- Division of Mayo
Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of Mayo (green) in South Australia
Created: 1984 MP: Jamie Briggs Party: Liberal Namesake: Helen Mayo Area: 9,190 km² (3,548 sq mi) Demographic: Rural
The Division of Mayo is an Australian Electoral Division located in the hills, east of Adelaide, South Australia and currently includes the towns of Victor Harbor, Lobethal, Mount Barker, Strathalbyn, Woodside and Kingscote.
First proclaimed in 1984, the division is named for Helen Mayo, a social activist and the first woman elected to an Australian University Council.
At its creation in 1984, Mayo was a rural based electorate that stretched from the seaside town of Victor Harbor to the Adelaide Hills. Alexander Downer, the son and grandson of former federal politicians, easily won for the Liberals in 1984 and 1987 but faced his first real challenge in 1990 from the Australian Democrats, who traditionally polled better in the area covered by Mayo than anywhere else in Australia. The Democrat candidate polled 21.3% and while Downer retained Mayo on a two party preferred basis comfortably, a swing of 6% away from Downer towards the Democrat may well have seen Downer lose the seat. Interestingly, Democrats leader, Senator Janine Haines, chose to contest the neighbouring Division of Kingston at the 1990 election, losing to the sitting member. It was postulated at the time that if the high profile Haines had contested Mayo, she may have gathered the further 6% required to unseat Downer.
A redistribution following the 1990 elections shifted Mayo to an exclusively Hills based seat and theoretically consolidated Downer's hold on the seat to the detriment of the Democrats. As a result, Downer was comfortably returned at the 1993 and 1996 federal elections. In 1998, however, Downer, facing six opposition candidates, including high profile Democrats candidate John Schumann, One Nation Party and an independent candidate advocating increased public nudity, was re-elected by a narrow margin. Schumann's 22.4% was the best result for a minor party candidate in Mayo and lost to Downer on a two party preferred basis by only 1.7%, transforming Mayo into one of the more marginal electorates in Australia.
Another redistribution following the 1998 election made Mayo a safer Liberal seat and Downer was again returned comfortably at the 2001 elections, helped partly by an Independent Democrat candidate splitting the Democrat vote. The 2004 election saw a record eight candidates including independent Brian Deegan who polled 15 percent, but was successfully retained by Downer, and again at the 2007 election, on a reduced margin of seven percent.
Member Party Term Alexander Downer Liberal 1984–2008 Jamie Briggs Liberal 2008–present
Australian federal election, 2010: Mayo Party Candidate Votes % ±% Liberal Jamie Briggs 42,976 46.76 -4.32 Labor Sam Davis 22,997 25.02 -6.10 Greens Diane Atkinson 15,593 16.97 +6.01 Family First Bruce Hicks 5,337 5.81 +1.79 Independent Bill Spragg 2,404 2.62 +2.62 Independent Andrew Phillips 993 1.08 +1.08 Democrats Rebekkah Osmond 948 1.03 -0.49 Climate Sceptics John Michelmore 655 0.71 +0.71 Total formal votes 91,903 95.42 -1.82 Informal votes 4,414 4.58 +1.82 Turnout 96,317 94.83 -1.05 Two-candidate preferred result Liberal Jamie Briggs 52,702 57.35 +0.29 Labor Sam Davis 39,201 42.65 -0.29 Liberal hold Swing +0.29 Electoral Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives in South AustraliaDivisions in: New South Wales · Victoria · Queensland · Western Australia · South Australia · Tasmania · Australian Capital and Northern Territories
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