Ramsay state by-election, 2012

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Ramsay, outlined in yellow, is a northern metropolitan seat in Adelaide, South Australia.

A by-election occurred in the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Ramsay on 11 February 2012. The seat was won by Labor candidate Zoe Bettison. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of former Premier and state Labor MHA Mike Rann.[1]

Background[edit]

Rann and Kevin Foley resigned from their parliamentary seats, which created twin by-elections for 11 February, the other being the 2012 Port Adelaide by-election. On two-party preferred margins of 18.0 percent and 12.8 percent from the 2010 election, considered safe margins on the previous pendulum, Labor would have likely retained both seats on the two-party preferred vote based on unchanged statewide Newspoll since the previous election. Ramsay was the safest of Labor's seats based on the previous election. In the lower house, 24 seats form a majority, the Labor government held 26 of 47 seats. If one or both seats were lost, Labor would still have retained majority government.[2][3][4]

Rann was first elected as the member for the new northern metropolitan seat of Briggs at the 1985 election. From 1989 he held various ministries in the Bannon Labor government. Briggs was abolished in an electoral redistribution, with Rann moving to Ramsay in 1993. Rann was state Labor leader and leader of the opposition from 1994 after the Labor government was defeated a year earlier. Rann led Labor to minority government at the 2002 election, a landslide majority government at the 2006 election, and retained majority government at the 2010 election despite a swing. Rann stepped down in favour of Jay Weatherill as party leader and Premier in 2011. Rann is the third-longest-serving Premier of South Australia and longest-serving South Australian Labor leader. Assuming Labor holds government until the 2014 election, with four-year terms, it will be the longest-serving period of South Australian Labor government in history.

The last by-election was the 2009 Frome by-election, when another former Premier, Rob Kerin, retired from politics. The seat was narrowly won by an independent candidate.

Timeline[edit]

Date Event
13 January 2012 Mike Rann resigned from the Parliament of South Australia.[5]
13 January 2012 Writs were issued by the Speaker of the House of Assembly to proceed with a by-election.
23 January 2012 Enrolment on electoral rolls closed, with a total of 22,330 voters enrolled for the by-election.[6]
27 January 2012 Candidate nominations closed and ballot order draw occurred, in line with s60(a) of the Electoral Act 1985.[7]
11 February 2012 Polling day occurred between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
27 February 2012 Writ returned before this date for formal result declaration.

Candidates[edit]

Listed in ballot order:[8]

Candidate nominations
  Independent Voice of the Community Mark Aldridge Son of Salisbury Mayor. Contested seats in multiple recent federal and state elections as an independent, and 2007 for One Nation.[9][10]
  SA Greens Ruth Beach Environmental, commercial and industrial lawyer, chair of an SA conservation NGO.[9][11]
  Independent Trevor Grace Save the Unborn Trevor Grace Endorsed candidate of the unregistered anti-abortionist Save the Unborn Party, contested upper house in 2010, and for the Family First Party in 2006.[9][12]
  Labor Zoe Bettison Former SDA organiser, NT Labor secretary and ministerial advisor, SA director of Hawker Britton.[2][9]
  One Nation Chris Walsh Plumber and partner of a horticultural business.[9][13]
  FREE Australia Mark Lena Electrician and data cabler.[9][14]
  Liberal Democrats Christopher Steele Owner and manager of advertising and audio businesses, wedding celebrant, contested federal seat of Adelaide in 2010.[9]

The Liberal Party of Australia, Family First Party, and the Australian Democrats, who contested the previous election and gained 24.9 percent, 9.6 percent, and 3.0 percent respectively, did not contest the by-election.[9][15]

Polling[edit]

One opinion poll was conducted and released by the in-house polling group at The Advertiser, Adelaide's main newspaper. On 30 January 2012, 410 voters were polled in the seat. After the Liberal Party declined to field a candidate, Labor's primary vote was at 51 percent (57.9 percent at the last election), with the LDP on 23 percent, Aldridge on 10 percent, the Greens on 9 percent (4.6 percent), with remaining candidates on about 7 percent collectively.[16]

Labor was expected to easily retain the seat.[9][17]

Result[edit]

Ramsay state by-election, 11 February 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labor Zoe Bettison 8,843 54.6 –3.3
Independent Voice of the Community Mark Aldridge 2,614 16.1 +16.1
Liberal Democrats Christopher Steele 2,157 13.3 +13.3
SA Greens Ruth Beach 1,072 6.6 +2.0
One Nation Chris Walsh 563 3.5 +3.5
Independent Trevor Grace Save the Unborn Trevor Grace 510 3.2 +3.2
FREE Australia Mark Lena 430 2.7 +2.7
Total formal votes 16,189 90.4 –5.3
Informal votes 1,726 9.6 +5.3
Turnout 17,915 80.2 –11.9
Two-candidate-preferred result
Labor Zoe Bettison 10,795 66.7 –1.3
Independent Voice of the Community Mark Aldridge 5,394 33.3 +33.3
Labor hold Swing N/A

Labor retained the seat on a 66.7 percent two-candidate preferred vote against Aldridge, with a majority in all nine polling places – Ramsay remained the safest Labor seat in the parliament. Postal votes were included on 13 February, absentee and pre-poll votes were included on 14 February. Preference distributions occurred on 18 February. Results are final.[18][19][20][21][22]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mike Rann to quit politics this week". NineMSN. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Wills, Daniel (6 November 2011). "Labor by-elections candidates confirmed". The Advertiser. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Martin, Sarah (14 December 2011). "Pressure on Rann to quit for by-election". AdelaideNow. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Wills, Daniel (18 November 2011). "Labor soars on crest of a Jay curve". The Advertiser. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Rann says goodbye to parliament". Sky News. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ramsay by-election candidates announced" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  7. ^ Electoral Commission SA. "Ramsay election timetable". Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Electoral Commission SA. "Ramsay: Candidates and HTV Cards". Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Green, Antony. "2012 Ramsay by-election guide". ABC Elections. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Mark M Aldridge website[dead link]
  11. ^ Ramsay by-election 2012: SA Greens[dead link]
  12. ^ "Ramsay By-Election SA – Save the Unborn". Abortsa.com. 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  13. ^ "One Nation website". Sa.onenation.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  14. ^ Mark Lena for the seat of Ramsay: Free Australia[dead link]
  15. ^ "Libs yet to decide on SA by-elections". NineMSN. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  16. ^ Crouch, Brad (2012-02-04). "The battle for Port heats up". Adelaidenow.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  17. ^ "SA to hold by-elections today". Skynews.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  18. ^ "Ramsay by-election results". Ecsa.sa.gov.au. 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  19. ^ "Ramsay by-election distribution of preferences" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  20. ^ "Ramsay by-election results: Antony Green ABC". Abc.net.au. 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  21. ^ "Port Adelaide and Ramsay by-elections live: Poll Bludger". Blogs.crikey.com.au. 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  22. ^ Close call as Labor takes a hit in Port Adelaide: The Advertiser 12 February 2012