South Australian state election, 1985

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South Australian state election, 1985
South Australia
← 1982 7 December 1985 (1985-12-07) 1989 →

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
  John Bannon.jpg John Olsen (1).jpg
Leader John Bannon John Olsen
Party Labor Liberal
Leader since 18 September 1979 10 November 1982
Leader's seat Ross Smith Custance
Last election 24 seats 21 seats
Seats won 27 seats 16 seats
Seat change Increase3 Decrease5
Percentage 53.2% 46.8%
Swing Increase2.3 Decrease2.3

Premier before election

John Bannon

Elected Premier

John Bannon

State elections were held in South Australia on 7 December 1985. 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 John Bannon defeated the Liberal Party of Australia led by Leader of the Opposition John Olsen.

House of Assembly (IRV) — Turnout 93.46% (CV) — Informal 3.47%
Party Votes  % Swing Seats Change
  Australian Labor Party 393,652 48.19 +1.91 27 +3
  Liberal Party of Australia 344,337 42.15 -0.52 16 -5
  Australian Democrats 34,732 4.25 -2.87 0 0
  Independent Labor 18,641 2.28 * 2 +2
  Nationals SA 14,056 1.72 -0.60 1 0
  Independent Liberal 5,224 0.64 * 1 +1
  Independent 5,368 0.66 -0.94 0 -1
  Other 878 0.11 0 0
  Total 816,888     47
  Australian Labor Party WIN 53.20 +2.30 29 +4
  Liberal Party of Australia 46.80 -2.30 18 -4

Independents: Martyn Evans, Norm Peterson, Stan Evans


Parliamentary elections for both houses of the Parliament of South Australia were held in South Australia on 7 December 1985, which saw John Bannon and the Australian Labor Party win a second successive term, against the Liberal Party of Australia opposition led by John Olsen.

Bannon's consensual approach to government differed markedly from the Dunstan era. While then there had been a stream of social reform under Dunstan, Bannon's priorities were oriented in economics. He established the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine, the submarine project, the defence industry, the Hyatt and Adelaide Casino complex, conversion of part of the Adelaide railway station into the Adelaide Convention Centre, sold land reserved for freeways under the MATS plan, and staged the Formula One Grand Prix. Poker machines (pokies) were introduced in South Australia, a decision Bannon would come to regret decades later. Other measures were introduced such as action to prevent destruction of vegetation and urban renewal programmes to invigorate some of the declining inner suburbs in Adelaide.

Labor won the election with an increased majority. The Liberal Party retained John Olsen as leader, partly because his main rival Dean Brown lost his seat to Independent Liberal Stan Evans.

In the South Australian Legislative Council, the sole balance of power was held unbroken by the Australian Democrats from their inception in mid-1970s, until the late 1990s. Though the Democrats would exceed 16 percent of the vote at the 1997 election, during the following term the Democrats would lose the sole balance of power for the first time, sharing the balance of power with independent members, slowly losing numbers and influence, until they were eventually without parliamentary representation as of the 2010 election.

Post-election Pendulum[edit]

For previous pendulums and maps, see South Australian state elections.
Adelaide Michael Duigan ALP 0.6%
Fisher Philip Tyler ALP 1.1%
Newland Di Gayler ALP 1.5%
Bright Derek Robertson ALP 1.6%
Hayward June Appleby ALP 2.8%
Unley Kym Mayes ALP 5.0%
Todd John Klunder ALP 5.9%
Fairly safe
Norwood Greg Crafter ALP 6.3%
Henley Beach Don Ferguson ALP 7.3%
Florey Susan Lenehan ALP 8.2%
Walsh John Trainer ALP 10.7%
Hartley Terry Groom ALP 12.5%
Albert Park Kevin Hamilton ALP 12.9%
Mitchell Ron Payne ALP 13.5%
Baudin Don Hopgood ALP 13.7%
Gilles Jack Slater ALP 14.2%
Peake Keith Plunkett ALP 15.7%
Mawson Susan Lenehan ALP 16.1%
Whyalla Frank Blevins ALP 17.0%
Briggs Mike Rann ALP 17.4%
Spence Roy Abbott ALP 18.4%
Ross Smith John Bannon ALP 18.7%
Playford Terry McRae ALP 19.4%
Stuart Gavin Keneally ALP 22.0%
Napier Terry Hemmings ALP 23.5%
Ramsay Lynn Arnold ALP 24.2%
Price Murray De Laine ALP 24.3%
Hanson Heini Becker LIB 0.9%
Morphett John Oswald LIB 4.7%
Fairly safe
Mitcham Stephen Baker LIB 8.3%
Coles Jennifer Adamson LIB 8.4%
Heysen David Wotton LIB 8.8%
Light Bruce Eastick LIB 9.3%
Mount Gambier Harold Allison LIB 9.9%
Kavel Stephen Baker LIB 11.0%
Goyder John Meier LIB 12.4%
Alexandra Ted Chapman LIB 15.2%
Eyre Graham Gunn LIB 15.8%
Chaffey Peter Arnold LIB 16.3%
Custance John Olsen LIB 16.3%
Bragg Graham Ingerson LIB 17.5%
Victoria Dale Baker LIB 18.3%
Murray-Mallee Peter Lewis LIB 18.6%
Davenport Stan Evans IND 2.8% v LIB
Elizabeth Martyn Evans IND 4.0% v ALP
Semaphore Norm Peterson IND 7.3% v ALP
Flinders Peter Blacker NAT 8.3% v LIB

Legislative Council Results[edit]

1985 Legislative Council Result (STV GV)
Party Seats
  Australian Labor Party 48.0% 5
  Liberal Party of Australia 39.3% 5
  Australian Democrats 5.5% 1
  Nationals SA 1.6%
1985-1989 Legislative Council
Party Seats
  Australian Labor Party 10
  Liberal Party of Australia 10
  Australian Democrats 2

See also[edit]


External links[edit]