South Australian House of Assembly

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House of Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
History
Founded 1857
Leadership
Michael AtkinsonLabor
Since 5 February 2013
Frances BedfordLabor
Since 6 May 2014
Structure
Seats 47
SA_House_of_Assembly_Diagram.svg
Political groups
Government
     Labor (24)
Opposition
     Liberal (21)
Crossbench
     Independent (2)
Meeting place
South Australian House of Assembly.JPG
House of Assembly Chamber,
Parliament House, Adelaide,
South Australia, Australia
Website
SA House of Assembly

The House of Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of South Australia. The other is the Legislative Council. It sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Adelaide.

The 47-seat house consists of 24 Labor, 21 Liberal and 2 independents, Geoff Brock and Martin Hamilton-Smith.

Following the 2014 election, the lower house consisted of 23 Labor, 22 Liberal and 2 independents, Geoff Brock and Bob Such. Martin Hamilton-Smith became an independent shortly after the election, reducing the Liberals to 21 seats. Both Hamilton-Smith and fellow independent Geoff Brock are in cabinet and provide confidence and supply while retaining the right to vote on conscience. Labor went from minority to majority government when Nat Cook won the 2014 Fisher by-election which was triggered by the death of Bob Such.[1]

Overview[edit]

The House of Assembly was created in 1857, when South Australia attained self-government. The development of an elected legislature — although only men could vote — marked a significant change from the prior system, where legislative power was in the hands of the Governor and the Legislative Council, which was appointed by the Governor.

In 1894, the House of Assembly granted women the right to vote – the second place in the world to do so after New Zealand in 1893 – and the first to allow women to stand for election.

The House of Assembly has had 47 members since the 1970 election, each coming from a single-member constituency: 34 in the Adelaide area and 13 in rural areas. These are commonly known as seats, and are intended to represent approximately the same population in each electorate. Voting is by preferential voting with complete preference allocation, as with the equivalent federal chamber, the Australian House of Representatives. All members face re-election approximately every four years. The most recent election was held on 15 March 2014.

Most legislation is initiated in the House of Assembly. The party or coalition with a majority of seats in the lower house is invited by the Governor to form government. The leader of that party becomes Premier of South Australia, and their senior colleagues become ministers responsible for various portfolios. As Australian MPs almost always vote along party lines, almost all legislation introduced by the governing party will pass through the House of Assembly.

As with the federal parliament and Australian other states and territories, voting in the Assembly is compulsory for all those over the age of 18. Voting in the House of Assembly had originally been voluntary, but this was changed in 1942.

Election result summaries[edit]

House of Assembly chamber circa 1928. Click here for a 360 degree view. Internet Explorer recommended.
1857 1860 1862 1865 1868 1870 1871 1875 1878 1881 1884 1887 1890
Parliament 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Districts 17 17 18 18 18 18 18 22 22 22 26 26 27
Members 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 46 46 46 52 52 54
1893 1896 1899 1902 1905 1906 1910 1912 1915 1918 1921 1924 1927
Parliament 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
Districts 27 27 27 13 13 13 13 12 19 19 19 19 19
Members 54 54 54 42 42 42 42 40 46 46 46 46 46
Cons. 21 21 28 19 ALP 22 16 26 17 ALP 16 27 16
Lib. 23 15 14 12 LDU 20 24 20 28 LU 25 17 28
ULP 10 12 11 5 15 FSP 1 FSP 4
Other 6 1 6 27 1 2 2
Speakers' chair in 1889
1930 1933 1938 1941 1944 1947 1950 1953 1956 1959 1962 1965 1968
Parliament 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
Districts 19 19 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39
Members 46 46 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39 39
ALP 30 6 9 11 16 13 12 15 15 17 19 21 19
LCL 13 29 15 20 20 23 23 20 21 20 18 17 19
Other 3 11 15 8 3 3 4 4 3 2 2 1 1
1970 1973 1975 1977 1979 1982 1985 1989 1993 1997 2002 2006
Parliament 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51
Members 47 47 47 47 47 47 47 47 47 47 47 47
ALP 27 26 23 27 19 24 27 22 10 21 23 28
LPA 20 20 20 17 25 21 16 22 37 23 20 15
LM/AD 2 1 1 Nat 1 1 1 1 1 1
Other 1 2 2 2 1 3 2 2 3 3
2010 2014 2018 2022 2026 2030 2034 2038 2042 2046 2050 2054 2058
Parliament 52 53
Members 47 47
ALP 26 23
LPA 18 22
Other 3 2

Current distribution of seats[edit]

Party Seats held
2014 2014–current
Australian Labor Party 24                                                
Liberal Party of Australia 21                                                
Independents 2                                                
  • 24 votes as a majority are required to pass legislation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]