Ralph Clarke (Australian politician)

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Ralph Clarke
Deputy Leader of the Opposition (SA)
In office
5 November 1994 – 1 January 1997
Leader Mike Rann
Preceded by Mike Rann
Succeeded by Annette Hurley
Member for Ross Smith
In office
11 December 1993 – 9 February 2002
Preceded by John Bannon
Succeeded by District abolished
Personal details
Born (1951-10-04) 4 October 1951 (age 66)
Nationality Australian Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party

Ralph Desmond Clarke (born 4 October 1951) is a former Australian politician. He was an Australian Labor Party member of the South Australian House of Assembly between 1993 and 2002, representing the electorate of Ross Smith. He was the deputy leader of the State Parliamentary Labor Party, and thus the deputy opposition leader, until he was deposed in factional infighting.

Ross Smith was abolished ahead of the 2002 state election, and Clarke tried to follow most of his constituents into the recreated seat of Enfield. Despite a secret ballot showing 60 of the 74 of the members of de-stacked local branches threw their support behind Clarke for 2002 preselection, but the state executive intervened to install John Rau, a former colleague of Clarke's in the Centre Left faction who had made the switch to the Right. Clarke ran as an independent and did very well on 23.1%, however with the ALP vote of 39.5% and Liberal vote of 24.1%, he did not get into the two party preferred race for election.

Clarke contested an upper house seat under a banner of "Buy back ETSA" at the 2006 election but failed with only 0.1% of the vote, only 1115 votes.

Prior to entering parliament, Clarke was Secretary of the Federated Clerks' Union (FCU), and later involved with the Australian Services Union.[1]

In October 2007 Clarke was elected as an Area Councillor for the City of Adelaide.


  1. ^ Mayne, Stephen (25 January 2006). "Tracking the unionists in parliament". Crikey. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of South Australia
Preceded by
John Bannon
Member for Ross Smith
1993 – 2002
Division abolished