Key SA seat to watch at election

 

INSTANT name recognition will make for an interesting battle in the seat of Mayo, with two high-profile candidates going head-to-head.

The South Australian seat is held by first-term Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie.

Ms Sharkie retained the Adelaide Hills and SA coast seat in a by-election after she was struck down in the dual citizenship scandal.

But she faces another challenge from Liberal blue-blood Georgina Downer, the daughter of former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer, who will be running for the second time.

While it's expected Ms Sharkie should hold, the Liberals are keen to pick it up and have  thrown a lot of resources at it, making it a seat to watch.

The other four candidates running for Mayo are Anna Bourne (Greens), Helen Dowland (Animal Justice Party), Michael Cane (United Australia Party) and Saskia Gerhardy (Labor Party).

The Liberal candidate for Mayo, Georgina Downer. Picture: Kelly Barnes/AAP
The Liberal candidate for Mayo, Georgina Downer. Picture: Kelly Barnes/AAP

Ms Sharkie defeated Ms Downer at the last election with 57.5 per cent support after preferences, securing a 2.6 per cent swing.

A recent opinion poll put Ms Sharkie clearly ahead of the Liberal challenger at a similar 57 per cent to 43 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

Mayo is a large electorate, extending from Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills down to Cape Jervis, taking in Stirling and Strathalbyn, Victor Harbor and Yankalilla. Kangaroo Island also falls within Mayo.

Rebekah Sharkie and Cathy McGowan in Parliament House, Canberra. Picture: Kym Smith
Rebekah Sharkie and Cathy McGowan in Parliament House, Canberra. Picture: Kym Smith

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Mayo is one of Australia's least diverse electorates. Only 16.9 per cent of its population was born overseas, compared to 26.3 per cent across Australia, and only 3.3 per cent are classed as migrants, compared to 9.9 per cent across the nation.

Almost 5 per cent of its residents are aged 80 or older, while those between 65 and 79 make up 16.6 per cent of the residents, against a national average of 11.5 per cent.

Some of the key issues for this electorate are climate change the prospect of drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bright, and the state of Victor Harbor Rd.

News Corp Australia

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