South Australian state election, 1973

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South Australian state election, 1973
South Australia
1970 ←
10 March 1973 (1973-03-10) → 1975

All 47 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly
24 seats were needed for a majority
10 (of the 20) seats of the South Australian Legislative Council
  First party Second party
Leader Don Dunstan Bruce Eastick
Party Labor Liberal and Country League
Leader since 1 June 1967 1972
Leader's seat Norwood Light
Last election 27 seats 20 seats
Seats won 26 seats 20 seats
Seat change Decrease1 Steady0
Percentage 54.5% 45.5%
Swing Increase1.2 Decrease1.2

Premier before election

Don Dunstan

Elected Premier

Don Dunstan

State elections were held in South Australia on 10 March 1973. 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 Don Dunstan won a second term in government, defeating the Liberal and Country League led by Leader of the Opposition Bruce Eastick.

House of Assembly (IRV) — Turnout 94.20% (CV) — Informal 4.08%
Party Votes  % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 324,135 51.52 -0.12 26 -1
  Liberal and Country League 250,312 39.79 -3.97 20 0
  Nationals SA 24,810 3.94 +2.05 1 +1
  Independent 27,178 4.32 +2.86 0 0
  Other 2,708 0.43 -0.81 0 0
  Total 629,143     47
  Australian Labor Party WIN 54.50 +1.20 26 -1
  Liberal and Country League 45.50 -1.20 21 +1
  • The LCL and Labor both did not contest five seats each. The election was the last in South Australia where both major parties did not contest all lower house seats. The primary vote was counted on seats contested, while the two-party vote was estimated for all seats.


Parliamentary elections for both houses of the Parliament of South Australia were held in South Australia in 1973, which saw Don Dunstan and the Australian Labor Party win a second successive term, against the Liberal and Country League (LCL) led by Bruce Eastick.

It was only the second time that a Labor government in South Australia had been re-elected for a second term, the first being the early Thomas Price Labor government. It would be the first five-year-incumbent Labor government however.

Moderate Liberal Movement forces within the LCL broke away to form its own party led by Steele Hall after the election in 1973. The LCL became the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia a year after the election.

The SA Nationals also won a seat for the first time in Flinders, and finished second after preferences with no Labor candidate in five LCL seats − Rocky River, Mallee, Alexandra, Goyder and Victoria.

A 1973 Semaphore by-election and a 1974 Goyder by-election were triggered. Labor and the Liberal Movement easily retained their respective seats.

Post-election pendulum[edit]

Gilles Jack Slater ALP 5.8%
Fairly safe
Millicent Des Corcoran ALP 6.5%
Coles Len King ALP 9.2%
Peake Don Simmons ALP 9.6%
Norwood Don Dunstan ALP 9.6%
Henley Beach Glen Broomhill ALP 10.2%
Mitchell Ron Payne ALP 11.0%
Unley Gil Langley ALP 11.6%
Brighton Hugh Hudson ALP 12.0%
Mount Gambier Allan Burdon ALP 14.0%
Mawson Don Hopgood ALP 14.1%
Tea Tree Gully Molly Byrne ALP 14.1%
Ascot Park Geoff Virgo ALP 14.7%
Playford Terry McRae ALP 14.8%
Adelaide Jack Wright ALP 16.7%
Elizabeth Peter Duncan ALP 19.6%
Florey Charles Wells ALP 20.4%
Albert Park Charles Harrison ALP 21.7%
Price John Ryan ALP 22.5%
Pirie Dave McKee ALP 23.9% v IND
Whyalla Max Brown ALP 24.7%
Semaphore Reg Hurst ALP 26.0%
Ross Smith Joe Jennings ALP 30.3% v IND
Stuart Gavin Keneally ALP 31.2% v IND
Spence Ernie Crimes ALP 31.9% v IND
Salisbury Reg Groth ALP 34.0% v IND
Rocky River Howard Venning LCL 0.2% v NAT
Hanson Heini Becker LCL 2.4%
Glenelg John Mathwin LCL 2.7%
Mallee Bill Nankivell LCL 3.2% v NAT
Chaffey Peter Arnold LCL 3.5%
Torrens John Coumbe LCL 5.2%
Fairly Safe
Murray Ivon Wardle LCL 7.3%
Alexandra Ted Chapman LCL 8.2% v NAT
Fisher Stan Evans LCL 9.4%
Goyder David Boundy LCL 10.3% v NAT
Frome Ernest Allen LCL 10.9%
Light Bruce Eastick LCL 13.6%
Gouger Keith Russack LCL 13.6%
Victoria Allan Rodda LCL 14.1% v NAT
Mitcham Robin Millhouse LCL 15.7%
Bragg David Tonkin LCL 16.4%
Davenport Dean Brown LCL 18.2%
Kavel Roger Goldsworthy LCL 20.0%
Eyre Graham Gunn LCL 22.6%
Heysen William McAnaney LCL 23.0%
Flinders Peter Blacker NAT 4.9% v LCL

Legislative Council Results[edit]

1973 Legislative Council Result
Party Seats
  Australian Labor Party 54.6% 2
  Liberal and Country League 44.5% 8
  Independents/Other 0.9%
1973-1975 Legislative Council
Party Seats
  Liberal and Country League 16
  Australian Labor Party 4

See also[edit]