South Australian state election, 2002

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South Australian state election, 2002
South Australia
← 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 Liberal placeholder.png
Leader Mike Rann Rob Kerin
Party Labor Liberal
Leader since 5 November 1994 22 October 2001
Leader's seat Ramsay Frome
Last election 21 seats 23 seats
Seats won 23 seats 20 seats
Seat change Increase2 Decrease3
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. 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.

House of Assembly (IRV) — Turnout 93.59% (CV) — Informal 3.12%
Party Votes  % Swing Seats Change
  Liberal Party of Australia 378,929 39.97 -0.43 20 -3
  Australian Labor Party 344,559 36.34 +1.18 23 +2
  Australian Democrats 71,026 7.49 -8.95 0 0
  Family First Party 25,025 2.64 * 0 0
  One Nation Party 22,833 2.41 * 0 0
  SA Greens 22,332 2.36 * 0 0
  Nationals SA 13,748 1.45 -0.29 1 0
  Independents 40,288 4.25 +1.12 3 +2
  Other 29,292 3.09 0 0
  Total 948,032     47
  Australian Labor Party WIN 49.10 +0.60 24 +3
  Liberal Party of Australia 50.90 -0.60 23 -3

Independents: Rory McEwen, Bob Such, 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. He was succeeded by Rob Kerin, who had only six months to govern before the election was called.

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 all four of the crossbenchers.

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, the Kerin Government refused to resign until after Rann and Labor demonstrated that they had majority support on the floor of the House of Assembly. Kerin argued that since the Liberals had won 50.9 percent of the two-party vote, they had a mandate to stay in office.

After three months of stalemate, the Kerin Government was defeated on the floor of the House of Assembly on 5 March 2002. Rann then advised the Governor that he could form a government, which was duly sworn in on 6 March.

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.

Legislative Council Results[edit]

2002 Legislative Council Result (STV GV)
Party Seats
  Liberal Party of Australia 40.1% 5
  Australian Labor Party 32.9% 4
  Australian Democrats 7.3% 1
  Family First Party 4.0% 1
  SA Greens 2.8%
  One Nation Party 1.8%
  No Pokies 1.3%
  Independent for Voluntary euthanasia 1.2%
  SA First 1.0%
  Nationals SA 0.5%
2002-2006 Legislative Council
Party Seats
  Liberal Party of Australia 9
  Australian Labor Party 7
  Australian Democrats 3
  Family First Party 1
  No Pokies 1
  Terry Cameron 1

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, and 2 independents (Terry Cameron and Nick Xenophon).

The sole balance of power was held unbroken by the Australian Democrats since their inception in the mid-1970s. Though the Democrats would exceed 16 percent of the vote in 1997, during the parliamentary term the Democrats lost 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.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

General information
Political Parties