South Australian state election, 2018

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South Australian state election, 2018
South Australia
2014 ←
17 March 2018

  JayWeatherill.jpg Steven Marshall crop.jpg
Leader Jay Weatherill Steven Marshall
Party Labor Liberal
Leader since 21 October 2011 4 February 2013
Leader's seat Cheltenham Dunstan
Last election 23 seats 22 seats
Current seats 24 seats 20 seats
Seats needed Steady Increase4
TPP @ 2014 47.0% 53.0%
TPP polling 51% 49%
BP polling 45% 30%

Incumbent Premier

Jay Weatherill

The 2018 South Australian state election will elect members to the 54th Parliament of South Australia on 17 March 2018. All 47 seats in the House of Assembly or lower house, whose current members were elected at the 2014 election, and 11 of 22 seats in the Legislative Council or upper house, last filled at the 2010 election, will become vacant. The 16-year-incumbent Australian Labor Party government, currently led by Premier Jay Weatherill, will be challenged by the opposition Liberal Party of Australia, currently led by Opposition Leader Steven Marshall.

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 will be conducted by the Electoral Commission of South Australia (ECSA), an independent body answerable to Parliament.

2014 election outcome[edit]

The 2014 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. Labor achieved majority government when Nat Cook won the 2014 Fisher by-election which was triggered by the death of Such.[1]


The last state election was held on 15 March 2014 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.[2]

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)).


Metropolitan seats
Rural seats

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 and changes since.[3][4] "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.[5]

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 Geoff Brock agreed to support the Labor government on confidence and supply while retaining the right to otherwise vote on conscience.[6][7]

Fisher Nat Cook ALP 0.0%
Newland Tom Kenyon ALP 1.4%
Colton Paul Caica ALP 1.5%
Elder Annabel Digance ALP 1.8%
Ashford Steph Key ALP 1.9%
Florey Frances Bedford ALP 2.5%
Light Tony Piccolo ALP 2.8%
Wright Jennifer Rankine ALP 3.0%
Torrens Dana Wortley ALP 3.5%
Lee Stephen Mullighan ALP 4.5%
Mawson Leon Bignell ALP 5.6%
Fairly safe
Giles Eddie Hughes ALP 7.0%
Little Para Lee Odenwalder ALP 7.4%
Kaurna Chris Picton ALP 7.7%
Enfield John Rau ALP 8.1%
Napier Jon Gee ALP 9.1%
Reynell Katrine Hildyard ALP 10.0%
Port Adelaide Susan Close ALP 10.6%
West Torrens Tom Koutsantonis ALP 10.8%
Taylor Leesa Vlahos ALP 11.6%
Playford Jack Snelling ALP 12.6%
Cheltenham Jay Weatherill ALP 14.3%
Ramsay Zoe Bettison ALP 18.4%
Croydon Michael Atkinson ALP 18.9%
Mitchell Corey Wingard LIB 1.2%
Adelaide Rachel Sanderson LIB 2.4%
Hartley Vincent Tarzia LIB 2.4%
Dunstan Steven Marshall LIB 3.1%
Bright David Speirs LIB 3.3%
Fairly safe
Mt Gambier Troy Bell LIB 7.2% v IND
Davenport Iain Evans LIB 8.1%
Unley David Pisoni LIB 9.8%
Morialta John Gardner LIB 10.0%
Heysen Isobel Redmond LIB 11.0% v GRN
Goyder Steven Griffiths LIB 12.9%
Morphett Duncan McFetridge LIB 12.9%
Finniss Michael Pengilly LIB 13.8%
Kavel Mark Goldsworthy LIB 14.0%
Schubert Stephan Knoll LIB 14.6%
Hammond Adrian Pederick LIB 14.6%
Bragg Vickie Chapman LIB 18.7%
Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan LIB 20.5%
Chaffey Tim Whetstone LIB 25.1%
MacKillop Mitch Williams LIB 26.7%
Flinders Peter Treloar LIB 29.2%
Frome Geoff Brock IND 8.8% v LIB
Waite Martin Hamilton-Smith IND 11.4% v ALP


Independent Bob Such in Fisher died from a brain tumour on 11 October 2014 which triggered a 2014 Fisher by-election for 6 December.[8] Labor's Nat Cook won the by-election.[1]

Liberal Iain Evans in Davenport resigned from parliament on 30 October 2014 which will trigger a 2015 Davenport by-election for 31 January 2015.[9][10][11][12]


Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian is conducted via random telephone number selection in city and country areas. Sampling sizes usually consists of over 800 electors, while the 10–13 March 2014 poll consisted of 1602 electors. The declared margin of errors at these sample sizes is ±3.5 percent and ±2.5 percent respectively.

House of Assembly (lower house) polling
Primary vote TPP vote
ALP Lib Grn Oth ALP Lib
Jul–Sep 2014 34% 36% 9% 21% 51% 49%
15 Mar 2014 election 35.8% 44.8% 8.7% 10.7% 47.0% 53.0%
10–13 Mar 2014 34% 41% 9% 16% 47.7% 52.3%
21–27 Feb 2014 34% 44% 7% 15% 46% 54%
Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian.
Better Premier and satisfaction polling^
Better Premier Weatherill Marshall
Weatherill Marshall Satisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Dissatisfied
Jul–Sep 2014 45% 30% 45% 37% 40% 34%
15 Mar 2014 election
10–13 Mar 2014 43% 37% 42% 42% 42% 35%
21–27 Feb 2014 40% 39% 43% 44% 45% 29%
Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian.
^ Remainder were "uncommitted" to either leader.

See also[edit]