2002 South Australian state election

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2002 South Australian state election

← 1997 9 February 2002 (2002-02-09) 2006 →

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
  Mike Rann (smiling).jpg Noimage.png
Leader Mike Rann Rob Kerin
Party Labor Liberal
Leader since 5 November 1994 22 October 2001
Leader's seat Ramsay Frome
Seats before 21 seats 22 seats
Seats won 23 seats 20 seats
Seat change Increase2 Decrease2
Percentage 49.1% 50.9%
Swing Increase0.6 Decrease0.6

Premier before election

Rob Kerin

Resulting Premier

Mike Rann

State elections were held in South Australia on 9 February 2002. All 47 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly were up for election, along with half of the 22 seats in the South Australian Legislative Council. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Premier of South Australia Rob Kerin was defeated by the Australian Labor Party led by Leader of the Opposition Mike Rann. Labor won 23 out of 47 seats, and then secured the one more seat it needed for a majority by gaining the support of independent Peter Lewis.


This was the first election since Labor narrowly lost as opposition in the 1997 election, doing much better than most analysts predicted, forcing the Liberals to minority government after their comprehensive loss in the 1993 election where Labor were reduced to just ten seats. Coming into the 2002 election, the Liberal Government had faced a number of scandals including the Motorola affair, over which Premier John Olsen was forced to resign in October 2001. He was succeeded by Rob Kerin, who had less than three months to govern before the election was called.


House of Assembly[edit]

South Australian state election, 9 February 2002[1]
House of Assembly
<< 19972006 >>

Enrolled voters 1,045,563
Votes cast 978,569 Turnout 93.59 +1.84
Informal votes 30,537 Informal 3.12 -0.92
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  Liberal 378,929 39.97 -0.43 20 - 2
  Labor 344,559 36.34 +1.18 23 + 2
  Democrats 71,026 7.49 -8.95 0 0
  Family First 25,025 2.64 +2.64 0 0
  One Nation 22,833 2.41 +2.41 0 0
  Greens 22,332 2.36 +2.21 0 0
  SA First 16,902 1.78 +1.78 0 0
  National 13,748 1.45 -0.29 1 0
  Independent 40,288 4.25 +1.12 3 0
  Other 12,390 1.38 * 0 0
Total 948,032     47  
  Labor 465,227 49.07 +0.58
  Liberal 482,805 50.93 –0.58

Independents: Rory McEwen, Bob Such, Peter Lewis

Labor won two seats from the Liberals, the districts of Adelaide (Jane Lomax-Smith) and Colton (Paul Caica). This gave Labor 23 seats, Liberals 20 seats, SA Nationals one seat, and three seats to independents. In order to form majority government, a party needed 24 seats out of 47. Most analysts expected Kerin to form a minority government with the support of Nationals MP Karlene Maywald, and the three independents, who were all former Liberal party members.

On 13 February, one of those crossbenchers, former Liberal Peter Lewis, announced that he had signed an agreement with Labor leader Mike Rann to support a Labor Government in exchange for holding a constitutional convention, making him speaker of the House of Assembly, and concessions for his electorate including the phasing out of commercial fishing in the River Murray, prioritising the eradication of the branched broomrape weed, changing water rates for irrigation, fast-tracking a feasibility study for a weir and lock at Wellington, and improving rural roads. This agreement effectively made Rann premier-elect by one seat.

However, following parliamentary precedent established by Don Dunstan following the 1968 election, Kerin refused to resign until Rann and Labor demonstrated that they had majority support on the floor of the House of Assembly. Kerin claimed to be within this rights to take this course, as longstanding precedent in the Westminster system holds that the incumbent premier should have the first opportunity to form a government if no party has a majority.[citation needed]

After three weeks of stalemate, the House of Assembly was called into session several weeks earlier than usual. With Lewis in the speaker's chair, the Kerin Government was defeated on the floor of the House of Assembly on 5 March 2002, after Kerin moved a confidence motion in his own government and lost. Rann then advised Governor Marjorie Jackson-Nelson that he could form a government, which was duly sworn in the following day.

Rann later shored up his government's majority by reaching agreements with crossbenchers Maywald and McEwen, giving them cabinet posts in exchange for their support of the government.

Legislative Council[edit]

South Australian state election, 9 February 2002[2]
Legislative Council
<< 19972006 >>

Enrolled voters 1,045,563
Votes cast 983,567 Turnout 94.1 +1.4
Informal votes 53,105 Informal 5.4 +1.1
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats
  Liberal 373,102 40.1 +2.3 5 9
  Labor 305,595 32.9 +2.3 4 7
  Democrats 68,317 7.3 –9.4 1 3
  Family First 47,443 4.0 +4.0 1 1
  Greens 25,725 2.8 +1.1 0 0
  One Nation 16,829 1.8 +1.8 0 0
  No Pokies 11,984 1.3 –1.5 0 1
  Voluntary Euthanasia 10,973 1.2 +0.7 0 0
  SA First 9,567 1.0 +1.0 0 1
  HEMP 8,241 0.9 –0.8 0 0
  Grey Power 7,918 0.9 –0.7 0 0
  National 4,412 0.5 –0.5 0 0
  Other 40,356 4.3 * 0 0
Total 930,462     11 22

In the Legislative Council, Liberal won 5 seats (Robert Lawson, Caroline Schaefer, Angus Redford, David Ridgway, Terry Stephens), Labor won 4 seats (Gail Gago, Paul Holloway, Terry Roberts, John Gazzola), Australian Democrats won 1 seat (Sandra Kanck), and the recently formed Family First party won their first ever seat in an Australian parliament (Andrew Evans). [1]

This left the overall numbers in the Legislative Council at: Liberal 9, Labor 7, Democrats 3, Family First 1, No Pokies 1, and 1 independent (Terry Cameron).

Post-election Pendulum[edit]

Norwood Vini Ciccarello ALP 0.5%
Adelaide Jane Lomax-Smith ALP 1.0%
Hammond Peter Lewis CLIC 2.1% v LIB
Wright Jennifer Rankine ALP 3.2%
Ashford Steph Key ALP 3.7%
Florey Frances Bedford ALP 3.7%
Elder Pat Conlon ALP 3.7%
Colton Paul Caica ALP 4.6%
Mitchell Kris Hanna ALP 4.7%
Fairly safe
Reynell Gay Thompson ALP 6.6%
Lee Michael Wright ALP 7.0%
Elizabeth Lea Stevens ALP 7.2%
Torrens Robyn Geraghty ALP 7.2%
West Torrens Tom Koutsantonis ALP 8.6%
Giles Lyn Breuer ALP 9.7%
Kaurna John Hill ALP 11.0%
Playford Jack Snelling ALP 13.1%
Napier Michael O'Brien ALP 14.3%
Enfield John Rau ALP 15.9%
Cheltenham Jay Weatherill ALP 16.7%
Taylor Trish White ALP 17.7%
Croydon Michael Atkinson ALP 19.1%
Ramsay Mike Rann ALP 20.2%
Port Adelaide Kevin Foley ALP 21.7%
Hartley Joe Scalzi LIB 1.3%
Stuart Graham Gunn LIB 1.3%
Light Malcolm Buckby LIB 2.8%
Kavel Mark Goldsworthy LIB 2.9% v IND
Mawson Robert Brokenshire LIB 3.5%
Heysen Isobel Redmond LIB 4.0% v AD
Morialta Joan Hall LIB 4.1%
Bright Wayne Matthew LIB 5.0%
Newland Dorothy Kotz LIB 5.7%
Fairly safe
Unley Mark Brindal LIB 9.0%
Morphett Duncan McFetridge LIB 10.0%
MacKillop Mitch Williams LIB 11.4% v IND
Davenport Iain Evans LIB 11.5%
Frome Rob Kerin LIB 11.5%
Waite Martin Hamilton-Smith LIB 12.0%
Fisher Bob Such IND 12.1% v LIB
Schubert Ivan Venning LIB 13.1%
Chaffey Karlene Maywald NAT 14.0% v LIB
Finniss Dean Brown LIB 15.6%
Goyder John Meier LIB 16.2%
Bragg Vickie Chapman LIB 19.6%
Mt Gambier Rory McEwen IND 26.6% v LIB
Flinders Liz Penfold LIB 28.4%
Metro SA: ALP in red, Liberal in blue, Independents in white. These boundaries are based on the 2006 electoral redistribution.
Rural SA: ALP in red, Liberal in blue, Independents in white, Nationals in green. These boundaries are based on the 2006 electoral redistribution.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Details of SA 2002 Election". Australian Politics and Elections Database.
  2. ^ "History of South Australian Elections 1857 - 2006". Electoral Commission SA. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014.

External links[edit]

General information
Political Parties