Labor says Christopher Pyne’s seat of Sturt is the “obvious candidate to be discarded”. Picture: AAP / Lukas Coch
Labor says Christopher Pyne’s seat of Sturt is the “obvious candidate to be discarded”. Picture: AAP / Lukas Coch

Labor’s massive troll move on Christopher Pyne

CHRISTOPHER Pyne's seat would be wiped off the map under a provocative Labor plan put forward as part of a major shake-up of federal electoral boundaries in South Australia.

In blunt advice to the Australian Electoral Commission, Labor says Sturt is the "obvious candidate to be discarded".

The AEC is investigating which seat to scrap after the state's low population growth forced the number of electorates in SA to be cut from 11 to 10 for the next federal election.

The overhaul has already sparked a spat within the Liberals, with reports Mr Pyne, pictured, had threatened to challenge fellow Liberal MP Nicolle Flint for her seat of Boothby, which borders Sturt, if his seat was under threat.

Mr Pyne, the head of the moderate faction in SA, has denied the claims and ruled out any such move on his right-wing rival. But Labor hopes the issue would further fuel division.


The Defence Industry Minister, who was first elected in Sturt in 1993, dismissed the idea of abolishing his seat as "typical of Labor".

"Their message to the Electoral Commission is 'if we can't beat him, abolish his seat'," Mr Pyne said.

The Liberals put forward an alternative idea to axe the seat of Adelaide, which is being vacated by Labor MP Kate Ellis at the next election.

There is precedent for the AEC to target a vacant seat, but it would be highly unusual to get rid of a capital city seat established at Federation.

The Nick Xenophon Team feared the major parties would seek to abolish Mayo - which led Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie to round up locals to make submissions against any such plan. But neither Labor nor the Liberals have targeted the Hills electorate for major changes.

The Liberals propose pushing the CBD into the western suburbs seat of Hindmarsh. This would likely give the Liberals a better chance of winning Hindmarsh, which has been held by Labor's Steve Georganas for 10 of the past 13 years.

Under the Labor proposal, the seat of Adelaide would remain and gain voters living in the Norwood, Payneham and St Peters council. This would make Hindmarsh firmly Labor and Adelaide would likely become more Liberal but remain marginal - giving Labor the best shot of retaining five SA seats.

Both major parties generally agreed to the reshaping of the regional seats, under which Barker would take in the whole of the Barossa while the Clare and Gilbert valleys would move into Grey.

Ms Sharkie, Liberal Rowan Ramsay and Labor's Tony Piccolo were the only MPs to make individual submissions.