South Australian state election, 1985

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South Australian state election, 1985
South Australia
1982 ←
7 December 1985 (1985-12-07)
→ 1989

All 47 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly
24 seats were needed for a majority
11 (of the 22) seats in the South Australian Legislative Council
  First party Second party
  John Bannon.jpg John Olsen (1).jpg
Leader John Bannon John Olsen
Party Labor Liberal
Leader since 18 September 1979 10 November 1982
Leader's seat Ross Smith Custance
Last election 24 seats 21 seats
Seats won 27 seats 16 seats
Seat change Increase3 Decrease5
Percentage 53.2% 46.8%
Swing Increase2.3 Decrease2.3

Premier before election

John Bannon

Elected Premier

John Bannon

State elections were held in Australia on 7 December 1985. All 47 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly were up for election. The incumbent Australian Labor Party led by Premier of South Australia John Bannon defeated the Liberal Party of Australia led by Leader of the Opposition John Olsen.

House of Assembly (IRV) — Turnout 93.46% (CV) — Informal 3.47%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 393,652 48.19 +1.91 27 +3
  Liberal Party of Australia 344,337 42.15 -0.52 16 -5
  Australian Democrats 34,732 4.25 -2.87 0 0
  Independent Labor 18,641 2.28 * 2 +2
  Nationals SA 14,056 1.72 -0.60 1 0
  Independent Liberal 5,224 0.64 * 1 +1
  Independent 5,368 0.66 -0.94 0 -1
  Other 878 0.11 0 0
  Total 816,888     47
  Australian Labor Party WIN 53.20 +2.30 29 +4
  Liberal Party of Australia 46.80 -2.30 18 -4

Independents: Martyn Evans, Norm Peterson, Stan Evans


Parliamentary elections for both houses of the Parliament of South Australia were held in South Australia on 7 December 1985, which saw John Bannon and the Australian Labor Party win a second successive term, against the Liberal Party of Australia opposition led by John Olsen.

Bannon's consensual approach to government differed markedly from the Dunstan era. While then there had been a stream of social reform, Bannon's priorities were oriented elsewhere. During his time in power, he sold land reserved for freeways under the MATS plan, established the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine, the submarine project, the defence industry, conversion of part of the Adelaide Railway Station into the Adelaide Convention Centre, the Hyatt and Adelaide Casino complex, and the staging of the Formula One Grand Prix.[1]

Labor won the election with an increased majority. The Liberal Party retained John Olsen as leader, partly because his main rival Dean Brown lost his seat to Independent Liberal Stan Evans.

Legislative Council Results[edit]

1985 Legislative Council Result (STV GV)
Party Seats
  Australian Labor Party 48.0% 5
  Liberal Party of Australia 39.3% 5
  Australian Democrats 5.5% 1
  Nationals SA 1.6%
1985-1989 Legislative Council
Party Seats
  Australian Labor Party 10
  Liberal Party of Australia 10
  Australian Democrats 2

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Words: Penelope Debelle (27 February 2009). "The best I could do was not good enough". Adelaide Now. Retrieved 2011-02-07.