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South Australian state election, 2014

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South Australian state election, 2014

South Australian state election, 2014

15 March 2014

  First party Second party
Leader Jay Weatherill Steven Marshall
Party Labor Liberal
Leader since 21 October 2011 4 February 2013
Leader's seat Cheltenham Dunstan
Last election 26 seats 18 seats
Seats won 23 seats 22 seats
Seat change Decrease3 Increase4
Percentage 47.0% 53.0%
Swing Decrease1.4 Increase1.4

Premier before election

Jay Weatherill

Resulting Premier

Jay Weatherill

The 2014 South Australian state election was held on 15 March 2014, to fill all 47 seats in the House of Assembly or lower house, and 11 of 22 seats in the Legislative Council or upper house. The 12-year-incumbent Australian Labor Party government, led by Premier Jay Weatherill, won its fourth consecutive four-year term in government, defeating the opposition Liberal Party of Australia, led by Opposition Leader Steven Marshall.

The election resulted in a hung parliament with 23 seats for Labor and 22 for the Liberals. The balance of power rested with the two crossbench independents, Bob Such and Geoff Brock. Such did not indicate who he would support in a minority government before he went on two months' medical leave for a brain tumour. With 24 seats required to govern, Brock subsequently threw his support to Labor. The Liberals were reduced to 21 seats in May 2014 when Martin Hamilton-Smith became an independent and entered cabinet with Brock. Both Hamilton-Smith and Brock agreed to support the Labor government on confidence and supply while retaining the right to otherwise vote on conscience. It is the longest-serving state Labor government in South Australian history and is the second time that Labor has won four consecutive state elections in South Australia, the first occurred when Don Dunstan led Labor to four consecutive victories between 1970 and 1977. The last hung parliament occurred when Labor came to government in 2002.

Like federal elections, South Australia has compulsory voting, uses full-preference instant-runoff voting in the lower house and single transferable vote group voting tickets in the proportionally represented upper house. The election was conducted by the Electoral Commission of South Australia (ECSA), an independent body answerable to Parliament.


Metropolitan seats
Rural seats

Lower house

The Liberals took three seats from Labor resulting in a hung parliament with 23 seats for Labor and 22 for the Liberals.[1] The balance of power rested with the two crossbench independents, Bob Such and Geoff Brock.[2] On 22 March, Such went on two months' medical leave for a brain tumour. With 24 seats required to govern, the next day, Brock announced his support for Labor, allowing Weatherill to remain in office at the head of a minority government. In a joint press conference with Weatherill, Brock said Such's absence prompted him to make his decision a week sooner than planned.[3] The new government was sworn in on 26 March, with Brock in cabinet as Minister for Regional Development and Local Government.[1] The Liberals were reduced to 21 seats in May 2014 when Martin Hamilton-Smith became an independent and entered cabinet as Minister for Investment and Trade, Defence Industries and Veterans Affairs. Both Hamilton-Smith and Brock agreed to support the Labor government on confidence and supply while retaining the right to otherwise vote on conscience.[4][5]

House of Assembly (IRV) — Turnout 91.9% (CV) — Informal 3.1%[6][7][8]
Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Liberal Party of Australia 455,797 44.8 +3.1 22 +4
  Australian Labor Party 364,420 35.8 −1.7 23 –3
  SA Greens 88,600 8.7 +0.6 0 0
  Family First Party 63,575 6.2 +0.9 0 0
  Independent 37,955 3.7 −1.0 2 −1
  Other 7,509 0.7 –1.9 0 0
Total 1,017,856 47
  Australian Labor Party WIN 47.0 −1.4 23 −3
  Liberal Party of Australia 53.0 +1.4 22 +4

Independents: Bob Such, Geoff Brock

Seat movement

The following seats changed hands:[9]
Seat Pre-2014 Swing Post-2014
Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Bright   Labor Chloë Fox 0.5 3.7 3.3 David Speirs Liberal  
Hartley   Labor Grace Portolesi 0.1 2.6 2.4 Vincent Tarzia Liberal  
Mitchell   Labor Alan Sibbons 2.4 3.6 1.2 Corey Wingard Liberal  
Mount Gambier   Independent Don Pegler 0.5 7.7 7.2 Troy Bell Liberal  


The following Mackerras Pendulum works by lining up all of the seats according to the percentage point margin on a two candidate preferred basis based on the 2014 results.[8][10] "Safe" seats require a swing of over 10 per cent to change, "fairly safe" seats require a swing of between 6 and 10 per cent, while "marginal" seats require a swing of less than 6 per cent.[11]

Upper house

Legislative Council (STV GV) — Turnout 92.1% (CV) — Informal 3.9%[12][13][14]
Party Votes % Swing Seats Won Total Seats Change
  Liberal Party of Australia 363,809 36.0 −3.4 4 8 +1
  Australian Labor Party 312,944 31.0 −6.3 4 8 0
  Nick Xenophon Team 130,289 12.9 +12.9 1 1 −1
  SA Greens 65,215 6.5 −0.1 1 2 0
  Family First Party 44,015 4.4 −0.0 1 2 0
  Dignity for Disability 9,367 0.9 −0.3 0 1 0
  Other 85,292 8.4 −2.8 0 0 0
Total 1,010,931 11 22


The last state election was held on 20 March 2010 to elect members for the House of Assembly and half of the members in the Legislative Council. In South Australia, section 28 of the Constitution Act 1934, as amended in 2001, directs that parliaments have fixed four-year terms, and elections must be held on the third Saturday in March every four years unless this date falls the day after Good Friday, occurs within the same month as a Commonwealth election, or the conduct of the election could be adversely affected by a state disaster. Section 28 also states that the Governor may also dissolve the Assembly and call an election for an earlier date if the Government has lost the confidence of the Assembly or a bill of special importance has been rejected by the Legislative Council. Section 41 states that both the Council and the Assembly may also be dissolved simultaneously if a deadlock occurs between them.[15]

The Electoral (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2013 introduced set dates for writs for General elections in South Australia. The writ sets the dates for the close of the electoral roll and the close of nominations for an election. The Electoral Act 1985 requires that, for a general election, the writ be issued 28 days before the date fixed for polling (S47(2a)) and the electoral roll be closed at 12 noon, 6 days after the issue of the writ (S48(3(a)(i). The close of nominations will be at 12 noon 3 days after the close of rolls (Electoral Act 1985 S48(4)(a) and S4(1)). Since the previous election, five new parties had registered: Fishing and Lifestyle Party, Liberal Democratic Party, Multicultural Progress Party, Stop Population Growth Now, and Katter's Australian Party. Six were no longer registered: The Democrats, Save the RAH, Gamers 4 Croydon, Democratic Labor Party, One Nation, and United Party.[16]

Polling Day for the 2014 South Australian State election was Saturday 15 March 2014 from 8am until 6pm. The Issue of Writ for the 2014 South Australian State election was Saturday 15 February 2014. The Electoral Roll closed at 12 noon, Friday 21 February 2014. Nominations for candidates wishing to stand for election closed at 12 noon, Monday 24 February 2014,[17] with the ballot order for both houses drawn and released shortly after,[18][19] followed by close and release of upper house above-the-line preference tickets.[19] Lower house how-to-vote card lodgements closed at 12 noon, 7 March 2014.[20]

The 2014 Tasmanian state election occurred on the same day.[21]


The centre-left Labor Party, led by Premier Jay Weatherill, and the centre-right Liberal Party, led by Leader of the Opposition Steven Marshall, are the two main parties in South Australia. In the 2010 state election, of 47 seats total, the Labor Party won 26 seats and the Liberal Party won 18 seats. Three seats were won by independents, Bob Such (Fisher), Geoff Brock (Frome), and Don Pegler (Mount Gambier). Smaller parties which held no seats in the lower House but achieved significant votes in 2010 include the SA Greens and the Family First Party. In the upper house, the Labor Party held eight seats, the Liberal Party held seven seats, the SA Greens, the Family First Party, and No Pokies all held two seats each, and Dignity for Disability held one seat.

A Port Adelaide by-election and a Ramsay by-election occurred on 11 February 2012, Labor retained both seats.

Retiring MPs




2012 redistribution

To produce 'fair' boundaries, which has a history going back to the mid-1900s Playmander, the Electoral Commission of South Australia has been required to re-draw boundaries after each election with two-party electoral outcomes in mind since 1989.[31][32]

As a result, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's election expert Antony Green expected that the Labor government's parliamentary majority from the 2010 election would be redistributed away.[33][34] However, the draft redistribution, which altered the boundaries of 36 of 47 seats, nominally gave Labor 26 seats and the Liberals 21 seats on a two-party-preferred basis. Although held by an independent member, Frome was proposed to be moved from Labor to Liberal on a two-party-preferred basis. It was also proposed that the Norwood be renamed Dunstan.[35]

The Commission stated it was of the view that the 2010 election boundaries were fair. "Had the Liberal Party achieved a uniform swing it would have formed Government. The Commission has no control over, and can accept no responsibility for, the quality of the candidates, policies and campaigns."[36]

The Liberal Party disagreed with that assessment, and submitted that Hartley, Elder and Bright should be moved from Labor to Liberal.[37]

The final redistribution was released in August 2012. The renaming of the seat of Norwood to Dunstan occurred. On Antony Green's calculations, the notional two-party-preferred margin in Frome went from 0.1 percent Labor to 1.7 percent Liberal, Ashford went from 4.8 percent to 0.6 percent for Labor, Hartley went from 2.3 percent to 0.1 percent for Labor, Elder went from 3.6 percent to 2.0 percent for Labor and Light went from 5.3 percent to 2.8 percent for Labor, amongst other boundary and margin reductions and increases. All redistribution figures and swings used are based on Antony Green's booth-based declaration vote calculations rather than the electoral commission's seat-based declaration vote calculations.[38][39][40][41]


Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian was conducted via random telephone number selection in city and country areas. Sampling sizes usually consisted of over 800 electors, while the 10–13 March 2014 poll consisted of 1602 electors. The declared margin of errors at these sample sizes were ±3.5 percent and ±2.5 percent respectively. Two-party preferred figures were calculated based on preference flows at the 2010 state election.

See also

External links

  • 2014 SA election: Antony Green ABC
  • 2014 SA election: Poll Bludger
  • 2014 SA election: Tally Room
  • Electoral Commission of South Australia (ECSA)
  • Lower house how-to-vote cards and upper house above-the-line preference tickets: ECSA
  • Polls point towards possible hung Parliament: ABC 14 March 2014
  • Advertiser-Galaxy poll shows Labor ahead 51-49 in two critical marginal seats & chance to deny Libs majority government: The Advertiser 15 March 2014
  • Galaxy; 51-49 to Labor in Newland and Mitchell (SA): Poll Bludger 13 March 2014


  1. ^ a b Re-elected SA Labor Government gets down to business: ABC 27/3/2014
  2. ^ "Independents Bob Such, Geoff Brock likely to hold balance of power as hung parliament looms". 16 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Labor to form minority government with support of independent Geoff Brock: ABC 23 March 2014
  4. ^ "Martin Hamilton-Smith quits Liberals to back South Australian Labor Government". ABC News. 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  5. ^ Former Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith attends first Labor Cabinet meeting in SA: ABC 2 June 2014
  6. ^ "House of Assembly". 2014 South Australian Election. 
  7. ^ "House of Assembly". 2014 South Australian Election. 
  8. ^ a b "2014 SA pendulum". 2014 South Australian Election. 
  9. ^ Antony Green (16 March 2014). "Changing Seats". 2014 SA election. 
  10. ^ 2014 SA election House of Assembly final results: ECSA
  11. ^ Political party name abbreviations & codes, demographic ratings and seat status: AEC
  12. ^ "Legislative Council". 2014 South Australian Election. 
  13. ^ "Legislative Council". 2014 South Australian Election. 
  14. ^ Legislative Council Statement of Results Report, 2014 SA election: ECSA
  15. ^ "Australian elections timetable". Australian Parliamentary Library. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Registered Political Parties : 7 November 2013" (pdf). 7 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Key dates". 2014 SA election. 
  18. ^ "Lower house candidates". 2014 SA election. 
  19. ^ a b "Upper house candidates". 2014 SA election. 
  20. ^ "How-to-vote cards". 2014 SA election. 
  21. ^ "Tasmanian Premier names election date as March 15". 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Lyn Breuer ponders her political deadline". 29 April 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Senior Ministers to quit State Parliament". ABC News. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  24. ^ Brad Crouch (5 April 2013). "Government Whip Robyn Geraghty will retire at the 2014 election". AdelaideNow (News Ltd). 
  25. ^ Jonathan Swan (31 January 2014). "Senator Don Farrell backs down on move to SA politics after Premier Jay Weatherill threatens to quit". Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "Breuer to quit after losing speaker's chair". 28 March 2013. 
  27. ^ "Former Foley staffer tipped for Wright's seat". 15 March 2012. 
  28. ^ "CFS volunteers consider challenge to 'disgraceful' compensation legislation". 29 November 2013. 
  29. ^ Liberal South Australian MP Ivan Venning calling stumps: AdelaideNow 10 July 2012
  30. ^ The Tally Room. "2014 SA election, upper house". Tally Room. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  31. ^ The 1989 South Australian election, Australian Journal of Political Science, Dean Jaensch
  32. ^ 2014 SA redistribution: Tally Room
  33. ^ Antony Green (29 March 2010). "South Australian Election, Final 2-Party Preferred Counts". Antony Green's Election Blog. ABC News. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  34. ^ Antony Green (8 February 2011). "Future election dates". Antony Green's Election Blog. ABC News. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  35. ^ Antony Green (1 June 2012). "New State Electoral Boundaries Proposed for South Australia". Antony Green's Election Blog. ABC News. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  36. ^ "Draft Redistribution Report". Electoral Commission of South Australia. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  37. ^ "Liberals want three marginal Labor seats to swing their way:". The Advertiser. 5 August 2012. 
  38. ^ 2014 South Australian Electoral Pendulum: Antony Green ABC 21 January 2014
  39. ^ "Final redistribution report". Electoral Commission of South Australia. 
  40. ^ "South Australia redistributed". Poll Bludger. 23 August 2012. 
  41. ^ 2014 SA election seats: ABC
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