Snapshot: Southern Adelaide marginal seat of Boothby


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Boothby is the most marginal Liberal seat in the country, one that Labor has itched to win since 1949.

But the mortgage belt seat of Boothby in Adelaide’s southern suburbs looks set to remain in Liberal hands - collateral damage in Labor's leadership fight.

The seat has been held by Liberal MP Andrew Southcott since 1996, but an electoral redistribution has whittled his margin to a meagre 0.6 per cent.


Boothby lies in southern Adelaide and stretches from the coast, on its West, to the foot of the Adelaide Hills.

The leafy suburbs which make up the electorate include Belair, Blackwood, Bedford Park, Brighton, Daw Park, Eden Hills, Edwardstown, Hawthorn, Marion, Mitcham, Myrtle Bank, Torrens Park, Seacliff, St Marys and Panorama.


Boothby is currently held by Liberal MP and shadow parliamentary secretary for Primary Healthcare,  

Southcott has been with the blue ribbon seat since 1996, and sites his five-and-a-half  year-long campaign to upgrade South Road as one of his key achievements.  

The Labor contender for the seat is who’s election ambitions are likely to be thwarted by a general swing away from Labor, and the loss of hometown girl Julia Gillard – who grew up in Boothby.

The former prime minister’s local popularity was credited with getting Ms Digance within a couple hundred votes of victory in 2010.

Ms Digance says she’s “not a career politician” but is “passionate about the local community, and has the real-life experience to deliver.”


The Greens:
Palmer United Party:
Family First:


Population: 134, 140
Median age: 41
Families: 36,443
Average children per family: 1.8
Median weekly household income: $1,223

72.8 per cent of Boothby residents are born in Australia (97, 660 persons) with 83.5 per cent speaking only English at home. The most common languages other than English spoken in Boothby are Chinese languages (2,858 speakers) Greek (2,384 speakers) and Indo-Aryan languages (1,602 speakers).

The numbers suggest that overall, Boothby is a comfortable, conservative, middleclass area. The more than half of the residents 15 and over are married, and 71 per cent of households are either owned outright or owned with a mortgage. Nationally, only 68 per cent of Australian households are owned.

Of those who rent, only 8 per cent of households have repayments that are 30 per cent or more of the household income. Nationally, 10.4 per cent of households struggle with their rent.

Although Boothby residents work less than the average Australian, unemployment in the seat is lower than the national average at 4.9 per cent. 

Hot issues: Cost of living, health care, public transport, jobs/employment, crime


3 min read
Published 27 August 2013 at 3:01pm
Source: SBS