2008, appointed by then-Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy and in 2010, joined the Australian Communications and Media Authority but he quit that post in 2014 to re-enter the private sector.
Assessment and prediction:
Mayo was a safe Liberal seat before Rebekha Sharkie gained the seat for the Nick Xenophon Team (which is now under the process of changing its name to Centre Alliance) at the 2016 Federal Election. If Sharkie were to stand again, she would be in with a good chance to retain it due to incumbency. If she were not to stand, it is very likely that the seat will fall to the Liberal Party.
However, it is unknown just how well the incumbent would go without the profile of Nick Xenophon or under a different party name.
The Greens have also historically performed strongly in this seat. They, however, are unlikely to be any serious threat in this coming by-election.