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Politics

Labor finds new SA seats for favoured sons

Politics

After losing its heartland seat of Port Adelaide in the federal electoral redistribution, Labor has settled on a factional deal to find new seats for incumbent MPs Mark Butler and Steve Georganas.

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Labor’s state executive opened preselections for all of its federal seats this morning, but a deal had already been struck to have Butler move to Georganas’s seat of Hindmarsh and Georganas to run in Adelaide, where incumbent MP Kate Ellis is retiring from politics.

Georganas, who with Butler is from the Left,  confirmed the deal this morning.

The shuffle was made an imperative after the Australian Electoral Commission decided that South Australia must lose one of its 11 federal seats due to relatively low population growth.

The resulting redistribution abolished Port Adelaide – a traditional Labor stronghold – with most of its territory hived off to neighbouring Hindmarsh.

As InDaily reported in June, Butler will now seek to move to Hindmarsh – which was won by Georganas with a slim margin of 0.6 per cent at the last federal election but now, according to ABC elections analyst Antony Green, has a safe buffer of 8.2 per cent on the new boundaries.

Adelaide, which was won in 2016 by the Right’s Ellis with a margin of 4.7 per cent, has also become safer for the party, with the margin increasing to 9 per cent, according to Green’s calculations.

Georganas said today that he was a life-long resident of Mile End, which had been shifted into the seat of Adelaide in the redistribution, which also meant that the seat had “absorbed a large part of my local community in the western suburbs”.

“I am very pleased to hear that my good friend and colleague, Mark Butler, will nominate through the same ALP processes for the new seat of Hindmarsh – a seat that Mark now lives in following the same AEC redistribution,” he said in a statement.

“I look forward to following the party processes for preselection and, if successful, I will ask the people of Adelaide for their support at the next federal election.”

Last month, Right faction figures insisted it would not give up Adelaide.

However, InDaily understands that in return for Georganas moving to Adelaide, the Right will take get an extra Senate seat, meaning it will have the top two spots on the ticket for the next election.

The deal means that, of its six Lower House MPs, Labor in South Australia will only be represented by one woman – Amanda Rishworth in the seat of Kingston. The situation is similar in the Senate where Penny Wong sits alongside South Australian Labor colleagues Don Farrell and Alex Gallacher.

The nomination period will close in two weeks.

All of Labor’s incumbent Lower House MPs are expected to win preselection.

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