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South Australian Election: A Look at the State of the Parties

There are 47 electorates being contested in today’s South Australian election. Either side needs to win 24 seats to govern in their own right.

S.A. House of Assembly – 1997 Results
Party 1997 Now
Independent ALP

In recent times, the South Australian lower house numbers have fluctuated wildly. In 1989, the Bannon Labor government and the Liberal Party each won 22 seats and Bannon hung on with the support of two independent Labor members. By 1993, Bannon’s successor, Lynn Arnold, was decimated and the ALP was reduced to 10 seats, compared to 37 for the Liberals.

In 1997, following a change of Liberal leader from Dean Brown to John Olsen, the Liberals lost 14 seats to finish with 23, whilst the ALP went from 10 to 21. The Liberals remained in office as a minority government, supported by the National Party member, Karlene Maywald.

Since the 1997 election, one Liberal member has resigned, another has been expelled, and one of the independents has joined the Liberals, reducing the government to a net 22 seats. Late last year, the then Premier, John Olsen, resigned over the Motorola contract scandal, and was replaced by John Kerin.

There have been similar ructions in the ALP. Two sitting members have resigned following their defeat in pre-selections, although they have pledged their support to the ALP if needed.

In summary, the ALP needs to hold all its 19 seats and win 5 more to secure a majority, whereas the Liberal Party needs to two seats to have an outright majority.

This table shows the state of the parties at the 1997 election and the current numbers:

House of Assembly – South Australia – 47 seats
No. Electorate Old Parliament New Parliament
1 Adelaide Liberal
Michael Armitage
since 1989
2 Ashford new district
formerly Hanson
3 Bragg Liberal
Graham Ingerson
since 1983
4 Bright Liberal
Wayne Matthew
since 1989
5 Chaffey National
Karlene Maywald
since 1997
This seat has had only minor boundary changes in the redistribution.
6 Cheltenham new district
formerly Price
7 Colton Liberal
Steve Condous
since 1993
8 Croydon new district
formerly Spence
9 Davenport Liberal
Iain Evans
since 1993
10 Elder ALP
Patrick Conlon
since 1997
11 Elizabeth ALP
Lea Stevens
since 1994
12 Enfield new district
formerly Ross Smith
13 Finniss Liberal
Dean Brown
since 1993
14 Fisher Independent
Robert Such
since 1989
elected as Liberal, became Independent Oct 2000
15 Flinders Liberal
Elizabeth Penfold
since 1993
This is one of only 3 electorates to be untouched by the redistribution.
16 Florey ALP
Frances Bedford
since 1997
17 Frome Liberal
Rob Kerin
since 1993
18 Giles ALP
Lynette Breuer
since 1997
This seat has had only very minor boundary changes in the redistribution.
19 Goyder Liberal
John Meier
since 1982
20 Hammond Independent
Peter Lewis
since 1997
21 Hartley Liberal
Guiseppe Scalzi
since 1993
22 Heysen Liberal
David Wotton
since 1985
23 Kaurna ALP
John Hill
since 1997
24 Kavel Liberal
John Olsen
since 1992
25 Lee ALP
Michael Wright
since 1997
26 Light Liberal
Malcolm Buckby
since 1993
27 MacKillop Liberal
Michael Williams
since 1997
elected Ind.Lib. rejoined Liberals Dec 12, 1999
This is one of only 3 electorates to be unchanged by the redistribution.
28 Mawson Liberal
Robert Brokenshire
since 1993
29 Mitchell ALP
Kris Hanna
since 1997
30 Morialta new district
formerly Coles
31 Morphett Liberal
John Oswald
since 1979
32 Mount Gambier new district
formerly Gordon
This is one of only 3 electorates to be unchanged by the redistribution, but it has been renamed.
33 Napier ALP
Annette Hurley
since 1993
34 Newland Liberal
Dorothy Kotz
since 1989
35 Norwood ALP
Vincenzina Ciccarello
since 1997
36 Playford ALP
John Snelling
since 1997
37 Port Adelaide new district
formerly Hart
38 Ramsay ALP
Michael Rann
since 1993
39 Reynell ALP
Mary Thompson
since 1997
40 Schubert Liberal
Ivan Venning
since 1997
41 Stuart Liberal
Graham Gunn
since 1997
42 Taylor ALP
Patricia White
since 1994
43 Torrens ALP
Robert Geraghty
since 1994
44 Unley Liberal
Mark Brindal
since 1993
45 Waite Liberal
Martin Hamilton-Smith
since 1997
46 West Torrens new district
47 Wright ALP
Jennifer Rankine
since 1997
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Malcolm Farnsworth
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