THE POLL BLUDGER
South Australian House of Assembly Election 2006

CHELTENHAM
Labor 16.8%

RegionWestern Suburbs
FederalPort Adelaide
CandidatesGreg Perry (Family First)
Pam Moore (Democrats)
Margaret Davies (Greens)
Jay Weatherill (Labor)
Sue Lawrie (Liberal)

Cheltenham was called Price until the 2002 election, one of a number of irritating name changes following amendments to nomenclature guidelines. Grand Junction Road forms the electorate's northern border with Port Adelaide; the suburb of Cheltenham is located in the middle, with Woodville to the south-east and Royal Park to the west. This rock-solid Labor seat is held by up-and-comer Jay Weatherill (left), son of former upper house member George Weatherill. The younger Weatherill entered parliament at the 2002 election after defeating sitting member Murray DeLaine first for Labor preselection, and then when he ran against him at the election as an independent. DeLaine polled 10.2 per cent, costing Weatherill barely enough of the Labor vote to force him to preferences. A former Australian Workers Union industrial advocate and Duncan Bashir Hannon lawyer, Weatherill is a senior figure of the Left and went straight into the senior planning portfolio when Mike Rann's government came to office. The Liberal candidate for the second election running is Sue Lawrie (right).

The dominant local issue has been the future of the land occupied by Cheltenham Racecourse, which the South Australian Jockey Club has voted to sell to fund upgrades to tracks at Victoria Park and Morphettville. This became the subject of a brawl between Weatherill and Rod Sawford, party colleague and federal member for Port Adelaide. The Weekly Times Messenger reported that Weatherill stormed out of a community meeting called to discuss the future of the site, telling Sawford it was "an absolute stunt, and you're part of it". Sawford threatened "action" unless he received apologies from both Weatherill and Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, whom he accused of repeating the claim.

ASSESSMENT: Labor retain

With no competition from Murray DeLaine this time, Jay Weatherill's primary vote shot up an impressive 15.6 per cent. His 8.6 per cent two-party swing was not out of the ordinary by Adelaide standards, but he was starting from a very high base. Also a good result for Family First who polled 10.1 per cent (one of only three electorates where they cracked double figures), despite not having fielded a candidate in 2002.

OUTCOME: Labor retain (25.4%)