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Division of Spence

Australian House of Representatives Division
Interactive map of boundaries
MPMatt Burnell
NamesakeCatherine Helen Spence
Electors129,243 (2022)
Area532 km2 (205.4 sq mi)
DemographicOuter metropolitan
Coordinates34°42′S 138°42′E / 34.7°S 138.7°E / -34.7; 138.7
Electorates around Spence:
Grey Barker
Hindmarsh Makin Mayo

The Division of Spence is an electoral district for the Australian House of Representatives. It is located in the outer northern suburbs of Adelaide in South Australia.


Federal electoral division boundaries in Australia are determined at redistributions by a redistribution committee appointed by the Australian Electoral Commission. Redistributions occur for the boundaries of divisions in a particular state, and they occur every seven years, or sooner if a state's representation entitlement changes or when divisions of a state are malapportioned.[1]


Catherine Helen Spence, the division's namesake

It is named in honour of Catherine Helen Spence, an advocate for female suffrage and electoral reform and the first female political candidate in Australia.[2]

Spence was created in the electoral redistribution that concluded in July 2018 as a replacement for the Division of Wakefield. It is essentially the more urbanised southern portion of the formerly hybrid urban-rural Wakefield. The Division of Port Adelaide was abolished after South Australia was reduced from 11 electorates to ten, resulting in quite large movements of the remaining divisions' boundaries to fill in the gap.[3]

The geographic extent of Spence is approximately the Adelaide Plains between the Little Para River in the south and the Gawler River on the north, plus areas around Gawler and Salisbury. It includes all of the City of Playford and Town of Gawler, along with Concordia and Kalbeeba from the Barossa Council, and Gawler Belt and Buchfelde from Light Regional Council on the outskirts of Gawler. Spence includes six suburbs in the City of Salisbury south of the Little Para River, west and north of Main North Road and Kings Road.[4]

Spence overlaps the final configuration of Bonython before it was abolished prior to the 2004 election[5] and much of it was merged with what had been the southern part of Wakefield. Spence extends further east, west and north than Bonython at the time of its abolition, but Wakefield had historically been a rural seat until 2004.[6]

Spence was notionally a comfortably safe Labor seat, with a notional Labor margin of 17.9 percent, making it on paper the safest Labor seat in the state. By comparison, the abolished Wakefield finished with a safe Labor margin of 11.0 percent.[6] Champion retained it in 2019 with only a small swing against him. Spence is the safest Labor seat in SA, with a 14.1 percent swing needed for the Liberals to win it.


Image Member Party Term Notes
  Nick Champion
Labor 18 May 2019
23 February 2022
Previously held the Division of Wakefield. Resigned to transfer to state politics. Subsequently elected to the South Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Taylor in 2022
  Matt Burnell
21 May 2022

Election results

2022 Australian federal election: Spence[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Matt Burnell 46,596 43.86 −7.10
Liberal Shawn Lock 27,153 25.56 −0.27
Greens David Deex 12,052 11.35 +4.14
One Nation Linda Champion 11,532 10.86 +10.86
United Australia Alvin Warren 7,158 6.74 −0.30
Australian Federation Matilda Bawden 1,736 1.63 +1.63
Total formal votes 106,227 95.05 +1.03
Informal votes 5,534 4.95 −1.03
Turnout 111,761 86.57 −3.97
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Matt Burnell 66,818 62.90 −1.23
Liberal Shawn Lock 39,409 37.10 +1.23
Labor hold Swing −1.23


  1. ^ Muller, Damon (14 November 2017). "The process of federal redistributions: a quick guide". Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 23 May 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  2. ^ "Profile of the electoral division of Spence (SA)". Australian Electoral Commission. 20 July 2018. Archived from the original on 28 July 2018. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Proposed redistribution of South Australia into electoral divisions" (PDF). Report of the Redistribution Committee for South Australia. Australian Electoral Commission. April 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 April 2018. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  4. ^ Map of the Federal Electoral Division of Spence (PDF) (Map). Australian Electoral Commission. July 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 March 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Bonython boundary map, 2001: AEC" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b "2017-18 Federal Redistribution - South Australia". ABC Elections. 26 June 2018. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  7. ^ Spence, SA, 2022 Tally Room, Australian Electoral Commission.
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Division of Spence
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