SA Election 2022: Labor Claims Victory

21 March 2022

Labor has been swept back into power in South Australia after spending one term in Opposition, able to form a majority Government in its own right without relying on any independents for support. As this is the first Government in Australia that has been ousted from power since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there are potential lessons for governments across the country.

Public polling leading up to election day had been indicating that the Liberal Party was going to suffer significant swings across the State. However, the scale of the defeat was not foreshadowed. There are still hundreds of thousands of votes to count, as the Electoral Commission of South Australia did not start counting pre-poll and postal votes until 9am this morning. More than 380,000 people voted prior to election day, including 210,000 at pre-polling centres and over 170,000 via post. However, as it currently stands, this will be the second worst result for the Liberal Party since the Second World War.

The Battlegrounds

At time of writing, the ALP has secured 26 seats, the Liberal Party has secured 8 and independents have won 4, while 9 seats are in doubt. Labor has won all four key marginal seats, being Adelaide, Elder, King and Newland. Further up the pendulum, the ALP has also gained Gibson and Davenport, with both seats held on margins of greater than 5 per cent prior to election day. The ALP is also currently ahead in Steven Marshall’s seat of Dunstan, but the count is much tighter.

Source: ABC

The Liberal Party has also suffered significant losses to independents, with the Deputy Premier Dan Van Holst Pellekaan losing to Independent MP Geoff Brock in Stuart, and Minister for Regional Development David Basham – at this stage – on track to lose to Independent Lou Nicholson in Finniss. Note that Finniss has the most significant pre-poll and postal vote count in the state, which could change this result. If Mr Basham is unseated, however, it will be a surprise upset as Finniss was not considered a seat that may change.

With the exception of Sam Duluk in Waite, all former Liberal MPs who had defected from the party have been returned, with swings toward the independents in Kavel and Mount Gambier. Even Waite is not positive for the Liberal Party, with the seat likely to fall to an independent or the ALP.

Looking Ahead

Premier-elect Peter Malinauskas was sworn in this morning at 10:00am alongside incoming Deputy Premier Susan Close and Treasurer Stephen Mullighan. The Premier-elect is expected to announce the rest of his cabinet in coming days.

Former Premier Steven Marshall announced his resignation as Leader of the South Australian Liberal Party yesterday, with the Liberal Party set to elect its new leader when the final result is known.

Final Legislative Council results may not be known until mid-April.

Further information

This is the third of our SA Election newsletter series, featuring analysis of campaign activities, policy announcements, polling and other political developments. For more information about the election, or to enquire about our services in South Australia, please contact:

Sandy Kay-Oswald
m: 0432 220 063
e: [email protected]


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